Date: August 27, 2019
Location: Raising Cane’s River Center, Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
The first round of the King of the Ring wraps up tonight and it’s getting pretty clear that Raw is the favored side. The talent pool just feels deeper over there as this show is going to include Shelton Benjamin getting a first round match. Maybe that would have been interesting fifteen years ago but it doesn’t quite work right now. Let’s get to it.
We open with the same video on Roman Reigns’ attacks that we saw last night.
Reigns promises a response to Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan in the ring tonight.
Here’s Kofi Kingston for a chat, but first we see a video on Randy Orton’s attacks since Summerslam. Kofi has heard Orton calling him stupid but who got knocked out last week? Now Orton is trying to turn this personal and he’s bringing in the Revival to help him out. That means Orton is seeing the look when you mess with Kofi’s family so Kofi is ready for Clash Of Champions. Kofi starts the hip thrusts but Orton appears on screen to say STUPID over and over.
Earlier today, Orton was in his hotel room when someone knocked on his door and slid a letter underneath. Normally he doesn’t reply to fan mail but this one was different. It says that Orton is hurting Kofi and he needs to stop hurting him every night. Kofi isn’t just his hero because Kofi is his daddy. It’s from Kofi’s son Kai, and Orton realized that he is staying in the same hotel as Kofi’s family. Maybe he should pay them a visit. Kofi charges to the back and the fight is on in the gorilla position, with Kofi getting hit with the hanging DDT onto the concrete. Kofi is out cold and medics are requested. That was certainly a great THUD.
Post break, Big E. assures us that Kofi will be ready for Clash of Champions but after his match with Orton tonight, Randy might not be.
Recap of the first round of the King of the Ring.
King of the Ring First Round: Ali vs. Buddy Murphy
The winner gets Elias next week. Ali starts fast with a running hurricanrana to put Murphy on the floor. The running flip dive doesn’t work as Murphy catches him with a running knee to the face and we take an early break. Back with Ali catapulting him chest first into the corner and hitting a pop up dropkick to put Murphy on the floor again.
Murphy is right back with a shot of his own and that means the big running flip dive, which is quite the landing given Murphy’s size. Back in and Ali ducks the top rope Meteora, setting up the reverse hurricanrana for a close two. Murphy comes back with another knee to the face and a brainbuster for two of his own. The fans deem this awesome as the slugout is on, including Ali’s spinwheel kick. A tornado DDT from the apron back inside plants Murphy and Ali’s 450 is good for the pin at 9:09.
Rating: B. I can see why these two are the choice for the dark match so often. They beat the heck out of each other and it’s easy to cheer for either of them. That being said, it’s probably not a good sign for Murphy’s future if he’s losing clean in the first round of the tournament. Being able to have that kind of a match will keep him around for a long time though and he should be fine, albeit maybe not as fine as he looked last week.
They do the big respectful handshake.
Ember Moon comes up to Bayley, who seems to be worried about Charlotte. Moon doesn’t want to talk about Summerslam but also doesn’t want to hear about Charlotte being the face of the division. It’s all about bringing everyone up, so here’s Lacey Evans to say Bayley is bringing the title down. Egads it’s like the return of the summer. Bayley against Evans tonight.
Here’s the Miz to address Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn attacking him last week. Nakamura is a champion and Sami is a hanger on who couldn’t make it in the ring himself. Nakamura may be the King of Strong Styles but Miz is the man who made the Intercontinental Title relevant and he can do it again. The challenge is made for Clash of Champions but here’s a laughing Sami to interrupt. Sami says Miz still doesn’t get it because he has liberated Nakamura.
Instead of the King of Strong Style, Miz is the King of Soft Style. Miz throws out the challenge to face Sami right now but that’s a no. Miz goes after Sami but Nakamura jumps him from behind as Sami talks about how awesome the artistry is. Kinshasa against the LED board leaves Miz laying. Sami: “AHAHAHAHA!” They get inside with Sami talking about Miz’s lack of respect for artistry, setting up another Kinshasa.
Kevin Owens comes in to see Shane McMahon but finds Elias playing the guitar instead. There is no Shane tonight (yet his roving office was set up) so Owens leaves.
Bayley vs. Lacey Evans
Non-title. Lacey takes her time removing the glove but her cheap shot is blocked. An armbar doesn’t work very well for Bayley as Lacey slams her way out of it and kicks away in the corner. They head outside with Bayley hitting a running clothesline but here’s Charlotte for a distraction.
