By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network
Taped on May 14, 2019 in London, England at O2 Arena
Roman Reigns made his entrance while Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, and Corey graves piped in on commentary. They spoke about the wild card rule shaking up Raw and Smackdown. Video was shown of The Miz chasing off Bobby Lashley, Elias, and Shane McMahon off with a chair on yesterday’s edition of Raw.
In the ring, Reigns grabbed a microphone and said he had some unfinished business from Raw, and he wasn’t going to wait until Money in the Bank. He said he was going to solve it right now, and invited one of his solutions, The Miz. He made his entrance and grabbed a microphone. Miz thanked Roman for the invite and did a terrible riff on Wonderwall. He acknowledged he’s a bad singer and said he was just like Elias.
Miz said it was only 5 days until Shane McMahon couldn’t run anymore. He said it was unforgivable that he puts his hands on his father, and on Sunday they would be locked together in side a steel cage. Shane walked out with Elias. He said just because Roman Reigns invited him, that doesn’t make you the wildcard. Shane was invoking his privilege to ban him from the building for the evening. Elias then called out Reigns for his corny jokes about him being a wedding singer, but underestimating him will be the biggest mistake of his career.
Elias said Reigns would find out on Sunday what the McMahon’s have already discovered, which is that WWE stands for Walk with Elias. Shane said he knew they wouldn’t leave willingly, so they’d have to move them by force. Shane brought out Daniel Bryan and Rowan, and they surrounded the ring. They quickly outnumbered the babyfaces and tossed them out of the ring. The Usos ran down and made the save, and the babyface team made a comeback and cleared the heels from the ring.
The KO Show will take place later with Kofi Kingston as a guest. Plus, more Firefly Fun House. In the arena, Randy Orton made his entrance. A Fatal Four Way between the Smackdown Money in the Bank competitors is next…[c]
My Take: That segment was just kind of there. It furthered a couple of Money in the Bank matches, but Elias and Reigns still feels cold, and Miz is basically repeating himself at this point when addressing Shane.
Backstage, Elias and Bryan complained loudly about the previous segments. Shane made a six man tag between Elias, Bryan and Rowan vs. Roman Reigns and The Usos. He said if Miz interferes, their Cage Match is canceled.
In the arena, Randy Orton said he would climb the ladder on Sunday and become Money in the Bank for a second time. He said the most dangerous letters for the WWE Champion will be RKO. Andrade the made his entrance. Zelina Vega said everyone is so sensitive about spoilers these days. She mentioned Game of Thrones and Avengers Endgame. She said they don’t care about spoilers, because his Endgame is winning Money in the Bank on Sunday. He said in five days, he will climb the ladder, take the contract, and become Mr. Money in the Bank. Ali then made his entrance, followed by Finn Balor. Footage was shown during Ali’s entrance of last week’s RKO’s. Tom Phillips blathered on about momentum…[c]
My Take: Lots of padding and entrances for this match. This show must be fairly light on match content tonight.
1. Finn Balor vs. Ali vs. Andrade vs. Randy Orton: The match started during the break, with Orton and Andrade getting sent out to the floor almost immediately. Ali and Balor traded some strikes, but Andrade and Orton quickly returned. Orton took out Ali and Andrade back on the outside and back suplexed them onto the announce table. It did not break. Balor had previously been taken out by Andrade with kicks.
Ali ended up in the ring with Orton, who hit a snap powerslam and got a near fall. Ali surprised him with a tornado DDT out of the corner, and the fall was broken up by Andrade. Orton rolled to the outside. Ali hit a head scissors, but Andrade fired back with a lariat. Balor jumped back into the action and knocked both Orton and Ali out to the floor. He then hit a kick on Andrade from the apron, and climbed to the top.
Andrade chopped him down and hit double knees in the corner for a near fall. Andrade pulled out a ladder, and used it to deflect Ali, who dove at him from inside the ring…[c]
Finn Balor hit a dropkick that sent Andrade into the ladder in the corner. Ali took down Balor with a kick and went for a 450, but he ended up getting hit a with an RKO. Andrade went for a Hammerlock DDT but Balor avoided it and sent him to the floor. Balor splashed Orton and Ali, but Ali avoided it and sent him into the steps. Andrade pulled Balor back in the ring and hit the Hammerlock DDT for the win.
Andrade defeated Randy Orton, Ali, and Finn Balor at 14:33
After the match, Andrade set up and climbed the ladder for the briefcase. Ricochet made a run-in and jumped from the ropes to meet him at the top of the ladder. He knocked Andrade down and grabbed the briefcase. He then walked back up the path to the stage holding the briefcase high.
