Date: September 12, 2017
Location: Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
Commentators: Corey Graves, Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton
I know I say it a lot but this week really is a major night for Smackdown as not only do we have three titles being defended on one show but the boss himself is in the house. Vince McMahon is making a rare TV appearance to deal with the Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens feud, which is slowly starting to get out of hand. Let’s get to it.
We open with a look back at Shane and Kevin’s issues with Owens getting beaten up again, meaning Vince has to come here for the intervention.
Here’s Owens to get things going. He welcomes us to the Kevin Owens Show by reminding us that he never fought back last week. Owens is going to own this whole place because he’s suing everyone around. Every week on the USA Network, it’s going to be Kevin Owens presenting the Kevin Owens Show starring Kevin Owens.
That means some changes around here, starting with Sami Zayn being fired. Then we’ll have Byron Saxton and Tom Phillips wearing the same suit. As in one suit for one person because they sound exactly the same on TV so there’s no point in having them separate. Oh and the Fashion Files are canceled because he doesn’t get it. Kevin wants to see Mr. McMahon right now but Here Comes the Money instead. Owens: “NO!!!!”
Never mind as it’s actually Dolph Ziggler trying out a new entrance. Kevin is relieved because it’s actually someone talented who works here so it couldn’t be Shane. Ziggler leaves and it’s Daniel Bryan taking his place. Daniel thinks Owens needs to chill so Owens offers him a job as a janitor. Bryan laughs it off because Mr. McMahon is going to be here very soon.
Donate to the Red Cross to help with natural disasters.
US Title: AJ Styles vs. Tye Dillinger
AJ is defending. Dillinger was trying to answer the US Open Challenge two weeks ago when Baron Corbin attacked him. Styles gave him a shot to make up for it. AJ sends him into the corner to start but gets rammed into the post and we take an early break. Back with Dillinger getting powerbombed out of the corner to put both guys down.
It’s AJ up first with a forearm to knock him backwards but Baron Corbin comes out for a distraction. AJ gets in the Phenomenal Forearm to drop Baron but gets caught in the Tyebreaker for a heck of a near fall. Of note: the announcers make sure to point out that Tye didn’t have time to get his knee pad taken down for the full impact, thereby protecting the move just a bit. The Calf Crusher retains AJ’s title at 7:21.
Rating: C. This wasn’t the biggest surprise as Dillinger isn’t ready to win a title and it’s pretty clear we’re heading towards Styles vs. Corbin at the pay per view. Styles defending the title in a good to very good match week to week is a perfectly good idea as he’ll give people their best match in months more often than not. Dillinger tried here but he was in over his head.
AJ shakes his hand post match but Corbin gets pulled to the floor. Dillinger gets taken down as well, followed by Corbin laying Styles out on the floor. Corbin is answering the Open Challenge next week.
Rusev went back to Bulgaria recently and the people greeted him with shame and embarrassment. He came back as a loser but that’s not what he is. To get it back, he must break a legend.
Here are Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers for a chat. Mahal talks about getting inside his opponents’ heads and puts up a picture of Nakamura with a bit of a grimace on his face. That makes Jinder think of constipation and where the bathroom is. Another picture makes Mahal think Nakamura is still trying to rip off Michael Jackson. Each of these jokes literally has the Brothers rolling on the mat in fits of laughter.
Finally, one of Nakamura looking angry makes Mahal think he’s screaming about Godzilla. Mahal mocks people who are laughing at this because it’s nonsense (that helps a bit). These Americans will mock you and say that you look like Pikachu having a seizure. Mahal promises to win in Punjabi and that’s that. This was certainly different and Mahal is starting to feel more like a champion but this really wasn’t funny (though he did acknowledge that).
Kevin Owens is going over new ideas for the show (limos, private jet, new entrance video etc.) when he runs into Sami Zayn. Owens talks about driving through a blizzard with Sami after wrestling in an armory in front of 42 people. They made a promise that night to never do this again and get to the WWE together.
Well now Owens is about to own the biggest wrestling company in the world and Sami is about to be out of a job. Based on that, Owens is giving Sami permission to break that promise when the armories start calling and he’s having trouble making rent. Sami says he’d rather wrestle in those armories than ever work for Owens.
Tag Team Titles: New Day vs. Usos
The Usos are defending and this is a street fight. Kofi Kingston and Big E. (no Xavier here this week) go for a table to start but Big E. is posted as we take a break. Back with the Usos in control and Big E. getting stomped down in the corner. Something like a Van Daminator with a superkick gets two on Big E. as Kofi gets beaten down on the floor. It’s kendo stick time with Big E. taking another beating. Jimmy: “IT’S TOO EASY!”
Kofi finally gets back in to clean house and start swinging the stick. He beats Jimmy down so badly that the stick is broken in half for a cool visual. Jimmy’s running chair shot only hits post and a top rope double stomp with the chair gives Kofi two. The trust fall onto the Usos is caught with Kofi being sent into the barricade. Big E. is back up though and goes nuts, sending Jey into and then over the table.
