Hello and welcome back to another review of Smackdown Live! In this episode, we have the fallout of John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura, confirming details of Kevin Owens vs AJ Styles and Randy Orton FINALLY gets Jinder Mahal one-on-one, no Singh Bros! Let’s get stuck in!
John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura Video Package
In the opening segment of the show, we see a video package of the tremendous match from last week, the match of dreams, John Cena vs Shinsuke Nakamura. After Nakamura’s thoroughly deserved win, we see what happened after the show had finished filming.
With Nakamura still celebrating in the ring, Baron Corbin comes up from behind and attacks Nakamura. Based Superhero Cena runs down to defend but Corbin proves too strong for the match-tired duo. Corbin sets up the steel steps on the outside, preparing for an End of Days to Cena on the announcers table, but Cena reverses it, slamming Corbin into the announcers table with the AA! Cena coming out on top, always (well apart from that match just then).
Cena Introduces The Show
Mr. WWE himself, John Cena, introduces to show by bigging up Shinsuke Nakamura and the match itself from last week. He continues by saying he just blacked out (KINSHASAAAAAAAAAA) and when he opened his eyes, he had “just lost”, cleanly. He mentioned the Montreal Screwjob (in Toronto, Canada!) to obscenely loud boos and Big Match Jhon just gave a cheeky smile.
Corbin enters, debuting a heavy new theme song (very good, I’m a fan! Never again will I be duped into thinking Ambrose is joining Smackdown Live again!) and for some reason, he says “John” about 10 times in a 90 second promo, huh? I’ll give him props, he did say a pretty good line: “I am the future, and I have no problem with making you the past”. Cena replies with “and I have no problem telling it like it is! You’re a skinny-fat, loud mouth, opver-rated dumpster fire!”, referencing a sign in the front-row that says “Baron Corbin is a dumpster fire”, absolutely class from John Cena. “Dumpster Fire! Clap clap clap-clap-clap”, oh WWE Universe…Corbin goes to leave after telling Cena that he doesn’t hold the WWE Championship, so therefore isn’t worth his time. The overly-patriotic theme of Daniel Bryan blares out as he comes out to set up a match between Corbin and his brother-in-la… valued WWE employee, John Cena, at SummerSlam!
A funny little segment, Cena gaining some comedic heat by mentioning the Montreal Screwjob in Canada (as is tradition in the WWE, I suppose). Cena interacting with the crowd by integrating a fan-made sign was quite nice to watch, and Corbin seems to be getting a little bit better on the microphone. If WWE intend to push him as I believe they will be, he’ll need to improve more though! A solid, if unspectacular, segment to start the show off. The matchup at SummerSlam could prove to be decent though!
In the interval between segments, it’s revealed there will be a “Grudge Match” between Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal, seeming to bring an end to the feud. The Singh Brothers will be absent due to injury, leaving Mahal by himself. Anybody banking on a Great Khali appearance?
Match One – The Usos vs Tye Dillinger and Sami Zayn
Next, we have tag-team action! Former tag-team champions (awaiting a rematch): The Usos! And their opponents? None other than the thoroughly distinguished tag-team of… Tye Dillinger and Sami Zayn…? I mean, they did well vs Aiden English and Mike Kanellis a couple of weeks ago, but together again against the former champions? I mean, they both ARE Canadian, and we ARE in Canada…
The home-country heros are given an obviously-loud reception, whilst The Usos debut a new theme also. Two new themes? That’s insane! Dillinger and Jimmy start us off, with Dillinger starting off the stronger off the two, as he hits his 10 corner punches and tags in Zayn, who instantly goes for his Helluva Kick but falls short as Jey intercepts and drags his brother to the outside.
Cue these god-awful mid-match adverts. Again, I get they’re meant to allow us the novelty of watching the match whilst companies get their products across but god DAMN they are annoying. A Pug-Monkey-Baby dancing in a Mountain Dew Energy advert? Absolutely do one. I can’t even be bothered commentating on the match whilst these adverts are on as they’re so distractingly bad.
We “come back” to a beaten Zayn tagging in Dillinger. Dillinger lays the, ahem, smackdown on Jey before he rolls out to avoid the onslaught of the Perfect 10, with 10 chants filling the arena, lovely. Dillinger goes for a suicide dive but is met with the forearm of Jimmy, knocking him back. Mr Anything-You-Can-Do-I-Can-Do-Better, aka Zayn, leaps over the kneeling Dillinger and takes out both of the Usos, fantastic! He then rolls “the legal Uso” (good job, commentary, it’s Jey) and Dillinger meets him with a lovely sit-out powerbomb for the 2 count. What a win this could be for Tye and Sami! Jimmy deals with Zayn outside, as Jey goes to superplex Dillinger. Jimmy sneakily tags himself into the match with Dillinger unaware and manages to get the win with a new submission move, “Tequila Sunrise”, on Dillinger. Tequila Sunrise seems to be a hammerlock single-leg boston crab? Whatever it is, it looks effective. The Usos continue their impressive resurgence and look strong heading into SummerSlam.
