Smackdown – June 20, 2017

Smackdown
Date: January 20, 2017
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton

We’re past Money in the Bank and there are two briefcases floating around the blue show. In addition to that, we also saw Jinder Mahal retain his Smackdown World Title when he defeated Randy Orton for the second time. There’s a chance we’ll be setting up a third match between the two as we head towards Battleground in just over a month. Let’s get to it.

We open with a quick recap of Carmella winning the first women’s Money in the Bank ladder match with a big assist from James Ellsworth.

The other participants from the women’s ladder match are outside Daniel Bryan’s door but he won’t help them at the moment.

Opening sequence.

Here are Carmella and James Ellsworth to celebrate the win. Carmella addresses the controversy around her winning the briefcase and decides she doesn’t care. She’s tired of being overlooked compared to all of the other women when she’s this great. There have been other issues like this over the years but all the little internet trolls got on their “Tweeter” to talk to Bryan. She won the briefcase fair and square and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. This was a solid heel speech but you can tell they’re setting up something for later tonight.

Charlotte complains to Bryan and tells him to do the right thing.

Big E. vs. Jimmy Uso

Big E. isn’t happy with the Usos leaving on Sunday, saying “the Usos dipped with those ships before we could put them around our hips.” We see some stills of the Usos bailing on the match before the Usos introduce us to the warden of the Usos Penitentiary: Deput E! Joined in progress with Jimmy in trouble and staying on the downed Big E. That doesn’t last long though as Big E. powers up and throws Jimmy around like he’s a power lifter and Jimmy is a small Samoan wrestler. The Usos tease walking out again but Kofi dives on Jey and Woods blocks Jimmy from escaping. Back in and the Big Ending puts Jimmy away at 3:19.

Rating: D+. Just a quick match to keep the feud going here and there’s nothing wrong with that. Big E. is actually a pretty accomplished singles wrestler but he’s been in the dominant tag team for so long that it’s forgotten. I’m sure we’ll see more of this kind of match and that’s a fine way to fill in time before the next pay per view title match.

Natalya and Tamina come into Daniel’s office and suck up to him about being a new father. Tamina gets to the point and asks what he’s going to do about Carmella. Daniel promises an answer by tonight.

Naomi thinks Bryan will make the right decision and will face anyone she has to face. Lana comes in and asks what about her. There was interference that cost her the match so Lana wants a rematch. Naomi: “How thirsty are you?” Naomi agrees to a rematch next week.

We look at some stills of Mahal beating Orton again.

Earlier today, Orton sat down to talk about losing his cool on Sunday. He knows how the numbers game works and Mahal played it to perfection. Orton is ready to do whatever it takes to get his hands on Mahal again. Mahal disrespected his family so maybe Orton can go to India and hit RKO’s on every member of the Mahal Family. Including his grandmother! That’s a running trend for Orton and it’s kind of disturbing.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

The threats of some early kicks send Ziggler to the floor so he tries a more amateur style back inside. That’s fine with Nakamura who sends him into the ropes and says bring it. More strikes stagger Ziggler but he sends Nakamura into the post and hits that good looking dropkick for two. A big toss out to the floor knocks Ziggler silly though and we take a break.

Back with Nakamura fighting out of a chinlock and scoring with another kick to the head. Ziggler drops him again and mocks Nakamura’s little dance, earning himself another series of kicks. The running knees in the corner connect for two but Ziggler kicks him in the knee and gets two off a very ugly Fameasser.

Ziggler’s superkick misses and Nakamura reverses into a triangle choke into a cross armbreaker until Ziggler rakes the eye. There’s the Zig Zag for a close two and it’s off to the sleeper. Nakamura finally rolls out of it and knees Dolph in the back of the head for a breather. Kinshasa finally puts Ziggler away at 16:49.

Rating: B. Some of Ziggler’s normal issues aside, this was much better than they’ve done in recent outings. They were working hard out there, which is a very nice touch considering what we usually get from them. Nakamura needed one of those hard fought victories, even though he’s still nowhere near what he used to be down in NXT. Or at least in that one match with Zayn.

Bryan is in the back with Sami Zayn, who gets to face Baron Corbin next week. Becky Lynch comes in and Sami offers his condolences on her loss, which he thought was unfair. As everyone else has done tonight, she asks Bryan to do something about this.

