RAW was great, can Smackdown match up? The storyline of KO vs the McMahons could easily deliver solid entertainment, and that’s exactly how they start the show. This time however, they add ol’ Sami Zayn to the mix.
Kevin Owens promo
KO talks about how he actually respects and likes Vince even though he attacked him, so he wants Shane to imagine what it’ll be like with someone he doesn’t.
Sami Zayn comes down
Zayn shows off his haircut he must have gotten backstage from Enzo Amore, and pleads that KO reconsider what he’s done. He says Owens is out of control and needs to think – not just about his career – but his family etc.
Owens says Zayn is jealous of him outshining him, winning IC and World titles.
Zayn says Owens has won more, but took the cheap route to get there, and when Zayn’s day finally comes, he won’t look in the mirror and see a giant piece of trash looking back.
KO drops his mic.
Zayn drops his.
Daniel Bryan interrupts
Bryan sets up Owens vs Zayn tonight.
I’ve never seen this pair’s epic battles so I’m excited to see them butt heads again. I see the natural chemistry and they’re making it personal a lá Cena/Reigns, showing the WWE is either continuing to head in that direction or are simply repeating a good thing.
Baron Corbin vs Tye Dillinger
Corbin and Dillinger have been feuding over the position as #1 contender to Style’s US Championship. The story has had time to grow and that makes all the difference, even without particularly shocking moments. Simply tell a consistent story and it will grow more compelling with time. Until it’s boring of course.
AJ Styles enters
Corbin is surprised to see Styles, as the Phenomenal One takes a spot on commentary.
Corbin yells at Styles from the ring and Dillinger uses the opportunity to dump him over the ropes from behind before the match starts.
It’s so jarring to have a commercial when we were forced to sit through several minutes of recap as the show began. Graves realizes this and lets us know the match officially started during commercial break.
We learn that Corbin dominated during the break as Styles talks about Corbin’s shortcuts on commentary.
Dillinger gains control and pulls off a creative fall-away-knee-to-the-head move, but can’t get the three count.
Tye goes for his finisher but Corbin rolls off to the outside, ending up recovering on the announcer’s table, staring at Styles.
He decides to toss a drink into Styles’s face, making a satisfying sound off the microphone.
Styles tosses the headphones and stands up, approaching Corbin.
Dillinger comes outside but Corbin uses Dillinger as a torpedo, rocketing him into Styles.
The Tye Missile is so powerful, Corbin wins via count-out as neither man stands up in time.
Corbin boots Dillinger one more time, but runs away from Styles.
Corbin wins by countout
The large, out of breath man, grabs a mic and says he knew Styles and Dillinger were going to team up on him, and that he’s coming for the US Title at Hell in the Cell.
Styles accepts the challenge during commercial. Match is set.
Corbin threw Dillinger into Styles, angering them both and winning by Countout. He wants the US Title.
Jinder Mahal promo
The World Champion gets a jobber entrance?! Mahal starts off in the ring with his music and posse.
A promo picture is shown of his match with Nakamura but the promo music is clashing with Mahal’s arena music. It’s a horrible clash of sound.
Mahal smugly apologizes for his remarks crossing the line and does the same joke with different pictures.
But the last one wasn’t a picture!
Nakamura stops pretending to be a still-image and scares Mahal and his Boys.
He stares at the camera for quite awhile, as if waiting for a cue.
“I’m looking at you, this ain’t the look of ????????. Right here on Smackdown LIVE!”
The missing word seems important, but all we need to know is that Nakamura is here and coming for Mahal.
Lights out, Nakamura’s Music
The Singhs attack Naka in the aisle. Nakamura fights back but Mahal hits him from behind.
They end up in the ring and Mahal strikes back.
He runs for the Kinshasa, hitting a Singh first, but eventually nails Mahal in the head. Standing tall (and then kneeling on his back).
tl;dr Mahal insults Naka, Naka hits Singhs and Mahal with Kinshasa
Mahal still doesn’t impress on the mic. We can blame the material and a reluctance to rock the boat as a newcomer to the main event, but he can only help himself by breaking through and showing charisma to go with the body.
The Usos vs The Hype Bros
New Day watching front-row
The New Day watch with binoculars, Booty-Os, and matching red sweat suits.
After Ryder gets the hot tag, he looks ready to finish off an Uso from the top rope but Rawley tags himself in. They argue about this and an Uso pushes Mojo into Ryder, knocking him off the top to the outside.
