I was originally going to skip Smackdown altogether, not least of all because so much time has passed since it aired, but I felt the urge to push that completism button and also I wanted to watch 205 Live for their main event and figured I should chuck it all together.
April 9 2019
We’re in New York City at the Barclays Center. Interesting to note that EC3 was on the dark match with his new manager Drake Maverick. They’re good friends in real life so putting them together may not seem as ludicrous as that sounds.
Promo Time: Kofi Kingston
He’s out here as the new champion, a title he might have lost if the match with Seth Rollins had gone ahead on RAW. Something the Bar decide was a foregone conclusion as they come out here to claim they saved the title for Smackdown (or some such). They bring out Drew McIntyre and issue a challenge for a trios match tonight.
Aleister Black, Ricochet & Mustafa Ali vs. Andrade, Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura
Based on this Nakamura should be happy at having his full name intact! Johnny Foreigner often loses most of their handle before hitting the main roster. If you’re looking for a sneaky good and really fun trios match from Mania week I may have a surprise for you here. Unless you watch Smackdown every week then you’ll know this was good.
This multiple pose spot is fun but they also do finisher death and a bunch of flippy counters. 450 Splash beats Andrade and a good time was had by all.
Final Rating: ***1/2
Post Match: Randy Orton RKO’s Ali out of nowhere. Rusev stands mocking over the fallen Ali and gets planted with a Stunner by Kevin Owens. This company is weird.
Promo Time: R-Truth & Carmella
Truth is being all goofy and whatnot until Samoa Joe comes out here. Truth gets choked out. Joe calls out anyone who wants a fight Braun Strowman turns up.
This is Joe’s “oh shit” face. With the Superstar Shakeup coming soon we have potential movers and shakers and here’s two of them.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
The Iiconics (c) vs. Kris Stadtlander & Karissa Rivera
Stadtlander put in a hell of shift this weekend!
She’s an actual Indie wrestling whereas Rivera works down at the PC, hoping to become a star in NXT. Of course they’re treated as jokes here for the Iiconics to beat up. Kris gets beat up for a while then Karissa tags in and Peyton knees her in the head for the pin. The screechy celebrations are already hurting me. Mentally.
Final Rating: Squash
Promo Time: Shane McMahon
Shane gives a good look at the shiner he got from super badass George Mizanin (aka Mr Miz). Shane blames Mr Miz for attacking him and he merely defended himself. Shane moves on to bullying ring announcer Greg Hamilton.
Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Usos (c) vs. The Hardy Boyz
I thought it was weird that they didn’t switch these belts at Mania, as it always feels like you get a reset of some kind but it makes more sense given this match up. Twist of Fate sets up the Swanton at the finish and the crowd goes wild for the Hardyz.
This is actually the first time they’ve won these particular tag straps. They were WWF tag team champions on six occasions and also won the RAW belts. So this makes them eight time WWE tag champions but they also won the WCW tag titles under WWE ownership and the TNA titles twice. So technically they’re now 11-time world tag team champions. In order to mark such a landmark achievement Lars Sullivan comes out and kills them. Wow the post match booking on this show has been terrible.
Final Rating: **3/4
Promo Time: Becky Lynch
The Champ Champ welcomes all challengers and will be sleeping with one eye open. She’s busy showing the belts off when Lacey Evans cheap shots her. What brand is Lacey attached to anyway? I don’t watch this shit often enough to tell.
The New Day vs. The Bar & Drew McIntyre
This is another booking snafu as Drew wasn’t originally booked here but randomly gets put in this match and then randomly leaves it! Smackdown is suddenly a booking mess. Kofi as world champion is less likely to be taking pins, although it didn’t stop Vince jobbing Rey to everyone when he was champion. Trouble in Paradise puts Sheamus away and this was fine. The meniscus tear to Big E during the match will sideline him for some considerable time.
Final Rating: **1/2
This was fine. The trios match was good and the Hardyz winning popped the crowd but storyline wise this show was a fucking car wreck. Road Dogg stepped down the day afterwards and it makes me wonder if he was pushed due to this making no sense.
Jack Gallagher vs. Humberto Carillo
This is a nice mixture of guys. The European stylings of Gallagher against the flippy lucha of Carillo.
This is smooth and beautifully executed. Gallagher is great and Carillo can match him on the mat. The thing about Carillo is he’s a big match guy. When he hits the big matches he’ll blow everyone away but coming up he’s going to have a lot of middling contests. He’s a home run hitter and WWE want him to lay down bunts (SPORTS!). Drew Gulak, on comms here, has been a surprise in WWE for me. He’s developed his character and personality and has become a worthwhile guy for the brand. He’s the cause of the DQ finish here; shoving Carillo off the top. There’s a big switch post match with Gulak giving Carillo a shoeing and Jack makes the save!
Final Rating: **1/2
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Tony Nese (c) vs. Buddy Murphy
Buddy Murphy has been an incredible ambassador for this division. He helped to rebuild it out of the ashes of that terrible Enzo Amore run that almost killed 205 Live dead. There’s only so many guys he can wrestle on 205 Live though and it could be ready for him to step up. After all he’s always been on the cusp of a higher weight division. Murphy pulls the fake knee injury here, which I’m not keen on. Especially coming about an hour after Big E ruined his own knee.
Nese clearly takes that personally and he’s more aggressive after that. Buddy takes an absolutely sensational bump over the announce table. Holy shit it’s great. As with the mass of great Murphy matches on 205 Live this year there are terrific sequences and high spots. Murphy takes another stunning bump over the announce table. Is that becoming his trademark thing? Nese knees him in the head a lot and retains. This was great, a little better than a very good pre-show match at Mania. Made even more impressive by getting a dead tired crowd to react after five days of wrestling.
Final Rating: ****
Fantastic match from Nese and Murphy to follow up from their WrestleMania match. Not much else happening but hey, when you’ve got a 20 minute main event and it’s one of the better matches of WrestleMania week what else do you need?