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SmackDown Live Recap & Review – Episode 1038

WWE SmackDown Live
Episode 1038

Original Air Date: July 9, 2019
Event Date: July 9, 2019
(aired live)

City: Manchester, NH
Venue: SNHU Arena

Commentary: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton


Outside the Venue
Earlier today, Kayla Braxton asked Dolph Ziggler something about his partner last week, Kevin Owens. Ziggler goes off on Owens, saying Owens is terrible. Kevin Owens drives up. Owens and Ziggler argue for a few seconds until Owens punches Ziggler. The men brawl until the B-Team and some crew members pull them apart. Shane McMahon tells Ziggler to get inside and tells Owens he needs to leave the arena.

Sarah Schreiber asks SHane McMahon why he canceled tonight’s main event of Owens versus Ziggler. Shane says the conduct of Owens and Ziggler before the show forced him to cancel their match. He has a few ideas for a new main event, so he goes of to figure it out.

Ring Area
Kevin Owens arrives at ringside, and he has something to say. Owens says he’s tried to be a good company guy, but that’s gotten him nothing. The McMahons said that they were going to start listening to the fans, but the only thing that’s happened is Shane McMahon has gotten more power and air time than anyone. Nobody wants to see that.

Shane McMahon comes out and has Owens’ mic cut off. Owens gets another mic and keeps talking about how it makes him sick that Shane McMahon calls himself the best in the world. Shane cuts off Owens’ second mic, so Owens grabs Saxton’s headset and keeps talking. Owens talks about superstars who are suffering under Shane’s reign including Ali, Buddy Murphy, Asuka, Kairi Sane, and more. Shane calls security, so Owens leaves through the crowd.

Finn Balor smiles as he walks.


Match 1
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Finn Balor (IC Champ)
(referee: Jason Ayers)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Shinsuke Nakamura wins via pinfall after Kinshasa
Time: 9:11

Match Thoughts
Good match! Nakamura came for a fight, and he gave a fight to Balor. Nakamura dominated this match right from the start. Nakamura’s aggression seemed to surprise Balor, and Balor was reeling and trying to catch up for most of the match. Balor was able to fend off Nakamura a few times, but Nakamura took the fight to the floor where he brutalized Balor. Nakamura seemed fine with a dominant count out victory, but Balor refused to lose on the floor and forced Nakamura to fight to the end. I liked this a lot on its own, and I like that it certainly means these two men will face each other again.


Shane McMahon talks to Drew McIntyre and Elias about Roman Reigns and Cedric Alexander last night. McIntyre says they tried to trick him and Shane, but Drew and Shane still won anyway.

Dolph Ziggler walks up. He’s upset that Shane sent Owens away. Tonight was Ziggler’s chance to shut Kevin Owens up once and for all. Shane tells Ziggler he should use his anger and energy by fighting Roman Reigns in the main event. Ziggler is fine with that.

Bayley walks with her SmackDown Women’s Title as Rambling Rabbit hangs out behind her.

A look at the feud so far between Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe.

Samoa Joe says he showed Kofi Kingston compassion and an offer of safety last week, but he knew Kofi wouldn’t take his offer. Joe says Kofi is a hustler and a liar, and he plans to expose Kofi for what he is. Joe wil take everything back that Kofi has taken from everyone else, including the WWE Title.

Ring Area
Kayla Braxton welcomes Nikki Cross and Bayley to the ring for a SmackDown Women’s Title match contract signing. Bayley tells Nikki Cross that the two of them are a lot alike. Bayley was starstruck when she first arrived in WWE, and she soon realized that people only helped her when they needed something from her. Bayley asks Nikki if she’s okay helping someone else win the championship. Nikki starts to defend Alexa Bliss again, so Bayley relents. Bayley wonders what’s going to happen when Alexa loses on Sunday and blames Nikki. Bayley signs the contract.

Nikki says that when she and Alexa win on Sunday, Alexa promised that the two of them will be co-champs. Nikki signs the contract and invites Bayley to stay at ringside to watch Nikki’s match with Carmella.


Match 2
Nikki Cross vs Carmella
(referee: Danilo Anfibio; at ringside: Bayley)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Nikki Cross wins via pinfall after a swinging neck breaker
Time: 3:37

Match Thoughts
Good match. The winner was no surprise, but I like that Carmella had a fair amount of offense in this short match.


Paige (with Kairi Sane and Asuka) tells The IIconics that they have a title match to schedule. Why not have it tonight? Peyton says they can’t because Billie’s sick. Paige says The IIconics are overrated clowns. Paige then slaps Billie Kay and says they’re going to have to have the match soon.

Dolph Ziggler sits and thinks about stuff.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan walk.

Sarah Schreiber welcomes Roman Reigns and asks him if tonight’s match will affect his match on Sunday. Reigns says it won’t.

