Smackdown – August 22, 2017

Date: August 22, 2017
Location: Barclays Center, New York City, New York
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield

It’s the final night in Brooklyn as Summerslam has come and gone. Jinder Mahal is still the Smackdown World Champion and AJ Styles is still the US Champion. One of these titles was retained in a much better match than the other and I’ll let you guess which of those was which. Let’s get to it.

Here’s AJ Styles to open things up. He says this is still the place that he built because he beat Kevin Owens on Sunday. Therefore, tonight he’s reinstating the US Title Open Challenge and it starts right NOW. The fans want a certain Canadian but get Kevin Owens instead. AJ says this isn’t happening because he’s already beaten Owens. Kevin blames the whole thing on Shane McMahon so here’s Shane to offer a rebuttal.

The boss wants to know what Owens’ issue is so Owens goes on a rant about how Shane can survive a helicopter crash and fall out of buildings but he gets grazed on Sunday and can’t get up. We see a clip of AJ being pinned though his foot was on the rope before one. Owens says this isn’t fair and complains until AJ agrees to put the title on the line tonight.

Shane agrees to make the match, but Owens wants one more thing: he wants to pick the referee. AJ says the referee doesn’t matter because he’d count the pin no matter what. There’s a little girl in the front row who could probably count a three count just fine so he’ll agree to anyone as referee. The match is made for later tonight but Shane says that this is Owens’ last shot as long as AJ is champion.

Daniel Bryan is in his office when the Singh Brothers come in to introduce Jinder Mahal. Jinder takes credit for Summerslam but Daniel says he’s tired of seeing the Singh Brothers interfere. Therefore, tonight Shinsuke Nakamura gets to face the two of them in a handicap match.

Owens runs into Sami Zayn in the back and wants him to be guest referee. Sami watched his DVD recently and says they’ve been fighting for so long that it seems like they don’t even remember why they’re fighting. Owens points out that Sami hasn’t done much since arriving here and wants Sami to think about it. Sami doesn’t say no.

Here’s Aiden English to sing his song but he’s cut off……by GLORIOUS DOMINATION!

Bobby Roode vs. Aiden English

The fans go INSANE for the entrance and Roode seems to be a face, at least for the night. They take turns posing at each other with Roode clotheslining English to the floor and sending us to a break. Back with English in control but Roode drives him into the corner for some chops. A forearm sets up the Blockbuster as JBL says Roode needs to win to get some beer money. English hits a Director’s Cut for two but walks into a spinebuster. The Glorious DDT ends English at 6:28.

Rating: C-. Barely enough to rate but this was all about the debut and the fans going nuts for the entrance. Roode was definitely a face here but that can easily be changed once we’re out of a smark haven like New York. He’s a natural heel and once you have him wrestle like this for a few weeks and then let his real self shine through.

Post match Roode says everything he does is big box office and in a New York minute Smackdown has gone from great to GLORIOUS.

Chad Gable comes in to Bryan’s office where the boss says he’s sorry for the Jason Jordan thing. There was a catch to moving Jordan to Raw though: Angle suggested someone to be signed to Smackdown. That would be Shelton Benjamin, who is Chad’s new partner. They’ll be having a match next week, though Shelton doesn’t seem thrilled.

Sami won’t be the referee.

Usos vs. Hype Bros

Non-title. Jey and Mojo start things off with the twins taking him down into the corner. That doesn’t last long though as Mojo kicks him away and brings in Ryder to clean house. Everything breaks down and Mojo heads outside to run Jimmy over. A superkick drops him though, allowing Jey to superkick Ryder down for the pin at 3:14.

Rating: D+. Just a quick match here to remind you that the Usos are awesome and one of the best teams on Smackdown. Unfortunately it also reminds you that they’re one of the only teams on Smackdown as the division is looking weaker and weaker every single day. The Usos need challengers and this didn’t do that problem any favors.

Post match the Usos say the whole division is on notice.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Singh Brothers

Mahal is at ringside and the Brothers, in dress pants and dress shirts, don’t have to tag. An early Good Vibrations has them in trouble and the Brothers are quickly sent outside. Nakamura tells Mahal to come on and the Brothers jump him from behind, only to have Nakamura grab a triangle choke for the tap out at 2:47.

