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!