7/16 WWE Smackdown Live results: Powell’s review of Shane McMahon’s town hall meeting, Daniel Bryan’s career altering announcement, The IIconics vs. Asuka and Kairi Sane for the Smackdown Tag Titles, Ember Moon and a mystery partner vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville

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

WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network
Aired live on July 16, 2019 from Worcester, Massachusetts at DCU Center

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap from last week’s developments in the Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon storyline… The broadcast team was Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton…

In an “earlier in the day” segment, Shane McMahon was on the phone backstage while security guards stood by him. Shane relayed the message to security that their guest had arrived. Kevin Owens walked through the door and Shane was there to greet him. Shane said Owens’ complaining gave him the idea for the town hall meeting so that wrestlers could air their grievances. Shane gave Owens the night off…

Shane stood in the ring while the Smackdown wrestlers stood on the stage. A video package recapped Undertaker and Roman Reigns beat Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre at Extreme Rules. Back live, ring announcer Greg Hamilton delivered the “Best in the World” introduction for Shane, who said he was willing to listen to any grievances that the wrestlers may have.

Shane asked the wrestlers who would like to go first. There were two microphones on the stage. Roman Reigns stepped forward. “Shane, I don’t think you get it, nobody in this room respects you,” Reigns said. “And as far as diplomacy goes, you can kiss my ass.” Shane said Roman would be fined and he would deal with him later.

Charlotte Flair was up next and said it made her sick to her stomach that Kevin Owens would take advantage of her kindness. Liv Morgan approached the other mic and accused Flair of being a phony. She asked if there was anything real about her. Charlotte asked if Morgan even works in WWE. She asked her blue tongue was real. Morgan tried to respond, but Shane cut her off.

Buddy Murphy stepped up. Shane referred to him as WWE’s best kept secret and recalled the Owens mentioned him last week. Murphy said Owens should keep his name out of his mouth or he would slap it out of his mouth. Apollo Crews was up next and he said that everyone agrees with what Owens had to say last week. Zelina Vega stepped up and said she and Andrade don’t appreciate that Crews is trying to kiss up to the WWE Universe. Zelina challenged him to step up for a match. Andrade spoke briefly.

Elias strummed his guitar and said, “Hello, I am not Kevin Owens.” Elias started speaking about being Smackdown’s greatest acquisition, but Big E cut him off and referred to him as the greatest jackass in WWE history. Kofi Kingston said Owens had some good points. Kofi pointed out how long it took him to get a title shot. He spoke of the potential of everyone on the roster and said Shane wasn’t giving opportunities. Kingston’s mic was cut. Shane claimed it was a technical issue and then said that concluded the first Smackdown town hall meeting. Shane’s music played and the wrestlers headed backstage.

Cesaro stepped up with a mic and said he had something to say. Shane pointed out that Cesaro is a Raw wrestler. Cesaro said he was there was a wild card and then challenged Aleister Black to pick a fight with him. Shane asked if Cesaro wanted the match tonight. Cesaro said he did, then Shane said he would get his wish.

Shane said he hopes it demonstrates that he doesn’t have to rule with an iron fist. Kevin Owens entered the ring behind Shane, kicked him in the gut, and gave him a Stunner. Owens, who was wearing a “WWE Crew” t-shirt, mocked Shane’s dance and then hopped the barricade and headed up the steps…

Powell’s POV: Unfortunately, Shane dropped to his knees when Owens kicked him, so it looked clunky when Owens had to pull him up for the Stunner. The segment was fine. Reigns got the big jab in, Charlotte looked like a kiss ass, and they set up some matches. By the way, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett tonight because he was kind enough to fill in for me on Raw live coverage last night when I had a power outage in my area. Jake will be writing tomorrow’s WWE Smackdown Hit List (I previously wrote that he was appearing on Wade Keller’s Pro Wrestling Podcast tonight, but Jake informed me that he had to reschedule).

