It was time for SmackDown Live and the second night of the WWE superstar shake-up.
Last night SmackDown Live lost some big names like Dean Ambrose, Alexa Bliss, Miz and Maryse, Mickie James, Rhyno and Heath Slater, Kalisto, Apollo Crews, and David Otunga. They had a lot of making up to do. So, it was very interesting to see how WWE would replenish the SmackDown Live show after this recent roster depletion.
One thing we knew we could look forward to was a SmackDown Tag Team Championship match as American Alpha invoked their rematch clause to challenge The Usos. Boston was jumping and fans couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.
Kevin Owens’ music hit to make him the first Raw superstar making the jump over to SmackDown Live. But this wasn’t the biggest surprise. What was the most shocking development in all of this was the fact that SmackDown Live got a freshly shaven Kevin Owens.
But just because he had a clean shave doesn’t mean he’s any more of a babyface. But, he’s still the United States Champion. He said SmackDown Live is now the Kevin Owens Show.
KO mentioned the fact he’s Canadian and that got a boo from this Boston crowd. Okay. KO said Canada is much better than the United States. He said Canadians make better athletes than Americans. The crowd started their usual “USA” chants and he shut them up by speaking French.
He said if anyone has a problem with what he’s saying then they should step in the ring with him because he can beat the hell out of anyone in the arena and the locker room. He said he’s not there for anyone else except for himself. He said he was the face of America.
Then BARON CORBIN came out to shut Kevin Owens up. Baron said he’s sure KO can beat up anyone in the arena and most of the people in the locker room but he can’t beat up the Lone Wolf.
Baron Corbin tried to get some face pops out of this, but the crowd was kind of confused because they were so conditioned to boo Baron Corbin.
Baron said he’s owed a championship match and since KO is the only one in the ring with a championship then he’s going to have to take it.
Then Sami Zayn’s music hit and Kevin Owens looked shocked. Kevin said, “this can’t be real, you can’t be here!” but he was. SAMI ZAYN WAS FINALLY ON SMACKDOWN LIVE WHERE HE BELONGS.
It’s odd that the crowd cheers one Canadian but boos another.
But three’s a crowd and AJ Styles came out next to insert himself in the conversation. It looked like the United States Championship had more than a couple people vying to take it from Kevin Owens.
But all some people could think about was how sad Renee Young is that Dean Ambrose isn’t on SmackDown anymore.
AJ said, “this is not the Kevin Owens show, this is SmackDown Live.” AJ said it isn’t about Sami or Corbin, it is about him. He said SmackDown Live is the house that AJ Styles built and he’s still there.
Then Daniel Bryan’s music hit and the crowd erupted into a ton of “yes” chants. D-Bry said Kevin Owens vs. Chris Jericho at Payback still stands and the winner of that match will officially become a member of SmackDown Live.
Daniel said the US Championship will not be defended until after Payback, but then he turned it into some good news by saying Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles will compete for the #1 contendership for the United States Championship.
Erick Rowan vs. Randy Orton
Erick Rowan was in the ring complete with his new Slipknot inspired sheep mask (that is freaking awesome) and Randy Orton came down with his pretty WWE World Championship. Too bad he wasn’t riding a giant sperm to the ring.
Randy took the stomps and forearms to Rowan early on. He mounted Rowan in the corner and laid down some punches. But, Erick quickly took control of the match and applied several punishing punches and headbutts.
Erick Rowan positioned Randy on the top rope and tried to hit him with a superplex or something like that, but The Viper slithered out of it. Randy hit Rowan with an impressive power slam and later sent him into the steel steps outside.
As Erick was getting back in the ring, Randy Orton grabbed him and hit him with that awesome vintage between-the-ropes DDT. He was about to hit the RKO when the screen went all Wyatt and Bray appeared on the screen.
Bray said he knows their paths will cross once again because he knows it all. He said he is everywhere and everything. Bray said he will see Randy very soon in the House Of Horrors and then he laughed way too much.
When the attention was brought back to the ring, Erick Rowan was already out of the ring. Randy went out to get him and Rowan smashed him with the ring steps. The ref called for the bell but it didn’t stop Rowan.
Erick hit Orton with a Full Nelson Slam in the middle of the ring and Erick Rowan’s creepy, awesome music played to close out the segment. So, Randy Orton won but it wasn’t the way he’d like to win.
American Alpha vs. The Usos (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Jason Jordan and Jey Uso started things out and Jordan took the quick offensive advantage. He tagged in Chad Gable but Jey was able to push him to his corner so his twin brother could get the tag.
Jason Jordan got the tag back in and Amerian Alpha hit Jimmy with a double dropkick. They threw Jimmy out of the ring and things looked good in the opening moments of this match for American Alpha.
The Usos regained the advantage and used their veteran tag team skills to take it to Jason Jordan. However, Jordan was able to use his quickness to cause some separation and crawl toward his partner.
Jordan got the tag off the Chad Gable and he started applying the suplexes to both Usos. Gable jumped on the top rope and hit a beautiful moonsault for a two-count. Gable clotheslines Jimmy out of the ring but Jey held Chad in the ropes and Jimmy kicked him in the head.
