8/5 WWE Smackdown in Montreal, Quebec: Pat Patterson guest time keeper, Sami challenges Jinder in main event, Owens gets hometown reception

Sami Zayn (credit Scott Lunn @ScottLunn © PWTorch)


AUGUST 5, 2017

(1) New Day over The Ascension by pinfall to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles. I was surprised this match kicked things off, but the New Day doing their schtick got the crowd into things right off the bat. Typical back and forth heel/face stuff and, to no surprise, the champs retained their belts.

(2) Naomi pinned Carmela. Shortish match. Naomi was pretty entertaining and athletic, and her entrance and glow-in-the-dark props again got people going – mostly the younger fans. Carmela played the spoiled brat, Long Island Princess role well, whining and complaining to the ref, but she missed a couple spots and there were some “you can’t wrestle” chants from the crowd.

(3) Luke Harper & Sin Cara beat Erik Rowan & Aiden English by pinfall. This seemed like a mish-mash of guys the writers have no clue what to do with. To their credit, they put on an entertaining match. You always need one Luchador on a card, and Sin Cara did some cool high-flying stuff; English had some legitimate heel heet and the two big men can wrestle and move well. Surprise match of the night.  Would love to see Rowan and Harper back together mowing through the tag team division for a while.

(4) Shinsuke Nakamura & A.J. Styles defeated Kevin Owens & Baron Corbin by pinfall. This was originally supposed to be two separate singles matches and somehow became a tag match. Regardless, it was the match of the night. HUGE pop for Nakamura in his first-ever Montreal appearance, as well as for Styles in his second WWE appearance here. Owens is a local legend, so it’s always weird as he gets some heel heet, but a lot of people cheer for him as well. That left Baron Corbin the odd man out – the guy nobody wanted to see in the ring. Around me there were whispers (louder than whispers really) billing the match as “three legends and a flash in the pan.” Great, great match, and what made it interesting is the crowd seemed to switch allegiances based on who was in the ring at the time and who pulled of what spot. Montreal has a rich wrestling history and a pretty smart crowd, and it was cool to see people reacting to good wrestling and jeering formulaic crap. A lot of fun and a bit surprising to see Owens lose at home, but Nakamura and Styles were SO over.


(5) Rusev submitted Ty Dillenger. Honestly, this was boring. Worst match of the night and a good choice to put on while people were still in line at the refreshment stands and bathrooms.  Bland, paint-by-numbers, seen it all before stuff.  The loudest chants were “We want Lana.”

(6) Natalya pinned Charlotte Flair. Natalya actually cheated and held Charlotte’s tights for the pin. It was nice to see two girls in the ring who can wrestle, not held back by three or four other girls who can’t. Natalya has transformed herself into a heel nicely and went at it with the crowd a lot. Charlotte was all business and did some cool athletic work, maybe more gymnastics than wrestling, but the crowd ate it up. They brought the crowd back to life after the horrid match before it, and it was a decent set-up for the main event.

(7) Jinder Mahal (w/the Singh Brothers) pinned Sami Zayn. With Pat Patterson as guest timekeeper, Zayn, being from Montreal and headlining in his home town, got a HUGE ovation. For the same reason Mahal got HUGE heel heat. It’s obvious who the more talented of the two is, and Sami’s skill and willingness to give the fans what they came to see won the day. Mahal plays the part of the angry monster well, but he’s not as talented as other big men. Mahal, of course, retained with interference from the Singh brothers. However, the payoff was this…

Mahal and the Singhs were laying a beating on Sami after the match; Pat Patterson got up on the apron to admonish the foreigners and they were about to lay a beating on him, THEN Kevin Owens runs from the back and the three local legends clean house, with it all ending with a stare down between Sami and Owens in the middle of the ring, and people not sure if they would start going at it or embrace. As it turned out, Owens just rolled out of the ring, grabbed his young son out of the front row, and walked up the ramp, leaving Zayn to have his moment in the sun as the headliner. It was pretty powerful. The hardcore locals, who have followed these guys since their indy days were crying – I kid you not. WWE could do something really cool with this angle if they wanted to. For now it was more of a nod to local Montreal wrestling history, which WWE has always respected.

FINAL THOUGHTS: All in all, a good night. Even with only a few of the big stars of WWE present the crowd (5,500 to 6,000 or so) left satisfied, as Nakamura, A.J., Owens, and Zayn are worth the price of admission alone, and as I noted there were some nice surprises with the ladies, Harper and Rowan, and the comic relief of the New Day.

NOW CHECK OUT THIS RECENT REPORT: 8/4 WWE in Halifax, Nova Scotia: Joe vs. Reigns vs. Strowman, plus three disappointing no-shows – Seth and the Hardys

If you attend a live event, please send us a report like the one above to pwtorch@pwtorch.com.


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