Last SmackDown before Battleground. For those who never had the chance to see what a Punjabi prison is, tonight you won’t be able to say “I don’t know”. Battleground opponents AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin will square off in a tag team match. John Cena will talk to the crowd. Mike Kanellis will finally make his in-ring debut (let’s hope that taking his wife’s name didn’t emasculate him, wrestling-wise…). Breezango will continue their quest for the truth. And no, Kurt Angle will not make another announcement about another illegitimate son…
Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review, brought to you this week by Miss “Doctor Frenchy” Steph.
Here is a Punjabi prison, two large steel-reinforced bamboo cages. Jinder and The Singh Brothers entered inside to claim it will be the final resting place of Randy Orton’s legacy. There are 4 doors and each one will be attended by a referee. When instructed by a competitor, each door will open and remain open for just 60 seconds. The door will shut after the 60 seconds and it will remain shut for the rest of the match. The outer structure has no doors, so they’ll have to climb the structure to get out of it so the only way to win the match is by climbing out of both structures. Jinder insisted on the fact the most important rule is that there are no rules and he’s going to smash Orton’s face into the structure until his face matches the ugliness of the nation that Orton represents.
Orton arrived to tell very sweet things to that “SOB” Mahal. He claimed that Mahal lost his only advantage by choosing the Punjabi Prison, The Singh Brothers. They allowed him to be Champion and to stay Champion. Orton started climbing the outer structure (in the 2 previous Punjabi prison matches, the bamboo there was fashioned into spikes… lucky Orton…) to tell Mahal he has nothing to lose and Jinder has everything to lose because he has the weight of 1.3 billion people in India on his back. Orton reached the top of the structure to say he’s going to leave Jinder’s “jacked-up ass” in the ring on Sunday and this will be Orton’s view when he takes back the title on Sunday when he’s announced as the new WWE Champion.
HERE ARE THE OTHER THINGS THAT HELPED (or not) PROMOTE BATTLEGROUND:
– Jimmy Uso defeated Kofi Kingston. One half of SmackDown Tag Team Champions against one third of the challengers. Distraction from the outside, of course. Trash talk, obviously.
– Backstage, SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon talked with the participants of the Fatal 5 Way match to determine the #1 contender for SmackDown Women’s Championship. As he needed a match for the night, all the girls started to hold forth about who will take care of Lana. Sorry girls, Shane says no one is going to fight Lana. Bla-bla continued until Shane made Becky vs. Charlotte for tonight.
– Backstage, Renee Young is interviewing Chad Gable. His world was turned upside down because of Jordan and Angle’s big revelation. Something Jordan didn’t tell Gable about… Gable says this has changed his life as well as Jordan’s. He talks about the success they had together as American Alpha and says he will still support Jordan (RIP American Alpha… we loved you…). About what’s next for Chad Gable, he says he has some ideas, but refuses to tell them to Renee Young not to ruin the surprise. Just like Angle and Jordan, Gable will now have a new beginning on his own.
– Sami Zayn was the victim of Mr Power of Love, thanks to an intervention of Mrs Power of Love. Mike Kanellis can wrestle, but he can’t win without Maria… After the match, Mike & Maria celebrated with kisses in front of a devastated Sami (we’re devastated for you too Sami, Huey Lewis’ power was not with you tonight).
– John Cena talked about his match against Rusev. A match he said we will remember (not sure…). Cena says one must grab their flag and securely plant it at the finish line to win the match. Cena hates Rusev because he disrespects America. Cena teased the fans, made them chant “USA”, until Rusev appeared and attacked Cena out of nowhere (they have vipers in Bulgaria ?). Rusev applied The Accolade, Cena tried to break the hold but Rusev shut him down and stood over Mr USA waving the Bulgarian flag.
– Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair, with Natalya on commentary. Classic good fight between the two. Tamina and Lana came as Becky was celebrating, big fight. Tamina left a ring filled of the lying bodies of Natalya, Becky and Charlotte while staring at a still-standing Lana.
– Naomi told Renee backstage she will be at Battleground to congratulate the new #1 contender after the Fatal 5 Way Elimination Match. Carmella appeared to remind Naomi wherever Naomi and her title go, Carmella and her briefcase go too.
– Breezango offered their best Mulder and Scully impersonation in The Fashion X Files episode. They received a mysterious box that Scully Breeze warned Mulder Fandango not to look or grab. The box contained the head of the stuffed toy horse that Fandango had last week. A note in the box says “Battleground”. Mulder Fandango says the mystery will end on Sunday.
– Baron Corbin and Kevin Owens defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and US Champion AJ Styles in a good and tough match. Corbin attacked Nakamura straight on the ramp. Styles and Nakamura made most of the match but bad-asses Owens and Corbin had the final word when Corbin made a blind tag, allowing Owens to hit a pop-up power powerbomb on AJ Styles for the win. Owens stared at a lying Styles while Corbin was holding the MITB briefcase in front of Nakamura, who was helping Styles.
This week episode of SmackDown was only about promoting Battleground PPV. Did we learn something new ? Not really. One thing, Mike Kanellis-Bennett still has balls, wrestling-wise, girls still want to have fun. But for the rest, good guys are still good guys, bad guys are still bad guys, John Cena is still boring… Hopefully AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura are still rocking the Blue house.
Final card for Sunday’s Battleground
WWE Title – Punjabi Prison Match: Jinder Mahal vs.Randy Orton
WWE United States Title Match: AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens
SmackDown Tag Team Title Match: The Usos vs. The New Day
Fatal 5 Way Elimination Match to Crown a New #1 Contender for SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair vs. Lana vs. Becky Lynch vs. Tamina Snuka vs. Natalya
Flag Match: Rusev vs. John Cena
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
Kickoff Pre-show Match: Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger
All pics courtesy of WWE.com