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!