It’s the go-home SmackDown Live before Backlash. Jinder Mahal was on the top of the roster and while it might seem like WWE was some kind of fan fiction, it’s real life. AJ Styles was set to face Jinder Mahal and fans were expecting to see Rusev made his WWE return in some respect tonight. Randy Orton was also set to take on Baron Corbin. This was going to be a fun night.

Opening Segment

Kevin Owens was in the middle of the ring set to put on his own version of the Highlight Reel. The Jeritron 5000 displayed a very cool graphic with Kevin Owens’ name on the screen. He said “Jericho will never eeeeever be seen again” while doing his best Chris Jericho impression. It’s good they’re keeping the Jericho/Owens angle hot so when Y2J comes back they can start that back up.

Kevin Owens is really a treasure of professional wrestling. He’s so good at getting people to hate him, but he’s so easy to love because he’s hilarious.

Owens said Jericho was obsessed with scarves, gifts, and lists but the only list he’s on now is the injured list because of him. He said what he did to Jericho is only a sneak peek of what he’s going to do to AJ Styles at Backlash.

Then he introduced his next guest in French because he could. KO carried on in French for a bit until AJ Styles’ music hit and Owens was rudely interrupted.

AJ didn’t seem impressed by what Owens had to say. Styles said he didn’t think Owens would stoop so low as to steal Chris’ show. Owens asked Styles what he was doing there and AJ took a second to form a response.

“My bad, I did terribly in high school French class” AJ replied. Then he told Owens he was going to beat him for the United States championship at Backlash and bringing the title back to the “good ‘ol U S of A.” Then AJ said they don’t have to wait until Sunday and started to get in the ring.

Insert Jinder Mahal surrounded by the Singh Brothers. He obviously wanted that match against AJ Styles. Jinder also said he was supposed to be KO’s guest on the Kevin Owens’ Show tonight.

Then they started talking about how Randy Orton is going to lose to The Maharaja at Backlash. Jinder said everyone will be bowing to his feet after Backlash. Then AJ said he might not even make it to Backlash after tonight.

Mahal said something in Punjabi that meant in order to find yourself you must lose yourself. Cause Jinder better lose himself in the music, the moment, and own it. The Maharaja better never let it go. Mahal’s only got one shot, he better not miss his chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo

Then AJ Styles said he had heard enough of Jinder Mahal’s talk and they announced their match was going to start off the show.

AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal

The bell rang and Mahal and Styles circled each other in the ring as Kevin Owens got himself comfortable in the commentary booth.

AJ got Mahal in a headlock and then tried to shoulder block Jinder, but Mahal’s size overwhelmed him. Styles jumped on the apron and leaped over Mahal. He hit the Maharaja with a beautiful dropkick but was driven into the middle turnbuckle for his troubles.

Mahal started applying some stomps to Styles as the ref told him to get AJ out of the corner. So Jinder just drug AJ to the middle of the ring. Then he kept stomping him and took the stomping to the apron.

Mahal tried to suplex Styles to the inside, but AJ blocked it and hit him with a springboard forearm after knocking him down. So it was a forearm, but it wasn’t a Phenomenal Forearm.

The crowd chanted “USA” a Kevin said they should be chanting his name. JBL said they are because he’s the Face Of America. That was nice.

The Singh Brothers distracted AJ and Mahal took advantage. But he still couldn’t quite pull off a victory.

This match really needed to end with interference from KO of some kind. Neither guy can really lose this match, or at least they shouldn’t. But if they really want to push Mahal to the moon, then he’s the most likely to win.

Mahal kept stomping AJ Styles. He likes to stomp. Mahal also hit a nice dropkick to a seated Styles for a two-count.

AJ tried to get up, but Mahal knocked him down with a punch to the face. “AJ Styles” chants started to ring out as the two locked up. They separated a little bit and Jinder Mahal hit AJ with a running elbow. Styles was like a ragdoll as Mahal threw him in the corner. AJ bounced his chest off the turnbuckle and Mahal covered for a two-count.

Mahal placed AJ on the top rope and climbed up. He kept hitting AJ with punches and then set up for a superplex. But AJ slipped out and brought Mahal down.

AJ ran to hit Mahal in the corner but he ate a boot. Mahal went for a move, but AJ hit him with a dropkick. These guys were trading moves at this point.

They made it to their feet at about the same time and AJ took out Mahal’s knee with a low kick that looked like Mahal fell too early on. Mahal drove AJ in the corner, but Styles got him up in a fireman’s carry. Nothing happened out of that though as Mahal got down and hit him with another big boot.

AJ hit the Pele Kick and the splash in the corner. AJ got a two-count on Mahal and KO looked nervous at ringside. He didn’t say much on commentary at this point.

