Smackdown Live Review 08/29/2017


Hello Misfits. It’s time for this weeks Smackdown Live review. Last week had their debut of Bobby Roode and the return of Shelton Benjamin to give Smackdown a revamp after losing Cena to Raw. In the last couple of weeks, Raw has been better than Smackdown and unfortunately there is a lot of credit going to Cena’s presence being on Raw. I wonder if the lack of Cena’s presence is what we are feeling on Smackdown. The continuation of the Nakamura/Mahal feud will be addressed on the this episode. I also think we’re going to dig deeper in this rivalry brewing between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon over screw jobs and bad officiating. Hopefully, Orton and Rusev appear this week and we find out more about this relationship between Lana and Tamina. Also what’s next for Roode, Ziggler, Zayn, Styles and Corbin? Lets find out.

Smackdown comes to us live from Verizon Centre in Little Rock, AR.

–  Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and JBL are on commentary.

Jinder Mahal & Singh Brothers
The Singh brothers kick off the show and introduce the Modern Day Maharaja, Jinder Mahal. The champion makes his way out and claims that he will showcase his dominance against two of his greatest rivals later on tonight. He trashes America and complains about getting no respect as the greatest champion of the continent of Asia, and is sick of the xenophobia he receives at every airport and arena. Jinder says that somebody must pay the price for all the disrespect and demands a sacrifice. The Singh brothers grovel and apologize for failing the champion in recent weeks, as well as the 1.3 million people in India, as one of them starts crying.
They go on and on, and on, and on crying about how much they’ve failed Jinder, and literally beg to kiss his royal feet in reparation for the wrongs they have committed. This is super awkward. Finally Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hits and the Artist makes his way down to save us all from this segment. Nakamura enters the ring and immediately starts brawling with the champion but is quickly brought down by a three-on-one mugging. Right on cue Randy Orton sprints to the ring like a bat out of hell, but he’s met with a superkick from Rusev who came out of nowhere. Mahal laid out Nakamura with the Khallas as the quartet of villains stand over their victims.
This was a great opening segment but I wish they started making adaptations to Jinder Mahal’s promos. Let his character grow now beyond being angry at the American fans. I loved the Singh Brothers in the segment apologizing to Mahal. Reminded me of when we’d get busted doing something as kids we’d have to apologize. Getting grounded wasn’t a common thing in homes with parents who came from abroad. I wish there was more talking if they were going to use this to book a match for later. I get thats not Nakamura’s strong point but going straight into brawling the champion after you had the upper hand on him the week before seems weird. It’s great to see the Rusev and Orton feud highlighted here.

– Next week in the Smackdown main event, Randy Orton takes on Shinsuke Nakamura where the winner gets a future shot at the WWE Championship

Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin def. The Ascension
In their debut match as a tag team Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable pick up the victory over the Acension after Shelton Benjamin hits his finisher the pay dirt on Viktor.
This was a good first match for the team and Benjamin hasn’t lost a step. I’m looking forward to see where they go from here. Do they continue to team until they get to the top or will we see turn which leads to a feud between the two.

– Baron Corbin is interviewed about “squandering” his Money in the Briefcase, and freaks out about John Cena screwing him out of it with a smile on his face. He said that AJ Styles promised him a shot in the Open Challenge so he plans on becoming the new United States Champion, which gets a big round of boos from the crowd.

AJ Styles Speaks
United States Champion AJ Styles made his way out and mocked Kevin Owens for losing his final opportunity at his title, but is glad to finally be rid of him. With that, it’s time to reopen the United States Championship Open Challenge! Tye Dillinger makes his way out to good pop from the fans, but Baron Corbin comes out and gets in his face, screaming at him that it’s his night and his opportunity. The two eventually come to blows and Dillinger shakes him off, hitting the ring and demanding the referee ring the bell.
I dig it. Mostly after Cena mentioned how he used the championship to help elevate new talent, I hope Styles does the same. Imagine Styles having competitive matches against Gable, Benjamin, Fandango, Breeze, Dillinger, Ziggler, Harper, Bennett, Roode and even Zayn making them look like serious competition. This first one already has a sour spot for me because Corbin getting involved. Personally, I’m not looking forward to a Corbin/Styles feud for the US Championship.

