SmackDown continues King of the Ring!
The King of the Ring’s opening round finishes with former tag team partners facing off, and a 205 Live rivalry revisited! Who among Chad Gable, Shelton Benjamin, Mustafa Ali and Buddy Murphy advance to the next round?
- King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Mustafa Ali VS Buddy Murphy; Ali wins and advances to the next round.
- Bayley VS Lacey Evans; Bayley wins.
- Big E VS Randy Orton; Orton wins.
- WWE 24/7 Championship Triple Threat: Elias VS R-Truth VS Drake Maverick; Maverick wins and becomes the new WWE 24/7 Champion.
- King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Chad Gable VS Shelton Benjamin; Gable wins and advances to the next round.
PLAY BY PLAY
Roman Reigns has no idea what to make of this.
An attempt backstage. An attempt in the parking lot. And a wild goose chase trying to figure out who is behind it all. The Big Dog’s questions have yet to be properly answered. Buddy Murphy said it was Erick Rowan. Erick Rowan and Daniel Bryan said Murphy lied. Then Rowan and Bryan said they found the real culprit, only to reveal a strange pseudo-Rowan. Is this answer real? Or just a Big Red Herring?
Roman Reigns is in the building!
Kayla Braxton informs him that Daniel Bryan wants an apology on behalf of Erick Rowan. Roman says he will say something, but when he’s in the ring.
Kofi Kingston is here!
The dream of Kofimania continues, even if Randy Orton keeps saying it’s “stupid.” The Viper devastated the New Day, and then The Revival helped break Xavier Woods, all while Kofi was forced to watch. All of this has compelled Kofi to give Orton a rematch at Clash of Champions! But tonight in Baton Rouge, Kofi says “Orton likes to slither around this ring, talking about me being stupid.” But just who (who who who?) got they ass knocked out outta nowhere?! Kofi knows things have escalated over the last few weeks, but Orton took it to a personal level. All Kofi wanted to do was prove himself, to prove he belongs at the top, that he deserves to be champion! Orton didn’t want that, and took it to a personal place bringing up Kofi’s family. Orton and his new buddies took it to a new level taking out Kofi’s friend, Woods.
But what was the last thing we saw? Kofi walloped the Revival, it felt so good, and then had Orton “crawling up that ramp with fear in his eyes!” And Orton was afraid, because he saw the look in Kofi’s eyes that said he isn’t playing around. They’ll run it back at Clash of Champions for the WWE World Championship! Kofi will show and prove Orton was wrong all along! Kofi was ready then, Kofi is ready now! And in the end, Orton will find out why Kofi is THE W, W, E, World, Heavy, Weight, CHAMPION- “Stupid, stupid, stupid.” Orton won’t stop spamming “stupid” until Kofi is looking at him. Orton wants to show Kofi is truly stupid, but he’ll wait until Clash. But for now, Orton will show Kofi something special. Orton was thinking up ways of how to make Kofi look stupid, when someone slipped a letter under his door. Orton doesn’t really read fan mail, but this letter was written with heart, so Orton reads it now.
“Dear Mr. Orton. Stop hurting Kofi Kingston. Kofi is not stupid. Kofi is a good man, but you are a mean man, Mr. Orton. So mean that you make my hero, Kofi Kingston, cry at night. And do you want to know why I know this? Kofi Kingston isn’t just my hero, Kofi Kingston is my daddy. Signed, Kai Kingston.” How touching. Orton realized that he is in the exact hotel as Kofi and his family. Orton doesn’t need to be pen pals with Kai, he just has to go down the hall and pay him a visit. The Viper has more venom than Kofi thought, and Kofi goes to chase him down! But Orton is there to meet him at gorilla! They brawl all over until security pulls them apart. But not even that keeps them apart, and Kofi gets Orton on the table! Orton gets up but Kofi throws him into the wall! And then back on the table! Orton turns the tables on Kofi and has Kofi up, for a draping DDT to the floor!! Orton calls Kofi “stupid” again while security calls for medics. Will Kofi be able to keep the dream alive and keep his family safe from the Viper?
SmackDown returns with Big E coming out of the Doctor’s room.
Big E has a match against Randy Orton tonight. He has faith Kofi will make it to Clash, but won’t say the same for Orton. Is Big E going to exact revenge on The Viper for both Kofi and Woods?
