It’s the SmackDown Live after one of the most shocking moments of the year. Let’s be honest, it was one of the most shocking victories in WWE since The Kid beat Razor Ramon in 23 years ago.
Jinder Mahal seemed to go from a jobber every week as members of bands and mismatched foreign allegiances and then he gets traded to SmackDown Live and he’s suddenly winning a 6 pack challenge and then boom — he’s WWE Champion.
Well, there was a party going on and the Maharaja wanted to invite everyone he could to help him celebrate his first WWE title reign of any kind.
This Cinderella story looked like a hero’s journey in India and a villain’s victory to everyone else. You should see the differences in the promos Mahal delivers, it’s quite outstanding how well WWE does it. SmackDown live was set to start the road to Money In The Bank and only time will tell if WWE will finally give fans a women’s Money In The Bank match.
The sounds of police on motorcycles interrupted the commentary team as the camera cut to outside. These motorcycles were flanking a long limo and a black SUV. The Singh Brothers got out of the SUV with their pretty carpet in tow, they cleaned it off, and laid it down for Jinder Mahal to step out of his limo on.
Jinder Mahal stood tall and very pleased with himself as he held his WWE Championship with pride for India. He’s such a hero, it’s ridiculous. If you just watch Jinder’s run as champion and imagine how it could be angled to make him seem like a hero for India it makes it so much more enjoyable, I promise you.
Shane McMahon’s music hit and he came dancing to the ring. Shane took in some chants of his own name and as soon as he mentioned Mahal, everyone booed but I’m sure they were cheers in India.
Shane said Randy Orton is going to declare his rematch clause for the WWE Championship at Money In The Bank. MITB is in St. Louis this year, so good luck winning a match in your hometown, Randy. It’s also nice to see a rematch clause acted on, AJ Styles is still waiting on his shot.
Then Shane pointed to the pretty blue MITB briefcase hanging above the ring as he introduced the competitors of the ladder match for that briefcase. AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, and Kevin Owens. That is a great set up for a Money In The Bank match. Wait, Shane stopped the music and told Kevin he wasn’t one of the participants. Then Shane introduced the real fifth member of the match.
As soon as Shinsuke Nakamura’s violin music hit I marked out hard, I can’t lie. If WWE is losing money with Jinder, then give that WWE World Championship to Shinsuke Nakamura. They could strap a rocket to his back and shoot him to the moon. If they did, Nakamura would totally deserve it too.
But reports are Baron Corbin is a favorite to win the MITB match. Then again, anything can happen in WWE. They’re probably reconsidering a lot of things right now.
Kevin interrupted Shane and said he won his match at Backlash and the guy he beat (AJ Styles) is in the ladder match, but he’s not. Owens claimed Shane was showing favoritism and that Shane is upset that KO beat AJ when McMahon couldn’t.
Shane said because of Kevin’s performance at Backlash he then said KO is the sixth participant in the ladder match. So whiners get what they want. Nice life lesson for kids.
Baron Corbin got a mic and it wasn’t turned on. Kevin asked if Corbin wanted to borrow his. Baron got another mic from Shane and told him to just lower that briefcase right now and stop wasting time. He’s going to have a big “I told ya so” moment if he wins that briefcase.
Then AJ said The Lone Wolf just huffs and puffs and blows (that was funny). Then AJ started putting himself over and going through everyone calling KO WWE’s version of Eric Cartman and Nakamura a rockstar, etc.
Shinsuke Nakamura just stood there being very quite with his arm crossed. It was awesome. He just studied everyone methodically and let the rest of them talk.
Sami started to give the reason why he’s going to win and Baron interrupted him calling Zayn the Rudy of WWE because he was able to beat Corbin at Backlash. Sami said he’ll beat him again and they didn’t have to wait until MITB.
Ziggler finally spoke up and said he’s the only one of the six that has won a MITB ladder match. Then Nakamura plucked the microphone from Ziggler’s hand and took a minute to soak in the chants. “For those of you who don’t know me. I am Shinsuke Nakamura. But you,” then Shinsuke pointed to Ziggler, “you can call me Mr. Money In The Bank.”
