6/19 WWE Smackdown in Indianapolis, Ind.: Owens limping badly from MITB match, American Alpha, Nakamura, Jinder, more

Kevin Owens (photo credit Wade Keller © PWTorch)


JUNE 19, 2017

I attended tonight’s Smackdown house show at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis. This is a smaller arena than they normally run for television. This is the arena of a local minor league hockey team. Attendance was probably around 4,000 with the lower level three-fourths full or so. The crowd was surprisingly hot.

(1) Tye Dillinger defeated Erick Rowan with a floatover pin. Surprisingly decent match. Tye (or the “10” chant, at least) was really over with the crowd.

(2) American Alpha & The Hype Bros defeated The Colons & The Ascension ending when Mojo pinned one of the Colons after… a running punch. Yes. A running punch. Alpha was probably the most over here, followed by Zack Ryder. Jason Jordan wrestled collegiately for IU, so he’s always a popular wrestler in Indiana. Lots of “Hoo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoosiers” chants here for J.J.

(3) Luke Harper defeated Aiden English with the discus clothesline. Aiden went for some Bobby Knight cheap heat with his singing, which is about 17 years late of a reference. That said, by the end of his song he had some pretty heavy heel heat. This is one of those gimmicks that needs more time than I think they’re willing to give it on television. Crowd was happy to see Harper. Great dueling chant of “Let’s Go Harper/Let’s Go English” with about four guys chanting for Aiden. Harper wrestled a mat-based offense which is even more baffling than him doing suicide dives, I think.

English took the mic and did the usual “house show/I need another opponent deal” which led to…

(4) Sin Cara defeated Aiden English with a swanton dive. It took me longer to type this than the match lasted.

(5) Shinsuke Nakamura & Sami Zayn defeated Dolph Ziggler & Baron Corbin  when Nakamura pinned Ziggler after the Kinshasa. The crowd exploded for Nakamura, as he was the first out and nobody seemed to have any idea he’d be out so soon. Corbin seemed to be really happy tonight, smiling while he was trash-talking fans and even playing rock/paper/scissors with Ziggler for the start. The briefcase looked good on him. I’ve been a Corbin fan since seeing him at Full Sail on my honeymoon two years ago, so I’m legitimately happy he won last night. I know Nakamura’s been accused of being lax in the ring, but that honestly wasn’t the case tonight; he worked his ass off. Sami is second-to-none with his facial expressions and they had the crowd on fire for the hot tag. Definitely a solid match and Nakamura himself was really over (not just the music/entrance).

Standard intermission.

(6) Becky Lynch & Naomi & Charlotte defeated Tamina & Natalya & Carmella (w/James Ellsworth) when Naomi pinned Natalya. Becky Lynch was waaay over, with Charlotte close behind her. Carmella and Ellsworth had plenty of heat. Funny moment with Carmella literally running up and down the aisle waving the MITB briefcase in the faces of the fans. I popped. Carmella probably stood out the most with a lot of chickenshit heel tactics, including mocking Charlotte’s strut only to run shrieking away from her a moment later. She and Ellsworth were pretty great with their crowd interactions here. Carmella and Ellsworth bailed on the team at the end of the match, right before the faces got the win.

(7) The Usos defeated The Fashion Police and The New Day in a Triple Threat Match to retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championship. New Day had the ice cream truck, which popped the crowd. I know it’s been said a hundred times, but the Usos were meant to be heels. They have a really intimidating presence and it’s so much fresher than their old boring cornball face gimmick. Funny comedy spit at the end with New Day getting Breezango to dance with them.

(8)  Randy Orton & A.J. Styles defeated Jinder Mahal & Kevin Owens when Orton pinned Owens. Jinder still talks with the raspy muted voice at house shows too, so that isn’t getting any better. He had some heavy heel heat for his routine though, but most of that is the whole “USA” deal. Owens was limping big time on his way to the ring and had his entire left arm wrapped, which is I’m assuming the reason for the tag match. He walked on his left toes and never put pressure on his ankle/foot one time during the whole match. He tagged in a few times for brief spurts and was heavily favoring the foot. I give him a lot of credit for coming out and working. He did some mic work during the match as well, slamming Indianapolis and the ringside fans. Refs helped him to the back after an RKO. Styles got a massive pop, definitely the most over of the night other than Nakamura.

FINAL NOTES: Overall, a really good show, one of the better house shows I’ve been to. Let me know if you need any more details!

Top Three Pops:
Randy Orton/New Day

Top Three Heat:
Jinder Mahal
Aiden English (?!)

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