WWE Smackdown – July 16, 2019: What Comes Before First?

Date: July 16, 2019
Location: DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It looks to be an eventful night this week and believe it or not, a big focus is going to be on Shane McMahon. We’re going to have a town hall meeting where wrestlers and people on the show can air their grievances with Shane, which could go a lot of ways. Other than that, Daniel Bryan is going to make a career changing announcement. Let’s get to it.

Here are last week’s results if you need a recap.

We open with a recap of Kevin Owens calling out Shane McMahon for taking over the show.

Earlier today, Owens arrived when Shane met him at the door. Tonight, Owens has the night off because Shane is not having him interrupt the town hall.

We look at Undertaker Tombstoning Shane for the win on Sunday at Extreme Rules.

It’s already time for the town hall with the roster on the stage. Shane says anyone can say anything they want as long as they’re respectful. Roman Reigns goes first and says that no one respects Shane. That doesn’t work for Shane, so Reigns is going to be fined and dealt with later. Charlotte goes next and thanks Shane for treating her and her family so great. Liv Morgan, who Owens mentioned last week, calls her out for having everything handed to her. Charlotte: “Do you work here?”

They argue for a bit until Shane calls them off and Buddy Murphy goes next. Murphy says he doesn’t like Owens being rude to Shane and wants to slap the taste out of Owens’ mouth. Shane approves of this and declares Murphy no longer the best kept secret in Smackdown history.

Apollo Crews says no one likes Shane and gets called out by Zelina Vega, likely setting up a match with Andrade. Elias says that he is not Kevin Owens but New Day cuts him off. Kofi Kingston rants about how no one gets an opportunity under Shane. That’s enough for Shane, who says the town hall is over. Everyone leaves but Cesaro wants Aleister Black to pick a fight with him tonight. Shane makes the match in a hurry and Cesaro leaves. Cue Owens behind him and there’s the Stunner, after Owens misses Shane’s head on the first attempt. Owens runs off into the crowd to a rather positive reaction.

Aleister Black vs. Cesaro

Rematch from Sunday where Black won in a good match. Black flips away from Cesaro to start and has a seat as we take a break. Back with Cesaro holding a chinlock but Black fights up and hits the running moonsault for two. Cesaro kicks him in the face for the same and it’s off to a Crossface. That’s broken up and Black hits a knee, followed by Black Mass for the pin at 6:17. Not enough shown to rate but Black kicking another head off is a good thing.

Dolph Ziggler comes up to Shane in the back and says he wants to teach Owens a lesson tonight. That’s a no because Owens is probably long gone. Ziggler can get him back though, and it can be the main event tonight. That’s cool with Shane.

After Extreme Rules, Daniel Bryan ranted about how he failed in his quest to change the planet. If he still wants to do it, he has to go where Bryan has never gone before and he knows what he has to do. Bryan looked a little insane here.

Liv Morgan vs. Charlotte

Charlotte shoves her down to start so Morgan is right back up with a dropkick and a little wave. Liv gets in another knockdown for two but a heck of a powerbomb takes her down. The Figure Eight makes Liv tap at 2:26. Nice job of trying to push someone fresh but this is Charlotte’s world.

Post match Liv grabs a headset and says that Charlotte was right. When she comes back, she’s going to be real.

Ziggler finds Owens’ number.

Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville vs. Ember Moon/???

Moon needs a mystery partner and it’s…..Bayley. Mandy and Sonya jump them to start and Bayley gets choked on the ropes. Bayley fights back in a hurry and hands it off to Moon for the kicks to Mandy’s ribs. The Bayley to Belly sets up the Eclipse to finish Rose at 1:32.

Post match Bayley says she wants to elevate the division against someone she’s never faces before. She offers the Summerslam shot to Moon, who of course accepts.

Shinsuke Nakamura is proud of winning the Intercontinental Title and is free to rain chaos. Ali comes up to congratulate him and looks at the title.

Here’s New Day for a chat. Xavier Woods brags about Kofi retaining the title on Sunday but Kofi talks about the two of them winning the Tag Team Titles for the sixth time. They’re like three African American leprechauns with all the gold (Woods: “THESE ARE WHITE GOLD!”). They know what Daniel Bryan’s announcement and they accept the Tag Team Title rematch for right here and right now.

Cue Bryan and Rowan….but then they turn around and leave without saying anything. Then they come back, still say nothing, and leave again. They come back a third time but this time Bryan drops the mic without saying anything. Now it’s Samoa Joe coming out to say he’s ready for a championship opportunity. The New Day is throwing out title chances so Kofi can do the same right here tonight.

