WWE Smackdown Live came to us from The Coliseum in Richmond Virginia.
It’s the return of Chris Jericho! Welcome back mannnnn! I know this wasn’t the first thing to happen, but I couldn’t help myself. Kevin Owens had come out to gloat about his victory over AJ Styles at Battleground. He was spouting off all sorts of great Owens nonsense about good things happening to good people, and great overall heel tactics. Owens also reinstated the Kevin Owens US Title Open Challenge, but that would start next week. This didn’t sit well with AJ Styles, who made his presence known, and demanded his rematch for the title. As K.O. was telling AJ that there was no way he was going to defend the title tonight, it was about time for us to drink it in mannnn.
Chris Jericho made his return to Smackdown Live to a tremendous pop. Wearing his scarves and the List of Jericho in hand, he waltzed to the ring with a grin on his face. Jericho wasted no time in having the crowd, as well as myself, fall in love with his mic skills once again. Owens was shut up by countless “Quiet”s from Jericho, and AJ made the list due to trying to cut in front of Jericho’s claim to a rematch from his loss in May. As Jericho was asking AJ what happens to people who try to cut in line, Owens exited the ring and walked to the back.
Shane McMahon stopped the U.S. champ in his tracks and told him to stick around, because his announcement specifically concerned the United States Title. The Smackdown Live commissioner acknowledged that both AJ Styles and Jericho had legitimate claims to a rematch. He told Owens that this main event would not wait for Wrestlemania, or even SummerSlam. Despite his statement that he wouldn’t be defending the title, McMahon informed Owens that he would be in a triple threat title match tonight.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin – Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura
Shinsuke’s aggression when it comes to matches with Corbin are on another level, it actually reminded me a bit of him in New Japan. I’m also super impressed with Corbin’s selling of Nakamura’s moves, he just continues to improve. I enjoyed this match more than I did their match at Battleground.
This match wasn’t really necessary in terms of story line. This was the match that should have happened last night to put this feud to rest.
Please stop giving Nakamura nicknames. The name Nakamura carries enough weight. Stop ruining him WWE.
Naomi Backstage Spot
Naomi and Natalya had some words to say to each other after Natalya’s rejecting of Naomi’s handshake at Battleground. Natty seems to think that Naomi doesn’t respect the legacy of the WWE Women’s title or the history of the business. Naomi responded with the fact that she is representing the evolution of the women’s division. I’m interested to see if Natty can step up now that she is in a legit title chase. I’m sure her in ring abilities with live up to expectations, I just hope her mic work improves. No segment involving the women’s title would be complete without Carmella showing up with her briefcase, reminding Naomi she is always around.
Charlotte/Becky vs Tamina/Lana – Winners: Charlotte/Becky
There wasn’t much of that tonight. Even superstars as polished as Charlotte and Becky couldn’t shine the turds across the ring from them. I’m tired of seeing these two awesome singles superstars being wasted against Tamina and Lana. Oh this doesn’t sound like good at all, uhhhhhhh, it wasn’t very long? In all seriousness, Lana is an OK heel, she just doesn’t belong in the ring yet.
The crowd started to chant “You Can’t Wrestle!” to Lana. The ugly part isn’t that they were chanting this, it’s that they didn’t add “Both”, you don’t want to leave Tamina out.
Jinder Mahal Demands A SummerSlam Opponent
After seemingly destroying the legacy of Randy Orton and cementing his dominance of the WWE, Jinder is looking to the future. He came to the ring demanding that he know who his opponent for SummerSlam. While he was speaking to his people in Punjabi, a new challenger appears! Hit the trumpets! John Cena arrived to mixed crowd reaction, I know, it’s shocking right? Jinder began telling Cena he knew what he was going to say, that he didn’t deserve the title or the admiration of his home country. Cena stopped Jinder short, telling him that he was a horrible mind reader, and that he was actually there to congratulate him. Cena being big on respect told the WWE Champion that he respected the fact that Jinder loved the title so much that he would do anything to hold onto it.
The second part of the segment is where Cena really shined. I’m still torn with what seems to be the final version of John Cena. His comfort level and fun loving attitude are hit and miss every week. This week however was one of the good ones. His quick final words to Jinder ” It was nice to meet you, you can’t see me, hit the trumpets!” hit perfectly.
However there was one person that took issue with Cena’s declaration of him being Jinder’s opponent at SummerSlam. Surprisingly, it was his soon to be brother in law Daniel Bryan. Daniel said that John didn’t make the match, but that he and Shane did. Smackdown Live is the land of opportunity, and those opportunities are earned, even if your name is John Cena. Bryan informed Cena that he had a great performance at Battleground, but there was another who had great performances that night, as well as tonight. So next week, for a chance to face Jinder Mahal at SummerSlam we get a “Dream Match”. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. John Cena. I’m down, let’s do this Is H.
Sami Zayn/Tye Dillinger vs Aiden English/Mike Kanellis – Winners: Sami and Tye
It was nice to hear the Sami Zayn chants from the crowd. That guy deserves so much better than he is getting. As much as I hate to say it, because I hate quickly put together tag matches, Sami and Tye worked well together. The ending sequence where Tye made a blind tag to Sami, allowing Tye to distract their opponents enough to allow Sami to hit the Helluva Kick was excellent.
Although it may seem like a good thing that there is so much talent on a roster, it isn’t with the current creative climate. Guys like Tye and Sami, and now Mike Kanellis get lost in the mid card, which is a travesty.
Where are the huge pops and “TEN” chants for Tye that we had a few weeks ago?? Stop being lazy WWE crowds, let’s see those hands up!
New Day Has A Bad Day
The New Day were coming out to celebrate their win at Battleground but the Usos were having none of that Is H. As the New Day were coming out to the arena the Usos jumped them and took out Big E early. After that the Usos had no problem decimating the remaining members of the new champs. It seems that this feud is far from over, and I don’t have a problem with that at all.
AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho vs Kevin Owens – Winner: AJ Styles
Everything about this match was amazing. Jericho held his own despite his age and recent concert tour. There were chants of “This is awesome” and I couldn’t agree more. There were multiple sequences and close calls that had the fans literally on their feet. This had PPV main event written all over it. I also kind of like the fact that AJ stole the win from Owens. As much as I love funny/joking Kevin Owens, I like enraged/nothing to lose Owens better.
Oh please, like that’s gonna happen.
Sorry Chris, but that gut, suck it in mannnnn. Damn, did I just make the list?