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SmackDown Live Recap & Review – Episode 1041

WWE SmackDown Live
Episode 1041

Original Air Date: July 30, 2019
Event Date: July 30, 2019
(aired live)

City: Memphis, TN
Venue: FedExForum

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


Earlier today, Shane McMahon announced that he will not be part of SmackDown Live tonight. Who do we have to blame for that? Kevin Owens. After recent attacks from Owens, Shane is taking time to center himself.

Ring Area
Kevin Owens heads to the ring. Owens tells everyone that if they’re calm and don’t panic, then they will all be okay and will get through a SmackDown Live without Shane McMahon. Owens says it’s okay that Shane isn’t here, because SmackDown shouldn’t be about Shane, it should be about the superstars in the ring. But Owens does want Shane to bring his stupid face and his stupid body to Summer Slam so he can beat Shane up. Owens wants to prove that SmackDown isn’t Shane’s show, it’s the Kevin Owens show.

Drew McIntyre heads to the ring. McIntyre tells Owens that he talks too much. He tells Owens that they have a match tonight, then McIntyre attacks Owens. With Owens down, McIntyre says that their match starts right now.


Match 1
Kevin Owens vs Drew McIntyre
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall after a stunner
Time: 13:33

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This was a hard-fought, straightforward match. Both men looked very good, and even though it felt like Owens was probably going to win, McIntyre had enough offense to put that thought into serious doubt. This match might very well end up being better than Owens versus Shane McMahon at Summer Slam.


Kayla Braxton welcomes Dolph Ziggler. Ziggler isn’t sorry for what he did to Shawn Michaels last week, and he’s tired of seeing all these “legends” show up. Tonight, Ziggler is going to prove once again that he’s they best there is.

Bayley tells Ember Moon that they might be partners tonight, but she won’t forget the Eclipse Moon gave her last week.

Aleister Black sits in his black room. Black knows that he’s different, and his redemption lies in the blood of his soul. It lies in the willingness of any man to pick a fight with him. Cesaro picked a fight and lost, and now Black finds himself back in his self-imposed prison. He’s a little less patient this time.


Match 2
Ember Moon & Bayley (SD Women’s Champ) vs Nikki Cross & Alexa Bliss
(referee: Ryan Tran)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Alexa Bliss pins Ember Moon after Twisted Bliss
Time: 3:57 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. The animosity between Moon and Bayley played a part in the match, but it wasn’t as obvious as it usually is in matches like these. Moon and Bayley mostly worked towards the same goals, but Alexa Bliss’s single-minded focus on using Nikki to her own advantage helped Alexa stand out. This was fun and more than a little interesting.


Sarah Schreiber welcomes Sami Zayn. Sami is here to scout competition. He sees that everyone on SmackDown is in a lot of pain, but one man that stands out to him is Aleister Black. Zayn knows that Black is in pain because he can’t live up to the hype he has. Sami has taken it upon himself to beat Aleister Black and kill his hype in an attempt to allow Black to heal after letting go of the expectations Black can never fulfill. Zayn plans to have that match at Summer Slam.

Kayla Braxton welcomes Daniel Bryan so he can make his career-altering announcement. Daniel Bryan says nothing. Rowan also says nothing.

Ring Area
Jerry Lawler is in the ring for The King’s Court. His guest tonight, Trish Stratus, heads to the ring. Trish is bummed that she missed RAW Reunion last week. Lawler says a lot of the legends wish they could get back in the ring and have one last match, and he asks Trish if she wants one more match. Trish says WWE is in her blood, but she’s a mom now. Before Trish can continue, Charlotte Flair heads to the ring.

Charlotte says the question Lawler should be asking is how the greatest superstar of any era isn’t booked for Summer Slam. She also understands that Trish is a mom, but that just sounds like an excuse for not getting back in the ring. Charlotte then challenges Trish to a match. Trish thinks about it but doesn’t say anything. Charlotte expected more from Trish, but since WWE has moved past the era of models as wrestlers, she’s not surprised. Charlotte understands that Trish knows she can’t hang with the queen.