Hang on though as here’s Elias to cut him off. Elias says Joe has already gotten his shot but here’s Randy Orton to interrupt as well. He hasn’t had the title in a long time and will get it back with an RKO. Elias says they can’t all have title matches tonight but we can have a six man tag instead. New Day likes the sound of it, with each one getting in a playa for a bonus. Orton: “Nah. I’m good.” Kofi accuses the Viper of going limp and the match is on.

New Day vs. Elias/Samoa Joe/Randy Orton

Kofi elbows Elias in the face to start but an Orton distraction breaks up a cover attempt. Joe comes in and hammers away at Kofi but the running double stomp gives Kofi two. It’s off to Woods and New Day hits their parade of various jumping shots to Joe for two more. Elias comes back in and gets caught in the spanking abdominal stretch from Big E., followed by the Honor Roll to give Woods two of his own. Orton gets in a cheap shot from the apron though and Elias takes over.

Back from a break with Woods fighting out of a chinlock but not being able to make a tag. Elias’ superplex is broken up and Woods hits a missile dropkick, allowing the hot tag to Kofi to clean house on Orton. The RKO attempt is broken up as everything breaks down. Big E. gives Orton the belly to belly and Joe is low bridged to the floor. Woods follows with a big running flip dive but Joe grabs the Clutch. Elias tries the running knee on Big E. and doesn’t come close but Big E. goes down anyway. Back in and Trouble in Paradise hits Elias’ side, leaving Kofi to take the RKO for the pin at 9:25.

Rating: C. So we’re going with Orton vs. Kingston at Summerslam? They’re certainly going with the safe paths in the title matches at the pay per view and while that’s not the worst idea in the world, it’s also not the most thrilling one. Hopefully we get something interesting, but you never know how good something like this is going to be.

R-Truth is hiding in some kind of a box when Carmella comes to find him. He’s tired of hiding but she thinks he should hide in plain sight at Comic Con. Truth: “Don’t call me a con. I did my time and paid my debt to society.” Eventually he gets the idea.

Women’s Tag Team Titles: Kabuki Warriors vs. IIconics

The Warriors are challenging and don’t even get an entrance. The IIconics are shown at ringside to start so this match really does mean as little as it seems. Shane chops Royce in the chest to start and Asuka adds a running knee for two. The running hip attack misses though and Kay hits a big boot for two. Asuka is right back with a spinning kick to the head to send her outside and the IIconics take the countout at 1:19.

Post match the Warriors destroy the champs even more.

Apollo Crews vs. Andrade

Crews jumps him before the bell and the beatdown is on in a hurry. Crews says he can go but gets knocked into the corner again. Andrade hits the running knees in the corner but Crews crucifixes him for the pin at :54.

We look back at Bray Wyatt’s return last night on Raw.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens

The threat of a Stunner sends Ziggler outside for a flip dive but the Swanton hits raised knees back inside. Ziggler gets two off a Fameasser and the chinlock goes on. Owens fights up and hits a superkick, setting up the Swanton for a rather close two. Cue Shane with a small army behind him to surround the ring. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag off the distraction for two (I bought that as the finish) and Owens slaps him in the face.

Ziggler pounds away in the corner and sends Owens hard into the post (Shane: “That looks like that hurt.”). A superkick misses and Owens hits the Stunner, only to have Shane pull him out of the ring. Owens hits another Stunner on Shane on the floor before running away in a smart move at around 6:15.

Rating: D+. This was almost all storyline advancement but they had me on the Zig Zag. Thank goodness they didn’t go that way as it would have been the dumbest thing they could have done. Owens looked great coming out of last week and Extreme Rules, so thankfully they didn’t go in the wrong direction by having him get pinned here.

Shane promises to make Owens pay to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. The best thing I can say about this show is that nothing stupid happened. The right people won the matches (save for maybe Apollo) and there are some people they’re clearly interested in pushing. You can see most of the Summerslam card from here and I’d expect Owens vs. Shane in some kind of a loser leaves WWE match to be added soon. They did the right things here and it was certainly an energetic show, albeit nothing that did anything terribly memorable. All in all, not bad and better than Raw.

One very important note: According to Meltzer, Bischoff was NOT involved in this show in any way and was not even in town for it. No word on the reason for the delay, but this was not his debut episode.


Aleister Black b. Cesaro – Black Mass

Charlotte b. Liv Morgan – Figure Eight

Bayley/Ember Moon b. Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville – Eclipse to Rose

Randy Orton/Elias/Samoa Joe b. New Day – RKO to Kingston

Kabuki Warriors b. IIconics via countout

Apollo Crews b. Andrade – Crucifix

Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler went to a no contest when Owens ran away

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