A brief recap aired of Owens giving Shane a Stunner, then ring entrances for the Aleister Black vs. Cesaro match took place…

1. Aleister Black vs. Cesaro. Cesaro threw an uppercut early. Black came back with a kick that sent Cesaro to ringside. Black ran the ropes and then did a springboard backflip into his pose. They cut to a split screen commercial break. [C] Cesaro performed his popup uppercut on Black and got a two count during the break.

Back from the break, Black was back on the offensive briefly, but Cesaro caught him with a running uppercut and a big boot. Cesaro covered Black and then applied a crossface. Black rolled into a pin to break the hold. Cesaro charged him in the corner, Black moved, and Cesaro crashed into the corner. Black threw a leaping knee and followed up with Black Mass and scored the pin…

Aleister Black defeated Cesaro in 6:20.

Powell’s POV: A good television match if you were able to watch via the split screen advertising. Part of me was hoping to see Cesaro bounce back to make this a competitive feud, but I definitely understand the idea of showcasing Black by giving him back to back wins.

Backstage, Dolph Ziggler lobbied Shane McMahon to let him track down Kevin Owens so that he could face him in the main event. Shane agreed… Charlotte was shown walking backstage while Graves hyped her match against Liv Morgan for after the break… [C]

Philips touted Kofi Kingston being featured in a Newsweek story regarding his love of gaming…

Footage aired of a manic Daniel Bryan telling Sarah Schreiber after WWE Extreme Rules that he tried to save the tag team division and failed. He said if he wants to save the world then has to aim higher…

2. Charlotte Flair vs. Liv Morgan. Morgan was on the offensive early. The broadcast team wondered whether Flair underestimated her. Flair came back with chops, but Morgan caught her with a step-up enzuigiri and then stomped the back of her head into the mat for a two count. Morgan ran at Flair and jumped, which led to Flair catching her and powerbombing her. Flair applied the Figure 8 and got the tapout win…

Charlotte Flair beat Liv Morgan in 2:25.

After the match, Morgan took the headset off Graves. “Charlotte was right,” Morgan said. “When I come back I’m going to be real”…

Powell’s POV: I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for Morgan. I don’t get the blue tongue, but I think she actually has a cool look otherwise. She’s also come a long way in the ring so hopefully she’ll get a real opportunity. WWE could really use some fresh faces in meaningful roles in the women’s division.

Dolph Ziggler was shown outside the building getting Kevin Owens’ phone number from referee Drake Wuertz… Ember Moon was shown walking backstage while the broadcast team wondered who her mystery partner would be… [C]

Most of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville’s entrance was shown. Ember Moon made her entrance and then stopped and smiled at Rose and Deville. Bayley made her entrance as Moon’s partner…

3. Bayley and Ember Moon vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Phillips said Bayley was possibly the best partner possible. Rose and Deville attacked Bayley and Deville right before the bell. In the end, Bayley performed her finisher on Deville, then Moon hit the Eclipse on Rose and pinned her.

Bayley and Ember Moon beat Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville in 1:35.

After the match Kayla Braxton joined Bayley and Moon in the ring and asked who Bayley’s challenger will be at SummerSlam. Bayley said she wants to give someone who is worthy of a title opportunity that she has never faced before. Bayley smiled and looked at Moon, who smiled and said, “Hell yeah”…

Powell’s POV: I miss the days when mystery partners were surprises rather than just a regular roster member. I’m looking forward to Bayley vs. Moon even if it does seem odd that Bayley got to pick her partner. In fairness, Phillips did say the match wasn’t official, so perhaps Charlotte’s earlier ass kissing will lead to her being added to the match. It’s odd that all the weeks of Rose and Deville picking on Moon led to such a brief match. Could they factor into the title match or was that it?

The broadcast team hyped the WWE Women’s Championship match…

Sarah Schreiber congratulated Shinsuke Nakamura backstage for winning the Intercontinental Championship. Nakamura said he is free to rain down chaos. When Nakamura turned around, a smiling Ali was standing behind him. “I just wanted to say congratulations, champ,” Ali said…

Daniel Bryan and Rowan were shown walking backstage while Graves hyped an announcement that would alter his career and the entire WWE Universe… [C] An ad aired for the Raw Reunion…

[Hour Two] A video package recapped the evening’s Shane and Owens drama. Production edited the kick and Stunner to look make it look better than it did live… Phillips announced that Owens was on his way back to the arena…

New Day members Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods headed to the ring. Kingston said now that they don’t have anymore technical difficulties with the mic, the fans could give it up for them. Xavier Woods said you may as well call Kingston “Simon Phoenix” because he demolished Samoa Joe and is a demolition man. Kingston put over E and Woods winning the Smackdown Tag Titles at Extreme Rules.

