SmackDown Live Review 06/04/2019
Smack Down Live Review: June 4th, 2019
Author: Captain Charisma
Live from the Sames Auto Arena in Laredo, Texas
This episode of SmackDown Live comes to us live from the Sames Auto Arena in Laredo, Texas just less than a few days from Friday’s Super Showdown Pay-Per-View event hosted in Saudi Arabia. It was announced beforehand that WWE Hall of Famer Bill Goldberg will make an appearance for the first time on the blue brand in response to the Undertaker’s promo last night on Raw. I hope we actually get the real badass Goldberg tonight just as Taker stated on Raw instead of the dad version of was once known as an iconic figure. Also, thanks to the “Wildcard Rule”, Alexa Bliss will return to SmackDown Live as she hosts an episode of “A Moment of Bliss” with special guest being the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Bayley. Finally, while we are in the nix of a storyline between Dolph Ziggler and Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship on Friday, we are told that we will get an exclusive interview with Lars Sullivan. Why should we care about what Sullivan has to say ahead of his debut main roster handicap match against the Lucha House Party? I honestly don’t know. Nonetheless, we should be in for a good night.
In-Ring Segment – The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, Dolph Ziggler
The WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods appear to kick things off. Kingston grabs the microphone and states that life is filled with crazy surprises. He then claims that he has done and seen it all whether that is friendships, championships, or accomplishments. However, he states that there has been lows and he has been able to overcome those lows throughout his career, acknowledging his WWE title victory at WrestleMania. He then says that it is amazing to inspire others to believe that they can do anything they want to and plays the video of him visiting Ghana, South Africa. After twenty six years, Kofi was able to back to his hometown of Ghana and reach out to the young children to be whatever they want to be. Dolph Ziggler appears and interrupts his promo. Ziggler says that he respects the journey of the WWE Champion but this is about him and plays a highlight reel of his accomplishments and accolades in his fourteen year career in WWE. Ziggler continues to rant on by stating that he has given his soul to the WWE and should’ve been in Kofi’s shoes at WrestleMania. He claims that he is the hero in this storyline. Kofi Kingston responds by stating that he knows how it feels to be neglected and passed by. But Kingston refers to the footage of Dolph relinquishing the United States Championship in 2017 and walking out of WWE. Kingston continues by saying that Dolph took himself out of the game by quitting, unlike Kofi who has never quit on himself, the WWE Universe or the company. He then makes the final statement that at Super Showdown this Friday, he will prevail and retain the WWE Championship. Dolph then points to the titantron to play footage of his attack on Kofi Kingston on SmackDown Live a couple of weeks ago, finally stating that Friday, it will be him. Ziggler walks away as Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn make their entrance for their scheduled tag team match with Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods.
Let us talk about this opener to SmackDown Live! When you take a look at this, I actually liked how this came out. Having Kofi Kingston state his place as the WWE Champion was really good. By the way he has been delivering his promos recently, Kofi has actually established himself more as a WWE champion than he did just after he won the title at WrestleMania. Having Woods silent in this may have been the best move in my opinion as having the champion talk from his heart, representing his home of Ghana and looking at the joy in the people’s eyes was phenomenal. Although the champ’s side of the segment was good, Dolph’s part was even better! Ziggler has been putting on phenomenal promos as well as tremendous work as a top heel right now. The attacks have been viewed as more than attacks; as statements. Dolph has proven to me that he is the one to dethrone Kingston, especially what he can do afterwards with that title reign. Between the two, I thought Ziggler had the most passion within the exchange. I think there will be a bright future for The Showoff come this Friday at Super Showdown.
