WADE KELLER PODCAST - EARLY PREVIEW OF ROYAL RUMBLE 2020 MEN'S MATCH, PLUS 2019 AND 2010 LOOK-BACK ROUNDTABLES
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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
SEPTEMBER 17, 2019
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-They opened with a close-up of fans in floor seats jumping up and down excitedly. Phillips hyped a sit-down interview conducted by Michael Cole with Erick Rowan to get answers from him about the return of Luke Harper. Saxton said Daniel Bryan will return this week to address the situation. Also, Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks and the coronation of King Corbin.
(1) THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods & Big E) vs. RANDY ORTON & THE REVIVAL
The New Day made their way to the ring. Kofi Kingston threw pancakes to the crowd as Phillips said Kofi retained his title against Orton at the Clash of Champions. They showed freeze-frames of the Kofi-Orton match, including showing how close Orton came to winning. They opened with Big E vs. Dash, with Big E giving Dash an overhead suplex. He splashed him on the ring apron and scored a two count in the ring. Xavier tagged in next. Dash kicked his injured left knee and then tagged in Dawson. Xavier made a comeback and tagged Kofi in. Dawson tagged in Orton, who worked over Kofi. The rapid-fire pace continued with Kofi, Xavier, and Big E all hitting rapid-fire offense against Orton. Dash and Dawson intervened, but New Day cleared them from the ring. Kofi went for a Trouble in Paradise, but Orton ducked and retreated to ringside to join Dash and Dawson as they cut to a break. [c]
The heels were in control after the break, triple-teaming Xavier and focusing on his left leg. When Xavier tried to fight back, he poked Xavier in the eye. Graves contended it was an open handed palm strike. He stomped away at Xavier’s leg, then tagged Dawson back in. Xavier rolled to ringside. Orton ended up throwing Xavier onto the announce table. They cut to another break, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
During the break, Orton beat up Xavier some more at ringside, then threw him into the ring where Dash grounded him. Back from the break, Orton and Kofi both tagged in. Kofi took it to Orton and fended off Dash. Kofi turned back to Orton and landed an S.O.S. Dash made the save to stop the count. A brawl broke out at ringside. When Kofi went for a dive to the floor, Orton intercepted him and gave him a DDT off the middle rope. Orton signaled for the RKO, but Dash and Dawson asked to enter. They set up Kofi for an assisted RKO Machine, but Big E yanked Orton out of the ring. Xavier then leaped off the top rope with a flying elbow onto Dash. Kofi then hit Dawson with Trouble in Paradise for the win.
WINNERS: New Day in 20:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good opening tag match. I get the sense with draft coming up, WWE is going to feel free to blow through a lot of existing feuds and various match-ups.)
-As New Day celebrated, suddenly Brock Lesnar’s music played. He walked out onto the stage with Paul Heyman. This was not hyped ahead of time at all, and Phillips reacted with shock. Lesnar (who looked different in the face, like he had a bad cold or just woke up or something) crossed his arms and stared at Kofi from the ramp. Kofi told Big E and Xavier to leave the ring. Graves said there’s a fine line between being confident and suicidal. Lesnar chatted with Heyman, then stepped onto the ring apron with Heyman. Heyman introduced himself to Kofi. Heyman said Lesnar stands in the way of the longevity of his title reign. He said his client has authorized him to challenge Kofi to a match for the WWE Title on Oct. 4 on the premiere episode of Smackdown on Fox. Heyman handed the mic to Kofi. Fans chanted “Kofi! Kofi!” Kofi said when he won the WWE Title, he vowed to be a fighting champion. “As far as your challenge is concerned, I accept,” he said. He dropped the mic. Lesnar walked up to shake his hand, then gave him an F5 instead. He smiled down on Kofi.
(Keller’s Analysis: Great surprise for Smackdown. They would’ve had a better rating announcing Lesnar ahead of time, but the genuine surprise of the moment worked in terms of a crowd pop and announcers reacting the way they did. I do fear Lesnar is going to beat Kofi quickly and decisively on the show to transition to a Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns feud. We’ll see.)
-The announcers hyped the Rowan sit-down interview. [c]
-Kalya Braxton interviewed Sasha Banks and Bayley. She asked Bayley for a response to Becky Lynch agreeing to defend her title in a Hell in a Cell against her. Sasha said she’s been in a Cell before. She told Braxton to ask Becky if she has. When Braxton asked about Sasha facing Charlotte later, Bayley took the mic said Sasha will answer all of the questions in the ring later.
-They went to the announcers on camera who discussed Sasha vs. Charlotte. Then they shifted to a video package on Rowan beating Reigns with help from Luke Harper.