Mahal jumps Nakamura from behind but takes Kinshasa for his efforts.

Breezango offers to be the referee but Owens tells them to get away. Baron Corbin comes up and offers his services. If Owens wins though, he wants the first shot. That’s cool with Owens.

Here’s Natalya, now with a Hart Foundation style jacket, for her first comments as champion. Summerslam will be remembered as the day the Glow was unplugged because she’s the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. She holds up the title and says she’s restoring it to glory, meaning it’s back to normal. Carmella comes out for their tag match but says she’s biding her time to cash in.

Natalya/Carmella vs. Becky Lynch/Naomi

Feeling out process to start and we take a break less than a minute in. Back with Becky dropping a leg on Natalya until a forearm cuts her off. Natalya tries for a tag to Carmella but she drops to the floor and tells Natalya to do her thing. Becky gets the tag off to Naomi for the reverse Rings of Saturn but Natalya slips out. Carmella gets tagged from behind and caught in the Bexploder, setting up the split legged moonsault for the pin at 7:43.

Rating: D+. Sweet goodness I forgot how much I can’t stand the “I’M GOING TO CASH IN ANY DAY” period. They tease the heck out of it for weeks if not months at a time and it’s the same story every year. For now we’re stuck with Natalya as champion and Carmella almost as a mustache twirling villain. Lucky us.

Dolph Ziggler mocks a lot of the characters who get more TV time than him and has plans for next week.

Lana is on the phone in the locker room and says she’ll see someone next week. Tamina comes in and asks what’s up with her path to the title. Lana tells her to close her eyes and think about everyone who has been against her over the years. The path to being the dominant champion begins next week.

Corbin cuts AJ off and says he wants a shot at the title. AJ tells him to answer the open challenge.

US Title: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens

Styles is defending with Corbin as guest referee. Owens bails to the apron to start and Corbin cuts AJ off from going after him. The distraction lets Owens get in a forearm to take over early on. A forearm cuts Owens off though and we take a break. Back with Owens getting two off a fall away slam into the barricade.

We hit the chinlock for a bit until AJ fights back with his series of strikes. The running seated forearm gives AJ two but he stops for a staredown with Corbin. There’s the Calf Crusher and Owens gets a finger on the ropes. AJ rolls it over tot he middle of the ring and AJ is annoyed at the rules being called properly. Owens knocks AJ into Corbin to start another argument with Corbin shoving AJ into a rollup for two.

A double clothesline puts both guys down though and we’re at a standstill. Cue Shane McMahon because we can’t have these two in a match without all this extra stuff. He yells at Corbin, allowing Owens to hit a low blow for two with Shane pulling Corbin out of the ring. That’s enough for Corbin who walks out and throws Shane the shirt. Owens is livid and the Phenomenal Forearm retains the title at 12:45.

Rating: C+. Just like Sunday, there’s a good match in there underneath all the nonsense with the referees. I get that they want to get to Owens vs. McMahon (possibly in the Cell because that’s how the calendar works) but do we really have to sacrifice what could have been a pair of great matches to get there? There’s good stuff in there somewhere but it was the same problem as Sunday: too much focus on anything but the wrestlers and that gets old.

Owens looks furious to end the show.

Overall Rating: D+. This show really didn’t work and there’s not much other way to put it. Mahal isn’t interesting on top, there’s little of interest in the midcard, the tag division basically doesn’t exist and Shane seems ready to swallow up another good chunk of the show to set up one more match to prove that he’s still got it. Aside from Roode’s debut, there’s nothing on here to get excited about and that’s really rare for Smackdown.


Bobby Roode b. Aiden English – Glorious DDT

Usos b. Hype Bros – Superkick to Ryder

Shinsuke Nakamura b. Singh Brothers – Triangle choke to Samir

Naomi/Becky Lynch b. Carmella/Natalya – Split legged moonsault to Carmella

AJ Styles b. Kevin Owens – Phenomenal Forearm

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