Written by: The Immortal KB
Tonight’s edition of SmackDown is live from the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Arkansas, USA. The next Smackdown PPV is WWE Hell In A Cell on October 8th 2017 live from the Little Ceasars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
The show opened with the Singh Brothers leading Jinder Mahal to the ring. Jinder spoke about facing his two fiercest rivals in the main event. He said, in response to a “USA” chant, said whenever he goes to an airport or hotel, he gets the same disrespect. He said he should be revered as their WWE Champion.” He said the fans are jingoistic naysayers who laugh ever since he Shinsuke made him look like a fool. He said somebody must pay a price. One of the Singh Brothers spoke up and said they let him down last week. He apologized to everyone in Asia and the 1.3 billion people in India. He began to sob and in an over-the-top way. He went on about how sorry he was to Jinder personally. The other brother said last week they embarrassed him through their ignorance and lack of skill, but vowed to never let Nakamura touch him again. He said they don’t deserve him, so in front of the great nation of India, on behalf of the great nation of India, they’d like to publicly kiss his “royal feet.” As the kiss was about to commence, Shinsuke’s music played.
Shinsuke danced his way onto the stage with strobe lights. When he entered the ring, he easily split between the Singh Brothers.he then got in Jinder’s face and they had a stare down. Jinder wound up to punch him, but Nakamura blocked it. He was eventually overwhelmed by the three-on-one odds. Orton ran out to the make the save, his entrance music telegraphing his arrival. When he arrived, Rusev showed up too and kicked Orton in the chin. Rusev kicked Orton out of the ring, then Jinder stomped gave Nakamura his Khallas.
Tom Phillips announced that Orton vs. Nakamura takes place next week on
Smackdown with the winner receiving a future World Title shot.
The first match of the evening was a tag team match between the Ascension and the new tag team of Chad Gable and the returning Mr. Ain’t No Stopping Me Man Shelton Benjamin. Gable charged into the ropes, but Konnor pulled the top rope down and he spilled to the floor. They cut to a commercial, but kept a split screen view of the action.
Viktor rammed Gable into the edge of the ring apron and then threw him back into the ring. They still settle into rest holds mid-ring during commercials even when they’re showing the action on split screen. So strange. Konnor scored a two count after the break, then tagged in Viktor. Shelton got a nice pop when he got the hot tag in. He rallied, but turned his back to celebrate and Viktor took over briefly. Shelton kicked him in the head and then climbed to the top rope with a flying clothesline. Konnor broke up the cover. Shelton delivered a leaping face plant on Viktor for the win in the seven minute match.
Black don’t crack to see Shelton in action blew my expectations of him being flabby and sick away. Shelton and Gable have excellent chemistry even though they were teasing not having chemistry in the match overall this was a B+ match. Hot Take Shelton is a much better partner for Gable than Jason Jordan.
The announcers hyped New Day vs. The Usos, winner picks stipulations for the Smackdown Tag Team Title rematch, plus the Styles U.S. Title Open Challenge.
They showed Baron Corbin backstage. Renee Young walked up to him and said it’s been two weeks since he squandered his Money in the Bank opportunity. He took issue with the term “squandered.” He said Cena distracted him in his moment to become WWE Champion. He said the problem is John Cena hid from him by going to Raw, preventing his opportunity to right a wrong. He said that’s fine, that’s life, but he’s tired of people asking him where his briefcase is. He said he doesn’t live in the past like the fans do. He said he is going to cash in on the U.S. Title Open Challenge.
Styles came out to his entrance theme. The fans chanted “AJ Styles” when he arrived in the ring. He said last week Kevin Owens lost out on the opportunity to challenge for the U.S. Title for as long as he holds it. He said tonight on Smackdown Live, the house that AJ Styles built, they can reopen the U.S. Title Open Challenge to the rest of the Smackdown Live roster, starting now. Tye Dillinger’s music played and he walked out onto the stage. “First come, first served,” said Bryon. Obviously, people were expecting Corbin. Corbin ran out and spun Tye around in the aisle and asked what he’s doing. They shoved each other. Tye shoved Corbin hard off the ramp. Corbin jumped him from behind and then climbed onto the ring apron. When Corbin climbed onto the ring apron, Tye knocked Corbin off of it and then called for the bell.
The second match of the night was a United States Championship match with the challenger Tye Dillinger going up against the champ AJ Styles for the US Championship. Tye went after Styles aggressively at the start. Styles came back with a Calf Crusher less than two minutes into the match for the submission win.
This was an A+ squash match.
Corbin yanked Tye out of the ring and threw him hard into the barricade. He entered the ring. Styles hit him with a forearm. Corbin threw a fit at ringside and kicked the steps. “AJ Styles!” chants rang out from the crowd.
Backstage they were showing Rusev tying his boots. Suddenly, in walked Jinder Mahal. He said it’ll be a great night for their great nations together – Bulgaria and India – standing side-by-side as they crush Nakamura and Orton. Rusev said tonight’s match isn’t about all of that, it’s about revenge. Rusev told Jinder he’s not his friend. He said he came to Smackdown to be a WWE Champion and after tonight’s win, he’s coming after his title. Jinder snarled as Rusev walked away.
The third match of the night was Mike Kanellis vs Bobby Roode in a match. Roode made his full ring entrance. Roode taunted and frustrated Kanellis early. Kanellis took control with an unclean break out of the corner. Roode fired with back with some punches and clotheslines, then a Blockbuster. He got caught with an elbow when he charged Kanellis, but Roode fired right back with a spinebuster. Roode then finished him with a Glorious DDT to win the match via pinfall in three minutes. Roode strutted and celebrated.
Roode is a babyface(for now) that is being built while Mikey Kay is a jobber. This was a B+ squash match.
They plugged the main event tag match, then showed Kevin Owens backstage and said he was headed to the ring.
Aiden English was in the ring after the break with a spotlight on him. He began to sing when Owens’ music interrupted. English looked exasperated. Owens arrived at the ring and said the “unrefined Arkansas hillbillies” aren’t able to appreciate his talent. He asked him to vacate the ring so he can get to important business. He said he wouldn’t ask twice. English said a few words and then left the ring. Owens said he was promised a chance by Shane McMahon to pick his own referee for the rematch for the U.S. Title against Styles. He said, “You know who I didn’t pick? Shane McMahon.” He pointed at the big screen which showed Shane replacing Baron Corbin as special referee last week. He said Corbin was just doing his job and then Shane put his hands on him. He said Shane counting three shouldn’t have counted. He said one year ago today he was crowned the Universal Champion, “the greatest moment in WWE history.” He said he stands there without a championship belt because of Shane screwing him out of it “not once, but twice.” He said Smackdown isn’t the land of opportunity, it’s that egomaniac Shane’s playground.
Shane came out to the stage to his theme song. He bowed to the fans. Owens said he’s out right on cue, about to take the spotlight away from the real talent and make it all about himself. The fans chanted “Shane-o-Mac.” He asked, “What’s up, Little Rock!?” Shane then said he apparently needs an explanation for what happened last week. He said he picked Corbin to be his referee, but Corbin was extreme biased toward him during the match, which brought him down. He said Corbin took off his referee shirt and threw it at him and left. He said a match of that magnitude needed a referee, and he counted Owens’ shoulders to the ground 1-2-3. He said he lost to Styles. Owens yelled that Styles screwed him again. Shane said fans are tired of hearing him complain, so he asked him to please leave the ring. He told English he has a match now against Sami Zayn.
The fourth match of the night was Sami Zayn vs Aiden English. Owens joined the announcers on commentary. It took him all of four seconds to tell Byron to shut up. English went after Sami aggressively at the start. Sami made a comeback and landed a flip dive not onto English at ringside. Back in the ring, he made the cover and scored a two count. Owens complained about the referee and said he’s sick of people not doing their jobs right, so he’s going to show how things work. Owens entered the ring and took off the referee shirt and put it on. Sami asked what was going on. English jumped Sami from behind. Owens gave Sami a Pop-up Powerbomb. English covered him and Owens counted a fast three. The bell ringer rang the bell. Owens raised English’s arm. Owens took off the ref shirt and threw it back to the original ref at ringside. English won the match kinda sorta in a two minute match.
This was a C+ match with A+ comedy from Kevin Owens.
JBL plugged Orton vs. Nakamura for a future WWE Title match next week on Smackdown. Phillips plugged Usos vs. New Day.
After a replay of the finish of the prior match, Renee asked Shane about what just happened. Shane said that decision does not stand. He said he’s not happy with Owens. He said Owens just left the parking lot. He said he’ll be doing that in just a second.
Dasha Fuentes interviewed Dolph Ziggler. She asked what he’s going to reveal about himself tonight. Ziggler said they’re in Little Rock, and they get nothing. He said what he’s going to do is going to take longer. She asked what motivated the change. Ziggler said he has nothing to show for being the best sports entertainer for years. He said he gives and gives and gets nothing in return. He said he’s taken for granted and is an afterthought. He said he’s a star. He said “they” get distracted by fancy sequins and hand waves in front of his face and a guy playing guitar. He asked if that’s what he has to do to get noticed. He said he could hop on a dumb four wheeler like Stone Cold would and open cans of beer and act like he’s drinking them while they pour all over his face. He said maybe he could douse himself in paint like Finn Balor “so you can hopefully forget that I’m a charisma vacuum.” He said maybe he could have a lovely lady escort him to the ring. Or he can be a superhero. He said all of his years of dedication and sacrifice have meant nothing, so if you want all flash and no substance, he’s going to deliver it next week.
The Usos full ring entrance aired. The New Day danced out. Xavier was with them, but his right knee was in a brace. He held a sign that said, “It’s sore.”