United States Championship
US Title Open Challenge
AJ Styles (C) def. Tye Dillinger
In a quick match AJ Styles defeated Tye Dillinger following a Phenomenal Forearm. Corbin returns again following the match to attack Dillinger but Styles gets rid of him.
This was what it was and could have been better if they didn’t waste time with Corbin twice. If they just had him come out after a competitive match I think it would have had the same effect.

– Rusev and Mahal meet backstage. Rusev says tonight isn’t about any countries but it is all about revenge, and says that they aren’t friends. And after tonight, he’s coming after the WWE Title.

Bobby Roode def. Mike Kanellis w/ Maria Kanellis
The Glorious one makes his second appearance on Smackdown Live but still not in any sort of angle. In a good television match, Bobby Roode defeated Mike Kanellis after a spine buster and Glorious DDT.
This was a fun match to watch being a fan of both guys but I wish there was more substance. I hate how both guys made their main roster debut’s with no hype of vignettes or anything. The casual fans dont seem to be excited for Maria and Mike and I blame that on poor booking. Mike feels like he’s just become another guy and I feel like that sucks since he really never got a chance. I though the duo of Maria and Mike could have been the power couple of Smackdown Live since Miz and Maryse went to Raw following the shake up. Miz also would have been striving more on Smackdown and working an angle with this couple. As for Roode, unless you are a hardcore wrestling fan who watched NXT regularly, there is no connection with this Glorious character and that showed in the reaction he got tonight. I really want Roode to get over. He looks so happy to be there and nobody deserves it more.

Kevin Owens Promo
Aiden English is in the ring singing a song about himself. He’s quickly cut off by Kevin Owens, and the look of utter sadness and despair on English’s face was priceless. KO didn’t attack English, but rather politely asked him to leave the ring as none of the Arkansas hicks in the arena could appreciate his music anyways.
Owens went on a rant about Shane McMahon screwing him over last week, as they agreed he got to pick the special guest referee for his final shot at the US Championship, but somehow Shane ended up weaseling his way into the match anyways. Shane McMahon has screwed him twice. He demanded to know what gave Shane the authority to put his hands on the official referee Baron Corbin, and claimed that him making the three-count doesn’t mean anything because he had no business being out there. Owens continues his tyrade saying that Stephanie McMahon would never let anything like this happen, but unlike the superior Monday Night Raw this show has become Shane’s personal playground to showcase his arrogance.
Shane O’Mac made his way out to a big pop from Little Rock. He explained that he only came out because Corbin was being extremely biased towards Owens throughout the match, and then didn’t even both to finish doing his job. That’s why he put the uniform on, and that’s why he counted the three. Shane rubbed salt in the wound and said that Kevin lost, and this conversation is permanently over. He demands KO leave the ring because Aiden English has a match to get to.
Kevin Owens took this show from being decent to being entertaining as hell. He truly is Mr. Entertaining. He knows how to be an asshole yet still funny at the same time. I enjoyed this segment but it was mainly angle advancement for this upcoming match between Shane-O and KO down the road. I thought it was cool that Owens mentioned last year on this very day he was crowned the new Universal Champion. That just shows how fast the WWE moves these days because that doesn’t feel that long ago.

Aiden English def. Sami Zayn
In a decent match where Zayn had most of the offence, English picked up the win after Zayn ate a pop up power bomb on Zayn while wearing the official’s shirt. Owens followed the pop up power bomb with giving English a fast count.
I loved Owens completely losing his shit here and taking the referees shirt to prove a point to Shane McMahon. It reminds me of something I would do. Quality entertaining stuff. KO is definitely the man.

 – Renee Young asks Shane McMahon about what just happened with Kevin Owens. Shane says that obviously the match doesn’t count and it will be stricken from the record books. He claims Owens got in his car and left the arena, which is exactly what he’s about to do. Why is the Commissioner just dipping out of his own show early?

