KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
SEPTEMBER 10, 2019
NEW YORK, N.Y. AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
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
As I mentioned in yesterday’s primer, and as advertised by WWE, they will stay put in Madison Square Garden tonight for Smackdown. I relived some MSG memories in yesterday’s report. There are certainly many that can be discussed. Smackdown’s last appearance in this arena was in May of 2009. Look for me on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post Show as I will be the on-site correspondent, as my wife and I will be attending the event. I look forward to speaking to Wade and his co-host, Jake Barnett, regarding the in-arena experience.
We wrap up the build to Clash of Champions as that event takes place this coming Sunday. Here’s what’s advertised for the show tonight:
• Kofi Kingston’s journey brings him back to Madison Square Garden
• Chad Gable looks to continue impressive King of the Ring run against Elias
• Will Roman Reigns pay back Erick Rowan for last week’s surprise attack?
• The Undertaker returns to Smackdown LIVE
Matches & Segments:
King of the Ring Smackdown Final: Elias vs. Chad Gable
Tonight, we will find out who advances to the King of the Ring finals as Elias takes on Chad Gable.
Last week, Elias defeated Ali in about 13 minutes. Ali had previously defeated Buddy Murphy in the tournament in a rematch from their 2018 classic on 205Live. Elias defeated Kevin Owens with the help of Shane McMahon. As far as Chad Gable he defeated Andrade. Prior to the match Andrade’s business manager Zelina Vega said there’s no shame in losing to the “future King Andrade” and “keep going little guy.” Prior to that Samoa Joe, who’s competing to get to the finals from the Raw side, bumped into Gable in the back. He said he thought he needed a highchair and could tell the height jokes hurt because he’s mentally weak. None of this seemed to phase him, as he went on to win his match. Here’s Gable in a WWE.com exclusive with Cathy Kelley. Also, Kelley talked to Andrade and Vega:
Frank’s Analysis: The height jokes are getting old with Gable, and it’s worse seeing him pout instead of defending himself. At least say something back to Joe or whomever is making the jokes. I can relate to this personally. Nevertheless, Elias had a good match last week. I could see another between he and Gable.
The Undertaker Returns to Smackdown and MSG
As has been advertised for many weeks, the Undertaker returns to Smackdown and more importantly, make his return to Madison Square Garden. Undertaker was a fixture of Smackdown from 2002-2010 during his more fulltime run. He had feuds with Brock Lesnar, Edge, Batista, and Kane amongst others. He last appeared at an MSG house show in 2018:
Back in 2004 at WrestleMania 20 in MSG, Undertaker returned after an extended hiatus to take on Kane. He returned to his “deadman” gimmick after years of being a more human “Biker” Undertaker, Big Evil, and Deadman, Inc.:
WWE made it a point to tweet out a fatal four-way between Undertaker, the Rock, Kurt Angle, and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin from an MSG Smackdown show in 2000:
You want ⭐ POWER?
— WWE (@WWE) September 7, 2019
It’s not specific as to why he will be there tonight, but nevertheless the legendary man known as the “Dead Man” returns to familiar territory as he graces the arena known as the “mecca” of professional wrestling. One report says WWE brought him back for Smackdown for fear they wouldn’t be able to sell enough tickets, thinking Raw would sell out easily.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m sure everyone will be eagerly awaiting the Undertaker. Given how WWE treats their legends, this may be another way to do a Bray Wyatt stunt where he attacks Undertaker. They have a history, and it wouldn’t surprise me if they set up that match at some point. Wyatt never defeated the Undertaker in their previous feud which ran in 2015.
WWE Champion Kofi Kingston Returns to MSG
Randy Orton challenges Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship at Clash of Champions in a rematch from SummerSlam. The two of them have been going at it ever since they fought to a double count out that night. Last week on Smackdown, Orton called out Kofi asking to fight him like a man. When Kofi’s music hit, the Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder), were in the process of beating him up at the top of the stage. They took him to the ring, where eventually Orton and the Revival “Super-RKOd” Kofi.
Madison Square Garden was the site 10 years ago where Kofi and Orton had a brawl where Kofi put Orton through a table. This has been referenced as sort of the foundation of their feud. Orton has said he held down Kofi ever since because he never thought he could “hack it,” if you will. Here’s highlights of that event:
WWE announced that Kofi will be on the show tonight and referenced the table spot. They will build towards their upcoming Clash of Champions match.
Frank’s Analysis: Kofi has always been popular. Watching that segment from MSG the crowd was into him. It makes me glad WWE finally got behind him this year, even if it is years after the fact and this happened because of Ali’s injury this year. Kofi has still had a great career. Let’s hope Orton tones it down with the “stupid” stuff, as that’s getting annoying. Well it is annoying actually, not getting.
Payback on the Mind of Roman Reigns
Last week at the end of Smackdown, Daniel Bryan was still looking for an apology from Roman Reigns for accusing him of being behind the recent attacks against him. Instead what we got was Bryan’s partner of the last five months, Erick Rowan, reveal he was in fact behind the equipment falling on him and the car crash. Rowan threw Reigns into the steel steps and slammed Bryan through a table. Bryan pleaded with Rowan prior to be slammed, saying he was his friend. Rowan said he had been tired of being told what to do.
Reigns faces Rowan at Clash of Champions. They had some chatter on Twitter. Bryan has been quiet for the past few weeks.
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) September 4, 2019
“I’ve got no strings to HOLD ME DOWN” pic.twitter.com/fIwgQHNK6I
— ROWAN (@ERICKROWAN) September 4, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t have anything to say about this mess other than what’s been said. I have to say Rowan came across well, but that’s about the only positive. I still say there’s more to this and it wouldn’t surprise me if Bryan still eventually reveals he gave Rowan the idea for the attack, leading to a Bryan vs. Reigns feud. I could be wrong and frankly I don’t care, because this thing is just out there.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
• Bayley explained (sort of) her turn on Becky Lynch last week on Raw. Charlotte Flair interrupted and attacked Bayley. Sasha Banks came out to back up Bayley and they both attacked Charlotte. They eventually gave her chair shots.
• Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville defeated WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross in a non-title match. They earned a championship match at Clash of Champions.
• Aleister Black defeated Shelton Benjamin
• Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura won a squash match with Sami Zayn in his corner.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!