Post-match, they mimic The New Day’s “W-W-E-World-Tag-Team-Champioooooooons”, buuuuut are interrupted by The New Day actually making their entrance… Well, just Big E. Woods and Kofi appear out of nowhere and blindside The Usos and lay a suspiciously heel beatdown on them, that includes a steel chair! Special match stipulation, anyone?
Result: The Usos win by Submission
A fairly decent match that was shamefully interrupted by those adverts that I hate oh so much. Dillinger and Zayn look to make an impressive, if not unorthodox, pairing and I would actually enjoy seeing them continue this pairing! What can I say about The Usos? They look as strong and conniving as ever. Post-match taunting of The New Day and their subsequent beatdown was an exciting end to the match, and I’m fully hoping there’s a special match stipulation at SummerSlam!
Yes! The highlight!!
We enter with Tyler Breeze talking to The Ascension, with Konnor more fixated on a pie that’s on the table. Breeze reveals that that Konnor was pouring maple syrup (not ketchup/strawberry sauce like I said last week) on a log (not a loaf of bread or large cake like I said last week also) and that Viktor was holding a rose that pricked Fandango’s finger, to which Viktor laughed at and agreed he would probably do that.
“It must be code…” Breeze ponders, panning to Konnor and Viktor making a getaway with the pie. “Don’t you wanna know who took ‘Dango!?”… “Nope, we just came for the free pie.”, those greedy, selfish bastards. Breeze channels his inner Bloody Mary and says “Where’s ‘Dango?” three times into the mirror, once to his missing poster, then once more into the mirror as we see a clearly dazed ‘Dango looking back at him… With a tie around his head? “Don’t tell me it takes 18 episodes to return you back to normal!” he screams as ‘Dango ignored his first questions. Breeze hands him a cup of coffee to which Fandango takes a sip off before instantly spitting it out. “That’s a damn good cup of coffee Breeze, what’s going on?” oh how so nonchalant of him. Breeze asks him where he’s been and ‘Dango simply replies “Aliens.” Breeze then continues the game of 21 Questions with “How did you escape!?” and Fandango brilliantly replies “Escape? I could leave anytime I wanted to.”, when asked why he didn’t. he replies “… Anal probes. I mean, wardrobes” as he gestures to his duck-egg suit. Amazing, Fashion Peaks is sheer brilliance. Fandango then reveals that he was gifted the power of clair…clair…clair…Seeing into the future! He states that whoever walks through the door next is the person who killed Tully and it’s… Arn Anderson!? When questioned, he confirms it, stating that HE was the best of the Four Horsemen, not Tully, before running off with two doughnuts. “Breeze, our work has just begun…” To Be Continued.
MAN I love this segment, it just keeps on getting better and better. It’s the highlight every single week now, no doubts about it.
Match Two – Charlotte vs Lana
As Charlotte makes her way down into the ring, WWE reveal some insight into Lana and Tamina’s weird little relationship. Lana reveals that she looks up to Tamina and wants to be just like her, but “more charismatic, more beautiful, more ravishing” before revealing she’s going to challenge Charlotte. Well good luck with that one Lana.
Charlotte is all smiles as she toys with Lana. Lana goes for a sunset flip and almost gives the spectating crowd a lovely view of Charlottes, ahem, assets. “Thank you Lana” chants ring out around the arena… You stay classy, WWE Universe.
Lana turns to reveal an angered face in the corner after a few chops ad briefly takes the challenge to Charlotte whilst almost popping out off her leotard as well, Christ. She slaps Charlotte and is swiftly met with a big boot before tapping out to the Figure-Eight.
Result: Charlotte wins via Submission
A very short match. Lana didn’t have any time to make an impact over the obviously-dominant Charlotte, case closed!
Shane O’Mac: Rules Of Engagement
Alright, not only in this referencing one of the greatest SitComs of all time, but Shane O’Mac is laying down the law!
After the entrances and obligatory pre-segment chant wars, Shane starts off by mentioning that Owens had some “apprehensions” about him being the Special Guest Referee, namely screaming in his face that he couldn’t be impartial, subtle. Owens responds by apologising and saying it was all heat of the moment. “I’m not worried about you screwing me over, because you know what? We’ve already had a McMahon screw over a legendary Canadian for a title before!”, glorious heat level! He continues “of course he deserved, but I don’t!” amazing, textbook Owens. Changing targets, Owens throws back to when AJ beat the living sense out of Shane that resulted in Shane going headfirst through a car window. AJ quips he’d do it to anybody, “Don’t worry, I don’t trust anybody… least of all a McMahon!”
I mean, aren’t they meant to be sucking up to Shane, not being all aggro with him? Shane responds by mentioning that he may be confusing him with other family members (hint hint) and that he doesn’t operate like that. Owens subsequently doubts that, and brings up a clip of Survivor Series 1998. Stone Cold Steve Austin vs Mankind, Shane O’Mac as Referee. Austin hits a Stunner on Mankind and goes for the pin, McMahon hits the 1-2-… before flipping the bird at a bewildered Stone Cold. What a lovely trip down memory lane! Owens then shamelessly plus the WWE Network, that’ll be a nice little bit of cash in hand for him, eh? “AJ, trust me. Just go on and search, you’ll find hours of footage of this guy screwing wrestlers over when he’s the referee, you could practically make a network collection, just outta that!” 100% gold by KO. McMahon then guarantees he will impartial and will only get involved if he has to. Oooooooh.
