Written by: The Immortal KB
Tonight’s edition of SmackDown is live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, USA. This is the fourth consecutive show in the Barclays. From NXT on Saturday, SummerSlam on Sunday, Raw last night and , Smackdown tonight. The next Smackdown PPV is WWE Hell In A Cell on October 8th 2017 live from the Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
A picture slideshow aired the finish to the AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens U.S. Title match at Summerslam with Shane McMahon as special referee.
Styles made his ring entrance and said this “is the House that AJStyles Built!” He said he is still U.S. Champion. He said he told the world that he is the workhorse of WWE. He reinstated the United States Title Open Challenge tonight.
Owens’ music played and he walked out. Styles said he isn’t doing this because he already beat him at Summerslam. “We’re done,” he said. Owens said Styles didn’t beat him. He said 20 years later history repeated itself as a McMahon screwed a legendary Canadian once again. He said Styles can’t take credit for beating him because Shane McMahon screwed him.
Shane McMahon’s music interrupted.Shane did his dance making the whole thing look foolish. He entered the ring and stared at Owens. A “Shane-o-Mac” chant broke out. He asked, “What’s up, Brooklyn?” He got cheers. He said he loves being “back here in the BK.” He told Owens he may be upset, but he did exactly what he said he was going to do – he called the match right down the middle. He said in the end, Styles won fair and square. Owens said Shane may have survived a helicopter crash and jumped off Hell in a Cell and got back up got grazed by a Styles 450 splash, but he couldn’t get over to count to three after he powerbombed him. He said he physically assaulted him, which is what led to Styles beating him. He pointed at the big screen and showed in slo-mo Shane counting to three when Styles’s foot was on the bottom rope.
Owens asked Shane if he saw what he just showed on the “tron.” Owens said when the idiot referee counted his shoulders down a couple weeks ago even though his shoulder was “like ten feet off the ground,” his decision stood. He asked why his three count didn’t stand. Shane nodded. He said it’s simple. He said he immediately called it off. The referee’s decision stands, and since he was the referee, his decision stood. Owens yelled at Shane that he counted to three, so “give me my damn title!” He said Styles is a joke of a champion. Styles called Owens a “whiny ass little bitch.” He gave in and offered him another U.S. Title shot tonight. Shane said it goes against his better judgment, but if that’s what Styles wants, Owens gets it. Owens said that wasn’t enough. He said he got screwed by an official referee a couple weeks ago and on Sunday by a guest referee, so he said he should get to pick the referee tonight. Styles said Owens could have his mom be the ref and he’d still lose to him. He pointed at a kid in the crowd to be ref. Owens said he gets to pick. Shane said okay, but this is his last shot at the U.S. Title and no more excuses.
Backstage Daniel Bryan was shown talking on his phone. He told the person they have a few big surprises. The Singh Brothers walked in and they asked Bryan to pay reverence to the WWE Champion.Jinder Mahal entered and said Bryan is a progressive thinker. He said Smackdown was a huge international success thanks to him and he knows he has shown himself to be an unstoppable champion. Bryan said what he sees is someone who can’t win without help. Jinder said he’s just like other xenophobic American who paints him to be a bad guy when in reality he’s a hero. Bryan said a hero doesn’t take shortcuts. Bryan said Shinsuke Nakamura deserves retribution tonight. Jinder said his contract gives him the power to refuse. Bryan said he doesn’t have to face Nakamura tonight, he meant the Singh Brothers.
Owens approached Sami Zayn backstage. He said he is just the guy he’s been looking for. Owens said they’ve been fighting each other for their entire careers. He said they’ve done a lot to each other, but tonight he needs someone he can trust to be his referee, and he’s the only one who fits the bill. Zayn said he watched his “Kevin Owens Story” DVD recently. He said it feels like they’ve been fighting for so long, sometimes he forgets what they’re fighting about. Owens said he’s right, and maybe they shouldn’t be fighting each other. Owens said he’s not fighting tonight because when he came to Smackdown he hasn’t really done much, but tonight he can be part of something that counts. He told him to think about it.
Aiden English sang under a spotlight. He was interrupted by the debut of “Glorious” on Smackdown. The crowd popped HEAVY
The first match of the night was the debuting Bobby Roode vs Aiden English. Phillips said the landscape of Smackdown has just been significantly altered. JBL celebrated it and said everybody wanted him and they got him. Roode led the crowd in yelling “Glorious.” English said this night is about him. When he bowed, Roode clotheslined him over the top rope, although it was a bit of a struggle to get him over.
Roode beat up Aiden back in the ring for a minute. At ringside, Aiden reversed Roode into the barricade and then charged into him. He choked him over the middle rope. Back from the break, Roode charged at English and chopped away at him in the corner. Phillip said Roode has won championships all over the world and has been a “sports entertainer” for over 20 years. He said he ruled NXT for over a year. Roode hit a blockbuster. English caught Roode with a Director’s Cut for a near fall. JBL declared it over, saying “so much for debut of…” Roode kicked out. English went for a top rope senton, but Roode moved and then planted English with a spinebuster. He led the crowd in chanting “Glorious,” then hit the Glorious DDT for the win in the six minute match.
This was a C+ match. In the beginning of the match Roode seemed clunky but as it progressed he was very crisp. In my opinion at only six feet he’s noticeably smaller than most of the roster. He’s actually taller than AJ Styles but Styles moveset fits him beating anyone at any size while Roode it looks very unbelievable. When he was on TNA he fit in but on WWE he’s like 3/4ths the size of a regular superstar. It seems they are making him a babyface because of the strong reaction to his “glorious” theme song but I doubt it will stick. Also his ring entrance is worthy of a living legend like imagine a Randy Orton in 2017 with a legend killer gimmick while being a legend himself.
After the match Renee Young interviewed Roode in the ring afterward. She said he shocked the entire WWE Universe with his arrival tonight. Uh, no. She asked what brought the former NXT Champion to Smackdown tonight. He congratulated Bryan and Shane for breaking the bank on the hottest free agent in sports entertainment today. He said everything he touches is big box office. He said Smackdown Live in a New York Minute went from great to being absolutely glorious.
Bryan talked with Chad Gable backstage. Bryan apologized for what happened to him since his tag partner got “moved over to Raw.” He apologized for what that did to his career. Gable said that all anyone wants to talk to him about is Jason Jordan and Kurt Angle. He said he is worried about his future. Bryan said he is worried about it, too. Bryan said he made a deal with Kurt Angle; he didn’t just give up Jordan for nothing. He said in exchange, he gets to sign one of Angle’s friends. He said he thinks this person might be a great new tag team partner for him. He introduced Shelton Benjamin. Gable smiled and said this is great. He said he followed him back to his college days. He said he’s a Minnesota guy, too. Bryan said they should take their new team for a test drive next week. Gable said that sounds great and he left. Shelton wasn’t sure what to think of Gable’s enthusiasm. Shelton shook hands with Bryan and smiled.
Once again they showed Owens backstage approaching Sami. He offered him a referee shirt. Sami said he thought about it real long and real hard, but as he thought, he remembered all the rotten things he did to him and all the times he stabbed him in the back, he’s not going to referee for him. He threw the ref shirt at him.
The second match of the evening was the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos vs the Hype Bros. Ryder got a nice pop for his high-energy rally a couple minutes in. The Usos bailed out at ringside. Mojo charged at the Usos. He took down Jimmy. Jey then superkicked Mojo at ringside. Ryder threw Jimmy into the ring, but a distraction by Jey led to Ryder eating a superkick and getting pinned in the three minute match.
A+ grade the segment before set up their future opponents and the match sold them as top tag team by squashing the Hype Bros. On that note if I was Zack Ryder I would have asked for my release five years ago.
Jimmy welcomed Brooklyn to the Uso Penitentiary afterward. Jey said they had a message for every tag team. He said they’ll start to feel what New Day felt. They said it’s not paranoia, it’s the Usos.
The third match of the night was a handicap match in which Shinsuke Nakamura took on both of the Singh Brothers who in a weird twist were managed by the WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. Shinsuke dominated early. He threw the Singhs to the floor near Jinder. He yelled at Jinder.The Singhs attacked Shinsuke from behind. They double-stomped and then pounded on him in the corner. Nakamura ended up submitting one of them with a triangle out of nowhere in four minutes.
