Vince Mcmahon makes a rare appearance to confront Kevin Owens. What will he decide after suspending his own son? What’s going on with Natalya’s title reign? Will Ziggler ever be interesting again?
Kevin Owens promo
Crowd is super hot. Las Vegas is an exciting place but I was worried it would be similar to TNA’s Impact Center crowds of clueless tourists.
Owens threatens to sue the WWE and shut down Smackdown, replacing it with the Kevin Owens’ show.
KO says the first to be fired on his new show will be Sami Zayn.
Byron Saxton and Josh Matthews will have to wear the same suit. One suit, two guys.
Fashion Files will also be cancelled forever.
KO invites Vince but Shane’s music plays.
Dolph Ziggler appears impersonating Shane.
KO says he might as well use the music since no one else is right now.
Daniel Bryan appears
Bryan says KO doesn’t run the show.
Owens says Bryan will be the janitor on his new show.
Bryan is not opposed to hard work and labour, and suggests fat fatty Kevin should try it.
Bryan threatens KO with Vince’s appearance.
KO says he’s not worried, and that Vince should be worried instead.
Fun exchange with plenty of tension and anticipation for Vince’s first appearance since immediately after ‘Mania. I say every week how talented Owens is, but it bears repeating to get over how consistent his stellar performances are. His involvement with Vince could point to big thing moving forward.
AJ Styles vs Tye Dillinger
These two have another cracking match, with yet another spoiler attempt by Corbin. AJ knocks Corbin off the apron with a Phenomenal Forearm, allowing Dillinger to attempt a roll-up for two.
Styles eventually wins with a calf-crusher and the two faces shake hands.
Corbin comes down again
The tall man beats down both goodies, hitting an end of days on Styles to the outside mats. Corbin gets on the mic and says he’s Style’s next opponent for the title next week.
Great match but Corbin has fizzled. He needs to show more personality (without fearing backstage repercussions) and figure out the in-ring side a bit more.
Jinder Mahal promo
This was the most original Mahal promo I’ve ever seen. Instaed of playing the victim, he went after Nakamura. He put up embarrassing photos of Nakamura pulling awkward faces, describing them as constipated. The Singh Bros impersonate Nakamura’s dances.
Finally something different! This is the first Mahal promo I didn’t glaze over and tune out. They could still do more with his personality but this is a good start.
Zayn and Owens backstage
KO reminds Zayn of the armories they wrestled in to 40 people, swearing to make it to the WWE and never wrestle those hell shows again. He gives Zayn permission to break the promise if he needs the work after KO fires him.
Zayn says he’d rather wrestle in the armories than work for KO.
New Day vs Usos
Sin City Street Fight
The rules are no DQ/Countouts/tags, win must be scored in the ring.
The Usos gain early control, brutalizing with weapons.
Kofi strikes back, gaining revenge with the Kendo stick.
Kingston’s leap to the outside is caught but Big E wakes up and suplexes an Uso on the outside.
Big E goes on a run but the Usos almost win with an illegal advantage pin. They follow up the two-count with superkicks and enzighiris. They go for a dual splash but Kingston tosses one off the top to the outside.
This allows Big E and Kingston to hit a Midnite Hour and win the belts back.
Another great match between these two teams. The weapons made sense as they’ve built up enough bad blood. Another title change isn’t great under normal circumstances but with a weak tag division and this feud still providing quality matches, perhaps they can squeeze out at least one more good match.
Naomi vs Natalya
Ronda Rousey is ringside and that fires up the crowd big-time.
Carmella is at the announcer table and now has Ellsworth on a leash, a fun evolution of their storyline.
A quality match showing off both Naomi and Natty.
Natty gets in the face of Carmella outside the ring. Naomi leaps on Carella and Ellssworth, allowing Natty to toss Naomi into the ring post. She puts on the Sharpshooter in the middle of the ring and takes the win.
Strange to see Naomi lose somewhat clean, especially to a submission. The constant involvement of Carmella could mean more importance with her, pushing Naomi further down the card. Natalya has felt like a transitional champ to me but I don’t see how exactly they’ll incorporate Carmella’s MitB.
Aidan English and KO
KO is an English fan, and asks for a theme song. English sings a boring one and the crowd cheers.
Ziggler says he’s the best performer and doesn’t need an elaborate entrance.
Then he impersonates Bailey’s entrance.
Then he impersonates the Ultimate Warrior, running faster than the Warrior ever has.
The parodies aren’t clicking because Ziggler doesn’t do anything beyond impersonate the entrance for a few seconds. He doesn’t offer any kind of parody, nor extend the imitation long enough to provide more than a few seconds of shallow entertainment.
He finishes with his usual insult to the crowd about them not being worth it etc.
Hype Bros vs Benjamin & Gable
High impact and quick. Gable and Benjamin win with nice new finisher. Benjamin put Ryder into a high powerbomb position and Gable combines a top rope bulldog.
Gable and Benjamin win
Post-match the winners offer handshakes but Ryder walks off alone.
KO and Vince in-ring
Vince gets a huge pop.
KO says Vince is intimidated.
Vince says he’s actually nauseated and that KO should be ashamed when he looks in the mirror.
Big V says if KO files the lawsuit, he’ll personally call Kevin’s attorney and say “Kevin Owens, YOU’RE FIRED!”
Mr McMahon warns KO that he’s already been in several lawsuits and has never lost one. He talks about how the laws are written to favor the rich. That he’s a billionaire and Kevin will be bankrupt.
He informs us that Shane wasn’t suspended for attacking Kevin, but for not finishing the job. He rattles off three animated descriptions of Shane beating the crap out of Kevin.
Vince sets up a match between Kevin and Shane, in HELL IN A CELL.
KO asks for Vince’s word that ‘if provoked, I can beat a McMahon senseless’ (you know what’s coming here).
They shake and Vince makes angry faces.
Kevin then headbutts Vince, drawing blood the hard way!
Vince gets up and throws a punch but KO takes him down again. Vince gets up again and KO superkicks him, beating the refs.
No wrestlers have come out to help in the few minutes this has taken place.
Owens then drops a frog splash! Vince is a trooper.
Stephanie comes out
She gets in Owens’ face. Will he beat her senseless or does her Helmsley hyphen save her?
Vince refuses the stretcher and hobbles out.
One of the better Smackdown shows of late and the exciting bonus of not only seeing Vince on Smackdown, but watching him take a vicious beating and getting busted open for his efforts. Vince is still one of the best promo performers ever and I was shocked he took the attack so far. But then again, this is Vince, and he’ll do anything for the WWE. When the time comes I’m sure he’ll work his own death into an angle.
Both KO segments were good and great (respectively) and I’m glad to see Owens return to his old killer persona, rather than the comedy that he’s so good at, but relegates him to the mid-card.
A few great matches and storylines moving forward is what we got and all I expect on a weekly show. The Ziggler gimmick-gimmick is already stale and he hasn’t brought anything extra to it. If he wants to go into comedy after maximizing his wrestling money, he better keep practicing.
I’m interested to see where Natalya, Carmella, and Naomi go from here, and wonder where Charlotte has been. Perhaps her father’s health troubles forced a quick re-write, but she hasn’t had any meaningful singles matches in months.
Looking forward to seeing what happens next and that’s the best sign of all.