Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The SmackDown Files: Anatomy of a Sociopath - A Kevin Owens Story (9-26-2017)

By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. WWE found themselves in hot water after Jinder Mahal’s controversial comments about Shinsuke Nakamura riled up the mainstream press. The company didn’t upload the segment on their YouTube channel which is a clear sign of contrition.

Did the E learn a valuable lesson or did they continue to pour gasoline on the fire leading up the WWE Championship match between Mahal and Nakamura at Hell in a Cell next Sunday? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.

·        The renewal of a never-ending will take place later tonight as Kevin Owens faces his arch nemesis Sami Zayn for the 1,000,000,000th time.

·        The opening segment was good as Zayn tried to talk some sense into Owens. Owens flipped the script by bragging about his accomplishments in WWE despite Zayn getting a 2 ½ year head start in NXT. KO was a former Intercontinental, United States, and Universal Champion while Zayn was sitting backstage at this year’s WrestleMania.

·        Zayn agreed but noted that Owens took every shortcut in order to get ahead. Zayn’s time would come by doing things the right way. At least he could look himself in the mirror every morning without any regrets.

·        Both men were about to throw down when Daniel Bryan came out to make the match official for later tonight as the opening segment came to an end.

·        Owens and Zayn having yet another match is grating, but they always deliver the goods in the ring. This is a case where monotony is acceptable under the right circumstances.

·        In the battle of NXT Alumni, Baron Corbin defeated Tye Dillinger via count-out when Corbin chucked Dillinger into AJ Styles which sent both men tumbling over the announce table. Styles already was pissed off after Corbin threw water in his face which made matters worse.

·        Corbin claimed that Styles couldn’t beat him one-on-one and vowed not to take shortcuts when he beats The Phenomenal One for the United States Championship at Hell in a Cell next Sunday.

·        I guess my theory of Corbin, Styles, and Dillinger facing off in a Triple Threat Match is off the table. Oh well…

·        Shinsuke Nakamura spared the audience from witnessing another sucky Jinder Mahal standup comedy routine by nailing Mahal with a Kinshasa. WWE finally got the hint that Mahal’s stereotypical and incendiary promos over the past couple of weeks were dumb. It took the mainstream media to light a fire under their ass in order to cut the bullshit when it comes to the foreign heel menace saying racist stuff in order to get cheap heat. It worked in the 80s, but it’s not going to fly in 2017 when social media and corporate sponsors dictate the bottom line in terms of revenue.

·        The Usos defeated The Hype Bros when Jey Uso pinned Mojo Rawley with a frog splash in a quick match.

·        However, the top story is The New Day defending their titles against The Usos inside Hell in a Cell at the eponymous PPV in a couple of weeks. Shut up, and take my money! That match should be awesome.

·        Rusev Day ended on a sour note when Randy Orton RKO’d Aiden English and Rusev out of nowhere. Rusev was the pride of Bulgaria, but he ended up taking a nap instead. One can only assume that Orton and Rusev will settle their score at HIAC next Sunday.

·        Charlotte defeated Carmella with a boot to the face in a solid match. Carmella surprisingly dominated most of the action thanks to an early assist from James Ellsworth. There was a minor hiccup when Carmella tried to drop Charlotte with a Reverse DDT, but she eventually executed the move which saved the spot from being completely botched. Outside of that, this was a nice way for Charlotte to build momentum heading into her SmackDown Women’s Championship Match against Natalya at Hell in a Cell.

·        Tom Phillips is such an idiot. The Undertaker is not that short. The Dolph Ziggler Cosplay Showcase is back! *Insert Fake Enthusiasm Here*

·        After a brief absence, The Glorious Bobby Roode came out and challenged Dolph Ziggler to a match at HIAC. Ziggler checked off Roode having a fancy robe and a smoke & mirrors entrance with audience participation. However, The Glorious One wasn’t on Ziggler’s level when it comes to being a better wrestler. Therefore, he was more than happy to accept Roode’s challenge.

·        This was always the endgame since Ziggler started his imitation gimmick a few weeks ago. He should have a very good match with Roode at the PPV if they are given enough time to do their thing in the ring.