Match #1 – Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens vs. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods
Coming from commercial break, the bell rings and Sami Zayn goes all out on Xavier Woods with a reign of punches. Both Zayn and Woods battle it out with back and forth arm wrenches, which leads to Woods tagging in Kofi Kingston. Sami backs away and tags in Kevin Owens. Kingston goes hammer on his former WWE Championship opponent with strikes to the corner turnbuckle. However, it is Owens who gets the upperhand and hits a mudhole stomp. Kofi gets back into things which causes KO to tag in Sami. The New Day start getting more momentum as Kofi and Woods start a Unicorn Stampede on Zayn, causing him to roll out. Kofi and Woods hit springboard attacks on Zayn and Owens on the outside. It is not long until Owens takes advantage and weakens Woods down. He then hits a sharp clothesline, followed by a senton bomb on Woods to take us into commercial break number two. Returning once again, Kevin Owens and Xavier Woods battle it out on the top turnbuckle and gets taken down. Both Woods and KO are able to tag their respective partners in. As soon as Kofi gets tagged in, he gets hot as he hits a Boom Drop. Owens tries to stop it but gets taken out by Woods. Kingston then hits the Trouble In Paradise finisher on Sami Zayn for the pinfall victory. Post-match, Dolph Ziggler appears and hits a superkick out of nowhere to Kingston to make an emphatic statement to the WWE Champion.
Result: Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods via pinfall
Expected finish. How can I have hope that somehow, someway Kevin and Sami were going to get the upset victory? Maybe because I am a huge mark for two of the best independent professional wrestlers to ever get signed by WWE in the last ten years. Other than my saltiness, I would like to applaud Kingston and Woods for displaying great chemistry as a tag team. I think fans forget that the New Day are the only trio who have unique tag team combinations within every member. Whether it is Woods and Kofi, Woods and Big E, or even E and Kofi, they always manage to put on a fantastic display of tag team wrestling. The superkick out of nowhere was a great touch towards their WWE title match. This will give The Showoff an advantage heading into Friday, reminding me of a vintage Heartbreak Kid who would make an impact within an appearance. Do I think Ziggler will overcome the odds and finally win the title that he has never held in his decorated career with WWE? – I sure as hell hope so.
Shane McMahon Exclusive
Shane McMahon appears backstage to set the record straight for last night’s action. He then claims that he will go down to the ring and call Roman Reigns out just days before their match. He then asks which Roman will show up tonight.
In-Ring Segment – A Moment of Bliss with Special Guest Bayley (Bayley, Alexa Bliss, Carmella, and Charlotte Flair)
Alexa Bliss welcomes the Laredo audience to a special edition of A Moment of Bliss, where because of the wildcard rule, is not apart of the superior brand of Monday Night Raw. Bayley appears. Bliss then asks executives to make her a coffee after spilling it on Raw. Bayley then gets upset over the fact that Bliss is waiting on her coffee instead of interviewing her. Bliss then asks Bayley if the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship has meant anything to Bayley. Bayley then responds by saying that this division means the world to her. Bliss interrupts her and gets her coffee. Bayley knocks it out of her hand and the two get into a confrontation. Carmella appears and states that as a SmackDown superstar should be next in line for the gold. Charlotte Flair appears and states that, thanks to Shane McMahon, there will be a triple threat match to determine the next challenger for the Women’s Title later tonight between Charlotte flair, Carmella, and Alexa Bliss.
Backstage segment – Carmella, R-Truth, and Shane McMahon
Carmella meets R-Truth backstage, hiding backstage where he the 24/7 champion is hiding. Truth explains to Carmella that the 24/7 championship has ruined his life and reveals that he has been trying to contact Shane McMahon for help. McMahon calls Carmella on her phone, which Truth states that he has been using her phone. It is not heard but Shane announces to Truth that he will defend his championship properly in a title match, which happens next.
Match #2: R-Truth vs. Elias – WWE 24/7 Championship
Right off the bat, Elias goes to work on Truth, and sends him into the outside, where all the challengers for the title are playing as lumberjacks. He throws him into the roster and Elias gets the pinfall victory inside the ring. Realizing that the lumberjacks want the title, an all out brawl occurs in the ring. Elias escapes where he meets R-Truth crawling out of harm’s way. The two competitors meet underneath the ring and the bell rings. Truth has regained the championship for a fourth time and runs out of the building. He is then chased by Drake Maverick and the rest of the roster.
Result: Elias via pinfall ; R-Truth via pinfall
The WWE 24/7 Championship has grown on me! I think this has been the best decision by WWE creative to establish a great way to use the title on both SmackDown and Raw! Tonight was a great example. Having Elias win again was questionable but to have chaos erupt within the lumberjacks as if this is a game of cat and mouse was legendary. To elaborate, having Truth lose the title to Elias only made little sense to me considering truth has successfully defended the title once against Drake Maverick. Despite that, I think the good old days of the Hardcore Championship has been redefined in a great way. I think this is the reason why I tune into both Raw and SmackDown consecutively.