Trish says she respects Charlotte, but right now she’s just being a bitch. There would be no trail to blaze without Trish and her peers. To be the woman, you have to beat the woman, so Trish accepts Charlotte’s challenge.

The OC is excited for Charlotte’s match, and Styles is excited for his match against Ricochet. Styles also intends to prove to Kofi Kingston tonight why this is the house that AJ Styles built.

Firefly Fun House
Rambling Rabbit says he’s Finn Balor’s biggest fan, but Balor made a big mistake. Rambling Rabbit is about to explain to Balor what the Firefly Fun House really is, but he runs away when Bray Wyatt shows up. Wyatt wants to be let in.

Last night, Brock Lesnar repeatedly assaulted Seth Rollins.


Match 3
Dolph Ziggler vs Finn Balor
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Dolph Ziggler wins via pinfall after a superkick (and a distraction from The Fiend)
Time: 4:48

Match Thoughts
Good match. It was kind of short and the finish was completely unsurprising given tat both Balor and Ziggler have matches coming up at Summer Slam, but I enjoyed it.


Shinsuke clutches the IC Title as he walks down a hallway.


Match 4
Shinsuke Nakamura (IC Champ) vs Ali
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ali wins via pinfall with a schoolboy
Time: 2:19

Match Thoughts
I’m not necessarily mad at the result, but I didn’t really like the finish of the match. The buildup to the finish was pretty good, but the finish itself is something that’s overdone. Also, the match was super short. If this leads to a longer, better match, then that’s fine.


Randy Orton talks about Kofi Kingston and how Kingston isn’t on his level.

Kayla Braxton welcomes New Day. Kofi says that SmackDown is no longer the house that AJ Styles built, it’s the Palace of Positivity.


Match 5
Kofi Kingston (WWE Champ) w/ Xavier Woods, Big E (SD Tag Champs) vs AJ Styles (US Champ) w/ Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows (RAW Tag Champs)
(referee: Ryan Tran)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kofi Kingston wins via pinfall after Trouble in Paradise
Time: 9:24 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Kingston and Styles worked great together, and the addition of New Day and The OC at ringside gave the match just the right amount of extra tension. I really enjoyed this whole match, especially the final few minutes when things started breaking down.


Immediately after the match, the show cuts to backstage where Kayla Braxton is waiting on Roman Reigns to make his Summer Slam challenge. A camera is following Reigns down the hallway for some reason, and we quickly discover why. Something just off camera brings a lighting rig into view and tips it over towards Reigns. Reigns goes down as the rig and some other equipment neatly falls all around him. Everyone panics, but Reigns was save by an incredibly lucky and perfectly placed additional piece of equipment that prevented the ligthing rig from squashing him.

Reigns gets up and walks away. He refuses to let the medical staff look at him as the show ends.


Show Impressions
This was a good show. The matches were mostly good, the setups for Summer Slam were entertaining if not terribly surprising (except for Alexa pinning Ember Moon, that was a bit surprising), and overall I enjoyed this episode start to finish.

I do think the “accident” with Roman Reigns was handled oddly. It was one of those situations where the show did something it never does, and that completely gave away the fact that something was about to happen. The camera following Reigns was odd, and even though I thought some of the shots were interesting, it was clear that something was about to happen. Also, the falling equipment way way too neat and orderly as it fell, so it didn’t ever look dangerous. I don’t want there to be real danger for the performers, but there are ways of making it look less like a pre-planned stunt. And lastly, the editing while everything was falling was super choppy. There were about five cuts to different angles within the couple of seconds it took for the equipment to fall. I presume that was to cover anything that looked fake and to give the whole scene a sense of chaos and danger, but it also raises the question of why they had so many cameras in the exact right location for an event that was supposed to be a surprise to everyone. Never mind that it was supposed to be a one-camera interview segment.

But hey, it got the job done, so why am I going on about it? The good on the show far outweighed the mediocrity of the Reigns segment. Owens and McIntyre had a great match, and so did Kingston and Styles.

Match of the Night
Kofi Kingston vs AJ Styles
It was a tough call between this and the opening match, but I think the added tension of the groups at ringside helped me to enjoy this main event the most tonight.


Official Results: https://www.wwe.com/shows/smackdown/2019-07-30



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