With “The Wild Card Rule” in place, SmackDown LIVE was going to see a new look as four Raw stars would hop on the show to change the pace and landscape of the show. After a tough Raw for viewers however, it became interesting to see if SmackDown LIVE could bounce back and be interesting television with the ratings down. Let’s take a look at the highlights.
Kofi Kingston defends his WWE Championship in a Triple Threat (5/8/19)
Randy Orton Strikes
Two Money in the Bank competitors went head to head last night as Ali and Andrade would face off in a match that was highly expected to bring the fast-paced action to another level. While the amount of time these two would have in this match would be short, these two managed to put on a mini highlight show in itself. Ali would hit Andrade with a beautiful Spanish Fly from the top rope, but once he got to his feet, Randy Orton would enter the ring and end this match. He would go after both of the men as he prepares for the Money in the Bank match that they are all involved in. Ali would not be afraid to fight back, even screaming it at Orton. As he’d run at Orton, he would be propelled into the air for a stunning RKO. Following that, Andrade would go for a springboard clothesline but also get met with an RKO, as Randy Orton would stand tall over the two young up and coming stars. The quietly building rivalry between Ali and Orton is something to watch as it could be a fun feud.
Going into SmackDown LIVE last night, it was announced that Shane McMahon would present a tag team with the SmackDown Tag Team Championships following The Hardys giving it up just a week ago. Shane would get in the ring and discuss how he looked up and down the roster and only saw one team worthy of this. He would then welcome Daniel Bryan and Rowan who he was prepared to crown the tag team champions before “The Wild Rule Card” took over as The Usos would make their way to the ring. They would question how these two earned those titles, while teams like The New Day, The Bar, and themselves battled and earned those championships. This would lead to them laying down a challenge to have the opportunity to earn those, as Daniel Bryan and Rowan would battle with The Usos to see who would become the SmackDown Tag Team Champions.
The Usos would come incredibly close to winning the tag titles that they had held a number of times before. With Superkick after Superkick, it looked like when they eliminated Bryan from the equation that they would walk out of SmackDown as champions. Rowan would take the double Superkick and then an Uso Splash but still manage to kick out. The Usos would then go to the top to hit the Double Splash, but Bryan would have the wherewithal to dump one off the top. They would manage to send Rowan to the outside to go for a double Suicide Dive but Rowan would catch both men. He would send Jimmy Uso into a Running Knee by Daniel Bryan, then throwing Jey Uso back into the ring. Bryan would give enough of a distraction to allow Rowan to hit an Iron Claw to win the tag team championships and officially become the “Planet’s Tag Team Champions”.
SmackDown LIVE MVP: Kofi Kingston Defends WWE Championship
SmackDown LIVE would kick off with “The Phenomenal One” AJ Styles, as it would all feel right again with Styles back on SmackDown. He’d talk about how much he has missed being on the show that he built up for years. Sami Zayn would then make his way to the ring, explaining how he would rather be anywhere else than Kentucky, but knew no one else would go out there and call him out for his toxic behavior. This would lead to the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods making their way to the ring. Kofi would question Styles and why he continues to bring up how he built SmackDown considering he’s now gone, and it is Kofi’s show. He would call him out and question if all he wants a WWE Championship match because he could have it. Sami Zayn would then will his way into it and say that if anyone deserves one, its him. Kofi, the fighting champion he is, would agree to take on both men in a Triple Threat match for the championship later in the night.
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles
For the second straight night, Kofi Kingston would defend the WWE Championship in the main event, and it would be the best part of the respectful show. The high paced action between the three men was fun to watch and you should go back and watch if you can. As the match came towards the end, Styles would hit a big top rope hurricanrana on Zayn as he looked to close out the bout. Styles would go for the reverse DDT on Zayn, but Kofi would get back into the equation and hit the SOS at the same time as the DDT for a very cool combination. As Xavier Woods would cheer on Kofi to bounce back following his Trouble in Paradise to Styles, Kevin Owens would come down and beat down Xavier Woods. This would allow Owen’s best friend Sami Zayn to hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Kingston. Kofi would kick out, but Sami would hit another Blue Thunder Bomb on Kofi. Again, the champion would kick out. Zayn would hit a third Blue Thunder Bomb to a lifeless Kington, but the WWE Champion would show the ability to kick out yet again, leaving Zayn looking for answers. As Zayn prepared to go for the Helluva Kick, Kington would hit the Trouble in Paradise on Zayn and pin him to somehow retain his championship. Following the match, he would check on Woods and let Kevin Owens know he’s not in his head and he is prepared to defeat him at Money in the Bank.
Kofi Kingston defended his championship two times this week against three different competitors, leaving victorious in both matches. It was an incredible sign of courage while SmackDown LIVE showed its old ability to be a show of action which was good to see. Make sure to come back every week for the Raw and SmackDown highlights so that you don’t have to watch the show.
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