Aleister Black Exclusive
Aleister Black is seen backstage, in his locker room, where he cuts a promo asking anyone to knock on his door to challenge him to a fight. He yells and pleads for a fight.
In-Ring Segment – Shane McMahon, Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Drew McIntyre, and Roman Reigns
Shane McMahon and The Revival appear to call out the Big Dog, Roman Reigns. He then asks WWE announcer, Greg Hamilton to give him a proper introduction. Shane then commends The Revival for their actions last night. He then rolls the footage from Raw of them destroying Roman Reigns. Shane acknowledges his spear towards Roman Reigns and states that he will take it up a notch at Saudi Arabia this Friday, staking his claim as The Best in the World. Roman Reigns interrupts the promo. Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson run up to Roman in an attempt to stop him. However, Reigns hits a superman punch to both men and heads towards Shane. As he is approaching the ring, from out of nowhere, Drew McIntyre appears and hits Reigns with a Claymore Kick. Shane then sets up for yet another spear, mocking Reigns, and hits it. McMahon mocks Roman’s taunts and exits the building with his crew. Roman is laid out in the center of the ring in waste.
Seems to me that SmackDown has become a repeat of Raw as of late. You have the same attack with the same stars on the same storyline as the opposing show. WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE BRAND SPLIT??? What ever happened to when storylines were exclusive and unique? Having Roman Reigns beaten up after a heroic beatdown is bland, though I do argue that The Revival and Drew McIntyre appearing was probably the best highlight. Other than that, what was the point? I hate how there is no continuity with everything in this rivalry. That is why I hope once Super Show Down ends, we can put this cross-brand crap to rest. Finally, shout out to WWE’s best announcer Greg Hamilton on continuously killing it on each introduction!
Match #3: Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella – Triple Threat Match to Determine Who Will Challenge Bayley at Stomping Grounds for the SmackDown Women’s Championship
The match starts and Charlotte Flair immediately goes to work on the competition with a big boot to Carmella. Alexa Bliss tries to gain the advantage by hitting a Sunset Flip Powerbomb on Charlotte. Bliss then hits a big right hand on Carmella but Charlotte comes back with a big boot. Carmella comes back with hot offense until the appearance from Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville). Bliss takes advantage by throwing Carmella against the barricade. Flair sneaks up on her with multiple chops on the outside. However, it is Carmella who hits a huge dropkick on Flair to take us into commercial break. Returning from the small advertisements, Carmella sets up for a hurricanrana but Flair catches her for a moment. However, Carmella reverses and hits the hurricanrana. She then hits a Bronco Buster on Bliss in the corner. Flair takes the momentum and applies the Figure 8 submission. Then, from the sky, Alexa Bliss hits a Twisted Bliss on Charlotte, which is only broken up by Carmella. While distracted, Charlotte hits a Natural Selection on Bliss, which is broken up again. Charlotte attempts a Figure 8 but Carmella breaks it up with a kick to the face of The Queen. Rose and Deville end up distracting Carmella, which leads to Alexa Bliss to roll her up for the win.
Result: Alexa Bliss via pinfall; becomes the number one contender for Bayley’s SmackDown Women’s Championship at Stomping Grounds
I will be honest, this wasn’t expected but it was not necessarily what I wanted either. Granite, I expected it a little bit with the confrontation between Alexa and Bayley during A Moment of Bliss but I hoped to see an upset from Carmella, who has been forced to be in the storyline with R-Truth and his 24/7 Championship, instead of developing herself as the singles championship contender she once was a long time ago. What does not even make sense to me was the fact that Bliss was a wildcard pick who jumped from Raw to SmackDown. What happens if she prevails? Will Bliss be moved to SmackDown Live? Will both Raw and SmackDown Women’s belts be a Raw exclusive and SmackDown is left without a Women’s Champion? I really hope Bayley retains on this one come Stomping Grounds but I am also interested in seeing what comes out of this in the upcoming weeks.