King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Mustafa Ali VS Buddy Murphy!
For those who kept up with 205 Live, you know just how good this rivalry was during the past year! The Heart of 205 was denied the Cruiserweight Championship by the Aussie Juggernaut, but now the Beacon of Light shines and the Best Kept Secret is out! Will these two ignite the ring all over again? And which man moves on to the quarterfinals?
The two quickly shake hands to confirm this is going to be in good sportsmanship, and the bell rings. Murphy gets Ali to a corner but Ali turns it around to CHOP Murphy. Murphy comes back without flinching and tosses Ali to a corner! Ali escapes again and shows off his agility. Things speed up more and Ali huricanranas Murphy out. Fans fire up as Ali builds speed, but Murphy returns with a KNEE TRIGGER! Cover, TWO! Ali is rocked while SmackDown goes picture in picture.
Murphy stomps a Melbourne mudhole into Ali, then drags him up to whip corner to corner. Ali rebounds off buckles into a back drop! Cover, ONE, but Murphy keeps his cool. Murphy drags Ali up to ram a knee into the back, then kick him down! Cover, TWO, but Murphy stalks Ali to the ropes. Murphy stands Ali up to CHOP him off his feet. Murphy stomps Ali around, but Ali hits back. Ali throws forearms and runs, but into a sleeper hold! Ali reaches but Murphy keeps him from ropes. Ali fights out of the hold and runs, but into a LARIAT! Murphy grimaces but doesn’t cover. Murphy eventually does cover, TWO! Perhaps Murphy’s small break cost him there. He hauls Ali up but Ali turns the suplex into a crossbody! TWO, and Murphy clobbers Ali! Cover, TWO, and Murphy wraps on a new sleeper hold.
Ali endures again, and fights his way up. Ali powers Murphy to a corner! But Murphy holds on to the head. Ali rams Murphy again, and again, and is free! But Murphy just throws him into the opposite corner, face first! Ali falls down and fans cheer the Juggernaut as he goes back to Ali. SmackDown returns to single picture as Murphy whips Ali corner to corner. Ali kicks back then boots! Ali trips Murphy to catapult him into buckles! Murphy staggers and Ali runs to flapjack dropkick Murphy down! Murphy bails out and Ali builds speed, but Murphy slides in. Ali kicks Murphy back out! Then DIVES to wipe Murphy out! Elias watches as one of these two will be his future opponent.
Ali puts Murphy in and aims from the corner. Ali baits Murphy in and roundhouses him away! Fans fire up as Ali slingshots and somersaults, but Murphy TOSSES Ali out! Murphy builds speed now, to FLY! The Juggernaut still has the legs to leap, and he wipes Ali out! Baton Rouge fires up as Murphy puts Ali back in. Murphy climbs up, leaps, but Ali gets clear of the meteora to SUPERKICK! Murphy wobbles, Ali hits the POISON-RANA! Cover, TWO!! Murphy reminds Ali why he was Cruiserweight Champion for so long. Ali gets up first and drags Murphy to a drop zone. Fans duel as Murphy anchors a foot. Ali stomps Murphy off then climbs up, but Murphy grabs him again! Murphy tucks Ali in for a SUPERKICK to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO, AUSSIE-GOYE! BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Ali now reminds Murphy why it was so hard to beat him the first time!
Baton Rouge knows “This is Awesome!” but this is also not over yet! Murphy drags Ali up now, but Ali fights back. Ali ducks to ROCK Murphy, but Murphy rocks him back! Murphy strike fest, stomp the foot but gets the windmill heel kick! Murphy ends up on the apron and Ali heads over. Ali runs to tilt-o-whirl DDT Murphy off the ropes!! Ali hurries to a corner, climbs up high, and hits a 450 splash!! Cover, Ali wins!!
Winner: Mustafa Ali, by pinfall; advances to the next round
Ali gets a huge victory over a former rival! Will Ali shine even brighter in the quarterfinals?
Murphy gets up and shows respect as he offers a handshake. Ali takes it, and Murphy even raises Ali’s hand. What is next for Murphy if he’s no longer heading for the throne?
Ember Moon finds Bayley backstage.
Don’t tell her Charlotte Flair is getting to her? No, no, Bayley was just thinking back to SummerSlam. No thanks, Ember doesn’t want to go down that path. Bayley won and Ember will deal with it her way. But the next time they face off, Ember promises to win. And until then, Charlotte is not the face of the SmackDown Women’s Division, Bayley is. Bayley is the reason superstars like Ember were given a chance. This is about bringing every woman up. The best woman won, and it was Bayley.
But the Lady, Lacey Evans, walks in. If Bayley is the best, they need to raise their standards. The entire division does. Charlotte was right about one thing: Bayley is bringing the division and the title down. But Charlotte was wrong about who is the face. That’s Lacey. Pfft, yeah right. Well if these “nasties” don’t believe it, Lacey will prove it in the ring. Ember wishes Bayley luck against the Sassy Southern Belle. Will Bayley need it?
The Miz returns to SmackDown!
The Hollywood A-Lister is ready to respond to the words and actions of the “artists” with actions of his own. Will Miz be able to silence the Critic of the Critics?
SmackDown returns, and Miz speaks on the mic first. Fans say Miz is awesome, and Miz agrees. The recap package shows us that Sami is now Shinsuke’s spokesperson. Yes, it’s awful. But they used Miz TV to take their frustrations out on Miz. Sami claims he and Shin are two poets with similar philosophies. #Really? What is that? Shinsuke is a champ, Sami is a clinger. Sami was in a rut, but he latched onto someone else. Sami is a “spokesperson” because he couldn’t hack it anymore. Sami is on Shinsuke’s coattails because Sami couldn’t be it himself. Shinsuke is the Intercontinental Champion, but if he really thinks he needs Sami, then something’s wrong. And if he thinks going after The Miz is the way to the top, he’s got an even bigger problem! Miz made that title the main event, and he’ll do it again. That’s why Miz formally challenges Shinsuke to the Intercontinental Championship AT Clash of Champions!
Sami makes his entrance, and laughs at Miz’s challenge. Clearly no one understands the bond between Sami and Shin. But Sami is a “liberator,” because he liberated Shinsuke! Shinsuke feels freer and stronger in years! But what’s truly laughable is that Miz thinks he can be the Intercontinental Championship like it’s his. News flash: Shinsuke is THE Intercontinental Champion! Shinsuke is an artist! Shinsuke is a poet! Shinsuke is the KING of Strong Style! And Miz is the King of Soft Style. But someone as selfish as Miz can’t understand someone so selfless as Sami. That’s fine. But maybe Miz needs respect beaten into him. Okay then, why doesn’t Sami get in this ring already. That’s not how it works. Then maybe Miz will go out to beat respect into Sami. Miz takes off his jacket and gets out of the ring but Sami warns him. Because Shinsuke attacks from behind!
Shinsuke throws Miz into barriers while Sami mocks and laughs at Miz! Shinsuke rams knees into Miz. “Look at the artistry of Shinsuke Nakamura!” Shinsuke throws Miz into the LED apron, then runs down the ramp for a KINSHASA! Sami laughs the entire time at Miz’s pain. Shinsuke puts Miz in the ring and Sami thanks him. Sami then goes in the ring and says Miz “with no respect for artistry” is getting what he deserves. Give Miz his close-up, Shin! KINSHASA again! Sami shouts it at the top of his lungs, but fans boo. Sami declares Shinsuke “YOUR Intercontinental Champion,” but will this only give Miz the match he wants?
Elias plays his guitar backstage.
But he jumps up when he sees Kevin Owens walk in. Doesn’t Kevin know how to knock? This is Shane’s office, by the way. The door was open, so no need to knock. And why is Elias in Shane’s office? He’s about to be King of the Ring, so he can do whatever he wants. And Kevin lost, so he shouldn’t even bother Elias. Okay but Kevin is just here to see Shane. Shane’s not here. Not at all? Finally, Kevin is getting the message. Kevin thanks Elias for the update, and leaves. What is Kevin going to do while Shane isn’t here to abuse his power?
Bayley VS Lacey Evans!
The Huggable Bayley beat Nikki Cross on Raw, but now she’ll face the Sassy Southern Bell on SmackDown! Can Bayley stay white hot as Charlotte Flair is hot on her heels?
