4/23 WWE Smackdown Live results: Powell’s review of Kofi Kingston vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair meet face to face for the first time since WrestleMania 35, fallout from Roman Reigns punching Vince McMahon and the Superstar Shakeup

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network
Aired live on April 23, 2019 from Lincoln, Nebraska at Pinnacle Arena

[Hour One] Shane McMahon made his entrance while the broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in. Shane forced Greg Hamilton to deliver the “best in the world” introduction. Shane said the only had time for one, so Hamilton better get it right. “Not bad,” Shane said in response to the introduction.

Shane said he wasn’t there to talk about himself, he was there to address what Roman Reigns did to his father. Shane set up footage from last week’s angle that saw Reigns punch out Vince McMahon and warned fans that it probably make them sick to their stomach. After the footage aired, Shane said it was horrific to watch and asked what kind of man hits another man’s father like that.

Shane said his father is one of the greatest men who ever lived and labeled him a national treasure. He said Reigns hitting Vince was comparable to disgracing the American flag or defacing Mount Rushmore. Shane said Reigns hit the chairman and CEO of a billion dollar company and, more importantly, his father. Shane played up various punishments for Reigns including fining, suspending, or terminating him. Shane said he wanted to settle it on the spot in the ring. Shane called for Reigns to come out and said it was an order because Reigns works for him and his family. “Get out here right now,” Shane said.

Roman Reigns made his entrance to a mild round of applause without any loud boos. A “Roman” chant broke out once Reigns was in the ring. Reigns teased talking, then tossed the mic aside. Shane did the same with his mic. Elias ran out. Reigns saw Elias coming and punched him off the apron. Shane attacked Reigns from behind. Reigns started firing back at Shane, but Elias entered the ring and joined Shane in beating down Reigns. The heel duo left the ring. Reigns got back to his feet…

The broadcast team hyped the previously announced segments and also hyped Finn Balor vs. Andrade for after the commercial break… [C]

Powell’s POV: One of the benefits of having Reigns on Smackdown right now is that the Tuesday Smackdown shows typically draw more families and less diehard fans than Raw does for whatever reason. In other words, Reigns is less likely to be booed by the Smackdown crowd. Of course, that will change once the show moves to Friday nights on Fox in October. The actual angle with Reigns, Shane, and Elias was pretty basic. I’m just happy they didn’t try to sell us on the idea that the McMahons were going to fire Reigns. By the way, Jake Barnett has the night off, but he will be writing the Smackdown Hit List tomorrow.

The broadcast team narrated highlights of the opening segment. Phillips said the heels got the advantage, but now they have an angry Reigns… Backstage, Shane and Elias gloated over their attack and said there was definitely more to come… Phillips set up footage of Kevin Owens becoming an honorary member of New Day as Big O…

Kayla Braxton interviewed WWE Champion Kofi Kingston backstage. Kingston said his match with Shinsuke Nakamura would be his first singles match since WrestleMania. He said the magic that the fans gave him is still growing every day. Xavier Woods showed up and encouraged Kingston, who yelled that he’s the WWE Champion. Kingston said everything is right in the world. He noted that Big E is sidelined and will be back soon enough. Kingston introduced Owens as Big O. Owens leapt into the camera shot wearing a New Day t-shirt. He led the “New Day rocks” bit and swiveled his hips…

Finn Balor made his entrance. Footage aired of Andrade beating Balor on Raw eight days earlier. Phillips noted that it was Balor’s final match on Raw and Andrade’s only match on Raw. Backstage, Zelina Vega said Balor tried to escape her and Andrade, but there is no escaping them. Andrade spoke slowly in English and said he wants to destroy the myth of Balor. Andrade and Vega made their entrance. Phillips said the Superstar Shakeup continues tonight and Andrade is back on Smackdown…

1. Finn Balor vs. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) in a non-title match. They cut to a split screen commercial break roughly a minute into the match. [C] At 7:00, Vega went up top and tried to dive onto Balor, but he moved out of the way and Andrade caught her. Andrade set down Vega and then ate a dropkick from Balor, who followed up with the Coup de Grace and scored the pin…

Finn Balor defeated Andrade in 7:25 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: Welcome back to Smackdown, Andrade. Sigh. Anyway, it was a well worked match and I’d definitely like to see this become a long term feud. It was encouraging to see Vega and Andrade get some mic time.

Elias played his guitar while sitting on the back of a limo. He sang a challenge for Roman Reigns to face him at Money in the Bank. Shane raced into the picture and asked Elias if he was sure about the challenge, then rushed him into the limo so they could leave…

Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Paige made their entrance. Phillips hyped Sane vs. Peyton Royce for after the break… [C] Footage aired of Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose griping to Paige about snubbing them in favor of Asuka and Sane…

2. Kairi Sane (w/Asuka, Paige) vs. Peyton Royce (w/Billie Kay). The IIconics did some pre-match mic work and claimed that Royce wasn’t warmed up when Sane hit her with the Insane Elbow last week. Sane speared Royce a minute into the match and followed up with her running punch in the corner. Sane hit the Insane Elbow and scored the clean pin…

Kairi Sane defeated Peyton Royce in 1:30.