Mahal rolled outside the ring and the Singh Brothers came to see what’s up. AJ hit him with a dropkick and the backed off. AJ threw Mahal back in the ring. He ran for Mahal but he was lifted over the rope. Just when it looked like he was going to hit a Phenomenal Forearm and wrap up the match, KO ran up and belted AJ Styles with his belt. The ref didn’t see him because he was distracted by the Singh Brothers.

Mahal hit his finisher and pinned AJ Styles clean in the middle of the ring. Yup, that happened.

Fashion Files

These are amazing and they really need to keep doing these. Breezango works so well with each other. They’re so great at pointing out inside jokes in WWE. Breeze pointed out Baron Corbins’ three shirts with wolves on them, Sami Zayn’s plaid, and The Usos’ “Day One ISH” shirt and how ridiculous they are.

They said they’re going to win at Backlash and let’s hope to god they’re right. These Fashion Files segments are obviously popular for a reason. Because they’re gold.

Backstage Segment

Randy Orton was interviewed by Renee Young’s bangs and Randy talked up his match on Sunday against Mahal. He pointed out all the reasons why Jinder says people don’t like him and he said people don’t like Jinder because he’s an ass. Well said Viper.

Breezango vs The Colons

Tyler ended up taking some abuse until he turned it around on the former matadors. But The Colons took back control of the match.

They used some tandem offense on Tyler Breeze and focused on several different parts of his body. At least they’re not selling timeshares anymore. Man, those guys have been through some gimmicks, eh?

Breeze ducked a splash in the corner and landed a kick. He crawled to the corner and both teams made the tag at the same time. Dango brought the fury with the hot tag and landed a night jumping back kick. There was a direction on the outside, but it wasn’t enough to help The Colons.

Fandango hit a Falcon Arrow and got the win. But in the middle of Breezango’s celebration, The Usos came out and cut a promo full of fire on them.

The Usos sure look like they were having fun out there. They said “welcome to the Uso penitentiary” where they make all the rules. Then the started running with a Miranda Rights-themed promo on them. They really got hyped up and said: “it’s not paranoia, it’s the Uso!” I really like they’re new little slogan because every time I hear them say “paranoia” I think about Harvey Danger.

Women’s Tag Match Contract Signing

I almost wrote “contract singing” up there, and to be honest that would probably be better. If they turned this segment into a musical, it would have been so much more enjoyable.

Shane McMahon came out and bowed to the New Hampshire crowd. He said he feels SmackDown Live is WWE’s premier brand and one of the reasons for that is their women’s division.

Shane introduced Natalya, Carmella, and Tamina even though James Ellsworth came out with them anyway. Ellsworth is not just crashing parties and matches, but he’s invading contract signings now too.

Then Shane McMahon introduced Charlotte, Becky, and Naomi. This was the first time Charlotte has performed in front of a WWE televised crowd in the US since her hacked photos were released and it didn’t seem to affect anything whatsoever.

Let’s hope Naomi doesn’t give herself whiplash someday while she’s whipping her hair back and forth like that.

Nattie grabbed the mic and said she is going to beat them and prove they’re the best there is, the best there was, and the best there ever will be. Then she signed the contract. Tamina signed the contract and Carmella followed suit.

Becky said there was no chance in hell she was going to join Natalya and her little goon squad. She said she can’t wait to slap the face of every single one of them at Backlash. Naomi said The Welcoming Committee better worry about their next hair appointment because she’s was going to snatch them all bald. Them’s fighting words.

Charlotte said they’re going to solve their problems in Chicago and “after that, the Queen is coming for her crown” as she pointed at the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Naomi motioned for her to bring it.

Then James Ellsworth said the kid can take care of himself. He started to hit on Becky in a weird way saying she was making goo-goo eyes at him. He told her to keep dreaming. Then she said Charlotte doesn’t have a shot with him either. Then she turned on Naomi saying Carmella was going to take her title and steal her glow. If anyone acted like James Ellsworth at their real job, they’d be visiting human resources in no time.

A scuffle broke out between Naomi and Carmella then Shane booked a match between the two. Noooo, James Ellsworth is totally working out and nothing gets awkward when he says stuff. Why do you ask?

Naomi vs Carmella

The Glow started out by trying to snatch The Princess Of Staten Island’s wig off, but Carmella fought her off. She spent a lot of time cowering in the ropes as Naomi kept pounding and grabbing at her hair.

Naomi beat Carm down in the corner and landed a nice one legged drop kick/ drive by looking thing to her. The Glow kept Carmella in an arm lock to keep up the pressure on her.

Carmella soon turned it around and drove Naomi’s face into the mat. Naomi took control back over in the match and Carmella ran outside to hide in the midst of her friends. Ellsworth was being a douchenozzle so the referee ejected him from ringside.

Carmella soon hit Naomi with a kick, but she couldn’t take The Glow’s kicks in reply. Noami kicked Carm really hard and she walked outside. She acted like she wasn’t going to have it anymore, Naomi went outside to get her but was surprised by a kick to the face from Carmella.

