Live from Oakland, California this is Smackdown Live for episode #943. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks Melo Man for the banner up top.
The video package was a recap of Kevin Owens attacking Vince McMahon during the main event of last week’s show with Owens delivering a headbutt, punches, kick to the ribs, superkick and Frog Splash that destroyed Vince.
Shane McMahon, the Commissioner of Smackdown and the man that’s no longer suspended, started the show. Shane will face Kevin Owens in a Hell in a Cell match on October 8 in Detroit.
Shane said that his father and him haven’t always seen eye to eye, but at the end of the day it’s his father and he loves him. Shane talked about how last week he watched Smackdown with his three sons watching their grandfather getting beaten down in the ring and he asked Owens how he would feel. Shane talked about fighting back with massive vengeance. Shane said that Owens didn’t just beat down the Chairman and CEO of WWE, but he beat down the Patriarch of his family. Shane told Owens that he condemns him to a beating at the hands of Shane and a life of pain from these hands. Shane ended it by saying he condemns Owens to Hell in a Cell. Shane dropped the microphone and left.
Analysis: Solid promo from Shane. I was waiting for Owens to interrupt to brag about what he did to Vince, but this was more about Shane talking about the revenge he wants to get on Owens. I liked how Shane explained that while he’s had his issues with Vince, they are still a family and he will make Owens pay for what he did. The promo was only about four minutes, so it’s a good thing it didn’t drag.
Coming up later is AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin for the US Title and Randy Orton was shown walking backstage because he’s up next.
Aiden English was in the ring to do his singing routine. English sang part of Randy Orton’s song and then mocked him, so Orton’s music hit and Orton made his entrance to a good ovation.
The announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show. Phillips didn’t call Saxton “the insider” this week, so that’s a positive. I’m sure you care. I do.
Aiden English vs. Randy Orton
English tossed his shirt at and stomped away on Orton to start the match. Orton came back with two clotheslines and a powerslam. English rolled to the apron, so Orton teased the draping DDT, but English fought it off. Orton with a back suplex on English on the top of the barricade. Orton went to slam Orton on the announce table, but English slipped out of it. English gave Orton a back suplex into a slam onto the announce table, so Orton was down as the show went to break. It likely continued during the USA Network broadcast, but not here in Canada.
Back from break, English slapped on a headlock. Orton came back with punches and stomps in the corner. English did an eye poke followed by a dropkick for two. Another headlock by English. Orton sent English into the corner, English got a boot up and English jumped off the second rope with an attack…right into a RKO by Orton. That was sweet and the crowd loved it. Orton covered for the pinfall win after seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Randy Orton
Analysis: **1/4 It was a solid match that was given more time than I was expecting and English had a good showing. Finish was well done with English jumping right into the RKO outta nowhere. The crowd popped big for it.
Post match, they replayed the sweet RKO that Orton hit.
Rusev showed up with a microphone to complain about how Orton turned Rusev into a disgrace at SummerSlam, so Rusev didn’t go home to Bulgaria as a hero. You may recall Orton beat him in about 10 seconds with a RKO. Rusev said he’s going to rip the fangs out of The Viper’s mouth and he’s going to do this right now.
Rusev went into the ring, Orton said it’s okay to start the match and it began.
Rusev vs. Randy Orton
Orton went for a RKO, Rusev shoved him and Orton bumped into English on the apron. Rusev hit a superkick and pinned Orton to win in about ten seconds.
Winner by pinfall: Rusev
Analysis: Match of the year! Not really. It was just a way to continue to this rivalry because neither guy had anything else going on. I don’t mind it if they use the story to actually elevate Rusev by giving him the win.
The announcers talked about the Kevin Owens situation with Phillips saying that Owens will be there via satellite.
Charlotte Flair is coming up later to thank people for supporting her dad Ric Flair.
Jinder Mahal was shown backstage in a suit with the Singh Brothers because they are up next.
