By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Smackdown Live on the USA Network
Aired live on September 17, 2019 from Atlanta, Georgia at State Farm Arena
The announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton previewed the show. Erick Rowan will be speaking, Daniel Bryan returns, Charlotte will face Sasha Banks, and King Corbin will have his coronation. New Day then made their entrance with some pancakes. The Revival and Randy Orton made their entrance next. Photos were shown of the respective matches at Clash of Champions.
1. New Day vs. FTRKO: Big E and Wilder started the match, and E immediately hit an overhead belly to belly suplex. He then pulled Wilder through the bottom rope and landed some forearm shots to the chest, followed by a splash. He then covered for a two count. Woods then tag in and used Big E for an assisted wheelbarrow splash. Wilder recovered and kicked Woods in the knee, and tagged in Dawson.
Woods and Dawson traded chops until Woods broke free and hit a rolling elbow. He tagged in Kofi, who came in with a double axe handle to the elbow. Dawson grabbed Kofi by the hair and managed to make a tag to Randy Orton. Kofi quickly tagged Woods, and they all three New Day members took turns hitting splashes and diving elbows onto Orton. He had to retreat to the floor…[c]
The show returned with Woods cut off from the rest of the New Day. Wilder worked over his left knee, that was damaged in a previous attack. Dawson and Orton both tagged in at various points and continued to grind down Woods by focusing the knee. He showed some life against Orton, but was cut down by an eye poke. Dawson tagged in and Woods was able to use his legs to push him out of the ring, but Wilder scrambled quickly to prevent Woods from making a tag.
Woods attempted a DDT through the second rope, but Wilder dumped him out to the floor. Orton the delivered a back suplex that sent Woods into the announce table at ringside. Orton then picked up Woods and slammed him on the table a second time. He then climbed into the ring and taunted the crowd. Once Woods was back in the ring, Orton covered for a near fall. He crawled for a tag, but Wilder was there to prevent it once again. Wilder then went back to work on the left leg. Woods was able to kick himself free, but Dawson ran in and cleared the other New Day members from the apron.
He then placed Woods on the top rope, but Woods sent him back to the ring and hit a missile dropkick. Woods sold his leg heavily and crawled for a hot tag to Kofi. All the heels were floored by dropkicks, and Kofi hit an SOS on Orton. Dawson was there to break up the pin attempt. At ringside, Woods and Big E took out the revival. Kofi was going to splash them out on the floor, but Orton caught him and hit a draping DDT. Orton looked ready for an RKO, but he tagged the Revival for an RKO machine.
Big E pulled Orton to the floor and ran him into the post. Woods hit wilder with an elbow drop. Kofi then hit Dawson with a Trouble in Paradise for the win.
New Day defeated FTRKO at 16:59
After the match, Brock Lesnar made his entrance with Paul Heyman. He stared down The New Day and made his way to the ring. The announce team questioned why Lesnar was there, while New Day regrouped in the ring. Lesnar was now sporting a beard and a different hairstyle. Kofi sent away the other members of New Day to confront Lesnar himself. Paul Heyman grabbed a mic and did his advocate shtick. Heyman made it clear Lesnar wanted to challenge Kofi for the WWE Championship. He said it was a bad day for the New Day, yes it is. Heyman said his client is officially challenging him to a match for the WWE Championship for the October 4th Friday Night Smackdown premiere on Fox.
Kofi grabbed a mic and said when he won the WWE Championship, he made a promise to himself and the WWE Universe that he would be a fighting champion. He then accepted the challenge, and Lesnar laughed. He leaned in for a handshake, but then scooped up Kofi and hit an F5. He picked up the WWE title briefly, and then set it down next to Kofi. He then walked back up to the stage and he and Lesnar smirked at the ring. Corey Graves sold it as an unwinnable situation. They then threw to footage of Shane firing Kevin Owens. Michael Cole will interview Erick Rowan next…[c]
My Take: Will Kofi Kingston or Brock Lensar face another title challenger at Hell in a Cell after being in a title match on first episode of Friday Night Smackdown? I like the idea of issuing the challenge now, as it gives them a major hook for the first Fox Show, while also leaving them a few weeks to continue to add one more high profile matches and segments to build that show. The New Day and FTRKO match got a good amount of time, and showed off the strengths of both teams, but it was quickly overshadowed by Lesnar.
Backstage, Sasha Banks was asked about Becky and Charlotte. She said she’s the star of the division and she accepted Becky’s Challenge for a Hell in Cell Match. She also pointed out that she had been in a cell match and Becky had not. Bayley then cut in and said that she would answer all the questions about Charlotte Flair in the ring. We then got some video footage of the Reigns vs. Rowan match, along with Harper’s interference.