In-Ring Segment – Exclusive Interview with Lars Sullivan: Kayla Braxton and Lars Sullivan
Kayla Braxton is seen in the middle of the ring, ready to introduce Lars Sullivan. Sullivan appears. Braxton asks Lars what drives him to cause chaos. He answers why she would ask that kind of question. He continues to say that he describes his life as a “freak”. He then forces Kayla to say the word for him. Sullivan then explains how his primary function is to destroy as a freak of nature. Braxton then follows up by asking if destruction will happen to The Lucha House Party this Friday. Lars Sullivan responds by saying that their fluids will be dissected come Friday.
Lars Sullivan is indeed a freak of nature but for God’s sake, can we please change his intro to his theme song? A scream like that is only unimaginable to hear out loud live. Other than that, this interview was not as interesting as I thought and hoped it would be. Sullivan is a gifted big man who can do more than squash matches. I get WWE is trying to make him the biggest monster heel on the main roster and have him as the next Gene Snitsky but come on people! I think when Sullivan stated that no one will step up to him, this was a sign that he and Aleister Black will end up feuding long term. Both men have wanted competition and a fight these past few weeks so I believe the message is clear here: we will get a NXT championship rivalry renewed. I cannot wait to see what happens after The Lucha House Party gets destroyed by The Freak at Super Show Down.
Match #4: Andrade (with Zelina Vega) vs. Apollo Crews
Before the bell even rings, Andrade attacks Apollo Crews with hammering strikes. He then hits a Hammerlock DDT to Apollo. Finn Balor appears and attacks Andrade in retribution for Apollo. However, it is Andrade who takes advantage and hits another Hammerlock DDT on the Intercontinental Champion to make a huge statement.
Result: No Contest
I will say this right now, Andrade is the most underrated performer in WWE today. I believe that people are sleeping on the former NXT champion on becoming champion on the main roster! The storyline within himself and Finn Balor has been lackluster yes but tonight’s attack on both Balor and Crews has only proved himself as a true contender for the Intercontinental title. To me, he should have gotten this chance a long ass time ago but I think that he will win this Friday and actually have a phenomenal reign. Dominant display from the challenger!
In-Ring Segment: Goldberg & The Undertaker
Goldberg appears and is welcomed by huge “Goldberg” chants from the Laredo crowd. He thanks the crowd for the warm reception. He then says that he has waited twenty years to go toe to toe with the Undertaker and will do it this Friday at Super Showdown. Goldberg states that he left the dad in him at home, especially for the Undertaker. He then claims that Taker will get the ass kicking Goldberg that he has known from twenty years ago. He then makes a bold statement when he tells Taker that he is next and that he will rest in peace. The Undertaker appears face to face with Goldberg and disappears. Pissed at the short appearance, Goldberg tells The Undertaker to bring his jock strap and will take him to the limit come Super Showdown.
I don’t know about you guys but I felt childhood nostalgia and goosebumps for a match that I was not interested in at first for this Friday. I feel like that Goldberg went deep down to give it all on his promo considering his last match was awhile back. Twenty years of hype now unfolds in a matter of days. Hearing the gong and the lights go black only means one thing, that this match will be something to look forward to! Although I say that, I really hope we do not witness an atrocity such as DX vs. The Brothers of Destruction in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.
This was a total downgrade from last week’s episode. Last week was exciting and momentous with lots of highlights whereas tonight was just the go-home show for Super Showdown. I understand that was the case but everything except the start and the finish seemed bland. The most anticipated interview with Lars Sullivan was a total bust while we saw no relevancy towards the final attack on Roman Reigns. On the other hand, witnessing Goldberg be real and not the dad was important because it established him as the biggest threat of The Undertaker since Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 30. Seeing Alexa Bliss win was bittersweet but there was no benefit of the win when this wild card rule has scrambled and really, ended a positive change which is the brand split. Remember when there were unique and awesome storylines within both brands? Ambrose was feuding with Styles while Owens was crowned the new Universal Champion after it was vacated by Finn Balor due to injury. Now we have The Usos from Raw feuding with the SmackDown Tag Team Champs, Bryan and Rowan (who might I add were absent from tonight’s episode) because the division is dead. Sadly, nothing lasts forever but we as professional wrestling fans can do our best to display our voices and have them heard. Hope next week is a humongous level up from tonight. If not, maybe what I said about change last week might be true. Maybe the end is coming near and sooner rather than later.