-Michael Cole interviewed Rowan and asked about the return of Harper. Rowan said he should ask Harper about Harper. Cole asked about his “disgusting and violent attacks.” He said, “Some people call this attempted manslaughter.” Rowan said they were meant to just scare him. Cole said, “Seriously? You tried to kill him!” He said, “I suggest you lower your tone, Mike. I no longer allow anyone to speak to me like that.” He said he did what he did to change the perceived dominance he thinks Roman has and show him it’s an illusion. He said for too long he’s been overlooked and underappreciated and disrespected. He said people like Cole, Daniel Bryan, and Roman think he’s just a goon meant to do somebody else’s bidding. He said he’s not anyone’s puppet. “Am I amusing? Do I make you smile?” he asked. “I’m not a follower, I’m a leader.” Cole asked about the opportunities Bryan gave him. Rowan said he is far superior to Bryan both mentally and physically. He said everyone will learn to never disrespect him again.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was awkward, but it kind of worked in terms of enhancing the idea that Rowan is unstable.)
-Saxton hyped that Bryan returns to Smackdown tonight.
-Ali made his ring entrance. [c]
-Sami came out in a neck brace and introduced Shinsuke Nakamura as “your Intercontinental Champion.” His music stopped after a few seconds and Sami went back to talking. He talked about Ali beating Nakamura recently. He said luck probably had something to do with it, and it was before Nakamura partnered with him. He said Nakamura is not the same man he last faced. Sami and Nakamura surrounded Ali, who tried to keep his eyes on both of them at once. Sami said he’ll never be a champion. Nakamura made a move toward Ali, so Ali punched him. Sami then grabbed Ali’s leg. Nakamura then gave Ali a running high knee. He continued to beat on him as Sami said it was a big mistake for Ali to do what he just did. Nakamura then delivered a Kinshasa. Apparently a match was scheduled, and it never took place, although the announcers didn’t really specify any of that.
-Suddenly fans stood and looked to the opposite side of the arena as the stage. Kevin Owens walked down the steps and sat down. They cut to Shane McMahon in his office looking at KO on the screen. Someone told Shane there is someone there to see him. (If Shane was watching Smackdown, shouldn’t he have been looking at a shot of himself, not KO, if he was shown on TV at that moment?) A man then served Shane with some legal papers. “You’ve been served,” he said. Shane opened it read some of it, then walked away. [c]
-They showed KO lounging in the crowd with his feet up on the barricade. Graves said KO is allowed to be in the arena, but why are they showing him on camera. “All it does is drive up his independent value,” said Graves.
-Shane walked out to his music with the envelope and five security guys. Shane said if KO has something to say, why not come to the ring. He told security to let him in the ring. The security guys stood between KO and Shane. Shane told them to give KO a mic. Shane said he just glanced at the lawsuit and it’s the largest wrongful termination lawsuit in history. Shane said Owens would be awarded $25 million dollars if he won. Shane said he is swimming where he shouldn’t be swimming.
KO interrupted and told Shane, “If you want me to talk, maybe you should shut your stupid mouth and listen, you dumbass.” Fans cheered. Shane said, “Your case is weak, just like you.” Owens said his case is strong. He said he has been saying out loud what people have been thinking, which is that he ruined Smackdown by making it his personal playground.
He said after Summerslam he fined him $10o,000 for hitting his crooked referee. Yet last week, when he was the referee for Shane’s match against Chad Gable, Shane attacked him from behind because he couldn’t get the job done. “You laid your hands on an official, which is exactly what you fired me for,” he said. KO said Shane fired him because he was “insubordinate,” but that’s his case because he wasn’t insubordinate. He said he did what Shane wanted him to do – he tried to help him beat Gable, but it wasn’t enough because “You tapped out. You tapped out!” The crowd joined in. KO said because of that, he tried to take away his life’s work and his family’s future. “Well, Shane, that doesn’t work for me,” KO said. He said he tried to reason with him, fight him, and work with him, and now he just wants to hurt him. He said the best way to do that is to hit him where it hurts the most – in his wallet and his pride. He told Shane that this is about more than money. He said he has a case and he can see in Shane’s face that he has a legit case. Owens said it’s not just about taking millions of dollars away from him. He said there’s another clause that when he wins, he gets to come back to SD and stand in the middle of the ring and look him dead in the eyes and say, “Shane McMahon, you’re fired!” He threw the mic down and left the ring. Fans cheered. Shane began reading over the paperwork as Owens left through the crowd.
-They showed Bryan sitting on a crate backstage, rocking back and forth. Phillips said he will respond to Rowan later.
-They showed Charlotte getting ready for her match against Sasha. The camera panned left and there was Ric Flair. They smiled.
-An AOP vignette aired (the same one that aired on Raw last night). [c]
-The announcers talked about the scheduled draft as website headlines about it were shown on the screen. Phillips asked what happens if he and Graves gets separated. Graves said, “I can only get so lucky.”