Jinder Mahal, the WWE Champion, was introduced by the Singh Brothers like usual. Mahal entered the ring in a suit with the WWE Title on his shoulder. There was a carpet in the ring.
Mahal said that some of the people were in an uproar about what Mahal said about Shinsuke Nakamura last week. There was a pic of Nakamura being angry on the screen as Mahal and the Singhs did over the top laughter in the ring. Mahal talked about how Nakamura will have to deal with prejudice because the people will turn on Shinsuke like they turned on Jinder. There was another pic of Nakamura making an angry face as Jinder and the Singhs laughed. The same image appeared again as Jinder said it was his defeated face and Jinder said that Shinsuke always “rooks” the same, which was a way to mock the English speaking of Nakamura. Fans chanted “Nakamura” as Mahal said that Nakamura got his haircut from a dog groomer and said that people call Nakamura “Mr. Miyagi.” Fans chanted “that’s too far” and Mahal said wait until what he says in his language of Punjabi. Mahal spoke in Punjabi as the fans booed. Mahal held up the WWE Title in the air. That was it.
Analysis: It was the second week in a row where I thought Mahal’s promo was bad and not a good way to get heat. I know the promo was designed to get heat, but when you have a guy mocking a Japanese man that can’t say “looks” and Mahal said “rooks” then it’s a bit much. Why isn’t Nakamura going out there to kick his ass? That’s what we want our faces to do. Instead, Mahal got to talk two weeks in a row with no repercussions. That’s some weird booking and I don’t really think it helped anybody.
AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin for the US Title is next.
A video aired about Jennifer Lopez for Hispanic Heritage Month.
Shinsuke Nakamura was interviewed by Renee Young backstage. Nakamura said he thought what Mahal said was funny, but it won’t be funny when Nakamura wins the WWE Championship. He left.
Analysis: Why not utilize Nakamura to interrupt Mahal and kick his ass? I don’t get the logic behind this booking.
AJ Styles, the US Champion, entered to a big ovation. Styles ripped on Kevin Owens for what he did to Vince and said without Vince, there’s no WWE Universe today. Styles warned Owens that he’s not going to make it out of Hell in a Cell against Shane.
Styles mentioned Baron Corbin taking shortcuts and how he failed to cash in Money in the Bank. Styles added that Corbin also failed against John Cena at SummerSlam. Styles added that Corbin will fail against him as well and the “lone wolf” won’t blow down the house that AJ Styles built.
Baron Corbin made his entrance.
Corbin attacked Styles before the bell could ring. It was a cheap attack. Tye Dillinger went into the ring and attacked Corbin from behind by clipping the back of the left leg of Corbin. It was payback for Corbin attacking Dillinger multiple times.
Corbin limped his way into the ring and said he couldn’t compete while he held his left leg. Styles attacked him with a flying forearm. Styles slapped on the Calf Crusher submission and Corbin tapped out to sell the pain from his injury. Corbin rolled out of the ring. Styles celebrated.
Analysis: No match. Just an angle done to put off this match for another time, likely at Hell in a Cell. They can probably do Dillinger vs. Corbin on television with the winner getting the title shot, have Corbin win that and that can lead to the match at the Hell in a Cell show. Makes sense to me.
Charlotte Flair is up next.
There was a shot of Baron Corbin backstage when Renee Young showed up to interview him. Corbin complained about how the “Perfect Zero” Tye Dillinger attacking him and then Styles attacked him. Corbin said he’s not going to whine about it, he’s going to get even.
Charlotte Flair made her entrance in street clothes including some really tight leather pants.
Charlotte said it was good to be back. She thanked everybody for their thoughts and prayers while her dad has been sick. The crowd chanted “WOO” for that. Charlotte said that it’s been an emotional six weeks, literally life and death, but her dad is making a comeback. The crowd cheered that. Charlotte added that life is fragile and unexpected, which is why you have to make the moments count. Charlotte said that from here on out she’s going to make every moment as big as possible for her and her dad.
Natalya’s music hit as the Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya walked out in her street clothes (including her cat shirt) for a promo of her own.
Natalya was in the ring to host WWE’s first ever celebration of women. There were guys in the ring set up something that was under a display. Natalya talked about how women have led the charge, have broken down barriers and nurtured future generations. She said that it’s a celebration of women. Natalya said that she wanted to share with us a woman that she is so very proud of and a drumroll please revealed a photo of Natalya holding the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Charlotte sarcastically said that was inspiring and truly uplifting. Charlotte said that she’s glad Natalya is there to interrupt her in front of all these people because Charlotte wants to challenge her for the Women’s Championship.
Becky Lynch showed up to say that she’s sorry to interrupt and added that Natalya is crazy. Lynch said Natalya is the craziest there is, the craziest there was and the craziest there ever will be. Lynch told Charlotte that she knows Lynch has respect for her father, but that title is going to back to the rightful owner Becky Lynch.
Naomi interrupted the festivities to do her glow entrance including a glow coat. Naomi went into the ring to tell Natalya she doesn’t represent the women of Smackdown and mocked her love for cats. Naomi said she figured she should join them.
Lana and Tamina made their entrance to join them. Lana told Natalya she’s a crazy cat lady that needs to shut up. Lana said they have started a ravishing revolution and Lana claimed it is Tamina’s time.
Natalya told them to stop and said that it’s about her representing women. Natalya said she’s not a crazy cat lady. Natalya said she’ll be the Smackdown Women’s Champion forever.
Daniel Bryan’s music started up as the Smackdown Live General Manager made his appearance. Bryan apologized for Natalya’s celebration being ruined. Bryan announced the main event of Smackdown will be Naomi vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina vs. Charlotte Flair and the winner of that match will face Natalya at Hell in a Cell. I assume it’s for the Women’s Title at Hell in a Cell, but Bryan didn’t say that. The crowd cheered with Natalya looking sad.
Analysis: It was obvious where it was going from the moment it started, but that’s fine because women like Becky and Charlotte haven’t been used much of late, so I’m glad they are getting more of the spotlight again. Natalya did a solid job as the obnoxious heel champion. She may have been a little too over the top, but I don’t mind it from a heel because that’s how heels should be.
Coming up later we’ll hear from Kevin Owens.
New Day vs. Hype Bros coming up.
The Usos joined commentary for this next match. After the New Day made their entrance, replays aired of New Day winning the Smackdown Tag Team Titles in a great Street Fight from last week’s show.
At Hell in a Cell, The Usos get their title rematch against New Day. Another title change? Possible.
The New Day’s Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) vs. Hype Bros (Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley)
This match is not for The New Day's Tag Team Titles.
Rawley slapped on an abdominal stretch on Big E and chanted “He Ain’t Hype” as he slapped him on the ribs. Big E sent Mojo out of the ring and they went to break one minute into it.
Back from break, Hype Bros were in control with Rawley hitting a forearm to knock down Kingston. Rawley with a shoulder tackle on Kingston and then Rawley missed an attack as he hit the ring post. Big E got the hot tag against Ryder with Big E hitting two belly to belly suplexes and then the third belly to belly that Big E does in every match after the hot tag. Splash by Big E was blocked by the double knees from Ryder and then a dropkick off the middle ropes from Ryder. Broski Boot connected for Ryder for two as Kingston made the save. Rawley went after Kingston, but Rawley was sent to the floor and Kingston hit a dive over the top onto Rawley on the floor where he landed back first onto him. Kingston tagged in and New Day hit the double team Midnight Hour for the pinfall win after seven minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New Day
Analysis: ** Solid tag match for the time given. Good to see champs win non-title, which wasn’t a surprise in this case because of the names involved. The dive from Kingston was impressive and the announcers mentioned NFL star Marshawn Lynch because Kingston did a pose similar to that.
