There are three titles on the line on this week’s edition of Smackdown Live from Las Vegas that they are calling “Sin City Smackdown.” Plus, WWE’s Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon is on the show. Let’s see what they have in store for us this week.
Live from Las Vegas, Nevada this is Smackdown Live for episode #942. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks Melo Man for the banner up top.
The opening video package focused on some recent events like Shane McMahon attacking Kevin Owens on Smackdown last week, which led to Shane getting suspended for it. It promoted Vince McMahon appearing and that was it.
Kevin Owens walked out to the ring. The announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton welcomed us to the show.
Kevin Owens Has Things To Say
Owens welcomed us to the Kevin Owens Show. Owens said he didn’t fight back against Shane McMahon because he respects authority. Owens said that he is suing everyone in WWE. Owens claimed he is suing every McMahon, every board member and anybody that is anybody until Smackdown is no more. Owens said we’re going to have the “Kevin Owens Show starring Kevin Owens.” Owens said that some people are going to get fired and the first person fired will be Sami Zayn. Owens said that they told Phillips and Saxton that they will have to wear the same suit as in two guys in one suit. Owens said those Fashion Files guys will be cancelled forever. Owens claimed there was one individual that he needs to speak to. “Mr. McMahon, come on out.”
Shane McMahon’s music started. Owens complained and Dolph Ziggler entered wearing a Shane O Mac shirt. Ziggler: “What’s up Las Vegas?” Owens said he thought it was actually Shane, but it’s actually a talented person that works there. Owens said nobody else is using it, so might as well try it again. Ziggler left.
Daniel Bryan’s music hit and the Smackdown GM Bryan did his “yes” routine on his way to the ring. Bryan went into the ring to talk to Owens.
They exchanged some words. Bryan mocked Owens by saying he’s not opposed to hard work and manual labor and suggested that Owens tries it while mocking Owens’ weight. Bryan assured Owens that Mr. McMahon will be there soon while telling Owens that he won’t like what Mr. McMahon has to say. Owens replied saying that Vince won’t like what he has to say. Owens left to end it.
Analysis: There were some funny lines by Owens there especially when he was talking about what he’s going to do when it’s called the Kevin Owens Show. The part about firing Sami Zayn first was really good and got some heat for him. I’m not sure if it’s wise to do an opening segment to just set up Vince for later, but Vince books the show and if he wants to build himself up then nobody is going to tell him otherwise. Using Bryan to just say that Vince is coming later feels like just a way to get Bryan on the show without having him do much else. We already knew Vince was going to be on, so they just wasted ten minutes promoting something that was known.
There was a plug for the three title matches we already know about. Styles vs. Dillinger for the US Title is up next.
The announce team talked about the people affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. To donate go to Redcross.org or call 1-800-Red-Cross now.
AJ Styles made his entrance for the US Title match. Great ovation for him. Tye Dillinger was also cheered for his entrance, but not nearly as much as Styles.
United States Championship: AJ Styles vs. Tye Dillinger
Styles hit a dropkick early on. They battled on the ring apron with Dillinger shoving Styles back first into the ring post as the show went to break one minute into it. The action continued on USA Network during the commercial, but not here in Canada. I know because people tweet me these things lol.
The show returned from break with Dillinger punching Styles and Styles powered out of the corner with a Powerbomb. Both guys were down from that. Forearm by Styles, spinning back first and Styles missed a Pele Kick, but came back with a leaping clothesline. Styles was on the apron and hit a forearm. Baron Corbin went down to ringside. Corbin was on the apron and Styles hit him with the forearm to knock him down. Dillinger rollup got a two count. They each went for moves and Dillinger hit the Tyebreaker for the two count. Great nearfall there as Styles got his shoulder up. Dillinger was stunned that it wasn’t enough. Styles slapped on the Calf Crusher submission and Dillinger tapped out. It went 8 minutes.
Winner by submission: AJ Styles
Analysis: **1/2 Good match with a few moments that made it look like Dillinger might win with the rollup and also his finisher. Styles managed to kick out, but I like how it was done in such a way that it was a close victory for Styles. If they got more time they could have told a better story with the nearfalls. The action was good for the time they were given.