·        Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn ended in a No Contest when Owens dropped Zayn with a Powerbomb on the edge of the ring apron which resulted in the referee calling off the match. Medical personnel checked on Zayn and helped him to his feet before heading backstage.

·        Owens attacked Zayn from behind and continued his assault by laying him out at ringside. Owens grabbed a steel chair and wrapped it around Zayn’s neck. He was about to slam his former best friend chair-first into the ring post when Shane McMahon made the save.

·        McMahon charged after KO only for Owens to throw Zayn into Shane-O-Mac before jumping over the barricade and running into the crowd as SD Live went off the air.

·        This was a great way to end the show. Zayn and Owens had a very good match by squeezing in as many high spots as possible. Owens is doing an excellent job playing a sociopath who loves to inflict pain and suffering on others. It’s very reminiscent of Edge snapping on Vickie Guerrero back in 2008 and Randy Orton embracing the psychotic way of life during his awesome heel run in 2009. KO is hitting all the right notes and I expect him to bring the best out of Shane McMahon during their HIAC match.

·        Quick side note: Don’t be shocked to see Zayn play a role in the outcome. He will he help Shane or join the dark side by helping Owens in the clutch? Zayn needs a creative jolt of energy and a surprise heel turn might do the trick after Shane intervened against his wishes. It would be a nice change of pace, to the say the least. Plus, Zayn and Owens being tag team partners would give the tag team division a much-needed boost as well. The mere thought of them joining forces makes me salivate, but this is all conjecture at this point. Or is it? Hmm…

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was average at best. The in-ring action was pretty nondescript until Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Shane McMahon closed the show. However, WWE did a nice job putting the finishing touches on the Hell in a Cell PPV. It felt like a go-home show even though the final hard sell takes place next week in Denver, Colorado. Let’s hope the creative team has something up their sleeve because the final segment was hard to top. Fingers crossed!

On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Live. 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! 

Top Five Takeaways from WWE No Mercy

Top Five Takeaways from WWE No Mercy
By Anton Ware

Hello Geektified family! It's time for another monthly review as we cover the latest RAW brand offering, No Mercy. The Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA played home to the event and is the 13th edition of the show. Smackdown headlined the event last year (with Randy Orton vs. Bray Wyatt as the main event) and now with RAW taking its place for 2017, Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar closes out the show with much anticipation. Also on this show is the dream match of this era, as its John Cena vs. Roman Reigns in a battle of old guard vs. new guard. Who rises to the top you ask? Well let’s get into it!

#5: Where does Bray Wyatt go from here?

The Eater of Worlds, Bray Wyatt faced off against The Demon King, Finn Balor in a rematch from their Summerslam encounter last month. This time, it was billed as Man vs. Man without demons, special effects, or tricks. It was just two men looking to settle a score. Before the match started, Wyatt attacked Balor and taunted him as he was being attended to by backstage officials. Enraged, Balor returned to the ring to officially start the match. In the end, it was Balor who scored the victory with the Coup de Gráce Double Stomp for the win which gave Balor back-to-back PPV victories for the first time since his debut last year. With this feud seemingly over, what’s next for WWE’s resident predator? Possible IC Title feud with The Miz? Team up/take issue with his old protégé Braun Strowman? That all remains to be seen, but the consistent story is Wyatt’s string of bad luck in 2017. At the beginning of the year, he was on top of the world as WWE Champion, but since his title loss at WrestleMania, he’s been floating along with no real agenda. I hope he has a big surprise in store for the WWE Universe instead of picking a random fight with (insert wrestler here). He still has boatloads of potential to stir up intrigue, but the fear is that the Bray Wyatt ship may have already sailed.