Backstage, Mella said it was time for a repeat performance from last year, so she can prove to everyone that Mella is Money. A video package for the Lynch/Flair rivalry will be shown later. Kofi was shown backstage, and asked Xavier Woods to hang back later because he knows he’s not 100%. He said he would handle business and turn the KO show into the Kofi Kingston show…[c]
My Take: That was some fun final hype for Money in the Bank, but the ever elusive momentum Didn’t seem to materialize for anyone. Andrade gets a win over Balor, but they’ve been trading wins for a few weeks now. Ricochet looked really good with his flashy stunt climbing the ladder, but he also lost clean to an Olive Garden waiter on Raw.
Charlotte made her entrance while video was shown of Becky Lynch being powerbombed through a table on Raw. She said that Sunday would be the culmination of her rivalry with Becky Lynch, and she would emerge as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. She then threw to a video package with a Woo. It was a well done video package that went over their feud for the past 9 months. After the video, the announce team wondered if Becky could silence her long time rival, and what she’d have left for her second match.
Elsewhere, Lacey Evans asked if anyone remembered she was there. She said people might be busy watching Becky/Charlotte reruns, but she has another match she’s going to lose. She will reintroduce her to a woman’s right, and she’d show the man her new nickname, Raw Women’s Champion. Back in the arena, Shane McMahon made his entrance. I guess this is a 3 on 4 handicap match between Shane, Elias, Bryan and Rowan vs. Roman Reigns and The Usos…[c]
My Take: My hope is that one of the Smackdown Women win the briefcase and steal it away from Becky on Sunday. Giving Charlotte another win and another title reign with her character in this withered and boring state would be bad for her and the division, because Vince has a terrible tendency of sticking with her at the expense of the rest of the division.
Backstage, Aleister Black referenced a Bard. He said within him was a struggle between ambition and the darkness inside of him. He told his opponents that trying to get inside his head will result in finding something they will not be prepared for. Black then said he hides his naked villainy with words stolen from holy writ, but all his opponents will remember is fading to black.
In the arena, The Usos and Roman Reigns made their entrances.
2. Roman Reigns and The Usos vs. Elias, Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan and Rowan: Bryan started the match with Jimmy Uso, who caught him with an arm twist. Bryan escaped and knocked him down with a shoulder tackle. Jimmy chopped Bryan back into the babyface corner and tagged in Jey. Bryan quickly grabbed a single leg and dragged Jey back into the heel corner and tagged in Elias.
Jey hit a kick on Elias and went up top, but Elias got out of the way and run him down with a lariat. Jey sold his leg after landing on his feet. Shane then tagged in and worked over the bad leg. The heels made quick tags and isolated Jey in their corner for abuse. Jey kicked free from Daniel Bryan and climbed to the top rope, but an Elias distraction allowed Bryan to shove him off into the barricade…[c]
The heels continued to isolate Jey Uso. Elias hit a body slam and a knee drop and mocked the crowd. Shane tagged in and danced around and hit some of his patented Shane-O-Mac whiffing punches. Jey managed to avoid a Shane punch and hit a kick, and made a hot tag to Reigns. Bryan also tagged in and took a beat down from Reigns. He hit many clotheslines in the corner and a boot to the face. Reigns fired up for a superman punch, but Bryan avoided it and tagged Rowan. Elias tagged himself in and Rowan looked a bit irritated. Elias hit a jumping knee on Reigns and covered for a two count. Rowan then tagged back in and slammed Reigns. He also hit an elbow drop for a two count.
Rowan squeeze Reigns head with his fists as a rest spot. Rowan telegraphed a back body drop and ate a boot to the face. He took back control a moment later with a slam. Bryan tagged in and worked over Reigns with kicks. He even managed to hit the last one. Bryan then covered for a near fall. Bryan tossed Reigns out to the floor, where Reigns threw him into the barricade twice, and the back in the ring for more abuse.
Elias tagged in and covered for a two count. Reigns escaped from Bryan and the match started to break down. The Usos tagged in and we got a superkick party. Elias hit drift away on Jimmy Uso. Bryan hit a running knee on Jey and Reigns had to break up the pin. Reigns got clotheslined to the floor by Rowan, but he recovered and hit a Superman Punch on Rowan on the floor. In the ring, Shane hit a Coast to Coast on Jey Uso and covered for the win.
Bryan, Rowan, Elias, and Shane defeated Roman Reigns and The Usos at 15:22
After the match, the heels continued to beat down the babyfaces until The Miz ran down and cleared house with chair. After the match, the announce team threw to the latest version of the Firefly FunHouse where Bray revealed himself to be some kind of hybrid between Pee Wee Herman, Pennywise the Clown, The Joker, and Beetlejuice.
In the arena, Kairi Sane and Asuka made their entrance with Paige. Their match with Sonya and Mandy is next…[c]
My Take: An enjoyable breakdown and finish, but the majority of that match would have felt right at home on any house show on the European Tour. The heels continue to get the better of these televised encounters, which makes me wonder if we are getting a lot of babyface victories on Sunday, given WWE’s usual even steven booking logic. Shane doing another coast to coast just makes me wonder if he hates his spine.