Michael Cole interviewed Rowan backstage. Rowan seems happy that Cole knew his name. He told Cole that the attacks on Reigns were meant to scare him, and show him that his perceived dominance is only an illusion. He called himself overlooked and underappreciated, but most of all disrespected.
He said the entire WWE Universe, Roman Reigns, and Daniel Bryan thought of him as a grunt in the background, but he’s much more than that. He’s a schemer and a leader. Cole asked about Daniel Bryan, and Rowan said he made the mistake of assuming that he was Rowan’s intellectual and physical equal. He said he would never allow anyone to disrespect him again.
In the arena, Ali made his entrance…[c]
My Take: Erick Rowan continues to impress me personally. It was a strong interview, and he seemed to do well in the backstage sit down format. They didn’t dwell on the attacks on Reigns, because it was a terrible story everyone should try and forget, and he kept the focus on his new motivation. He also made it clear that he didn’t speak for Harper, and that he would have to explain his own motivation separately.
Sami Zayn walked out in a neck brace, and demanded the crowd show him some respect. He also demanded the crowd show some respect for Nakamura, who beat The Miz fair and square on Sunday. Shinsuke made his entrance and Sami made mention of Ali defeating Shinsuke several weeks ago. He made it clear that Nakamura wasn’t the man he is now, because he hadn’t partnered with Sami yet. He then said that he respected Ali, but it was an elaborate set up for a beat down. Sami grabbed Ali’s leg and allowed Nakamura to hit a knee to the back of the head. He then hit a Kinshasa to put him down.
Kevin Owens was shown in the audience, and sat down in the crowd with a ticket. Backstage, John Cone approached Shane in his office and said someone was here to see him. A process server walked up to Shane and handed him papers for a lawsuit. He then walked off…[c]
My Take: I was hoping to see an Ali vs Nakamura match, but perhaps we’ll have to wait for Hell in a Cell.
Shane McMahon walked out to the ring with some security scrubs, who stood near the area of the barricade where Owens would be able to make his way into the ringside area. Shane addressed Owens and said it was an interesting coincidence that he was there in person and he got served papers. He told security to let him in the ring and give him a mic, because he had something to say. Shane then dismissed security, who were apparently pointless and unnecessary. Shane said he was holding an unlawful termination suit that would award Kevin 25 Million dollars if he won.
Shane said Owens case was weak, just like him. Owens said he had a strong case and called him a dumbass. He said Shane had ruined Smackdown by making it his playground. Owens made his case that he had swallowed his pride and done everything Shane asked because of the fine he hung over his head. He fired him for being insubordinate, and attacked him like a coward, despite the fact that he was a referee. He said he decided all he wanted to do now was hurt Shane, but he would do it the only place it really hurts, in his wallet and his pride. He claimed that his lawsuit had another clause, and if he wins, he would be able to stand in the ring and fire Shane McMahon. Owens then left through the crowd.
Daniel Bryan was shown backstage, along with Charlotte and Ric Flair. We then saw the AOP promo that aired last night…[c]
My Take: So Owens has a clause in a wrongful termination suit that will allow him to fire the person that fired him? That’s not how that works…..but ok? Owens delivered a pretty good promo, but it wasn’t enough to make up for how stupid this has been.
Offset was in the ring wearing a pink Ric Flair robe. He gave Charlotte Flair a ring introduction. She gave him a hug as she got close to the ring. He then walked to the back. Lil’ Naitch opened the ropes for her as she got to the ring. Sasha Banks then made her entrance with Bayley. Footage was shown of the Charlotte run in from Raw last night. Charlotte hitting a big boot in spike heels going down the ramp was terrifying for her ankles.
2. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair: Charlotte took control early with a kick to the gut. She then dragged Sasha around the corners stomping on her. She then hit a suplex. Bayley tried to take the pad off the bottom turnbuckle, but Charlotte caught her. Everyone ended up at ringside, where a Bayley distraction allowed Sasha tos hove Charlotte into the post. Sasha brought the action back into the ring, where she kept the ref busy so Bayley could take cheap shots at Charlotte.
Sasha remained in control until Charlotte cut her down with a clothesline. She then hit a fallaway slam, and attacked Sasha’s knee in the corner. Charlotte then hit a neckbreaker and covered for a near fall. Sasha went for a headscissors, but Charlotte stayed on her feet and pulled her into a boston crab. After a moment, Sasha reversed into a rollup. Charlotte threw Sasha out to the apron, and then hit a big boot that sent Sasha to the floor. She then followed up and took out both Sasha and Bayley with a moonsault.
