Date: September 5, 2017
Location: Denny Sanford Premiere Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
The march towards the Cell continues and we have a new commentator to help us get there. The big story tonight is Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for a future shot at Jinder Mahal. Other than that we’ll be having more on Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens, which only exists for the sake of having Shane in the Cell again. Let’s get to it.
Tom Phillips explains that JBL has left on good terms and introduces Corey Graves as the new analyst. Nothing wrong with that.
Randy Orton says he’s seen a bunch of stars come and go so Nakamura is nothing new.
Shinsuke Nakamura says the title is his destiny.
Carmella and James Ellsworth are here for her match against Natalya but Kevin Owens comes out to say he’ll be referee. Cue Shane McMahon to say this isn’t happening again. He’s not going to let Owens take over like he did last week and he’s certainly not having Owens become a referee. Shane talks about Owens blaming him for all of his problems. We even go all the way back to Owens being handed the Universal Title a year ago.
Owens thinks this is all about Shane wanting attention from his daddy. That’s why he brings out his kids and has them dance around. That’s a major red line for Shane so Owens talks about Shane diving off the Cell and surviving the helicopter crash. Shane’s whole family would have been better off if he hadn’t survived that crash, including his kids. The beating is on and Owens gets knocked over the table before it’s broken up.
Post break, Owens is helped to the back when he runs into Daniel Bryan. Owens says this really is going to become the Kevin Owens Show because he’s going to sue the McMahon Family for everything they have. Daniel says there has to be something else Owens can do so Kevin says he’ll just press criminal charges against Shane instead.
Carmella vs. Natalya
Non-title. Carmella snaps off a headscissors to start and a dropkick gets two. We take an early break and come back with Natalya fighting out of a bodyscissors. Carmella superkicks her back down and Ellsworth throws her the briefcase. She screams no and Natalya grabs a rollup for the pin at 6:19.
Rating: D. Barely enough to rate here but technically you could see it due to that stupid picture in picture thing during the break. This was all angle of course due to the Ellsworth stuff and I still have no idea why he’s out there with her. I mean, I get it from his perspective but what did Carmella gain from him?
Post match Carmella yells at him for being such a screwup and call him a charity case. They’re done.
Conor’s Cure video.
Here’s the reinvented Dolph Ziggler, who looks just like he has for years. Ziggler says no one appreciates what he can do in the ring. These people would rather sit on their hands unsatisfied while he’s right here in front of them. The fans would rather have some dumb gimmick. Ziggler leaves and here’s John Cena’s music…..with Ziggler doing Cena’s entrance. Ziggler holds up a Cena hat to the camera: “We’re on Smackdown Live! BUY THIS BABY!”
If that doesn’t work, we can try this. Cue Ziggler to Pomp and Circumstance with a good looking blonde and a bad robe. That’s not it either so Ziggler has one more idea. This time it’s Naomi’s Glow entrance, complete with wig. Ziggler says that doesn’t work either so it’s the fans’ fault and he’s done. I think I get what they’re going for here but it feels like a YouTube video rather than a storyline.
Sami Zayn vs. Aiden English
Sami headscissors him down to start but misses a high crossbody, allowing Aiden to grab a rollup for the clean pin at 1:05.
Post match Aiden tries to sing again but gets chased off. He manages to keep singing even as he begs Sami not to hurt him.
Bryan is upset by what happened with Shane when New Day comes in, showing off their new underwear (for sale of course). The Usos come in as well and announce that it’s going to be a street fight against New Day next week for the titles. The tag teams leave and Bryan gets a phone call from someone who says something has to be done in the ring. Bryan says he’ll do it right now but he’s not pleased.
Here’s Bryan (with no music) to the ring. Bryan calls Shane to the ring so here’s the boss, also without music. Daniel asks Shane what he’s thinking and talks about all the times he’s had to swallow his pride as boss. You can’t run Smackdown doing things like he wants. Shane apologizes and says there’s no coming back once you cross a line about his kids. He asks Bryan what would happen if he was in Shane’s place but Bryan says don’t put him in that place. The call from before the break was from Vince, who has indefinitely suspended Shane.
Jinder Mahal doesn’t care who he faces.
Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin
AJ Styles is on commentary. Corbin heads outside to yell at him so Tye dives onto Baron to take over early on. A clothesline sends Corbin outside again and we take a break. Back with Dillinger fighting out of a chinlock and scoring with a forearm. The Tyebreaker doesn’t work and Corbin sends him outside for a kick to the head. A chokeslam is countered into a rollup for two and Tye hammers away in the corner. Corbin hits him in the throat though (AJ: “CHEAP SHOT!”) and the End of Days is enough for the pin on Tye at 7:40.
Rating: D+. Tye got in some offense here so it was far from a squash but the winner wasn’t exactly a secret here. Corbin vs. Styles for the title should be fine and it’s nice to see that Corbin’s punishment seems to be over, or at least slowing down. To be fair, Corbin going after the US Title makes more sense than the World Title anyway so this is the right call.
Post break AJ tells Dillinger that he has the US Title shot next week. That’s the third title match on the card.
Video on Bobby Roode.
Ellsworth runs into Carmella in the back and begs her forgiveness. Carmella says from now on, they’re doing things her way. She kisses him and then slaps the taste out of his mouth.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Randy Orton
The winner gets Mahal, who is watching in a sky box, at Hell in a Cell. The threat of an RKO sends Nakamura bailing into the corner and Orton offers a smile. Nakamura does his head on the chest but Orton tries the draping DDT, sending Nakamura to the floor as we take a break. Back with Nakamura elbowing his way out of a chinlock but getting dropped onto the announcers’ table to keep Orton in control.
We hit another chinlock until Mahal kicks him in the head to get a breather. The knees in the corner keep Orton in trouble but he comes back with his backbreaker. Nakamura gets caught on top for the superplex but Orton can’t follow up. That earns him a COME ON and Nakamura starts with the knees.
Kinshasa is countered into the powerslam and Orton is shocked by the kickout. Now the hanging DDT works but the RKO is countered into a cross armbreaker (nice). A triangle choke has Orton in trouble though it’s not all the way in. Orton breaks it up with a powerbomb, only to eat Kinshasa for the pin and the title shot at 13:26.
Rating: B. Good though somewhat predictable match here as there was no way they were doing Orton vs. Mahal again. Nakamura seems like a good option to win the title as Mahal has done just about all he can with the belt. The fact that he’s been called repetitive and someone who does the same thing every time tells you a lot about the problem with his reign.
Nakamura looks a bit shaken up but gets to his feet.
Owens is in the back when Bryan comes up to him. This was just the beginning because next week, Smackdown is Owens’ personal playground. No one can do anything about it, but Bryan has a surprise of his own: Vince is here next week.
Overall Rating: D+. This was a very flat show with a focus on two stories that aren’t too thrilling in Carmella/Ellsworth and Owens/Shane. It doesn’t help that they’ve all but made up the graphics for Owens vs. Shane inside the Cell and are waiting for the actual announcement. That being said, we have three title matches set for next week and that should breath some life into a show that really needs it at this point.
Natalya b. Carmella – Rollup
Aiden English b. Sami Zayn – Rollup
Baron Corbin b. Tye Dillinger – End of Days
Shinsuke Nakamura b. Randy Orton – Kinshasa
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