Last week, Smackdown Live ended with Daniel Bryan saying he will reveal the culprit in the attack against Roman Reigns next week. From Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, a very suspenseful Smackdown Live show started with Randy Orton.
Kofi Kingston Confronts Randy Orton
The evening began with Randy Orton coming to the ring. On the previous night at RAW, Orton interfered in a New Day tag match, taking out the trio with the help of The Revival. We were told by the commentary team that Xavier Woods is not present at tonight’s show. Speaking of the commentary, David Otunga was replacing Corey Graves this week. He talked about how Kingston dodged their championship match at Summerslam. He then bragged about his attack on Monday, continuing with the “Kofi is stupid” tagline he’s been running with for a while. New Day music hit as his promo was wrapping up. In very Orton-like fashion, Kingston came from the crowd and gave Orton a Trouble In Paradise out of nowhere. When you thought Kingston was leaving, he took a steel chair and wedged an ankle of Orton between it. He went to the second rope but got distracted by The Revival, who came down to the ring. He teed off on Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson with a chair while Orton got away. The commentary described this segment like we’ve never seen Kingston like this, although isn’t that what we got at Summerslam when he snapped? It was an okay segment though.
Before the break, we saw a video package the recent situation between Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan and Rowan. We were reminded that Bryan said he would come forward with the attacker this week. Honestly, this has been an interesting storyline so far. It’s had a legitimate cliffhanger for a week that I’ve been interested to find out about
Andrade w/ Zelina Vega vs. Apollo Crews (King of the Ring Tournament First Round Match)
In the first of two King of the Ring matches on this episode, Andrade faced Apollo Crews. Before the match, we were given the first televised announcement that NXT is moving to the USA Network on Wednesdays soon. The idea from people within the business was that it would be announced on Monday, and really that seems like the logical way to announce it, but whatever. Before the match, we saw Kevin Owens talking with Shane McMahon backstage. Owens was still torn apart about the 100k dollar fine he was given last week. Owens asked him to reconsider, to which McMahon said he will think about.
Starting off the match quickly, Crews gave Andrade a clothesline for a kickout. Isn’t that how a King of the Ring match started on Monday? Just like Monday, we got a replay of it seconds later as well. Andrade did double knees in the corner for a two count. Crews went for a rollup pin for a two count. Andrade did a hold while on the ropes. He went to the top rope but was hit with a dropkick on the way down. Crews caught Andrade outside the ring, but Andrade turned it into a huricanrana into a steel staircase as we went to break. I really liked that spot. Back from the break, Crews caught a crossbody. Crews hit a double knees for a two count. They traded strikes when they got back up. Crews did a jumping-clotheslines. Crews hit an Olympic Slam for another kickout. Andrade landed a boot after countering a move. He went to the second rope but was hit with a dropkick. Crews picked up Andrade but dropped him due to a hurt hand. Crews was thrown into a corner. Andrade tried for another double knees but Crews avoided it. Crews did a standing shooting star press after a few moves by both fighters. Crews tried picking up Andrade, but Zelina Vega held onto him from outside the ring. When they separated, Andrade hit a spinning back elbow. Andrade hit his Hammerlock DDT for the win. It’s weird how the commentators tout how good Andrade is (referencing how he made Rey Mysterio contemplate retirement), but don’t call out how he cheats to win. Even after the match they praised him.
Backstage, we saw Daniel Bryan and Rowan carry someone into a room with a towel over their head. After that, we saw Elias spot an undercover referee backstage. The referee told him that Drake Maverick was in a container. He made Maverick read a statement from Shane McMahon that suspended the 24/7 Championship for the night so that Elias could focus on his match.
A Moment of Bliss w/ Charlotte Flair
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross hosted A Moment of Bliss with their special guest this week being Charlotte Flair. Bliss said that Flair asked to be on the show. Flair said she is the “Queen of all eras” and the “face of the Smackdown women’s brand.” Bliss claimed that “some would say” Bayley is the current face. After Flair explained why she thinks she’s better, Bayley came out to confront her. Bayley said Flair is angry that she isn’t the champ. Flair said she will restore the belt’s value when she beats her at Clash of Champions. Bayley accepts the challenge to face her at the PPV. She pushed Flair off of her chair and then left. Wow, easy night for Bliss and Cross. I don’t like Bayley being this very cocky character. It just doesn’t feel right on her, especially because of her track record as not being a super cocky character.
Daniel Bryan w/ Rowan vs. Buddy Murphy
Backstage we saw Roman Reigns confront Buddy Murphy. Murphy said he thought it was Rowan who attacked him. Reigns said he will beat him up if he lies again. A week after he faced Reigns, Buddy Murphy faced Daniel Bryan this week. Before the match, Bryan called him a liar. Similar to Bryan’s Wrestlemania 28 match, he was distracted when the bell rang, and was hit right of the bat. Murphy hit a flying knee for a two count. He gave Bryan landed tons of kicks in the corner. Later, Murphy sent Bryan outside the ring with a clothesline then landed a dive over the top rope as we went to commercials. Back from the break, Murphy landed a dropkick off the second rope. He went to the top rope again, landing a double knees this time. Bryan put in a Lebell Lock and then transitioned into a Rings of Saturn. Going back to the Lebell Lock, Murphy put a foot on the ropes to save himself. Bryan started doing Yes Kicks. Murphy avoided a kick and landed one of this own. Murphy was hung upside down in the ropes and was given a dropkick to the head. Bryan put Murphy on the top rope and did a belly-to-back superplex for a two count. He did kicks to Murphy in the corner while screaming “Liar! Liar!” Murphy reversed a move, doing a superkick in the corner and a running powerbomb for a close kickout. They got up and traded punches. Bryan tried for a move but was reversed into a rollup. Murphy did a brainbuster after a few strikes, but Bryan put his foot on the rope to kick out. Rowan got on the apron. Murphy got distracted by Rowan. Bryan tried for a rollup but was thrown off and into Rowan. Murphy tried for a superkick but hit Rowan. Bryan tried for a roll-up but couldn’t get it. Murphy landed a knee and then a Murphy’s Law to win the match.