Post match, Styles shook Dillinger’s hand. Corbin pulled Styles out of the ring and tossed him over the barricade into the crowd. Corbin hit a clothesline on Dillinger. Corbin hit the End of Days slam on Styles on the floor. Corbin told Styles that next week for his US Title Open Challenge, Corbin is the opponent.
Analysis: Announcing title matches a week in advance really isn’t the right way to do an “open challenge,” but WWE seems to like doing it that way. Nothing wrong with advertising matches in advance. Corbin has shown he has good chemistry with Styles in the past.
Rusev was interviewed by Dasha Fuentes backstage. Rusev said at SummerSlam he had the most embarrassing loss of his career, so he went home to Bulgaria to regroup. Rusev said he went home to Bulgaria as a loser. Rusev said he knows what he has to do to get back to what he was and said that he has to break a legend.
Analysis: I want Rusev to be featured more on Smackdown. They need to forget about all the crappy and start booking him to get some big wins soon.
Coming up: Tag Team Title street fight.
Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers were shown walking backstage because they are up next.
The commercial aired for Total Bellas. Cue my “poor Daniel Bryan” comment.
Jinder Mahal Has Things To Say
Jinder Mahal, the WWE Champion, was introduced by the Singh Brothers. Mahal was booed like usual for his entrance. One fan was dancing for him, so that’s something. Mahal defends the WWE Title against Jinder Mahal at the Hell in a Cell PPV on October 8. The rug was in the ring for Mahal.
Mahal said that the next challenger for his championship is Shinsuke Nakamura. The fans cheered. Mahal spoke about how his preparation isn’t just physical, it’s mental. They showed a pic of Nakamura on the screen with the Singh Brothers laughing at Nakamura’s facial expression. Fans chanted “Nakamura.” Mahal said that he sees constipation when he sees that image of Nakamura, so the Singhs did over the top laughter. Mahal laughed at the photo some more. Mahal showed another pic of Nakamura saying it was a pic of Nakamura thinking of Michael Jackson and saying: “What can I rip off next?” There was a pic of Nakamura making an angry face. Mahal laughed while claiming that’s the face Nakamura makes when somebody yells out “Godzilla.”
Mahal said that if Nakamura wins the title then people will treat him the way they treat Mahal with Mahal claiming people will chant “USA” when you’re trying to speak. The fans chanted “USA” at him. Mahal mocked Nakamura saying that he looked like Pikachu having seizure. Mahal spoke in Punjabi to end it as his music played. No interruption from Nakamura.
Analysis: That was a poor segment and promo that could have used the Nakamura interruption, but it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why. Mahal was out there doing bad jokes mocking images of Nakamura. It was done in a way where it was intentionally supposed to be bad with terrible jokes, but I didn’t find it entertaining at all. It felt like a waste of time more than anything because there was no sign of Nakamura. It’s not like Mahal has the promo ability of a Miz or Owens where he could entertain us on his own. He’s not like that at all. I’m trying to like Mahal as champion, but it’s tough. I find him dull and boring not in a good heel way. It’s in a “change the channel, this guy is boring” way. That’s not good.
Owens was backstage talking to some guy about how he wanted a new song at the top of the show, two limos (one for Kevin and his friend Jimmy…most likely Jacobs, who is part of the writing team) and a private jet for his wife and kids so they can come to every show.
Owens walked up to Zayn. Owens mentioned that about seven or eight years ago they were driving in a blizzard after a show in front of 42 people and they promised eachother to get to WWE so they can never work in a place like that again. Owens said now he’s going to own WWE, so he rubbed it in Zayn’s face. Zayn said he would rather go back wrestling in armories than to ever work for him. Zayn left.
Tag title match up next. Should be great.
The New Day made their entrance. It will be Big E and Kofi Kingston in the match with no sign of Woods. It was explained by Saxton that Woods won’t be present for the match because New Day doesn’t want Usos to have any excuses. Woods is also dealing with a knee injury, so that’s part of it too.
