Clash of Champions is coming up for the Smackdown Live brand, but there are bigger issues on the blue brand than championships. The war between Shane McMahon and the duo of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens continues on. Find out Shane’s reaction to Daniel Bryan for not firing them last week and what happens in the main event between Owens and Randy Orton. Also see how AJ Styles fares against the Singh Brothers in a two on one handicap match and much more in this recap of Smackdown Live.
The show kicks off with Shane McMahon going to the ring. Shane flat out said he wanted to fire Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn last week, but left it in the hands of Daniel Bryan. Bryan however wanted to put the pair in a lumberjack match first, but Bryan didn’t fire them. He instead booked Owens in a match against Randy Orton. Shane calls Daniel to the ring to address the issue. Bryan is a firm believer in second chances considering he was fired once. Bryan also said that Owens and Zayn have made some bad decisions recently such as getting involved in the Survivor Series match. Shane reminded Daniel about Owens attacking his father Vince McMahon and Sami Zayn costing him his match at Hell in a Cell against Owens. Bryan said if we fire them, they’d probably end up Raw. Shane of course was fine with that and let them become his sister Stephanie’s problem. Bryan went on to say he’s not a yes man and if that’s what Shane wants he’s not his guy. However if wants a guy that recognizes in ring talent and likes to give opportunities, then he is his guy. Shane did say he liked the match Daniel booked between Owens and Orton. However he is banning the newsies paperboy Sami Zayn from ringside and making the match no disqualification.
Backstage Zayn and Owens confront Bryan regarding the changes Shane McMahon made to the main event having concern for Owens safety. Bryan refused to do anything about it and the duo told him if anything happens to Owens then it’s on him.
New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods w/ Big E) vs Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
First match of Smackdown Live focuses on the tag team division. Both New Day and Gable and Benjamin would love a shot at the Usos title belts, so this match could very well decide who’s next in line for a title shot. Speaking of the Usos, they’re doing guest commentary and eating pancakes? Match starts off with New Day getting the upper hand, but Benjamin manages to turn it around just before the break. After the break we see Xavier Woods hit Benjamin with a jawbreaker, but moments later Benjamin grabs Xavier and Gable leaps off the second rope and hit him with a flying knee. Gable starts beating Woods down in the corner and then starts to lift him up the turnbuckle. Gable looks for a big move, but Woods fights Gable off with a series of headbutts and takes Gable down with a missile dropkick. Xavier tags in Kofi and Kofi starts a series of offense, Benjamin gains control back briefly, but Kofi takes him down with a flying crossbody. Benjamin however manages to roll Kofi up, but he kicked out. Kofi is back on the attack and hits Benjamin with his signature Boom Drop. Kofi measures up the Trouble in Paradise, but Benjamin avoids it and grabs Kofi. Kofi though is able to send Benjamin over the ropes to the outside. Gable charges, but gets dumped outside as well. Xavier gets tagged in and he goes flying over the ropes and takes down the opposition. Kofi and Xavier manage to get Benjamin back in the ring and finish him off with the tag team finisher UpUpDownDown.
WINNERS: The New Day via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: With New Day getting a big win over pretty much the only other tag team in the title hunt, there’s a chance we could get another chapter in the New Day Usos rivalry? Clash of Champions perhaps? Let’s be real here. Breezango and Ascension are too busy making skits and unless the Bludgeon Brothers get a massive push, New Day and Usos are in the forecast, which isn’t a bad thing.
Charlotte and Naomi are backstage talking about their six women tag match later in the evening and how they’re looking for payback against the newcomers from NXT Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan. Natalya interrupts saying Charlotte is lucky the match was thrown out otherwise she would’ve won her title back. The three women eventually get on the same page and put their focus on making everyone forget about the NXT newcomers.
Bludgeon Brothers (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder)
Hype Bros wanted a rematch. The match was over in seconds as the Bludgeon Brothers dominated once again.
WINNERS: Bludgeon Brothers via pinfall
After the match, Zack Ryder went on about the team’s recent struggles. Mojo Rawley however attacked Ryder from behind signaling the end of the Hype Bros that many have speculated for months.
Backstage Bobby Roode is being interviewed. Roode talks about Baron Corbin hitting him last week in the lumberjack match. Roode goes on about Corbin and when someone smarter and better than him is on the verge of taking his United States Championship, he gets scared and holds the title tight. Corbin lashes out against the threat and that just so happen threat is absolutely…… Corbin cuts Roode off saying if he thinks he’s scared of him that he is delirious. Roode said if he’s not scared, there’s only one way to prove it. Put the title on the line tonight. Corbin says NO and walks away.
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Well the Bludgeon Brothers are getting the hot reboot push. Curious to see how far this goes. As for the Hype Bros, they’re finally gone. Ryder definitely has the tools to make it in the midcard, but being on Smackdown will limit his appearances opposed to the three hour Raw. Mojo however is another story and will probably fade to oblivion once this tag team fallout storyline concludes. As for Corbin and Roode, more than likely they’ll settle this at Clash of Champions. I’m really hoping WWE makes the title change in favor of Bobby Roode. Roode is championship material, Corbin has been given opportunities, but he just isn’t catching on.
