The John Report: WWE Smackdown Live 05/28/19 Review

Welcome to the WWE Smackdown Live Review for this week. Before I get started, I just wanted to say thank you for all the kind words coming from this week’s Raw Deal review, which was the 10 year anniversary of my Raw Deal reviews. I received a lot of emails, tweets, Facebook comments and so on over the last day with people sharing some kind words. I really appreciate it. As I have said many times, I try to be consistent in my writing and try to put a smile on my face when I write because even when a show is bad (like last night’s Raw), you need to find a way to laugh about it because in the end, it’s pro wrestling. It’s supposed to be fun. Thank you again for your support. It means a lot to me.

Live from Tulsa, Oklahoma, this is Smackdown Live for episode #1032. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. This review is sponsored by ICOPRO. Please visit daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.
Smackdown started with a video showing Dolph Ziggler’s attack on WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, which led to Ziggler saying repeatedly that he should have been the WWE Champion. They will have a match at Super Showdown for the WWE Title.
Kevin Owens made his entrance. The announce team is Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton as usual. They showed a video package showing when Owens joined New Day for a couple of weeks, then turned on Kingston and that set the stage for their Money in the Bank WWE Title match. Kingston won that match to retain the WWE Title.

Owens said that he was going to kick off the show with a Kevin Owens Show, but he didn’t want to do his show in Oklahoma for people that aren’t worthy of it. Owens said that in a few minutes he gets to beat the hell out of Kofi Kingston. Owens talked about how he got a taste of what it was like attacking members of the New Day. Owens said that he had nothing to do with Big E getting attacked last week. Owens claimed he was a good person that would never do something like that. Fans chanted “You Suck” at Owens. Owens said that they can blame him for Woods being in pain for several weeks and they can blame him for Kingston losing the WWE Title at Super Showdown because of what Owens does to Kingston tonight. Owens made it clear he wanted the WWE Title, announcer Tom Phillips wanted to get to the match and here comes Kingston.
Kofi Kingston made his entrance with the WWE Championship around his waist along with a tray of pancakes. Kingston tossed pancakes into the crowd prior to the match. Kingston was limping a bit to sell a left leg injury.
Kingston said that Owens was lying and that KO did attack Big E. Kingston told Owens he’s not a good person and he said that he is a liar. Kingston said Owens will not soften him up for Dolph Ziggler, Kofi told him tonight is the night that he pays for attacking Big E and Woods. Kingston told Owens he’ll have a very clear understanding of why Kofi is the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Kingston said “let’s go” to begin the match.
Analysis: Good promos from both guys as usual. Starting off Smackdown with a match is a good thing even though it took them ten minutes to get to the match. I don’t mind the quick promos because they do them very well.

Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens
This is not for Kofi’s WWE Title.
Kingston connected with a dropkick. Owens came back with a kick and Owens raked the eyes of Kingston against the top rope. Owens grabbed Kingston’s head and whipped it to the mat as the show went to break about one minute into this match.
Owens was still in control after the break as he hit a senton splash on Kofi while they were outside the ring. Back in the ring, Owens slapped on a chinlock. Kingston broke free, but Owens stopped him with a clothesline followed by another chinlock and when Kingston broke free, Owens slammed him into the mat again. Kingston came back with a kick to the gut, Owens charged and Kingston sent him over the top to the floor. Kingston with a kick to the floor followed by a running attack where Kingston landed back first onto Owens while Kingston had a rough landing right on his tailbone. Back in the ring, Kingston avoided KO’s superkick and Kingston hit a SOS spinning slam for a two count. Kingston went up top for another attack, but Owens shoved him and Kingston went crashing to the floor. That was a rough looking bump for Kofi on his legs as they went to break about ten minutes into it.
Owens was still in control with a chinlock, then he launched Kingston over the top to the apron and Owens kicked Kingston in the head to knock him out of the ring. Owens hit a Frog Splash off the apron onto Kingston the floor. The ref counted, but Kingston managed to get back in the ring before the ten count. Back in the ring, Owens with another Frog Splash, this time from the top turnbuckle and that got a two count. Great nearfall. Owens went back up top, Kingston stopped him from doing another attack and Kingston punched Owens in the back repeatedly. Kingston went up top for a superplex, but Owens connected with two headbutts. Owens hit a Swanton Bomb (used to be a Senton Bomb before Jeff Hardy renamed it) that got a two count. Owens went for a Popup Powerbomb, Kingston avoided it and Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Kofi Kingston

