The April 30, 2019 episode of SmackDown LIVE featured developments for both Money in the Bank ladder matches and the WWE Championship match on the upcoming pay-per-view.
The show opened with a celebration of the 11-year WWE career of Kofi Kingston, hosted by RAW’s Michael Cole. We saw the recap of his recent odds-defying rise from wrestler in a popular tag team to WWE Champion… then, of last week’s betrayal of The New Day by “Big O” Kevin Owens. In response to last week’s attack, Kingston challenged Owens to a title match at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view.
Kingston saying that he’s “not afraid of Kevin Owens” or of losing his title drew out his rival. Owens attempted mind games, saying that Kingston gave the fans a good WrestleMania moment—something they love—but the people don’t really believe in him as an individual. This led Xavier Woods to run out and attack Owens, who superkicked him and then high-tailed it to the back before Kingston could reach him. Backstage, Kingston told Woods that he’s “got this” and urged his friend to keep a cool head.
The final segment of the show saw Owens attempt further mind games, when he invited Woods on The Kevin Owens Show. When Woods wisely didn’t show, Owens insulted and yelled at action figures of both him and Big E (complete with a bandage on his leg) instead. Finally, Kingston was the member of The New Day to snap at this and ran out to attack K.O., showing a more intense and aggressive side of himself.
The first match of the night was a non-title bout between Bayley and double champ Becky Lynch. Bayley didn’t win her number one contender’s match last week but will have another chance to get in the championship picture as part of the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. She started the match with the aggression of someone with something to prove and controlled a significant portion of the match. However, Lynch was able to block her elbow drop with her knees and quickly grab Bayley into the Dis-Arm-Her for the submission victory.
After the match, the actual number one contender—Charlotte Flair—quickly ran into the ring and attacked both women, leaving them lying on the floor outside of the ring.
While Lynch at least got a win before she was sneakily attacked, the SmackDown Tag Team Champions Matt and Jeff Hardy fared worse, as they informed the WWE Universe that they had to vacate their titles because Jeff was so badly injured by Lars Sullivan.
Lars Sullivan wasn’t content with the damage he had done to the team and entered the arena to attack them again. R-Truth tried to make a save/get his own revenge on Sullivan, but the huge man from NXT seemed unaffected by chair shots and managed to counter one with a punch. So far, no one has had the answer for “The Freak.”
In the Women’s Tag Team Championship picture, Asuka and Kairi Sane showed their strength against a local team while The IIconics sat in on commentary. Sane picked up another win with the InSane Elbow and the two charismatic teams faced off.
This week’s show also included developments for both the men’s and women’s Money in the Bank ladder matches. We learned that—along with Bayley—Carmella, Ember Moon, and Mandy Rose will fight for the white briefcase, while Ali, Finn Balor, Andrade, and Randy Orton will represent SmackDown in the battle for the green. In a tag team match pitting Balor and Ali against Orton and Andrade, each man looked like a contender, but Ali especially looked promising as he picked up the win.
The feud for another Money in the Bank pay-per-view match—Roman Reigns vs. Elias—intensified in a less straightforward way. Reigns told the audience that he punched Vince McMahon to get across the point that he is still “The Big Dog” and SmackDown is, in fact, his yard.
Shane McMahon entered the arena to interrupt and generally cause problems for Reigns. He put Reigns in a handicap match with The B-Team with Elias as a “special guest referee enforcer,” a position that was then revealed to somehow exist along with that of a normal referee for the match.
Reigns looked pretty fed up with this whole situation, but that didn’t decrease his fighting spirit against his opponents. Distractions from Elias enables beatdowns in and out of the ring to Reigns and when he finally managed to hit the Superman Punch to Curtis Axel in the ring, Elias broke the pin.
However, it was Elias that also eventually won the match for Reigns when he lost faith in The B Team’s ability to get the job done and took a swing at the former Shield member with his guitar. Reigns managed to dodge the guitar and the match ended in a DQ, a less than definitive conclusion between two men who will face off at Money in the Bank on May 19.