WWE SmackDown Live
Original Air Date: February 26, 2019
Event Date: February 26, 2019
Commentary: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
Stephanie McMahon welcomes everyone to SmackDown Live. She is already in the ring with Shane McMahon, Daniel Bryan, and Rowan. Stephanie and Shane are in the ring to oversee the contract signing for Daniel Bryan’s upcoming title defense against Kofi Kingston. Shane talks about Kofi as we are shown highlights from Kofi’s WWE career. Stephanie talks about Kofi’s performance in the gauntlet match two weeks ago (and gets the timeline wrong, saying the gauntlet match is what got Kofi in the Elimination Chamber match). Shane then introduces Kofi Kingston.
Kofi heads to the ring with New Day. New Day celebrates all around the ring. Kofi then gets on the mic. He says it’s been eleven long years, but it’s finally happening. Kofi says none of this would have been possible without his New Day brothers. It also wouldn’t have been possible without the WWE Universe showing their support. At Fastlane, Kofi plans to beat Daniel Bryan and become WWE Champion.
Daniel Bryan signs the contract for the title match. Before Kofi can sign, Vince McMahon comes out to the stage. Vince says that he appreciates everything Kofi has accomplished over the last eleven years. However, in an effort to give the fans the best competition possible, Vince has chosen to replace Kofi in the Fastlane title match. Kofi’s replacement will be Kevin Owens.
Owens quietly heads to the ring, sits down, and signs the title match contract. Owens and Bryan stare at each other as Woods and Big E loudly protest. Kofi quietly hangs his head as he walks away with Woods and Big E. The only person who seems even mildly amused by this situation is Daniel Bryan.
Kevin Owens tells Shane and Stephanie that tonight, he would like to team with Kofi Kingston to take on Daniel Bryan and Rowan. Steph says she and Shane will consider it.
The Bar vs The Hardy Boyz
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Jeff Hardy pins Sheamus after the Swanton Bomb
Good match. It was fun seeing the Hardy Boyz back together, though the return of Matt Hardy did make this match somewhat predictable. Regardless, I enjoyed it.
Ricochet tells Aleister Black that it would be awesome for the two of them to face the Hardy Boyz. Black says nothing. Instead, he notices that Lana has entered the room. Lana says Ricochet and Black aren’t anything special. Ricochet loves proving people wrong, and Black promises to make Rusev and Nakamura fade to black.
The Honky Tonk Man is the latest inductee in the 2019 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony.
R-Truth heads to the ring with Carmella. R-Truth says that he’s always wanted to be like hid childhood hero, John Cena. Therefore, Truth will follow in Cena’s footsteps by issuing a US Title open challenge. After a dance break, Andrade heads to the ring with Zelina Vega. Before Andrade can make it into the ring, Rey Mysterio runs out, knocks Andrade down, and slides into the ring.
Truth has a dilemma. He doesn’t know who to face. In moments of uncertainty, R-Truth asks himself, “what would John Cena do?” Carmella says Cena would face both Mysterio and Andrade at once. Truth says Cena is brave, but Truth would rather say “no thank you” to both of his challengers. But R-Truth wants to make Cena proud, so he accepts a triple threat match.
US Title Triple Threat Match
Andrade w/ Zelina Vega vs Rey Mysterio vs R-Truth (US Champ) w/ Carmella
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: R-Truth pins Rey Mysterio with a schoolboy
Time: 4:19 (1 break)
This was fun. It was fairly short with a commercial break, but the action we got to see was very fast-paced. At times it felt like Rey and Andrade wanted to face each other more than Truth, but all three men got involved for some nice moments.
After the match, Andrade sets Mysterio up for the hammerlock DDT. Mysterio escapes and sets Andrade up for the 619. Andrade escapes and leaves the ring.
Charlotte Flair slowly walks backstage.
Charlotte Flair heads to the ring. She says that Vince McMahon made the WWE Title match better at Fastlane, just like he saved the RAW Women’s Title match at Wrestlemania when he named Charlotte as Rousey’s opponent. Charlotte says she is the gold standard of WWE superstars. Charlotte would never lay down the title like Ronda did on RAW.
Whay are Ronda and Becky acting like they are? Charlotte says it’s because they are both scared of her. Charlotte fears nothing, and a true champion fears no one. Charlotte says she is the true champion. That’s why Charlotte plans to show up on RAW next Monday so Vince McMahon can crown her as the new champ.
Aleister Black & Ricochet vs Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev w/ Lana
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)
Result: Aleister Black pins Shinsuke Nakamura after Black Mass
Good match. The teams seemed to pair off after a while, with Rusev battling Ricochet and Nakamura fighting Black. There was a little overlap with Aleister Black as he began to get dominated by Rusev and Nakamura, but those pairings were the best parts of the match. Rusev and Nakamura looked strong against their opponents, but Black and Ricochet have momentum and adrenaline on their side. I’d like to see this again, and I’d really like to see some one on one matches come out of this. Ricochet and Black are neat as a team, but I would rather they primarily be singles wrestlers on the main roster.
Kayla Braxton welcomes AJ Styles. Styles is happy that Reigns is in remission. Kayla then says that people are wondering is Styles is in a slump. Styles says he is his own worst critic, and that keeps him pushing to be the best. He hasn’t been his best at times lately, and he is partly responsible for the rise of Daniel Bryan. His missteps won’t stop him though. He will pick himself up, face the next challenger, and prove to people why SmackDown is the house that AJ Styles built.
Randy Orton appears. He asks, “the house that AJ Styles… what?” Orton then walks away.
Lacey Evans walks down to ringside then walks away.
Clips of Roman Reigns announcing that he is in remission and is back on RAW.
Kofi Kingston & Kevin Owens vs Rowan & Daniel Bryan (WWE Champ)
(referee: Charles Robinson)
Result: Kevin Owens pins Daniel Bryan after a stunner
Time: 14:29 (1 break)
Good match. Owens and Kingston didn’t do any double-team moves, but they didn’t obstruct each other either. Some of their tags weren’t totally friendly, but they managed to work together enough so that they both brought strong individual performances to the match. The finish felt like an inevitability, but I enjoyed it regardless.
The big story was, of course, Kingston getting replaced by the returning Kevin Owens. That’s frustrating by design, but hopefully this is just a way to delay Kofi getting his title shot until Wrestlemania. The match between Owens and Bryan will be great, but I feel like it’s just adding a bit of adversity to Kofi’s story so his eventual title opportunity will be even more tense. I hope so anyway.
I liked the US Title segment. That was fun, and I think it’s a good idea for R-Truth to do the open challenges.
Seeing the return of Matt Hardy was nice. I wonder if he’ll go back to the woken/broken gimmick though. He was doing some of the mannerisms, but he was definitely in Hardy Boyz mode tonight.
Match of the Night
Kingston & Owens vs Rowan & Bryan
The Ricochet & Black vs Rusev and Nakamura match was really good too, but I felt even more like I knew how it was going to end. I think the action was just as good as the main event, but I went with the main event mostly because of Kevin Owens returning and the tension between him and Kingston.
Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2019-02-26