Jimmy climbed up and hit Gable with a splash, but Chad put up his knees and rolled him into a pin for a two count. American Alpha got a two count of their own after a top-rope bulldog doomsday device deal.
Then both Usos jumped through the ropes to dive on American Alpha but both Jordan and Gable caught them and hit German suplexes on the outside.
The Usos got a blind tag and hit Gable with a top rope splash to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. It was a really good match, even though they were obviously cut for time
Suddenly The Shining Stars jumped the barricade and laid both members of American Alpha out as the crowd chanted “delete.” They obviously didn’t appreciate having Primo and Epico on SmackDown Live.
Mojo Rawley vs. Jinder Mahal
So, Jinder Mahal is on SmackDown Live now. Let’s hope he’ll be used better on the blue team. Rob Gronkowski was at ringside to cheer for his old buddy, Mojo. Does that mean Gronk is on SmackDown Live? That’s quite shake-up if they’re recruiting over the lines of professional sport. If not, they need to sign Gronk to a VERY part time contract already.
Jinder got the match going by laying some smack down on Mojo as the crowd chanted “We want Gronk.” Boston loves their Patriots.
Mojo turned it around for a moment, but Jinder Mahal took the match back in his favor pretty quickly. The Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal trophy was at ringside for some reason. We wonder if Mojo has to check the trophy or if he just buys it a seat on the flight.
Jinder didn’t waste much time before he jumped out of the ring to get in Gronk’s face. Mojo came up from behind and Gronk returned the favor from WrestleMania by throwing a beer in Mahal’s face. The action returned to the ring soon after that and Mojo hit him with a punishing running forearm shot for the win.
After the match, Mojo did a dive into Gronk’s arms to celebrate his win. He then jumped up on the announce table, put on JBL’s hat, and continued his hyped up celebration.
Shane McMahon Introduces New SmackDown Superstar
Shane got the microphone and soaked in the chants for a moment before getting to the point. He said he may be biased but nobody does it better than how they do on SmackDown Live. He thanked the members of the roster that jumped over to Raw and said SmackDown is the land of opportunity.
Then he brought up the women’s division and then invited the entire SmackDown Live women’s division down to the ring. Naomi came down first to turn the arena into a rave like only she can. They need to give her a black light belt already, that would just put the cherry on top of her awesome entrance. They introduced every other woman from the division: Natalya, Carmella (with James Ellsworth), and Becky Lynch.
Shane said one of the reasons why the SmackDown women’s division is so hot is because they crowned a new champion at WrestleMania. James Ellsworth had a microphone for some reason and he said Naomi is a horrible champion and the only reason people tune into SmackDown Live is because of Carmella and himself. Naomi then called Ellsworth Carmella’s “side chick” and that was hilarious.
Shane started to introduce the newest addition to SmackDown Live and people were already yelling out “woo!” Shane started hyping her up by saying she is a 2nd generation superstar, and listed a bunch of other aspects of this new superstar, and then swerved everyone by introducing Tamina. But, wasn’t Tamina already a SmackDown superstar?
Chants for Charlotte started and Shane then said he actually had another person to introduce. Shane then introduced Charlotte. The genetically superior superstar came out in her beautiful green peacock robe from WrestleMania 33 and she just stood at the entrance ramp. And that was it. Even though people totally saw that coming it was still awesome. Needless to say, Naomi is in trouble because Charlotte collects title reigns.
They announced Rusev is coming to SmackDown Live too, and that’s big news. Although they didn’t announce Lana is coming with him. But once he’s good from his recent shoulder surgery, it looks like SmackDown Live is at least going to be getting the Bulgarian Brute.
Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger
Aiden English was in the ring with a spotlight on him and it he’s returned to his old opera singer gimmick. Awesome. Simply awesome. But he was cut off mid-song by Tye Dillinger. Yeah, that’s awesome.
Chants of “10” filled the arena proving how super over he is on the main roster. Aiden English tried to get things going and showed a real brutal side of himself. Well, a brutal side that breaks out into song midway through a beat down.
The Perfect 10 ran a clinic on Aiden English. Tye kicked English in the corner and then prepped himself for his finisher and hit the Tye Breaker to win very quickly after that.
It looks like if Aiden English is getting the push we heard about, it’s going to happen at a later date.
At this point, this writer started chanting “NAKAMURA” at the television, but I don’t think they heard me.
They played a neat little promo where Lana showed off some of her dancing skills on a chair. So it looks like the Ravishing Russian is going to be coming to SmackDown Live too and it she might be branching off on her own a little bit. She’s been training in NXT so WWE might be finally looking to put her in the ring. The promo kind of had an “Emmalina” feel to it too. Not that it’ll take 17 weeks for her to show up, but she has that same kind of old-school divas feel to the promo.
Dolph Ziggler Promo Is Interrupted By Greatness
Dolph was in the ring and started talking some smack about the superstar shake-up. He said the newness of the shake-up will wear off in a couple of weeks but he’ll still be there doing what he does best.
