SmackDown LIVE has remained the better show over Raw for weeks now. Could they continue that trend last night following a Raw where there was no wrestling for almost the entire first hour? Here is the highlights:
SmackDown Highlights: Kofi Kingston vs Kevin Owens
In a Money in the Bank rematch, Kevin Owens took on the WWE Champion Kofi Kingston in a non-title bout. Owens made his way out to the ring immediately when SmackDown LIVE kicked off. He would make the point that when he “softened up” Kingston for challenger Dolph Ziggler, he would earn the opportunity to contend for the championship. Kofi heard enough as he accused Owens of being the one who took out Big E last week backstage. Owens promised that was not him, but Kofi would not listen, leading to the matchup. What is interesting about that is the fact Owens is claiming it was not him and not one is looking at Ziggler in this matter. Could it be some sort of surprise down the line, perhaps?
Anyways, on to the match. KO would do all he could to try and put the WWE Champion to rest but couldn’t do so. After a crash and burn of Kingston to the outside and a senton bomb by Owens, it proved to not be enough. Following his time of control for much of the match, Kingston would still have enough juice left in the tank. KO would go for the Pop-Up Powerbomb but the champion would land on his feet and hit a Trouble in Paradise for the victory. There would be no sign of Dolph, but Kofi looks to head into WWE Super Showdown as strong as can be.
SmackDown Highlights: Shane O’Mac Appreciation Takes The Night
Fans were treated to exactly what they were probably asking for last night as SmackDown LIVE held a Shane McMahon Appreciation Night. Shane, Drew McIntyre, and Elias all stood inside the ring as a video played for the “Best in the World” to honor him in doing so. Mid-segment, 24/7 Champion R-Truth would be chased into the ring by Drake Maverick with referee in tow. Truth would turn around, laying out Maverick and pinning him to successfully defend the championship. Unfortunately for Truth, he turned to an attack by both McIntyre and Elias due to him interrupting the Appreciation of Shane. Following a Claymore Kick, Elias would pin Truth to win his first championship, becoming 24/7 Champion in the process. Shane would then announce in the main event, McIntyre and Elias would team to take on an injured Truth and Roman Reigns.
Drew McIntyre & Elias vs Roman Reigns & R-Truth
Shane would have his boys take out Truth as he attempted to make his entrance. Roman Reigns had to do much of the work as it was essentially a handicap match against “The Big Dog”. As the match came down to the end, Shane would get involved by trying to keep his attention while McIntyre came flying in for the Claymore but missed as he crashed and burned onto the announce table. Reigns would then get into the ring a hit Elias with a thunderous Spear to win the match. Reigns would realize that Elias was out cold, pushing Truth to win back the 24/7 Championship in the process.
SmackDown LIVE MVP: Aleister Black
A name that surely has not been heard for a while is former NXT Champion Aleister Black. Black returned to the television screen as he sat in darkness once again hinting at what his future may hold. He would then bring up how so many have called a certain competitor out before making their splash, but he wants to do it differently. Black made the point that he is sitting and waiting for someone to pick a fight with him. That is what will bring “The Dutch Destroyer” out of the darkness and into the light. The dark scene of Black talking to the people is something that has gone unnoticed by fans but brings plenty of excitement in the future.
SmackDown LIVE was completely different from Raw this week in a good way, focusing on the in-ring abilities of their competitors while also build up a character like Aleister Black who can become a top star on the brand that they need right now.
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