Smackdown Live Review – July 23

Coming off of the RAW Reunion, Smackdown Live begins with a recap of Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon the last two weeks. After the video, Big E and Xavier Woods are shown dancing on the commentary desk, and then Shane McMahon walks down to the ring.

McMahon says Owens has challenged him to a match at Summer Slam. McMahon accepts. McMahon tries to go on and say Owens said he would quit he if lost the match but was interrupted by chants of “You Can’t Wrestle.”

McMahon says he wants it in wiring that Owens would quit if he loses, which bring out Owens. Owens says he is not a quitter and challenges McMahon to a match right now. Shane of course declines but gives Owens a match against Roman Reigns tonight.

After the break, McMahon is backstage with Elias and Drew McIntyre. The three are talking about how special this Owens vs. Reigns match will be. Shane announces McIntyre will be the “special guest referee,” Elias will be the “special timekeeper,” and himself will be the “special ring announcer.” Just when I got into this match and liked the start of the show, they ruin it. I hate what they are doing to McIntyre; more unnecessary screen-time for McMahon and this Owens-Reigns doesn’t need these shenanigans. This went from fun to just nonsense. Can’t see it ending well.

Does Owens vs. Reigns take first place in my rankings of the show? See that and what else happened below.

Kofi’s New Challenger:

Kofi Kingston comes out and says he wants to face Randy Orton for the WWE Title at SummerSlam.

Kingston accuses Orton of holding him back. Orton agrees, saying he did it because Kofi was not ready and his title win was a fluke. Orton said all he had to do was be Randy Orton. He “didn’t have to fake a Jamaican accident or throw pancakes to be on top.”

Orton goes on to say he injured Ali, allowing Kingston to take his place and go on his run.

Kingston challenges Orton, who accepts.

This was a fantastic promo setting up their feud at SummerSlam. I can’t wait for next week. Well-done WWE.

Finn vs. Fiend:

Finn Balor walks down to the ring and starts talking about how “The Fiend” attacked him last week. Balor challenges “The Fiend” to a match at SummerSlam. Wyatt appears on the screen and accepts Finn’s challenge but warns Balor he is an abomination. Demon vs. Fiend????

“The Fiend” appears on the screen and says, “Let me in.”

This was an excellent segment. Short, sweet, and to the point. It set up another match at SummerSlam, gave Wyatt a credible foe to comeback against and got everyone excited for their match.

Owens and Reigns Stand tall:

Before the match got started, Charlotte Flair announced she would be competing at SummerSlam, just not for the title. I’m happy to be wrong.

I wondered how the WWE would get themselves out of this mess, considering it’s the top two faces on the show going at it. Neither guy really could afford a loss right now, and the WWE delivered. Both men looked good.

McIntyre was breaking things up in the corner, acting like a regular referee (surprisingly) and Reigns punches McIntyre. The two then team-up to take out Elias and McIntyre and then McMahon. Reigns hit McMahon with the superman punch, and Owens landed back-to-back Stunners to close the show.

Miz TV with HBK:

After a video packaging recapping last night on RAW, The Miz bring out Sean Michaels. The two have a friendly back-and-forth until Dolph Ziggler interrupts. Ziggler says he’s had enough of these legends that are still around when they should have retired long ago. Ziggler tells Michaels he was embarrassing last November.

Michaels agrees and then calls Ziggler a “second-rate Sean Michaels wanna be.”

Miz finally interrupts Dolph and tells him to “do something about it.” Ziggler tries to walk away, but Michaels grabs him. Dolph goes for a punch, but it hits Miz instead and then drills Michaels with a superkick.

This was a decent segment. It went on a bit too long, but the Miz saved it, and the ending was good, so I enjoyed it.

Kofi Stands Tall:

Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe have a good match until Kingston lands a Trouble in Paradise on Joe. Orton tried to slide in from out of nowhere for the RKO, but Kingston blocked it, causing the DQ. Joe tried to get involved again, but Orton hits him with the RKO. Kingston then hits Orton with a Trouble in Paradise to stand tall over both men.

This segment really put over Kofi, who has been criticized for hot having a legit feud since winning the title. This segment went a long way in Kingston silencing those critics.

Moon Upsets Flair and Eclipses Flair and Bayley:

Just after the match between Charlotte Flair and Ember Moon begins, Bayley walks out for the distraction. It works, giving Moon the victory. Afterward, Moon hits Flair and Bayley with the Eclipse to stand tall.

This put Ember over and gave her some much-needed credibility heading into her title opportunity. So mission accomplished. Somehow though I’m getting the feeling Charlotte will be added to the title match, and I do not like it. Bayley and Ember are good enough on their own.

Shinsuke Defeats Crews:

This was a fine match. Like he has the last few weeks, Crews looked good in the loss, getting in several good spots. Shinsuke won with a Kinshasa. After the match, Shinsuke beat down Crews and hit another Kinshasa. The New Day on commentary was pretty entertaining.

After the beatdown, Mandy Rose told Sonya Deville she talked to Shane McMahon, and they have a match against The IIconics next week.

This was a really really good episode of Smackdown Live. After the first 15 minutes, I had my doubts, but both women’s segments were good, The New Day was terrific on commentary, the Main Event was entertaining, Orton vs. Kingston promo was great, Finn vs. Fiend should be gr, and Miz TV was above average.

Add that all up and you get the highest score I have ever given out. I give this week a 4.5 out of five.

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