For whatever reason, Smackdown is still using the theme song even though Raw dropped their theme song for now.
We start with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens making their way down to the ring. Video of last week reminds us about Zayn and Owens getting around the rule that Shane put in place to earn the win. We’re welcomed to ‘The Sami and Kevin Show.’ Kevin reminds the world how spiteful the McMahon family is, bringing up names like Daniel Bryan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Bret Hart. All of whom have had real run-ins with the McMahon family.
We are reminded that Randy Orton has been a pawn for the McMahon family for years. Sami goes on to explain all the various parts of the ring and the ring side area, before going up the ramp to point out where Ring Side area ends. Out of nowhere, Randy Orton enters the ring and RKO’s Kevin Owens. Shane comes out and sets up a match later tonight of Sami versus Randy Orton.
Backstage Sami must explain to Kevin Owens all the stipulations for the match that was set up while Owens was knocked out.
Ever since his heel turn, it feels like Sami Zayn has rejuvenated his career. Many of the mannerism that he had before work so much better as a heel. Add in the list of real-life issues that people have with the McMahons, and you have the base for a great feud.
Rusev & Aiden English vs. The New Day
English delights the crowd with the 12 days of Rusev. Only three days into the song The New Day make their way down to the ring with giant pancakes that they hand out. The New Day start out fast and controlled the offense leading into the first commercial break.
During the break, Rusev and English get control of the match. The two work as a well-oiled machine to keep Kofi in their corner and deliver a beatdown. After a kick to the chest, Kofi makes the tag to Big E. Big E hits a side slam on Rusev who rolls out of the ring. Kofi dives over the top rope before going back into the ring where he gets kicked in the back of the head.
Winner: Rusev and Aiden English
Well, that was surprising. Rusev and English work really well together. They found that perfect combo where they have some heel tactics, but at the same time, the crowd cheers anything that involves Rusev and New Day. I am assuming they will end up being added to the tag team title match later as a reward for winning the match.
Another recap from last week shows the break up of the Hype Bros. Mojo is interviewed in the back. He explains all the things he did when Ryder was gone. He said that Ryder’s return is holding him down and that is why he turned on him last week.
With such a crowded tag team division it makes sense to separate the Hype Bros. Mojo’s interview created a compelling reason for why he turned on his longtime friend.
Back from break, Carmella and Lana are complaining the Natalie is getting another title match at Clash of Champions. The Riott Squad comes into the complain that Rosie took out Charlotte last week and it should be her getting a title shot. Daniel has had enough of the yelling and explains the title match is a lumberjack match.
Baron Corbin comes in to complain to Bobby Roode about Dolph Ziggler being added to their championship match. Ziggler comes in to run down the other two by listing his attributes and why he was added.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. Some local talent
Seriously? They never even mentioned the names before they start getting thrown around. And just as quick as it started the match is over.
Winner: The Bludgeon Brothers
Just a simple Squash match over some local wrestlers. WWE does need to be careful with these types of strategies. While squash matches over no-names will add to the brutality of the team, it will also make them easily forgettable in an already crowded tag division.
Baron Corbin Vs. Bobby Roode
Dolph is joining in on commentary. Dolph starts in with how much better he is and how much he hates both of these other people. Roode immediately tries to cut down Corbin. After making his way back into the ring, Corbin decides to start punching Roode in the head. As both men take each other down, Dolph Ziggler makes his way into the ring and hits both men with Zig Zag.
Bobby Roode has a great entrance. Other than that, I cannot think of three other people that the WWE could have put together that would have been as boring than these three. Ziggler is going to have his work cut out for him trying to carry the other two in both the lead-up and in the actual match. If Ziggler is motivated, then this could be a great match. If not, get ready for a snooze fest.
Charlotte vs. Tamina
I don’t know if this was a match that was added before, but it seems like a random match. You don’t realize how tall Flair is until you see her in the ring with someone like Tamina, who the WWE pushes as a monster heel. Flair has added the corner flip over the top rope ala her dad to her arsenal of moves. Tamina takes control knocking Flair out of the ring as we head to commercial. Back from the break, Tamina has Flair in a rear choke lock. Missed clothesline from Tamina into a neck breaker, into several Flair chops. After an attempted Samoa Drop, Flair takes Tamina down and locks in the Figure Eight Leg Lock.
Natasha jumps up to start running down Charlotte. As she does, the Riott Squads music starts. Riott starts in about the feature presentation. Then the country one makes some comment about rocking chairs and tails. Tamina thinks the analogy is as lame as the crowd does, so she punches her in the face. While the two sides fight, Flair slides out of the ring and up the ramp.
I do not know who felt that they needed to bring up all three of the women that are in the Riott Squad but none of them are ready to be that exposed on the mic. After this initial feud, there is a good chance one if not all three will end up becoming enhancement talent and then be without a job.
Kevin Owens runs into Daniel Bryan and thanks him for listening to his concerns. Bryan says he understand Owens concerns, but he agrees with Shane that they need to keep him from interfering, so he will be handcuffed to the ring.
Sami Zayn vs. Randy Orton
Back from the break, Owens and Daniel Bryan are arguing about Owens about being handcuffed to the ring. Daniel Bryan tells him if he does not allow him to be handcuffed he will be suspended. Quick lock up pushes Zayn into the corner where Orton lands several punches knocking Zayn out of the ring. Orton throws Zayn into the announcer’s table and then backdrop onto the barrier. After a few quick moves in the ring, it is back to the outside. Orton slams Zayn face first and then drops him on his back onto the table.
As Orton makes his way toward Owens, Zayn hits a baseball slide taking down Orton. After Orton hits a quick Powerslam, Zayn rolls to the outside and able to grab some bolt cutters. Seems someone should have made sure those were not there. After running Owens into the ring post, Orton moves back to the ring. Orton hits one of the best Superplexes I have seen with some serious height. Owens gets free, but Orton puts him down and drags Zayn in with the ring rope DDT. After more interference from Owens, Zayn tries the Helluva Kick but misses and Orton rolls Zayn up for the win.
Excellent match here that advanced the story well. Orton got his revenge in a singles match, and we get the idea of who his tag partner is going to be. My concern is how the announcement team acts as if they have never worked together before. Seriously, people, they were teaming together just over a month ago.
After Orton’s win, Owens and Zayn start the double-team beatdown of Orton. Shinsuke Nakamura comes running out to make the save. Nakamura and Orton celebrate in the ring. Shane talks about how it was the most satisfying ends to Smackdown. When asked if that was the end of the punishments McMahon says no. He will be the special ref for the tag match at the PPV. If they lose, Owens and Zayn will be fired from all of the WWE.
Looks like we are going to get the conflict between Bryan and McMahon going again. I assume next week Bryan will do something to try and counteract McMahon’s announcement at the end of the show.