Date: August 29, 2017
Location: Verizon Arena, Little Rock, Arkansas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, John Bradshaw Layfield, Byron Saxton
We’re finally out of Brooklyn and it’s time to start the slow build towards Hell in a Cell. In this case that means we start dealing with the fallout of Shane McMahon costing Kevin Owens another shot at the US Title, which was the top story as we came out of last week’s show. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Jinder Mahal to open things up as Smackdown brings the party in a hurry. He’s ready for tonight’s tag match main event when he gets to deal with Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura at the same time. We get the same speech we always get: he’s tired of being disrespected because of how he looks and he should be revered. The Singh Brothers apologize to everyone in India, including their families and friends, but more importantly to Mahal. No one will ever lay another hand on him and they would like to kiss his feet to apologize.
Before they actually can though, here’s Shinsuke Nakamura to interrupt. The fight is on until Nakamura gets caught in the numbers game. Randy Orton, Nakamura’s partner’s tonight, comes in for the save but so does Rusev. The good guys are beaten down and Mahal poses. This was way longer than it needed to be and Mahal continues to be really uninteresting.
Chad Gable/Shelton Benjamin vs. Ascension
Chad takes Viktor down without much effort and it’s off to Shelton, who doesn’t want to do a double suplex. A regular suplex gets two instead and it’s off to Gable for a suplex of his own. Viktor throws him to the floor though and we take a break. Back with Chad still in trouble at Viktor’s hands before it’s off to Konnor for some clubbing forearms.
Chad sends a charging Konnor into the post though and there’s the hot tag to Shelton. The Dragon Whip and a top rope clothesline have Konnor in trouble as things pick up. Everything breaks down and Chad sends Viktor into Shelton for a jumping Downward Spiral (Paydirt) and the pin at 7:16.
Rating: C-. This was the welcome to the tag division match for Shelton and Chad and that’s perfectly fine. I’m not sure how long they’re intending to have this team go on and it’s not like they’re hiding that. That being said, keeping them together for awhile would help the completely depleted tag division and it would be annoying to have another team put together for the sake of splitting them up again.
Baron Corbin is tired of hearing about how he blew his opportunity because it was John Cena’s fault. Thanks to him though, the US Open Challenge is back and he’ll just have to cash in on that.
Here’s AJ Styles to say the US Open Challenge is on right now.
US Title: AJ Styles vs. Tye Dillinger
AJ is defending. Hang on a second as Baron Corbin cuts Dillinger off on the ramp. Tye shoves him away but gets jumped from behind. Dillinger knocks him away again and gets inside for the opening bell. AJ slugs away to start but Dillinger breaks up the Phenomenal Blitz. Dillinger slugs away but gets kicked in the head, only to counter the Phenomena Forearm into the Tyebreaker. That’s countered as well and it’s the Calf Crusher to make Dillinger tap at 49 seconds.
Corbin jumps Dillinger again but gets forearmed down by Styles.
Mahal talks to Rusev in the back but Rusev says they’re not friends. He wouldn’t mind a title shot after the tag match either.
Mike Kanellis vs. Bobby Roode
Roode takes him to the mat with ease and gives us a GLORIOUS pose. Some chops in the corner and a hard elbow to the jaw keep Kanellis in trouble. The spinebuster sets up the Glorious DDT to end Kanellis at 2:46. Just a squash.
Here’s Aiden English for a song but Kevin Owens interrupts. Owens asks him to vacate the premises so he can talk about what happened last week in the main event. Basically it’s all Shane’s fault that he’s not the US Champion right now. Owens won the Universal Title one year ago today and now he’s standing year without his US Title. This never would have happened in the good old days when he was on Raw where Stephanie McMahon never would have let this happen.
Cue Shane to say Baron was Owens’ pick and turned out to be a very biased referee. Corbin didn’t even finish the match and that’s why Shane had to come out there in the first place. Owens insists he got screwed but Shane doesn’t want to hear it. Aiden needs to get back in the ring because he has a match right now.
Aiden English vs. Sami Zayn
Owens sits in on commentary. Aiden wastes no time in hammering away and grabbing a suplex for two. Sami fights up and throws him outside for the running flip dive, which draws Owens into the ring to take the referee’s shirt. Well they do say vertical stripes are slimming. As you might expect Sami isn’t sure what’s going on and the distraction lets Aiden jump Sami from behind. Owens adds a Pop Up Powerbomb and a fast count gives Aiden the pin at 2:24. I guess Shane was off finding a hot pretzel.
Video package on….Sgt. Slaughter? Sponsored by Burger King? Ok then.