Back in the ring, a Bayley distraction allowed Sasha to roll Charlotte up for a near fall, but she broke free and applied a Figure Four. Bayley broke things up and stomped on Charlotte, causing a DQ.
Charlotte defeated Sasha Banks by DQ at 8:32
After the match, Carmella ran down to make a save, and ended up hitting several kicks and a superkick that sent Sasha packing. Charlotte hit a big boot that dumped Bayley to the floor. King Corbin is next…[c]
My Take: I’m not sure if Carmella is playing stand in for Becky, or if they want her to be more involved in the title picture after the draft. In either case, Sasha and Bayley continue to come out on the losing end of these situations when the odds aren’t in their favor.
Baron Corbin made his way to the ring in a suit for his coronation. Once he got to the ring, he was announced as the 2019 King of the Ring, and he put on his robe and crown. He then asked for a microphone. Corbin silenced the booing crowd by telling them tha he knows they are excited, but Baron Corbin as King is a breath of fresh air. He said he’s not the ruler they wanted, but he is the ruler they needed. He called himself dominant and strong, but also generous and fair. Corbin demanded respect as King, and everyone would find out very quickly that is he isn’t respected, he can rule with an iron fist.
Corbin said his first act as King was to recognize his opponent from last night, Chad Gable. Corbin said it was mighty big of him to come out, and while he was a little upset about last night, he should keep his head up high. After a few more bad short jokes, Gable grabbed a double leg and dumped Corbin through the royal chair. He then hit him twice with the scepter, and tore the robe in half. Gable then threw pieces of the chair out of the ring, before stomping on the crown. Corbin was left staring at what was left of his crown. The announce team put over the NXT show debuting tomorrow…[c]
My Take: Nice to see Gable not just sit there and sulk in the face of more lame short jokes. Here’s hoping we see some promos for Gable that establish a more fiery persona more fitting for an elite athlete.
B-Team and Heavy Machinery were in the ring. Otis was wearing trunks rather than a singlet, which got a reaction when he took off his shirt.
3. Heavy Machinery vs. The B-Team: Tucker dominated Axel in the early going, until Dallas caused a distraction. Both Dallas and Axel beat down Tucker, who eventually leveled Axel with a clothesline and made a tag to Otis. He cleared Axel from the ring witha body block and got fired up. He hit Dallas with a big suplex, and then splashed him in the corner. Otis fired up and hit the caterpillar, and then tagged in Tucker. He cleared Axel from the ring again, and then they hit the compactor on Dallas for the win.
Heavy Machinery defeated The B-Team at 3:39
After the match, Daniel Bryan was shown walking towards the ring next…[c]
My Take: Otis continues to get big reactions, which encouraging for Heavy Machinery’s trajectory after the draft.
Footage was shown of the Kofi and Brock confrontation from earlier in the show. The match was announced as official for October 4th. Daniel Bryan then made his entrance. He then grabbed a microphone, as the crowd started a chant for him. Bryan said a lot of people chanting his name are the same people accused him of being behind the attack on Roman Reigns. He said he understands why, and he understands now more than ever. He said he stands there exonerated of all wrongdoing, but he wasn’t there to talk about that, he was there to talk about Erick Rowan.
He said Rowan says people didn’t see him, but that’s a lie. He said he saw Erick Rowan, and his talent and intelligence. Bryan said when they won the Tag Team Championships, he thought of him as an equal and treated him as an equal. He said he thought of Rowan as a friend, because he is still his friend.
Rowan walked to the ring and told Bryan that he didn’t feel equal when he’d never let him talk. He didn’t feel equal when he was always standing in the background. He then told Bryan that he would no longer allow himself to be disrespected. Bryan got fired up and told Rowan that if he felt disrespected, he should do something about it. He said nothing he could do to him physically would amount to the breaking of their friendship and betrayal.
Harper then attacked Daniel Bryan from behind and they beat him down. Roman Reigns ran down to make the save. He had some early success, but eventually Harper took him down with huge clothesline on the outside. They then took Reigns and powerbombed him into the post on the outside. Rowan and Harper began dismantling the ringside area, pulling up mats and clearing the announce table. They beat up security and slammed them hard on the exposed contrete. They then hit a double slam on Bryan through the announce table. They continued to destroy more property after the show went off the air.
My Take: Guys, it’s almost like…the Bludgeon Brothers without the albatross of stupid characters around their necks. I’m here for it. That was a good close to the show, overall a pretty entertaining episode of Smackdown. Rowan and Bryan delivered a solid promo, and then the post show attack was well executed. Rowan and Harper look unstoppable, and unless we get another unexpected storyline twist, it appears we are seeing Daniel Bryan once again turn towards the light. WWE seems to be making a concerted effort to reintroduce more talent, and refresh some characters heading into the draft.