AJ Styles vs The Singh Brothers (2 on 1 Handicap Match)
Before the match, Jinder Mahal ambushes Styles from behind. After the break, the match begins and the Singh Brothers take advantage of the situation. Styles tries to fight back, but the pre match attack and numbers game is too much to overcome. Eventually the Singh Brothers have Styles in the corner and lift him up the ropes. Styles however manages to fight off the Singh Brothers. Mahal jumps on the apron only to get kicked off for his troubles. Samir tries a hurricanrana on Styles, but he blocks it and turns it into a Styles Clash off the second rope and lands on Sunil to earn a pinfall victory. Mahal runs in for an attack after the match, but Styles escapes. A frustrated Jinder Mahal starts attacking the Singh Brothers for failing in their match.
WINNER: AJ Styles via pinfall.
It is confirmed that the team of Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan will be known as the Riott Squad.
The Riott Squad (Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan) vs Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Natalya
Ruby and Natalya start the match, but after the newcomers quickly get the upper hand on the veteran Natalya, she walks out on her teammates. After the break Charlotte runs into the corner and knocks the Riott Squad members off the apron and then goes outside after Ruby. However the strength in numbers is too much for Charlotte. Charlotte is taking some abuse, but once she finally is able to head to Naomi for a tag. Naomi ends up getting knocked to the floor by Logan and Morgan. The Riott Squad throw Naomi into the barricade then throw her into the steps standing up. They finish Naomi off with the steps leaning on the barricade and Naomi underneath getting slingshot into them. Charlotte makes a brief comeback, even spearing Liv. However, the numbers are too great even for the champ and Ruby finishes the match off pinning Charlotte.
WINNER: The Riott Squad via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’s TAKE: Still getting used to Ruby and Liv being heels. Ruby at least has a heelish look, but Liv is way too babyface looking still. Either or, big win for the NXT callups. Ruby even pinned the champ Charlotte which in WWE logic means she should receive a title shot in the future. The women of Smackdown Live have been put on notice with the Riott Squad. I’m still bitter the Iconic Duo Peyton Royce and Billie Kay didn’t get this nod instead, but it is what it is.
There was an attempt to interview Randy Orton before his match, he didn’t say a word and headed towards ringside.
Fashion Files did a parody on Saw….
Randy Orton vs Kevin Owens (No Disqualification Match)
Orton wastes no time on his attack of Owens. He goes for the RKO right away, but Owens escapes to the outside. Orton not messing around chases him outside and clotheslines him. Owens then gets tossed into the steps and his head smashed on the apron and tossed over the commentary table. Orton not holding back with his uppercuts and then decides to take things up a notch with a kendo stick. Owens is getting battered by Orton with a kendo stick and Orton even searches for a second kendo stick. Eventually though Owens manages to get ahold of a kendo stick himself and hits Orton in the hamstring. Orton gets thrown into the ringpost and Owens delivers a fallaway slam into the barricade before the break.
Owens continues his attack with a kendo stick, but Orton with a thumb to the eye gets momentum back. Owens though regains control and gets Orton down. Owens with a senton and a cover, but Orton kicked out. Owens puts Orton in a headlock. Orton sees a kendo stick nearby and tries grabbing it. Owens realizing what Orton is up to grabs the stick himself and strikes. Owens continues his assault and with Orton resting in the corner, Owens goes for his cannonball, but Orton dodges. Orton then lifts Owens up the turnbuckle. The two superstars batter each other jockeying for position. Eventually Orton with some vicious headbutts gets the upperhand and Orton delivers a superplex to Owens off the top. Orton covers, but KO kicks out. Orton hits his famous powerslam to Owens for a pin, but another kickout. Orton then gets Owens feet first into the ropes setting up the elevated DDT from the ropes, but Owens escapes and drops the throat of Orton across the rope. Orton though gains control again and drops Owens on top of the commentary table. Orton throws Owens back into the ring and strikes his signature pose getting ready for the RKO. Owens though realizing what’s happening escapes the ring and runs into the crowd. Orton chases and beats Owens up to the stage and down the aisle. Sami Zayn though runs out with a chair and strikes Orton several times including the injured hamstring. Owens takes Orton back to the ring to finish the match, but Orton manages to somehow deliver the elevated DDT from the ropes. Orton then is about to hit the RKO, but Owens quickly hits the injured hamstring of Orton and instantly superkicks him. Owens goes to the top rope and hits a frogsplash to finish the match.
WINNER: Kevin Owens via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Great match! I haven’t enjoyed many Orton matches this year, but this was one of them I enjoyed. He started showing his vicious side again and the storytelling with Owens was fantastic. Zayn’s involvement tainted the victory you could say, but he didn’t approach ringside. It’ll be interesting to see what the reaction of Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan is next week regarding these recent events.
RATING: 6 out of 10. Average episode of Smackdown Live in my opinion. I loved the main event and the circumstances surrounding it. Eventually Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are going to have a fallout because they’re going to have different opinions regarding Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. The tag team division is also on fire. I thought the opening match was solid. I’d be interested in seeing Usos, New Day, and Gable & Benjamin in a triple threat match at some point. The Riott Squad did what they needed to do and as I said before, getting the pin on Charlotte was huge. Plus there’s going to be a bigger rift between Natalya and Charlotte for abandoning her team. The AJ Styles Jinder Mahal feud just needs to end. The sooner Clash of Champions comes and goes the better. I’m tired of Styles wasting his time with the Singh Brothers and Mahal. I’d love to see Styles become the primary target of Owens and Zayn myself. I’m also excited for the potential title match Bobby Roode could be getting against Baron Corbin for the US title. The only burning question I have is what the hell are they doing with Shinsuke Nakamura??? One of the most talented superstars and you seriously can’t find anything for him. A squash match would be better than nothing. I really hope there is something big for him. Anyways that’s it for me. Follow @chairmanpodcast at Twitter and thanks for reading.