It’s time for SmackDown Live. Let’s see if WWE can top last night’s Raw. It shouldn’t be too hard. Charlotte is facing Naomi for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. It should be a great show.
Renee Young-Ambrose was in the ring and immediately kicked off the show by introducing Shinsuke Nakamura. It’s interesting how they’re calling him “The Artist” now. Wonder if he’ll start hosting Bob Ross-type vignettes someday where he’ll show us how to paint and say things like, “now take that little bush and hide it right there behind the tree they’re friends… now we knee their teeth through the back of their skulls.”
Nakamura didn’t get one word out before Dolph Ziggler’s music broke out and interrupted him.
Nakamura held the bottom rope down so Renee could leave the ring. Chivalry isn’t dead in WWE. Dolph started talking some trash to Shinsuke and answered his questions for him. He said Dolph is his favorite WWE superstar and then asked him about Nakamura’s wacky dance moves.
Dolph said Nakamura isn’t who we think he is. He said Nakamura’s real name is actually Michael and told his life story like he was Michael Jackson. Nakamura turned out not to like that very much. By the way, is it too soon to be making fun of Michael Jackson? Dolph threw out every dated Michael Jackson joke possible. The only one he didn’t go for was the sleeping with Macaulay Culkin bit.
Dolph said Michael Jackson “faded away” and re-emerged in Japan as Shinsuke Nakamura.
Nakamura started to talk back to Dolph. He asked Dolph what his problem is. It would be much easier to understand him if he took out his mouthguard. Shinsuke then spoke Japanese as the crowd chanted “what?”
Then Ziggler kicked Nakamura in the stomach. As Ziggler went for a superkick, Nakamura turned it around and reversed him into a move of his own. Then Nakamura geared up for the Kinshasa. But Dolph powered out of the ring to end the segment.
AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin
Kevin Owens was at ringside in a suit and tie with a pretty SmackDown blue button-up shirt on underneath it.
Baron Corbin and AJ Styles worked very well together as Kevin Owens talked some smack on the microphone. Owens hyped his match at Payback while directing his disdain toward AJ Styles. KO doesn’t like The Phenomenal One at all.
JBL was showing a little bit more of a heel commentator side as he backed everything Kevin Owens said. JBL also put Corbin over without directly saying anything funny or mean about AJ. The two fought hard in the ring and Baron Corbin kicked AJ through the ropes to the mat on the outside in a tough looking bump.
Baron Corbin grounded AJ Styles with a submission hold to keep the advantage in his favor. AJ tried to turn it around, but Corbin hit him with a vicious backbreaker. AJ took all of the force from that one too without putting his feet on the mat to soften the impact on him at all.
Corbin placed Styles on the top rope and climbed up. He got AJ ready for a superplex, but AJ slid out and hit him with a Pele kick. AJ smashed him with a forearm in the corner and followed it up with a forearm to a seated Corbin. Two count.
Styles looked like he was going for a Styles Clash, but Corbin used his size to reverse it. Baron blocked a Calf Crusher but AJ turned it around. KO distracted AJ before he hit Corbin with a Phenomenal Forearm taking a knee in the process. Baron Corbin dodged and AJ missed his finishing move.
AJ rolled Corbin up and got the three count. After the match, Baron and Owens beat AJ down until Sami Zayn ran down for the save. KO ran out and left Baron Corbin to eat a Helluva Kick.
KO jumped Sami from behind and hit AJ with a pop-up powerbomb. In the end, Kevin Owens stood alone holding the US Title up high.
Charlotte is inverviewed backstage and said gold runs through her veins. She said she’s accomplished everything there was to accomplish on Raw and now she needs a new kingdom to rule. She said she is going to prove what she already knows that she is the greatest woman in WWE history. No arguments here.
American Alpha vs The Colons (Beat The Clock Challenge)
They’re determining the #1 contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles in a Beat The Clock Challenge. This should be fun. Everyone loves a good time crunch. Breezango vs The Ascension is set for later tonight. So, we’ll just have to see who wins their match the fastest.