#4: The Cruiserweight Division Has A New King

If you were to have asked who would be the first to hold gold after the Enzo-Big Cass breakup, many would have said Big Cass, but sometimes life throws you curve balls. That’s what happened last night when Enzo Amore upset Neville to win his first championship in WWE. The match was all Neville throughout, which is not surprising because Enzo is known for his trash-talking rather than his in-ring ability. The ending saw Enzo outsmarting Neville by grabbing the Cruiserweight Title and threatening to hit Neville with it. He would eventually give it up to the referee and while doing so, delivered a low blow to Neville behind the referee’s back. Enzo rolled up Neville for the three and the win. Enzo becomes the sixth man to hold the Cruiserweight Title since its reincarnation and by doing so, makes him an even bigger target. He’s viewed as the underdog of the division and with this title win, future challengers will be jockeying for a piece of the Realest Guy in the Room.

#3: The Ghost of Beach Ball’s Past Gets Revenge on Cesaro

In a SummerSlam rematch, the team of Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose defended their RAW Tag Titles against Sheamus and Cesaro. The match was what you’d expect: Four world-class athletes putting on a damn fine exhibition in front of a hot crowd. Rollins and Ambrose would retain, but the highlight (if you want to call it that) of the match was Cesaro being the center of attention again. During the match, Dean Ambrose would catapult Cesaro into the turnbuckle which caused Cesaro to overshoot the spot and hit his mouth on the turn post, thus knocking out his two front teeth. After the collision, Cesaro managed to tag out to Sheamus to regroup near the announce table, but would continue on minutes later. Cesaro’s teeth injury had to play a factor in their loss because his teeth getting knocked out definitely threw him off his game despite delivering a gutsy performance. Hopefully, The King of Swing knows a good dentist.

Image result for No mercy 2017 brock lesnar
#2: The Beast Conquers The Monster

In Part 1 of our double main event, the ending matchup of Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman will be discussed first. This was your typical bruiser vs bruiser matchup.  Lots of power moves, with Strowman getting the upper hand on Lesnar during the first half of the contest. Strowman was overwhelmed by Lesnar’s power as he got worn down by suplexes and submission maneuvers. Opposed to three running powerslams from Strowman, it took one F5 from Lesnar to finish Strowman off for the win. Lesnar has now knocked off Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman in singles competition since winning the Universal title from Goldberg at WrestleMania.  With Strowman being conquered by The Beast, who’s next in line for a championship opportunity? Roman Reigns?  A Hardy Boy? Finn Balor? We shall see in due time.

#1: The Torch Has Been Passed:

In Part 2 of our WrestleMania worthy dream matches, it’s arguably the last mega main event match left in professional wrestling, as John Cena faced off against Roman Reigns. After weeks of bickering, insider references, and verbal jabs towards each other, these two finally locked horns. It was a fun contest as Cena dropped Reigns with four Attitude Adjustments only for the Big Dog to kick out each time. Roman nailed Cena with two Spears: One through an announce table and one to finish off Cena in the ring for the win! After the match, Cena congratulated Reigns on his victory and stayed in the ring to embrace the crowd to a shower of applause and “Thank You Cena” chants. It seems as if Cena will be taking a leave of absence for the time being. Will he be back for the Royal Rumble or WrestleMania? If so, who will be his next challenger? Who knows, but one thing is for certain, Cena’s dominance on top has come to an end and Roman Reigns’ time is now

-So what did you guys think of the show? Hit or miss? Let me know in the comments section. Thanks for reading!


Monday, September 25, 2017

The Raw Exposé: Prelude To A Shield Reunion - The Big Dog Goes Down (Chapter One)

By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The Raw Exposé. Tonight’s episode of Monday Night Raw emanated from the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. No Mercy lived it up to its namesake as Roman Reigns proved that he was The Guy by defeating John Cena in the most important match of his career thus far while Brock Lesnar schooled Braun Strowman that bigger doesn’t always mean better by successfully defending the Universal Championship. Word on the internet street suggests that Lesnar vs. Reigns II is set in stone for next year’s WrestleMania. Did WWE start planting the seeds or did they throw fans a curveball instead? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.

·        The Miz invited Roman Reigns to Miz TV so they could shoot the breeze about Reigns defeating John Cena at No Mercy last night. Reigns respected Cena and thanked him for holding down the fort for the past 15 years. It was time for the Big Dog to focus his attention on winning the Universal Championship from Brock Lesnar instead of wasting his time talking to Miz.