Then the lights went black and beautiful violin music filled the arena. Nakamura came out to a thunderous ovation. Nope, nobody’s getting sick of Shinsuke Nakamura anytime soon.
The entire place erupted by singing the melody of Nakamura’s incredible music as Nakamura bowed to Ziggles. Nakamura simply stood there.
Ziggler asked “can I help you? It appears you’re new around here, you may not know who I am,” he then said he didn’t know who Nakamura is and the crowd reminded him by chanting “NAKAMURA” as loud as they could. It looks like Shinsuke doesn’t have to say anything.
He just stood there and looked at Ziggler with an amused smile on his face. The crowd burst out in another round of singing Nakamura’s song for him and Shinsuke took the mic from Dolph. Then The King Of Strong Style finally said, “you wanna know who I am? I am Shinsuke Nakamura.” That’s all he needed to say before NAKAMURA chants erupted once more.
Dolph turned to leave and then quickly changed his mind. He tried to superkick Nakamura, but Shinsuke grabbed his foot and threw him down. Nakamura motioned for him to bring it, but Dolph powdered out. Nakamura bowed to Dolph and then posed for the crowd as his music hit again.
It looks like we’re going to have to wait a little bit longer to see a Kinshasha on SmackDown Live. This is an incredibly good strategy to build anticipation to a fever-pitch before he finally breaks someone’s (probably Dolph Ziggler’s) head open with a knee strike.
THE NEW DAY IS COMING TO SMACKDOWN LIVE
Yup, that’s happening. They aired a promo, but they didn’t show up. They might have a few weeks off so Kofi can recover his ankle injury. Regardless, SmackDown Live is going to get a whole lot more booty. Looks like The Revival ran them off for good.
Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles (#1 Contender Match For US Title)
AJ and Sami started the match out by teaming up against Baron Corbin. They tried to pull off a double suplex on The Lone Wolf, but he turned it around and suplexed both of them. He is a strong, strong man.
Baron tried to throw AJ out, but Styles skinned the cat and came back in only to get clotheslined out of the ring. Sami hit Corbin with a hurricanrana and then AJ and Sami double clotheslines Baron out of the ring.
AJ and Sami squared off and locked up. Then two of the best wrestlers in the WWE started delighting the fans with their amazing skills. Sami hit AJ with a dropkick and Styles went out of the ring. Sami went for a dive, but Baron Corbin grabbed him and threw him against the ramp.
AJ went for a baseball slide on Baron Corbin but it didn’t work out as well as he’d hoped. The Lone Wolf is a very tough opponent and they’re booking him to look very strong indeed. Sami soon jumped up on the apron and executed one of his vintage flipping aerial moves on both Styles and Corbin.
Corbin smashed AJ’s head against the middle turnbuckle with his knee as he yelled, “shut up, I do what I want!” Classic Lone Wolf.
Sami tried to interrupt Baron Corbin, but he only got swatted down like a fly. Baron continued his assault to AJ in the corner but was distracted by the ref because Baron was choking AJ with his boot and that’s apparently not allowed.
Sami Zayn jumped on Baron Corbin because he likes to get hurt. So Baron Corbin started to lay down the hurt on him too. Corbin was drawing some great heel heat at that point.
AJ squared up against Baron Corbin, but he got put back down on his back too. Sami launched AJ out of the ring and hit Baron Corbin with an Exploded Suplex in the corner. That was surprising and it looked like Baron almost broke his damn neck there.
Sami ran in for the Helluva Kick on Baron Corbin, but AJ intercepted him and hit him with that amazing neckbreaker deal he does. Baron then clotheslined AJ inside out because that’s how you thank someone for helping you out.
All three men were on the mat at that point. But that didn’t last long.
Baron Corbin was put out of the ring and then took a stiff knee from AJ. Sami hit Styles with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a close two count and then Sami placed AJ on the top rope. The Underdog From The Underground climbed up to hit AJ with a superplex, and Baron Corbin got under Sami and put him on his shoulders. It looked like they were setting Sami up with a Doomsday Device/Phenomenal Forearm, but Sami rolled out of it and got a two-count on Baron.
Corbin hit a Deep Six for another two count. Then AJ got to his feet first. Styles grabbed Baron Corbin, but The Lone Wolf hit him with a punishing right hand. AJ moved out of the way and Baron Corbin ate the ring post. AJ hit Baron with a springboard 450 Splash, but Sami broke up the pin attempt.
Sami smashed AJ with a forearm and the two started trading shots. AJ hit Baron and Sami with forearm shots in opposing corners until Baron ran over and hit Sami with a clothesline as AJ ate the ring post.
AJ tried to set Sami up for a Styles Clash, but Zayn blocked it. Baron Corbin got taken out by a Helluva Kick from Sami Zayn just in time to turn around and eat a Phenomenal Forearm from AJ Styles. 1-2-3 and AJ Styles is the new #1 contender for the WWE United States Championship. Huh, really figured The Club would have come out and help him win that one.
But I guess that’s it for the shaking up of the WWE rosters. Who do you think got the better deal there?