SmackDown returns as Lacey makes her entrance. Lacey struts down the ramp while teasing the fans, then goes to the ring. The bell rings but Lacey takes her time with her hat and gloves. She tosses her gloves up but Bayley sees the chap shot coming! They go to ropes but Bayley lets up. Bayley looks for where the gloves went, but she’s ready to arm-drag Lacey down! Lacey rushes Bayley to a waistlock but Bayley trips Lacy up. Bayley rolls Lacey to arm-drag her again! Bayley has the armlock, but Lacey gets up, only for Bayley to jam her arm. Bayley has the arm again, and brings Lacey around to high-five the wristlock! Lacey endures as Bayley shifts over to a rear mount and another armlock. Lacey powers her way up and scoops Bayley for a slam!
Lacey glares down at Bayley as she stomps her. Fans rally for Bayley but Lacey kicks her to a corner. Lacey bumps and stomps Bayley, but backs off at 4. Lacey runs in for the headstand, but Bayley shoves her over and knees her back! Bayley slides out to trip Lacey up, and clothesline her down! Fans fire up for Bayley as she catches her breath. But here comes Charlotte, strutting down the ramp herself. Bayley keeps her eyes on The Queen, and even asks if Charlotte wants a seat. The tension grows as SmackDown goes to break.
SmackDown returns again, and Lacey has Bayley in a very ladylike cobra clutch. Charlotte watches ringside as Bayley fights back, only for Lacey to whip her to a corner. But Bayley goes up and crossbodies! Cover, TWO! Lacey knees low and hits a falling DDT! Then she gator rolls Bayley to the apron! Lacey wrings Bayley’s arm into the apron edge! Lacey kicks Bayley’s arm against the LED, but the referee counts. Lacey kicks Bayley again and takes her time strutting about before getting in the ring. Bayley gets to a corner but Lacey is on her. Lacey wraps the arm in the ropes and even adds a headscissor! Lacey lets up at 4 then rams Bayley into buckles. Lacey sits Bayley down to stomp, and finally gets that swinging bronco buster! Lacey pushes Bayley out of the corner to cover, TWO!
Lacey grabs Bayley’s arm to drop knees on it! Bayley crawls but Lacey uses Bayley’s own headband as a weapon. Cover, TWO! Lacey keeps on the bad arm and wraps it on the ropes. The ref counts and Lacey lets up at 4. Lacey drags Bayley up to a hammerlock, but Bayley gets to the ropes. Bayley brings Lacey through the ropes now to return the favor! Bayley lets up at 4 to then run and dropkick Lacey off the ropes! Cover, TWO! Charlotte says, “Aw shucks,” but then Lacey knees Bayley down. Lacey kicks Bayley hard in the leg, then bounces Bayley’s face off the mat. Lacey stands on Bayley’s bad arm as she slaps her around. Then Lacey stomps the arm! Lacey boasts but Bayley hits back. Lacey whips but Bayley goes up and out, to then bait Lacey into a forearm! Bayley avoids the leg sweep to bounce Lacey off buckles! And then other buckles!
Bayley catches Lacey’s leg and puts it through the ropes! Bayley fires off on Lacey, and then runs in to run Lacey over! Bayley rallies with big lariats! Fans fire up as Bayley goes side to side to knee smash Lacey in the corner! Then she trips Lacey up and goes to get the Figure Four!? A Trailer Hitch version at that! Lacey gets the ropebreak and Charlotte just smiles at Bayley’s attempt. Lacey throws Bayley out to the apron and Bayley has to worry about Charlotte. Bayley hotshots Lacey away, then powers up, but Lacey counters the belly2belly with an arm wringer! Lacey drags Bayley to a drop zone and heads up top. Lacey leaps up, leaps again, Sassiest Moonsault Ever! Cover, TWO!? Lacey cannot believe it! But Bayley gets out of the ring, so Lacey has to go out after her. Bayley throws Lacey into barriers! And drags her out for a draping suplex!
Both women are down and a ring count begins! Bayley is up at 8 and in, but Lacey is in at 9.5! Oklahoma roll, TWO! Lacey trips Bayley to a jackknife bridge, TWO! Bayley throws forearms and rocks Lacey. Bayley whips but Lacey reverse to a roll up, but Bayley rolls through to knee Lacey down! Lacey stands, and gets a BAYLEY2BELLY! Cover, ROPEBREAK!! Charlotte is moderately amused by this. Bayley drags Lacey up and tries again but Lacey kicks her away. Lacey spins Bayley for a neckbreaker! Rolling back, into a boot! Bayley stands, grabs Lacey again, overhead suplex! Bayley keeps going, putting Lacey in a drop zone. Fans fire up as Bayley stares Charlotte down. Bayley climbs, leaps, MACHO ELBOW! Cover, Bayley wins!!
Winner: Bayley, by pinfall
A second match this week, but Bayley toughs it out to win! Charlotte “applauds” Bayley, but also shows ten fingers to remind Bayley her 10th reign is on its way. Will the Queen take back her throne in her own hometown? Or will Bayley spoil the homecoming by keeping the title?
Backstage interview with Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan.
The Planet’s Champions still expect The Big Dog to apologize. They presented Roman with the “despicable individual” responsible for everything that has happened. And as of this moment, there has still been no apology. They will NOT leave the arena until Roman says, “Erick Rowan, Daniel Bryan, I am sorry.” Will Roman say those words to them? Or will they not be leaving Baton Rouge any time soon?
Big E VS Randy Orton!
#ForeverTheRKO has done what they want to The New Day, taking out Xavier Woods with a leg-breaking stomp last week. Orton took Kofi Kingston down with a vicious table DDT, but will Big E be enough on his own to get revenge?
AWWWWW~ Baton Rouge~! SmackDown returns as Big E makes his entrance! Despite the energy in the usual introduction, Big E gets very serious very quickly as he heads down the ramp. The bell rings, and Big E runs right at Orton! Big E throws big body shots, then he throws Orton out of the ring. Big E follows to whip Orton into steel steps! Orton crawls away but Big E is on him. “You’ve got Hell to pay, and I’m here to collect!” Big E throws Orton over the announce desk and into barriers! Big E dares Orton to get back up as he goes to refresh the count. Orton crawls and Big E is on him again. Orton pokes Big E’s eyes! Orton throws Big E but Big E sends Orton up and over barriers! Fans get The Viper right in their laps! Big E then drags Orton back up by his ear and puts him in the ring. Big E covers, TWO!
Big E keeps his cool as he drags Orton up. He has Orton in the abdominal stretch, and does add those New Day Spanks, with extra stank! Big E then whips and runs Orton over with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Big E likes that, he’s ready to play Orton’s game. Big E sits Orton up then stands him up. But Orton rakes Big E’s eyes! Orton sends Big E into the post! Orton yanks on Big E’s arm, then whips him corner to corner. Big E comes out with a clothesline! Big E rallies with more, and fans fire up. Big E follows Orton to the apron, and takes aim, for a BIG SPLASH! But Orton moves and Big E gets only apron edge! Big E flops to the floor and Orton follows him back to the announce desk. Orton drags Big E up, for a back suplex onto the announce desk! Big E writhes to the floor while Orton sits on the corner. SmackDown goes to picture in picture as Orton takes a breather.
Orton wipes the sweat from his brow before refreshing the count. Orton then fetches Big E, but that’s a lot of dead weight. Orton refreshes the count again, and lets Big E crawl on his own. Big E gets to his feet, but Orton is on him, with another back suplex to the desk! Orton leaves Big E behind as the count begins again. Big E slumps off the desk, but Orton just grins as he watches Big E crawl. Orton goes out again, hauls Big E up, and hits him with a third desk back suplex! Big E flops to the floor now, and Orton leaves him behind again. Orton watches Big E will himself off the floor. SmackDown returns to single picture as Orton goes back out. Orton drags Big E up a fourth time, but Big E fights back! Big E gives Orton a suplex to the announce desk! Orton has a taste of his own medicine, and Big E grins as he puts Orton back into the ring. But Big E walks into Orton’s dropkick! Orton covers, TWO!
Orton keeps his cool as he looms over Big E. Orton stomps Big E’s hand, then the other hand. He pulls on Big E’s ear as he taunts his pain. Fans rally with “New! Day Rocks!” and Big E sits up. Orton runs, into an overhead belly2belly! And then another! Orton staggers up, Big E baits him into the third belly2belly! Big E swivels his hips, runs, but The Revival is there! Big E wallops them and avoids an RKO, to scoop Orton! Orton powers out and sends Big E at the ref! The ref gets out of the way, but misses seeing The Revival double cheap shot Big E! RKO!! Cover, Orton wins!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
#ForeverTheRKO is successful in downing the New Day again! And now the #TopGuys join Orton in the ring to add on. Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder drag Big E up and whip him, into the RKO MACHINE!! Is the New Day going to survive Clash of Champions, let alone retain their titles, against this vicious new trio?
