There was a major angle on last week’s Smackdown as Kevin Owens destroyed WWE’s Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon with a headbutt, superkick and frog splash that left Vince a bloody mess. This week, we got the reaction to that,along with a women’s four-way match in the main event and another promo from Jinder Mahal mocking Shinsuke Nakamura.
Shane McMahon responded to the Kevin Owens attack on his father
Shane McMahon returned to Smackdown Live after his brief suspension to address Owens’ attack on Vince last week. Shane said he watched Smackdown at home with his three sons and saw Owens beat up their grandfather, so Owens made it personal. Shane noted that while he doesn’t always see eye-to-eye with his dad, he still loves him and was angry about what happened. Shane said he condemned Owens for what he did and he condemns him to a beating. Shane also sentenced him to “Hell in the Cell” even though it’s called “Hell in a Cell,” but I think we can forgive him.
It was only a four-minute promo from Shane, but he got the point across that this is a very personal rivalry and that he looks forward to facing Owens at Hell in a Cell. The crowd was cheering for it. I think this story is working very well.
Kevin Owens talked about his attack on Vince McMahon via satellite
Owens did an interview “via satellite” to put over the story that he didn’t want to be in the same building as Shane. It’s a good way to keep them apart to built up anticipation for their next confrontation. Owens claimed he didn’t know what came over him and that he can’t believe he did what he did. He apologized to the WWE Universe with sincerity as well as the McMahon family.
Owens also blamed Shane McMahon for what happened, saying Shane drove him to do what he did, It was the cowardly heel blaming somebody else for his own actions. Owens added that what he did to Vince is nothing compared to what he will do to Shane inside Hell in a Cell. Owens closed by adding that what he did to Shane won’t send him to hell, it will send him to heaven and that was it.
Solid two-minute promo from Owens. I thought he should have been less forgiving and more of a heel, but the Owens character is also a bit of a suck-up, so that’s why he had to do the apology part. Much like Shane’s promo, this helped my interest in the Hell in a Cell because I really want to see that match.
Jinder Mahal mocked the way Shinsuke Nakamura looks and talks
For the second week in a row, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal laughed about the facial expressions of Shinsuke Nakamura. It was the same thing he did last week with Mahal making bad jokes while the Singh Brothers did over-the-top laughter for everything he said.
This week, though, there were racial overtones that really weren’t necessary. Mahal mocked the way Nakamura looks saying that he always “rooks the same,” which is an insult to a Japanese person that can’t pronounce “looks” properly. Mahal also said he was like Mr. Miyagi from the Karate Kid movies. The fans chanted “that’s too far” at Mahal for this promo. It ended without an interruption just like last week.
Nakamura responded with a quick promo backstage saying it won’t be funny when he takes the WWE Title from Mahal at Hell in a Cell.
I thought the whole thing failed miserably. Why is Mahal doing what was essentially the same promo for the second week in a row and why make it racist? Mocking a Japanese person for not speaking English properly is blatant racism. It’s not necessary and I don’t think it’s good heat either, especially when the other guy fails to mention it at all.
Having Nakamura only appear backstage and not go out to the ring to kick this guy’s ass is pretty silly too. Fans don’t want faces to sit in the back to take it when somebody talks shit about them. We want them to fight back and kick their ass. By letting Mahal talk shit without any repercussions, Nakamura looks like a complete loser at this point. I hate the way he has been booked in these last two weeks.
If you read my reviews regularly, then you know I put the WWE YouTube channel clips when talking about what happened. In this case, I can’t because WWE chose to not upload this clip. Why? Because they probably got destroyed by comments on social media last night and realized if they posted it, then it would lead to more outrage. There are no posts about it on WWE’s Twitter either. Once again, that’s not good heel heat. It’s bad writing. They should know better.
The fact that WWE has taken any mention of the Jinder Mahal promo off YouTube and Twitter, and doesn’t have the video on WWE.com (they do have photos) shows that they likely regret doing it. It was a bad segment. No other way to say it.
Charlotte won a Fatal 4-Way to earn a Smackdown Women’ Title Match
Charlotte Flair did a promo at the start of the second hour where she thanked the fans for their support as her dad, Ric Flair, battles back from his health issues. She talked about how difficult the last six weeks were, but he’s getting better and the crowd cheered that. Since Ric’s health scare, she has been off TV, so this was hyped as her return.
Natalya, the Smackdown Women’s Champion, interrupted to do some “celebration of women” based around a photo of herself. That led to interruptions from Becky Lynch, Naomi and Tamina with Lana, in which they demanded title shots. That led to Smackdown’s General Manager Daniel Bryan setting up a Fatal 4-Way match between the women with the winner getting a title shot at Natalya.
They had a 10-minute main event that was the best match on a show lacking in meaningful matches. The crowd got really into it with a “this is awesome” chant towards the end of the match. The finish saw Tamina hit Becky Lynch with a splash off the top rope, Naomi broke that up, Lana pulled Naomi out of the ring, Naomi kicked Lana and Tamina drilled Naomi with a superkick. When Tamina turned around, Charlotte was waiting for her with a big boot to the face leading to the win for Charlotte.
The win means that it will be Charlotte challenging Natalya at the Hell in a Cell PPV on Oct. 8. It’s possible they do a title change, but I hope Natalya wins because it’s her first PPV title defense and she’s put over Charlotte so many times in the past. Let’s see something different this time.
