By: Keila Cash
Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. WWE wraps up their four-night stand in the BK which signifies the end of SummerSlam week. Did the blue brand end things on a high note or did another round of Beach Ball Gate rear its ugly head for old times’ sake? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.
· Kevin Owens complained his way into a final United States Championship match against AJ Styles which is set for later tonight. To prevent further officiating snafus, Shane McMahon allowed Owens to pick the referee to keep things above board for a change.
· The opener was fine, but the constant bickering between Styles, Owens, and McMahon has become a bit tedious over the past couple of weeks. KO will probably stay in Shane-O-Mac’s orbit for the foreseeable future in order to push a future match while Styles moves on to bigger and better things.
· Daniel Bryan informed The Singh Brothers that they will face Shinsuke Nakamura in a 2-on-1 handicap match later tonight. I think it’s safe to pencil in a win for Nakamura.
· Glorious Bobby Roode debuts on SD Live! Awesome moment!!
· Bobby Roode defeated Aiden English with the Glorious DDT in a solid debut match. English had a near fall that made the crowd audibly gasp, but the outcome was never in doubt. Roode should fit in nicely on Tuesday Nights as he takes SD Live to glorious new heights.
· Welcome home, Shelton Benjamin! At least Jason Jordan leaving SD Live for Raw came with a nice consolation prize. Benjamin will team with Chad Gable next week as a make-good for ending American Alpha on such a blah note.
· Kevin Owens’ attempt to get Sami Zayn to officiate his US Title match backfired. Their friendship is tarred and feathered beyond repair at this point.
· The Usos defeated The Hype Bros when Jimmy Uso nailed Zack Ryder with a Superkick for the win. The match was decent, but another beach ball incident marred the action down the stretch. This is becoming more and more annoying. It’s disrespectful to the wrestlers and fans who actually care about what’s happening in the ring. It’s time for WWE to crack down on the wiseasses at this point.
· Shinsuke Nakamura defeated The Singh Brothers when he made Samir Singh tap out to The Triangle in a decent match. Nakamura didn’t get a chance to celebrate as Jinder Mahal attacked him from behind.
· Nakamura gathered his bearings and nailed Mahal with a wicked Kinshasa which pleased the live crowd to no end.
· Mahal did a great sell job as he was laid out in the ring like an unconscious snow angel. It was a great visual which pushed the segment over the top. With no SD Live PPV in September, the creative team has some time to stretch out the WWE Championship rematch between Mahal and Nakamura. Here’s hoping Mahal’s promos become less repetitive in nature during this downtime between PPVs.
· Becky Lynch and Naomi defeated Natalya and Carmella when Naomi pinned Carmella with the Split-Legged Moonsault. The crowd decided to entertain themselves by doing The Wave. Le Sigh...
· The story of the match was Carmella refusing to wrestle until Natalya made her get in the ring. It’s safe to say that Nattie will be walking around with a target on her back with the Money in the Bank Briefcase still in play along with Naomi invoking her rematch clause in the very near future.
· Where was this angry Dolph Ziggler eight months ago? Being shady and bitter suits him perfectly. Being a Shawn/Bret Michaels hybrid wannabe? Not so much.
· AJ Styles retained the United States Championship when he nailed Kevin Owens with the Phenomenal Forearm for the win. The match was good, but the string of controversial officiating continued as Baron Corbin tried to cheat for Owens down the stretch.
· Things started off innocently enough when Styles locked Owens in the Calf Crusher. Styles had it cinched in and KO tried his best not to tap out. He managed to graze the bottom rope when Styles rolled through in order to keep Owens away from the ropes. Corbin broke the hold and told Styles that Owens grabbed the ropes which led to a war of words between the two.
· KO took advantage of the situation when he shoved Styles into Corbin which caused The Lone Wolf to do a series of fast counts on Owens’ behalf. Styles managed to kick out each time until Shane McMahon made his way to the ring.
· McMahon confronted Corbin which allowed Owens to deliver a low blow behind the referee’s back. Shane caught Owens red handed and pulled Corbin out of the ring when he tried to count the pin.
· Corbin took off his referee shirt and tossed it at Shane-O-Mac as he headed backstage in a huff.
· Shane appointed himself the special guest referee as Owens became apoplectic at ringside. KO’s meltdown enabled Styles to hit his finisher for the win moments later.
· SD Live went off the air with Styles standing tall while Owens looked heartbroken and shattered on the main stage.
· The Owens-Styles feud had its moments, but bullshit booking prevented their matches from reaching past a certain level. Styles can move on to greener pastures while Owens is stuck in a never ending feud with Shane McMahon. However, history suggests that Shane can hold his own in the ring under the right circumstances. That’s the only thing saving this version of the Authority Figure vs. Disenfranchised Wrestler from dying a thousand deaths.
· Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was decent at best. The SD Live debuts of Bobby Roode and Shelton Benjamin gave the blue brand a much-needed boost heading into the fall season. It helped make the first hour of the show zip by. The second hour dragged as fans decided to bring back Beach Ball Mania and The Wave to close out WWE’s four-night stand in Brooklyn. The main event was solid, but the crowd was tepid in terms of heat until Shane McMahon saved the day.
· A change of scenery should liven things up next week as the show emanates from Little Rock, Arkansas. With a couple of fresh stars added to the mix, SD Live should be on the come up for the first time since the Superstar Shakeup. Fingers crossed!
On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls!