8/20 WWE Smackdown Live results: Powell’s review of Daniel Bryan vs. Buddy Murphy, Kevin Owens vs. Elias and Apollo Crews vs. Andrade in first round King of the Ring tournament matches


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

WWE Smackdown Live on USA Network
Aired live on August 20, 2019 from Sioux Falls, South Dakota at Denny Sanford Premier Center

[Hour One] Randy Orton made his entrance while Tom Phillips welcomed viewers to the show. Phillips was joined on commentary by Byron Saxton and David Otunga. Phillips noted that Corey Graves was on vacation. The ring announcer was Greg Hamilton. The broadcast team hyped Daniel Bryan vowing to reveal the person who has been attacking Roman Reigns, and the King of the Ring matches. Footage aired of Orton and The Revival getting the better of the New Day trio on Raw.

Orton said that unlike Kofi Kingston, he is not a liar. Orton said Kingston ran from a fight at SummerSlam in front of his wife and children. He said the reason is that Kingston is stupid. Fans booed. Orton told the fans to shut up. Orton said Kingston had the opportunity to prove himself last week and took two RKO’s because he’s stupid. Orton recalled how The Revival took out Xavier Woods on Raw while he made Kingston watch and said it’s because Kofi is stupid.

The New Day entrance music played, but no one walked onto the stage. Orton turned around and Kingston was waiting in the ring and blasted him with a Trouble in Paradise kick. A “Kofi” chant broke out. Kingston grabbed a chair from ringside and then wrapped Orton’s leg in it. Kingston went to the middle rope with the intention of stomping Orton’s leg, but The Revival ran out. Kingston worked over Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder with a chair while Orton rolled to ringside…

Powell’s POV: For a second there, Kofi looked kinda stupid when he struggled to wrap Orton’s leg in the chair on his first try. Kidding aside, Orton sped up his promo delivery and the change grabbed my attention. Kingston showed good fire in trying to avenge the beating that Orton and The Revival gave Xavier Woods on Raw. The broadcast team noted that Woods was unable to appear at Smackdown (due to the injury angle), so we’ll see if the numbers game ends up hurting Kingston and Big E. Finally, I’m filling in for Jake Barnett tonight, but he will be handling tomorrow’s WWE Smackdown Hit List.

A video package recapped the Roman Reigns’ whodunnit saga… Otunga said his sources told him that Bryan has done extensive research while trying to find out who attacked Reigns…

Andrade and Zelina Vega made their entrance past the king throne on the stage. Phillips hyped that Andrade’s KOTR match was coming up after the break… [C]

Phillips touted the announcement of NXT moving to USA Network beginning September 18…

Backstage, Shane McMahon shined up his new television. Kevin Owens knocked and entered the room. Owens said he was focused on the KOTR match and wasn’t trying to make things worse. Shane said he could tell that Owens was bothered, then asked him what’s on his mind. Owens recalled Shane fining him $100,000. Owens said that might not be anything to Shane, but it’s a lot to him and his family. Owens said Shane is a good father and can probably relate on that level, then asked him to reconsider. Shane said he would take it under consideration…

Powell’s POV: I’ve stated my belief that monetary fines and rewards don’t connect with pro wrestling fans because it doesn’t affect them in any way. Owens did such a good job of establishing how the fine hurts him and his family that he just may end up proving me wrong in his case.

1. Apollo Crews vs. Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) in a King of the Ring tournament match. Crews’s entrance was televised. Andrade was on the offensive heading into an early break. [C]

Crews went for a press slam, but he sold an arm injury to play on something Andrade did earlier in the match. Crews rallied and performed a standing shooting star press onto the back of Andrade, which led to a near fall. Crews set up for a move, but Vega reached in and grabbed the leg of Andrade. Crews jawed at Vega, then Andrade caught him with a spinning back elbow and followed up with the hammerlock DDT for the win…

Andrade defeated Apollo Crews in 9:40 to advance in the King of the Ring tournament.

Powell’s POV: A well worked match with the right guy going over. Andrade will face the winner of Chad Gable vs. Shelton Benjamin in the next round. My original pick to win the tournament was Drew McIntyre, but two broadcast team members and Booker T picking him to win scared me off, so I switched to King Andrade.

Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Rowan led someone covered in a black hook into a room and sat him down. Bryan said the whole world would find out what the person did. Bryan told the person not to even think about moving from the chair or the mystery person would be very sorry…

Elias was shown playing his guitar backstage. He found a man who wore a hat and then made the man reveal that he was actually a referee. “Where is he?” Elias asked. The referee pointed to a production crate. Elias opened it and Drake Maverick emerged. Elias had Maverick read a statement from Shane McMahon that called off the 24/7 rules for the rest of the night so that Elias could focus on his KOTR match. Elias shoved Maverick back in the crate and slammed it shut. Maverick popped his head and out and said he just wants to consummate his marriage…

The broadcast team hyped A Moment of Bliss with guest Charlotte Flair… [C]

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross made their entrance for the Moment of Bliss talkshow, which was held on the stage area. Bliss introduced Charlotte Flair while noting that she requested to be on the show. Charlotte pointed at the throne and said that chair is a little more her style than the talkshow set chair. Bliss asked about the torch being passed when Flair beat Trish Stratus at SummerSlam.

Flair said she took the torch and she is the queen of all eras. Bliss said some people may say Bayley is the face of the brand as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Flair said she is sent out to do media and other projects because she’s the face of the division and the Smackdown Women’s Title has become an afterthought.

Bayley made her entrance and said what Charlotte mentioned sounded like excuses. Bayley said she’s the champion and that eats Charlotte up inside. Flair asked if Bayley realized how people feel about her and the title. Flair said she was the story at SummerSlam.

Flair said she will restore prestige to the title when she beats her at Clash of Champions. Bayley said if that’s a challenge then she accepted and would do everyone a favor by shutting Flair’s mouth. Bayley shoved Flair’s chair over and laughed before heading backstage…

Powell’s POV: This was fine, but the dynamic between Charlotte and Bayley worked a lot better when Flair was the mean girl and Bayley was the lovable underdog in NXT.

Buddy Murphy was in his locker room when Roman Reigns entered. Reigns said he wanted to know if Murphy was lying to him or to Bryan and Rowan. Murphy said he was pretty sure it was Rowan that he saw. Reigns said he needed more than pretty sure. Murphy said he was trying to help Reigns, who said if he found out he was lying again then he’d come back and whoop his ass…

Powell’s POV: Murphy continues to be the biggest backstage pushover in pro wrestling history.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan made their entrance… [C]

Buddy Murphy made his entrance to a flat reaction. Bryan took the mic and noted that Murphy “thinks” he saw Rowan at the scene of the Reigns attack. Bryan said Murphy is a liar and vowed that he and Rowan would reveal the true culprit. Bryan also said they would reveal that Murphy had something to do with it…

2. Daniel Bryan (w/Rowan) vs. Buddy Murphy. Murphy performed a running knee right after the bell rang. A short time later, Murphy sent Bryan to ringside and performed a flip dive onto him heading into a break. [C] Murphy hit a missile dropkick coming out of the break. Murphy performed a double knee press and got a two count.

[Hour Two] Bryan rallied and applied a crossface, but Murphy reached the ropes. A light “Let’s go, Buddy” chant started. Bryan threw kicks at Murphy and told him to stay down. Murphy ducked the big finale kick and then caught Bryan with a kick of his own. Bryan placed Murphy in the tree of woe and then threw more kicks and followed with a running dropkick.

Bryan placed Murphy on the top rope and performed a belly to back suplex for a near fall. Murphy came back with a running sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Murphy got another two count off a backslide, then performed a brainbuster and went for the pin, but Bryan put his foot on the bottom rope.

Rowan climbed onto the apron and distracted Murphy, who was rolled up for a two count. Murphy threw a superkick at Bryan, who moved, causing Rowan to take the kick and to fall off the apron. A short time later, Murphy threw another high knee and then his Murphy’s Law finisher and scored the pin…

Buddy Murphy defeated Daniel Bryan in 13:25.

Powell’s POV: A really nice showcase win for Murphy. I was surprised that the crowd was so quiet during his entrance given how strong his match with Roman Reigns as last week, but that’s as quiet as you’ll hear a crowd. They slowly came around during the match and hopefully this win will lead to more fans getting behind the talented Murphy.

