By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown on FS1
Aired live on October 25, 2019 from Kansas City, Missouri at Sprint Center
[Hour One] The Smackdown opening aired and then pyro shot off on the stage along with the laser show… Michael Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary, and Cole noted that Crown Jewel is less than a week away…
Ring announcer Greg Hamilton introduced The Miz, who was in the ring with Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan, and their respective team members Shinsuke Nakamura and King Corbin, and Roman Reigns, Shorty G, and Ali. Sami Zayn and Jimmy Hart were also in the ring.
Hogan and Flair exchanged verbal jabs. Flair said Hogan isn’t a leader like he is. Flair said the match will be just like he and Hogan are going at it again. Flair said he’s tired of looking at Reigns (insert your own joke here). Hogan said Flair never beat him and it’s not happening at Crown Jewel.
Sami Zayn interrupted the verbal jousting and mocked Shorty G by saying he could stand on Ali’s shoulders and he’d only be half the man that Nakamura is. Shorty G, who had new Shorty Gear blue and green gear, said he’s embraced who he is and he will silence all the doubters at Crown Jewel. Ali said Zayn doesn’t even compete anymore, he’s just a mouthpiece. He said that’s ironic given how bad Zayn’s breath stinks.
Corbin asked who Ali is and told him that he was standing in the presence of a king. Corbin said Reigns will do what he always does by letting everyone down. Corbin said Reigns is a former champion, but it’s his kingdom now. Corbin said Reigns will bow to him. He said the people don’t need a hero, they need a ruler, and he will rule with an iron fist.
“Corbin, shut up, man,” Reigns said. He said Corbin isn’t a real king and his king garb is stupid. Shorty G fired up and said he was ready to fight. Hogan pointed out that there were three men on each side and called for an early preview in the form of a six-man tag match. Zayn said they would take it under advisement and get back to them. Flair and his team members left the ring.
Hogan called for the match again. Zayn said the match was on, then said he tweaked his neck on the flight to the show and is on the “do not touch” list. He said he has a close relationship with someone in the back who has been waiting for an opportunity like this. Cesaro made his entrance and shook hands with the heels. Cesaro walked toward the ring. Reigns left the right and punched him. A brawl broke out. The babyfaces ended up standing tall in the ring while Hogan’s music played…
Cole hyped Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez meeting face to face during the show, and Graves hyped the new Firefly Funhouse… Big E and Kofi Kingston were shown walking backstage while holding a computer notebook that was broadcasting Xavier Woods… [C]
Powell’s POV: The Team Flair vs. Team Hogan match does nothing for me, but Flair and Hogan have been good for ratings and obviously appeal to the Saudis who are paying for the show. I just can’t get over the ridiculousness of the Shorty G name.
A graphic boasted about WWE reaching five million YouTube subscribers…
Big E and Kofi Kingston made their entrance. The broadcast team noted that Xavier Woods underwent successful surgery to repair a torn Achilles earlier in the day. They also said the New Day duo will challenge The Revival for the Smackdown Tag Titles next week. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler made their entrances (yes, Ziggler’s opposite of glorious entrance music is still a thing)…
1. Big E and Kofi Kingston vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. The broadcast team hyped the tag team turmoil match for Crown Jewel. A graphic showed all the teams and included AJ Styles, whom the broadcast team quickly noted would not be in the match because he’ll be defending the U.S. Title against the winner of a battle royal at Crown Jewel. They cut to a break a minute into the match. [C]
The B-Team was shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Moments later, Ziggler rolled up Kingston and pinned him.
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler defeated Big E and Kofi Kingston in 5:20.
After the match, “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder ran out and attacked the New Day pair. Ziggler and Roode helped in the beatdown. “Heavy Machinery” Tucker and Otis came out to even the sides. The babyfaces cleared the ring. Lucha House Party was shown watching on a backstage monitor. There was some tension between New Day and Heavy Machinery while Cole played up the idea that it will be every team for itself at Crown Jewel…
Rey Mysterio was shown hugging his son Dominick and Cain Velasquez backstage… [C]
Powell’s POV: The outcome of the tag team match was a legitimate surprise given that New Day will be challenging for the tag titles next week. Several readers were nice enough to point out that I missed Kofi Kingston intensely squeezing a pancake with his hand last week while talking about the power of positivity, so I assume Kingston taking the loss plays into his frustration building.
Kansas City artwork was shown while Cole set up a video package on Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury for Crown Jewel… Graves said his sources told him that Fury will be 100 percent on Thursday (despite playing up an ankle injury from the WWE Performance Center angle)…
2. Lacey Evans vs. Camron Connors. Evans made her entrance for a match against a local wrestler. Evans took the mic and said she has far too much respect for herself as a woman to face “this nasty thing.” Evans called for the bell and teased leaving, then rushed to the ring to beat the referee’s count and hit Connors with the Woman’s Right and pinned her…
Lacey Evans beat Camron Connors.