This was a very good match. I have no real issues with it. Maybe a few too many pin attempts, but the match was great overall. It wasn’t really clear why Rowan stayed on the apron for so long, or got on it in the first place. Maybe he just wanted a better view.
After the break, Buddy Murphy was going to get interviewed backstage. He was jumped before the interview got off the ground, with Rowan beating him up. Bryan screamed at him about being a liar the whole time.
Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder (The Revival) vs. Otis & Tucker (Heavy Machinery)
The Revival came out and challenged The New Day to a Championship match. Their promo was cut off by their opponents for this week, Heavy Machinery. Both Revival members had wrapping around their mid-section due to the steel chair attack earlier. Tucker and Wilder started the bout. Tucker put Wilder in a bear hug. He tagged in Otis, and passed Wilder to him, where he continued the bear hug. Tucker got tagged back in. They did dual vertical suplexes, holding their opponents high for a long time. We went to break after that spot. After the break, Wilder and Tucker were back in the ring. Wilder did a bulldog off a corner for a two count. Dawson got tagged in and tried for a senton but Tucker avoided it. Otis got the hot tag against Dawson. He spun around Wilder before doing a slam. He did a splash in a corner, and then did his famous caterpillar elbow drop. Otis tried for a compactor but got it broken up. Tucker took down Dawson but Wilder went for a rollup to get the win because of the predicament. It was a decent match but the finish made it fall flat.
Chad Gable cut a promo backstage about being called an underdog in the King of the Ring tournament. Behind him, his opponent Shelton Benjamin put a sign on a door. The sign said “You must be at least this tall to participate in the King of the Ring Tournament.” He didn’t find that too funny.
MizTV w/ Sami Zayn
We were given another reminder that NXT is moving to Wednesdays. In the next segment, The Miz hosted another episode of MizTV with Sami Zayn. In a two-hour show, two of these talk show segments feels like too much. Zayn admits early that he only wanted to be on this show so he could get TV time. He said there is people on Smackdown who needs his help. He brought Shinsuke Nakamura out. Nakamura said Zayn speaks for him. Nakamura kicked Miz in the groin, then did tons of knees. He did a kick in the corner and a Kinshasa to end the brawl. So I guess Nakamura is a follower of Zayn now, which is weird since Nakamura has a belt and Zayn is on a losing streak.
Elias vs. Kevin Owens (King of the Ring Tournament First Round Match)
We saw Daniel Bryan and Rowan backstage again. They went into the room where the disguised attacker was. They said Roman Reigns was on the way. Shane McMahon brought Kevin Owens back into the room. McMahon asked for an apology for laying his hands on him last week. Without hesitation, he apologized. McMahon said if Owens ever touches another WWE official he will be fired. McMahon refused a handshake before Owens walked off.
In the final match of the night, Kevin Owens faced Elias in the first round of the King of the Ring. Elias landed a shoulder tackle early on. Owens send Elias over the ropes, but avoided doing a dive as Elias ran out of the way. Elias threw Owens into a barricade before throwing him back in the ring. Owens did a cannonball in the corner of the ring for a two count. After this, Shane McMahon’s music hit and he sat at ringside. Owens did a frogsplash onto the floor during the commercial break. Later on, Owens did a dropkick off the second rope and then a senton. He tried for a pop-up powerbomb but Elias reversed it. Owens went to the second rope, but Elias put him on his shoulders and landed a powerbomb for a kickout. Both on the top rope, Elias was knocked onto the canvas. Owens tried for a Shooting Star Press but Elias put his knees up. Owens sent Elias outside the ring and then did a cannonball off the apron. Outside the ring, McMahon interfered. He took off his shirt and revealed his referee shirt. Owens was back in the ring and distracted, getting attacked by Elias. Owens tried for a stunner but was almost thrown into Shane. Elias went for a roll-up, with McMahon giving him a fast count to end it. Well, I guess that’s better than being fired.
The Attacker Is Revealed
Backstage, we saw Roman Reigns arrive in the room backstage. They unmasked the person, who looked like a Rowan lookalike. Apart from balding grey hair, he had a similar face and the long ginger beard. All three of them stared at a confused Reigns as the show ended. So, quite a way to end it. Um, I guess Reigns’ emotion at the ended conveys mine as well: pure confusion. Going into next week it’s not as intriguing, but I’ll still be interested to see where they go from here.
This show had some pretty good matches. The best was easily Daniel Bryan versus Buddy Murphy and Andrade versus Apollo Crews. While this show had it’s flaws, it flew by pretty quickly.