Here’s Kevin Owens for an open challenge and a chat. He didn’t like what happened on Sunday because everyone conspired against him becoming Mr. Money in the Bank. This is the Land of Opportunity and tonight he’s giving someone from Dayton, Ohio a chance to become the US Champion. Cue AJ Styles to say he’ll take the title. Owens isn’t cool with that because AJ isn’t from Dayton. This brings out Chad Gable of all people, who says he just moved to Dayton this morning. He even has an address and we’re ready to go.

US Title: Chad Gable vs. Kevin Owens

Gable is challenging and easily takes Owens to the mat a few times before an ankle lock sends Owens outside. We take a break less than forty five seconds in and come back with Gable getting superkicked for two. Another suplex drops Owens and a moonsault gives Gable two of his own. Not that it matters as the Pop Up Powerbomb is good for the pin to retain the title at 5:59. There wasn’t enough shown to rate but Gable looked energetic in defeat.

The Hype Bros are in Bryan’s office and think they deserve the Tag Team Title shot that they earned back in December. Bryan says things have changed a bit so if they can beat the Usos next week, they can have a future title shot.

Here’s Bryan for his announcement on the ladder match. He brings out all of the participants in the ladder match, each with their own entrance. Bryan says that Carmella did follow the rules by being the first woman to retrieve the briefcase but it has never been done this way before. Therefore, we are in uncharted territory.

Ellsworth thinks Bryan being the father of a vegan hippie baby has made him soft. The women get all catty with each other (duh) with Charlotte threatening to make Natalya look like Ellsworth if she doesn’t shut up. Bryan cuts them off and says Carmella has to hand over the briefcase. Next week, there’s going to be ANOTHER women’s Money in the Bank ladder match with the same five participants. A brawl breaks out with Becky and Charlotte beating Carmella up.

ARE YOU SERIOUS??? Let me make sure I have this straight: I sat through weeks of BUILDING MOMENTUM with WWE telling me that it didn’t really matter and now we’re doing the EXACT SAME MATCH just nine days later? I really have to go back and sit through the same thing that fast? Then what was the point of the pay per view version? After all that build and all that nonsense, they’re just saying “eh do it again”? Oh and add to it another pay per view rematch for the Women’s Title. They really are doing this same stuff over and over again and trying to act like it’s not just a ratings ploy. This is stupid, even by WWE standards.

Jinder Mahal vs. Luke Harper

Non-title. Harper slugs away to start and dropkicks Jinder to the floor as we take another early break. Back with Mahal grabbing a chinlock until Harper fights up with something like a clothesline. A big boot and the sitout Boss Man Slam give Harper two but Jinder comes back with a superplex. Cue Baron Corbin with the briefcase….but he walks right back up the ramp with it and leaves. Harper gets in a superkick but has to swing at one of the brothers. The Khallas gives Mahal the pin at 9:40.

Rating: D+. Just your standard Mahal match here with the Singhs offering the easiest distraction in the world for the finish. Mahal REALLY needs a better finisher though as that cobra clutch slam is one of the weakest things you’re going to find. Having Mahal win a match like this is a good idea though and helps give Mahal some credibility. If they just have to sacrifice Harper again, so be it, which seems to be the company’s mantra on Smackdown.

Post match Orton comes out to clean house and hits the hanging DDT off the barricade. Mahal bails while Orton gives both Singhs an RKO (more like a Stunner to the second one) to end the show.

Overall Rating: C-. This was your run of the mill placeholder show as they took a breath after Money in the Bank and started planting some seeds for the upcoming stuff. That being said, EGADS they really are redoing all the women’s stuff, making that pay per view really look like the biggest waste of time in a long while. This is the kind of thing that makes my head hurt and it’s not making their existing problems any better. They’ll probably pop a quick rating for it but that doesn’t make their pay per view business that much better. Not a terrible show here but it’s one really designed to set things up for the future.

Results

Big E. b. Jimmy Uso – Big Ending

Shinsuke Nakamura b. Dolph Ziggler – Kinshasa

Kevin Owens b. Chad Gable – Pop Up Powerbomb

Jinder Mahal b. Luke Harper – Khallas

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