After the match, Rose and Deville came out and insincerely applauded Sane, Asuka, and Paige. Jinder Mahal’s music played and he came out with the Singh Brothers. Phillips said the Superstar Shakeup is still in effect and Mahal is back on Smackdown. Phillips hyped Singh vs. Chad Gable for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A quick and decisive win for Sane. Unfortunately, beating Royce and Kay means nothing because they lose to everyone. The continuation of the Shakeup shows just how chaotic Vince McMahon’s booking is. If they had gone into the Shakeup with the idea of making it a two week event, you know they would have hyped it that way with the goal of driving up the viewership. Heck, they didn’t even bother to tell us last night on Raw that the Shakeup would continue on Smackdown.

Aleister Black sat down on a chair in a dark room. He said people know who he is but he asked if fans know what he is. He said the name and the persona are not the same thing. He said he couldn’t even begin to explain the complexity of his tragic character. He said give it time and you will see that the tragic world you grew up in will have him condemned…

Chad Gable made his entrance for the match with Jinder Mahal. Before Gable could enter the ring, Lars Sullivan attacked him from behind at ringside. Sullivan picked up Gable and ran him back first into the ring post. Sullivan entered the ring. Mahal ran away. Sullivan roughed up the Singh brothers and performed a sit-out powerbomb on Sunil Singh.

R-Truth’s music played. Truth came out in his street clothes and didn’t sing. Truth headed to the ring and went after Sullivan, who quickly slammed him to the mat, then picked him up and gave him a sit-out powerbomb…

The broadcast team hyped Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair appearing in the ring together for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s good to see Sullivan attacking people under the age of 40. I was starting to think that someone was going to file an age discrimination lawsuit against his character. Meanwhile, Black said a lot, but it was hard to tell if he was trying to be deep or heelish. Either way, I like that we’re being introduced to his character now that he and Ricochet are no longer a tag team.

The broadcast team recapped footage of the opening segment involving Reigns, Shane, and Elias…

Backstage, Reigns was asked if he accepts Elias’s challenge to a match. Reigns said he’s going to break Elias’s jaw and he’s never going to sing again. Reigns clarified that he accepted his challenge to the match at Money in the Bank… Charlotte Flair made her entrance.

[Hour Two] Once in the ring, Flair took the mic and said that three of the very best in the business, not just women, met in the main event of WrestleMania. Flair noted that she wasn’t pinned and did not tap out. Flair said Ronda Rousey lost her championship. Flair called for Lynch to come out and explain why she thinks she’s the rightful Smackdown Women’s Champion when she didn’t beat her.

Becky Lynch made her entrance wearing the Smackdown Women’s Championship while holding up the Raw Women’s Title. Phillips noted that Lynch took a Woman’s Right from Lacey Evans the night before on Raw. Lynch noted that the WrestleMania match was winner take all. She said she didn’t beat Flair because she was too busy beating the baddest woman on the planet, who Flair couldn’t beat.

Lynch said she beat Rousey because she already knew she could be Flair. She said she walked out of WrestleMania with both titles and there wasn’t a damn thing that Rousey or Flair could do about it. Flair said she’s in Lynch’s head. She said that she’s all over her Twitter and in all of her promos.

Flair said Lynch has everything to lose, whereas she has nothing to lose. Flair said that after Lynch faces Evans at MITB, she’s next in line and will take her title back. Lynch questioned how Flair could be next in line. Lynch mentioned Mickie James, Bayley, and Ember Moon while saying she wants new challenges.

Bayley made her entrance. She said the Superstar Shakeup is supposed to be about fresh starts, but all she sees is a rerun. Bayley said Lynch may have lost track of how many times she’s defeated Charlotte, the number of times that Lynch beat her is zero. Flair told Bayley to get to the back of the line and patronizingly patted her on the shoulder. Bayley shoved her hand away and challenged her to a match to see who deserves a title shot. Flair jawed at her and Bayley knocked the mic out of her hand… [C]

3. Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley for a future championship match. Phillips said the match was made by the McMahon family during the break. Bayley did her dropkick through the ropes in the corner spot and came up short, but Flair sold it like she was shot anyway. They cut to a split-screen commercial break.

Flair targeted the knee of Bayley. Flair went for a moonsault. Bayley moved and Flair landed on her feet before collapsing. Graves said it looked like she wanted to stick the landing. Bayley sold the knee even after getting a near fall. She slowly climbed to the top rope only for Flair to knock her down. Flair went for a figure four, but Bayley countered into an inside cradle for a two count. Flair got up and speared Bayley and pinned her clean…

Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley in 10:40 to earn a Smackdown Women’s Championship match.

