Hey there, guys. David Spain here, coming at you with another instalment of SmackDown Live goodness. On Monday night, the brave boys and girls of the blue show orchestrated a sneak attack on RAW‘s talent, who were minding their own business and not bothering anyone.
Are we the baddies?
Anyhow, we really need to get to the heart of this, so let’s dive right in and see just what the fuck is going on, because I am very disappointed in SmackDown Live right now.
“Sami Zayn” is a whole new level of happy
The show kicks off with Shane McMahon, who apparently concussed his way into being an asshole at Hell in a Cell. Tom Phillips is still “on assignment”, which is the one phrase they insist on using regarding his whereabouts. He’s assassinating world leaders is what he’s doing.
Shane tries to get some sympathy for his injuries and hopes that we’ll all forgive his monumental dickholishness on Monday. Personally I hope he gets kicked repeatedly in the kidneys by Kurt Angle tonight. He says that if you’re in a fight, strike first. Surely that’s just you starting a fight.
Shane says that AJ Styles was his spy in the RAW locker room, and that Kurt should have been way more suspicious considering that this sort of shit happens every year. Shane is still referring to his operation as “hashtag under siege”, the grey-haired douchenozzle, and promises that they’re ready for any attempts from RAW tonight.
Sami Zayn arrives, and I’m both happy to see him and hopeful that he hospitalises Shane again. Seriously: this is not the SmackDown I know and love. I feel like my kid’s been selling heroin.
Sami says that he hopes that there are no hard feelings about Hell in a Cell. Shane says that there are, and asks that if Zayn cared about Kevin Owens’ health enough to pull him out of harm’s way a few weeks back, then what was he thinking about Shane’s wellbeing? Probably very little, Shane. Also, you were trying to jump on top of a guy when that incident happened, so fuck you and your hypocritical, broken body.
Zayn makes a very unveiled threat to Shane about what would happen if McMahon was here as a competitor and not the Commissioner. But despite all that, they’re happy to help out SmackDown when it comes to Survivor Series, because Shane is smart enough to realise that he actually needs them.
Shane says that he doesn’t want or need them, which is total and complete bollocks, but he’s going to give Zayn a chance to be on the team if he defeats his opponent…Randy Orton.
The Usos are on commentary for this match: the New Day vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. Hell of a match-up for free TV. Both teams make their way to the ring as we relive Gable and Benjamin being dicks to the Usos backstage.
Gable and Woods start off in the ring, with Gable knocking Xavier down before running into a dropkick. He tags in Shelton, who squares off with Kofi Kingston. Benjamin hits a monkey flip, which Kofi somersaults out of, hitting a monkey flip of his own…and Shelton lands on his feet. Kingston knocks Benjamin down as Woods tags in, hitting a double-team flurry. Kofi tags back in before Shelton clotheslines him out of the ring and into a commercial.
When we come back, Benjamin is in full control of Kingston, until the former chant rocks him with a DDT. Both Woods and Gable tag in, with Xavier gaining the upper hand before Gable floors Woods with a kick and Benjamin comes back in. Woods gets worked over, escapes with some fucking nasty strikes before Shelton plants him with a spinebuster.
Gable tags in, taking Kingston out with a flying crossbody and pinning Woods after Shelton kicks him in the back.
Decent match, but I want to see more of what this new team is capable of. 2.5 Stars.
The gals are backstage chatting shit about the RAW women’s team before Bryan shows up. He tells Lana that she’s not on the fucking team, because he’s goddamn smart. And then makes a fatal five-way match to decide who’s going to be leader. Oh Daniel: your terrible grasp of human relationships continues to amuse.
Breezango and the Ascension do their parody of Reservoir Dogs, with two of those people looking great in suits. They’ve also kidnapped James Ellsworth, and Carmella arrives to rescue him. The Ascension point out that they’re actually terrible detectives, and this is one of my favourite weekly segments in wrestling.
Here’s Baron Corbin, fresh off losing to Sin Cara a week ago like the giant, balding bitch that he is. We get a clip of Bryan and Shane talking backstage, and apparently McMahon never told Danny Boy about this. Oh God: it’s the start of the inevitable break-up. Is Bryan a mole, or does he just have a fucking conscience, SHANE?
Sin Cara then arrives, ready to either get his ass handed to him or prove me wrong yet again. Corbin starts off with some fucking intensity, beating the absolute luchador out of Sin Cara.
Sin Cara rallies, hitting some quick strikes before hitting a springboard, knocking Corbin out of the ring and then diving out on him! Missile dropkick from the top rope gets two, and Baron has to take a break on the outside…and then hits the ring in a rage. FUCKING RAGE. Corbin pounds Sin Cara into a sticky paste, picking up the DQ.
Poor, poor Baron Corbin. 2 Stars.
Corbin hits the End of Days to Sin Cara and starts roaring indiscriminately. Haha: what a tosser.
The Singh Brothers arrive, and I refuse to learn their names. They introduce Jinder, and Mahal gets on the microphone. Damn, that man looks good in every suit he wears. He calls Paul Heyman a liar, and we see a clip of Heyman verbally ripping Mahal a fucking new one. Jinder says that he’s earned everything he’s gotten, but he can’t get no respect.
And now onto the main reason we’re here: to watch a Singh Brother die. AJ Styles, who has now come in from the cold, arrives to murder a man. Jinder Mahal gets ejected from ringside, because fuck you and fuck your friend, Champ, and AJ Styles commences with the torture of Singh Brother 2. Singh Brother 1 tries to interfere, gets beaten up, and AJ Styles wins via the Calf Crusher.