Post match, New Day celebrated in front of The Usos.
Replays aired of Kevin Owens from last week when he asked Vince McMahon to give him his word that he could beat a McMahon senseless and then Owens hit him with a headbutt followed by other moves to continue the attack.
Kevin Owens appeared “via satellite” for an interview wearing a dress shirt. Owens said first thing he would like to do is apologize. Owens said that he doesn’t know what came over him and he still can’t believe what he did. Owens said he would like to apologize to the WWE Universe and a sincere apology to the McMahon family. Owens added that he can also say with all sincerity that Shane made him do that and made Kevin want to do that to Vince. Owens claimed that Shane made him want to crush Vince’s ribs and to obliterate Shane’s father. Owens said he had nothing but respect for Vince and all of a sudden when Owens shook Vince’s hand, it was like looking at Shane. Owens said that what he did to Vince is nothing compared to what he’s going to do with Shane. Owens mention Shane wants to condemn him, but Owens added that what he does to Shane isn’t going to make him go to hell, it will make him go to heaven. That ended it.
Analysis: Good promo from Owens with the apology. I thought he would say that he apologized for not doing even more damage to Vince and that he regrets letting him walk away. They went a different way with it, though, as Owens talked about how when he saw Vince he thought of Shane and that’s why he did what he did. Nothing wrong with that. I just think they could have had Owens act like even more of a heel and a jerk. That’s okay. Plenty more time to do that.
Women’s four-way match is still to come.
The duo of Rawley and Ryder were backstage. Mojo said that he’s sick and tired of losing. Mojo said if they want things to change they are going to have to do something drastic. Ryder nodded his head to him as if he was saying he agreed.
Analysis: It’s either a heel turn for the team or one of them. I think one of them turning makes more sense and I would make it Ryder because his face gimmick has gone as far as it can.
Dolph Ziggler showed up in his ring gear talking about how he has mocked ring entrances and he is the best in-ring performer in WWE, yet the fans still don’t get it.
Ziggler entered to Triple H’s theme song and even put on the leather jacket. Ziggler did the famous water spit on the stage. Ziggler: “Was that cool? Can I run NXT now?”
Ziggler went back again and did the Shawn Michaels entrance complete with the leather chaps, the HBK shirt and the cowboy hat. Ziggler said it doesn’t get any more superficial than that while joking that he can actually feel himself losing his smile as a reference from 20 years ago. Ziggler said we can go lower.
Ziggler did the Degeneration X entrance with the glow sticks and the Shawn Michaels poses. He stopped short of doing the crotch chops. Fans were chanting “CM Punk” at him through some of these entrances. Ziggler: “I’ve got two words for ya…Who Cares?”
Ziggler ranted about how nobody cares about two dads living off their corny jokes as they head into retirement. Ziggler said that people care about elaborate superstar entrances while noting that fans don’t care about in-ring performance. Ziggler: “I am the best ever and you couldn’t care less. And I don’t care about you.” Ziggler left.
Analysis: It was the same thing Ziggler has done in previous weeks without anybody interrupting him. As I have stated for several weeks now, I think it’s going to lead to somebody with a great entrance to shut him up and that’s Bobby Roode. They haven’t had Roode on Smackdown for three weeks now, which is lame. He needs to be featured more. At least Ziggler vs. Roode should produce good matches.
The announce team shilled WWE Network.
The women’s 4-way match is next.
Analysis: It’s worth pointing out that this is a 4-way match and on Sunday there’s a 5-way women’s match. This creative team really isn’t that creative.
The show returned with the women entering for the main event. Tamina and Becky Lynch already made their entrances as the show returned. Lana was in Tamina’s corner looking great.
Naomi made her “feel the glow” entrance. Charlotte Flair was last and she got a good ovation.
Becky Lynch vs. Tamina Snuka (w/Lana) vs. Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair
The winner gets a Smackdown Women’s Title match against Natalya at Hell in a Cell on October 8. First fall wins this match.
