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Smackdown Live in Sioux Falls: Buddy Murphy’s Coming Out Party & Weird, Wild Rowan Hijinx

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We are welcomed to Smackdown by Tom “Phillipe” Phillips, Byron “Shut Up” Saxton, and a broken-out-of-mothballs David OtungaRandy Orton comes to the ring and the announce team recaps the recent brutality by Orton and The Revival on The New Day, specifically WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston, being forced to watch as The Revival snapped the leg of his teammate, Xavier Woods. The Viper tells us that Kofi ran from a fight at SummerSlam and that he disappoints Randy every time an opportunity is given… because he’s stupid (stupid stupid.) The “stupid” bit riles the crowd up a bit and The New Day’s music hits. Randy is ready for a frontal assault but OUTTA NOWHERE Kofi slides in behind him and hits a Trouble in Paradise!  Kofi is about to get down to business with a steel chair sandwiching Orton’s ankle but The Revival come in to make the save. They pay for it the form of chair shots to the body but The Legend Killer and The Top Guys make it out intact.

Reaction: I have to say that I’m being made a believer more and more each week.  Every opportunity that WWE gives Kofi, he manages to (at the very least) hang onto the ball and get some yards.  I really thought that SummerSlam was going to be the end of the line but, with the fan support, I can see Kofi continuing to defend against, not only the KOs and Zigglers, but the Randy Ortons, too.

After a recap of Roman Reigns and the Phantom of Smackdown saga, David Otunga says that he has it on good authority from a lawyer friend of his that Daniel Bryan and Rowan have done a thorough job of investigating the issue.

A big to-do is made out of the mainstream media outlets reporting on NXT moving from the WWE Network to live on USA on Wednesday nights.

Kevin Owens once more beseeches clemency from Shane McMahon regarding the $100K fine levied on him for assaulting (technically) WWE official, Elias.  He appeals to Shane as a fellow father and Shane says that he’ll think about it.

Andrade (w/Zelina Vega) vs Apollo Crews 

It’s the first round of King of the Ring and the first matchup on the Smackdown side.  Sick levels of athleticism and precision from both men. Apollo shows impressive strength when catching Andrade off a top turnbuckle dive and power as he throws him up in the air for a facebreaker.  The hits keep coming for Apollo as he dropkicks El Idolo off the top turnbuckle and pulls off a standing shooting star press for a two count. El Nuevo Rey and Zelina Vega are too crafty, though. A leg grab by Vega is all Andrade need sto hit a back elbow and a hammerlock DDT.

Your winner by pinfall… Andrade!

Reaction: Andrade is my pick to win it all and crown himself El Rey Nuevo de Lucha Libre.  Apollo Crews is so freaky athletic and able to do it all. I’d love to see him do some more with Andrade after the tournament and use it to slingshot to a US title.

In the locker room area, Daniel Bryan and Rowan lead a hooded “suspect” to a chair and ready him for interrogation.  I wonder what David Otunga’s lawyer friend knows about domestic rendition.

Elias strums his way down the hallways and discovers an incognito referee.  Surprise! A wild Drake Maverick appears! Elias handles him easily and make shim read off a decree from Shane McMahon: The 24/7 championship rules have been suspended for the night so that Elias can concentrate on his King of the Ring match vs Kevin Owens.

It’s time for A Moment of Bliss with the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross.  With matching belts (and “belted” coffee cups!) they introduce their guest, Charlotte Flair! The Queen takes her seat but points out that the King of the Ring throne behind them is more her style.  Charlotte corrects Alexa about her match with Trish Stratus at SummerSlam. Trish didn’t “pass the torch.” Charlotte took it because she is The Queen and The Brand. Alexa brings up the Smackdown women’s champion, Bayley, and Charlotte says that Bayley being champ is why the division is losing the spotlight.  Bayley comes out to confront her and Charlotte says that she can’t wait to take the belt from Bayley. Bayley says that, if that’s a challenge for Clash of the Champions, she accepts. The hugger lets some of her San Jose out to shove Charlotte out of her chair and onto the stage floor before she leaves.

Reaction: I don’t know which is irking me more; the faces taking cheap shots (Trish slap, Bayley shove) or the heels just eating it and sitting there.  Goes for the men’s side, too.

Roman Reigns finds Buddy Murphy in the locker room and confronts him over his conflicting statements.  Was he lying to Roman when he said that Rowan was at the scenes of the attacks or was he lying when he said that he was lying when pressured by Daniel Bryan and Rowan?  Murphy says that he’s “pretty sure” he saw Rowan and The Big Dog questions whether “pretty sure” is good enough.

Daniel Bryan vs Buddy Murphy

D-Bry takes the time to call Murphy out on being a “cowardly liar” and this prompts the Aussie to come out like a ball of fire.  A high knee gets the crowd’s attention and gets Daniel to take a breather outside. Daniel makes use of ring savvy and brawling to take control but Buddy won’t go out even after some time in The Lebell Lock and a half dozen “Yes” kicks.  Baseball slide dropkick in the tree of woe and a backdrop superplex. Even the classic DB doesn’t get a three count. Buddy manages to pretzel Daniel on the turnbuckle, hitting a superkick to the face and a sit out power bomb. Numerous combos and a brainbuster gets a two count on the former WWE World Champion.  Daniel has a near miscue with Rowan and Buddy nails the big guy with a superkick and a high knee on The Yes Man. Murphy’s Law connects! Buddy Murphy picks up the biggest win of his career and “the best kept secret” keeps getting told.