Pretty much the best way it could have gone. 2 Stars.
Owens finds Zayn in the locker room, and apparently he has a qualifying match next week against Shinsuke Nakamura. Jesus, this qualifying set-up is fucking SmackDown Live six ways from Sunday. Just put all four guys on a team, plus AJ Styles, and…win, I guess?
Backstage, Jinder Mahal is furious about AJ Styles, and demands that Singh Brother 1 face Styles next week.
Natalya’s popularity is just soaring
Becky Lynch, Carmella and Tamina just got jobber entranced, so guess who’s not going to be team leader. Not that the team leader is anything other than a worthless title in wrestling, but I’ve never once accused wrestlers of intelligence. Naomi and Charlotte arrive, and let’s see who gets to wear the captain’s jersey.
Yeah, that’s right: there’s no captain’s jersey. Who the fuck even wants this job?
Natalya gets introduced in Banana Republic-esque style before that match, pissing off everyone, and then leaves. Well, that should make life interesting for her.
Match kicks off, with Tamina laying out Naomi, Becky, Charlotte and then Samoan Dropping Carmella, standing tall and alone during the break. When we come back, the chaos continues as Carmella tries to slay the giantess Tamina. Charlotte lends a hand, beating the fuck out of first Tamina and then Carmella. She hits Snuka with a fallaway slam before Becky hits a forearm from the apron. Naomi takes her out with a vaulting body press from the top rope.
Naomi tries to hurricanrana Charlotte, but the Flair stops her with her power before whipping her right into the barricade. Lana jumps Charlotte, receiving a big old punch to the mouth. Superkick from Tamina lays out a distracted Charlotte before the big lass throws her over the barricade. Becky tries to take advantage, but Tamina mauls her before tossing Lynch back into the ring.
Naomi kicks Tamina to the floor, almost gets rolled up by Becky before getting tossed into the ring post by Carmella. A superkick to Becky fails to get the job done, and the Irish Lasskicker applies the Disarmer! Carmella taps out; Becky Lynch wins the job that no-one should want!
I’m both surprised and happy with the result. Really hope this is something leading towards another title reign for Becky. 2.5 Stars.
We see a promo for the Bludgeon Brothers, followed by Renee trying to interview Dolph Ziggler and Dolph Ziggler being a stupid, meta prick. He runs down Bobby Roode until Mr Glorious shows up to challenge him to another match. Dolph wants no part of it, until Bobs makes it interesting: two out of three falls match next week. The winner will apparently join Team SmackDown Live!
Pretty much the wrestling definition of “karma”
Main event time: Sami Zayn is here to try and become a part of team SmackDown. And Randy Orton is here, and hearing voices. We have a commercial break, and then it’s time to get it on.
Sami and Orton lock up, with Zayn forcing Orton back into a corner before breaking clean. Sami then locks the arm, gets Orton in a corner again and then clean breaks again before slapping Orton lightly on the chest. Randy’s backed into the corner for a third time before getting some knife-edge chops. Orton returns a huge uppercut and starts fucking Sami up.
Zayn is finally able to bail to the outside, and Orton follows him out, sending him back inside. Sami takes advantage with a baseball slide, going after Orton at ringside. Randy whips Sami at the barricade, but Zayn leaps onto it and moonsaults back onto Orton as we go to a commercial break. When we come back, Sami is working Orton over pretty handily, until Randy drops him right onto the top rope from a suplex.
Sami avoids a Vintage DDT and drags Orton out of the ring. Randy shoves Sami towards the announce table; Zayn leaps onto it once again but this time Randy is lying in wait and pulls Zayn back down, back suplexing him onto the table. Back in the ring, Sami tries for an exploder suplex but Orton counters with one of his own. Crossbody from Zayn almost takes out Randy, then a backslide nearly catches him too.
Zayn lays Orton out with a big boot and heads up to the top. Randy catches him, laying into him with some right hands before bringing him down with a superplex for a near fall! Zayn rolls out of the ring, followed by Randy. Sami runs Orton into the ring post, dives through the ropes and takes Orton down with a DDT!
Back in the ring, Orton dodges a Helluva Kick, then hits the Vintage DDT. He’s measuring Sami for the RKO, but then Owens runs down for a distraction! Sami rolls Orton up, but Randy kicks out. With the ref distracted, Randy low-blows Sami and then hits an RKO whilst staring down Owens! Orton is the first member of Team SmackDown Live!
Smart move having Orton on the team, seeing as how Survivor Series is very much his show. The match itself was really good. 3 Stars.
Backstage, Shane seems happy with how things went, but Bryan warns him of retaliation by RAW in their future.
The bad: nothing really stood out except for Ziggler’s grating personality. I’m not too keen on SmackDown being the asshole show this year, but I’m sure I’ll get over it.
The good: nice Orton/Zayn match with a smart decision. Everything else was pretty competent, and I’m happy that Becky is Team Captain: maybe this year the role could even mean something. 7/10.
Tags: AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Becky Lynch, Bobby Roode, Breezango, byron saxton, Carmella, Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin, charlotte, Corey Graves, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, James Ellsworth, Jinder Mahal, Lana, naomi, natalya neidhart, sami zayn, Shane McMahon, Sin Cara, smackdown live, Sunil Singh, tamina, The Ascension, The New Day, the usos, Tom Phillips