Kingston said he felt like they were African American leprechauns at the end of the rainbow because they have all the gold. Woods said the tag titles are white gold. They assumed Daniel Bryan was going to challenge E and Woods to a tag title match and said they would give it to him and Rowan.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan walked onto the stage. Bryan glared at New Day, then he and Rowan turned around and walked backstage. They returned and Bryan acted like he was on the verge of speaking, but he once again turned and headed backstage while the broadcast team spoke about how unusual it was. Bryan and Rowan walked out again. A “New Day rocks” chant broke out. Bryan looked at New Day, then headed backstage without saying a word.

Samoa Joe made his entrance while New Day was still in the ring. Joe said Bryan wasn’t in the mood for championship opportunities, but he doesn’t suffer from the same affliction. Joe challenged Kingston to defend the title against him during the show. Elias made his entrance and said Joe had his chance at Extreme Rules and it didn’t work out. Elias claimed he was primed and ready for Kingston.

Randy Orton’s music hit and he walked onto the stage and said it’s been a while since he had the WWE Championship so he thinks he’s going to take it. Orton said he would take it by using the three more dangerous letters in sports entertainment – RKO. Big E said they couldn’t give everyone title shots tonight and suggested they have a six-man tag title.

“Six-man?” Orton asked. “Nah, I’m good.” Orton started to head backstage, but Kingston wondered if the Viper has gone a little limp. Orton headed to the ring while Joe and Elias followed. Phillips excitedly asked if we would see a six-man tag match after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Well, at least they didn’t have Orton up the ante by making it a best of three falls six-man tag team match.

4. Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods vs. Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, and Elias. The New Day members took turns splashing Joe, which led to E getting a two count. Later, Elias dumped Woods to ringside heading into a split screen break. [C]

Woods continued to be isolated by the heels until he fought off a superplex and performed a missile dropkick on Elias, then tagged in Kingston. A short time later, Woods performed a flip dive onto Joe at ringside. Joe pulled Woods to ringside and put him in the Coquina Clutch. Kingston hit Elias with an awful Trouble in Paradise to his side, then Orton caught Kingston with an RKO and pinned him…

Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, and Elias defeated Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods in 9:30.

Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Paige were shown walking backstage while Saxton hyped the WWE Women’s Tag Title match for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: All signs point to Kingston vs. Orton at SummerSlam given that finish. I like that Kingston is working his way up to more credible opponents in terms of how WWE positions the heels. Kingston beating Orton at SummerSlam would be his biggest title defense yet.

Backstage, Carmella was searching for R-Truth, who was hiding in a washing machine that was missing its lid. Truth said he was stuck so she helped him get free enough to stand up. Carmella suggested he go to Comic Con. Truth told her not to call him a con because he did his time and his community service. She explained what she meant. The washing machine tipped over as Truth was trying to get out of it…

5. “The IIconcis” Peyton Royce and Billie Kay vs. “The Kabuki Warriors” Asuka and Kairi Sane (w/Paige) for the WWE Women’s Tag Titles. The end of the IIconcis introduction was televised, while the challengers’ entrances did not make the cut. Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Asuka threw a kick at the head of Kay, who tumbled to ringside Kay was about to return to the ring, but Royce and Kay looked at one another and had an epiphany. Royce pulled Kay back to ringside and they took the count-out loss and immediately celebrated. The Kabuki Warriors worked over The IIconcis afterward…

The Kabuki Warriors beat The IIconcis via count-out in 1:30 on a WWE Women’s Tag Title match.

Andrade and Zelina Vega were shown walking backstage. Graves hyped Andrade vs. Apollo Crews for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: It’s nice that we haven’t had a bunch of restarts or weird elimination matches, but these brief women’s matches are ridiculous.

6. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs. Apollo Crews. Andrade’s entrance was not televised. Andrade was in the ring and was introduced for the match. Apollo Crews made his entrance and was attacked from behind by Andrade once he entered the ring. The referee checked on Crews and then called for the bell to start the match. Andrade hit his double knees in the corner and then covered Crews, who rolled Andrade over and pinned him…

Apollo Crews beat Andrade in 0:55.

Powell’s POV: I guess WWE is an equal opportunity company when it comes to short, pointless matches tonight.

The broadcast team narrated footage of Bray Wyatt attacking Finn Balor on Monday’s Raw…

Dolph Ziggler was shown walking backstage while the broadcast team hyped the main event… [C]

7. Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler. Both wrestlers received televised entrances. Ziggler threw a kick that Owens caught when the bell rang. Owens kicked Ziggler and went for a Stunner, but Ziggler avoided it and ducked to ringside. Owens performed a flip dive onto Ziggler. Owens rolled Ziggler back inside the ring and went for a top rope senton, but Ziggler put his knees up. Ziggler hit a Fameasser for a near fall.

Shane McMahon led B-Team, Shinsuke Nakamura, Drew McIntyre, AOP, Shelton Benjamin, Buddy Murphy, Andrade, Elias, Samoa Joe, and Cesaro. Ziggler hit the Zigzag on a distracted Owens for a near fall while all the heels surrounded the ring. Owens stuffed a superkick and hit a Stunner. Owens had Ziggler pinned, but Shane pulled him to ringside. Owens gave Shane a Stunner on the floor then ran up the ramp with most of the heels chasing after him.

Kevin Owens fought Dolph Ziggler to an apparent no-contest in 6:30.

The broadcast team recapped the highlights of the segment while McIntyre tended to Shane at ringside. Kayla Braxton approached Shane and said things didn’t go the way Shane wanted and noted that he took two Stunners. Shane got to his feet and said Owens would pay and pay bad. Shane shoved her arm away and started to walk up the ramp with McIntyre as the show concluded…

Powell’s POV: I really wanted a break from Shane coming out of his loss to Undertaker at Extreme Rules. Instead, Shane’s not even selling the beating and Tombstone he took during the match, and he’s right back in Smackdown’s spotlighted feud. If nothing else, at least it seemed like Shane had a plan and that’s why he agreed to give Ziggler the main event match against Owens. It seemed pretty silly at the time that Shane would put his faith in a guy who lost to Owens in 17 seconds on Sunday.

Overall, I can’t say Smackdown ever lost my attention, but it had too many matches that never got a chance to develop and it felt like they were racing through segments to get everyone on the show and/or to get around Vince’s edict that there can’t be any wrestling during commercial breaks. Is there a plan to make Owens vs. Shane something unique or will it continue to feel like a wannabe Stone Cold vs. Mr. McMahon feud? I will have more to say about the show in my members’ exclusive audio review later tonight.

Readers Comments (6)

  1. Decent first segment and as much as I love Cesaro, I’m more happy that they gave black back to back wins. I’m sick of the parity booking wwe normally does and just nice to see a nxt call up given a proper rub along with ricochet when normally Vincent ruins every act. See war raiders as a prime example

  2. As much as I think bayley and ember moon can put on a great match is a face against face title match at summer slam the best idea?

  3. ADD Generation July 16, 2019 @ 9:02 pm

    This week has been heaven with these < 3 minutes long matches. I'm off my Adderall now!

    • Remind me of the 80s when JYD would beat Joe Mirto in 1:30 and King Kong Bundy beating Mario Mancini in :30 on Championship Wrestling.

      • I grew up on squash matches. I’m fine with squash matches when they involve an enhancement wrestler and a star. This is main roster vs. main roster. Big difference.

  4. Oh, this is heading all the way to Survivor Series, right? If the faces win Shawn is gone, if the heels win the the faces are banned, or denied title shots, or something.

    Shane, Elias, Drew, Dolph, v. Roman, Taker, Miz, and Owens.

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