HomeTelevisionSmackdown Live in Montreal: The Big O, The Big Dog & The...

Smackdown Live in Montreal: The Big O, The Big Dog & The Shake-up Part Deux

Written by Matthew Widdis

Our night starts with a big pop for the host of The KO Show, Kevin Owens. These Quebecois have waited a long time to welcome KO home. He shows he appreciation in kind with opening remarks in French. He lets us know that the Superstar Shakeup is still in effect and that Mr McMahon will be in attendance to announce to us “the biggest acquisition in Smackdown history.”  But for now, it’s the Superstar who had arguably the biggest Wrestlemania moment from WM35, WWE World Champion, Kofi Kingston!

Kofi and Xavier Woods come down to the ring and Kevin gushes over his accomplishments. Kofi says that it is because of the fans that, “Je suis le champion!” Kevin mentions that Big E is not in attendance. Xavier says that Big E was hurt and is recovering. He also says that RAW took all his friends from his UpUpDownDown youtube channel and he’s stressing about it, calling out for Tyler Breeze. Kofi calms him down and Kevin moves on to the fact that The New Day was always a trio but, now that Kofi has a bigger target on his back with the WWE World title, they need more back up. Luckily for them, they can count on the services of Big K… wait, no… “Big O” (it’s funnier, you see.) They’re appreciative but skeptical, considering all the video games, cereal, and groin gyration involved.

With The New Day’s opponents for the night, Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura, watching on a monitor from the back, Kevin demonstrates his pelvic thrusts. Kofi asks for the crowd’s approval and gets it.  Kevin is anointed with crop top and unicorn headband. Meanwhile, Cesaro approaches Nakamura & Rusev and proposes he join them for a six-man tag.

The KO Show set is barely out of the ring when the new-to-Smackdown Intercontinental Champion, Finn Balor, comes out to the crowd’s delight!

Finn Balor vs Ali

A change of pace for the IC champ on the blue brand as he goes into this contest with no diminutive hype men or dramatic exposition. Just Finn Balor and, in Ali, an opponent with the same level of conditioning and precision. A good portion of the match take s place in the little window so, even though, there’s a lengthy abdominal stretch in that period, watching on Hulu or YouTube may provide the best experience. The highlight of the match would have to be Ali pulling off a SuperSteiner on Finn, a rare (especially in modern WWE) move that (reportedly) damn near killed Gedo and Chris Jericho in 1997. The finish sees Finn roll out of the way of a 450 splash and, even though Ali recovers to his feet, Balor lands a shotgun dropkick and Coup de Grace to win.

Your winner by pinfall… Finn Balor!

In the back, Kofi and Xavier are searching for Kevin Owens and, upon finding him, advise him of his requisite initiation into the The New Day’s reserve unit.  Despite his insistence that he’s never eaten a pancake before in his life and Kofi’s incredulous side eye to that, he attempts to break Big E’s pancake eating record, even going so far as to eat one that fell on the floor!  Comment insalubre! He succeeds, though, and they’re ready to face all comers.

Back in the ring, R-Truth and Carmella ask the crowd “What’s up?” before the moon-walking, trash-talking Princess of Staten Island takes on The Queen.

Carmella vs Charlotte Flair

Charlotte spends the opening minutes of the match, decrying the nation of Canada and trying to bully Carmella. ‘Mella ain’t havin’ it, though. She gives as good as she gets with solid kicks and a cross body off the barricade at ringside. The crowd alternates between “Boo!” and “Woo!” for The Queen, who sets up the finish with a Dragon Screw leg whip across the middle rope and a chop block before the Figure Eight.

Your winner by submission… Charlotte Flair!

Charlotte is already gone when the horror movie music hits and Lars Sullivan comes down to the ring where R-Truth is tending to an injured Carmella. Truth brings the fight to The Freak but leaps right into a Freak Accident and gets flattened. Lars turns his attention to Carmella who is nearly paralyzed with fear. Luckily, she is escorted from the ring by Charles Robinson. Lars give R-Truth a running powerbomb for good measure before leaving.

“Le Homme” is in Montreal and Champ Champ, Becky Lynch, wants to address he crowd.  She says that the Superstar Shakeup has reminded her of her new job: to pick new fights and win new battles. That brings out Ember Moon! Ember Moon says that “Becky Two Belts” should get used to seeing “The Shenom” as she’s ready to make a name for herself. As Ember gets in the ring, however, we get some more familiar theme music… Bayley has joined Smackdown Live, also. She says that she and Sasha willed the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles into existence but, now that she’s on Smackdown as a singles competitor, she’s all out of hugs and has her sights set on new goals.