The quicker this match is over, the better it is for the winner between Alpha and The Colons. Gable started out looking for a quick pinfall but it didn’t work. Alpha kept up the pressure on The Colons.
The Usos were shown backstage holding their SmackDown Tag Team Titles. They didn’t look impressed.
The Colons gained the upper hand for a bit thanks to a big boot from Epico to Gable. They got a two-count at around the two-minute mark.
The Colons kept up the pressure, but Gable kept kicking out. Chad Gable finally got out of a headlock but Primo hit a backbreaker on him for good measure.
Gable kept taking punishment as the clock ticked closer to five minutes. Primo hit Jason Jordan with a cheap shot to keep him out of the match. Jordan ran in and interrupted the match just as The Colons were about to hit their double-team backstabber. Alpha hit their finisher out of nowhere and won the match at five minutes and seventeen seconds.
Rusev is amazing and we can’t wait to see what WWE has in store for him on SmackDown Live. It better be something special because he is the kind of superstar that could have a very long and successful career if they let him go for it.
Rusev said he didn’t like Daniel Bryan or Shane McMahon. He said the only way he’ll come to SmackDown Live is if he gets a championship match at Money In The Bank. So, that’s exciting. Looks like we know when Rusev is coming back and what he’ll be up to.
Becky Lynch is interviewed about Charlotte possibly winning the SmackDown Women’s Title. Suddenly she was flanked by Nattie, Tamina, Carmella, and James Ellsworth. They told her she’s either with them or against them so she better choose wisely.
Randy Orton vs Erick Rowan (No DQ Match)
Weeee! We get a No DQ match! Randy Orton looks more than ready for his House Of Horrors match at Payback (whatever that is). No mention was made about the House Of Horrors match being for the WWE Championship either. So, that certainly lowers the stakes. But it’s sure to be a fun match if it’s anything like what Michael Hayes proposed for The Hardy Boyz and The Brood back in the day.
Erick Rowan clubbed Randy and sent him to the mat with a big boot. Randy clotheslined Rowan over the top rope and Erick landed on his feet. Randy kept up the offense on Rowan and ended up sending him into the ring post.
Then Erick got a kendo stick from under the ring. Because kendo sticks are so useful in putting up a WWE ring. They need them to… um… measure the rope width? Yeah.
Anyway, Rowan hit Randy with the stick a few times before getting a table. Rowan set up the table on the outside and left it there for a bit. He grabbed Randy and looked like he was going to suplex him through the table. But that never works the way you want it to.
Randy reversed out of it and hit Rowan with the kendo stick twice and then pushed him through the table. I wonder what the statistics are for a WWE superstar putting up a table and not going through it themselves are.
Rowan turned the match around for himself and bounced Randy Orton off the announce table a few times. He threw Orton in the ring and got another kendo stick. Or it might have been the same one. Who cares? Randy hit Rowan with that suspended through the ropes DDT. Vintage Randy Orton!
Orton prepped himself for an RKO, but Rowan hit him with a kendo stick to the stomach. Randy went outside and Erick picked up the ring steps with the worse intentions in mind. He threw the steps at Orton and Randy collapsed to the mat outside.
Rowan tossed Randy back in the ring and then retrieved a chair at ringside. Rowan wedged the chair in the turnbuckle and measured his next attack. He tried to throw Orton through the chair, but Randy stopped short. Rowan ended up running through the chair and took an RKO. 1-2-3 and Randy Orton won.
There was no Bray Wyatt on the big screen. No real build-up to the House Of Horrors otherwise. Randy just got on the microphone and talked some crap about the House Of Horrors match. He answered Bray’s words from Raw. It’s good to know he watches the other team’s show. Randy said the House Of Horrors match is going to be Bray Wyatt’s eternal Hell.