A+ match. The Singh brothers can sell water to a whale. Shinsuke came off as a killer. The Sighs are heat magnets and it is enjoyable seeing them get destroyed.
Afterward, as Nakamura celebrated, Jinder attacked him. He took off his jacket and snarled in the direction of the hard camera. Nakamura recovered enough to surprise Jinder with a kick to the gut and then the Kinshasa. I think at the next PPV Shinsuke becomes the WWE Champion.
Tyler Breeze and Fandango offered to be referees for Kevin Owens. Owens yelled, “No. You’ve got to be kidding me! Get out of here!” He told them not to touch his referee shirt. Tyler said as he walked away, “To be continued.” Owens said there is no “to be continued.” In walked Baron Corbin. He said he’d referee, and if Owens wins, he gets first dibs. Owens said, “It’s when. And you’ve got a deal.” Corbin said he better be a man of his word.
The announcers commented on the Naomi vs. Natalya match at Summerslam. They framed it as Natalya lifting her knees on a top rope splash by Naomi leading to the Sharpshooter and new champion. Phillips said Naomi had no choice but to tap out. He said it was heartbreaking for her.
Natalya made her ring entrance and strutted with her newly won gold. She said Summerslam will forever be known as “The Day the Glow Was Unplugged.” She said she proved she is the best these is, was, and ever will be. She said Naomi can wipe the tears away and see what a real champion looks like. She said she is their new and forever Smackdown Women’s Champion. She promised to restore order and dignity to the title. “It’s not Glow Time, it’s My Time!” she declared.
Ellsworth said it only took Natalya “what, a billion years” to finally win something. Carmella arrived at the ring and told Natalya that she’s on her time. She said she let Natalya have her moment at Summerslam, but when the time is right, she’s going to turn in her contract for that championship. Ellsworth said it’s honorable for Natalya to trust Carmella to be her partner because she could not tag in and let Natalya get beat up the whole match and cash in her MITB contract tonight. JBL said Natalya is “as sharp as a bowling ball.”
Leading to the fourth match of the night The former Smackdown Women’s Champion Naomi teaming up with Becky Lynch against The new Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya and Ms. Money In The Bank Carmella in a tag team match. Lynch’s ring entrance took place next. Naomi came out in a light-up robe and danced her way to the ring. They opened with Carmella vs. Naomi. Natalya should have just walked out on the match here after what Ellsworth said. Carmella tagged in Natalya even before there was any contact. She ordered Natalya to “get her.” Natalya tried to call for a time out, then side-stepped Lynch and stomped away at her in the corner. Natalya tried to tag in Carmella, but Carmella dropped down and told Natalya, “You got it covered. You’re the best there is, baby. Go ahead!” Lynch schoolgirled Natalya for a near fall. Lunch kicked Natalya and then crawled over to tag Naomi. Fans began doing the wave. Natalya knocked Lynch off the ropes and then mouthed off to Carmella. Lynch small packaged Natalya for a two count, then tagged in Naomi.
Naomi sunset flipped herself into the ring and scored a two count. Then Naomi shifted into a submission. Natalya powered out. Carmella turned her back to the ring and talked with Ellsworth. Natalya then blind-tagged in Carmella. Natalya chased Carmella into the ring. Lynch then surprised Carmella with her exploder suplex. Ellsworth mouthed off to Natalya at ringside as Naomi landed a split-legged moonsault for the pin on Carmella for her team to win the nine minute match.
This was a C+ match but it would have been so much better if Carmella had cashed-in MITB either during the tag match or right after the match. Imagine the implication of a New Champion 48 hours later. Smackdown’s Women’s division is boring.
