The New Day vs. The Revival & Randy Orton: Smackdown Live would kick off the show with a 6-Man Tag Match. Out the gate, The New Day would be in control of the match until the first commercial break. Once we returned, the heels would be in control with The Revival and Randy Orton dominating over Woods, focusing on his left leg for nine of the nineteen-minute match. After a hot tag on Kofi, the match would begin to fall apart with everyone attacking everyone, and Kofi would pick up the win, landing the Trouble In Paradise on The Revival’s Dawson.
The issue with this match was that it was boring. We’ve seen this match and it’s set up more times than I can remember these last three months, and it’s always centered around Woods. Woods gets tagged in; Woods gets the crap beat out of him; Woods puts up a good fight but loses, and then Woods hot tags in. This has been the setup for months and it’s old.
What makes this match even worse is that WWE took a pretty solid rivalry with classic heel storytelling to set up Brock Lesnar challenging Kingston for the WWE Title, muting everything that’s gone down between Orton and Kingston these last few weeks. And if you’re not upset about Lesnar now, FOX wants Lesnar as WWE Champion because he brings in a different audience. So say goodbye to Kofimania because come October 4th, that’s all folks. The only good news that I can see coming from this is that there is no way FOX will allow Lesnar to be a part-time champion. Grade: C+
In a cluster of segments, Kayla Braxton would interview Sasha Banks and Bayley about Banks match with Becky Lynch at Hell In A Cell, but not answer any questions regarding her upcoming match against Charlotte Flair later that evening. This would segway into a series of video packages regarding Eric Rowan and Roman Reigns at Clash of Champions and Michael Cole having a pre-recorded interview with Rowan about his multiple attempts at manslaughter. According to Rowan, they were all scare tactics to get inside his head. The end message here was that nobody would ever disrespect him again.
Ali vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: Remember when WWE was pushing Ali on Smackdown the way they were pushing Ricochet on Raw? What happened to those days? Not only can’t the kid get a win, but he lost to “Supamura” in a squash match thanks to interference from Sami Zayn, and as much I like Nakamura’s cape, you all know how I feel about squash matches. Grade: F
In a longwinded tit for tat, Kevin Owens would join the fans to watch the show. With the camera on him, Shane McMahon (inside a real office this time) would come out and be served by a process server. With security, Shane would come down to the ring and want to speak with Kevin not one on one, but man on man. He would learn, had he actually read the paperwork, that Kevin was suing him for 25 million dollars after he assaulted him when he was a match official. Kevin would go down the laundry list of evidence he had on Shane and that when he won the case, he would stand in the middle of the ring, in front of the WWE Univorse, and fire Shane.
This was a fun bit with a lot of back and forth. Kevin Owens reminds us all again why he’s so good on the mic.
The AOP video from last night on Raw would be played again.
Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks with Bayley: Atlanta rapper, Offset would introduce Charlotte Flair and leave just as quickly as he arrived. No idea why; I assume he’s in town for a concert tomorrow. Sasha Banks would then come down and the two would have a solid match reminiscent of the rivalry years before with a predictable ending. Flair would lock in The Figure 4, but before Banks could tap, Bayley would jump in and interfere, continuing Banks non-losing streak.
The two would begin to start pummeling Flair, but from out of nowhere, Carmella would run down to the ring to help, landing superkick after superkick on Banks, much to the confusion of Bayley. Flair would then drop Bayley with the big boot.
Not trying to freak out, but IT’S ANOTHER WOMAN FROM THE WOMEN’S DIVISION! What a rare sighting! It doesn’t help the match in any way, but it was a great way to create some narrative. Grade: C+
Baron Corbin would come down to the ring for his official coronation as the 20th King of the Ring. He would pay respect to Chad Gable, by using short puns throughout his speech. Shorty G would snap and attack Corbin and then destroy the crown, thrown, and robe. This was a great bit, but also at the same time, really WWE? Was everything gold plated wood? Couldn’t spring for some gold plated metal?
Heavy Machinery vs. The B-Team: The good news here is that, technically, this wasn’t a squash match. It was a five-minute time killer, but The B-Team wouldn’t stand a chance against the Tucker and Otis. Throw in the usual Heavy Machinery spots like The Caterpillar and The Compactor and Heavy Machinery would win. Grade C+
After a brief recap of what happened between Kofi Kingston and Brock Lesnar, Daniel Bryan would come down to the ring and cut a promo over his relationship with Rowan. Rowan would then come down and, with the help of Luke Harper, layout Daniel Bryan. Roman Reigns would then charge the ring, but the Bludgeon Brothers would powerbomb Reigns into the ring post and begin to tear apart the ring and its surroundings.
After slamming Reigns in the face with a piece of the barricade, Rowan and Harper would tear apart the announce team’s table, as well as knocking out Tom Phillips. All of this was to set up Daniel Bryan to be put through the table with their modified Razor’s Edge.
The show would end on that note, with the two towering over the damage they’ve done.
This was another fantastic way to end the show, making sure the two relegated mid-cards towered over two of the biggest names in Sports Entertainment and setting up a tag team match at Hell In A Cell next month. Trust me, that’s where it’s going.
It’s funny, this show was so much more entertaining than last night’s Raw, I didn’t even realize until now that we only had three matches and one squash match. But that’s Smackdown and it’s two-hour broadcast for you. Less is sometimes more, and Smackdown has proven that point tonight with a good show. Grade: B