Greg DeMarco brings the Three Stars of The Night back once again with the March 19 episode of WWE Smackdown!
Smackdown was a pivotal episode on the Road To WrestleMania, as the world waited for Kofi Kingston to solidify his spot at WrestleMania. And in true WWE brilliance, Vince McMahon pulled the carpet out from under Kofi’s feet, continuing the story for a little longer. Now, it’s Three Stars time…shall we?
The Third Star:
The Miz is one of the greatest heels WWE has ever seen, even if you don’t want to admit it. Now, he’s a big babyface, and he’s standing opposite another great heel in Shane McMahon. Conventional wisdom would say that Miz should be a heel and Shane a face, but the roles are flipped and it’s working. It was interesting to see The Miz call out Vince McMahon along the way, but Vince is the baddiest of bad bad guys in the history of ever, so it works. Either way, Miz delivered in this promo, and got his coveted spot on the Three Stars.
The Second Star: Elias
Randy Orton is one of the most underappreciated wrestlers in WWE. We’re headed to WrestleMania 35–Orton appeared at his first WrestleMania at #20. He faced The Undertaker at 21. Triple H at 25, ten years ago. And he’s still going strong. Orton worked his ass off for Kofi, and he’s delivering a great program with AJ Styles on the Road to WrestleMania.
Honorable Mention: The IIconics, Cesaro, Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch.
And now… a distinction usually reserved
for the top performer of the night …the first star!
The First Star: Kofi Kingston
If you need me to explain to you why Kofi Kingston is the First Star, you should pick up a new hobby. Or at least, hit me up on social media and we can talk about what he did here, and has been doing since the build to Elimination Chamber. WWE keeps throwing curveballs, and they very well might continue through WrestleMania itself, but Kofi will come out on top. He did just that tonight, until Daniel Bryan (well, really Vince McMahon) showed up.
In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.
Chris King’s WWE SmackDown Live Grades & Analysis For 7/9/19
Tonight is the Go-Home SmackDown Live for Extreme Rules this Sunday. We finally find out who knocked on Aleister Black’s door? Also what matches will be added from the Blue brand for this Sunday?
Tonight is the Go-Home SmackDown Live for Extreme Rules this Sunday. We finally find out who knocked on Aleister Black’s door? Also what matches will be added from the Blue brand for this Sunday?
Chris’s Grades For WWE SmackDown Live:
- Finn Balor vs. Shinsuke Nakamura–A
- Nikki Cross vs. Carmella
- Daniel Bryan vs. Otis vs. Xavier Woods Triple-threat-Match–B+
- Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler–B- Would have been an A without out all the outside interference and shenanigans.
The show opens with footage from earlier today in the parking lot, where Dolph Ziggler is being interviewed by Kayla Braxton. She asked about his tag team partner from last week; Kevin Owens he says “you mean the guy that I carried on my back, just like I have carried this company for ten years”, KO pulls up and honks his horn which aggravates Ziggler. After mince words, they begin brawling and are torn apart by some of the roster. “The Best in the World” and Commissioner of SmackDown Live Shane McMahon breaks it up and kicks KO out of the building.
We’re backstage as Sarah Schrieber is interviewing McMahon about his decision to kick Owens out, he claims he’s got some intriguing ideas for the main event that was going to be Ziggler vs. Owens. We’re finally going live with the theme music playing; Corey Graves and Tom Phillips welcome us, KO immediately shuts it down and he’s got something to get off his chest! “I’ve tried to be a good company guy, but it’s gotten me nowhere”; he brought up how the McMahon Family ushered in a new era where they would listen to the WWE Universe, instead all we’ve witnessed is Shane McMahon with more control and more authority and receiving way more TV time than anyone ever wanted!
Owens has had enough and McMahon cuts off his mic as he’s screaming names that haven’t seen tv time. The WWE Universe is chanting “Kevin Owens”. This is FREAKIN Gold, KO will make a fantastic rebel against the authority! Face turn back possibly?
We roll backstage to see the Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor making his way to the ring for his match with Shinsuke Nakamura for the first-time-ever on SmackDown Live. They faced each other once on NXT before Balor made the jump to the main roster and this was a passing of the torch.
Back live as Nakamura is making his entrance. Balor is out next…This is going to be electric. Bell rings and they tie up. Nakamura eats a stiff dropkick. Balor was getting stomped in the corner as we roll to commercial. Back live as Balor speeding things up with high-octane offense. Nakamura wants the Kinshasa but it’s countered into a Slingblade. Coup de Grace… nope. “The King of Strong Styles” hits a nasty knee strike on the ring apron, followed by a Kinshasa outside…countout nope…one more Kinshasa for good measure and the 1-2-3
The Best in the World Huddle: We see McMahon, Elias and “The Scottish Psychopath” Drew McIntyre discussing what happened last night with Cedric Alexander outsmarting them. McIntyre brings out that they still won and on Sunday they will have the physical and mental advantage. Ziggler interrupts and he’s pissed about his match with Owens off, McMahon books him against Roman Reigns instead. McIntyre is not sure about this partnership.
