How will Smackdown follow up the fantastic RAW? Unfortunately, the main event is a tag match featuring Nakamura and Orton vs Mahal and Rusev. Smackdown can make up for it’s relatively less star power with great matches, but this combination doesn’t inspire confidence.
Jinder Mahal promo
Same old shit, then…
The Singhs beg forgiveness when they should have begged to not perform this cringe-worthy segment.
The Singhs stand between Naka and Mahal but ‘Mura easily pushes them aside. He puts up a strong resistance but is overwhelmed by the numbers.
Wannabe Austin runs down
Orton storms down and makes me wish I was watching Austin take out McMahon’s cronies. Mahal sucks at selling strikes. Rusev joins the fun and the heels stand tall.
Terrible segment. Orton needs to get out of the main event picture.
We later learn Nakamura and Orton will face off next week for the no.1 contender spot.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin vs The Ascension
The Ascension get to wrestle on tv again. They make the most of their jobber’s entrance with a decent pose in the ring.
Benjamin and Gable enter to a huge pop. The fans are crazy for Benjamin. They smartly keep him for the hot tag and the crowd is heavily invested. They explode for his hot tag and win. I thought Gable was doing well as a singles star, but this could be a hot pairing and the WWE desperately needs more tag-teams.
Gable and Benjamin win via pinfall
AJ Styles’ John Cena’s US Open Championship
Kevin Owens can no longer challenge for the belt while Styles is the Champion.
Tye Dillinger accepts the challenge
Baron Corbin disagrees
Dillinger shoves Corbin and walks to the ring, but Corbin nails him from behind.
It looks like Corbin is taking the spot until Dillinger springs back and recovers his Championship Opportunity.
A quick and feisty match delivers the feeling of Dillinger excited for a big chance. Very quick, but entertaining nonetheless. Styles escapes Dillinger’s finisher and rolls him into the Calf Crusher for the win.
Styles wins via submission
Corbin attacks a weakened Dillinger and pouted outside the ring.
I like this angle Corbin has been floundering. Addressing his WWE frustrations could rebound him back into relevance after his disappointing briefcase failure.
Bobby Roode vs Mike Kanellis
Roode shows off his great in-ring work. Fortunately, this match was more tilted in Roode’s favor than the oddly close Aidan English contest from last week. Roode looked glorious and the crowd dug it. Excited to see where he can go.
Roode beats Kanellis via pin
Aidan English sings
Kevin Owens interrupts
Owens says English’s great talent won’t be appreciated by the Arkansas hillbillies.
KO shows another video explaining how a ref he didn’t choose made the call on his loss to Styles.
Shane McMahon arrives
Shane-O orders Kevin out of the ring and tells English to get back in to wrestle…
Owens watches the match from commentary but loses patience and steals the ref’s shirt, inserting himself as the official. This doesn’t last long as he soon interferes and gives Zayn a pop-up-powerbomb. English’s music plays for probably the first time on Smackdown: It’s pretty good!
Usos vs New Day AGAIN
Yet another match between these teams, but this time it’s to decide the stipulation in their NEXT match! These teams have chemistry and stole the show at Summerslam but WWE is driving it into the ground.
The match is short and the Usos cheat to win.
Carmella and Natalya backstage
Natalya is pissed that Carmella tried to doublecross her last week. Carmella informs us she’s getting a title shot next week. This makes the briefcase feel a lot less valuable.
Naomi appears and tells Natty to get ready for their rematch in two weeks time.
Tamina with Lana vs random jobber
Lana introduces Tamina for this squash match. Tamina looks as uncomfortable as the jobber and fails to impress. She needs to do more with the limited chances she gets.
I’m happy WWE is giving these two something to do but this didn’t help. Tamina is a bad fit here.
The boys are back with Season 2 and an early ’90s inspired title sequence. They use a black-light to follow clues that eventually say “Two B or not Two B”. They focus their investigation on Aidan English and Fandango ends the scene by placing aviators on top of his aviators, and a third pair for his shirt.
Nakamura and Orton vs Mahal and Rusev
Pairing Nakamura and Orton ahead of their no-build no.1 contender’s match reeked of imitating RAW’s far superior Cena/Reigns angle. Speaking of imitation, Orton’s viper nickname is another pale copy of Austin’s Rattlesnake.
A bleh match with Mahal messing up the middle-rope DDT spot.
Nakamura and Orton win clean and stand tall together…until Orton hits an RKO. I assume Randy loves that move because it returns him to a sitting position.
A bland show, especially compared to RAW’s excitement. The Smackdown roster is big enough to avoid the boring repetition that kills any interest in seeing the match yet again on the upcoming PPV.