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WWE SmackDown Live results, recap, reactions (July 16, 2019): KO’s Influence

You couldn’t expect a Shane-less show streak to last for long, Cageside.

After missing an entire episode of Raw, Shane was back in full form to start the show by denying Kevin Owens access to his Town Hall. And you know what? Shane’s not exactly dissuading Owens from his actions, is he?

Because Owens is winning. He stormed the arena last week to air his grievances and stick up for wrestlers he thinks are long-due opportunities on the show. And guess what happened? Shane had to call together a “town hall” to try to patch things up while also granting plenty of the people Owens mentioned opportunities on the show.

Liv Morgan. Apollo Crews. Asuka. Kairi Sane. Each of them had matches on SmackDown, and each made an impact. And after being barred from the town hall, Roman Reigns and others were there to take up his mantle of telling Shane to kiss their asses.

Why would Owens stop when he’s getting precisely what he wants? Ali was backstage making it known that he wants an Intercontinental Championship match. Hell, even Buddy Murphy made an appearance!

Owens was called back to the arena after attacking Shane at the town hall, where he was forced to fight Dolph Ziggler. It quickly became a pseudo-lumberjack match with all of Shane’s cronies spilling out to ringside, scowling and planning Owens’ downfall. And while they were busy looking mean, Owens was busy Stunning their boss once again and high-tailing it out of the arena.

To be fair, that’s kind of a lackluster ending. It’s not the sort of thing you need to seek out via YouTube or whatever. But it’s still pretty wild to watch a good guy so thoroughly get what they want.

Moon vs. Bayley

Wow. This came out of nowhere.

For weeks, Moon was tormented in backstage segments by Fire and Desire. And for weeks, their feud was minor filler for episodic television. My, how quickly things can change.

After being challenged to a tag team match last week, Moon had to go out and find a partner to take on the two bullies. That partner was the SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley, and that team took Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose out in short order.

But then, the fun began. Bayley was asked in the ring who her next opponent would be, and Bayley was quick to say how relieved she was to get rid of Alexa Bliss for good. Now, she wants to get back to elevating the SmackDown roster, and she wants to fight someone entirely new.

And then she turned and smiled at Ember Moon.

My initial reaction is to say “there was no progression to this. She’s just been doing nothing for so long, despite how many times I’ve written in these reviews that I want more Moon.” And that’s kind of silly, isn’t it? Yeah, WWE should do way better with this sort of thing, but why would I look a gift horse in the mouth?

It’s not an epic build to end a cataclysmic feud, no, but it’s still Bayley vs. Moon. This has the makings of being excellent, and the first step is buying-in as a fan. Now all the stuff I said about the Raw women’s program in the Raw review applies to this one as well. They need to do a massive amount of work in a very short time. But consider me a fan of the decision – let’s see what these two can do.

The Rest

Randy Orton, Samoa Joe, and Elias def. The New Day – Speaking of title contenders, I think we’ve got our next opponent for WWE Champion Kofi Kingston: Randy Orton. After being taunted for going limp in his old age by Kingston, Orton struck back with an RKO to pin the champion. Orton and Kingston have tons of history, so this could be really fun.

Charlotte def. Liv Morgan – I think Morgan had the best night of any wrestler on SmackDown. After questioning Charlotte at the town hall and accusing her of being entirely fake – damn, Liv! - she also had some great moments in a relatively short match with the Queen.

Her vow at the end was intriguing as well. She’s going to be “more real” next time, eh? Hell yeah, Liv. Can’t wait.

Aleister Black def. Cesaro – Black kicking the mouthpiece out of Cesaro’s mouth was an awesome visual. Good on them for using something at their disposal to make Black look even cooler.

Daniel Bryan has no words – Such a tease, Daniel. C’mon man. Hopefully we hear his earth-shattering announcement next week.

The Kabuki Warriors def. The IIconics – I wish the Warriors had gotten more support here, but there’s only so much you can expect when they’re not a consistent portion of the show. The IIconics got some good boos for cowering away and taking the count out loss, though.

Apollo Crews def. Andrade – Look at Crews making moves! He and Andrade have been building a decent little feud in the past few weeks. I’d love to see it get a tie-in to something bigger moving forward.

If you’re a fan of excitement and big moments, this show probably wasn’t for you. With that said, it did lay a ton of groundwork for the upcoming weeks, had an overarching Owens tie-in to nearly everything, and made decent sense.

Not bad for a Tuesday.

Grade: B-

Your turn.

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