·        Miz felt disrespected by Reigns’ comment because he was the only one in the ring with a title draped over his shoulder. Reigns noted that Miz needed help in order to retain the Intercontinental Championship and asked The Miztourage to fetch him a beer.

·        Miz shot back by saying Reigns rode the coattails of The Shield and claimed that he and his crew could beat them if they were around five years ago.

·        Reigns laughed at Miz’s assertion and stated that The Shield would kick their asses in quick fashion. Miz scolded Reigns for choking in big matches against Brock Lesnar, Samoa Joe, and Braun Strowman in recent months. Miz wanted the spotlight on him since he held the most important title on Raw.

·        Reigns agreed and challenged him to a match. Miz declined and made a hasty exit when Kurt Angle stopped him in his tracks.

·        Angle announced that Miz will face Reigns later tonight while Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel teamed up against Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan which took place after the commercial break.

·        This was a fine way to start the show. Reigns held his own on the mic while Miz heeled it up for maximum effect by teasing a Shield reunion. It’s a surefire way for Reigns to get unanimously cheered by the crowd. It might do him a world of good heading into his presumed Universal Championship match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania next year.

·        Matt Hardy and Jason Jordan defeated Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel when Hardy pinned Dallas with the Twist of Fate in a decent match. The crowd was lukewarm throughout, but they popped for the finish. Kurt Angle announcing Jordan as Hardy’s tag team partner during the opening segment killed the fans’ enthusiasm which carried over into the match. The Jason Jordan Experiment is hanging on by a thread. Let’s hope he gets a character revamp because his in-ring work is not enough to overcompensate for a storyline that has more holes than a block of Swiss cheese.

·        Elias defeated Apollo Crews with the Drift Away in an okay match. Crews dominated the action and was over with the crowd until Elias kicked Titus O’Neil in the leg at ringside which led to the distraction finish moments later.

·        Elias continued to attack O’Neil until the founder of Titus Worldwide fought back which sent The Drifter into retreat. An Elias-O’Neil feud is not going to set the world on fire, but it gives both men something to do. Something is better than nothing I suppose.

·        Finn Bálor is done with Bray Wyatt and plans to reclaim the Universal Title that he never lost in the first place. Interesting development…

·        Curt Hawkins provided the perfect pick me up for Braun Strowman as he got destroyed in epic fashion. Strowman chased Hawkins down and chokeslammed him through a table near the production area. He followed things up by powerslamming Hawkins through the LED screen. It was a sick spot that popped the crowd something fierce.

·        Strowman got back in the ring and demanded a fight against anyone in the locker room. Living up to his Lunatic Fringe moniker, Dean Ambrose was more than willing to accept the challenged. Does Ambrose have a death wish? We shall find out soon enough.

·        Braun Strowman returned to max power by defeating Dean Ambrose with a Powerslam in a good match. Ambrose was scrappy and had Strowman down for a ten count, but it wasn’t enough to beat the Monster Among Men. Dare I say Strowman had a better match against Ambrose than he did against Brock Lesnar last night? I dare.

·        Alexa Bliss and Mickie James had quite the exchange in the ring. James delivered her best mic work since returning to WWE earlier this year as she schooled Bliss on respecting those that paved the way for her. Bliss made fun of James being an old lady who was clinging on to her glory years. In return, James slapped her before kicking Little Miss Bliss in the face for good measure.

·        The segment started a little rough with the crowd chanting “What?” at Bliss, but things got better once James made her way to the ring. Their previous matches haven’t been great, but I expect both ladies to deliver the goods if they are given the chance to do so. Most importantly, it’s a different feud that fans might care about on an emotional level for a change. How refreshing!

·        Seth Rollins defeated Sheamus with a knee to the face in a solid match. Cesaro played the role of cheerleader at ringside, but the outcome was never in doubt.

·        I guess Goldust’s babyface turn lasted for a week because he attacked Finn Bálor backstage. Goldust claimed that Bálor viewed him as a victim who needed to be saved from Bray Wyatt a few weeks ago. Bálor apologized, but Goldust responded by kicking his ass.