Shane had enough of this twenty-minute opening segment and he finally wrapped it up by booking the rest of the show. Baron Corbin vs Sami and Dolph and Owens vs AJ and Nakamura will be the two key matches tonight.
Yup… wait, AJ Styles is tagging with Shinsuke Nakamura? Holy buttsocks that’s awesome!
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs Natalya and Carmella
If Nattie is going to be a legit heel, she needs to lose the way she does her hair to look like cat ears. Unless she’s going for a crazy cat lady that we hate kind of gimmick it just isn’t working.
Carmella and Becky started out and as soon as Lynch got Carmella down in a headlock, she gave her noogies on the top of her head.
Carmella took Becky down with a shoulder block and taunted her. She might have wasted time because Becky was up quickly and took the fight to Carmella.
Charlotte and Nattie got the tag and Flair took Neidhart down with a dropkick. The heels powdered out of the ring and just stood there. They wasted a little time because they knew they were in commercial break. Then someone told them about the new picture in picture.
Becky threw Carmella back in the ring and tried to gain an advantage but she was countered quickly by the Princess Of Staten Island. Carmella hit her bronco buster and kept the pressure on Lynch.
Nattie got the tag and they took Becky down with a double team maneuver. Nattie got Becky in a headlock, and despite a comeback attempt, Nattie drove Becky back to her corner.
Carmella got the tag and they stomped Becky down in the corner. Natalya sunk in a headlock and kept the Lass Kicker grounded for a bit. Nattie jumped up and hit Charlotte with a cheap forearm the the face.
Becky tried to crawl to Charlotte, but Nattie grabbed her. Lynch pushed Nattie off of her and got the tag to Flair.
Charlotte Flair took everyone down with chops and started to work fast and brutal on Natalya. Charlotte went to the top rope, but Tamina tried to get involved. Naomi splashed onto her, but it was enough to distract Char Char. Nattie hit a German suplex on Charlotte and sent her across the ring. Carmella got the tag and so did Becky.
Becky Lynch hit a beautiful top rope dropkick to Carmella and soon had her screaming into the mat while locked in the Dis-Arm-Her. Carmella tapped and the faces won that one.
Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn
The bell rang and they locked up. Baron backed Sami into the corner and flung him across the ring. Baron bent down to pick Zayn up, and Sami rolled Baron up for a weak pin. 1-2-3 and Sami won… yup. Baron’s gonna be big.
The Lone Wolf wasn’t happy and he beat the piss out of Sami. He knocked him all around the ring and threw him over the barricade in the timekeeper’s area. That’s a classic move.
Baron belted Zayn with a steel chair across the back and threw him out to the floor in the audience. Baron beat him against the barricade on the arena floor and picked him up again. Baron walked him casually over to another part of the cement barricade and dropped him face first across it.
Corbin then brought Sami back to the barricade at ringside and started beating him in the face with a ton of forearm shots. Baron said something like “you asked for this” while he carried on with the assault.
Referees were immediately surrounding Sami as they asked for a stretcher. That didn’t end well for Sami Zayn.
Nakamura was backstage and AJ walked up to welcome him to SmackDown Live. AJ mentioned Japan and how they had their battles there and hopefully, he has Nakamura’s respect. But tonight is the first night they’ll be tagging together.
AJ said he learned a thing or two from Shinsuke in Japan, but tonight Nakamura should follow his lead because SmackDown is the house he built. Nakamura took out his mouthguard and said this might be his house but at Money In The Bank, he’s turning SmackDown Live into his playground. Nakamura speaks much better English when he doesn’t have that mouthguard in.
Fashion Police Segment
Breezango did another episode of The Fashion Files and it was outstanding. They labeled it “the final episode?” If this is the final episode it would be a shame.
Tyler Breeze and Fandango are amazing and their one-liners are some of the best things I’ve ever seen. WWE Studios needs to write a movie with these characters.
During the segment, they told Shane they were turning in their badges, belts, pants, boas, and a whole box full of gimmicks. Everything they said was hilarious.
Shane McMahon then booked Breezango to take on The Usos in singles matches later on in the night.
The ring crew was shown setting up for the Punjabi Celebration. We can only assume it’s being painted as a happier time filled with pride in India. After all, let’s not forget that Jinder Mahal is a hero for his people.
