We’re five days away from Hell in a Cell and tensions are at an all time high on Smackdown Live. Some superstars were left standing while others were left down for the count. If you want to know who has the momentum going into this Sunday’s pay per view, then check out my recent review of Smackdown Live.
Smackdown Live comes to us from Denver, Colorado and I will say the Denver crowd was pretty solid most of the night. The show begins with Renee Young in the ring as she introduces the challenger for the WWE World Championship, Shinsuke Nakamura. Renee asks Shinsuke how has the recent insults towards him from Jinder affected him going into his championship match this Sunday? Nakamura responds that sticks and stones may break his bones, but words will never hurt me. Nakamura later in the promo says that the greatest fear of all is the fear of the unknown, but Jinder Mahal will know when he beats him and becomes WWE Champion.
The Singh Brothers then come out to interrupt Nakamura to introduce the Modern Day Mahajara, but it turns out to be a trap. Mahal attacks Nakamura from behind, but Nakamura gains the upper hand on Mahal and then takes care of the Singh Brothers as they run down to help. Nakamura looks to deliver the Kinshasa for the second week in a row, but the Singh Brothers grab Nakamura by the ankles allowing Mahal to get the upper hand again. Jinder and the Singh Brothers then triple team Shinsuke as the Denver fans chant “YOU SUCK!!” before Mahal finishes off Nakamura with the Khallas.
Chairman’s Take: The segment did what it needed to do and I’m just happy we didn’t have to listen to Mahal and his terrible attempt at being funny. Clearly Jinder Mahal needed to look strong going into his title defense and he did by hitting Nakamura with his signature move, the Khallas.
Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch vs Natalya and Carmella w/ James Ellsworth
.The first match of the evening puts the challenger for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Charlotte alongside her friend Becky Lynch to take on Smackdown Live Women’s Champion Natalya and Ms. Money in the Bank Carmella. Before the match, there was a segment from earlier in the day where Natalya warns Carmella about cashing in and then Ellsworth barks which prompts Natalya to tell James that if he’s the male dog then that would make Carmella the female dog and you know what that means…
Match starts with Becky going after Carmella with straight fire prompting her to escape to the outside. As Carmella and Natalya discuss strategy, they get taken out by a double baseball slide by Charlotte and Becky before cutting to commercial.
Smackdown Live returns with Natalya holding Becky Lynch in a headlock. Natalya has the upper hand for awhile, but then starts taunting Charlotte which gives Becky an opening for a rollup pin. Natalya however kicked out, but Becky was able to tag in a fresh Charlotte. Charlotte starts delivering her patented Flair chops. Becky and Carmella start getting into it on the outside as Charlotte delivers a spear to Natalya setting up the figure eight, but Natalya escapes before being put in the submission. With the ref distracted, Carmella on the outside hits Becky with her briefcase. Charlotte then ends up with her back turned to Natalya which doesn’t end well for Charlotte as she moments later finds herself tapping out to the Sharpshooter.
WINNER: Natalya and Carmella via submission
Chairman’s Take: Decent first match, the story here was to progress the build for the Natalya and Charlotte match at Hell in a Cell and it did its job. Was a little surprised to see Charlotte tap out to Natalya, kind of figured Becky or Carmella would’ve been taken any falls here to protect both champion and challenger for this Sunday. Curious to see if Carmella gets involved this Sunday with her Money in the Bank briefcase?
Lengthy promotional video to hype up Kevin Owens vs Shane McMahon at Hell in a Cell.
Mike Kanellis vs Bobby Roode
Back from break and Mike Kanellis is in the ring awaiting his opponent. His wife Maria is absent and more than likely will be being she’s pregnant. Roode then comes out and this match was over before it started. Kanellis got very little offense in, but Roode with a spinebuster followed up with the Glorious DDT took care of the Power of Love.