Saxton hyped the Owens vs. Elias match for later in the show, then a shot aired of the hooded man backstage. The Revival were shown walking backstage. Phillips said they’d be in action after the break… [C]

The broadcast team recapped Murphy beating Bryan, then they cut backstage where Kayla Braxton was about to interview Murphy. Rowan attacked Murphy while Bryan called him trash and said he doesn’t deserve the spotlight. Rowan performed his claw slam while Bryan said Murphy is a coward and a liar…

The Revival limped and held their ribs to sell Kingston’s attack from earlier, which was recapped. Scott Dawson scolded the fans for cheering the attack. Dash Wilder said Big E wasn’t man enough to show his face. Dawson told Woods to make sure he’s leg was healed in time for Clash of Champions because they were challenging them to a tag title match. Heavy Machinery interrupted the promo…

3. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder vs. “Heavy Machinery” Otis and Tucker. Wilder had his ribs taped and was put in early bearhugs by both opponents. Dawson also had his ribs taped and the Heavy Machinery duo performed stereo suplexes on the Revival and cleared them from the ring heading into a split screen commercial break. [C]

Tucker was isolated by the Revival coming out of the break and there was an audible chant for Otis, who took the hot tag. Otis performed the caterpillar on Dawson. Tucker tagged in and they set up for the Compactor, but Dawson broke it up. Tucker jumped onto Dawson, but legal man Wilder rolled him up and pinned him…

The Revival defeated Heavy Machinery in 6:10.

Powell’s POV: I was surprised by the outcome because the Revival were selling injuries and thus I thought they might lose here to add Heavy Machinery to the tag title match at Clash of Champions. I’m not complaining. That said, the popularity of Otis seems to be growing even though Heavy Machinery haven’t been getting a lot of television time.

Chad Gable was interviewed by Kayla Braxton, who asked him about being an underdog. Gable said he’s been an underdog his whole life and his first wrestling coach told him he was stupid and to find another sport. Gable said he wasn’t good enough to make the Olympic team. In the background, Shelton Benjamin swapped out a sign on a door behind Gable. The sign read that “you must be this tall to enter the room.” Gable said it was funny while looking unamused and then entered the room…

The hooded man was shown backstage where Bryan and Rowan left him… The Miz made his entrance for a Miz TV segment with Sami Zayn… [C] Phillips congratulated NXT for moving to USA Network while a batch of tweets from WWE personalities were shown regarding the move…

The Miz stood in the ring for the Miz TV segment and said his guest Sami Zayn requested to appear on the show and he was curious as to why. Zayn made his entrance and joined Miz in the ring. Zayn said he doesn’t care about Miz or his show, but he needed television time to get some things off his chest. Miz said Zayn has had a lot of time to think while staring up at the lights lately.

Zayn said he has lost match after match for months. He said he had an epiphany. Zayn said he’d ended up in the trap that people like Miz and all the parasite fans get caught up in. Zayn said he was caught up in the trap of greed. Zayn said the path to redemption is through altruism. Zayn said there are so many people on Smackdown who need his help. “Like who?” Miz asked. Zayn said one of them was ready to come out.

U.S. Champion Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance. Phillips recalled the history between Nakamura and Zayn, including their great NXT match, but said it still seemed odd that the two of them would strike a deal. Miz asked why Nakamura would associate himself with Zayn.

Sami asked what language Miz wanted him to answer in. Zayn said Nakamura is Japanese and a poet. Zayn said he understands that because he is also an artist and a poet. Zayn said he and Nakamura understand each other. Zayn said that Nakamura will no longer put up with being unable to express himself.

