Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review, brought to you this week by Dr Frenchie, Steph.
The shake-up days are over and it’s time for the newbies to prove they can play the blue rules. The WWE Championship needs a new #1 contender as the “House of Horrors” match between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt at Payback is not for the title anymore. It was announced after Monday Night Raw that a 6-Pack Challenge Match to crown a new #1 contender with Erick Rowan, Luke Harper, Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn, Mojo Rawley and Dolph Ziggler would take place on SmackDown Live.
The newest member of the Blue Women’s Division Charlotte Flair makes her way to the ring. She says that 7 days ago, the Queen arrived to SmackDown, enough to make her lose her patience. She asks why Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan haven’t already given her a SmackDown Women’s title shot yet. The Black Queen is decided to make the Champion bite into her poisoned apple. Here comes Naomi who’s not happy to see Charlotte begging this way. She’s never scared, mostly of her, and is ready to give her a chance to her title right here, right now. Naomi tackles Charlotte as the referee runs to the ring. But Commissioner Shane McMahon stops the fight. He says that on SmackDown, Superstars has to earn their title shots, despite their resume and pedigree. So Charlotte will compete tonight against Naomi. And if Charlotte wins, she will become the #1 contender and get a title shot the next week. As Shane is leaving wishing them good luck, Charlotte and Naomi keep on fighting, one throwing the other to the floor before raising the title belt.
HERE IS SOME OTHER SHIT THAT HAPPENED:
– Backstage, Natalya is complaining to Shane she was the one who earned a title shot and is unhappy of the special treatment Charlotte is receiving. Shane replied she already had one at Wrestlemania 33. Carmella comes with Ellsworth to say no one deserves a chance more than her. Tamina also wants a title shot. Natalya quiets the two women claiming if the management has his own plans for the Women’s Title, she has one too. And she’s going to explain it to both Carmella and Tamina Snuka.
– Surprisingly, Jinder Mahal won the 6-Pack Challenge match against Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Erick Rowan, Luke Harper and Mojo Rawley and became the #1 contender to the WWE Championship. Good and tense match, but as Sami Zayn was supposed to go for the Helluva Kick on Mahal, NXT Team The Bollywood Boyz, known now as The Singh brothers, grabbed Sami’s leg and distracted him. Allowing Jinder to drop him for the win. (In the SmackDown Fall Out, a bitter and upset Sami Zayn claimed he was tired of being number 2 everywhere he went, NXT, Raw or SmackDown. As angry and heartbroken he said he was, please Sami don’t do a heel turn next week…)
– Renee Young came to the ring after the match as the crowd was booing a celebrating Mahal. Mahal didn’t understand the fans reaction. Maybe it’s because he’s not American, or because his family is wealthy, or he’s highly educated or he speaks two languages (he’s supposed to be a Maharajah…). Randy Orton is not impresses as he comes to the ring and tells Mahal that even if he won the jackpot, his prize won’t be the belt. Orton has another thorn in his side to take care of, Bray Wyatt. If he doesn’t know what a House of Horrors is, Orton is ready to burn it the same way he burnt Wyatt’s caban. Bray Wyatt appears on screen and says he wants Orton to feel the pain and he’d better come to the match as The Viper. Because he will never come back of the House of Horrors.
– After a video on The Artist known as Shinsuke Nakamura and before a promo for the New Day bringing the power of positivity to SmackDown, AJ Styles and Baron Corbin had words backstage. Match set.
– Charlotte Flair defeated Naomi to become the new #1 contender for the Women’s Championship. Charlotte quickly took control of the match and easily countered Naomi’s repertoire moves. Charlotte blocked the Rear View and hit Natural Selection for the win.
– The team of Primo and Epico we used to call The Shining Stars but we now have to call the Colons surprisingly defeated The American Alpha, thanks to a few distractions and cheap shots on Jason Jordan and Chad Gable.
– Backstage, Dasha Fuentes is with Tye Dillinger. Not a lot of words but a promo video to show the world why he’s called the Perfect Ten.
– Kevin Owens comes to the ring for his first-ever “Face of America” Challenge. Gary Gandy, a local wrestler, answers his call and is defeated in a few seconds by Owens with a massive Pop-Up Powerbomb. The Us Champion then insults Americans, Chris Jericho, AJ Styles, because he’s the face of America and no one will take that away from him. Owens joins the announcer’s table to bring a much-needed Canadian insight to the main event. No need to thank him. In french, bien sûr (of course)…
Baron Corbin and AJ Styles are the main event of the night. Corbin is mastering Styles straight into the match. As usual, Corbin shows his strength as Styles proves how impactful he is. Corbin sends Styles into Owens who’s still in his sit at the announcer’s table. Styles wins the match via count-out after sending Corbin over the barrier with a Phenomenal forearm. AJ Styles proved he deserves his US title chance, Owens has reasons to be upset now.
TO SUM UP
James Bond loves his cocktail shaken, not stirred. Let’s say this episode was more stirred than shaken. Between the already-seen matches and the supposedly new opportunities, this week’s SmackDown Live was disappointing. Even with a good new roster, the show seemed to have a lot of difficulties to find the good pace to make it shine. The “We’re not Americans so we’re better or not understood” gimmick started last week by Kevin Owens and this week by Jinder Mahal sounds way too cliche (unless SmackDown or the fans were put in a time machine and came back to 1996 when Bret Hart was stuck in this Canada vs. USA matches and promos). Well, too much ado about nothing…