Mason Epeneter reviews the WWE Smackville special from Nashville airing Saturday night on the WWE Network!
First off, this was an incredible idea by WWE. It boosts ticket sales because they can promote it as a WWE Network event, therefore implying that a title change could happen, unlike a normal house show where you’re going because WWE doesn’t often have RAW or SmackDown in or near your town.
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) July 28, 2019
It also is a good buildup to SummerSlam, reminding fans that it is coming up so they should clear their calendar for one of the Big Four events. Last but not least, it tests out live-streaming a house show on the WWE Network for the rumored upcoming tier system (to my understanding, house shows would be available on the highest tier – Tier 4 – for $14.99/month).
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs. Ali
During the week, @FinnBalor suffered an undisclosed injury. @WWE Medical has unfortunately not cleared him for competition tonight at #SMACKVILLE. It is unknown who or if @ShinsukeN defends his title tonight. Stay tuned as we learn more.
— WWE (@WWE) July 28, 2019
Overall, this was a great improvise by WWE, and their best move of the night. About thirty minutes before the event, WWE announced via their Twitter account that Finn Bálor was injured and was unable to compete. After Shinsuke Nakamura bragged about not having to compete for the night, a referee started the forfeit ten-count when Ali came out and challenged Nakamura to an IC Title match, which Nakamura accepted. The match was good, made both competitors seem legitimate with back-and-forth action through the night, Ultimately though, Nakamura came out with the win after Ali’s head collided with the middle turnbuckle and Nakamura connected with a KINSHASAAAAAAAA in the middle of the ring. 1. 2. 3. Lights out Ali and a Nakamura celebration. If there was anyone who didn’t know who Ali was before tonight, they certainly do now. Congrats to both competitors and to WWE for capitalizing on an unfortunate situation to showcase Ali’s in-ring abilities.
(I do not do match ratings based on the fact that I do my reviews solely off of my first impression.)
Elias’s Concert / Elias vs. Kevin Owens
The concert started with Elias in the middle of the ring in a pitch dark arena with only two spotlights on him. He mentioned meeting Johnny Cash and took a shot at the NFL’s Tennessee Titans because the event was in Nashville. Elias pulled a strong yay-nay reaction from the crowd after walking out of the spotlight and almost leaving the ring (the yay) and walking back into the spotlight (the nay). He did this for about a minute-and-a-half before finally deciding to sing his song. Elias sang a tribute to Shane McMahon, which led to Kevin Owens interrupting the concert because Elias had mentioned him and his match against Shane at SummerSlam in the song. KO stated that just punching Elias in the face wouldn’t teach him a lesson but he was going to have to beat him in a match, after making a comedic comment about the way the refs enter the ring, the match began. This match went quick, very synchronized, and smooth. KO got two knees to the face from Elias, Kevin failed one stunner but then hit one after he rolled out of the way of Elias’s elbow drop, ultimately causing the stunner. 1. 2. 3. KO has the momentum heading into SmackDown LIVE.
Main Event for the WWE Championship – Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Samoa Joe
— WWE Network (@WWENetwork) July 27, 2019
The main event started quickly at what looked like the potential demise of Kofi Kingston’s title reign after Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler decided to team up on Kofi on what David Otunga pointed out as an attempt to insure a new champion walks out of the Bridgestone Arena. After destroying Kofi for a while, Kofi managed to get out of a hold by Joe, attacked Ziggler, and eventually hit him with an S.O.S., but Joe threw Kofi out and pinned Ziggler, for a kick out at 2. This led to the dissension of the Joe-Ziggler alliance and the beginning of a Kofi comeback. After hitting a move off the top rope, Joe rolled out of the ring while Kofi had his comeback on Dolph. Eventually, it came down to Dolph being on the outside of the ring and Kofi connecting with Trouble-in-Paradise onto Samoa Joe for the three count. WWE advertised Kofi Kingston’s WWE Championship defense against Randy Orton at SummerSlam with a graphic on the bottom of the screen while Kofi looked strong heading into July 30 episode of SmackDown LIVE.
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