·        If this is leading to a Goldust vs. Bálor match, I am all for it. Goldust is a very good wrestler who can show up and show out when the lights are on bright. This could be a sleeper hit if everything goes according to plan. Hollywood pun intended.

·        Roman Reigns defeated The Miz when he nailed Miz with a Spear for the win. Reigns didn’t get a chance to celebrate as The Miztourage jumped him from behind. Reigns fought back and nailed Miz with a Superman Punch and was about to finish him off with a powerbomb when Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel hit him with a chair shot to the back.

·        The chair attack continued until Miz dropped Reigns with the Skull Crushing Finale. Miz and his crew headed up the ramp when Miz noticed that Reigns was starting to get up.

·        They ran back in the ring and continued to kick Reigns’ ass. Miz hit Reigns with another SCF on the chair before striking him in the back once more. The heels stood over Reigns as they did The Shield fist bump which added insult to injury.

·        This was a great way for Miz and his Miztourage to get heat while setting up a presumed Shield reunion in the process. It would be fitting for the gang to get back together at Tables, Ladders, and Chairs because their in-ring debut took place at this very PPV almost five years ago. Miz is a proxy when it comes to former friends reconciling in recent months. Did he receive his group therapy certification from Dr. Shelby?

·        Finn Bálor defeated Goldust with the Coup De Grace in a decent match. Goldust put up a good fight, but the outcome was academic. I wished the match was more competitive, but Goldust’s job is to enhance talent at this stage of his career. It’s sad but true.

·        After the match was over, Bray Wyatt spooked Bálor by having a little girl sing “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.” I thought this feud was over. Bálor beat Wyatt clean with and without face paint. It’s time for both men to move the hell on at this point.

·        Sasha Banks and Bayley defeated Nia Jax and Emma when Bayley pinned Emma with the Bayley-to-Belly in a decent match. Jax targeted Bayley’s arm throughout, but the Hugger Extraordinaire gutted it out and made the hot tag to Banks. Banks cleaned house and helped Bayley take out Jax at ringside which led to the aforementioned finish. Unfortunately, the match took place during the 10:30 Lull Period of Death which left the crowd listless for the most part.

·        The main event segment shined a spotlight on the Cruiserweight Division as Enzo Amore embraced being an arrogant asshole who wasn’t ashamed to admit that he cheated his way to victory by defeating Neville for the Cruiserweight Championship at the No Mercy PPV last night.

·        Enzo was so proud of himself that he decided to retire his Certified G Jersey. The rest of the Cruiserweights came out and Enzo threw shade at Rich Swann for being irrelevant, accused Cedric Alexander of having no personality, and claimed that Gran Metalik was too big for 205 Live.

·        Neville came out to confront Enzo, but Enzo took potshots at Neville’s ears looking like a pair of satellite dishes. Neville laid into him for being a slug who was dumped at the doorstep of 205 Live because no one else wanted him. The wrestlers vouched for him, but he’s bought a toxicity to the division that must be removed. Neville was the man for the job as he made his way to the ring.

·        Enzo warned Neville that he couldn’t touch him if wanted another shot at the Cruiserweight Title. Enzo continued to run his mouth about Neville not sniffing the main event scene until now. He bragged about his merchandise sales and told Neville to get the hell out of his ring.

·        Neville responded by attacking Enzo and slamming him head first into the framed Certified G Jersey.

·        He tossed Enzo into the barricade as the fans cheered him on. Enzo tried to run away, but rest of the Cruiserweights forced him to get back in the ring. Neville finished him off with the Red Arrow as Raw went off the air with Neville standing tall while Enzo was laid out in the ring.

·        This was a very interesting way to end the show. One has to assume that Enzo Amore is a full-blown heel at this point. He was totally unlikeable which plays into his real-life persona behind the scenes. If WWE wants to make him the most hated man in the company, they are doing a very good job at the moment. However, the Cruiserweight Division needs to be elevated in the process.