The fifth match of the night was the Usos vs the New Day(Kofi & Big E) with the winner picking the stipulation for the tag team title match. The match began on split screen. Big E put Jimmy in an abdominal stretch, then spanked him. Big E launched Kofi onto the Usos as they tried to regroup at ringside. Xavier played the trombone and then Kofi danced. When Big E went for a running splash on the edge of the ring apron, Jimmy moved. Jey then hit Big E at ringside with a running dropkick. Then Jey shoved Big E back-first into the edge of the ring apron before throwing him back into the ring. Big E kicked out of a subsequent pin attempt. The commercial ended at this point, with Jey in control of Big E. Then Big E caught a charging Jey with a one-armed slam. Both wrestlers tagged out. Kofi rallied against Jimmy, including a Boom Drop. Kofi hit a crossbody on Jimmy. Chaos broke out with all four. Kofi leaped onto Jey’s back and applied a modified dragon sleeper. More chaos including a blind tag, and then Jimmy rolled up Kofi and yanked on his tights for a three count to win the seven minute match.
It was a solid match but they face off too much and I’m experiencing fatigue this was a C+ match and probably their worst match with it feeling like going through the motions.
Dasha interviewed James Ellsworth, but he waved her off and he interviewed Carmella instead. She told Ellsworth he opened his big mouth last week and if not for him she’d probably be champion. He said he is sorry for screwing up, but did she get his flowers. In walked Natalya, who asked Carmella why she can’t keep her pet on a leash. She told Carmella she should be glad James “stooged her off.” She said if she ever faces her with the MITB cash-in, “I’m going to make you the Baron Corbin of the Women’s Division.” She said she’ll make her pay for last week. Ellsworth said that’s a big mistake. Carmella told her to keep the title shiny for her. Naomi told Natalya that she has Carmella next week, but in two weeks they’re going to have their rematch for the title on Smackdown. “Meow, meow!
The sixth match of the night was Tamina vs a jobber who didn’t have a name. Lana stood mid-ring after the break and introduced Tamina. Lana yelled encouragement to Tamina to be aggressive, and she won in a minute with a superkick.
This SmackDown is more like squash down. I think they building Tamina up to be a contender this was an A+ squash match.
Afterwards Tamina threw the opponent out of the ring and then Lana raised her arm. Then two photographers came into the ring and took pictures of Tamina.
Phillips welcomed viewers in Africa watching on Supersport World of Champions. Saxton said the channel is available over 50 territories in Africa.
Saxton said he was a little sad two weeks ago when it seemed Fandango and Tyler Breeze were handing in their water guns and badges, but it’s now time for season two of Fashion Files.
Fashion Police : FASHION FILES : Season 2 Episode 1
A new opening aired with cheesy 1980s style shots of them doing various activities. They showed Chuck Norris and said, “Still Not Starring Chuck Norris.” Then they went to the bulletin board again which included “Two B” on a sheet of paper, pictures of Bob Backlund, Buff Bagwell, Bobby Heenan, among others. Breeze showed off red headphones that he said were actually a high-tech long distance listening device. And then a black light flashlight that lets you see hidden clues. Breeze then showed off a leather belt, which he said is just used to hold your pants up. Breeze then showed off friendship bracelets to make friendship stronger. Fandango put one on. Then they turned off the lights and showed off arrows written in ink only blacklight could see on boxes marked “Fashion Vice” and “Fashion X-Files.” Fandango turned a box to point at “Two B” which also said “or not to be.” Breeze decided the clues pointed to Shakespeare, Poetry, Artist, but they disagreed on what it meant. Somehow that took them to “Aiden English.” They agreed crime never takes a vacation.
The main event of the evening was a tag team match between Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura vs Rusev and WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. They came back for the end of Nakamura’s ring entrance, and then Orton’s full ring entrance. orton stared down Rusev and Mahal. They brawled before the bell. Orton threw Rusev into the barricade at ringside. Nakamura threw Jinder into the timekeeper’s area.
Nakamura made a comeback after the break, with the match in progress, and tried to hot-tag Orton. Jinder stopped him. Nakamura eventually did hot-tag in Orton, who went to work on Jinder. The Singh Brother distracted the ref, and then Rusev threw Orton into the ringpost. Rusev stomped away at Orton at ringside when the ref turned around. Orton side-stepped Mahal threw him shoulder-first into the ringpost to give himself an opening to crawl over and tag Nakamura. Jinder also tagged in Rusev. Nakamura rallied with a running kick and then a series of round kicks to the chest. Rusev caught his leg eventually, but Nakamura broke free with an enzuigiri. Nakamura went for a reverse exploder suplex, but Rusev blocked it. Nakamura then applied the cross arm breaker. Jinder broke it up with a stomp. Orton went after him and gave him a DDT off the middle rope. Nakamura then hit Rusev with a flying kick off the second rope followed by his kinshasa for the pinfall for his team in the ten minute match.
Shinsuke came across as a major superstar. This was an excellent quick match up of the main eventers on Smackdown. This was an A+ match and if next week Orton is on his game his match with Shinsuke will be match of the year.
Afterward, Nakamura and Orton celebrated together, but there was tension because they face each next week. Orton gave at Nakamura and had a few words for. Nakamura talked back. They shared a smile and a laugh, but then out of nowhere Orton hit an RKO. Never trust a snake.
Smackdown is two hours but with an episode this good it felt like thirty minutes. Smackdown is lacking in big names but it has its own way of making their names big. They have solid divisions top to bottom with new challengers being built. With the next PPV so far away I believe that there will be a major shake-ups with the belts later next month. This was an A+ Smackdown.