The Investment Rate

Why Are We Excited for Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton? | SmackDown Live’s Investment Rate (23/07/19)

Talking Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon and the return of Charlotte Flair, Jack Dinsley reviews SmackDown Live and offers his ‘Investment Rate’

The new era of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff has well and truly started…we think.

Following the Raw Reunion episode, which left fans feeling nostalgic, it’s time to see how invested fans were for the blue brand’s episode.

THE GOOD

Although I prefer Kevin Owens as a heel, the face version of him is slowly growing on me and I’m liking it more as the weeks go by. Shane McMahon came out and expressed how annoyed he was at Owens as he was hiding behind social media. McMahon then confirmed that he accepted his match against Owens at SummerSlam. Following this, Owens came out, and there was an exchange between the two, before confirming the main event was Owens going one-on-one against Roman Reigns.

Overall, I thought this was a strong opening segment. I am torn with this storyline because I am getting bored of seeing Shane McMahon bury young talent at PPV’s. However, I am hoping since the PPV is in Canada that WWE will put over the hometown hero.

Miz TV is still as good as it was when it debuted all those years ago, and tonight’s wasn’t any different. The special guest was Shawn Michaels, and the two of them discussed the previous night’s Raw Reunion. However, the duo was interrupted by Dolph Ziggler, who called Michaels and the rest of the legends ‘embarrassments.’ Shawn was able to backfire on the comments made by The Show-Off, and commented on him being a second-rate Shawn Michaels his whole career.

The Miz tried to calm down the situation but ended up getting knocked out, and then Shawn Michaels ended up with a superkick. I felt this segment delivered but where do we go from here in terms of storylines?

Following Miz TV, it was Ember Moon vs Charlotte Flair, in what was a short match. It saw Moon came out on top, thanks to the distraction by Bayley. It also saw Bayley get knocked out by an Eclipse by Moon. There’s been split discussions by fans as many think Flair could be added into the match. On the other hand, some fans are thinking that there could be a match between Charlotte and Trish Stratus. This could make sense as SummerSlam is taking place in her hometown, and would be interesting to see.

Then we had the best segment of the night, Kofi Kingston calling out Randy Orton. The person in the creative team needs to take a bow because whoever thought about going back to this storyline needs a round of applause. There was a lot of heated conversation between the two, and a lot of mentions from 11 years ago. This time it is Kingston with the championship, not ‘The Viper’. Randy Orton vowed that he would end his “11-year fairy tale.” YES! This is what fans have been looking forward to – a storyline with background and meaning. It was down to Orton that Kingston didn’t win the championship eleven years ago and now we are getting the storyline that everyone has wanted to see.

Finn Balor returned to SmackDown Live and discussed his attack by Bray Wyatt’s The Fiend. He assured fans that although he was shaken, he would beat this fear. The latest edition of “Firefly Fun House” interrupted Balor, and he accepted his challenge at SummerSlam.

THE BAD

Sadly, Shinsuke Nakamura is listed as part of the bad aspects of the show. Since he won the Intercontinental Championship at Extreme Rules on the pre-show, there has been no real momentum with the championship. The belt which was once regarded as a high profile championship is heading nowhere. In tonight’s episode, he faced off against Apollo Crews, who seems to be facing anyone these days and having no real purpose.

The match itself was good, but that was it. It didn’t leave me wanting more, and I wasn’t invested. The one good aspect of the match was that Apollo Crews is being used to face off against some of the blue brand’s biggest talent. However, how is this going to impact positively on the champion at the time?

Following the heated segment between Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton, Samoa Joe came out for his rematch against Kingston. YAWN. Let’s have some fresh matches – he’s not involved in the storyline anymore. I didn’t think the match was anything special, and the match ended in a no-contest… Brilliant. The Viper attempted an RKO on Kofi, but he was able to dodge it and Joe got an RKO instead. Kingston was able to deliver a Trouble in Paradise onto Orton, sending a clear message.

The main event saw Kevin Owens go against Roman Reigns. It sounds like a great ending to the show… until it ends in another no-contest. The twist in the match was that Shane McMahon served as the guest ring announcer; Elias as the guest timekeeper and Drew McIntyre as special referee.

There wasn’t a match – the three of them began a beat down on Reigns, until Owens got involved. After McIntyre and Elias were dealt with, Reigns knocked McMahon out with a Superman Punch, leaving Owens to finish McMahon off with a stunner. Although Smackdown ended with the faces on top, I was left wanting more from the match.

The Verdict

Overall, I feel that the blue brand is getting better and better each week. Storylines are getting better, and there is more development. However, there was no tag team action on this week’s SmackDown Live, and I believed that this was one of the strongest elements of the blue brand – in both the men and women’s divisions.

All in all, I have to say that the main event picture is looking a lot better, and Kofi has a strong storyline with The Viper.

The blue brand is certainly going strong, which is good news before it debuts on Fox in October. They just need to learn from their mistakes week on week and try and improve on them.

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