The Usos, Smackdown’s Tag Team Champions, made their entrance. Highlights aired from their great match at the SummerSlam Kickoff last month with The Usos winning the titles back.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles Sin City Street Fight: The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey)
There are no tags in this match. No countouts or disqualification. Only way to win is by getting the fall in the ring.
New Day sent The Usos to the floor an grabbed a table that they set up on the floor. The Usos double teamed Big E and sent him into the ring post. The show went to break one minute into it.
Back from break, The Usos were in control as a replay aired of them whipping Big E into the ring steps and a chair that was against the turnbuckle. Chair to the back of Big E. Jimmy hit a superkick into a chair that hit Big E in the face leading to a two count. The Usos worked on Kingston on the floor. Jimmy hit Big E in the back with a kendo stick followed by Jey hitting a kendo stick shot to the back of Big E. Usos tied up Big E’s arms in the ropes, Kingston back in and he hit a DDT on Jimmy followed by a spin kick on Jey and a dropkick on Jey. Kingston destroyed both Usos with kendo stick shots and he broke it into pieces on Jimmy’s back. Back body drop by Kingston sent Jey over the top to the floor. Jimmy with a running splash, Kingston ducked and Jimmy hit the chair that was against the turnbuckle. Kingston threw the chair at Jimmy, who held it and hit a double foot stomp onto the chair to knock down Jimmy for a two count. Great spot. Kingston threw a chair at Jey on the floor. Kingston went up top with a trust fall dive, the Usos caught him and they sent him into the barricade. Big E with a belly to belly suplex on Jimmy and Big E sent Jey into the announce table and then he tossed him over the announce table.
Back in the ring, uranage slam by Big E. Belly to belly by Big E on Jey in the ring. Big E hit a running splash on both Usos. Clothesline by Big E sent Jey out of the ring. Jimmy rollup for two. Big E hit Big Ending on Jimmy for two with Jey making the save. Jey hit a superkick on Big E followed by a spinning kick to the face and a double superkick by both Usos. The Usos each went up top for their double splash. Kingston shoved Jey off the top, which sent Jey through the table that was set up on the floor earlier. That was a nasty landing. Kingston kick to the face of Jimmy. Big E picked up Jimmy and Kingston jumped off the top to complete the Midnight Hour double team move. Big E covered for the victory after 12 minutes.
Winners and New Tag Team Champions: The New Day
The win means that New Day are four time Tag Team Champions.
Analysis: ***3/4 That was a really good tag match full of action from the minute it started. These teams have awesome chemistry. They make it all look so easy. I loved how it was booked with the heels isolating one of the faces at different points in the match and then Kingston recovered to save Big E from the double team attack. That set up the big spot with Kingston shoving Jey off the top rope through the table that was set up in the first minute of the match. That also led to Big E and Kingston hitting the double team finisher to get the win. Really well done. Entertaining match by two of the best teams in WWE as we come to expect form them. With another five minutes it could have been really special, but it was still an excellent TV match. I predicted the title change because WWE loves title changes these days, so I’m starting to catch on even though I prefer longer reigns.
Post match, Xavier Woods celebrated with his New Day buddies.
Still to come is the Women’s Championship match with Natalya defending against Naomi.
There were clips shown of the “red carpet special” promoting the finals of the Mae Young Classic with “celebrities” that attended it.
There was a shot of Inanna Sarkis, a Youtube personality, in the crowd. I don’t know who she is other than having to write a news post about her a few weeks ago.
Ronda Rousey, former UFC Champion, was also in the crowd and she got a big ovation.
Natalya and Naomi were in the ring for their title match without televised entrances.
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Natalya vs. Naomi
Carmella and James Ellsworth were sitting with the commentary team for this match.
Naomi opened up with kicks to the ribs followed by a kick to the face for a two count. Running slap to the face by Naomi. Natalya picked up Naomi and sent her face first into the top turnbuckle as they went to break one minute into it.
Back from break, they did a double cross body block spot to knock them both down. Naomi took control with a couple of kicks to the face followed by a slingshot into a leg drop for a two count. Naomi went for the split legged moonsault and missed because Natalya moved. Naomi kicked Natalya out of the ring, which led to Natalya going towards Carmella. Natalya argued with Carmella, so Naomi jumped off the top with a dive onto Carmella. Natalya capitalized by sending Naomi into the ring post. Back in the ring, Natalya slapped on the Sharpshooter on Naomi leading to the tap out and victory for the champion. It went about eight minutes.
Winner by submission: Natalya
Analysis: ** It was okay. They didn’t do enough in terms of having an exciting finish with nearfalls. I thought the finish was clever with Natalya capitalizing on Naomi going after Carmella and Natalya aggressively sent her in to the ring post leading to the submission win. Smart way for a heel to win by doing a devious move like that. I think Charlotte will step up as the next title challenger.
Aiden English was in a room practicing his singing. Kevin Owens showed up to talk to him telling him he enjoyed his voice. Owens told English he can sing the theme song for the Kevin Owens Show. English sang “Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the Kevin Owens Show.” Owens was impressed by it. I was too.
Analysis: I was impressed by the singing too. English does a great job with it.
Still to come: Mr. McMahon returns.
Dolph Ziggler made his entrance. Ziggler said that the so called elaborate entrances are done by wannabe supposed superstars who couldn’t lace his boots. Ziggler said he was the greatest in-ring performer in WWE history. Ziggler talked about how the fans only associate an elaborate entrance with being a star.
Ziggler did his version of the Bayley entrance with Graves wondering why Saxton wasn’t excited like he was on Raw with Bayley. Ziggler asked if he is a star yet. Ziggler said that at some point, that bell has to ring and the performer has to actually be able to compete. Ziggler talked about how there was a guy that couldn’t hold a candle to his ability, but each and every one of you idolized him.
Ziggler did the Ultimate Warrior entrance along with a Warrior mask and tassels. Ziggler ran down to the ring, ran the ropes like Warrior and shook the ropes like Warrior. Ziggler said that anybody can do what he just did, but no one can do what he does in the ring. Ziggler said the fans don’t care and Ziggler said he doesn’t care about them either.
Analysis: It was the same thing that Ziggler has done for a couple of weeks. I was waiting for Bobby Roode to interrupt because Ziggler’s promos about how people are enamored with entrances is the perfect setup to bring Roode out there since he is over mostly because of his entrance. Nope. Not this week. It has to be where it’s headed because that makes the most sense.
Daniel Bryan was shown talking on his phone as the show went to break again.
Hype Bros were in the ring. They’re facing Benjamin and Gable.
Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
Two face teams because they don’t have a lot of heel teams. Benjamin went for a kick, Rawley caught the kick and Benjamin hit a spin kick. Rawley with a tackle. Ryder tagged in with a flapjack on Benjamin for two as Gable made the save. Rawley charged, Gable avoided it and sent Rawley into the ring post. Ryder clothesline sent Gable to the floor. Ryder knocked down Benjamin, but Benjamin came back with a Spinebuster. Benjamin picked up Ryder in a Powerbomb position, Gable tagged in and hit a clothesline off the top leading into a Powerbomb into a slam for the win. It went about four minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
Analysis: *1/2 Easy win for the new team as expected. I liked the finishing move although it’s not an easy move to do against bigger opponents. It is unique, though, so it will allow the team to stand out.
Post match, Rawley shook the hands of the winners. Ryder looked disappointed at Rawley and Ryder left without shaking hands.
Analysis: They teased the heel turn story before, so looks like they are going that way again.
There was a shot of Vince McMahon talking to Daniel Bryan backstage. Phillips noted it was the first time in four years for Vince on Smackdown Live. Vince was walking as the show went to break.
Vince McMahon Addresses Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens was in the ring for this main event segment.
Vince McMahon received a big ovation from the crowd. Vince did his customary walk down the ramp. The crowd wasn’t singing his song like they should. Vince was in a suit. Vince entered the ring.
