7/9 WWE Smackdown Live results: Powell’s review of Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match, Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler, Nikki Cross vs. Carmella, Daniel Bryan vs. Xavier Woods vs. Otis, the final push for Extreme Rules

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

WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network
Aired live on July 9, 2019 from Manchester, New Hampshire at SNHU Arena

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a shot of Dolph Ziggler arriving in the building’s parking lot. Kayla Braxton approached him and asked him about Kevin Owens. As Ziggler was venting, Owens pulled up in a car and started honking. Ziggler complained that Owens was interrupting his interview.

Owens assumed he was going to say that it should have been him again. Owens punched Ziggler and they fought until security, various wrestlers, and Shane McMahon intervened. “You’re out of here,” Shane told Owens, who had a bloody mouth. Owens protested…

Backstage, Sarah Schreiber asked why Shane canceled the main event. He said that sort of thing can’t happen in the parking lot. She asked him what the main event will be. Shane said he had a few ideas… The broadcast team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in and hyped Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura…

Kevin Owens interrupted them and spoke over a house mic at ringside. Owens vented about Shane getting more television time than anyone and said no one ever wanted that. Owens said it makes him sick that he has to listen to Shane refer to himself as best in the world. Owens climbed onto the broadcast table.

Shane walked onto the stage and had Owens’ mic cut. Owens grabbed a second mic and said, “Guess what, idiot, there’s more than one microphone.” Shane called for the mic to be cut and walked over to the production area while Owens said everyone backstage is saying Shane can kiss their ass while he’s calling himself best in the world. The second mic was cut. Owens grabbed Saxton’s headset and continued to vent. Shane called for security, who came out and then Owens hopped over the barricade and made his exit…

The broadcast team spoke about Owens at their desk and said he committed career suicide. They shifted to hyping the tag team title summit and hyped the Otis vs. Xavier Woods vs. Daniel Bryan match, and the reveal of Aleister Black’s opponent for Extreme Rules being revealed. Finn Balor was shown walking backstage. Phillips said Balor would face Nakamura after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A hot opening to the show. This was better than anything on all three hours of Raw or anything from last week’s Smackdown television show. Owens is off to a strong start as a babyface. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett tonight. Jake will write Wednesday’s Smackdown Hit List.

Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance. A pre-taped promo Nakamura promo aired. He said no more tag team and he alone would strike fear. Balor made his entrance and he was featured in a pre-tape saying Nakamura is dangerous and desperate to get his career back on track, but if he thinks he’s doing it at his expense then he’s in for an extraordinary surprise…

1. Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title match. Phillips touted it as the first match between Balor and Nakamura on Smackdown. Graves noted that they have a long history together. They cut to a break a minute into the match, but there was no re-start silliness because of Smackdown’s split-screen commercial breaks. [C]

Nakamura caught Balor on the ropes and delivered a kick to his head. Nakamura ran the ropes, slid under Balor, and pulled him backward so that his head and body hit the mat. Cool spot. Nakamura set up for his finisher, but Balor caught him with a sling blade clothesline. Balor battled back and worked over Balor at ringside where he ran him into the ring post twice. Both men rushed to return to the ring to avoid the count-out.

Nakamura rolled Balor right back to ringside, then drilled him with a Kinshasa. Nakamura returned to the ring and was willing to take the count-out win, but Balor returned at the referee’s nine count. Nakamura threw him back to ringside and continued to work him over while the broadcast team put over his viciousness. Nakamura left Balor lying and returned to the ring. Balor once again returned at the referee’s nine count, but Nakamura blasted him with another Kinshasa and pinned him clean…

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Finn Balor in 9:10 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: Okay, so I bitch a lot about how the secondary champions lose so many non-title matches on television. This was different. This was all about reestablishing Nakamura, who had his most memorable outing in WWE in quite some time. This was really good and effective in making Nakamura relevant again.