Speaking of Tag Titles and two belts, The IIconics come out to flaunt their titles at the others, especially Bayley. That brings out former Smackdown GM, Paige, who says that she’s there to represent two women that she believes in… Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville to reform Absolution!… but, nope, Mandy and Sonya are being presumptuous as they walk out and thank Paige.  She’s actually there for Asuka and Kairi Sane! The pair of Japanese former NXT Women’s champs are told to make an impact and a wild brawl starts. Becky leaves the rest of the women’s field to their own devices until the champs and Mandy & Sonya are sent packing. You know what that means, playa! By Smackdown tradition, we got a 8-woman tag match!

Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville and The IIconics vs Kairi Sane & Asuka, Ember Moon, and Bayley

This might seem like a lopsided contest at first.  The more proven athletes seemed to tip the scale towards the babyface side of the ring but it’s a testament to how far The IIconics and “Fire & Desire” has come since their debuts on the main roster.  This match easily could have been a mess but the agents that produced it and the ladies in the ring made some beautiful music tonight. Some impressive dives all around but none moreso than Kairi Sane coming off the top turnbuckle for that “In-Sane Elbow.”

Your winners by pinfall… the team of Bayley, Ember Moon, and Asuka & Kairi Sane (or Asukairi, credit to Pop Break’s own, Michael Vacchiano)

By announce team’s estimation, Lars Sullivan can be counted along with Finn Balor, Bayley, Ember Moon and Kairi Sane as new Smackdown arrivals.  So is the case with the Hardy Boyz, too. They recount their manhandling at the hands of Sullivan last week but also their title win. They say that some fans forgot their greatness but they’re here to remind us.

In gorilla position, Kofi and Xavier coach Kevin Owens to doing a damn good version of Big E’s usual New Day introduction and they come out to the ring.  While Team Nakasevaro gets to the ring, another new Smackdown arrival addresses the WWE Universe. Former WWE Cruiserweight champion, Buddy Murphy, tells us that the “best kept secret in WWE” is coming to Tuesday nights.

Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens vs Rusev & Sinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro (w/ Lana)

Everything you’ve come to expect from seasoned opponents of New Day and Rusev/Nakamura and Golden Age of Ring of Honor alums, Cesaro and KO.  Kevin Owens learns how to contribute to a Unicorn Stampede. Nakamura busts out a type of rope-hung German suplex. KO assists Kofi in flying to the outside and, eventually, hits the stunner on Rusev.

Your winners by pinfall… The New Day (patched version 1.0.0)

As the KO Day celebrate, Mr. McMahon watches on a monitor in back.  He comes out to a cacophony of boos. In Montreal. I can’t imagine why.  He seems unfazed about it, though. To a chorus of “You screwed Bret!” he announces the future of Smackdown and the entire WWE:  The tough, the talented, the charisma-exuding greatest acquisition in Smackdown history with his personal seal of approval… Elias?!  Elias praises Mr McMahon’s business vision but laments that he has to be in Montreal to hear it.

Elias readies himself for his song and, as usual, sneaks in a hint as to will interrupt him. He strums once and Roman Reigns makes his way out. Elias steels himself for the fight but, once through the ropes, Roman hits an uppercut that puts Elias on rubber legs and drops him with a Superman punch.  Vince chastises him for it and Roman gives him one, too! Roman tells the Montreal crowd that Smackdown is his yard, now, and we get a rare (but genuine) pop for The Big Dog. Roman is about to leave but comes back to hit a spear on Elias and posture for the crowd as we go off air.

Final thoughts:

Watching the creepy dollhouse and puppets vignettes, I can’t help but feel that there is a huge opportunity wasted if Bray Wyatt doesn’t return with some combo of strikes or triple suplex variation called “Toys in the Attic.”

Kevin Owens demonstrated his greatest gift tonight.  His ability to adapt to any situation and make it work.  Heel or face. Comedy or kick-ass. The man can do almost any job put in front of him.

It was already mentioned but it bears repeating: the women’s division, from top to bottom, has it’s stuff together like we all wish that the booking team did. The “sports entertainment” tier of the division is perfectly capable of meshing with the “all-world” tier in coherent matches that flow as more than a collection of spots.

At every potential change in Roman Reigns’ status quo (including his recent Leukemia relapse and remission,) I’ve seen as an opportunity for a heel turn.  He was stuck in a very unsuccessful rut and a change, any change, was sure to do him good. I don’t know if it will translate to continued success on the blue brand but a simple “punch people and claim your territory” segment from Roman is just what he needed and everything (possibly the only thing) that the fans have wanted from him since The Shield’s original run.



Comments are closed.

Most Recent

Stay Connected