Match Ratings For WWE Smackdown Live 4/23/19, Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp Of

Opening Segment

  • Shane McMahon is here and makes Greg Hamilton reintroduce him.
  • Rount Mushmore. That is all.
  • He takes up for his father, and calls Roman Reigns despicable. I'm really not interested in another Roman Reigns vs. The WWE Authority storyline. I'm sure the match would be neat. I don't need to see WWE pretending to want to hold down Reigns unless there's some good creative behind it, and there almost never is.
  • He threatens to fire Roman Reigns, and brings him out.
  • Elias attacks Reigns from behind and allows Shane McMahon to get some shots in.
  • Elias and Shane gain control and Elias hits Drift Away. It looks like Elias is a favorite of the McMahons within storyline.
  • Later on, Elias plays a song where he challenges Roman Reigns at Money in the Bank. Shane grabs him and they take off.
  • I think Elias in shorter, backstage musical segments could be a good, nice change of pace.
  • Roman Reigns accepts Elias' challenge later
WWE Championship Match Set For WWE WrestleMania Backlash, T-BAR And Mace Attack The New Challenger

Finn Balor defeated Andrade (w/ Zelina)

  • Andrade and Zelina are back with no explanation. Andrade says he wants to destroy Finn Balor.
  • They go at it quick as the match starts.
  • Balor is able to counter a big powerbomb with a DDT and a super Frankensteiner with a pin attempt.
  • I think Balor's tope con hilo would mean more if he didn't do it every match.
  • Andrade gets a two off his elbows and double knees. Zelina accidentally body presses him.
  • This sets up Balor's finish. Good old 50/50 booking. At least the crowd liked it.
  • It was not hard to explain why Andrade and Zelina are back on Smackdown within the story of the show. It's insulting to the intelligence of the viewer to ignore it. Saying it's because he "wants the IC title" or "he's chasing Balor" is not a reason. It literally goes against the point of the brand split. What happens when The Miz wants the IC title? He just gets to come back to Smackdown?

Kairi Sane (w/ Paige & Asuka) defeated Peyton Royce (w/ Billie Kay)

  • We see Fire & Desire telling Paige not to come running back to them when Asuka and Kairi don't work out.
  • The IIconics blame Peyton's loss last week on being dehydrated, but Peyton drank a full gallon of water today, which surprised Billie Kay. This was a great promo. The IIconics promos from last night to tonight were night and day.
  • Kairi's style fits right in on the main roster, and I wondered at times if it would. The Interceptor and Insane Elbow win it.

Backstage Crappenings

  • Aleister Black cuts a MOODY Bray Wyatt (2016) version.
  • I would wager the percentage of the viewing audience that didn't see this last night are in the single digits -- it's Firefly Fun House.


  • Chad Gable is out to no pop and the same music he's always had. Maybe change that up.
  • It's good that they said Lars is a confirmed member of the Smackdown roster, because at this point that's as clear as it gets.
  • Lars Sullivan kills Gable and the Singh Bros.
  • R-Truth's music hits and he slugs it out with Sullivan and gets powerbombed.
  • I'm glad they didn't have Lars Sullivan run away from R-Truth.
  • I'm surprised Chad Gable didn't just slide all the way around the ring side area after Lars Sullivan knocked him down.
  • On a scale of 1-10, Chad Gable's baby oil was at an Ahmed Johnson.

Women's Title Picture

  • Charlotte Flair isn't happy about the fact that she lost her title without being pinned.
  • Becky Lynch comes out and explains the rules of the match.
  • Becky Lynch pulling triple duty (Smackdown title/Raw title/MITB winner) would be a neat way to get a title off of her.
  • Charlotte trashes Becky for being knocked out by Lacey. She says she's next in line.
  • Becky points to Bayley and Mickie James as new challengers and says management won't untangle the Charlotte Web.
  • Bayley has a great line. "You may have lost count of how many times you've beaten Charlotte, but I can count how many times you've beaten me -- zero." Becky has beaten her though.
  • Bayley wants a match with Charlotte Flair and slaps the mic out of her hand when Charlotte tries to deny her.

Top Contender Match
Charlotte Flair defeated Bayley

  • Bayley does a nice rope Stunner, but she would be best served to not do the sliding dropkick every match.
  • Bayley has added some new moves to her offense, including a double springboard body press.
  • Charlotte works over Bayley's leg well. The knee drop on the ropes was nasty.
  • Bayley hasn't had a real chance to go like this in a long time.
  • WWE has this unique way of rendering amazing talent to the point to where you forget they can put on amazing matches.
  • Charlotte does a moonsault stomp on what was supposed to be a missed moonsault. Bayley does a belly to back suplex and has refined her sunset flip buckle bomb.
  • Charlotte gets the win with a spear after a good back and forth out of a Figure Four.
  • Becky Lynch confirms backstage that she's going to pull double duty.

Kofi Kingston (w/ Newer Day) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura (w/ Rusev & Lana)

  • Kofi Kingston is interviewed about his match tonight. Xavier Woods shows up and says "say it louder for the people in the back." Let's nix that phrase. It's overused. Let's Workaholics joke board that one and just eliminate it.
  • Big O shows up and does the chant with them.
  • Surely WWE has to release some of the alternate commentary from New Day at some point.
  • Kofi does a nice celestial splash off the rebound.
  • The crowd is pretty good for this. Nakamura transitions between an armbar and triangle hold.
  • Kofi's inverted frog splash is incredible.
  • Kofi lands on his feet out of a monkey flip and taunts Nakamura.
  • I love that Rusev and Lana are there for Nakamura.
  • Shinsuke does a great snap German suplex, but walks into the Mushroom Stomp.
  • An outstanding kick exchange leads to an SOS.
  • Rusev runs in, but Newer Day saves Kofi.
  • I dunno why this couldn't be clean. Kofi hit the Trouble in Paradise anyway.
  • Kevin Owens turns on Kofi. It had to be this way.
  • Xavier had already been taken out by Nakamura, and Owens beats down Kofi bad.
  • Kofi fights back, but it's not enough. Xavier tries to help, but gets powerbombed on the apron.

Rating guide

10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5.The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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