Dolph Ziggler is asked what you can expect from him but he says you can expect…..nothing. He’s been around for ten years and it’s not fair that he’s just an afterthought. He’s really a star but he gets distracted by all the little things. Ziggler does the You Can’t See Me and wants to know what that even means.
On Raw too you have a guy playing a guitar and it makes no sense. Maybe he can hop on a four wheeler like Stone Cold did and pour beer over himself while pretending to drink it. Or he can paint himself up like Finn Balor or be a superhero called Zigman. If you want all flash and no substance, that’s what you’re going to get next week. I can’t imagine I’ll ever say this again but I’m rather interested.
Usos vs. New Day
Non-title but the winners get to pick the stipulation for the rematch. Wait what? Are you serious? They really have NO OTHER OPTIONS to determine this? Not a singles match? Or a coin toss? Or a spelling bee? Woods is limping to the ring with a sign around his neck saying “it’s sore” due to a knee injury suffered at a house show. The fact that he can walk on it is a very good sign at least.
Joined in progress with Jimmy charging into a Rock Bottom out of the corner. That’s enough for the hot tag to Kofi for some dropkicks and a dragon sleeper of all things to Jey. Everything breaks down and Jimmy offers a distraction so Jey can grab a rollup for the pin at 2:24 shown.
Carmella yells at James Ellsworth for screwing up last week when Natalya comes in and threatens to make her the Baron Corbin of the women’s division. They have a match next week and Ellsworth seems to like the idea. Carmella and Ellsworth leave so Naomi can come in and talk about the title rematch in two weeks. Cat jokes are made as well.
Lana, with the accent coming and going every few words, introduces Tamina for her match.
Tamina vs. Tina Stock
Stock goes after her as the LET’S GO JOBBER chant starts. Lana grabs a mic and orders that Tamina CRUSH. Tamina sends her into the corner for a knee to the head and a superkick for the pin at 59 seconds.
Tamina and Lana have a quick photoshoot after the match.
It’s time for Season 2 of the Fashion Files! We even have an opening sequence now with highlights of previous episodes, including a graphic saying “not at all starring Chuck Norris”. They’re back in the office (room Two B) with Breeze saying they need to solve their biggest crime now that vacation is over.
In order to do that though, they have new tech from the boys in the lab. First up we have some long distance listening device (headphones), a blacklight, a belt (to hold your pants up) and friendship bracelets. They turn out the lights to test the blacklight and see some arrows on their boxes, eventually pointing to their room sign. The blacklight reveals that it says Two B or Not to B, which leads them to suspect Aiden English because it’s Shakespeare you see.
Shinsuke Nakamura/Randy Orton vs. Rusev/Jinder Mahal
The good guys start brawling on the floor with the villains being sent into the barricade. We take a break before the opening bell and it’s joined in progress with Nakamura kicking Mahal in the head. Orton comes in and hammers away on the champ but the RKO is blocked. After a quick trip to the floor, a Singh Brothers distraction lets Rusev send Orton into the barricade and stomp away.
We hit the front facelock for a bit before Mahal comes in for a knee drop. Orton sends Mahal shoulder first into the post and it’s off to Nakamura to clean some house. The running knee to the ribs in the corner gets two on Rusev and Mahal has to break up a cross armbreaker. Everything breaks down and Mahal escapes the draping DDT so Orton hits a regular one. That’s rather odd. Orton can’t hit the RKO but it’s Kinshasa to put Rusev away at 7:30.
Rating: D+. Standard main event tag match here, which means the match was only ok. It was pretty clear that Rusev was just there for the sake of taking the fall, which I’m glad about as you don’t want your champion losing, even if he is Jinder Mahal. If nothing else it’s another thing you can add to the list of reasons why Rusev probably isn’t the biggest Mahal fan.
Post match Orton stares at Nakamura and lays him out with the RKO to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. They got a lot of stuff on this show and that’s a good thing for once. Nothing felt like it overstayed its welcome, which made for a pretty easy show to watch. It’s also nice to see them setting things up in advance, which is becoming a trend. We now have two matches announced and one more announced for the following week. That’s not bad and gives me a reason to keep watching, which is more than you can often say about most shows. Good effort this week but there’s nothing worth going out of your way to see.
Chad Gable/Shelton Benjamin b. Ascension – Paydirt to Viktor
AJ Styles b. Tye Dillinger – Calf Crusher
Bobby Roode b. Mike Kanellis – Glorious DDT
Aiden English b. Sami Zayn – Pop Up Powerbomb from Kevin Owens
Tamina b. Tina Stock – Superkick
Randy Orton/Shinsuke Nakamura b. Jinder Mahal/Rusev – Kinshasa to Rusev
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