Written by: JR
-Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English: C
Winner: Tye Dillinger
Aiden English’s performance artist gimmick has great potential. The crowd was loving the 10 chants as expected. It was a typical pre-show match that served its purpose.
-Dolph Ziggler vs Shinsuke Nakamura: B
Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
A great debut for Nakamura and a nice effort from Ziggler throughout the match. Ziggler needs to change his moveset because heels shouldn’t have too many crowd friendly “exciting” moves. His heel work for this match could have been better. The crowd was fully invested in Nakamura’s offense and loved all of his signature mannerisms. It was pretty competitive as well which I’m happy to see since squash matches are too commonly seen when hyping up debuting wrestlers. Hopefully Nakamura will move to another feud fairly soon.
-Tag Team Championship Match = The Usos (C) vs Fashion Police: B-
Winner: The Usos
Tyler Breeze still was wearing his janitor “disguise” on the way to the ring and continued wearing it during the match. He was mopping the apron during the match which was pretty amusing. When Breeze was tagged in, he continued with his janitor act and even used the mop as a prop against The Usos. Breeze later changed into an “old lady” disguise with a wig. The crowd started a “Let’s Go Grandma” chant which was pretty funny.
Although this match was goofy and bizarre at times, both teams still had a competitive match that the crowd thoroughly enjoyed. The Usos did a good job of maintaining their rigid ruthless approach throughout the match in the midst of the unusual actions from their opponents. The Fashion Police most likely are a filler feud for The Usos until the New Day make their return but Fashion Police have won me over as a team. They most likely won’t win the Tag Titles anytime soon but the fans have been loving their antics. Also their “Fashion Files” segments have been great character development and highlights for Smackdown every week.
-Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin: B
Winner: Sami Zayn
Great selling as expected from Zayn. He played the injured underdog role very well and Corbin played his heel role effectively as well. I was kind of surprised that Zayn won and Corbin wasn’t protected in this match so it seems like there aren’t any major plans for Corbin in the near future. This definitely was one of Corbin’s best matches.
-Naomi, Becky Lynch, Charlotte vs Natalya, Tamina, Carmella: C
Winner: Natalya, Tamina, Carmella
Carmella came out to complete silence again but Ellsworth was more over than she was. This pairing hasn’t really benefited her at all. The match was just OK. I’m not a fan of multi person tag team matches but seeing the heels get the win helps to move the story forward and give their characters motivation. Although I was surprised to see Becky tap to Natalya’s Sharpshooter.
-US Championship Match = Kevin Owens (C) vs AJ Styles: B+
Winner: Kevin Owens by countout
Lots of exciting high impact spots along with excellent selling from Styles. The countout spot at the end of the match was kind of disappointing but it was a good way to protect both wrestlers and keep the feud going.
-Luke Harper vs Erick Rowan: C
Winner: Luke Harper
This match was basically the transition match between Styles-Owens and the main event. Harper looked good as always and Rowan had some nice moments too. I can’t see Rowan being around a year from now because his character is ambiguous and kind of cheesy. Harper definitely deserves better and I hope that he’ll move onto a higher profile feud soon.
WWE Championship Match = Randy Orton (C) vs Jinder Mahal: B-
Winner: Jinder Mahal
Crowd was hot for this match at the beginning and Jinder was getting plenty of chants. The match itself was just OK but the Singh Brothers played great heels who were nuisances to Orton. I’d give the match an A+ for getting the title off Orton. Everyone in the crowd was shocked at the result and the unpredictability was intriguing. Hopefully that will translate to high ratings for Smackdown this week.
Overall Show: B
A good show. Every match was good or great and the booking made sense. The only questionable booking decision was having Corbin lose clean to Zayn but we’ll see if Corbin gets back some momentum on Smackdown this week.