– Dolph Ziggler is fired up backstage. He trashes Little Rock and continues to complain about the state of WWE today, saying he’s been the best wrestler in the world for the last 10 years and nobody ever recognizes him. He asks if he should start driving a crappy four-wheeler to the ring like Stone Cold, or play a guitar badly like Elias Samson, or cover him in paint so the world forgets he doesn’t have any natural charisma like Finn Balor. Damn. He says John Cena’s gesture doesn’t mean anything, and maybe he should bring a hot chick to the ring with him because that’s all the fans seem to care about. But we’re going to have to wait yet another week to see what Ziggler has in store for us…what in the bluest of blue hells. This payoff better be good.

Winner Picks Stipulation for the Championship Rematch
The Usos def. The New Day
In a competitive tag match as we expect from these two teams, The Usos defeated The New Day after a blind tag and roll up while pulling the tights to get a three count.
It has been reported that Xavier is injured. Wish him a speedy recovery. Now back to the match. It was good but I feel like we’ve seen these two teams face each other in some sort of combination whether tag or singles so much in the past couple of months it was easy to zone out. They have great chemistry though and I think adding a stipulation to their next match will really give this rivalry the shot in the arm it needs to feel fresh.

– Carmella and James Ellsworth argue backstage about him revealing their secret plans to Natalya last week. Apparently he sent her some flowers that he stole from a funeral. Nattie shows up and says that if she ever tries to cash in the Money in the Bank briefcase on her, she’ll make her the Baron Corbin of the women’s division. Natalya announces that it’ll be Natalya vs. Carmella next week. Ellsworth and Mella tease a possible cash in. Naomi shows up and says it’ll be a difficult two weeks ahead for the champion, because after she gets done with Carmella she’ll have to put her belt on the line in a SummerSlam rematch.

Tamina w/ Lana def. Local Talent
In a quick match, when Lana yells at Tamina to crush her opponent, Tamina murders the local worker with a super kick for the win.
In a quick squash match that basically showcased that Tamina is Lana’s new Rusev. I’m not sure what this says for her in ring work or how she’s going to use Tamina to benefit her at this point. This segment was supposed to answer questions for us but I feel like it left more questions than answers.
– Fandango is backstage. There are boxes labelled for each of the Fashion Files season one themes. Tyler Breeze shows up and gives him a friendship bracelet to make their friendship stronger. They’re going through boxes and take out a black light, and decide to play with it. There’s an arrow on one of the boxes in invisible ink, that points to another arrow, that points to another arrow…the arrows go in a circle, and Breeze gets caught in a cycle. Fandango turns the box so it’s pointing at a piece of paper that says “To Be Or Not To Be”. They do a word association from Shakespeare to a bunch of random things and finally land on the word “artist”. Fandango blurts on “Nakamura!” while Breeze yells “Bob Ross!”. They put it together and reveal Aiden English as their next suspect. I love it. I love it every week.

Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura def. Jinder Mahal & Rusev
In a solid send your fans home happy main event, the good guys defeated the bad guys who beat them down earlier in the night when it breaks down, Orton takes out Mahal and Nakamura hits a knee strike of the ropes; followed by a Kinshasa that finishes it. Orton hits Nakamura with a RKO Outta Nowhere during the celebration.
This was a solid match and one to send the fans home happy. All fours guys got some stuff in. Also with Nakamura and Orton facing off next week for the number one contender spot, I enjoyed the RKO to finish off the show. I think we can all agree that Orton isn’t going over next week against Shinsuke, so having him stand tall at the end of this show was a smart move to create speculation for a “what if?”. Regardless, it is a dream match next week. I felt bad that Rusev took the fall but someone had to and we can’t have the WWE Champion taking losses every couple of weeks when he does wrestle.

Final Thoughts
This was a good show for angle advancement for some rivalries but I still feel like it fell kind of flat. It had its moments but nothing happened that made me want to rewind and watch again. They did a great job with building the rivalries for the next big PPV, while rotating the roster of who appeared on this weeks episode either in the ring or for pomo. For example there was no Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Luke Harper, Erick Rowen and etc on the show. If you have some free time, I’d check out this weeks edition of Smackdown. I bet years from now we’ll come to this episode on the WWE Network and realize it wasn’t that bad at all. I loved the Owens stuff. Check it out.
Rating – 6/10