Shane McMahon spoke with Drew McIntyre and Elias backstage. Elias said he’s been working on the perfect funeral song for Undertaker. Dolph Ziggler showed up and complained about Shane taking away his chance to take out Owens. Shane placated him by booking him in a match against Roman Reigns and said the three of them would be at ringside with Ziggler…

Bayley was shown walking backstage. Phillips said a contract signing for the Smackdown Women’s Championship match at Extreme Rules was up next… [C]

Phillips hyped the WWE Championship match for Extreme Rules and then set up a video package on the Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe feud…

Samoa Joe sat backstage in front of a backdrop and said he offered Kingston compassion and the ones he loves clemency, but he knew Kingston wouldn’t accept it. He said he sees the hustle behind what Kingston is doing and sees him for what he truly is. Joe said he will beat Kingston down to the bare essence of what he really is and then he will put him to sleep and will take the WWE Championship…

Powell’s POV: A top notch promo from Joe. I continue to hope that he’s booked in a way where his character’s bite is as big as his bark.

Kayla Braxton introduced Nikki Cross and then Bayley for the contract signing for the handicap match at Extreme Rules. The broadcast team noted that Alexa Bliss was conspicuous by her absence. Footage aired from Raw of Bayley beating up Cross following their Beat The Clock Challenge matches.

Braxton asked Bayley to explain why she attacked Cross. Bayley said she’s not sorry to see Bliss didn’t show up, but she said she was happy that Cross did. Bayley said she and Cross are a lot alike. Bayley said she was starstruck when she first arrived in WWE and she listened to so many people, but she learned that they only cared about her when she needed her help. Bayley said she learned quick and became a champion on her own.

Cross complained about Bayley’s attack being unprovoked. Bayley ranted about Cross helping Bliss, then asked if she’s really okay helping someone else win a championship. Cross said Bayley had no idea what she was talking about. Bayley said she would bring everything she has to Extreme Rules and will do everything it takes to win.

Bayley asked what will happen when Bliss loses and blames Cross. Bayley signed the contract. Cross took the mic and said Bliss isn’t using her. She said Bliss promised that when she wins the championship, they will become the first ever Smackdown Women’s Co-Champions. Cross invited Bayley to stick around for her match against Carmella so that she could show her that when it’s time to play, Nikki gets all the fun. Carmella made her entrance for the match…

An ad for the Evolve 10th Anniversary show that airs Saturday on WWE Network (join John Moore for his Dot Net live review while I cover AEW Fight For The Fallen simultaneously)… [C]

2. Nikki Cross vs. Carmella. Bayley was seated at ringside during the match. Graves was critical of Bayley while Saxton defended her. Graves told Saxton that he’s so naive he probably believes his girlfriend is actually going to the gym every night at eleven. Funny. In the end, Cross performed a neckbreaker and scored the clean pin.

Nikki Cross defeated Carmella in 3:35.

After the the match, Cross stood on the ropes and smiled at Bayley, who stood up and held up her title belt while they jawed at one another…

The broadcast team set up footage of Asuka and Kairi Sane beating Peyton Royce and Billie Kay in Tokyo, Japan two weeks ago…

The IIconcis were shown leaving the women’s locker room. Asuka, Sane, and Paige were waiting for them in the hallway. Paige said they wanted the title match they earned by beating them tonight. When they tried to dodge it, Paige cut a promo on them and called them shrill, annoying clowns. Paige slapped Kay. She said the match may not happen tonight, but it is coming…

Dolph Ziggler was shown sitting in his locker room in a deep thoughts moment… Daniel Bryan and Rowan were shown walking backstage while Graves hyped the tag team summit and the Triple Threat match… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see WWE remembered the stipulation about Asuka and Sane earning a tag title shot if they beat Royce and Kay in Tokyo. Bayley didn’t have a good explanation for attacking Cross the night before and Cross continues to come off as the more likable of the two.

The broadcast team hyped Becky Lynch appearing on the cover of ESPN The Magazine along with GLOW actress Allison Brie… The broadcast team narrated highlights of the Raw main event with Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre defeating Roman Reigns and Cedric “Gary Garbutt” Alexander…

A giddy Schreiber introduced Roman Reigns, who received a mixed reaction from the crowd as he walked onto the interview set. Reigns said he and Undertaker would do their thing on Sunday and then Shane and McIntyre would rest in peace…

[Hour Two] “New Day members Big and Xavier Woods made their entrance for the tag team summit. Woods noted that they had a three-way tag title match at Extreme Rules. E said that’s not what he had in mind when he heard he was going to be in a three-way on Sunday. He spoke briefly about the possibility of all three New Day members holding titles.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan interrupted. Bryan said the fans should be booing New Day for clowning around even though he pinned Big E last week. Woods said he wanted to hear from Rowan and noted that he has taken orders from Luke Harper, Bray Wyatt, and now Bryan. Woods said they have a hard time telling who his daddy is. Bryan held back Rowan and said New Day deflects real criticism with jokes. Bryan said the only thing worse than New Day winning the tag titles would be Heavy Machinery winning the straps.

Otis and Tucker made their entrance. Tucker said there’s not denying that they took Bryan and Rowan to the limit in their first tag title match at Stomping Grounds. Otis said they are blue collar solid. Otis did his own version of New Day’s “tag team champions” bit. Tucker said people would find out there’s no party like a blue collar party… [C]

Powell’s POV: There were some good lines in there, but none of them were giving to poor Tucker, who plays the straight man to Otis’s fun Chris Farley as a Bushwhacker routine.

3. Otis (w/Tucker) vs. Xavier Woods (w/Big E) vs. Daniel Bryan (w/Rowan) in in a Triple Threat. Bryan rolled to ringside to start, then returned with the goal of helping Woods suplex Otis, but ended up suplexing both men simultaneously. Rowan fought with E and Tucker, who shoved him over the broadcast table, then shoved one another. The referee ejected all three men from ringside. Here comes the restart. [C]

Despite Phillips telling us the match had to be restarted, it actually continued during the split screen break. Bryan applied the LeBell Lock on Woods, but Otis broke it up. Bryan shot Otis a look of disgust and threw his kicks at him. Otis caught Bryan’s leg and did a big windup only to drop Bryan to the mat.

Otis performed running splashes on both opponents in opposite corners. Otis performed the caterpillar on Bryan, who rolled under the ropes and then clotheslined him with the top rope. Bryan returned to the ring and was press slammed by Woods. Otis recovered and performed a popup slam on Woods and pinned him…

Otis defeated Xavier Woods and Daniel Bryan in 8:40.

Powell’s POV: A decent Triple Threat match to set up the three-way tag title match on Sunday. I’m not sure if Phillips misspoke or if they were making it seem like a restart for the countries that don’t get the split screen commercial breaks. Either way, it’s been nice to avoid that nonsense so far tonight.

A video package recapped the drama involving Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler from last week’s Smackdown and the angle that took place earlier on this show…

Ember Moon was shown in a catering line backstage when Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville cut in front of her to get oranges. They bickered and then Rose challenged her to find a tag partner and then face them in a match next week. Moon agreed. Deville wondered if she could find a partner. Moon said she’d do it herself if she couldn’t find a partner…

Aleister Black was shown being mic’d up on a backstage interview set. Phillips said Black’s Extreme Rules opponent would reveal himself after the break… [C]

An Ali pre-taped promo aired from an outdoor setting. He spoke about fighting evil when he was a police officer and even seeing it “in people who swore…” Ali said evil only wins when you don’t show up…

Powell’s POV: The outdoor Ali videos continue to stand out in a positive way. They are typically grittier than most WWE productions and he’s doing a great job of delivering the actual promos.

The broadcast team ran through the Extreme Rules lineup…

Aleister Black was interviewed from the backstage setting while a split screen shot showed an empty chair. Phillips noted that both men had signed the contract for Extreme Rules, but Black’s opponent had chosen not to identify himself. Black laughed and said “very good.” He said it’s something he would do and applauded the mystery person for doing it.

“It’s smart, it’s really, really smart,” Black said. “But at this point I don’t care who you are.” A man walked into the picture and walked around the chair, then sat down and revealed himself to be Cesaro. “You, Cesaro,” Black said. Cesaro removed his mouthguard and said, “I’m the one who knocks at your door because I’m here to pick a fight with you.” Black said it was very good and this Sunday he will fight Cesaro…

Powell’s POV: That should be a hell of a match. I thought they might go with Randy Orton since he’s been working with Black on live events. The only issue I see with Black vs. Cesaro is that both men need wins. Even so, it’s possible the match is strong enough that the loser will gain something in defeat.

