Raw might be coasting until Royal Rumble and figuring things out but on the Blue Brand they have Clash Of Champions looming. Let’s take a look at what SmackDown Live offered this week as so many things revolved around the disdain that the rest of the roster holds for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. It’s kind of a depressing time for SmackDown Live even with such an incredible champion like AJ Styles.

Opening Segment

Owens welcomes us to the Sami and Kevin Show and Zayn says it’s the Kevin and Sami Show. That was a nice moment.

Owens started talking about what kind of trouble you go through when the McMahons have something against them. Just ask Bret, Austin, or themselves because they’re better than anyone they just mentioned combined. This got some heat.

He recapped what happened last week and called Orton Shane McMahon’s “vessel of destruction” which was fun. Sami said Steph used to use Orton as her weapon and KO said Orton has had everything handed to him. Zayn said the most embarrassing part is Shane’s plan didn’t even work.

Zayn became KO’s hypeman as he said “check, double check, and triple check” after KO spoke the truth and that was hilarious. Sami said he is in the ring and then left the ring to illustrate how they got over on McMahon. He walked around the ringside area and insulted everyone and everything he saw. The announce team is awful, the fans are ugly, classic heel stuff. Then he got to the ramp and said this area is where it’s a different story and it’s where he laid waste to Orton with a steel chair.

Sami said you can call it whatever you want but it didn’t happen at ringside because Zayn is smart. “Check,” Kevin Owens said in the ring, “double check” and just before KO could say “triple check” Randy Orton jumped up and hit an RKO outa nowhere on Owens.

Zayn was on the ramp but got blocked in by Shane McMahon as he came dancing out. McMahon said he doesn’t have a personal vendetta against either of them. Then he said they feel jilted for not being at Survivor Series. But at Clash Of Champions, they will be featured and they’ll take on Randy Orton and… a partner of his choosing.

But since Sami Zayn looked ready to compete, he’s going one-on-one with Randy Orton tonight. KO is allowed to be at ringside because he’ll be handcuffed to the ring rope. Let’s see what kind of old-school heel shenanigans those two will pull off tonight.

Backstage Segment

Sami Zayn was telling KO about the match tonight and it’s stipulation as Kevin woke up from the RKO. He was holding his neck and really selling the RKO. Owens said he’s going to fix this. “How” Sami asked.

“I’m going to go to Daniel Bryan, that’s what I’m gonna do” KO responded and he walked away.

It’s Rusev Day!

Rusev and Aiden English were in the ring and Aiden was actually cut off in the middle of his promo for a “Rusev Day” chant. Then English sang the “12 Days Of Rusev” and it was amazing.

During the song, Rusev held up his new t-shirt which is hilarious to me because I already preordered it two hours ago.

The song was pretty great but with nine Rusev Days to go, The New Day came out to ruin the song. They had huge pancakes… like really big pancakes which they were giving out and throwing like frisbees. I don’t understand the pancake thing but that’s no new thing because those guys are so ahead of the curb on everything.

Oh yeah, there was a match too.

Rusev and Aiden English vs The New Day (Big E and Kofi)

The New Day gained control early on against English with Rusev sitting in the corner enjoying Rusev Day. It didn’t look good for Aiden English at all in the early goings and the heels ended outside of the ring as The New Day danced and played trombone while the crowd chanted “New Day rocks.”

Aiden English took control of Kofi eventually and applied the pressure as Rusev remained on the apron but English still sang “it’s Rusev Day!” at the top of his lungs while holding Kofi down in a submission hold.

Rusev got the tag and applied a bearhug on Kofi until Kingston created some separation but Rusev hit a flying backheel kick to Kofi’s face for a two count. The crowd chanted “New Day rocks” as Kofi hit a double stomp on Rusev’s chest to counter The Bulgarian Brute’s charge.

Big E got the tag and started throwing Aiden English around who also got a tag at the same time. E hit a splash and pick English up but Aiden poked his eyes and got free to tag Rusev in. Rusev’s advances were unsuccessful and Kofi got the tag.