Nikki Cross stood backstage and was interviewed by Cole. She spoke about Mandy Rose being gorgeous and said it’s not a beauty contest… Graves said the Firefly Funhouse was up next… [C]
The broadcast team set up footage of Seth Rollins burning down the Firefly Funhouse on Raw two weeks ago. Graves said it’s their understanding that Wyatt rebuilt the Funhouse, but not everyone made it out unscathed…
The new Firefly Funhouse aired. Wyatt and his puppets Abby, Huskis, and Mercy were holding a memorial service for Ramblin’ Rabbit on the usual set. Wyatt said the rabbit always wanted an open casket. He opened a small box that had a mangled rabbit inside. Wyatt kissed the mangled head and said “goodnight sweet prince.” Music played and Wyatt put the puppet down. A graphic flashed on the screen and then Ramblin’ Rabbit was alive and well. The buzzard at the rabbit. “Oh, Mercy,” Wyatt said. He closed by saying he’d see everyone at Crown Jewel…
Powell’s POV: We have a new addition to the list of things that will survive a nuclear holocaust: Cockroaches, Impact Wrestling, and Ramblin’ Rabbit.
3. Drew Gulak vs. Kalisto (w/Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik). The Lucha House Party’s brief pre-tape was shown with the trio introducing themselves and saying they are on Smackdown. The bell rang to start the match. Gulak grabbed the mic and said he wanted to finish his powerpoint presentation on how Braun Strowman can lose his match to Tyson Fury. Kalisto kicked Gulak from behind and went on the offensive. Gulak came back quickly, but he was distracted by Braun Strowman making his entrance. Kalisto hit Salida Del Sol and scored the pin.
Kalisto defeated Drew Gulak in 2:40.
After the match, Strowman entered the ring and the Lucha House Party trio scurried. Strowman picked up Gulak and put him down with a running powerslam. The fans called for “one more time” and Strowman obliged. He told the fans that this is what happens when you disrespect him. Strowman said at least Gulak deserves to be in the ring unlike Tyson Fury…
The broadcast team hyped the six-man tag main event… Daniel Bryan was shown walking backstage. Cole said there were questions about Bryan’s state of mind. He said he would ask the hard question of whether the Yes Movement is back… [C]
Powell’s POV: This has to be insulting to regular 205 Live viewers who saw Gulak ditch the powerpoint presentation bit and become the dominant champion of the brand only to revert to becoming a goofball on the main roster. And if that’s not bad enough, there’s the whole thing with the dominant cruiserweight champion being destroyed by Strowman with ease.
Renee Young and Booker T checked in from the WWE Backstage studio and hyped that Finn Balor would appear on the show…
Michael Cole stood in the ring and introduced Daniel Bryan, who joined him in the ring for an interview. Cole said Bryan was reluctant to take part when the fans recently chanted Yes. Cole asked if the Yes Moment was back. Before Bryan could answer, Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance music played and he and Sami Zayn walked onto the stage. Zayn spoke as they walked to and eventually entered the ring.
[Hour Two] Zayn said he and Nakamura found it impressive that he beat Nakamura last week. Zayn said up footage of Bryan stating in a promo from last November that the version of him that people love is dead. Zayn said the people booed him because they didn’t like the new Daniel Bryan. Zayn said he’s known Bryan a long time and the new Daniel Bryan is actually the real Daniel Bryan.
Zayn said Bryan meant every word he said. Zayn said Bryan is a good and honorable man, whereas the fans are not good and honorable. He said Bryan legitimately cares about the planet and the environment, but the fans don’t care about anyone but themselves. Zayn said Bryan has nothing in common with the people. He said Bryan does have a lot in common with him and Nakamura. Zayn said he’s also a vegan and Nakamura cares about environmental issues. Zayn encouraged Bryan to join them and asked if he wanted to move backwards with the fans or forward with the two of them. Zayn offered Bryan a handshake.
Bryan looked to the crowd while holding out his hand. Bryan eventually pulled his hand back and left the ring. Bryan’s music played as he walked toward the back. Bryan looked down as he walked, then turned and looked back at Zayn and Nakamura…
Powell’s POV: A good angle with Zayn using quality heel logic while appealing to Bryan. I like that they opted to drag this out rather than have Bryan pick a side, as it will pack more of a punch once he does reveal where he stands.
A shot aired of Hogan, Hart, Reigns, Ali, and Shorty G, then another showed Nikki Cross backstage while the broadcast team hyped both matches…
Cole set up a touching video package regarding a woman named Holly, who works for WWE and survived a battle with breast cancer… [C]
4. Nikki Cross vs. Mandy Rose (w/Sonya Deville). A portion of Rose’s entrance was televised, while Cross received a full entrance. Sasha Banks and Bayley sat in on commentary. Rose performed a fallaway slam that resulted in a one count. Deville took a cheap shot at Cross at ringside while the referee was tied up with Rose. Cross came back with a top rope cross body block for a two count. Cross kicked Deville through the ropes and avoided Rose’s running knee. Cross hit a neckbreaker on Rose and pinned her…
Nikki Cross defeated Mandy Rose in 4:30.
