WWE SmackDown Live Recap: July 16, 2019

A.K.A. The One With The Town Hall

The first official show of the Eric Bischoff Era is upon us. Planned for the show: a SmackDown town hall for talent to air their grievances with Shane McMahon. Daniel Bryan is scheduled to make a “career-altering announcement” on the show. Also, we get two women’s tag matches. Ember Moon and a partner of her choosing will tangle with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose. Plus the Women’s Tag Team Championships will be defended by the IIconics against the Kabuki Warriors. What other shenanigans can they cram into two hours? Let’s find out together.

Results:

  • Aleister Black def. Cesaro
  • Charlotte def. Liv Morgan
  • Ember Moon & Bayley def. Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville
  • Randy Orton, Samoa Joe & Elias def. The New Day
  • Kabuki Warriors def. The IIconics by Countout
  • Apollo Crews def. Andrade
  • Kevin Owens & Dolph Ziggler go to a no-contest

Match of the Night: Randy Orton, Samoa Joe & Elias def. The New Day

What a treat it was to see Elias get the spotlight like this. After being a lackey for Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon, Elias got a little more time to shine tonight. The action in the ring was stellar, but the heels were just too vicious for the New Day to overcome. Orton got the clean pinfall on Kingston, which could set up a match between the two for Summerslam. Overall, an exciting six man tag.

Three Thoughts:

Town Hall

The Town Hall segment had all the potential to be a trainwreck. Instead it had some standout moments and was over relatively quickly. Liv Morgan finally got on TV after months of social media protesting and proceeded to roast Charlotte Flair. It set up a potential match for them. More matches were set up, like Cesaro-Aleister Black for later that night, and Apollo versus Andrade. Even throw-away lines were smart, like New Day acknowledging they don’t like Kevin Owens just yet. He just betrayed them, so of course they should be wary of him still. Overall, a strong segment that did what it needed to.

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SmackDown Liv!

Liv Morgan was the standout of this episode of SmackDown. Her promo performance was excellent, and then she showed great fire in her match with Charlotte. After she lost was when things got even more interesting. Liv got on Corey Graves’ headset and was very upset. She said “Charlotte was right, and when I come back I’m going to be real”. Clearly Charlotte got into the head of Liv Morgan, and she may be taking time off to undergo a gimmick tweak. 

False Advertising

Two of the advertised hooks for this week’s show did not really come to pass. First, Daniel Bryan never made his big announcement. Instead he kept teasing the announcement and looking frustrated while the New Day looked on. 

Later in the show, the IIconics intentionally got themselves counted out in their tag title defense against the Kabuki Warriors. While it was smart heel tactics, it also was a deflating moment to watch. It’s common for shows to tease out resolutions to storylines for longer than anticipated and to leave fans wanting more. However, having both of these on the same show made the disappointment of each feel bigger. It made the show a bit of a downer.

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Grade: B+

The first hour of SmackDown Live flew by. Based on internet reaction, I think I enjoyed the Town Hall more than most. The action for the show was well paced, and we teased a few new feuds for Summerslam. There were some downers as I mentioned earlier on, but overall a solid show.

One More Thing:

Ali congratulated Shinsuke Nakamura on his Intercontinental Championship, and a match between the two could be in the making. What a strong IC Title match that would be for Summerslam.

– Evan Gomes is the Managing Editor of Pro Wrestling for Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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