Backstage, Ember Moon said it was her job to manifest her own greatness, and she sees herself as Ms. Money in the Bank every time she closes her eyes. Bayley then got her own pre-tape, where she said she wasn’t just a hugger or a weakling, and she would be a winner on Sunday. The announce team then plugged the Women’s Ladder Match, and then the rest of the Money in the Bank Card. The Usos vs. Bryan and Rowan will be a pre-show match.
Paige held a microphone in the ring. The IIconics were at ringside. Paige said it was good to be home, and she had brought some friends. She named the team of Kairi Sane and Asuka the Kabuki Warriors. She called them the future of the entire division. Sonya and Mandy made their entrance, and they also had microphones. Mandy told her to take it down a notch, because she named a tag team, not the Royal Baby. They made fun of the baby’s name, but it died 1000 deaths. They said the future of the Women’s Tag Division isn’t Kabuki Warriors or Iconic, it’s Fire and Desire.
3. Kabuki Warriors vs. Fire and Desire: Asuka and Kairi cut down Sonya early on with some flashy tag team offense. Asuka then hit a hip attack that sent Sonya to the floor. Mandy tried to catch Sonya but got knocked down in stead…[c]
Mandy and Sonya worked over Kairi in the heel corner. Mandy hit a sliding kick and covered for a two count. Mandy tagged in and hit a backbreaker. Kairi got tossed into the heel corner and hit a forearm that sent Sonya to the floor. Kairi broke free from Mandy and tagged in Asuka, who hit a knee and a kick to the chest. She then hit a German Suplex. Sonya climbed into the ring and interrupted Asuka’s assault of Mandy. Sonya tagged in and ate some kicks from Asuka, but took her down with a lariat.
Mandy demanded to be tagged in, but was immediately rolled up for the win by Asuka.
Kabuki Warriors defeated Fire and Desire at 8:22
Backstage, Kayla Braxton prepared to interview Lars Sullivan. A video package was shown of his many powerbombs, side slams, and headbutts. Kayla asked Lars if he would comment on the video package. He offered no response, and she just backed away.
Elsewhere, Kevin Owens told the audience to prepare for an interview with Kofi Kingston. He said he wanted to get an answer to a question he’s always wondered about, and that’s if Kofi Kingston can stand on his own. He spoke about isolating and breaking Kofi’s back on Sunday. Kofi interrupted and made his entrance in the arena…[c]
Kofi sat on the set of the KO show awaiting the host. Kofi told Owens that he would get his chance on Sunday, but what about tonight? He said he was there on the KO Show as a guest, so it would only be fitting if he came out as the host. Kofi tried to introduce him, but he didn’t show. The crowd chanted for the Kofi Show, and asked Owens if he was shook. He said he was talking all kinds of trash backstage, and now he’s in the ring asking him to make good on his word.
Owens appeared on the tron and told him his buddies couldn’t make it, and he was on his own for the first time in 11 years. He said he got to share the moment with his friends at WrestleMania, and it was a dream come true. But the dream ends on Sunday, because the only reason he’s Champion is because of the New Day, and he’ll be all out of friends on Sunday. Owens called himself the most dangerous man in WWE, and threw to a video package showing all the destruction he’s wrought throughout his career.
Kofi said that didn’t prove anything, and he was tired of listening to him talk. Kofi said if he wouldn’t face him, he’d come back there. Owens asked Kofi if he didn’t think he’d come out there, and then his music hit. He toyed with coming down twice, but kept turning back. Kofi ran out to the entry path and brawled with Owens. Sami Zayn ran in from behind the ring and they double teamed Kofi.
They setup for an apron powerbomb, but Woods evened the odds. He was quickly discarded, and Kofi got tossed into the steel steps. Both Sami and Kevin took it to Kofi in the ring. Owens talked trash at Kofi and said he was leaving just enough of him for Sunday so he could take his title. Owens went for a cannonball and missed. Sami then went for a Heluva Kick on the ropes, but Kofi avoided it and hit Trouble in Paradise. Kofi stood tall as Owens retreated back to the stage. He and Woods jawed at Owens from ringside to close the show.
My Take: With Sami in play to win the Money in the Bank briefcase on Sunday, that could add an interesting wrinkle to this match if he captures it early on in the show. This segment was well done and well delivered by everybody involved, but it’s still missing the personal vendetta that would really push it over the top. It feels like Owens is having to work harder than he should to find reasons to hate Kofi Kingston.
The Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ring of Honor's PJ Black discussing the ROH Pure Title tournament beginning on ROH Wrestling TV this weekend, ROH's COVID-19 safety precautions, his run in WWE as Justin Gabriel with The Nexus, wrestling as The Bunny, and more...