Naomi barely made it back inside the ring in time and Carmella kept up the pressure on the SmackDown Women’s Champion. Carmella hit her with a bronco buster without the humping part… it would have been better if she did the X-Pac humping part. After all, everything’s better with X-Pac or humping.

Carm ran into an elbow from Naomi and then got her head kicked off. Naomi readied herself and hit her with a couple takedowns. Then she lit up Carmella with a series of kicks and a jawbreaker.

Carmella lifted Naomi over the apron but got kicked in the head for her troubles. She climbed the top rope, but Tamina got involved and started to distract Naomi. Then the referee ejected Natalya and Tamina from ringside.

Nattie and Tamina didn’t leave though, they just turned around and attacked Charlotte and Becky. Naomi got distracted and Carmella rolled her up for the win. Carmella beat the SmackDown Women’s Champion clean with a roll up pin. Welcome to Bizzaro World Wrestling Entertainment’s SmackDown Live!

The New Day Is Coming To SmackDown Live

The New Day is coming. That is all.

Backstage Segment

Dolph Ziggler cut a promo in the locker room and said he never understood the hype around Nakamura. Then he showed a highlight reel of everything Nakamura has done in WWE. It cut to a “file not found” screen. Then he played a promo to hype himself.

If Dolph’s only way to support his beef in this feud is to point out the fact Shinsuke Nakamura hasn’t done anything in WWE yet, then he’s in trouble at Backlash. After all, Nakamura’s promo package is going to start with him beating Ziggler.

Then Ziggler said he’s going to beat Nakamura before he even begins.

Backstage Segment

Sami Zayn said he has been granted his requested match against Baron Corbin. So that’s happening at Backlash.

Zayn said Baron is threatened by him because he keeps coming back at him. Then Baron Corbin jumped him and said Sami better stay down because at Backlash he’s going to put him down permanently.

Randy Orton vs Baron Corbin

If anything, SmackDown Live is the better brand because they have a top champion that shows up every week. We’re sure he’d rather be hanging out with Sable, but Orton showed up in New Hampshire and everywhere else he’s needed to prove why he’s the WWE Champion.

These two circled each other for a moment before locking up for the first time. A shoving match broke out and Randy locked in a head lock. Baron took him down and the two wrestled around for a bit.

Rando tried to get an RKO off, but Corbin ducked out of it. It only takes one RKO to drastically change things.

The announce team threw out congratulations to Daniel Bryan and Brie Bell for the birth of Birdie Joe. It was so quick if you sneezed you’d miss it.

Orton climbed the ropes and hit a double axhandle on Corbin. The Viper kept punching The Lone Wolf and threw him into the turnbuckle. Corbin used his own momentum against Randy and ran back around the post to come back in and lay down a vicious clothesline.

Corbin stomped Randy down in the corner, the ref backed him off, and he went back looking for more stomps. Randy was draped over the middle rope and got to his feet to take the fight back to Baron.

Corbin tossed Randy to the turnbuckle and continued the abuse. 1-2-kickout.

Randy hit a headbutt to attempt an advantage, but it didn’t work. He threw Baron into the turnbuckle, but Corbin ran around again only Orton ducked his clothesline. However, Corbin grounded him with a big boot so it wasn’t all good for Orton.

Randy looked hurt and Baron Corbin just kept stomping at him to take up time. Then Randy started to fight back with some punches. But Baron Corbin landed a punch of his own and Randy hit the mat once again.

“Let’s go Randy” chants broke out as he fought back to block a move from Corbin. The Lone Wolf went charging for Randy in the corner, but Orton dodged out of his way and Baron took a post to the shoulder.

Orton landed his patented powerslam and sprung back up. Corbin rolled to the apron, but Randy grabbed him and pulled off his vintage DDT.

Randy dropped to his hands and knees and prepared for an RKO, but Baron blocked it. Randy ran toward Baron and Corbin hit him with the Deep 6 for a two count.

Corbin poised himself in the corner and ran toward Randy again. Orton dodged him and Baron went running around the turnbuckle a third time. He came back in just in time to eat an RKO for the three count. Orton wins.

Jinder Mahal came out and said Randy should cherish his time because he’s going to destroy his pride and future yada yada at Backlash. The Singh Brothers tried to jump Randy, but he threw them out of the ring.

As the Singh Brothers were getting back in the ring, Orton snatched them both and prepared to pull off a double vintage Orton DDT through the ropes. Then Jinder Mahal hit him from behind and beat Randy Orton down.

The Singh Brothers assisted in an assault on Randy Orton as Jinder directed traffic. Jinder Mahal hit his finisher on Randy Orton and left him laying on the mat. SmackDown Live ended with Jinder Mahal holding Randy’s WWE World Championship as The Viper laid beaten and broken on the mat.

This was a good show, but we didn’t get Rusev like we were promised. That’s odd.

Now it all comes to a head at Backlash.