Jinder Mahal’s Punjabi Celebration
The lights went out and drums started to play in a distinctive Indian rhythm. When the lights came back on, the stage was full of dancers in Indian dress. They danced to the beat of the drum with huge smiles on their faces. It was really quite a sight.
The Singh Brothers walked out and down the dancing people. Then they introduced Jinder Mahal.
The Maharaja came out holding his championship up high with a huge smile on his face. He is a hero to his people and the pride of the majority of WWE’s social media followers. Jinder Mahal looked like such a nice guy and his friends all gathered to dance for him.
The dancers circled the ring and danced to his music. JBL rightfully called it majestic. Jinder Mahal was the pride of India and the age of the modern day Maharaja is upon us. There were more than a billion people celebrating Mahal.
But for some reason he still got boos. But it’s okay because everyone around the ring was happy and pumping their hands in the air. They were probably told that WWE is going to replace the boos with cheers in post in India.
Jinder started a great heel promo that Vince probably wrote. He said he exposed the fans for the fools they are. He said he enlightened the fans at Backlash and became WWE Champion. Randy Orton is just like America, on the decline.
Jinder Mahal said he’s the greatest WWE Champion of all time. He might not be, but he will always be the 50th.
Jinder was really getting into his raspy mean guy voice because he was going a little hoarse. He said he was celebrating to India, then he spoke to his people in Punjabi.
After Jinder was done speaking to his people the arena was filled with fireworks from above and on the entrance ramp. Jinder’s dancers pranced back up the ramp as he stood tall with his title belt.
Good news guys, Lana is coming to SmackDown Live…soon!
Jey Uso vs Tyler Breeze
Tyler Breeze had his box of gimmicks in his arms full of wigs and furry handcuffs, or whatever. Those two guys are the perfect example of running with something until it sticks.
Jey Uso got on the microphone and said hey don’t deserve to face him because they already beat them at Backlash. Fandango jumped on the apron and shot him with his water gun.
Jey turned and Tyler Breeze rolled him up for the quick win.
Jimmy Uso vs Fandango
The second match followed immediately afterward and Tyler Breeze got into his box and pulled out some handcuffs. Shenanigans ensued and Jey chased Tyler into the ring.
It was enough of a distraction for Dango to roll him up for a quick pin and get the win.
Breezango challenged The Usos for their belts and Jimmy and Jey accepted.
The referee got on the headset and we’ve never seen this happen before. We watched as the referee got word from the back that they were approving the match.
The Usos vs Breezango (SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match)
Well, this was unexpected. but still a treat.
The Usos took the pain to Tyler right off the bat and Breeze sold like a pro. They got him in their double team backbreaker and left him limp on the mat while they taunted the crowd.
Breeze barely got to his feet but was pulled to the mat in a headlock he kept taking damage for a while.
Finally, Breeze kicked Uso to the flood and het got the tag to Dango. Jey cut him off thoguh and caught him with a slap to the jaw, but Breezango nailed a spinning kick and a DDT for a two count.
The crowd really wanted Breezango to win those titles. Jey threw Dango into the post and then The Usos hit Breeze and Dango with double superkicks. Jimmy tried to splash on Fandango, but he threw up his knees and rolled him over for a pin. 1-2-kickout!
Dango climbed to the top rope to hit his top rope leg drop, but Jey jumped up to distract him. Fandango knocked Jey off the apron, but not before he got the tag from Jimmy. But Dango didn’t see it.
Fandango hit his awesome Last Dance top rope leg drop on Jimmy but Jey splashed on Dango as soon as he landed. 1-2-3 and The Usos retained their SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler
Of course, we want AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura. But that seems to be the goal for WrestleMania 34 at this point. So let’s just try to see this as the beginning of their road to WrestleMania.
To be such a heel, JBL is really into Shinsuke Nakamura. AJ and Nakamura were already in the ring for some reason and we only got to see Ziggler and Owens’ entrances. That was a strange decision.
Baron Corbin needs to end this entire night by beating everyone down and then he takes a Kinshasa from Nakamura to end the show. But we’ll just have to see how it turns out.