Rusev pulled Big E out of the ring and threw him into the steel ring steps but Kofi hit a dive on him. Once they got back in the ring, English distracted Kofi and Rusev hit him with a kick to the back of the neck. 1-2-3 and Happy Rusev Day!

Winners: Rusev and Aiden English (and anybody who celebrates Rusev Day)

They played the footage of Mojo Rawley turning on Zack Ryder from last week. Mojo was interviewed backstage about why he did what he did. “Everybody keeps getting on me for what I did to Zack Ryder,” Mojo said. He namedropped Gronk and said people need to ask what Ryder did to him.

He said once Ryder was out with an injury that Mojo won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and was on to great things but then Zack came back to drag him down. Mojo said if anyone has a problem with what he did to Ryder then “they can shove it.”

Those are fighting words on the playground, Mojo.

Daniel Bryan was backstage with all the ladies and Carmella said she rid the world of James Ellsworth so she deserves a match at Clash Of Champions. Lana said her Samoan Solider Tamina deserves a shot too.

Byran said Mella could be in the match all she has to do is cash in her briefcase. Mella said she doesn’t want to part with “Frankie”… cute name.

Ruby Riott and her Squad entered and she said since she pinned Flair she needs to be in the Women’s Title Match. She asked if she didn’t dress the part to be part of the Bella Army. Liv said they need to stop treating blondes like they don’t matter. Then Logan said they don’t give Kentucky girls a chance and asked him if he knew what game meat tasted like.

All of this resulted in a bickering frenzy and Daniel Bryan screamed: “stop it!” Then he said everyone will be at Clash Of Champions because the Flair/Nattie match at COC will now be a lumberjack match.

Elsewhere in the arena, Baron Corbin walked up to Bobby Roode and said they didn’t need Ziggler in the match at Clash Of Champions. They talked about how they’re the only ones who matter and then they turn around and Ziggler is there.

He said he’s a Money In The Bank contract winner who cashed in successfully. He’s a two time World Champion, five-time IC Champion, and their odds are the ones that are low.l

The Bludgeon Brothers had a neat little promo to hype the fact they’ll be up next to lay waste to someone.

The Bludgeon Brothers vs Adam James and Josh Carr(?)

Harper and Rowan walked out with their huge hammers and it doesn’t matter what their opponents names are because neither of them seemed to be the next James Ellsworth. Harper and Rowan laid waste to them.

Harper slapped Rowan and Rowan picked him up to throw him on one of their opponents. They closed things off with their double team Crucifix Slam which is always awesome.

Winners: The Bludgeon Brother via pinfall

Backstage Segment

Kevin approached Sami Zayn and SZ asked KO how the meeting with D-Bry went. He said even if they have to handcuff him that will probably help their case because a lawyer would take it for free. They’re atheletes not circus animals. Owens said he did speak to him and Daniel said he’d think about it.

Owens said we’ll just have to wait and find out if it’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Baron Corbin vs Bobby Roode

Dolph Ziggler was at ringside and he talked some major trash while this match got going. Bobby Roode took advantage of the situation and hit Baron with some nice moves in a row which drove The Lone Wolf outside.

Corbin caught Roode with a punch to the face when Bobby tried to grab him and once they returned to the ring, Corbin took control for a bit and caught Roode in a seated arm submission hold with a crossface.

Roode fought out of it quickly and chopped some separation but Ziggler soon came in the ring and hit a Zig Zag on Bobby Roode to DQ the match and then he hit one on Baron Corbin.

Winner: Bobby Roode via DQ… but in reality, Dolph Ziggler won.

Backstage Segment

Natalya said she is excited that everyone is going to be “at ringside” during her match at Clash Of Champions. Mella tried to correct her and explain what lumberjacks (or lumberjills) do and Nattie no-sold it.

Nattie said she’s going to have Tamina’s back tonight and said before there was a Riott Squad, there was a Welcoming Committee. She called Riott, Morgan, and Logan “three stray cats” and suddenly The Riott Squad was there and Natalya started kissing up to them.

She called them the most powerful women in WWE and really put them over. It looks like she’s just trying to do whatever she can in order to get some help in the championship match at Clash Of Champions.

Charlotte Flair vs Tamina

Lana’s “Samoan Solider” (now that’s a cool name, right?) was after Charlotte from the get-go. But Charlotte hit some kind of strange spinning shoulder block… let’s call it that instead of a botch. Then Flair kicked Tamina in the head.

But Tamina soon picked Charlotte up and drove her upside down into the corner several times to squeeze the life out of her. Tamina covered for the pin and got a two count.

It didn’t take long for Charlotte to get the Figure 8 on Tamina and she tapped out

Winner: Charlotte Flair via submission

Natalya got on the apron and started talking trash to Charlotte and then the Riott Squad came out and Ruby said she agreed with Charlotte for once. She said they should give a preview of Clash Of Champions but what’s a preview without the feature.

Then Sarah Logan said they looked like a room full of long tailed cats in a room full of rocking chair because that’s what her granddad told her. Liv Morgan said nobody’s safe when a Riott is happening. A skirmish broke out, but Charlotte rolled out looking great.

Backstage Segment

Kevin and Sami approached Daniel Bryan and KO thanked Daniel for listening to him. Daniel Bryan said he agreed with Shane McMahon and suddenly there was a huge dude in an afro holding handcuffs standing next to D-Bry.

Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn continued their argument with Daniel Bryan to ringside. Finally, D-Bry said if he doesn’t do this then he’ll be suspended. Kev finally said “fine” but kept yelling, “you know this is crap!”

Bryan handed the key for the handcuffs to the referee and let the fun begin!

Randy Orton vs Sami Zayn

Orton took control early on and beat Sami around the ring complete with a suplex onto the announce table until KO was able to lure him over and Zayn hit Randy from behind.

Zayn got Orton back in the ring and tossed him back outside. While Orton sold his injuries on the outside, KO asked him where RKO is now and taunted him.

Randy Orton mounted a comeback and hit a powerslam. Zayn went outside the ring and grabbed some bolt cutters out from under the ring.

“This is genius, this is brilliant!” Corey Graves praised as Randy hit Sami from behind and Orton ran Owens into the steel ring post. Zayn hit Randy from behind and tossed him in the ring.

Zayn climbed to the top rope but Orton cut him off with a punch to the face. He climbed up to join Sami and land the one superplex on SmackDown Live. Have you ever noticed there’s always only one superplex at the end of every SmackDown Live? I’ve covered this before I think.

Anyway, KO got to the bolt cutters and nobody stopped him. Kevin finally snapped the thin chain and Orton knocked him off the apron. He hit the classic DDT throuh the ropes on Sami and geared up for an RKO.

But Owens went in the ring and Orton tried to get the DDT on him too but Sami rolled Randy up for a two count. Randy moved out fo the way and Sami missed a Helluva kick, suddenly Orton rolled Sami up for the win.

Winner: Randy Orton via pinfall

KO and SZ attacked RKO after the match. It’s interesting to note that even though KO had a chain hanging off his wrist, he didn’t use it as a weapon.

Suddenly, Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hit and he ran down to save the day and hit KO with a Kinshasa. Then Orton his an RKO on Sami Zayn. I guess we know who Orton’s partner is going to be at Clash Of Champions now.

Orton hit another RKO on Owens after patting his stomach to insinuate that KO is fatter than RKO is… that’s classy. Then Nakamura geared up for another Kinshasa and landed it on Sami Zayn.

The babyfaces celebrated in the ring for a few minutes because they seemed to have run short this week with all this going on at around 9:56 pm.

Then the babyfaces posed on opposing turnbuckles and the screen went back to Shane and Daniel Bryan watching backstage. Daniel asked Shane if he’s done punishing KO and SZ and Shane said he was only begining.

Shane said he’s going to be the special referee at Clash Of Champions and if KO and SZ lose then they’ll be fired from not just SmackDown, but all of WWE. Whaaaaat?

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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble