Welcome to the latest edition of WWE SmackDown Live. If you’re here for Randy Orton-Jinder Mahal fights, you’re in luck! We’ve got tons of ’em!
It’s been a bit of a slow news week on the SmackDown side of things. While Raw is forced to deal with rumors of their world champion’s departure to UFC, along with a couple of doleful injuries to Bayley and Scott Dawson, the extent of SmackDown’s cause for conversation has been fantasy booking Nakamura-Mahal and talking about how we’re glad that John Cena’s head is still attached to his body. With Raw’s news cycle is being dominated by injuries and a top guy not renewing his contract, perhaps no news is good news for the Blue Team.
If you missed last week’s show, it was the second consecutive above average episode of SmackDown after a couple months of rough ones, and they’ve done a nice job building towards Summerslam. A.J. Styles successfully defended his U.S. Title against Kevin Owens, leading to a rematch at Summerslam that Shane McMahon will be the special referee for. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated John Cena to earn the right to take on Mahal for the WWE Championship, and it’s a match you should check out if you haven’t already. Chad Gable continued to prove himself as a single’s competitor with a great showing in a loss to Rusev, who is now beefing with Randy Orton. There were a couple of “whatever” matches between Sami Zayn and Aiden English, along with another Women’s Division tag match. And we some stuff from the ‘Fashion Files’ as well as the Usos-New Day feud that proved entertaining even though neither story line was really progressed.
Taking a look at our SmackDown Live preview, here’s what we knew heading into Tuesday night’s show:
- Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal would go one-on-one, and I wish I had a better joke for this but my Orton-Mahal reserve is really tapped out at this point. No one wants to see this match. Not one single person.
- Shane McMahon would issue the “rules of engagement” to A.J. Styles and Kevin Owens for their match at Summerslam, and to reiterate a point I made in last week’s recap: Shane being the referee is not a thing I’m in love with. Owens and Styles have already had a pair of fluky finishes, and they don’t need another one via Shane-O-Mac involvement. The only clean finish these two have had during this feud was off of TV with Styles winning the belt at the MSG house show, and if Summerslam is the blow-off, there has to be a clean finish. You’re all but guarenteed at least a 4-star match with these two, so let’s hope that WWE just lets them do it without undercutting it to get to a match with Owens and Shane.
- Naomi would take on Carmella, and Charlotte would have a match with Lana. I continue to be bitter about how Charlotte has been utilized since coming over to SmackDown, but I tried to go into this with a positive attitude. We don’t get enough singles matches in the Women’s Division, so two of them here is a welcomed change.
- “Will Tyler Breeze solve the mystery in return to ‘Fashion Peaks?’ Probably not. But we’re all in anyway.
Who will gain momentum as we get closer to Summerslam? What’s next for John Cena after last week’s loss to Nakamura? Will the person who booked another Orton-Mahal match be made to answer for their crimes? Read on to find out!
The show opens with John Cena, adjusting his neck like a ‘G’ and trying to convince us that his insides aren’t made of robot parts. You might not know this, but some of y’all like John Cena, and some of y’all don’t like John Cena, and John Cena is totally okay with it.
Cena is actually cutting a pretty solid promo, but he’s interrupted by Baron Corbin, who’s entrance music has been downgraded to “half-Kane, half-shitty generic WWE 2K creation suite” music. I’m not sure what’s going on with WWE entrance themes lately, but it seems like part of the cost-cutting initiative has involved them paying $2.99 for shit they find by doing Google searches “non-copyrighted music.” It’s really, really bad, and very poor timing for a guy who’s going to hold the WWE Championship in the near future.
— WWE (@WWE) August 9, 2017
Cena pretty handily destroys Corbin on the mic, then challenges him to a match. Corbin declines, then Daniel Bryan comes out to announce that the match will take place at Summerslam. It was a fine way to open the show, they get a couple more big names added to the Summerslam card and they did it quickly. It would have been nice if they went into a little more detail about what happened after SmackDown went off the air last week as opposed to just mentioned it in passing, but we’ll see what they do during next week’s go-home show to add some more depth to the angle.
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