On a final note, remember when it was a big deal when women main evented a WWE TV show? It isn’t anymore because it’s happened many times this year on both shows. That’s a great thing. Kudos to WWE for actually making some progress with their “women’s revolution” because it’s working.
This Week’s Smackdown Live Matches
Here’s a look at this week’s Smackdown matches besides the main event.
Randy Orton defeated Aiden English
They got more time than I expected because it went about seven minutes. English got in quite a bit of offense, which is good to see. I like English a lot and think he has a bright future as a heel, although the gimmick might need some tweaking along the way. The finish was great with English jumping off the top rope and Orton caught him with a RKO to win the match cleanly.
After that match was over, Rusev did a promo talking about wanting to get revenge on Randy Orton for Orton’s quick win over him at SummerSlam.
Rusev defeated Randy Orton in 12 seconds
Rusev went into the ring, the ref rang the bell for this impromptu match and Orton went for a RKO. Rusev shoved him off, English was standing on the apron, so Orton bumped into him and Rusev nailed a superkick on Orton. Rusev covered to win the match. I timed it and it was just 12 seconds. Rusev did an over-the-top celebration that was funny.
This should lead to another Orton vs. Rusev match at Hell in a Cell because neither man has anything else going on right now. I assume they’ll get a more proper match this time in the 10-minute range. A win for Rusev would be great for his career because he needs wins at this point, but WWE loves to book Orton strong. I hope it’s a win for Rusev and that he gets a meaningful push after.
AJ Styles’ US Title defense against Baron Corbin didn’t happen
It was supposed to be Styles vs. Corbin for the US Title. That was advertised from last week. Corbin jumped Styles before the bell and then Tye Dillinger went into the ring to attack Corbin. Dillinger clipped the back of Corbin’s left leg, so Corbin sold it like he was in a lot of pain. When Dillinger was removed from ringside, Corbin told the ref he couldn’t compete. Styles nailed Corbin with a forearm and applied the Calf Crusher leading to the meaningless tap out from Corbin.
Later in the show, Corbin said he isn’t going to bitch about it, he’s going to get payback. Good angle with Dillinger getting revenge and making it look like a bad night for Corbin.
This could lead to Styles vs. Corbin vs. Dillinger for the US Title at Hell in a Cell, which is fine because it puts Dillinger in a meaningful match. Another option is they might do Corbin vs. Dillinger with the winner getting the US Title shot at Hell in a Cell with Corbin winning there. Either way is fine, although I want Styles to drop the title so he can go back to being in the main event where he belongs.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Big E defeated Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder)
It was a solid match to put over the new face tag champs The New Day with The Usos on commentary. The Hype Bros never really looked like they were going to win the match, although Ryder got in his Broski Boot at one point. Kingston nailed a sweet dive over the top rope where he landed back first. Eventually, New Day worked together and finished them off with the Midnight Hour double team move.
It’s going to be New Day vs. Usos again at Hell in a Cell. I think that should be a Hell in a Cell match just to give them a chance to try to do something different, but there’s no indication that it will be a gimmick match at this point.
As for the Hype Bros, they did a backstage segment where they were frustrated. Mojo said he was sick and tired of losing. Mojo added that if they want things to change they’re going to have to do something drastic. Ryder nodded his head at him as if to say “yes.” That means one of them is going to turn heel on the other or they’re going to turn heel as a team. I think Ryder going solo heel makes more sense, but Smackdown could use more heel teams, so that would be fine too.
Other Key Items From Smackdown
1. Dolph Ziggler mocked wrestling entrances again
For the past few weeks, Dolph Ziggler has been given about five minutes of promo time to rip on different characters in wrestling history. While doing so, he also rips on the fans for only liking elaborate characters and not appreciating a guy like him.
This week, Ziggler did a parody of the entrances for Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Degeneration X. I kept waiting for somebody to interrupt, but nobody did. In the past, I had mentioned Bobby Roode being in this spot because Ziggler mocking entrances is an easy way to set up the feud with Roode. There was no Roode on this show for the third week in a row (I think that’s a mistake), but Roode did offer up this tweet.
— Bobby Roode (@REALBobbyRoode) September 20, 2017
I assume this will be what starts the feud. There are two more Smackdowns left before Hell in a Cell, so they can set up the PPV next week and continue the rivalry the week after. Other than Roode, I’m not sure who it could be that Ziggler feuds with. This makes the most sense.
Looking Ahead to WWE Hell in a Cell
— WWE (@WWE) September 20, 2017
The next WWE Smackdown pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on Sunday, Oct. 8 in Detroit.
WWE Championship: Jinder Mahal vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Hell in a Cell Match: Shane McMahon vs. Kevin Owens
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day vs. The Usos
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Natalya vs. Charlotte Flair
I fully expect Randy Orton vs. Rusev to be added to the card and possibly a three-way with AJ Styles defending the US Title against Baron Corbin and Tye Dillinger. Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode is a strong possibility as well.
I thought Smackdown was similar to Raw in that there was a lack of big moments or things that I would recommend for somebody who missed the show. It was a decent show, but it was just average in terms of meaningful segments. The main event was solid at least.
I’ll be back on Friday with a preview of WWE No Mercy and an in-depth look at Sunday’s Raw pay-per-view event.