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a really good match with Owens on offense for about 90% of it, then Kingston managed to avoid his finisher and the Trouble in Paradise was enough to win it. They probably could have set up the finish a bit better, but the way they booked it does make the Trouble in Paradise look like an awesome finisher. Plus, I like seeing champions win non-title like Kingston did here and Rollins did on Raw. They need to do that for the other champions in WWE. These guys work well together.

There was a shot of Shane McMahon backstage with Elias and Baron Corbin while a graphic let us know there will be a “Shane McMahon Appreciation Night” tonight. Yawn.
R-Truth, the 24/7 Champion, was backstage with Carmella with Truth talking about how hard it was being the champion. Truth and Carmella walked into a laundry room. Drake Maverick put “Wanted R-Truth” signs on the walls, then Truth and Carmella ran down the hallway the other way.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan entered the arena. They are the Smackdown Tag Team Champions.
PLUG TIME: I reviewed the AEW debut show “Double or Nothing” from Saturday night, so please check that out here. It was pretty awesome, especially the last three matches. My favorite match was Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes, which was an old school bloodbath type match that I’m sure their late father Dusty would have loved. I also liked the Young Bucks vs. Lucha Brothers a lot. The Chris Jericho match against Kenny Omega wasn’t as good as their match last year, but it was still a worthy main event. It was also cool to see Jon Moxley (former Dean Ambrose) debut. I expected it, but you don’t really know until it happens. Overall, I really enjoyed it. It was a fun night of wrestling and it’s good for us fans to have even more quality wrestling programming to watch.

There was a graphic letting us know that WWE had 1 billion social media followers. That doesn’t mean they have 1 billion different people following their socials because repeats would count. It’s still something worth bragging about and we know WWE loves to brag.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan were in the ring with Kayla Braxton there to ask them what they wanted to say. Bryan said that the tag team division is a joke. Rowan did a “knock knock” joke saying the Smackdown tag team division, Braxton said, “the tag team division who?” and he said “exactly.” Hilarious! Bryan said that only will they be the greatest tag team of all time, but they dedicate their lives to saving this planet unlike all of these people that were eating the beautiful creatures of this planet. Bryan said while these fat, ignorant humans were stuffing their faces with hot dogs, it was a pig named Wiggles. Bryan said that while they ate hamburgers, that was a nurturing cow named Wilbur. Brown claimed that the people of Oklahoma are worse than anybody while letting us know that they are leaders in manufacturing and oil drilling while telling them that it gives them earthquakes. Bryan said their mission statement is to save the tag team division and to save the planet while adding that they are the Planet’s Tag Team Champions. Braxton said she was told there are teams that want to challenge them.
The Heavy Machinery duo of Tucker and Otis made their entrance in their ring gear just like Bryan and Rowan.

Tucker said that Bryan and Rowan are a great tag team. Tucker said that while they love to have fun, it’s time for Heavy Machinery to get down to business. Otis said that business involves getting those Smackdown Tag Team Championships. A referee ran down to the ring. Bryan said that they accepted the challenge, but they won’t have this match in this “fracking” state of Oklahoma. Bryan and Rowan left.
Analysis: Daniel Bryan promos are the best. I’m sure the planet would agree with me. Bryan is my favorite promo guy in WWE. I think a lot of fans would agree with the statement that the tag team division is a joke because WWE’s creative team has neglected it. It seemed like they would have a match here, but I’m fine with building it up a bit. I think Heavy Machinery should get some wins over other teams (if there are other teams) in order to build them up for a title match.
Bayley was shown backstage warming up for her match against Lacey Evans.
Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose were backstage with stacks of Muscle & Fitness HERS magazine with Mandy on the cover. They passed out the magazines to The IIconics when they were walking down a hallway along with some random guys backstage. They went up to Ember Moon, who was reading Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, so Sonya told her that everybody dies. They gave Ember the magazine and they left, which led to Moon tossing the magazines down. Mandy vs. Carmella is next.

A “better together duo” video presented by Sonic that showed highlights of Mandy and Sonya working well together as a team called Fire N Desire.
Carmella was already in the ring. The end of Mandy Rose’s entrance was shown. Next time show all of it, jerks.
Mandy Rose (w/Sonya Deville) vs. Carmella

Rose locked up with Carmella while Graves was excited about Rose like usual even though Graves is dating Carmella. Rose grabbed the magazine to taunt Carmella and Carmella kicked it out of her hand. Carmella took down Rose with a Thesz Press tackle. Rose came back by grabbing Carmella and sending her face first into the middle turnbuckle. Good bump. Rose slapped on a chinlock while Deville held up the Rose magazine. Carmella with a jawbreaker on Rose and Rose came back with a running knee (Kiss from a Rose) to the face for a two count. Carmella came back with a headscissors followed by a bronco buster against the turnbuckle for two. Deville with a distraction, Rose avoided a kick and Rose pinned Carmella with a rollup that wasn’t the ROLLUP OF DEATH~!, but it was similar to that. The match went only three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mandy Rose
Analysis: * A quick match to put over Rose, which was the right decision because they need to build her up with wins like that. Plus, it was a cheap win thanks to a distraction from Sonya. It was smart to keep it under five minutes as well.

R-Truth was shown in the hallway of the arena trying to avoid people. Jinder Mahal tried an attack, but Truth was ready for him and threw him into a door. Truth went into some photo booth backstage as midcarders (poor Matt Hardy) and 205 Live guys chased after Truth. Drake Maverick finally ran into Truth, but Truth got away.
Analysis: I’m still waiting for one of these segments to make me laugh. I know it’s a comedy title, but it’s not that interesting to me.

Shane McMahon entered with Elias and Drew McIntyre by his side.
Aleister Black was shown backstage in a darkened room doing one of his promos talking about himself. Black said he knows that we are looking for him to pick a fight with somebody, anybody, but there lies a conundrum. Black said that he is sitting there waiting patiently for somebody, anybody to pick a fight with him. That was it.

Shane McMahon Appreciation
Shane was in the ring with Drew and Elias along with a red carpet in the ring. The Best in the World trophy was at ringside while ring announcer Greg Hamilton did the special introduction.
Shane said that he likes his life and he likes sharing it with us. Shane said that he came back to run the family business. Shane claimed that they have something here to make sure that there will be smiles on your faces.
A video package aired showing Shane McMahon highlights from his career over the last 20 years. Shane said that the production team was amazing and he thanked (WWE Executive Producer) Kevin Dunn. When fans booed, he told them not to boo Kevin Dunn.
Shane said that video was for Roman Reigns. Shane said he was sick and tired of Roman breaking all the rules while reminding Roman that the McMahon family was putting food on the table for Roman’s family for years. Shane claimed that not only will he beat Reigns at Super Showdown, he’ll beat some respect into him.

Elias said that in honor of Shane, he wrote him a song. Elias sang about Shane being the best in the world, the greatest man he ever saw and he said Texas is better than Oklahoma. The 24/7 Champion R-Truth ran in from the crowd and Drake Maverick was with him. Truth kicked Maverick and hit a front suplex on him. Truth pinned Maverick to retain the title even though he really didn’t have to pin him.
Truth was attacked by Shane, Drew and Elias. Shane kicked Truth in the gut leading to punches from Drew and Elias hit the Drift Away neckbreaker on Truth. McIntyre hit the Claymore Kick on Truth. Elias pinned Truth and the ref counted the pin, so Elias was the new 24/7 Champion.
Analysis: That is the first championship that Elias has won in his WWE career. The segment was boring, which was probably the point of it because it got some heel heat for Shane and his buddies.

Shane told Truth that since he wanted to interject himself in his celebration, which is obviously a no-no, it gave Shane an idea. Shane said that Elias and Drew McIntyre will team up with R-Truth and Roman Reigns. Shane said that he is suspending the 24/7 rules until the conclusion of the Elias match. The heels left.
Lacey Evans was in the locker room drinking some tea along with Charlotte Flair. They complained about Becky Lynch and Bayley with Evans saying they’ll send Bayley back to the kiddie pool where she belongs. They drank some tea.
Analysis: It’s the Vince McMahon Dream Team since he likes the tall blonde women wrestlers like Flair and Evans.

Bayley made her entrance for the match against Evans.
A new match was announced for WWE Super Showdown on June 7: Lars Sullivan vs. Lucha House Party. It is Sullivan’s first official match on the main roster.
Charlotte Flair was on commentary for the next match. She bragged about being a 9-time Women’s Champion. Lacey Evans made her entrance.

Bayley vs. Lacey Evans
This is not for Bayley’s Smackdown Women’s Title.
Bayley got a two count early on. Flair complained about how she wasn’t even on her feet when Bayley pinned her to cash in Money in the Bank as Evans worked over Bayley against the ropes. Evans tried a rollup, but Bayley came back with a knee to the face. Evans managed to trip up Bayley followed by an elbow drop to the gut. Bayley was on the floor near where Flair was on commentary, so Flair stood up to look at her. That led to a break.
The match returned with Evans in control with a chinlock until Bayley came back with a cross body block. Evans grabbed Bayley by the hair and slammed her down. Flair suggested that she become a tag team with Evans. Lacey wiped her sweat and tossed the tissue onto Bayley followed by a jumping kick in the corner for a two count. When Evans tried an attack off the apron, Bayley punched her and Bayley hit a neckbreaker using the ropes for an assist. Bayley hit a running dropkick on the apron followed by a clothesline. Flair got in Bayley’s face at ringside. Bayley knocked Flair down outside the ring with a forearm to the face. Back in the ring, Evans got a rollup for two. Bayley got her own ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and put her body on top of Evans for the pinfall win after eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley

Analysis: **1/4 It was just okay with the dreaded rollup striking again. It’s good to see another champion win non-title although it was not really a dominant win for Bayley. Evans will need to get some wins on Raw to give her some positive momentum because right now fans aren’t going to see her as a star.

Post match, Evans hit Flair with a forearm to the back. Flair fought her off and gave Evans a boot to the face to knock her down. Referees showed up to break up that fight. Bayley was smiling about it.
Analysis: It seems like they are building to Bayley vs. Flair as the next Smackdown Women’s Title match, which is fine since Flair is the top heel on the brand. They have good matches together.

R-Truth was backstage with Carmella, who told him that he’ll be okay for this match.
A look back at the Triple H vs. Randy Orton rivalry is next. Again?
It was announced that The Undertaker will be on Raw next Monday in Austin, Texas. I believe he lives there. Anyway, it is going to hype up Undertaker vs. Goldberg at Super Showdown on June 7.
There was a video package to promote Triple H vs. Randy Orton at Super Showdown on June 7th. It was not the same video that they showed last week. What they focused on are some of the vicious attacks that both men have done in their careers since they are two of the best heels in WWE history. It also put over dominance for the last two decades. For this match, Triple H will be the face and Orton will be the heel.
Analysis: I think Orton should get the win since he’s the active wrestler while Triple H is a part-timer. Plus, there are rumors of an Orton feud with Roman Reigns this summer, so that’s why it makes sense to have Orton win.

Andrade and Zelina Vega were interviewed backstage by Sarah Schreiber. They showed Finn Balor making some comments to last week featuring highlights of Balor taking some crazy bumps on ladders during the Money in the Bank ladder match. Balor was not cleared to wrestle last week. Andrade said that Balor didn’t just get Powerbombed on a ladder, Andrade did it. Andrade said if Balor wants to fight him at Super Showdown, he better find his inner demon when he steps up to Andrade.
Analysis: That was a rare promo where Vega didn’t say anything on behalf of Andrade. I know that Andrade has been taking English lessons, so WWE is letting him talk more. English isn’t his first language, but I can understand him and if he keeps working at it, that’s great for him and his future. Anyway, Balor will be in “Demon” gear at Super Showdown, which should mean that Balor retains the Intercontinental Title. Andrade will likely win the IC Title perhaps later this summer.