The Rock Bottom plants Jimmy and a belly to belly drops Jey as well. A double Warrior Splash gets two but Jimmy gets in a superkick. That goes nowhere and it’s the Big Ending for a near fall. Now it’s a double superkick for the same but Kofi breaks up the double Superfly Splash with Jey being shoved through a table at ringside for a nasty crash. That’s enough to set up the Midnight Hour to give New Day the titles back at 11:22.
Rating: B-. See you in the Cell boys. It’s pretty clear that it’s the only thing left and that’s not the worst thing in the world at this point. I can get behind the idea of the Cell being the big blowoff match after a series of other matches far more easily than just throwing them in there and the fact that it would be a very good match helps too.
Ronda Rousey is here.
Women’s Title: Naomi vs. Natalya
Natalya is defending and they’re in the ring when we get back. Carmella is on commentary and has James Ellsworth on a (leopard print) leash. Naomi does the dancing kicks to start and we’re off to an early break. Back with both trying a crossbody for a double knockdown. It’s Naomi up first with a kick to the face but the split legged moonsault misses. The Sharpshooter is broken up as Natalya is kicked to the floor. Naomi dives onto everyone but gets sent into the post for her efforts. The Sharpshooter goes on with Natalya looking at Carmella as Naomi taps at 7:13.
Rating: D+. This didn’t do much for me and, as usual, I’m getting rather tired of the “IS SHE CASHING IN THIS WEEK” stuff. It also doesn’t help that we don’t have Charlotte or Becky Lynch anywhere near the title, which doesn’t do much for Natalya’s reign. They’re both bigger stars and much more interesting than Natalya, which makes her feel like a lame duck champion. The match was too quick to have much value either and Naomi tapping again should put her out of the title picture for the time being.
Aiden English auditions to sing the new theme song for the Kevin Owens Show.
Here’s Dolph Ziggler to talk about how he’s good enough to not need an elaborate entrance to be a star. He goes to the back and returns….as Bayley. Is that sweet enough for these people? Ziggler talks about someone who had no in-ring ability yet people idolized him, meaning it’s time for the Ultimate Warrior entrance. With that done, Ziggler rants about how anyone can do what he just did but no one can do what he does in this ring. He couldn’t care less about any of us and he walks off.
Chad Gable/Shelton Benjamin vs. Hype Bros
Shelton takes Mojo down by the arm to start but gets forearmed in the face. It’s off to Ryder for a middle rope dropkick, only to charge into a spinebuster. A powerbomb/top rope clothesline combination ends Ryder at 2:24.
Mojo shakes hands post match but Ryder walks away.
Here’s Owens to wait for Vince’s appearance. The boss comes out and Owens says Vince looks intimidated. Vince laughs off the idea of Owens respecting authority. Vince: “Kevin, when you look in the mirror, how do you have any respect at all?” He brings up the lawsuits and sees it as Owens craving power. If Owens does file the suit, Vince will be on the phone immediately to Owens’ attorney and firing Owens on the spot.
Vince has been in his share of courtroom battles and hasn’t lost a single one (uh, right). The laws of this land were written for people like him because he’s a billionaire. By the time the lawsuit gets to court in several years, Owens will be bankrupt. As for last week though, Shane is suspended for not beating Owens up badly enough. Vince gets to the point: there won’t be a lawsuit because there’s going to be a match. Kevin Owens will face Shane McMahon inside Hell in a Cell.
That’s fine with Owens, but he needs permission to beat a McMahon senseless. They shake hands and Owens headbutts Vince, drawing some blood from Vince’s head. A right hand drops Vince again and Owens kicks him in the ribs. Referees come out and Owens adds a superkick.
Owens even adds a frog splash and Stephanie makes her first appearance since Wrestlemania to come out and check on her dad. Vince won’t get on the stretcher and nearly collapses to end the show. This was VERY well done and I love Stephanie making what felt like a natural return to check on her father instead of some grand entrance. Really good ending here and if they have Shane get mauled in the Cell, it’s even better.
Overall Rating: B. The ending brings this way up in quality but the whole show felt like a big deal. Owens is suddenly the best heel they’ve had on Smackdown in a long time and should be heading towards the World Title as soon as Nakamura takes it from Mahal. They’ve got a hot angle to go with some good action but Mahal feels in WAY over his head, which isn’t doing them any favors. That can be fixed, but they need to maintain their momentum elsewhere. Strong show tonight led by the Owens story.
AJ Styles b. Tye Dillinger – Calf Crusher
New Day b. Usos – Midnight Hour to Jimmy
Natalya b. Naomi – Sharpshooter
Chad Gable/Shelton Benjamin b. Hype Bros – Powerbomb/Top rope clothesline to Ryder
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