Velasquez and Mysterio were shown walking together backstage… [C]
Powell’s POV: The commentary was more interesting than the match. Bayley did a nice job of telling the obvious story of Cross reminding her of herself five or six years ago. Maybe I missed something, but why is Mysterio appearing on Smackdown? Paul Heyman went out of his way to say that he could appear on Raw because he’s merely an advocate, so hopefully that was addressed and I just missed it.
Cole set up footage of the grand opening to Riyadh Season in Saudi Arabia, which featured Undertaker on a float while fireworks shot off…
Cain Velasquez and Rey Mysterio made their entrance. Mysterio still had his left arm in a sling to sell the Brock Lesnar attack. Cole narrated still shots of Velasquez defeating Lesnar to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship. Mysterio said his son was beaten down and has shown that he is a Mysterio.
Mysterio said Dominick is slowly getting better and wanted him to thank the fans for their support, and nothing will interfere with him eventually entering the ring as a wrestler. Mysterio said it’s time for Lesnar to pay for what he did to his son. Mysterio said Velasquez will drop Lesnar again and put a scar on the other side of his face. Mysterio called out Brock Lesnar for the face to face segment.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were shown standing backstage. Heyman referred to Velasquez as a paid thug. Heyman took issue with the idea of going “face to scarred face.” Heyman said Lesnar has other things to do. The fans booed. Heyman told them no booing. Heyman asked if they could guess what or where Lesnar has been doing. Mysterio called for them to come out for the face to face. Heyman said if they won’t guess what or where, would they guess to whom Lesnar had been doing things to.
Heyman said he would have Lesnar give them a spoiler. Lesnar reached down and picked up a knocked out Dominick. Lesnar laughed and released him. Mysterio and Velasquez left the ring to help Dominick going into a break… [C]
Powell’s POV: A decent angle, but the flaw was that Mysterio came off like a simpleton for having no idea what Heyman was referring to. The Saudis obviously wanted crossover stars for this event, but I actually think there would be more interest amongst pro wrestling fans in a Lesnar vs. Mysterio match at this point. Velasquez hasn’t clicked yet, though perhaps a hot match with Lesnar can change that.
An ad for Raw hyped The King’s Court with Rusev and Lana, and Becky Lynch in a non-title match against Kairi Sane…
Dominick was lying on a trainer’s table and being tended to by a trainer. Lesnar entered the room and hit Mysterio, Velasquez, and the trainer with a trashcan. Lesnar picked up Mysterio and F5’d him into the wall, then hoisted up Velasquez and gave him and F5 onto Dominick…
Powell’s POV: Lesnar F5’ing Mysterio into the wall is the closest anyone has come to the greatness of Kevin Nash using Rey as a human lawn dart on WCW Nitro.
Ring entrances for the main event took place. Reigns received pyro as part of his entrance… [C]
Cain Velasquez stood backstage and yelled Brock into the camera while also saying a few lines in Spanish…
5. Roman Reigns, Ali, and Shorty G (w/Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and King Corbin (w/Ric Flair, Sami Zayn). Cole pointed out that Cesaro is not actually on Team Flair at Crown Jewel and ran through the lineups for both teams. The heels were in offensive control going into a break at 4:50. [C]
Renee Young checked in with the rest of the crew from WWE Backstage and said Roman Reigns would speak with them following the Smackdown main event.
The heels isolated Ali, who eventually made a hot tag to Shorty G. Shorty worked over Corbin and performed a moonsault for a near fall. Shorty applied an ankle lock, but Nakaura ran in and broke the hold with a running knee. Corbin and Nakamura went for a double superplex, but Shorty knocked them off the ropes and performed a double missile dropkick. Shorty made a hot tag to Reigns.
Reigns went for a Superman Punch that Cesaro ducked. Cesaro took down Reigns and gave him The Swing and then applied a Sharpshooter. A short time later, Reigns avoided the Neutralizer. Cesaro went for a springboard move and ate a Superman Punch. Reigns speared Cesaro and then tagged Ali, who performed a 450 splash on Cesaro and pinned him…
Roman Reigns, Ali, and Shorty G beat Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and King Corbin in 4:50.
Powell’s POV: A good six-man tag match. Reigns came off like. good guy for having Ali perform his finisher and get the pin for his team, and it was smart to have Cesaro take the pin for the heels since he’s not actually in the match. Overall, Smackdown was better this week than that dreadful formula show from last week. I’m looking forward to the company getting past Crown Jewel so that we get some fresh storylines. I will have more to say in my exclusive audio review for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by voting in our poll in a separate post on the main page.
“Ali said Zayn doesn’t even compete anymore, he’s just a mouthpiece. He said that’s ironic given how bad Zayn’s breath stinks.”
Gee. I wonder who wrote that little gem.
Are you kidding me? I can still hear Pucker Up Pritchard guffawing after Vince suggested it
“A graphic boasted about WWE reaching 50,000 YouTube subscribers…”
It’s 50 million, not 50,000.