Dasha Fuentes interviewed Dolph Ziggler. He said he’s so happy to be reintroducing himself to WWE Smackdown viewers. He then complained that it was in a backstage interview. He said when he was gone, he was watching a lot of Raw and Smackdown. He said he knows what it takes to be a star in WWE now. He looked off to the sky and said he’s going to start singing and playing guitar and maybe rap a little bit and dance around like an idiot and then get a big spotlight on him and lots of lasers and a big fancy robe because that’s what it takes. He said he’d have a beautiful woman escort him to the ring who glows in the dark because that’s what it takes and what exactly he plans on doing next week.
Backstage Lana was on her cell phone then she told Tamina that the ravishing journey begins next week. Tamina asked what happens this week. She said they are going to close their eyes and remember why they are on this journey. She told Tamina to remember the feeling of being in a locker room with people but feeling all alone because you don’t fit in and are different. She told Tamina to take those feelings of being ignored and laughed at and let it fester inside until the anger boils over. She told her to open her eyes. She said she can see the rage, so now she is ready. She said one by one they will crush the competition as the ravishing reign of terror begins. “We will not stop until you become champion,” she said.
Backstage Styles was headed down the hallway when Corbin in a referee shirt approached him. Styles said when he wins tonight, there will be an open challenge every week, so if he wants a shot at the U.S. Title, answer the challenge. Corbin said, “See ya’ out there champ.”
Corbin made his way to the ring to his entrance music wearing a referee shirt.
In the main event AJ Styles defended the US
Championship against Kevin Owens in a match special guest refereed by Baron Corbin.
Owens bailed out at ringside as soon as the bell rang. Corbin forced Styles to back away. Owens took a cheap shot at Styles and took over. Styles came back with a dropkick and regrouped at ringside. JBL said there’s no reason for Corbin not to call this down the middle. Styles slingshot himself onto Owens at ringside with a forearm.
Styles went for a kick at ringside, but Owens ducked and then swept Styles’s leg and then overhead tossed him hard into the barricade. Phillips said Corbin has been calling it down the middle. Owens scored a two count in the ring. Owens settled into a long chinlock. Styles made a comeback and landed a fireman’s carry neckbreaker for a two count. Styles discussed the pace of the count with Corbin. Styles next went for the Calf Crusher. He sunk it in and leaned back. Owens teased tapping out. When he got near the rope, Styles rolled him back to the center. Corbin made Styles break, claiming that Owens touched the bottom rope and that forced a break. Styles said he has to hold the rope, not touch it. Corbin pointed at the WWE logo and told him to deal with it because he’s the ref.
Owens shoved Styles into Corbin. Styles turned and went after Owens. Corbin grabbed Styles and yelled at him. Owens schoolboy Styles and counted quickly. Styles kicked out. Owens went for it again. Styles kicked out again. Styles and Owens hit each other with clotheslines in mid-air. Corbin looked down at them. Shane McMahon ran to the ring to scold Corbin. Corbin said he’s doing his job. Shane said he’s doing a terrible job. Owens gave Styles a low-blow as Corbin and Shane yelled at each other. Owens then covered Shane. As Corbin counted, Shane yanked him out of the ring. Corbin told him not to touch him. Shane said he’s done. Corbin yanked off his ref shirt and gave it to Shane. Owens yelled at Corbin to come back. Shane put the ref shirt on. Fans cheered. Owens was beside himself. Owens re-entered the ring and yelled at Shane, then went after Styles. Styles snapped Owens’ neck over the top rope, then hit a Phenomenal Forearm for the win in the 14 minute match.
This match was an A+ match. This was every exciting with all the near falls and the fact that if KO lost he couldn’t challenge for the belt again. Corbin wasn’t that bad. AJ Styles is the best wrestler in the world.
This episode while having great matches proves that Smackdown needs a hard reset. Overall this was a B+ show. Smackdown at times feels like a wasteland they have a lot of people who for no reason don’t show up week to week. People who even if they were on wouldn’t add anything. Like Luke Harper man hasn’t been on TV since the start of the year. Smackdown is officially C- Brand status. Some people from Raw got to come to Smackdown plus some people from NXT like Asuka for the Women’s division. Overall Smackdown took a hit losing people post Summerslam and the two new people don’t have that pop to them. It’s rumored that Rusev wanted his release so he’s basically gone. With the next PPV in two months it is going to be a long time until Smackdown gets its swag back.