Your winner by pinfall… Buddy Murphy

Kayla Braxton looks to interview Buddy Murphy off of the big win but he gets straight up trucked by Rowan as Daniel Bryan chastises the “cowardly liar” as undeserving of the attention.  Jamie Knoble and the other producers race in to break it up.

Reaction: Legit good guy, Daniel Bryan, putting over Buddy Murphy was foreseen but still a pretty big deal and the past three weeks have put Buddy Murphy in the elevator.  With the overflowing roster, I hope he can continue to separate himself from the pack after the initial push.

The Revival vs Heavy Machinery

The Revival come out in their retro-style merch and run down The New Day while selling rib injury from Kofi’s chair shots.  That doesn’t bode well against the bigly brutal Tucker & Otis. The Blue Collar Solid buddies literally play catch with Dash Wilder before hitting synchronized vertical suplexes and clotheslines.  Running people into ringposts is apparently a “top guy thing” because that’s what the Top Guys do to Tucker. Classic Crockett-style tag team work until Otis gets tagged in. He plays demolition derby on the Carolina boys but Heavy Machinery pulls off The Compactor on the wrong guy and an Oklahoma Roll get The Revival the “W.”

Your winners by pinfall… The Revival!

Reaction: Good work with the clean win for The Top Guys.  Heavy Machinery looked strong. Revival looked smart. The crowd bought in and wanted to see them do it again.  That’s booking.

Kayla Braxton wants to know what Chad Gable thinks about the “underdog” label that he’s been saddled with.  He goes on to talk about his first wrestling coach, his Olympic experience, and being “too small” for WWE. As he vows to change people’s minds, his former tag team partner (and first round King of the Ring opponent,) Shelton Benjamin comes out of the locker room and tapes a sign to the door before leaving: “You must be this tall to participate in The King of the Ring tournament.”

Reaction: Don’t like the short jokes as its seems that 1) two-thirds of the roster is under six feet tall and 2) the fans are buying into the antagonizing side.  Still, we get everyone on the show having something to do each week. Stare-off-into-space Shelton and the former American Alpha are a good match and fans of legit grappling will get a treat week.

Quiet on the set.  It’s time for Miz TV!  Special guest, Sami Zayn, joins us to discuss his “Enough is enough” comments on RAW. Sami says that his losing streak is due to him not obeying his true calling: altruism. So many people need his help and one of them is WWE Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura! Miz questions their association but Shinsuke directs the question to Sami Zayn … and his foot to the back of Miz’s neck! A few more shots and a running knee in the corner are all the answer they need to give but a Kinshasa is the exclamation point.

Reaction: No idea where we’re going with this but Miz is back in the mix with a title and some under-utilized talent is being used.  Headnodapproval.gif, amirte?

A battered and frustrated Daniel Bryan returns to his suspect/hostage/gimp in the locker room and lets him know that Roman will be joining them shortly.

Kevin Owens shows up to Shane McMahon’s green room and Shane lets him know that he can’t put his hands on a WWE official.  He knows that and he never apologized. Kevin acknowledges this and apologizes. Shane lets him know that the fine is lifted but, if he ever does it again, he will be fired.

Elias vs Kevin Owens

The first round of KotR continues. Slow start as Elias takes control but loses it on the outside to the hard-hitting Owens. The cannonball comes out early for a two count but so does the money!  Shane’s music plays and he makes his way down to the ringside area. The fortunate son gets to see KO hit a bullfrog splash off the apron to Elias but The Drifter takes control inside the ring and nearly de-beards the former Universal Champion with a knee strike.  After pummeling Owens in the corner, Elias can only get a one count off of a body slam. KO fights back with a DDT, a dropkick, and a senton. A trip to the top rope gets Owens caught, though, and Elias hits a sit out power bomb for two. A nothe rattempt sees a Swanton but Elias gets the knees up.  Elias is dumped outside and Owens hits a senton from the apron. Shane stops the outside action, reveals a referee shirt, and sends them back into the ring. A superkick sets up the stunner but KO is pushed off. He stops short of being knocked into Shane but Shane puts the turbo on the three count for Elias’ school boy pin.

Your winner by pinfall… Elias!

Roman Reigns shows up at the world’s most eco-friendly locker room as Daniel Bryan exposes the true culprit by removing the hood to reveal… some random nobody that kind of looks like Rowan.  The Big Dog looks as confused as we are to end the show.

Reaction: For a few weeks, people have been caring about Kevin Owens’ financial future, the danger that randy Orton poses to Kofi’s title reign, and the mystery surrounding the attempts on Roman Reigns’ safety.  It may not be panning out how we expect (and not that it always should) but the situation changes week-to-week… and that’s what makes us tune in next week: To see what happens next.

Smackdown Live in Sioux Falls will be available later this week on Hulu.


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