The match started with about ten minutes left in the show. Tamina dominated early on by sending Becky and Naomi out of the ring. Tamina hit a clothesline on Charlotte followed by a suplex. They went to break one minute into it.
Back from break, Tamina and Charlotte were still in the ring as Charlotte hit chops against Tamina and Lynch hit a kick on Tamina followed by a Naomi leg drop. The three faces battled it out with Naomi hitting a springboard cross body block to take out Charlotte and Becky. Naomi hit her kicks on Charlotte and Naomi hit a jawbreaker on Charlotte for a two count. Natalya was shown watching the match backstage on a screen. Naomi applied her head/arm submission on Charlotte and Lynch made the save. Lynch with the Disarmer on Naomi, but Tamina broke it up. Tamina with a Samoan Drop on Lynch. Tamina missed corner attack on Lynch. All four women went at it with Tamina hitting a clothesline on Lynch and Charlotte hit a Spear on Tamina. Charlotte pulled Naomi out of the corner. Tamina and Naomi were side by side, so Charlotte went up top and hit a moonsault leading to two counts on both Naomi and Tamina. Charlotte slapped on the Figure Four Leglock on Naomi. Lynch broke that up with a leg drop off the top for two as Tamina made the save. Fans chanted “this is awesome” as all four women were down.
Tamina with a Samoan Drop on Lynch. Tamina went up top, jumped off with a splash and connected with the splash on Lynch for a two count as Naomi broke up the pin. Lana pulled Naomi out of the ring, so Naomi kicked her. Tamina superkick on Naomi on the apron. Charlotte back in the ring and Charlotte hit a running boot to the face of Tamina. Charlotte pinned Tamina to win the match. It went about ten minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Charlotte Flair
The win by Charlotte means she will face Natalya for the Smackdown Women’s Title at Hell in a Cell on October 8.
Analysis: *** Pretty good match by the ladies in the ten minutes they were given. The crowd really got into it by the end as you could tell by the “this is awesome” chants. I thought the finish was well done with each woman hitting a big move and it was Charlotte that got the last shot in on Tamina leading to the win. It would have meant more if Charlotte won with a Figure Four or Figure Eight, but having her win was the right call and the obvious choice. It’s the right time to push Charlotte to the forefront again.
The show ended with Charlotte celebrating the win. She had some tears in her eyes because it’s been an emotional six weeks for her.
Three Stars of the Show
- Charlotte Flair
- Kevin Owens
- Randy Orton
5.5 out of 10
Last week: 6
2017 Average: 6.76
Average Post Brand Split (July 26, 2016): 6.64 - Raw is at 5.89
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 4, 6.5, 5, 5
2017 High: 8.5 (April 11, August 1)
2017 Low: 4 (August 29)
It gets a 5.5 out of 10.
This was just an average show without any big angles or major matches. I thought the women in the main event did a good job, but it was too short to really be a standout main event type of match.
The follow up to last week’s big Owens/McMahon angle was fine, but nothing that was must see this week.
I thought Mahal’s promo was bad and not having Nakamura defend himself makes him look bad too. We don’t want faces that stand in the back when a heel mocks them. We want guys that kick ass, so seeing Nakamura do nothing for the second straight week hurts that rivalry more than it helps. Also, Mahal getting into some racial overtones in that promo isn’t going to get me more excited about it either. Cheap heat that isn’t necessary.
If you missed this show you really didn’t miss a lot. I found myself thinking that after Raw too. It was not a great week for WWE’s main TV shows. There wasn’t anything that bad, but if you’re looking for a special moment then it’s tough to find.
— WWE (@WWE) September 20, 2017
The next Smackdown brand PPV is called Hell in a Cell on October 8 in Detroit. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Hell in a Cell Match: Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day vs. The Usos
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair
I think Randy Orton vs. Rusev is likely too.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.