·        Neville gave up a title shot in order to stand up for a division he has carried on his back for over nine months. He’s a great heel, but his offense and high-flying prowess scream lovable babyface. Enzo being the pest heel who gets on everyone nerves is Neville’s way to get back in the fans’ good graces. The Ontario crowd wasn’t super hot for the final segment, but there are signs that Neville can be a strong face that could put Enzo in his place if or when he gets another shot at the Cruiserweight Championship.

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of Raw was middling at best. The in-ring action was nothing to write home about, but WWE did a nice job foreshadowing The Shield reuniting after Roman Reigns got ambushed by The Miz and his Miztourage. It should be quite the moment when the Hounds of Justice bump fists once more. *Sniff*

·        The Ontario crowd was pretty lukewarm throughout the broadcast. The company didn’t give them a lot to get excited about as the show started to drag after the second hour. My guilty pleasure of the night goes to the entertaining exchange between Mickie James and Alexa Bliss and Enzo Amore being the world’s biggest asshole during the main event segment. Everything else was sort of there without the star power of John Cena and Brock Lesnar.

·        Here’s hoping the creative team has something up their sleeve because now is not the time to shrink away from Monday Night Football. There are moving pieces navigating across the chess board, but there needs to be a level of consistency and excitement to keep fans hooked as the fall television season gets underway. The Shield reunion is a nice start, but more needs to be done to make up for Brock Lesnar chilling on his farm for the foreseeable future.

On that note, this wraps up another edition of The Raw Exposé. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back tomorrow night with a brand new installment of The SmackDown Files. See you later, boys and girls!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The SmackDown Files: Welcome To The World Premiere of Rusev's Redemption Song (9-19-2017)

By: Keila Cash

Hello everyone and welcome to another installment of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. After Kevin Owens kicked Vince McMahon’s ass last week, did Shane McMahon avenge his father or did he thank Owens for a job well done because the McMahons like to keep their never-ending family feud going like the Energizer Bunny? The answer to this pressing question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.

·        Shane McMahon condemned Kevin Owens for attacking his father and vowed that vengeance would be his during their Hell in a Cell match next month.

·        McMahon’s promo was straightforward and to the point. It was a fine way to start the show, but I expect more sizzle and spice from Owens later tonight.

·        Randy Orton defeated Aiden English with an RKO in midair in a solid match. English got in a fair amount of offense, but he tested fate by going to the middle rope only to get dropped with an RKO out of nowhere.

·        As Orton celebrated the win, Rusev came out to complain about losing to him in 9 seconds at SummerSlam last month. The Bulgarian Brute embarrassed his family and vowed to avenge his country by defeating Orton tonight.

·        The referee rang the bell and the match was on. Orton immediately went for the RKO, but Rusev blocked it and shoved Orton into the direction of English who climbed on the ring apron. Orton knocked English to the floor, but the distraction allowed Rusev to nail The Viper with a Superkick for the win.

·        Rusev’s over the top celebration was awesome. He is a national treasure who should be pushed to the moon. Here’s hoping Rusev and Orton have a match that lasts longer than 30 seconds at the Hell in a Cell PPV because both men are capable of stealing the show if they are given the chance to do so.

·        I am not here for the comedic stylings of Jinder Mahal. That is all…

·        AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin for the United States Championship never got underway because Tye Dillinger got in the ring and clipped Corbin’s right ankle. Dillinger continued to beat up Corbin until WWE officials broke things up.

·        Corbin got back in the ring and tried to call off the match, but Styles nailed him with a forearm before making the Lone Wolf tap out to the Calf Crusher for good measure.

·        It appears that Styles, Dillinger, and Corbin are destined to have a Triple Threat Match for the US Title at HIAC next month. Just a hunch…

·        Charlotte returned to thank the fans for offering the thoughts and prayers to Ric Flair during his recovery from emergency surgery. She talked about making each moment with her dad count when Natalya came out to interrupt.

·        Natalya invited Charlotte to stay in the ring as she held the first annual Celebration of Women Spectacular. She championed women such as Florence Nightingale, Oprah Winfrey, and the competitors from the Mae Young Classic. Most importantly, Nattie wanted to put herself over as being one of the all-time greats.