Ziggler and Styles started off the match together and they traded some headlocks for a minute. Ziggler and AJ also traded dropkicks, but only AJ landed his.
Styles tagged Nakamura and Ziggler tagged in Owens. Suddenly this match got very interesting.
Owens talked trash and pointed his finger calling everyone a loser and that this is his show. Nakamura didn’t say anything, he just started punching Owens and hit a couple stiff knees on Kevin as he fell.
The New Face Of America rolled out of the ring to safety and looked a little flustered.
As the Money In The Bank briefcase hung high above the ring, Nakamura kept taking it to Kevin Owens. He hit a few kicks and followed it up with some Good Vibrations on Owens.
Owens turned it around and started stomping on Nakamura. “And that’s why I’m the champ!” he shouted as he kept up the damage. Ziggler got the tag and he dragged Nakamura’s face across the top rope.
Dolph backed Nakamura into the corner, but Shinsuke started to fight back. Ziggler hit a neckbreaker and pinned Shinsuke for a one count. Then he locked on a headlock and wrapped his legs around Nakamura’s body to keep The Artist Of Strong Style grounded.
Nakamura created some separation for a moment, but Ziggler brought him back down to the mat. Owens got the tag and he immediately just stomped Nakamura in the stomach.
Owens chopped Nakamura in the corner and applied a rear chin lock on the Japanese sensation.
“Ask him!” Kevin Owens demanded as he yelled at the ref. The crowd started chanting for AJ Styles as Nakamura got out of his submission hold. KO knocked Nakamura back to the mat and tagged Ziggler to keep up the assault.
“Nice and slow,” Ziggler said but we probably weren’t supposed to hear him say that. KO got the tag and hit Nakamura with a couple strikes.
Nakamura wasn’t able to get to his corner again and instead he ended up in the opposite corner. KO hit the cannonball on Nakamura and The King Of Artist Style looked like he was spent.
Nakamura rolled Ziggler up for a two count and Dolph turned out an offensive move on Shinsuke but The Artist Of Strong King Style kicked out of a pin. Owens got the tag and applied some heat on Nakamura. “Go on finish him! Get your revenge from last night!” Owens yelled as he tagged Dolph.
Ziggler kept up the pain on Nakamura for a bit until Shinsuke moved out of the way and Ziggler took a ring post to the shoulder. AJ Styles got the tag and started cleaning house.
AJ hit the fireman’s carry neckbreaker on Ziggler for a two count and then he looked down at his prey to figure out what to do next. He tried for a Styles Clash, but KO got involved. Ziggler ended up dumping Styles to the floor and KO hit a senton on Styles on the floor outside the ring.
KO kicked AJ in the back and sent him back down to the mat as he was trying to get back in the ring. Owens finally threw AJ back in the ring as the crowd started to sing Nakamura’s theme song.
KO got AJ in a headlock but he finally got to his feet. KO hit a big back body drop for a two count and then Owens just kind of started hitting AJ in the face as hard as he could.
“We’re going to a replay” we could hear the ref say but we probably weren’t supposed to hear that either.
Ziggler placed Styles on the turnbuckle and tried to hit a superplex, but AJ slipped out like he does and he immediatly hit his hands and knees to crawn toward Nakamura. Only Ziggler didn’t let him get the tag.
AJ sent Ziggler to the mat face first for his troubles and kept convulsing toward his rockstar partner.
Nakamura got the tag just as Owens got a tag from Ziggler. Nakamura started taking Strong Style to Owens by hitting him with every knee he could. He placed Kevin across the top turnbuckle and hit him with a running knee to the ribs.
Nakamura caught a kick tot he back of the head, but Ziggler broke up the pin. Nakamura hit Ziggler with the exploder suplex but KO got involved. AJ hit a Pele Kick on KO, and then after a little bit of a scuffle, Nakamura knocked Kevin Owens out with a Kinshasa and that’s how Shinsuke Nakamura won his first match on SmackDown Live.
Nakamura celebrated in the ring while AJ Styles stood on the turnbuckle and watched him. They bumped fists in the middle of the ring and looked up at the Money In The Bank briefcase hanging above the ring. After that, they had a pose off to end the show.