We see a replay of Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe’s face-to-face explosive encounter. Joe gives one of his best promos in WWE to date. He offered Kofi compassion last week and clemency to his loved ones. He vows to expose him for the lie that he truly is and take his WWE Championship.
Back live as Kayla Braxton is introducing both opponents for the SmackDown Live Women’s Championship Match, Bayley and Nikki Cross (who is representing Alexa Bliss as well). We get a recap of last night’s Beat The Clock Challenge. Bayley starts things off by once again trying to be the voice of reason to Cross, but she’s not accepting it. Cross reveals that Bliss promised her that on Sunday they will become the first-ever SmackDown Live Women’s Co-Champions. She tells Bayley to stick around for her match with Carmella.
We return from commercial with WWE’s “Twisted Sister” taking out all her frustrations and aggression on Mella. Throughout every kick and headlock, Cross stares a hole through Bayley. Mella attempts a comeback but Cross drops her with the PURGE and the 1-2-3.
The Kabuki Warriors Are Coming: We see live footage from two weeks ago in Tokyo, Japan Asuka and Kairi Sane got a massive victory over The Iconics. Backstage Peyton Royce and Billy Kay are exiting the dressing room and Paige and the Kabuki Warriors are waiting. Peyton makes up an excuse that Billy is sick so they can’t defend their Women’s Tag Team Championships tonight. Paige calls them “shriveled runaway cowards” and slaps Billy.
Back to ringside as Tom Phillips and Corey Graves congratulate The Man Becky Lynch for being on the cover of ESPN magazine alongside “Glow” star Alison Brie. Plug for Sunday’s Winners-Take-All Mixed Tag Team Championship Match on Sunday.
Sarah Schrieber interviews The Big Dog Roman Reigns. He says that “These Crazy nights have created the big fight” and it’s because of that, he’s confident that Ziggler is not ready for him. “Me and The Deadman are going to do our thang, and this Sunday those boys are going to Rest In Peace”.
It’s a New Day…Wait where’s the Intro lol technical error. Here comes Xavier Woods and Big E for the SmackDown Live Tag Team Summit. Woods has a Triple Threat Match tonight with Otis and Daniel Bryan. E says this Sunday they have a Triple Threat Tag Team Match for the SmackDown Live Championships. E claims “he thought he was involved in another type of three-way” –Rated R style. Sunday they will become your SIX-TIME Champs, The Planet’s Champions quickly interrupt;
Bryan says he’s figured it out that every time, The New Day wins the gold nobody takes them seriously. Woods cuts him off and wants to hear from Rowan…First, he was taking orders from Bray Wyatt, then it was Luke Harper, and now it’s Bryan. They need some clarification on who his daddy is, Rowan is pissed as a “Who’s your daddy” chant breaks out. Bryan is actually complimenting New Day as terrific wrestlers and having some of the best tag team title matches in WWE history. Of course, it’s quickly negated with some mince words about how if they or Heavy Machinery won the titles it would be a travesty. Here come Otis and Tucker.
Tucker says they proved themselves as worthy contenders at Stomping Grounds; they didn’t sit and mope after they lost, they went back to work. Last week Otis and Tucker earned their way into the triple-threat-match on Sunday. They respect the longest-reigning tag team champions New Day, but the sixth will have to wait. We finally get to the triple-threat-match…It was solid work from all three but, they should have been given more time to do the talking with their fists.
Bell rings with all three competitors but Bryan scurries outside so Otis and Woods can tear each other apart. Classic methodical heel work from Bryan. He tries to help Woods hit a double-suplex to Otis however, he suplexes both of them! All hell breaks loose as Rowan drills Otis with a ferocious clothesline and bulldozes through Tucker. Tucker and E drive Rowan over the announce table, but now the two powerhouses are broken up by the official. E, Tucker, and Rowan get sent to the back as we head to commercial.
Back live with a fired up Woods driving Bryan headfirst into the barricade. Back in up top, Bryan eats a missile dropkick…nope. Woods goes for The Honor Roll…countered into the Lebell Lock. Otis breaks it up. Otis executes a spinning slam to Bryan and a fisher-bone Suplex to Woods. It’s Worm Time! Woods goes for another aerial maneuver, but it gets countered into a massive Compactor for the 1-2-3
Recap from the Kevin Owens Show last week with McMahon and McIntyre; which where this boiled frustration in KO originated from when he started asking highly-personal questions and was shut down. Followed by Ziggler and him vying for another title shot where McMahon denied both of them and placed them in a tag team match against Heavy Machinery. Of course, it ended with miscommunication and an inadvertent Superkick by Ziggler. Then we get to the parking lot brawl earlier today and KO’s justified rant about The Best in the World crap!
Backstage in catering R-Truth is hiding under a table; Ember Moon is confronted by Sonya DeVille and Mandy Rose, this culminates into a tag team challenge for next week.
“The Dutch Destroyer” Aleister Black is getting wired up for THE BIG REVEAL…NEXT.
We’re back live as this interview will be conducted by Tom Phillips; his opponent wants to remain anonymous, Black “Applauds them, for doing what he would do”. He’s past the point of caring now…A man in a suit circles the chair before it’s revealed as “The Swiss Cyborg” Cesaro. The two will FIGHT Sunday!!! About Freaking Time that WWE does something interesting; with one of the most skilled and entertaining and competitive superstars, that has been under the damn noses for years now. Rant over!
Silent Shelton Benjamin: Sarah Schrieber asks Benjamin if he thinks Ziggler will finally do what it takes in his main event match, which is next…Silence and a sly grin.
Main Event is next as both “The Show-off” and “The Big Dog” make their way to the ring… commercial.
Kayla Braxton is about to interview the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston…Paul Heyman appears. Kofi says he knows Joe’s mind games and he knows how dangerous of a threat he is. Last week though; he accomplished something nobody else has and that is getting inside his head too, Kofi welcomes the massive challenge to edge his name as one of the best WWE Champs of all time…BABY!
Back live as Reigns makes a slow and confident entrance, followed by Ziggler. I give this match five minutes before McMahon and his cronies interfere. Before the bell rings The Corporation 2.0 come out. I’m starting to wonder how much of what KO unloaded on earlier was scripted…this is the fourth or fifth sighting of McMahon.
Bell rings as Ziggler tries to go for Reigns’ legs but to no avail. A shove to Reigns in the corner and a right hand all it takes is one headbutt for Ziggler to go down. The Big Dog is taking Ziggler to school, overpowering him. Ziggler goes on offense…flying clothesline…nope stiff uppercut. Drive-by on the apron…business as usual for Reigns. McIntyre and Reigns have a stare-off as Elias distracts him so Reigns can get his head slammed into the ring post. Ziggler takes advantage… two-count.
The Show-off takes over with his technical maneuvers that keep The Big Dog down…Comeback engaged, Elias on the apron and eats a Superman Punch, Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag…long two-count. McMahon is so giddy, he’s acting like a kid on Christmas morning. Sweet Chin Music…nope Ferocious Superman Punch… kick-out. Sets up for the spear, McIntyre pulls Ziggler outside. The Big Dog is going flying, Ziggler nails him with a Superkick off a distraction by McMahon. From out of nowhere KO stuns him and hightails it through the crowd. Zig-Zag…nope Night Night Ziggler HUGE Spear 1-2-3. Good match but disappointed no Taker at either show.
That’s it, folks! Extreme Rules begins this Sunday night at 7 p.m. ET on the WWE Network, with the kickoff show getting things started at 6 p.m.
Chris King: One More Spear and Jackhammer for Goldberg?
After his WWE Super ShowDown with The Undertaker wasn’t well received, is there room for Goldberg to have more “proper sendoff” to end his career?
By now you’ve heard the troubling news that during Goldberg and The Undertaker’s first-ever-match something went terribly awry; Goldberg smashed his head square into the ring-post, instantly he began bleeding profusely and was knocked out. What followed was extremely hard to watch; several signature maneuvers were horribly botched, and I was 100% concerned for both superstars’s health and well-being. This is not what we hoped would occur, and this should not be the last image of Goldberg that we witness in WWE.
There was speculation that Undertaker was furious at Goldberg for his performance that appeared absurd to me; how could Undertaker a locker room leader held in such high respect get into a screaming match backstage? On top of that there was also rumblings about Vince McMahon the CEO of WWE, was fuming, and had to break things up between the legends. He apparently told both superstars they were finished wrestling careers were over.
Thankfully the rumors were quickly refuted by not only WWE officials who were in Saudi Arabia, and TalkSport’s Alex McCarthy, and Mike Johnson on PWINSIDER.
Goldberg has admitted he was knocked out during his match with Undertaker at #WWESSD and that is why the final minutes were what they were.
Undertaker was angry with how the match went, but reports suggesting things got heated backstage with Goldberg aren't true, I'm told.
— Alex McCarthy (@AlexM_talkSPORT) June 8, 2019
Mike Johnson confirmed that after chatting with WWE officials he can confirm that after the bout Goldberg was too weak to muster up the energy to engage in a heated altercation.
Johnson said: “I have not heard one person with any legitimacy claim this as being true. In fact, when I asked about that rumor, it was quickly shot down by those who were actually in Saudi Arabia, so I tend to think that story is 100% fiction.”