AJ lays down the challenge of fighting right there, right then and Owens responds with “That sounds great, but to be completely honest with you, I’d rather win the United States Championship in the United States in a city that actually matters”, KO throwing that French-Canadian sass. Cue the standard mini melee, that ends with AJ accidentally hitting Shane with a Pele kick and Owens laughing to himself all the way up the ramp.
What a segment! Shots fired on all cylinders on all parties and there is genuine ambiguity to whichever side Shane may become impartial to. This is heading to be a very interesting match! My money’s on a Owens win, then Styles vs Nakamura for the WWE Championship, yes please!
Lana and Tamina
Tamina turns mystical sensei in this mini segment. She states it wasn’t her that got Lana her three consecutive title shots, but Lana’s own ambition. And now you’re gonna help me get mine!” My god, this is beyond odd now.
Match Three – Naomi vs Carmella
Carmella starts an early offensive as she gloats “This is your champ!?” before being met with a lovely enziguiri, classic.
ADVERTS. NEED I SAY MORE. STOP IT SMACKDOWN.
We “come back”, again in inverted commas, to Carmella grabbing a handful of Naomi’s hair. Naomi regains her composure and hits some acrobatic forearms, followed by her “light-up kicks” and a sit-out facebuster. In the corner, Naomi lands an absolutely beautiful roundhouse kick followed by a struggle on the top rope. Then ELLSWORTH reappears, and shunts Naomi off the top rope with the Referees back turned. A superkick by Carmella seals the win.
Result: Carmella win via Pin.
A pretty decent match considering how short it was. Completely ruined by that no-chin freak reappearing. Carmella is carrying momentum heading into SummerSlam week! Whatever the result of Naomi vs Natalya, expect a cash in.
Main Event – Randy Orton vs Jinder Mahal
Orton has this look in his eyes. No title on the line, but he finally has Jinder where he wants him. Alone, no distractions and no Singh Brothers. Still banking on a Khali appearance!
Straight away Orton leaps into attack, taking it outside with belly-to-back drops on the barriers and the announcers table. Orton rolls back inside and Mahal briefly takes advantage with some stomps but Orton regains control of the match. An RKO attempt on the announcers table is reverse as Mahal shoves Orton off the table and into the barrier of the Time Keepers area, as Orton tumbles over as we head into an actual non-advert-in-the-corner break. Satisfying, isn’t it?
We come back to Mahal with the advantage over Orton, as he goes for a shoulder tackle into the corner, which Orton dodges, sending Mahal slamming into the corner post. Orton manages to get Mahal to the top turnbuckle and hits a trademark superplex for a 2 count. Weirdly enough, he also hits Mahal with a fall-away slam, which is traditionally a “big-guy move”, Big Man Orton? Orton then goes for the 10 corner punches which classically get reversed by Mahal, who then runs into a textbook Orton powerslam. Mahal goes for a Khallas with Orton reverses, and sets Mahal up for his suspended-DDT and plants him into the canvas. The camera pans out wide as Orton taunts, ready for the RKO but Mahal see’s it coming, reversing into a roll-up for a 2 count before levelling Orton with a superkick. Mahal drags him up, readies him for the Khallas and… RKO OUTTA NOWHERE. Absolutely fucking sublime. Randy gets his long-awaited win over a solo Jinder Mahal!
Orton walks out, celebrating with his arms up in the air and… No Khali walkout? Ahh well.
BUT. Literally JUST BEFORE the show ends, Rusev appears with a jumoing superkick to Orton, then it cuts!
Result: Orton win via Pin.
The best match on the card, and it ended the match fitfully so! Orton finally gets his win over Mahal as the feud is ended, as we expect Nakamura and Mahal to exchange pleasantries next week. Both wrestlers looked strong, but Mahal looked slightly weaker due to the fact that the one match with no interference against Orton… He loses. But this IS Randy Orton, right? Shocked that they cut it just as Rusev made an appearance though, until next week!
A very decent showing! The matches were all above average (and given in some of their time restraints) and we saw some great wrestling and some great moves, namely Uso’s “Tequila Sunrise” and the Khallas-reversed-into-RKO, very good wrestling!
If anybody guessed that Arn Anderson was the one to destroy Tully, then slap them in their big fat stupid lying mouth. As always, an absolutely fantastic segment, I was laughing all the way through and it was hinted that Fandango stayed of the anal pro… Wardrobes? In all honestly, I ship Breezango so much. Breezango vs The Kanellis’ in a Love-Off Match (Breezy Bella pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeease!).
There we have it! Some 100% gold promos and dialogue, two new themes debuted, some excellent wrestling and wrestling maneuverers caps off a very decent episode! I’ll see you next week!