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WWE SmackDown Live results, recap, reactions (July 30, 2019): Champion vs. Champion

In one corner, the WWE Champion. The other, the United States Champion. Four Tag Team Champions surround the ring.

Wait...wasn’t this supposed to be a 6-man tag match? Did I dream that promotion?

I actually prefer WWE waiting to book that match. New Day vs. The OC should be for something, even if I’m not sure what it is at the moment. Needless to say when you’ve got all these champions involved in something, you have your main event for the evening.

The match broke into a chaotic mess at ringside after a commercial break, teasing how awesome a proper feud between these two factions could be. It had a killer finish as well, when Styles springboarded off the top rope right into a Trouble in Paradise.

The thing about this match, however, is that it was preceded by a promo package from Kingston’s SummerSlam opponent Randy Orton. And he drilled home exactly what he said last week: Kofi has to put on an act to be who he is. All Orton has ever had to be is himself – because in his mind, he’s that much better than Kofi.

And when you hear the New Day cut a promo, when you see the pancakes, the skipping, the trombone...well. Orton’s video package furthers the feud without him even showing up in person. But even Orton can’t deny that Kofi’s done this all by himself – just like on this show, picking up a win on the United States Champion.


The show quickly cut from the main event match to Roman Reigns walking down a hallway where he was meant to be interviewed and issue a “SummerSlam Challenge.”

Instead, someone buried him under scaffolding and a bunch of boxes. It was a fairly surprising outcome, even if the multiple camera cuts as Reigns walked down the hall belied the fact that something would happen to him.

Reigns would get up and walk away from the rubble, surprisingly. He also shook off the aid of paramedics who rushed to the scene. I’d imagine he was mentally replaying how well those medics helped his pal Seth Rollins on Raw.

So! The question is clearly “whodunnit?” It doesn’t seem like Samoa Joe’s cup of tea; he, as we saw on Raw, tends to enjoy using his bare hands to cause pain.

So who could it be? My money’s on Daniel Bryan.

Bryan was meant to deliver some sort of career-altering announcement on this show, and he’s refused to speak in recent weeks after lamenting his failure to raise the tag teams to the main event scene. Is trying to murder Reigns the “going further than Daniel Bryan’s gone before” that Bryan promised?

If it is Bryan, I look forward to the explanation.

Trish Stratus vs. Charlotte Flair

It’s cliché. It’s convoluted. It’s unoriginal. But despite the “hey vet, stop taking up all our time” routine that Dolph Ziggler has literally been using lately, I’m excited as hell to watch Stratus vs. Charlotte on a big 4 PPV.

Trish was being interviewed by Jerry Lawler because Memphis will always cheer that dude. My city just can’t help itself. Just like we can’t help but trash Nashville at any given opportunity.

Anyway, they talked briefly about the Raw Reunion before Charlotte came down to do the thing I already mentioned. She challenged Trish to a match, and Trish didn’t respond right away. Charlotte took that to mean Trish was scared and nonverbally admitting she couldn’t hang with the new crop of talent, and Trish was quick to stem that trail of thought.

Game on for SummerSlam. I’m hyped.

The Rest

Kevin Owens def. Drew McIntyre – At first, I was sort of cynical about this. Oh yeah sure, Owens, it’s not about Shane when this match is clearly about Shane. Why else would McIntyre be here?

But then they fought and uh...yeah, I’ll quit with the cynical stuff. Good match!

Black is back in self-imposed purgatory, gets challenged by Sami Zayn – Interesting new wrinkle, here. He talked about how he’s waiting for us to catch on to what he’s trying to do for himself. He mentioned the blood of his soul and that he’s seeking salvation, so the picture is starting to get clearer.

Well, Zayn says Black’s full of it. What he’s actually doing, according to Zayn, is being a slave to the whims of the parasitic fans. He’s trying to support his mysterious persona for their benefit and what he really needs is someone to go out and strip that mystique from him so he can heal.

...Hope your molars are firmly rooted in there, Sam.

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross def. Bayley and Ember Moon – Damn, what a power play by Bayley.

She hit up Moon backstage to remind her SummerSlam foe of how lucky she is that Bayley chose her. And when Moon blew the match, Bayley hit Ember with the Bayley-to-Belly for good measure.

You’ve got a loooong way to go, Ember. And honestly, that’s probably the critique for WWE with this feud. How on earth is this feud supposed to help Ember if she’s being booked not to rise to the occasion?

That Firefly Fun House, though – The imagery was so good. From the initial pan to the Rambling Rabbit jam, Rabbit nearly spilling the beans on the Fun House again, Wyatt’s unmasked and murderous gaze, to Sister Abigail’s portrait on the wall behind Wyatt as he said “Let me in,” there was tons to like.

Dolph Ziggler def. Finn Balor – Here’s the one issue I had with Wyatt on this show, though. His interference in this match just didn’t feel that special to me. He did what everyone does, and Balor did what every dumb good guy does by just standing there and getting distracted.

It wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t as special as I’d like.

Ali def. Shinsuke Nakamura – Ah yes, the challenger-beats-champion trope. I don’t mind it here; Ali needs wins to back up his promos and Nakamura’s the bigger name, here.

Another solid show! I had many more issues with this one than Raw, but it’s still generally trending positive. I’m most concerned for Ember at the moment, but I’m also a bit concerned with The Fiend stuff. They really need to get SummerSlam right for Bray’s sake.

Grade: B

Your turn, Cageside!

(P.S. Nashville sucks.)

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