A video package detailing all the new arrivals on the brand opens the show. Kevin Owens and Charlotte, not surprisingly, are at the forefront.
The aforementioned Charlotte Flair comes out for our first segment. She’s growing impatient and communicates that via some badly scripted verbiage. Some Fast & Furious references are made. She saves herself with a “Whooooo!” Her impatience is due to being on the SmackDown roster for seven whole days and not yet receiving a Women’s Title shot. This brings out our champion Naomi.
The crowd seems less hot to see Naomi this week. Although there is one person with a sign “I drove six hours to see Naomi.” I’d hate to tell you about the last time I drove six hours for something. Naomi, the nice babyface champion that she is, just wants to fight right now. She then delivers a quick forearm to Charlotte, who bails.
Shane McMahon is out to announce that if Charlotte can beat Naomi tonight (non-title), then she gets a title shot next week. After Shane leaves, the two women brawl with Naomi standing tall at the end.
There’s a six pack challenge tonight to determine the #1 contender to the WWE Title.
Let’s take a look at the best moment, standout star and what fell short on this week’s SmackDown Live
The spoiler that we posted earlier today came to fruition. Jinder Mahal is your new #1 contender for Randy Orton’s WWE Title. He won the six-pack challenging by pinning Sami Zayn after the Bollywood Boyz showed up and interfered on his behalf, preventing Zayn from doing the Helluva Kick.
I concede to you that part of me is doing this to upset the so-called “smart marks” whining on Twitter. I swear that crowd has lost its mind. If only they were half as smart as they think they are.
For the record, I have zero issue with Mahal winning here. He’s a fresh face…or rather heel. Someone new getting the shot is a far better option than say Dolph Ziggler. Also, Mahal as #1 contender is probably nothing more than a “one-off” shot. You have to understand that no matter who you wanted to win this match, they probably weren’t going to beat Orton anyway. So the opportunity you think Zayn or Luke Harper “lost out on” here isn’t really there to begin with.
Also, while the match was your standard WWE multi-person match (near falls and breakups), it was pretty good. It got plenty of time and even the (now dreaded) “This is Awesome!” chant. Mahal’s post-match promo where he put over his intellect, family fortune and ability to speak two languages also drew legit heat, which is something that you couldn’t say about 95% of the performers tonight. Something I liked from the commentators during this match was them pushing the significance of getting a WWE Title shot and how it was a rare opportunity for these six. Spoiler aside, there not being an obvious winner to the match helped it.
By the way, Orton vs. Mahal will take place at Backlash in Chicago. That was made clear on commentary on tonight. This makes me think Orton’s House of Horrors match vs. Bray Wyatt is going to be non-title. How reminiscent of Hogan-Piper at Starrcade ’96! Either that, or creative isn’t even pretending that Wyatt has a chance, which would be dumb. The House of Horrors match was touched on, by the way, via a Wyatt promo. Orton had come out to confront Mahal before pivoting to Wyatt and then came the Wyatt promo. Mahal kind of disappeared during this, which seemed odd. We still don’t know what a “House of Horrors” match entails.
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