Roman Reigns made his entrance for the main event tag team match. Good pop for him.
The Firefly Fun House video featuring Bray Wyatt was shown. It was the same video that was on Raw. There wasn’t much to it this week.
R-Truth made his entrance and he was limping towards the ring without Carmella joining him. Elias and Drew McIntyre attacked Truth in the aisle. Reigns left the ring to save Elias, so he whipped McIntyre into the ring post and Reigns sent Elias into the barricade. They went back into the ring to start the match.

Roman Reigns and R-Truth vs. Drew McIntyre and Elias (w/Shane McMahon)
Reigns was aggressive early in the match. The heels took control against Reigns for a couple of minutes and then Reigns hit a Samoan Drop on Elias. Truth got the tag, so McIntyre hit him with a Glasgow Kiss headbutt. They left the ring where McIntyre slammed Truth against the edge of the ring apron. That led to a break.
The heels were still in control with about seven minutes left in the show as Elias knocked down Truth with a clothesline. McIntyre tagged in with an overhead belly to belly suplex for a two count. McIntyre with a vertical suplex followed by punches. Elias tagged in so that he could get some punches and chops on Truth. McIntyre went back in with an armbar leading to more double team work from the heels. Truth managed to send Elias into the steel ring post. Truth sent McIntyre out of the ring as well. Reigns got the hot tag leading to a big explosion from the crowd. Reigns with punches for both guys, then a clothesline to Elias and a boot to the face by Reigns to Elias. Reigns with a Superman Punch to McIntyre, then Elias left the ring and Reigns hit him with a Drive By dropkick. Shane put his hands on Reigns, then Reigns grabbed him and McIntyre missed a Claymore Kick because Reigns moved, so McIntyre bumped onto the announce table. Back in the ring, Elias tried a move, Reigns avoided it and Reigns hit a Spear on Elias for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Roman Reigns and R-Truth

Analysis: ** It was a very basic tag team match that went exactly as most people expect. Reigns was on the apron for most of it, Truth finally broke free and Reigns got the win. A little more creativity would have been nice. It was like a house show tag team match.

After the match, Shane and Drew went up the ramp while Elias was down in the ring.
Reigns realized what that meant to have Elias in the ring, so Reigns hit another Spear on Elias. Reigns told Truth to cover Elias, so Truth covered and the referee counted to give the 24/7 Title back to R-Truth. Truth celebrated with Reigns and that ended Smackdown.
Analysis: The “coveted” 24/7 Title is back in the hands of R-Truth. It’s not that interesting, but it’s mildly fun and that’s okay. I like Truth just like the fans do.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Kofi Kingston
  2. Kevin Owens
  3. R-Truth


The Scoreboard
6 out of 10
Last week: 7
2019 Average: 6.93 (Raw is 5.45)
Last 5 Weeks: 7, 6.5, 7.5, 6, 8
2019 High: 8.5 (February 26)
2019 Low: 5 (January 15)

Final Thoughts
I give this week’s Smackdown a 6 out of 10.
Smackdown was just average this week with the Kingston vs. Owens match as the highlight. That was very good. I’m tired of Shane McMahon getting too much TV time. The main event was the most formulaic tag team with Reigns on the apron for most of it, then he got the hot tag and cleaned house as you would expect.
The women’s matches were fine, but they had similar finishes with the distractions on the floor leading to rollup pins. Can we get some more creativity there? Repetitive finishes bother me.
It was better than Raw because unlike Raw we got to see matches in the first hour. There’s also less filler on Smackdown. With that said, this was not an episode that you need to go out of your way to see if you missed it.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Super Showdown on June 7th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Here’s what we know so far.
The Undertaker vs. Bill Goldberg
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Baron Corbin
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Intercontinental Championship: “Demon” Finn Balor (c) vs. Andrade
Lars Sullivan vs. Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado)
50-man battle royal

More matches will be announced soon…except women’s matches, which is a damn shame.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays.

John Canton

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