Jay Uso hits the Frog Splash (which always looks painful, wrestlers are brave to throw themselves into pain so willingly). Jay even has the wherewithal to rotate his pin so he can stare at The New Day while winning.
Usos and New Day cut promos outside the ring
The New Day want the rematch to be not only AT Hell in a Cell, but IN Hell in a Cell.
tl;dr Rawley causes dissension with Ryder, Usos capitalize with win, New Day and Usos match will be Hell in a Cell.
Rusev Bulgarian Celebration
Aidan English welcomes Rusev by singing the Bulgarian Anthem (I can’t confirm that).
Rusev looks truly happy as he enters and stands on a hilariously tall Bulgarian flag box.
A Bulgarian official makes a speech in Bulgarian, to which the crowd chants ‘what’.
The english version lets us know today is Rusev Day.
Rusev’s smile is perfect, I see why so many fans want him to get a bigger spot, unfortunately, it seems Strowman and Samoe Joe have taken his spot as top monster heel.
Rusev starts talking about Orton and I’m a bit sadder when I remember he has to face the Viper. Maybe the 15-year veteran will help Rusev reach the next and level.
We see a video recap of Rusev captilizing on a disracted Orton and getting the quick win (ADD runs rampant through the WWE).
Rusev says his actions were the law of the jungle. Orton is an Apex Predator, but Rusev is a younger, stronger predator that ripped the fangs out of the Viper’s mouth.
English sings a song he wrote called Rusev Day.
RKO out of nowhere!
Orton takes out English and Rusev. Orton celebrates.
tl;dr Rusev and English celebrate. Rusev is great on the mic. Orton RKO’s both outta nowhere.
It feels like Orton respects Rusev and might help with him a great couple of matches. Hopefully Rusev can leap to the next spot on the crowded roster. With rumours of him potentially leaving however, a promotion is even more doubtful.
Charlotte vs Carmella
Charlotte enters with grace. Carmella enters with Ellsworth on a leash and collar. She ties him to her post.
Charlotte seems energized after her family emergency break. She adds a subtle laugh during one of Carmella’s opening moves. It’s a nice touch.
Carmella tries her best, but Charlotte soon overpowers her and wins with a big boot.
Natalya cuts a promo on the entrance
Natty says she’s happy Flair’s alive so he can see his ‘overrated daughter’ get beat at HiaC
tl;dr Charlotte cleanly beats Carmella, Natalya calls her overrated.
The Undertaker’s Bell tolls
The crowd doesn’t pop. They’re too stunned. The lights go out the music continues. A man appears dressed like The Undertaker. Is it Ziggler?
Now this is actually a good idea for this gimmick. Swerving an Undertaker return is almost blasphemous.
Ziggler mocks the crowd asking if they thought they’d see The Undertaker more than once a year? He then laughs ‘oh the ’90s!’.
He says anyone can wear a halloween costume and come down to that entrance, but noone can do what he can.
Bobby Roode makes a dramatic entrance. This could be great for Roode to get ahead against a now-hated but talented heel in Ziggler.
Will Dolph go after Roode’s epic entrance?
Roode respects Ziggler (like a good face), but he calls Ziggler a hypocrite that actually does care what the fans think.
He asks Ziggler to back up his claim by facing Roode at HiaC.
Ziggler mocks ‘Taker again by saying Roode will ‘RReessssstt innnnnn..” but Roode interrupts him with a ‘Glorious’.
Sami Zayn vs Kevin Owens
They tear into each other as soon as the bell rings. They throw punches until Owens reverses an Irish Whip into an intense elbow.
They have an intense, but short match. It’s nice to see them fight, but could have been milked much longer for an epic PPV confrontation.
KO gets DQ’d by powerbombing Zayn onto the ring apron from outside.
After the match stoppage, Zayn is helped off but Owens attacks him again. He even wraps a chair around Zayn’s neck.
Shane Mcmahon appears
Shane sprints down by KO makes the second human torpedo of the night, tossing Zayn into Shane and running away through the crowd. They stare at each other and the show end.
tl;dr Owens gets DQ’d by intentionally hurting Zayn. Shane comes to help but KO gets away.
A show that embraced intensity. Owens was pushed as a psycho killer. Styles and Dillinger hate Corbin. Rusev is still charismatic as hell. Ziggler finally makes his impersonation effective. Goode gets a feud, and Charlotte is back on top form.
Great wrestling and storyline movement told with consistency and intensity. What more could you ask for?