Shelton Benjamin was asked if Dolph Ziggler will finally prove that it should be him in the main event. Benjamin looked around a bit and said “well” but his mic wasn’t on. Benjamin smiled and walked away…

A split screen shot showed Reigns and Ziggler walking backstage while Saxton hyped the main event as coming up after the break… [C]

Braxton was speaking on the interview set when Paul Heyman entered the picture and walked past her. Braxton introduced Kofi Kingston, who said there’s nothing Samoa Joe can say or do to affect his mindset. He said he knows who Joe is and what he does, including getting inside the head of his opponents. Kingston said he got in Joe’s head last week and he’ll become one of the great champions of all-time by beating guys like Joe…

Powell’s POV: Well, at least we know Heyman didn’t quit following last night’s abomination of a Raw, which looked more like Vince McMahon’s handiwork than Heyman’s. Manchester didn’t seem as hot for Kingston as most cities are. He popped his head back in for the “baby” line at the end and it didn’t get much of a reaction.

Roman Reigns made his entrance and then Dolph Ziggler’s noise pollution entrance music played and he came out. Shane McMahon’s music played and one of the broadcast team members seemed surprised even though Shane said earlier that he, Elias, and McIntyre would be at ringside. Shane had ring announcer Greg Hamilton delivered the “best in the world” line while McIntyre and Elias stood by… [C]

4. Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler. Shane McMahon sat in on commentary and told Drew McIntyre and Elias that they shouldn’t feel obligated to stand by him, they could get a closer look at Reigns if they wanted to. Late in the match, Reigns set up in the corner. Elias climbed onto the apron and Reigns knocked him off with a Superman Punch.

Ziggler performed a Zigzag on Reigns and got a two count. Ziggler set up for a superkick, but Reigns beat him to the punch with a Superman Punch that led to a near fall. Reigns went to the corner for his spear, but McIntyre pulled Ziggler to ringside. Reigns performed a running dive onto the heels. Shane entered the ring. Ziggler superkicked Reigns at ringside. Kevin Owens entered the ring and performed a Stunner on Shane. Ziggler rolled Reigns into the ring and went for another Zigzag, but Reigns pushed him off and speared him before scoring the pin…

Roman Reigns beat Dolph Ziggler in 8:50.

Powell’s POV: The main event was fine, albeit predictable due to the wrestlers involved. I guess the new KO and Shane feud is a sign that Undertaker won’t be responsible for writing off the Shane character on Sunday. I’m ready for a break from Shane, but this was an encouraging night for Owens.

Overall, a good episode. It was nice to get through a WWE show without best of three falls matches, clunky restarts, and other nonsense. The belief is that Eric Bischoff’s run won’t start until after Extreme Rules. If that’s the case, then my guess is that Paul Heyman had a lot more to do with this show than last night’s Raw. Regardless of who was in charge, I hope we see more of this logical booking going forward. I will be by later tonight with my members’ exclusive audio review.

Check below for the latest Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell featuring guest Jim Ross discussing his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, whether Ross knew Shawn Spears was going to hit Cody with a chair shot to the head, working with Excalibur and Alex Marvez, his new book and speaking engagement deal, and much more.


Listen to “07/09 Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast With Jason Powell (Episode 66): Jim Ross on his role in AEW, Tony Khan as a leader, and much more” on Spreaker.


The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Todd Martin on his background, attending pro wrestling events in Japan, the NJPW G1 Tournament, why lucha libre companies haven't been as successful as NJPW in the United States, AEW optimism, covering pro wrestling and MMA, and more (68:57)...


Readers Comments (5)

  1. Why is it when something good happens on Raw it Smackdown it must have something to do with Paul Heyman?

    • Yes agreed. Heyman’s second Raw was a clunker, he deserves the blame.

      • I’ve followed the vast majority of Paul Heyman’s booking career. If I thought Monday’s show was his work then I’d blame at him. The previous week’s Raw had Heyman’s fingerprints all over it. This week’s Raw struck me as a modern day Vince McMahon show. Heyman is typically logic based and Monday’s show was anything but. Is it possible that Heyman has lost his touch? Sure, but I don’t think he’d suddenly change his core philosophies and book nonsensical matches such as a mixed tag elimination match that doesn’t allow the men and women to wrestle one another, thus creating a scenario where nothing could have happened if Lynch and Andrade were the last two wrestlers alive in the match.

        • From what I’ve heard is that Paul Heyman, like Eric Bischoff, won’t fully take over the position until after Extreme Rules, so wishful thinking.

  2. Between the opening segment with Owens and the Balor/Nakamura match, that was the best first hour of TV that WWE has produced in at least a couple of years. Much as we are all sick of Shane, Owens is exactly the right choice to represent the fans’ frustrations as he is good on the mic and has such an ‘everyman’ quality when they allow him to be likable.

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