Owens called him Vince and said this is a first for him being in the ring with Vince. Owens said that Vince was intimidated. Vince said that he was nauseated. Vince talked about what happened last week with Owens saying earlier that he didn’t want to fight back against authority. Vince told Kevin that Shane kicked his ass and the crowd cheered. Vince mocked Kevin’s look saying: “When you look in a mirror how can you have any respect at all?” I knew that was coming.
Vince suggested that Owens files his lawsuit and said that if Kevin tries it then Vince will tell him he’s fired. Vince claimed he hasn’t lost one lawsuit and said that there’s a b associated with his name that’s billionaire. Owens said by the time that lawsuit gets to court there will be a “b” associated with Kevin’s name…bankrupt.
Owens complained about how Shane put his hands on him. Vince said he gets that, which is why Vince suspended Shane and Vince said that he did it because Shane didn’t finish the job. Vince added that what he didn’t do is pull out Kevin’s liver and show it to him. Vince said that Kevin got what he deserved because he got what he deserved. Vince talked about how he’s going to reinstate Shane because there’s not going to be a lawsuit, there’s going to be a match.
Vince announced the match: Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon inside Hell in a Cell on October 8 in Detroit. The crowd cheered that.
Kevin said that he needs Vince’s word that he won’t get fired if he beats Shane senseless. Vince told him he had his word. Vince shook his hand. Owens headbutted Vince to knock him down. Owens reminded him that Vince gave his word that Owens can beat a McMahon senseless. Vince was bleeding by the forehead. Vince charged at Owens and Owens knocked him down with a punch. Owens with a running kick to the ribs of Vince. Referees went into the ring. They didn’t really stop Owens because Owens hit Vince with a superkick. Owens shoved referee Mike Chioda down. Owens went to the top rope. Adam Pearce showed up in a suit telling him to get down. Owens still jumped, Pearce moved and Owens splashed Vince with a Frog Splash off the top. A doctor went into the ring to check on Vince. Why did it take him a few minutes? I don’t have the answer to that.
Analysis: That was a big angle to get Owens some massive heel heat. Vince has a lot of respect from the fans and is loved for being the owner of the company. His long-term heel gimmick is over with him now in more of a legendary figure role. Owens destroying Vince McMahon that way was shocking and really puts over Owens as a despicable heel that will do anything to get heat. There was a moment in the promo where Owens made sure to say that he had Vince’s word that Owens could do anything to a McMahon, so Vince made himself vulnerable. The headbutt was nasty looking and it cut Vince open hardway.
Replays aired to show what happened with Owens attacking Vince.
Stephanie McMahon walked down the ramp and told Owens to get out of there. Vince was helped to the back. There was a stretcher there, but Vince slowly limped. Vince went down to his knees to sell it as the show ended like that.
Analysis: I thought Daniel Bryan was going to be there since he’s a face GM that should care about Vince’s wellbeing out there, but there was no sign of him.
Great heat for Owens. I loved it as an old school wrestling angle that we don’t see that often anymore. Also, credit to Vince for selling for him as a 72 year old man that shouldn’t be out there taking bumps, but you know Vince wanted to do it for Owens.
Three Stars of the Show
1. Kevin Owens
2. New Day
3. (tie) The Usos
3. (tie) Vince McMahon
6 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2017 Average: 6.80
Average Post Brand Split (July 26, 2016): 6.66 – Raw is at 5.91
Last 5 Weeks: 4, 6.5, 5, 5, 8.5
2017 High: 8.5 (April 11, August 1)
2017 Low: 4 (August 29)
It gets a 6 out of 10.
The highlights of the show were the Owens/McMahon segment that was an old school segment that drew a lot of heat for Owens. Also, the tag title match was pretty awesome.
Most of the rest of the show was pretty average or below average. The second hour was poor aside from the final angle.
It was disappointing not to see the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode and Randy Orton on the show. It felt like this week’s Smackdown was really lacking in terms of star power.
That’s all for now. Thanks for reading.