Smackdown Live took place on Tuesday night at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. Let’s look at how the two-hour program went down.
Smackdown Live started this week with Roman Reigns walking backstage. He was stopped by an interviewer who asked him about Daniel Bryan demanding an apology. Reigns said he will say what he wants to say to Bryan “in the ring.” After that, we went to a live shot of the crowd which looked simply sad, as there were many empty seats. Not sure why they shot such a close up shot of a poor crowd. While Kofi Kingston made his way to the ring, we were shown a video package about the ongoing rivalry between Kingston and Randy Orton. Kingston did a good promo, and Orton was polite enough to only start his titantron promo as Kingston finished his. Orton said he will save fighting him for Clash of the Champions. He told a story about a letter that was slid under his hotel room door earlier. It was a note from Kingston’s son, telling him to leave Kingston alone. Orton said he’s staying in the same hotel as Kingston’s family. Orton said he can pay a visit to Kingston’s family “right now.” This obviously disturbed Kingston, who came running backstage and started brawling with Orton. The brawl concluded with Orton giving Kingston a draping DDT off of a table.
In major storylines it seems like WWE can’t not mention family. Though I don’t mind this one in comparison to Sasha Banks mocking Natalya’s dead father. To be honest I sort of forgot that Kingston’s family was part of the storyline since I think Summerslam was the last time this was even mentioned. In their defence, it was mentioned in the video packages. This opening segment was fine I guess.
Match 1. Ali vs. Buddy Murphy (King of the Ring First Round Match)
After a commercial break, we saw Big E leaving the doctor’s office. Big E assured us that Kofi Kingston will be ready to fight for Clash of the Champions. He also said that Randy Orton might not make it to Clash of the Champions after he faces him later.
The first match on the show was a first-round King of the Ring match, with Ali facing Buddy Murphy. Murphy’s been on a roll lately, fighting Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan in recent weeks. As expected, this match was fast-paced. Ali did a hurricanrana early on, then tried for a dive outside the ring, but was hit with a knee in the ring when going off the ropes. Are failed dives the biggest trend in WWE nowadays? We went to a break after that spot. Coming back from commercials, Ali reversed a move, landing a dropkick. Murphy tried getting back in the ring but ate a kick to the head. Ali did a tope suicida. We were then shown a camera-shot of Elias backstage watching this bout since he will face the winner. Ali tried for his rolling-neckbreaker, but was caught and tossed out of the ring. Murphy did a dive over all three ropes onto Ali. Murphy went to the top turnbuckle but Ali avoided it and landed a superkick. Ali hit a reverse hurricanrana for a two count. Ali tried going to the top rope, but Murphy stopped him, doing a cheeky nandos kick and then a powerbomb. Murphy hit a knee and a brainbuster for a kickout. Ali did an insane DDT to Murphy who was draped on the ropes. He then went to the top for a 450 Splash to win the match. These guys didn’t have a ton of time but did a great job.
The Miz Calls Out Shinsuke Nakamura
Backstage, we saw Ember Moon and Bayley. Moon told Bayley that she is the face of the division. Lacey Evans then came into the shot, telling Bayley that she brings the division down. The Miz was in the ring to address last week, where Sami Zayn announced his partnership with Shinsuke Nakamura, who helped him tear apart Miz. The Miz cut a long promo, challenging Nakamura for his Intercontinental Championship at Clash of the Champions. Right, he has the belt. Sami Zayn came out after this. After Zayn refused to fight, The Miz charged towards him. Nakamura came from behind The Miz and attacked him. The brawl outside the ring ended with Nakamura hitting a Kinshasa, knocking the head of The Miz against the LED ring panel as well. Cool spot. That might make The Miz rethink challenging Nakamura. It’ll likely still happen though.
Backstage, Elias was in Shane McMahon’s office. Kevin Owens came in, which made Elias all uptight. Owens was told that McMahon wasn’t present. Maybe it was implied that Elias was defensive because he’s the 24/7 Champion? Or maybe I’m missing something. Either way, it wasn’t really explained why Elias was so short-tempered. Although when he asked why he was in Shane’s office, he said: “I’m three matches away from winning the King of the Ring, I do what I want.”
Match 2. Bayley vs. Lacey Evans
The next match was Bayley versus Lacey Evans. At the start of the bout, Evans tried to distract Bayley but throwing her gloves in the air. That didn’t work for her, putting Bayley on the offence immediately. Bayley landed a clothesline outside the ring. After that, Charlotte Flair appeared on the ramp. We then went to commercials. Returning, Evans had Bayley in a headlock in the ring. Bayley did a suplex outside the ring onto the floor. They both beat a near count out after that. I don’t mean to fixate on things like this too much, but Evans was really getting some offense against the champ. Bayley landed a Bayley-to-belly, but Evans put her hand on the rope to break the count. Evans landed a neckbreaker, but the next move was reversed by Bayley. Bayley landed another Bayley-to-belly, then went to the top rope for an elbow drop to give her the win.
Match 3. Randy Orton vs. Big E
In an attempt to retaliate from Randy Orton’s hostilities, Big E faced him in a match. Early on outside the ring, Big E threw Orton into a steel chair and over the commentary table. He then threw Orton over a barricade. Back in the ring, Big E said “I’m here to collect. Call me hell.” Later on, Big E tried for a splash on the apron but Orton avoided it. Orton sidewalk slammed Big E onto the commentary table as we went to commercials. He tried for the same spot when they returned for the break, but it was Big E who landed the slam. Big E did three belly-to-belly german suplexes in the ring. When going off the ropes, The Revival appeared and were knocked off the apron. Big E was pushed into the ropes, which was out of the line of sight of the referee, giving The Revival a chance to hit Big E in the face. Orton then hit an RKO to win the match.
Backstage we saw an interview with Chad Gable. Shelton Benjamin interrupted it, making a short joke which looked like it destroyed Gable’s morale.
Elias sat on the King of the Ring throne on the stage with a crown and a staff. While talking, Kevin Owens approached him from behind and attacked him. He threw him in the ring and gave him a stunner. Owens stared down Elias, but didn’t care to get the 24/7 Championship! But, R-Truth came in the ring after the segment and tried for a pin. Drake Maverick pulled R-Truth out of the ring and went for his own pinfall and won the Championship to no reaction.
Match 4: Shelton Benjamin vs. Chad Gable (King of the Ring First Round Match)
Concluding the King of the Ring First round, former tag team members Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable fought each other. This match came after Benjamin was making fun of Gable for some time. Benjamin landed a spinebuster early in the bout. Gable got a spinning neckbreaker later. Gable tried for a moonsault but ate a knee to the head instead. Gable reversed a powerbomb into a sunset flip powerbomb to get a pinfall victory. Surprise surprise. He’ll face and likely lose to Andrade in the next round. While this match was a hard one to sell, they certainly didn’t make it any easier by not even talking about their past as partners.
Roman Reigns Addresses Daniel Bryan & Rowan
Finishing off the show this week was Roman Reigns coming to the ring to address Daniel Bryan and Rowan. Before he could say anything, Bryan showed up on the big screen, obstructing him to say he’s sorry. Reigns showed footage before deciding if he should apologize. The footage showed Rowan was clearly the person who tried to make a backstage set fall on Reigns. Bryan flipped out backstage, slapping Rowan many times hard. He then went down to the ring, claiming Rowan has lied to him. When he got in the ring he ate a spear from Reigns. That ended the show. This felt like a lame ending to the show. Also, I want to point out that Bryan was giving Rowan some real hard slaps. This show felt sort of lame. Almost everything just felt sort of uneventful. The highlight of the show was easily Ali versus Buddy Murphy. That was a fun one to watch.