WINNER: Bobby Roode via pinfall
Bobby Roode’s opponent at Hell in a Cell Dolph Ziggler makes his presence felt after Roode’s victory. Ziggler congratulates Roode on his win and Ziggler is running down some ideas of what to do for an entrance for their match this Sunday. Everything from sirens, a marching band drum, confetti, to a airhorn. Ziggler then starts asking the Denver fans if they’re excited? Ziggler then tears into Roode about his entrance and how he weaseled his way into the back door of WWE because of it. Ziggler then tells Roode he’ll show the world an entrance this Sunday and that Roode will only be known as nothing more than an entrance.
Roode then tells Ziggler that his entrance was horrible and Roode ends the segment doing his Glorious pose.
Chairman’s Take: The match Mike Kanellis was in did nothing for him at all. I’m still trying to figure out why WWE brought him in only to job him out? Either or, it was a typical enhancement match to make Roode look strong. Then of course we had another segment to follow to hype up the Hell in a Cell match between Ziggler and Roode. This promo wasn’t very good, I’m hoping the match this Sunday delivers.
The Usos come out and talk about their upcoming match at Hell in a Cell against the New Day. Usos point out that there’ll only be two of them locked inside Hell in a Cell while the third New Day member will be outside eating Booty O’s. Inside the Uso Penitentiary, there will be no Booty O’s, no rainbows, no twerkin, and no sunshines. Usos then go on and talk about how they’ve put in the work and elevated the tag team division and are about to become five time tag team champions.
New Day interrupts the Usos and promote their new underwear? Since the Usos are talking about their rights, New Day decides to talk about lefts. They talk about how they left all the fans in awe after every match whether it’s a preshow match or on the main card. New Day then makes sure to tell the Usos that the last time they met, the New Day left with the WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team titles and they’re going to be left in their own day one ish this Sunday.
Chairman’s Take: Another segment hyping up Hell in a Cell. The New Day and Usos have had better segments big time, granted this match could steal the show being the New Day and Usos feud has been amazing!
Jinder Mahal is backstage cutting a promo reminding the Smackdown Live fans of what he did to Shinsuke Nakamura earlier in the show. Mahal then boldly states that he will leave Hell in a Cell still the WWE Champion.
Hell in a Cell kickoff show will feature Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin taking on the Hype Bros.
Fashion Files that was supposed to be tonight will be airing instead at Hell in a Cell.
Tye Dillinger vs Baron Corbin
Dillinger is already in the ring as Baron Corbin heads down to wrestle him again this week. Dillinger goes on the offense quickly and isn’t backing down to the bigger Corbin. AJ Styles is shown backstage watching closely as he is putting his WWE United States Championship on the line this Sunday at Hell in a Cell against Baron Corbin. Dillinger delivers a superkick to Corbin which knocks him to the outside before a break.
We come back and Dillinger gets knocked off the apron by Corbin and crashes into the steel steps. Corbin continues his assault and at one point hangs Dillinger upside down on the ropes and then delivers a massive shot to his gut. Corbin is getting confident and goes for a big move on Dillinger, but Dillinger ends up escaping and quickly rolls up Corbin for a pinfall victory.
WINNER: Tye Dillinger via pinfall
Corbin is throwing a tantrum as AJ Styles shows up on the titantron. Styles tells Corbin that nothing makes him happier than seeing him squander another opportunity. AJ reminds Corbin of all his failures such as losing to John Cena at Summerslam, failing his Money in the Bank cash in, and even his match against Dillinger tonight. Styles then tells Corbin that taking shortcuts isn’t going to work with him because his opportunity is going to get cut short.
Chairman’s Take: Since they wrestled last week, why not again right? This match wasn’t as good as last weeks, but Dillinger did come away with a surprise victory. I was kind of wishing that Tye Dillinger would’ve been inserted into the WWE United States Championship match at Hell in a Cell for beating Corbin, but clearly that wasn’t part of the plan. Corbin meanwhile is going down a downward spiral and I don’t see it getting any better for him this Sunday.
Susan G Komen presentation with Dana Warrior
Aiden English vs Randy Orton
.We come back with Rusev and Aiden English in the ring and Rusev cuts a promo about how last week was supposed to be Happy Rusev Day, but Randy Orton ruined it. Rusev said it’s okay though because there will be more Rusev Days and this Sunday he will break Orton in front of the WWE Universe and his family will be embarrassed to look into his eyes. Orton’s theme hits as he heads to the ring.
Bell sounds and Rusev jumps onto the apron to distract Orton, English gets some brief offense in. Orton however almost landed an RKO right away, but English escaped. They wrestle for a minute maybe before English tries to Irish whip Orton, but Orton counters and then on the return Orton hoists English up into the air and RKO’s him for the win.
WINNER: Randy Orton via pinfall
Cut backstage where Sami Zayn warns Shane McMahon about Kevin Owens. Shane isn’t worried at all. Sami then warns Shane that Kevin Owens is a different person now and that he’s snapped. Shane closed the conversation by saying you take care of you and I’ll take care of me.
Shane McMahon is in the ring and addresses the Denver crowd. He calls out Owens for his face to face confrontation. Owens of course no shows. Shane isn’t surprised by the result and calls Owens a coward for disrespecting his family, attacking his father, and using Sami Zayn as a human shield to aid in his escape. Shane then adds a stipulation to their Hell in a Cell match making it Falls Count Anywhere!!!
Kevin Owens then comes thru the crowd and asks Shane if he’s looking for something. KO then mocks Shane’s entrance theme “Here Comes the Money.” Shane continues telling Kevin to come to the ring. Owens decided however he’s spent enough time in Denver and he’d see Shane Sunday. McMahon then states that if you’re not bringing the fight to me, I’ll bring the fight to you.
Shane goes into the crowd and ends up in the concourse searching for Kevin Owens. Of course Owens ambushes Shane from behind and they fight around the merchandise table before Kevin Owens eventually powerbombs him thru a table. Owens then heads back to the ring and tells Shane McMahon he has no idea what’s coming for him at Hell in a Cell. Owens told McMahon that he’d powerbomb him over and over until he forgot his kids names. Owens then told McMahon to not worry about jumping off Hell in a Cell because Owens claimed that he’s throwing Shane McMahon off the Hell in a Cell and he wouldn’t get back up.
The Denver fans start cheering as Shane McMahon appears in the crowd and heads to the ring. Owens warns McMahon to think twice and if he wants to make it to Hell in a Cell he’d stop. Owens then decides to ambush Shane and they brawl in the front row of the crowd. McMahon ends up throwing Owens over the barricade, then jumps off the barricade into Owens. Owens though ends up taking control by throwing McMahon over the commentary table. Eventually they end up in the ring where Owens superkicks McMahon and was going to leave. Owens however returns and headbutts McMahon and finishes him off with a pop up powerbomb to end Smackdown Live.
Chairman’s Take: If you weren’t invested in the feud between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon, this face to face confrontation took things to the next level. Clearly Hell in a Cell isn’t going to be big enough for this rivalry and who knows where it’s going to end up this Sunday.
RATING: 3 out of 10 stars…… I’m going to be honest, this was not a good episode of Smackdown Live. I felt it was lazy and the writers treated it as a throwaway episode. There was more hype put into Hell in a Cell in segments than we had action in the ring. We only had four matches and two of them ended within two minutes. Another one we seen last week leaving the women’s tag match the only decent match of the night. The segments accomplished their job sure, but I felt most of them were written because they were obligated. Plus when they advertise Fashion Files and don’t deliver, that’s another strike in my book. The only positive I have to say is that Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon delivered once again and was the highlight of the show. The rest of it could be skipped honestly.
With that being said, that concludes this recap of Smackdown Live. I’ll be checking out Hell in a Cell this Sunday hoping the hype on some of these matches delivers. Thanks for reading and let me know what you liked, didn’t like about this episode of Smackdown Live. Check me out on Twitter @chairmanpodcast. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your week!