-“Offset,” a multiplatinum hip hop recording artist from Atlanta, stood in the ring wearing a Ric Flair robe. He introduced Charlotte.
(2) CHARLOTTE vs. SASHA BANKS (w/Bayley)
Graves called out Saxton for being anti-Charlotte and pro-Banks, but switching. Saxton said they both have changed, not him. Bayley distracted Charlotte at ringside a minute into the match, giving Sasha the chance to take control. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split screen. [c]
Sasha dominated during the break, then Charlotte made a comeback. She applied a Boston crab. Sasha rolled up Charlotte for a two count. Charlotte threw Sasha to the floor. When Bayley checked on her, Charlotte leaped off the top rope with a moonsault. Bayley and Sasha too obviously positioned themselves and just stood there to take the move. Bayley grabbed Charlotte leg, giving Sasha a chance to take advantage. Charlotte soon applied the figure-four, though. She bridged into a Figure-Eight when Bayley jumped in and stomped on her.
WINNER: Charlotte in 14:00 via DQ.
-Sasha and Bayley double-teamed Charlotte. Carmella ran out for the save. She shoved Bayley down, then superkicked Sasha. Charlotte then gave Bayley a big boot to knock her out of the ring. The announcers wondered why Carmella would come to Charlotte’s aid, or if it was just trying to restore order and deal with old friend Bayley. [c]
-King Corbin began his ring entrance where a throne sat mid-ring. They replayed clips of Corbin’s win over Chad Gable on Raw last night. Corbin then put on the throne as Graves listed some of the all-time greats who have been King of the Ring winners. Phillips asked if he’d kiss Corbin’s feet. Graves, without hesitation, said, “If he asked me to.” Corbin said it’s a breath of fresh air that he’s now King Corbin. He said he knows the fans wanted anyone but him to be king, but he’s the king they needed. “I am a ruler who exemplifies everything it means to be king.” He said he is dominant and strong, but also generous and fair. He said he won the tournament with honor, and for that he should be shown the respect and adoration that he deserves. He said if he is not, then they will find out he can rule with an iron fist. He said he wanted to recognize someone first and foremost – his opponent, Chad Gable. Gable came out with his hands on his hips, wondering what this was all about.
Corbin told Gable that he is a perfect example for the fans that no matter how big you dream and how hard you work, in the end, you just come up short. He laughed. Graves laughed. Gable tackled him into his throne, which broke into pieces. He tore the robe off of Corbin, then hit him with the scepter. Graves said, “Send Gable to the gallows!” Corbin threw a fit at ringside as Gable destroyed the throne and tore up his robe. Then he stomped on the crown, flattening it. Grave implored Corbin to hide his eyes. Gable’s music played and he broke into a bit of a smile (although he’s typically not one for facial expressions).
-Saxton handed Graves a hanky to wipe up his tears. Phillips then hyped the grit and passion of NXT. He said all three of them got their starts there. Saxton hyped Velveteen Dream vs. Roderick Strong. [c]
(3) HEAVY MACHINERY vs. THE B-TEAM
Heavy Machinery dominated. When it was time for the Caterpillar, Saxton said this night has been so enjoyable for him. They finished Bo with the Compactor.
WINNERS: Heavy Machinery in 3:00. [c]
-They replayed Lesnar challenging Kofi earlier in the show and then said the match is official for the Oct. 4 Smackdown debut on Fox.
-Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring as the announcers plugged the debut of WWE at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif. Bryan paced in the ring as fans began chanting “Daniel Bryan!” Bryan said a lot of the same people chanting his name accused him of attacking Reigns. He said he has never lied to him, and he stands before them exonerated. He said he was there to talk about Rowan, someone he recognized great potential in. He said he didn’t just see him as his equal, but he treated him as his equal and his friend. Rowan walked out and told him to stop because he’s tired of hearing him speak. He said Bryan made him stand behind him and never let him talk. “Did you ever stop and ask me how I felt about anything?” he said as he entered the ring. He said he won’t be disrespected. Bryan asked him to do something about it, because there is nothing physically he could do that would be worse than betraying him and breaking their friendship. He said if he feels disrespected, do something about it. Luke Harper ran in and attacked Bryan from behind.
Roman Reigns’s music played. The crowd cheered. Harper stood at ringside and met Reigns. Reigns ducked a clothesline and went right after Rowan in the ring. He gave him a Superman Punch, then turned to punch Harper. He gave Rowan a Drive By. Soon, though, Harper and Rowan double-teamed Reigns. Harper threw Reigns into the ringside steps. Then Rowan rammed Reigns back-first into the ringpost. They beat up Reigns at ringside and then powerbombed Bryan through the announce table. Graves said, “These maniacs are out of control!” The show ended.