·        Charlotte had enough of Natalya’s Self-Admiration Society and challenged her to match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Tamina wanted a shot as well which led to Daniel Bryan booking a Fatal Four Way Match featuring the four challengers with the winner going on to face Natalya for the Women’s Title at Hell in a Cell.

·        This was a fine segment to set up the main event for later tonight. Most importantly, the ladies wore appropriate footwear just in case things got physical. Very fashion forward.

·        The New Day defeated The Hype Bros when Big E and Kofi Kingston dropped Zack Ryder with The Midnight Hour for the win. The match was fine, but it was nothing special for the most part.

·        Kevin Owens appeared via satellite and apologized for attacking Vince McMahon last week. However, he blamed Shane McMahon for pushing him to do so. When Owens shook Vince’s hand, all he could see was Shane’s face which caused him to go ballistic.

·        KO offered another apology to anyone who planned to watch his Hell in a Cell match against Shane McMahon next month. What happened to Vince pales in comparison to what Owens intended to do Shane-O-Mac inside the demonic structure. He wouldn’t be condemned to hell. Owens planned to go to heaven as ended his promo on an eerie note.

·        Owens comes off as such a sociopath in the best possible way. Keeping Shane and KO away from each other is smart because the most vicious physicality should be saved for the cell.

·        Dolph Ziggler continued to circle the drain as he mocked Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and DX. I hope Ziggler realizes that HHH and Michaels are more than their ring entrances. They got it done in the ring as well. To whitewash that is beyond asinine. That’s more on the scripting than Ziggler himself, but it’s still infuriating to watch.

·        Charlotte will face Natalya for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Hell in a Cell when she defeated Tamina with a Big Boot in a solid Fatal Four Way Match.

·        The match was a little rough around the edges when Tamina was on offense, but things got better once Becky Lynch and Naomi got involved. The highlight of the match was Charlotte hitting a moonsault on Tamina and Naomi at the same time.

·        Tamina recovered and hit Becky Lynch with a frog splash only for Naomi to break up the pin. Lana pulled Naomi out of the ring, but she got nailed with a stiff kick to the head for her efforts.

·        Tamina would avenge her manager by dropping Naomi with a Superkick, but the distraction gave Charlotte enough time to hit the big boot for the win.

·        SD Live went off the air with Charlotte celebrating in the ring while Natalya looked on backstage.

·        Charlotte and Natalya should have a great match at HIAC if they are given enough time to shine. They’ve had good matches on the main roster, but nothing has topped their epic bout that took place at the second NXT Takeover in May 2014. Charlotte has grown by leaps and beyond since then while Natalya is a seasoned vet who has been through the ringer in terms of shitty booking and a stupid farting gimmick that damn near killed her career dead. She deserves a standout match on the main roster and I believe Charlotte is the right woman for the job. Here’s hoping they cut loose and deliver a classic because they have what it takes to steal the show next month. Fingers crossed!

·        Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was serviceable. The blue brand just returned from a tour of China which explains why the show was light on in-ring action. The good news is that most of the matches were storyline driven in order to flesh out the Hell in a Cell card over the next couple of weeks.

·        The PPV is coming together nicely as several mid-card matches are starting to take shape. The absence of Bobby Roode is noticeable, but one can presume that Roode is being kept off television until Dolph Ziggler mocks his Glorious Gimmick which should lead to a match at HIAC.

·        The worst part of the show continues to be Jinder Mahal’s over the top comedy act. The fans turned on him and even did a “That’s Too Far” chant when Mahal continued to make lame stereotypical jokes at Shinsuke Nakamura’s expense. It’s not funny and completely tone deaf at this point. I’m glad the Oakland crowd didn’t at play along because it encourages WWE to keep the shtick going. Despite how bad it was last week, they did it again tonight. One can only hope the company got the hint and stop the madness next week. Then again, Ziggler continues to make an ass of himself on live television. Resistance is futile at this point. A girl can dream, though…

On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files. I hope you enjoyed it and I will be next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls!