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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE REPORT
SEPTEMBER 26, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
-They opened with a video package on the Shane McMahon-Kevin Owens storyline the last two weeks including a replay of The Headbutt.
-Phillips welcomed fans to Smackdown Live as Kevin Owens came out. (For the record, while the screen said they were in Glendale, Ariz., but Phillips didn’t mention it.) Phillips asked if Owens understands what he has done and what he is in for at Hell in a Cell. They went to the announcers at ringside to discuss Owens and Shane. Graves said he thinks Owens is prepared for what Shane will throw at him. Saxton said Owens’s life is “going to change forever” after HIAC.
Owens entered the ring and said all he’s heard for weeks now is Shane is going to address him and take action and this and that about Shane. He asked Shane where he is. He said he’s been called a coward for what he did to Vince McMahon and not being at Smackdown last week. He said he’s standing in the middle of the ring right now, the land of opportunity, so now it’s Shane’s opportunity, but where is he. “Maybe Shane McMahon is the coward,” Owens said. A small “Shane-o-Mac” chanted started and Owens paused. He said Shane is a smart man. He said he meant it when he said he respects and even likes Vince. He said Shane saw what he did to a man he actually likes and respects, so imagine what he’ll do to a man he doesn’t. Out came Sami Zayn.
Sami said Owens snapped when he headbutted Vince. He said he’s about to cross a line he can never uncross. “You need to get a grip and you need to stop right now,” he said. Owens said he didn’t snap, he’s cool. He said there’s no reason for him to worry about him or his family. He said Sami’s not there to talk sense into him, but rather he’s upset that he has outshines and eclipsed him, just as he’s done the last 15 years of their lives. He said he signed with WWE two-and-a-half years before he did, yet he has been Intercontinental Champion twice and the Universal Champion and the U.S. Champion. He said Sami watched him from the back at WrestelMania when he won the U.S. Title. He said if he thinks he’s gone too far, just watch Hell in a Cell. He said that’s not even it, though. He said headbutting Vince was a mistake, but he asked Sami what he ever did that had the impact that his skull had on Vince McMahon’s head.
Sami said he’s right. He said Owens has done a lot more than he’s done, but Owen has taken ever shortcut and reprehensible action, and his day will come and when it does, he will do it his way and the right way. He said fine, he won all those titles, but the real difference between them is when he looks himself in the mirror, he doesn’t see a giant piece of trash looking back at him. They stepped toward each other and things got tense. Then Daniel Bryan’s music played.
Bryan told them to hold on. Bryan said Shane isn’t there, and he’s not sure if he will be, but that might be better for Owens. He said he knows someone who is there who wants to fight him. He booked Sami vs. Owens. The crowd chanted “Yes!”
(Keller’s Analysis: Owens was really good here, right in line with his usual standards. I like that he’s not showing any fear about fighting a son of a promoter non-wrestler in his late 40s. Why would he? The announcers stressing that Owens is in big trouble is a necessary evil here if you’re going to book Shane in matches against actual main event wrestlers in their actual primes.)
-Graves plugged “The Pride of Bulgaria Celebration” as Rusev receives the key to his home city tonight. Also, Tye Dillinger vs. Baron Corbin. [c]
(1) BARON CORBIN vs. TYE DILLINGER
After Corbin’s ring entrance, they aired clips of the Corbin-Dillinger conflicts recently. As Tye did his silly pre-match “10” dance, A.J. Styles’s music took over. He walked out to join the announcers on commentary. As Corbin yelled at Styles, Corbin dumped him over the top rope from behind. “10!” chants broke out. [c]
They showed the action on a split screen. Tye chased Corbin around ringside, but when Tye re-entered the ring, Corbin attacked him. Corbin took over for the next several minutes. Back live, the announcers asked Styles if he’s frustrated by what’s been going on with Corbin. Styles said he’s the king of shortcuts. Corbin continued to look preoccupied with Styles, giving Tye openings. Tye rallied, and Corbin bailed out to ringside. Tye went after him. Corbin charged toward Tye after an awkward exchange at ringside, but Tye moved and Corbin rammed into the steps. Tye tried to lift Corbin in the ring for the Tye Breaker, but he couldn’t hold Corbin up. Tye kicked Corbin toward Styles, then threw water in Styles’s face. Then when Tye went to ringside, Corbin threw Tye into Styles. The ref counted Tye out. Tye crawled as far as the edge of the ring and Corbin kicked him off after the bell rang.
WINNER: Corbin via countout in 7:00.
-Afterward on the stage, Corbin asked Styles if he feels dumb. He said he knew Styles and Tye would work together because they know one-on-one they can’t compete with him. Corbin said he isn’t going to take any shortcuts or squander opportunity. He vowed to take his U.S. Title. [c]
-They replayed highlights of the last match, then announced Styles would defend against Corbin at HIAC.
-Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers stood mid-ring. Jinder said last week he might have gone a little too far in making fun of Shinsuke Nakamura. The crowd chanted “Na-ka-mura.” Jinder said he’s a worthy opponent and, unlike last week, he’s going to compliment The Artist. He went to the big screen and showed a freeze-frame of Shinsuke’s face and the Singhs laughed uproariously. Then they went to another freeze-frame of Nakamura’s face. Saxton said Jinder is really pleased with himself. Then a third picture. The picture, though, began to move. Jinder and the Singhs got spooked. A louder “Na-ka-mura!” chant broke out. Nakamura spoke and said he is right there. The lights went out. Then Nakamura’s music played. Phillips said you reap what you sew. Nakamura made his ring entrance. The Singhs went after him. As Nakamura beat them up, Jinder attacked Nakamura from behind and threw him into the ringpost. Jinder chased after Nakamura in the ring, but Nakamura gave him a reverse wheel kick and set up the Kinshasa. The Singhs intercepted him. Nakamura cleared the ring of them and then hit the Kinshasa on Jinder.
(Keller’s Analysis: This wasn’t as long as last week’s segment, but still felt too long. At least Nakamura came out this time and responded to the mockery, and at least there weren’t the racial aspects this week.)
-The announcers plugged The Usos vs. The Hype Bros. next. The New Day danced to the ring. The announcers said they weren’t expecting this. Graves said they weren’t invited. [c]
(2) THE USOS vs. THE HYPE BROS
New Day sat at ringside and ate Bootie Os and hotdogs. Even though they were in the front row, they had binoculars. The announcers talked about the Usos invoking their rematch clause at HIAC. Phillips said the Hype Bros. said they’re sick and tired of losing. Byron said they can’t afford to lose again. As Ryder climbed to the top rope, Mojo tagged himself in. Ryder was upset and yanked on Mojo’s arm. They argued. Jimmy shoved Mojo into Ryder, then superkicked him. Then Jey tagged in and splashed Mojo off the top rope for the win.
WINNERS: The Usos in 3:00.
-The Usos cut a promo on New Day and said they belong on the sidelines. The New Day made faces as they talked. Big E pulled a live mic out of his bucket of popcorn and handed it to Kofi. He said they talk a pretty big game for two guys who just lost the titles. He said they also talk a big game about the Usos Penitentiary. They challenged them to a tag title match inside HIAC. Jimmy whispered to Jey and they smiled and nodded, as if accepting the challenge.
(Keller’s Analysis: I liked New Day at ringside to change things up, and good way to introduced the added HIAC stip in a memorable fashion.)
-Byron plugged Owens vs. Sami as being “the first time ever on Smackdown Live.” [c]
-Rusev stood in the ring with Aiden English. English sang a beautiful song to honor and introduce the segment with Rusev. The crowd seemed to actually appreciate it. Rusev stood on a stage decorated in the Bulgarian flag colors. Then The Mayor spoke in Bulgarian (I assume) and introduced Rusev. He then presented the key to the city of their great hero and protector, Rusev. He said Sept. 26 will forever be “Rusev Day.” Graves said, “What an amazing honor!” Rusev held up a comically large key. Then he said he wanted to relive the historical victory last week over Randy Orton in just 12 seconds. Rusev smiled after the entire match aired again. He said that was the law of the jungle. He said Orton established himself as the Apex Predator when he first got to WWE and came to be known as a Legend Killer. He said a younger and hungrier predator has come into the jungle, and last week the lion of Bulgaria ripped the fangs out of the Viper’s mouth. He said he destroyed the legend of the Legend Killer, “so Smackdown Live, it’s my jungle now!”
English said he prepared a song in honor of Rusev Day. Some groans from the crowd. He began singing again. “Out of nowhere Rusev struck, hitting Randy like a truck. It’s Rusev day, it’s Rusev day.” As he continued, Orton surprised English with an RKO. Then he gave one to Rusev. In a comical touch, Rusev was only vulnerable to the RKO because he turned to be sure The Mayor was able to escape the ring first. Orton posed to his music.
-They went to Bryan backstage on his cell phone. Can no one have any privacy in WWE? Sami walked in. Bryan said he just got off the phone with Shane and he’s landed and is on his way. He said Shane told him he plans to go after Owens. Sami asked Bryan to tell Shane to stay away from Owens tonight. Sami said Shane has his chance in two weeks, but tonight is his. “Let me have tonight,” he said. Bryan said he’d talk to Shane and tonight, Kevin is all his.
-The announcers hyped Charlotte vs. Carmella. [c]
-Orton approached Renee backstage and told her to tell Rusev that if he wants to step into his jungle, he’ll see him at HIAC. She said she would. Then he said, “Oh, happy Rusev Day.”
-Charlotte made her ring entrance. Then they aired highlights of Charlotte winning the contenders match last week and earning a Women’s Title shot against Natalya at HIAC.
(3) CHARLOTTE vs. CARMELLA (w/James Ellsworth)
Phillips asked Graves to explain why a grown man has a dog collar around his neck and is leashed to the ringpost. Graves said it’s simple, most people would kill to have someone as loyal as Ellsworth is to Carmella. Carmella distracted the ref and Ellsworth then interfered by grabbing Charlotte’s leg. That opened her up to be head scissored to the mat by Carmella. She paraded around the ring in celebration. They cut to a break. [c]
They stayed with the action on a split screen. Ellsworth swept Charlotte’s leg off the ring apron and opened up Carmella to take control. After the break, Carmella put Charlotte in a chinlock. Charlotte ate a kick to the face, but seconds later made a comeback with a roll-up for a near fall. She then hit a big boot for the win.
WINNER: Charlotte in 8:00.
-Afterward, Natalya’s music played. She walked out with the title belt and a mic in hand. She said she’s happy to hear that her father is doing better so he can watch her overrated daughter fail. She let out a sinister laugh and her music played. Charlotte stood in the ring, striking her arms-extended pose and then signaling the belt will be hers. [c]
-They announced that the Fashion Files will return next week. Byron was excited. Very excited.
-Undertaker’s music played and then out came Dolph Ziggler dressed up at Undertaker. That’s a mean teaser. The crowd didn’t pop, but Phillips acted like he thought it was the real Undertaker. He gasped and said he can’t believe the Dead Man is on Smackdown Live. Graves said it’s not Undertaker and he knows exactly who it is. “This is blatant disrespect for one of the greatest of all time,” Graves said. Ziggler smiled and took off Taker’s hat and asked, “What? You look like you’ve seen a ghost!” The crowd chanted “You suck!” Ziggler said, “You see a dead man! A dead man walking!” He asked if they actually thought they’d see Undertaker two times in one year. He said anyone can put on a Halloween costume and look like a zombie, but no one can do what he does in the ring. “No one!” he emphasized. He said the fans still don’t care. Then “Glorious” interrupted him.
Roode said Ziggler is an amazing in-ring competitor, but also a hypocrite. He said for a guy who thinks he doesn’t care what the WWE Universe says about him, he seems to waste everybody’s time every week telling them so. He said the fact is, they’re a lot alike in many ways. He said they both demand respect in the ring. He said Ziggler claims to be one of the greatest in-ring competitors in the history of WWE. He told him to back it up against him at HIAC. Ziggler rubbed his chin and chomped his gum. The crowd chanted “Yes!” Ziggler said he doesn’t care what they think, so shut up. He mocked Roode’s entrance for checking all the boxes, but not having in-ring skills on par with his. He said, “Not so much.” He said Roode is everything that is wrong with WWE. He said if he wants a match, he’s on. He said anyone who steps foot in the ring with him will “rest in…” Roode put his finger up to Ziggler’s face and stopped him. He said HIAC is going to be absolutely “glorious!”
(Keller’s Analysis: That finally ended this weeks long nonsense in a way that at least build into a logical one-on-one match. I wish there was a little more substance to the exchange, with Roode saying that Ziggler complains about his place in WWE, but that’s related to his win-loss record, not fans being enamored with his ring entrances. Roode could have said his ring entrance is glorious, but without victories inside the ring, it wouldn’t mean anything.) [c]
(4) KEVIN OWENS vs. SAMI ZAYN
Owens controlled the action early. When he charged at Sami at ringside, though, Sami clotheslined him. They cut backstage to Shane arriving. [c]
Back live Owens cut off Sami’s offensive flurry with a superkick leading to a two count. They showed that during a break, Sami suplexed Owens on the ring apron and then dropped to the floor himself. Sami landed a DDT off the ropes, but Owens came back seconds later with a superkick. Sami came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall that popped the crowd. Sami landed a flip dive onto Owens at ringside. When Sami tried to leap through the ropes at ringside, Owens intercepted him mid-air with a kick. Owens then gave Sami a powerbomb on the edge of the ring apron. Graves said Owens has snapped. Referee Charles Robinson checked on Sami and called for the bell. Graves said Owens has lost his mind.
WINNER: No decision in 9:00.
-Robinson called for some help. Help arrived. Medics helped Sami to his feet and began to walk him toward the ramp. Owens got a sinister look and then charged and hit Sami from behind. Graves said someone has to stop Owens. Like who? Owens grabbed a chair. Owens put the chair over Sami’s head. Shane McMahon charged to the ring. Owens threw Sami at Shane (although the camera didn’t pick it up), and Sami still had a chair around his head. Shane went down. Owens escaped into the crowd. Shane yelled for Owens, but Owens had made it to the top of the lower bowl. They replayed what happened. Shane was inside the ring alone as the announcers hyped the HIAC match.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really good closing angle to build the HIAC match.)
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