Goldberg the WCW veteran was last seen in the squared circle on the Post-Mania-Raw, twenty-four hours after dropping the Universal championship to Brock Lesnar. The WWE Universe gave him a standing ovation for his love for the business throughout his illustrious twenty-year pro wrestling career.
Goldberg has battled some of the biggest wrestlers in WWE; The Rock was his first feud after his arrival in 2003 at the Backlash pay per view, followed by his almost year-long rivalry with HHH and “Evolution” where he won the World Heavyweight championship. He finished his initial run in the company in 2004 in a “Battle of Behemoths” with Lesnar. In 2019, there are many new powerhouses since he left the company in 2004. Below I will be listing the 5 Potential Opponents for his final match in WWE.
5 Best-Suited Opponents For The Final Goldberg Match
5. Goldberg vs. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar toppled Goldberg for-the-first-time in his WWE career at WrestleMania 33; after a humiliating loss at 2016 Survivor Series, in a “Shocking” one minute and twenty-seven seconds. This was Goldberg’s first official match in WWE in twelve years; the two powerhouses have had a total of three encounters, they have manifested a buzz that surpassed all the other matches on the pay per view card. Despite the fact that Goldberg and Lesnar faced in each other only two years ago, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that Goldberg won’t come back for retribution. While this contest in the past has not been well-received by the WWE Universe, there’s still a sliver of a chance these Titans’ will go to war one final time.
With Lesnar as “The Beast in the Bank” his adversary could once again cost him the Universal or WWE Championship cash-in; reminiscent to 2004 No Way Out pay per view where Eddie Guerrero was challenging Lesnar for his WWE championship, and Goldberg (who had been given a front row ticket by Raw commissioner Stone Cold Steve Austin). He would then deliver a “Devastating” spear to cost Lesnar his championship, which led to their first clash at WrestleMania XX. Goldberg could cost Lesnar his opportunity and the two competitors could then revisit this hard-hitting personal rivalry.
4. Bobby Lashley
It’s still surreal to me that these two powerhouses have never crossed paths in both of their WWE tenures. Bobby Lashley returned to WWE after making an “Impact” (Pun intended) on the Raw after Mania 34. Despite being the fan-favorite to dethrone Lesnar at 2018 SummerSlam, Lashley was upset by Roman Reigns who eventually captured the Universal Championship. Goldberg vs. Lashley will still be a “Big Money” match that will put butts in seats and sell out arenas. This the kind of “once in a lifetime” physical confrontation contrary to Rock/Cena at WrestleMania 28 that people from all over the world would tune in to watch. The WWE Network could see a “massive” increase in subscriptions, and the weeks leading up to their collision we would most certainly be a pull-apart brawl and someone could likely to be taken to jail.
3. Goldberg vs. Lars Sullivan
“The Freak” Lars Sullivan has been leaving a pile of bodies on his path of destruction since his arrival on Monday nights. Currently, he’s annihilating the Lucha House Party, but after he’s finished bullying smaller wrestlers “,” Sullivan is going to be hungry for “Real” competition. Enter Goldberg. This wouldn’t do much for the WCW titan but it sure would be a “Huge” rub for the recent draftee. Sullivan was penciled into battle John Cena at WrestleMania 35 “,” but due to health reasons, it never happened. This victory over a legend of this caliber could catapult “The Freak” to the top of the food-chain in WWE.
2. Braun Strowman
To say “The Monster Among Men” has been mistreated would only be the tip of the iceberg. Strowman was the “Hottest” wrestler in 2017 with his horror-themed assaults on Roman Reigns. Unfortunately for Strowman, his name wasn’t “Roman Reigns” and despite his best efforts he never captured the Universal Championship.
Strowman was on a path of destruction until he went toe-to-toe with Universal champion Lesnar at 2017 No Mercy; in what should have been his coronation as the next champion, Strowman was crushed within a matter of minutes. Last year at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia he was heavily-favored to walk out with the vacated Universal championship; and instead WWE thought it was wise to start a lengthy program with Baron Corbin (who clocked Strowman in the back of the head with the title), and Lesnar dropped “The Monster Among Men” with 5 F5’s to start a second title-reign with the Universal championship. To say Strowman deserves a “Monumental” win would be a HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT!
1. Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns
The announcement of this match is enough buzz to sell-out WrestleMania 36. “The Big Dog” Roman Reigns has done it all in his short eight-year career, some accomplishments other wrestlers only dream to achieve. He defeated the seemingly-unbeatable Undertaker in his second loss in decades. Reigns is a Grand-slam champion, a three-time WWE Champion and former Universal Champion. Ever since the two crossed paths on the road to WrestleMania 33; and delivered a double-spear to Strowman on January 12, 2017, I believe this dream match has been quietly penciled in. Now that there may be “One More Match” for Goldberg before he calls it quits, this is the only true contest!