Ring Area
Big E and Xavier Woods head to the ring. Woods talks about his triple threat match tonight and the triple threat tag title match on Sunday. Big E says he didn’t have a triple threat tag match in mind when he found out he’d be in a three way on Sunday, but he’s excited for everyone to touch their championship tips together for the first time.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan come out to the stage. Bryan says everyone should be booing New Day. Why aren’t New Day taking their title match seriously? Because no one else takes them seriously as champs either. Woods isn’t impressed with Bryan’s words. In fact, he’d rather hear from Rowan. Rowan takes orders from so many different guys that everyone is wondering who his daddy is. Rowan gets pissed, but Bryan holds him back. Bryan says New Day is one of the best teams in history, but their jokes keep them in the middle of the card. The only thing worse than New Day becoming champs again would be for Heavy Machinery to win the titles.

Heavy Machinery comes out to the stage. Tucker Knight says he and Otis took Bryan and Rowan to the limit at Stomping Grounds. Instead of hanging their heads after their loss, Tucker and Otis bounced back and earned a title shot at Extreme Rules. Being blue collar means you overcome any obstacle, and that includes overcoming New Day. Otis shakes his hips.


Match 3
Xavier Woods w/ Big E vs Daniel Bryan w/ Rowan (SD Tag Champs) vs Otis Dozovic w/ Tucker Knight
(referee: Mike Chioda)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Otis Dozovic pins Xavier Woods after a pop-up powerslam
Time: 8:39

Match Thoughts
Good match. This match really put over Otis’s strength and ability. Otis lifted both Woods and Bryan in a stalling suplex at one point early in the match, and it was quite impressive. All of the men at ringside got booted to the back early, and that allowed the three men actually in the match to have some really good interactions. Everyone had some nice moments here, but this match was really about showing that Heavy Machinery has a real chance of winning. They did that very well.


A look at the growing feud between Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler.

Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose cut in front of Ember Moon in catering. Moon says something about it, so Rose tells Moon that this isn’t social media where you can say whatever you want, this is real life. Moon reminds Rose that she beat Rose last week. Rose says she’s over that, and Deville says the loss actually brought them closer. Deville and Rose tell Moon to get a partner and they’ll have a tag match. Moon says if she can’t find a partner, she’ll just beat them both by herself.

Ali says he doesn’t run from evil. He’s not without fear, he just knows you have to stand up to evil. Ali has seen evil. Evil wins if you don’t show up to fight.

Ring Area
Tom Phillips conducts an interview with Aleister Black via split-screen video. Apparently Black’s challenger has chosen not to reveal himself. Black thinks that’s smart, but he doesn’t care who his challenger is anymore. As Black speaks, someone walks around a chair on the other side of the split screen. That man is Cesaro. Cesaro knocked at Black’s door because he is here to pick a fight. Black is angrily happy.

Shelton Benjamin is asked if Ziggler is going to prove it should be him by beating Reigns tonight. Shelton thinks about it, smirks, and walks away.

Roman Reigns and Dolph Ziggler walk via split-screen.

Kayla Braxton talks as Paul Heyman walks by. Kayla then welcomes Kofi Kingston. Kofi says nothing that Samoa Joe says or does can affect his mindset right now. Last week, Kofi got into Joe’s head then hit him with Trouble in Paradise. Joe is dangerous, but Kofi is going to beat the most dangerous opponents on his way to becoming the greatest WWE Champ of all time.


Match 4
Roman Reigns vs Dolph Ziggler
(referee: Charles Robinson; guest commentary: Shane McMahon; at ringside: Elias, Drew McIntyre)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Roman Reigns wins via pinfall after a spear
Time: 8:49

Match Thoughts
Good match. Ziggler and Reigns worked well together, and the shenanigans were kept to a minimum when this could have easily just turned into a big mess with Shane and his henchman around the ring. Shane did get into the ring at one point while everyone else were on the floor, and Kevin Owens showed up to hit Shane with a stunner. The match continued after that and reached an unsurprising finish, but overall I thought this was a really smart and fun match heading into Extreme Rules.


Show Impressions
Maybe my extreme distaste of last night’s RAW is clouding my perception, but this episode of SmackDown was really good. I enjoyed everything, and I’m extremely excited about all the possibilities this show teased for us. Balor versus Nakamura again, Ali is on his way, Kabuki Warriors versus IIconics, Owens being a renegade, the triple threat tag title match, SHelton Benjamin doing something. All of it was good. I still didn’t care for Shane’s stuff, but I liked the rest of the show so much it didn’t bug me as much as usual.

Match of the Night
Finn Balor vs Shinsuke Nakamura
I can’t wait for this feud. This is going to be fun. And really, all of tonight’s matches were good. It’s amazing how RAW has no idea of how to handle the “no wrestling during commercials” proclamation while SmackDown seems to have figured it out this week. Amazing.


Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2019-07-09



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