If WWE’s goal is for Raw and SmackDown LIVE to feel different from each other on a week to week basis, they nailed it. How did they nail that exactly? Because last week Raw was a lot better than SmackDown and this week SmackDown was a lot better than Raw. This week, a wrestler hit a Stunner on McMahon. Weird to say in 2019 but here we are. Here are the highlights.
SmackDown Highlights: Nakamura finds Strong Styles again
Shinsuke Nakamura returned to television this week to compete. WWE Nakamura is not at all the same as NJPW Nakamura. And while that is understood, the “King of Strong Style” showed some signs of his former self in his match with Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor. Nakamura dominated the champion from beginning to end. He looked fresh, renewed, and like the Nakamura the company needs right now to grab interest again. Finn Balor had no answers to Shinsuke throughout the entire match which was weird to see but for some reason fresh. He hit Balor with a Kinshasa on the outside, but he had enough to get back in. As soon as he got back in the ring Shinsuke took him out once again and hit a second Kinshasa for the victory. Nakamura made it be known he is back to be a singles star and now should be the top contender for the Intercontinental Championship.
SmackDown Highlights: Ali steps up to Evil
No. It is not EVIL of Los Ingobernables de Japon. What a weird world that would be. It is simply the evil in life. Ali wants to step up to evil, stand toe to toe and fight back. These promos done by Ali have been one of the best parts of SmackDown LIVE and is on his way to be a mega-star in this company if the higher-ups allow it. The story that is being told by “The Heart of 205 Live” is one to keep an eye on for fans. Relatability goes a long way. Prepare for the rise of Ali.
SmackDown Highlights: Cesaro answers Aleister Black
Finally. After weeks of Aleister Black talking to the camera by himself hoping for someone to knock on his door and two weeks ago that finally happened. Cesaro revealed himself as the man who picked a fight with “The Dutch Destroyer”. Fans can now sit back and relax as these two are going to put on a show come Sunday. Cesaro has been showing an incredibly physical side as of late when he faced No Way Jose on Raw and attacked him prior to their match a week ago. He is preparing for this fight with Black. Is Black prepared for the “Swiss Superman” and to back up his words? Something tells me yes.
SmackDown MVP: Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has been the MVP of SmackDown LIVE now for two weeks running. It was just two weeks ago that he was teaming with Sami Zayn and losing nonstop. Today he is the main angle of SmackDown LIVE and giving off Stone Cold vibes. He kicked off the show running through the crowd to let Shane McMahon know his true thoughts on the way TV has been handled lately and the fact no one wants to see him on the show so much. Owens would cut a promo straight from the fans online in this one which led to Shane having his microphones shut off. Owens would refuse to be denied and continue to make statements that fans would happily get behind. He would finally leave but let it be known into the camera that he will not stop until it was right.
Fast forward to the main event of the night where Owens was originally scheduled to take part in. Roman Reigns was one-on-one with Dolph Ziggler. Shane and company were on the outside trying to do anything to screw up the roll that “The Big Dog” was on. A hot finish was incoming as Roman Reigns splashed out to the floor to take out Drew McIntyre and Elias. As he would get to his feet, Shane would get in the ring and distract him allowing Ziggler to hit a Superkick onto Roman and leave them both laying. Out of the crowd would come Kevin Owens, turning Shane McMahon around and hitting a Stunner on him before escaping through the crowd. This would allow Reigns to Spear Ziggler and pick up the victory. It is 2019 and Kevin Owens has handed a Stunner to Shane McMahon. A Stunner to a McMahon. What a world. Kevin Owens is quickly overtaking Kofi Kingston as the top babyface on the brand as his doing anything attitude is something to not overlook and appreciate.
SmackDown LIVE was miles better than Raw and gives some excitement heading into Extreme Rules. Kevin Owens is reinventing himself at an incredible rate as the badass good guy and as a fans, we should be here for it.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can watch Smackdown and all WWE content on the WWE Network