Speaking of eternal Hell, Jinder Mahal’s music hit. Mahal came out in a suit with a microphone in hand. Jinder said Randy Orton shouldn’t worry about Bray or the House Of Horrors because he’s the true horror. He talked up his wealth, talent, class, culture, and ability. Jinder was a real heat seeking missile on the mic.
Jinder talked about Randy’s disrespect and lack of tolerance. He said at Backlash he will take back his respect. He said he is going to take the glory of the “World WWE Championship back to my people.” He then spoke in his “native language” for a moment even though he’s Canadian.
Mahal tried to jump Randy, but Orton reversed him. Then The Bollywood Boyz jumped Randy and they held Orton as Jinder hit Orton with his slamming finisher. They called The Bollywood Boyz “The Singh Brothers” too. After the post-match beat down, Jinder Mahal took Randy’s “World WWE Championship” with him.
After the commercial break, the Singh Brothers jumped in a limo and Jinder Mahal popped out of the sunroof holding Orton’s WWE World Championship. The limo drove off. Neat. We haven’t seen a good title steal gimmick for a while.
Breezango vs The Ascension (Beat The Clock Challenge)
These guys need to get this match over with in under five minutes and seventeen seconds in order to become the #1 contenders. Viktor started the match off with a sick running corkscrew uppercut. That was pretty.
The Ascension hit Breeze with a punishing double team move and got another two count. These guys were really putting the quick work to Breezeango. Road Warrior Animal might say The Ascension are stealing his gimmick, but they’re being as punishing as possible in the process.
The Ascension kept up the assault on Fandango. They had just over three minutes to go and Breezango hasn’t put in any offense. Suddenly, Tyler Breeze hit a Supermodel Kick and Fandango caught a falcon arrow to get the win with PLENTY of time to spare. Good for them!
Naomi vs Charlotte (SmackDown Women’s Title)
Renee Young interviewed Naomi in the Gorilla Position. The Glow said Charlotte isn’t the greatest. Noami said she’s Muhammad Ali, and Charlotte is George Foreman.
They gave this one a big match feel with individual introductions. Naomi got a way bigger pop than Charlotte which is understandable. People love to feel the glow.
Naomi started out on top very early on in this one, but Charlotte turned it around on the outside. She grabbed Naomi and pulled her to the floor for a hard bump to the mat outside.
Charlotte kept control in her favor by taking Naomi to the mat with a headlock. The Glow fought back but ended up getting thrown into the bottom turnbuckle by her hair. Naomi ended up getting hung up in the ropes and Charlotte dropped an elbow on her for good measure.
Naomi took plenty of damage from The Nature Girl. Naomi kicked her to bring it back in her favor, but nothing Naomi could do caught Charlotte off guard. Charlotte went for a powerslam, but Naomi turned it around. She hit her with a few moves and then hyped herself up for more offense.
Naomi went for a sunset flip but Charlotte rolled out. Naomi hit her with a kick for a two-count. The two traded forearms for a bit and Naomi hit her with the Rear View for another two-count.
Naomi kneed Charlotte in the head and went for a hurricanrana but Charlotte turned it into a powerbomb. Charlotte climbed to the top rope and landed a moonsault right onto Naomi’s knees. Naomi crawled to the ropes, but at the last second, Carmella, Nattie, Tamina and Ellsworth jumped in the ring and beat everybody down. Well, Ellsworth stood on the outside like a cheerleader while the three jealous women destroyed them.
Charlotte almost got to her feet but Tamina held her as Carmella kicked her in the head. The crowd chanted “we want Becky” as Natalya’s music hit.
Charlotte and Naomi were out and this new stable of bitter stars walked up the ramp. JBL called them a “Welcoming Committee.” We’d expect him to see that as a normal way to welcome someone to the show.
That was a real shame too because Charlotte and Naomi were having a pretty good match. So, that was SmackDown Live. Next stop is Payback!