Miz asked Nakamura if he was really going to let Zayn speak for him. Nakamura put his hand up and then pointed at Zayn, who said they can express themselves in a language that even Miz will understand. Nakamura kicked the back of Miz’s head and then hit him with several knees before stomping him in the corner. Zayn pulled Nakamura off and told him it was perfect and added that it was enough. Zayn stood over Miz and laughed, then knelt down and patted him on the back. ayn held up Miz while Nakamura put him down with a Kinshasa…

Powell’s POV: I didn’t expect to see that pairing, but I really like it. Zayn is such a good talker and Nakamura has suffered in WWE due in part to his lack of promo skills. It’s easy to see how both men can benefit from this alliance.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan entered the locked room where the hooded person was still seated on the chair. Bryan said Roman Reigns was coming and he would find out exactly what the person did…

Kevin Owens returned to Shane McMahon’s office. Shane said you can’t put your hands on a WWE official. He said the one thing he hasn’t heard is Owens apologize for his actions. Owens apologized. Shane said he was thinking about lifting the fine. He said that if Owens ever put his hands on another WWE official then he would leave him no choice but to fire him. Shane asked if he was clear. Owens said he was and offered a handshake. “I’m not quite there yet,” Shane said…

4. Kevin Owens vs. Elias in a King of the Ring tournament match. Both men received televised entrances. The match went to ringside early on. Elias ran Owens into the barricade, then rolled him back inside the ring. Owens came back with a cannonball in the cover and covered Elias for a two count. Shane’s music played and he came to ringside heading into a break. [C]

Shane was seated at ringside coming out of the break. Late in the match, Elias caught Owens in an electric chair, spun him around, and hit a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Elias set Owens on the ropes and then followed him up. Owens punched Elias off and then performed a senton, but Elias put his knees up.

Elias ran at Owens, who pulled the top rope down, causing Elias to fall to ringside. Owens performed a cannonball onto Elias. Shane called off Owens and then removed a shirt to reveal that he was wearing his version of a referee shirt. Elias used the distraction to hit Owens from behind. Owens went for a Stunner, but Elias shoved him near Shane. Owens stopped short for fear of hitting Shane, then Elias rolled up Owens and Shane fast counted him…

Elias beat Kevin Owens in 13:25 to advance in the King of the Ring tournament.

Backstage, Roman Reigns entered Bryan’s locker room. Bryan said he had to go to extreme lengths to prove that Rowan was not guilty. Bryan remove the hood from the man in the room and it was an older man with a look similar to Rowan’s. Reigns looked confused as he looked at Rowan and the unnamed man to close the show…

Powell’s POV: I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Reigns mystery was running on fumes during this episode and that reveal at the end of the show cemented it. This needs to get a lot more interesting or they need to cut to the chase because there haven’t been any fun swerves or even developments lately. The main event match didn’t do much for me and the presence of Shane made it seem likely that Owens was going to lose. That said, I enjoyed the majority of the show before the final match and angle. I will have more to say in my members’ exclusive audio review coming up later tonight.


Readers Comments (7)

  1. Patrick Peralta August 20, 2019 @ 8:33 pm

    I pick Drew McIntyre to win King of the Ring

  2. FOX better reconsider that television deal. It looks like they hired Vince Russo to write this garbage, not Eric Bischoff. What the hell.

    • It really seems like WWE knows the deal is already in the bag and has been signed, sealed and delivered and they are now slacking off in the writing and performing of their programming. Ever since that Fox deal has been signed, it seems like WWE television has gotten worse and they have actually been trying to outdo themselves in terms of how awful it is. The fact that Shane McMahon is more or less the face of the company and always finds a way to win and come out on top in the end never getting his comeuppance is the epitome of it all. Even when it seems like Shane has been vanquished he’s right back the next night completely no selling the beating/loss and getting his heat back tenfold. After losing at SummerSlam he should have been gone for several weeks, maybe a month or so but instead he’s back the next day right at he top of the hour as though nothing happened.

  3. People are underestimating A potential Elias win. Shane as the Best in the World and Elias as KOTR. Help us.

  4. Shane McMahon is a hypocrite for agreeing to be the focal point of the show after that so called “impassioned speech” he gave several months ago claiming that this sort of crap would not be the case and the spotlight would go to the talent. This egomaniac can’t take a night off to sell the loss at SummerSlam? I’m surprised he didn’t just reverse the decision and resulting in Owens being forced to quit/being fired or being forced to be Shane’s personal man servant.

  5. AGAIN, a promised angle (i.e., “anonymous GM) is just crap with no ending. WEEKS, and we get THIS. And thats the way they end the show. Yeah..>AEW is smiling.

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