Backstage interview with Chad Gable.
The underdog of the King of the Ring tournament is underestimated by his opponent, Shelton Benjamin, most of all. But Benjamin should know better being they were former tag partners. When it’s all said and done, it will be Benjamin looking up at Gable. But Benjamin comes by looking for Gable, aka “Shorty” Gable. If anyone sees him, let Gable know Benjamin’s looking for him. Jokes aside, is Gable going to show that taller doesn’t mean better?
Ladies and Gentlemen: Elias.
The Drifter is sitting in the throne! He already thinks he is the King of Drifters! Elias vows that when he wins King of the Ring, fans will scream, “Long Live Elias!” Many legends have worn the crown, from Kurt Angle to Brock Lesnar to Edge. None of them can wear the crown the way he does. This is a sight to behold, with crown, scepter and guitar by his side. Elias is a king we can believe in. Oh what is he doing, trying to reason with a bunch of “swamp people”? But wait, Kevin is sneaking up behind him! And he decks the would-be king! Kevin fires off furious fists and forearms, and then puts Elias in the ring! Elias hits back, and throws off his jacket. But it and the belt slows him down, so Kevin gets a STUNNER! Elias falls, and the Prizefighter gets a tiny bit of revenge for being screwed out of the tournament. Will Kevin hear about this from Shane when Shane returns?
As for Elias, he is still 24/7 Champion, and Shane isn’t here to pause the rules. Truth sneaks in, covers Elias, but Maverick pulls him off! Maverick throws Truth down hard and goes after Elias himself! Cover, Maverick wins!!
Winner: Drake Maverick, by pinfall; NEW WWE 24/7 Champion
Rockstar Spud is so excited he has the belt back! Now he can finally #ConsummateTheMarriage with Mrs. Renee Michelle-Maverick! That is, if Maverick can hold onto that belt long enough.
King of the Ring SmackDown Bracket: Chad Gable VS Shelton Benjamin!
SmackDown returns as the Gold Standard waits in the ring for “Shorty G.” Gable makes his entrance now, and he eyes longingly at the throne. He joins Benjamin in the ring, and this opening round finale begins with the bell!
Gable ducks Benjamin to throw forearms. Benjamin reverses the whip and gets Gable with a SPINEBUSTER! Benjamin covers, TWO! Benjamin stomps Gable and drags him up for a snap suplex. Benjamin taunts “Shorty” but Gable trips Benjamin up! Jackknife cover, TWO! Gable whips Benjamin but Benjamin reverses again, and hard! Gable bounces off buckles and Benjamin covers, TWO! Andrade Almas and Zelina Vega watch as the winner of this meets El Idolo in the next round. Benjamin stomps and taunts “Shorty” more. Gable SLAPS Benjamin! Gable fires off with strikes of all kinds, then gives a mule kick! Gable runs for the rolling kick! Benjamin is down, but he gets up to get a running neckbreaker! Gable dodges Benjamin for a BIG German Suplex, but Benjamin LARIATS right back!
Benjamin shakes out the cobwebs to haul Gable up. Gable dodges, waistlocks, but Benjamin elbows out and rolls to a takedown! Into an Ankle Lock! Gable rolls to throw Benjamin out! Gable cannonballs, but Benjamin catches him! To swing him into barriers! Benjamin drags Gable back into the ring, and hauls Gable up top. Benjamin climbs to join Gable, but Gable fights him off! Benjamin falls into a drop zone, Gable turns around, Gable MOONSAULTS! But he lands on his feet when Benjamin dodges! Benjamin KNEES Gable down! Benjamin lifts Gable in a powerbomb, but Gable sunset flips right through! Cover, Gable wins!!
Winner: Chad Gable, by pinfall; advances to the next round
The underdog takes a huge victory from the jaws of defeat! But will Chad be #ReadyWillingAndGable to beat El Idolo in the quarterfinals?
Roman Reigns heads to the ring!