Back from a break with Bayley hitting a middle rope crossbody but getting caught in….a layout DDT I think? Lacey slams the arm onto the apron and the slingshot Bronco Buster gets two. A dropkick to the back gives Bayley a breather and some clotheslines have Lacey rocked. An Indian Deathlock of all things has Lacey….in the rope about two seconds later.
Lacey knocks her down again and hits a good looking spinning moonsault for two. Charlotte is NOT impressed as Bayley goes outside and manages a suplex off the barricade. Back in and Bayley gets more aggressive, including a knee to the head. The Bayley to Belly gets two so Bayley hits it again and drops the top rope elbow for the pin at 14:28.
Rating: C+. They had some time here and the match was entertaining enough but they still can’t get out of Charlotte’s shadow. Even if Bayley retains the title at Clash of Champions, how long before Charlotte gets a rematch and wins the title again anyway? They don’t have anything else for her to do though and this is about as good as they’re going to do.
Daniel Bryan and Erick Rowan aren’t leaving until they get an apology from Reigns.
Randy Orton vs. Big E.
Big E. isn’t playing and knocks Orton outside early on. Orton is thrown into various things, including over the barricade. Back in and Big E. does the spanking abdominal stretch, which isn’t exactly playing into the angry theme. Some hard running clotheslines keep Orton down as it’s completely one sided so far. Big E. misses the apron splash though, with his face bouncing off the apron in a nasty landing.
Orton drops him onto the announcers’ table and we take a break. Back with Big E. dropping him onto the table to even things up and it’s time for the belly to belly suplexes. Cue the Revival for a distraction and cheap shot from the floor, setting up the RKO to give Orton the pin at 8:43.
Rating: C. One of these days, WWE is going to open their eyes and see what they have in Big E. and strap a rocket to his back. Or at least they should, because there is almost nothing that he can’t do. The idea here was to have Orton continue to take out the New Day and while the idea of “Kofi can’t do it by himself” is played out, at least they’re actually doing something about it to set things up. If nothing else, the Revival should get the titles out of it.
Post match Orton and the Revival hit the super RKO.
Chad Gable is ready for his King of the Ring match when Shelton Benjamin comes up. Shelton can’t see him because he’s short.
We look at the weekend’s 24/7 Title shenanigans.
Elias is sitting on the throne and says none of the previous winners will be able to wear the crown like he can. But what would a bunch of Louisiana people understand about that? Cue Owens to jump Elias and hit the Stunner in the ring. Cue R-Truth to steal the title but Drake Maverick breaks it up and gets the title for himself.
King of the Ring First Round: Shelton Benjamin vs. Chad Gable
The winner gets Andrade next week. Shelton hits a spinebuster for a very early two and whips him hard into the corner for the same. One too many short jokes wakes Gable up though and he hits a running flip neckbreaker. A scary looking German suplex drops Shelton on his head but he’s right back up with a hard clothesline. Gable knocks him off the top but misses the moonsault, allowing Shelton to knee him in the face. Shelton’s powerbomb is countered into a very fast sunset flip for the pin at 3:43.
Rating: B-. That was a heck of a sub four minute match as they were hitting each other rather hard and packed a bunch into so little time. I was surprised that it was such a short match as it felt like something that would have needed twice as long. If nothing else, maybe we don’t have to listen to the short jokes anymore because that’s about as bad as you can get.
Here’s Roman Reigns for the apology to Bryan and Rowan. The two of them appear on screen with Bryan demanding his apology. We see a video of the forklift attack and Rowan is shown pushing some of the crates onto Roman. Bryan slaps him in the face, shouting about how he hates liars. With Rowan gone, Bryan comes to the ring and says he trusted Rowan for almost the last year and now he has been betrayed. Bryan comes to the ring and says he didn’t know what happened but it’s a spear to put him down to end the show.
Overall Rating: B. This was a heck of a show with storyline developments and nothing bad throughout the show. What mattered here was getting things ready for Clash of Champions while also moving things forward in various places, including the main event and King of the Ring. I had a really good time with this show and it flew by for a nice plus. Very good show and easily the best of the Bischoff Era so far.
Ali b. Buddy Murphy – 450
Bayley b. Lacey Evans – Top rope elbow
Randy Orton b. Big E. – RKO
Chad Gable b. Shelton Benjamin – Sunset flip
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