Lynch was shown watching a backstage monitor over her shoulder. Kayla Braxton asked her why she would take on another challenger when she’s already facing Lacey Evans. Lynch said holding both titles means pulling double duty. She said she’ll have Evans tapping before she gets her gloves off, and everyone knows she can beat Flair. Braxton asked if she was underestimating the competition. Lynch said she was betting on herself. Lynch said she will defend both titles at MITB and will still be Becky Two Belts at the end of the night…

A shot aired of Kingston, Woods, and Big O backstage… [C]

Powell’s POV: So they had Bayley point out the obvious that seeing Lynch and Flair together felt like a rerun, then go right back to another Lynch vs. Flair match? I realize the Lynch character has a lot of bravado, but being so dismissive of Evans and pointing out that everyone knows she can beat Flair isn’t exactly selling me on those matches. The standout in all of this was Bayley, whose more aggressive approach clicked.

The Bray Wyatt “Firefly Funhouse” segment that originally aired on Raw was replayed in full…

The broadcast team spoke at their desk. Saxton said part of him feelings like he’s tripping while part of him feels warm and fuzzy inside. Phillips shifted the focus to running through the MITB lineup…

Powell’s POV: Wait, Byron Saxton knows what tripping feels like? Crazy.

Backstage, Big O delivered the New Day introduction in Big E fashion while Kingston and Woods stood by. The trio headed to the ring for the main event and threw pancakes to the crowd. Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance and was accompanied by Rusev and Lana… [C]

4. WWE Champion Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods, Big O) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rusev, Lana) in a non-title match. Woods and Owens actually sat in on commentary at the New Day broadcast table. Kingston set up for a suicide dive, but Nakamura caught him with a kick as he was coming through the ropes. Nakamura dropped a knee onto the back of Kingston’s head going into a break. [C] An ad for Raw hyped Alexa Bliss revealing Raw’s MITB ladder match participants.

Nakamura threw kicks at Kingston. Nakamura went for a monkey flip style move, but Kingston landed on his feet and did Nakamura’s “come on” bit to him. Nakamura caught Kingston on the middle rope, ran the ropes, then slid under him to ringside while snapping him backward onto the mat. Cool spot. Kingston came back and went for Trouble in Paradise, but Nakamura avoided it. Kingston ducked a couple of Nakamura kicks and then performed the SOS. Rusev ran in and attacked Kingston for the DQ.

Kofi Kingston defeated Shinsuke Nakamura by DQ in 13:20.

After the match, Rusev took out Woods at ringside. Nakamura ran toward Owens, but Kingston pushed him out of the way and disposed of Nakamura with a Trouble in Paradise kick. Suddenly, Owens superkicked Kingston to boos. Owens worked over Kingston and ran him into the barricade while Graves praised Owens for playing New Day as part of his latest sadistic plan.

Owens threw Kingston back inside the ring, then grabbed the WWE Championship belt from ringside and brought inside the ring. Owens put his foot on the head of Kingston while holding the title belt. Owens asked Kingston if he thought the belt was his. Owens said he hopes Kingston had a good time because he’s coming for his title. Kingston fired up and took a shot at Owens, who was able to beat him back down.

Owens tossed Kingston to the floor and set up for a powerbomb, but Woods caught Owens with a dropkick through the ropes. Owens got up a clotheslined Woods. Owens picked up Woods and powerbombed him onto the edge of the ring. Owens surveyed the damage while several referees, trainers, and producer Sonjay Dutt came out to check on Woods. Owens went to the stage and glared at Kingston, who seethed while staring back at him to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A good angle. Sure, you knew there was a strong chance that Owens was going to turn at some point, but it was still well done and the live crowd responded with strong heat. I assume the idea is that Woods is now sidelined for a bit, meaning Kingston will be on his own against Owens, presumably at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view. I’m already looking forward to hearing Owens’ next promo. Kudos to Woods for selling the powerbomb on the apron so well. Overall, the final segment made the show. Is the Superstar Shakeup officially over now? Please? I’ll be by with my audio review for members later tonight.

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Readers Comments (4)

  1. Patrick Peralta April 23, 2019 @ 8:07 pm

    ” I like that we’re being introduced to his character now that he and Ricochet are no longer a tag team.”

    I agree that’s good for fans who never saw him on NXT. those who have already know about him.

  2. Why doesn’t WWE just release all the other women not named Charlotte on SmackDown and make her either perpetual champion or challenger… So I’m guessing Bayley and Ember Moon aren’t deserving of a title shot and I’m guessing us fans aren’t deserving of a fresh feud for the Smackdown women’s belt.

  3. Theory: Bray Wyatt killed and ate Dr. Shelby, and somehow absorbed his essence.

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