The Big Dog promised to say something to Daniel Bryan & Erick Rowan, but will it be what they want him to say? But before Roman can speak, Bryan interrupts on the titantron. It’s so easy, it’s just two little words. Just say, “I’m sorry.” Roman asks the fans if he should apologize. The fans say, “NO! NO!” Well Bryan is int he back, so let’s be clear, should Roman apologize? “NO!” Well let’s try this. Let’s double check the video and if it feels right, Roman will apologize. The video is of course footage of the original night in question. The man in a hoodie with the big red beard is seen walking just at the edge of the frame. Rowan tries to explain but Bryan gets mad and even SLAPS Rowan! Bryan hates liars and tells Rowan to get out of his sight. Bryan grabs a mic and shouts “I hate liars!” Bryan trusted Rowan for the last year, and now he’s been betrayed! Bryan claims to not know a thing about that!
Bryan appears on stage and says Rowan has betrayed Bryan! Someone has told Rowan to do this, but it’s not Bryan! It wasn’t Bryan! Rowan has been lying this whole time, but Roman won’t hear Bryan out. Roman SPEARS Bryan the moment Bryan is in the ring! Has Roman seen through the sham? Or is there still someone pulling the strings from the shadows?
This SmackDown was another weird show. Things were going so great to start, but then there was a grind by the end. Too many recap packages, for one. It felt like another go-home before a go-home week. The matches should’ve been swapped a bit, because Ali VS Murphy was the best match of tonight. They proved why 205 Live has been the most underrated program in the WWE. It was quite the surprise Ali made it through to the next round, as their opponent, Elias is a Heel, and both Ali and Murphy are working as Faces. But Ali makes for a good match-up with Elias, though Vega is likely going to factor in again. Meanwhile, Gable VS Benjamin was okay, and it’s great for Gable to be moving on to face Almas, which will be a better match. I have been hoping for The Fiend to get in on this match, and he would start by attacking and replacing Gable, but perhaps there is a bigger moment for him to do that as the tournament nears the end. He might even do it in the finals, depending on who the finalists are.
Speaking of Elias, it was great for Kevin Owens to get back at him while Shane was away. That’s a natural move for Kevin to stick it to them both. And best of all, Elias loses the title to Drake Maverick! I can’t wait for the rest of the week, Maverick trying to find time to consummate with Renee Michelle. They might, and probably should, carry this into tonight’s 205 Live. Then we get a pretty great Bayley VS Lacey match, with Charlotte watching to add another dimension to this. Bayley’s Bayley2Belly suplexes weren’t the cleanest tonight, but it’s great that she again wins with the flying elbow drop. Bayley VS Charlotte will be another great match, and so far so good on the NXT Horsewomen all being on Clash of Champions and heading for Banks VS Bayley at Survivor Series.
I thought Miz was going to have a match with Sami, but guess now. But Sami and Shinsuke beating Miz down again does add to Miz’s Face heat on the way to Clash of Champions. Sami calling Miz the King of Soft Style was a nice nod to a story we didn’t get with Miz, Shinsuke and Bryan last year, so maybe now that Miz is Face and not Heel, he comes out of this the winner. The story with Orton and Kofi also did good again, as Orton’s plan worked well against The New Day. There is a big chance #ForeverTheRKO comes out of Clash of Champions all champions themselves, but there’s still a good chance The New Day is heroically triumphant. I almost feel like a Six Man Tag for all the titles could be possible, but the Winner Takes All format has been used too much already in 2019. Separate matches also adds the drama of interference, Orton helping Revival and vice-versa. They of course did that tonight to help Orton against Big E in a great match that made Big E look like he was ready for a major singles title.
Roman’s segment with Bryan and Rowan should not have closed the show, but Vince is going to want what Vince wants. It seems video evidence undoes the horrible fake-out Bryan and Rowan concocted with that doppelganger. Bryan did great with his denial and berating of Rowan. Bryan comes off as the Lex Luthor DC Comics should’ve cast, and Roman is doing well as the hero to counter him. Roman VS Bryan should be the Clash of Champions match, but there’s mystery back in this story. Fingers crossed that it’s still Luke Harper behind the scenes. And for that matter, what a totally skipped over triumph! Rowan has his first name back!!
My Score: 8.3/10