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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
AUGUST 27, 2019
BATON ROUGE, LA. AT THE RAISING CANE’S RIVER CENTER
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Arena and Items Advertised by WWE
WWE returns to the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, LA. for tonight’s Smackdown. The arena opened in 1977 and carried the names of the Riverside Centroplex Arena until 2004 and then the Baton Rouge River Center Arena until 2016. WWE has been an on-and-off guest since 2001 bringing Raw, Smackdown, Main Event, the original version of NXT, the defunct Jakked, and the revived ECW brand that ran from 2006-2010.
Thus far there are the two remaining King of the Ring first round matches along with some other storyline items advertised for follow-up thus far for tonight’s show:
- Ali and Buddy Murphy renew their rivalry in King of the Ring
- Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin clash in King of the Ring
- Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan demand an apology from Roman Reigns
- How will Charlotte Flair respond to Bayley’s defiance?
- Will Randy Orton have an answer for Kofi Kingston’s surprise attack?
Matches & Segments:
King of the Ring First Round Matches: Ali vs. Buddy Murphy and Chad Gable vs. Shelton Benjamin
Tonight, we wrap up the first round of the King of the Ring tournament with two matches on the Smackdown side. Last week, Elias won his match against Kevin Owens while Andrade defeated Apollo Crews. Elias will face the winner of Ali vs. Buddy Murphy while Andrade takes on the winner of Chad Gable vs. Shelton Benjamin
There is some history wrapped in both of these matches. Ali and Murphy worked together in 205Live and had arguably one of the best matches in 2018 when they faced off in a no-DQ match that saw Ali (then known as Mustafa Ali) come out victorious. Ali came up short in his quest to become Cruiserweight Champion while Murphy accomplished that feat in his home country of Australia at Super Showdown in October of last year defeating fellow King of the Ring contender Cedric Alexander. Here’s highlights from that amazing match I spoke of earlier:
Chad Gable was part of the American Alpha team brought up in 2016 that featured himself and Jason Jordan. When Jordan was moved to Raw in 2017 and revealed as Kurt Angle’s long-lost son, Gable was given a new partner in the returning Shelton Benjamin. They teamed together until Gable was moved to Raw in the 2018 Superstar Shakeup, and nearly took the Smackdown Tag Team Championships from the Usos on a TV episode before the referee reversed his decision.
The quarterfinals of the Raw side were determined last night when Ricochet defeated Drew McIntyre and Baron Corbin defeated the Miz. The Smackdown side gets set up tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m not sure how much more Buddy Murphy is still going to be involved in the Roman Reigns mystery and if it will tie into this match against Ali. It likely won’t live up to what their contest on 205Live was like, but it should still be good. I’ll pick Ali but Murphy winning would not surprise me. Considering the winner faces Elias I don’t have a strong feeling either way. As far as Gable vs. Shelton, considering the winner faces Andrade I think Gable is a safe bet. It’s as clear as mud what they’re doing with Shelton. Gable vs. Andrade is intriguing even if WWE wants to define Gable down as a small wrestler.
Rowan and Daniel Bryan Demand an Apology from Roman Reigns
Two weeks ago, on Smackdown, Daniel Bryan and Rowan told Roman Reigns they’ve been doing an investigation and found who’s been attacking him. Last week, before Buddy Murphy took on and defeated Daniel Bryan, Roman confronted him in the locker room. Murphy claimed that he was “pretty sure” that he saw Rowan attack Roman but wasn’t 100% sure. At the close of Smackdown, Bryan and Rowan revealed the culprit to Roman and it turned out to be a Rowan look-a-like. Roman put out this tweet in response to WWE:
Y’all call that an answer? This whole situation is getting out of control and I don’t know what to think….but I know what I need to do. https://t.co/uzrAjIkl8p
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) August 22, 2019
Apparently, Bryan and Rowan are upset being accused of something they had nothing to with and will demand an apology from Roman tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m still waiting for that career altering announcement Daniel Bryan was going to make.
Charlotte Flair Response to Bayley’s Defiance
This was discussed in yesterday’s primer, as Bayley’s attack on Charlotte Flair during A Moment of Bliss led to a non-title match last night on Raw between Bayley and Nikki Cross. To briefly recap, Charlotte was a guest of Alexa Bliss and Nikki when Bayley interrupted. Charlotte, in a roundabout way, challenged Bayley to a Smackdown Women’s Championship match at Clash of Champions which Bayley accepted. Bayley then proceeded to shove Charlotte off her chair and onto a table. Other than what was included in yesterday’s primer, social media has been relatively quiet in regard to the feud between these two women other than this from Bayley last night:
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) August 27, 2019
We can expect more build towards the Clash of Champions match tonight. Whether it’s a promo or either woman involved in a match remains to be seen, but Charlotte will without question respond to the attack.
Randy Orton Response to Kofi Kingston Attack
Last week on Smackdown, Randy Orton opened the show discussing his recent match with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston at SummerSlam as well as he and the Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) taking over Kofi’s New Day partner Xavier Woods. He called him “stupid” numerous times and said the power of positivity can be crushed by RKO, the three most destructive letters in sports entertainment (pro wrestling). Kofi had enough and attacked Randy from behind with his Trouble in Paradise. When he was about to take out his leg with a chair, similar to what was done to Woods, the Revival came out. Kofi fended them each off with chair shots. The Revival later on defeated Heavy Machinery. Follow-up is expected in some fashion tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: At the moment nothing is on tap for Clash of Champions for any of the parties involved, but we can certainly expect a Randy Orton vs. Kofi Kingston match for the WWE Championship considering they had a double count-out at SummerSlam. New Day vs. Revival for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship is certainly a possibility. I wouldn’t rule out a six-man tag with a “winner takes all” stipulation with all of New Day teaming to face Randy and the Revival. That would create a buffer of sorts if they want to save another Randy vs. Kofi match for the October Hell in a Cell PPV and have such a match between those two men. They can then go to New Day vs. the Revival, if they even want to wait that long.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
On a MizTV segment, Miz had Sami Zayn as his guest. He acknowledged he had been losing a lot lately but had an epiphany. He realized he must help others, and then introduced Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura as that someone he is going to “help.” They then attacked Miz with Shinsuke ultimately laying him out with his Kinshasa. Here’s a WWE.com exclusive with Sami prior to last week’s Smackdown following his loss to Cedric Alexander in a first round King of the Ring match. This likely led to his “epiphany”:
I am one of the best pro wrestlers on earth and I have been reduced to this. This is where I'm at now.
Enough is enough, and it's time for a change.
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) August 20, 2019
Prior to losing to Elias in their first round King of the Ring match, Kevin Owens pleaded with Shane McMahon to reconsider the $100,000 fine levied on him a week earlier. Shane agreed to reconsider it but said if he ever put his hands on a WWE official again, he would be fired. Shane would insert himself in the match as another official and Owens came close but resisted hitting him during the match. Shane would fast count Owens on an Elias roll-up, eliminating Owens from the tournament and allowing Elias to advance and face the winner of Ali vs. Buddy Murphy tonight.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!