KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
OCTOBER 17, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
-The Smackdown opening aired.
-They went to the announcers, which this week included Cole, who said he’s filling in for Tom Phillips “the next couple of weeks because he’s on assignment.”
-Daniel Bryan came to the ring to his music. The fans chanted “Daniel Bryan.” Bryan milked the moment and smiled and laughed, then said it’s good to be home. The crowd then chanted “Welcome Home.” He said, “Guys, the show is only two hours long. Come on!” He said they have a very “eck-special” edition of Smackdown. He announced Natalya & Tamina & Lana vs. Naomi & Becky Lynch & Charlotte match, a special announcement from Jinder Mahal, and Dolph Ziggler vs. Bobby Roode in a Hell in a Cell rematch. Bryan shifted to addressing Sami Zayn, “whose actions at Hell in a Cell, quite frankly, disappointed me.” Zayn then interrupted. He danced obnoxiously in an over-the-top way to his music to the ring as Cole said last week he offered “somewhat of an explanation” for what he did, but he feels he still has more explaining to do. Graves said everything Sami said made sense to him. Bryan asked if he is the same Sami he’s known for 13 years. Sami said he’s still the same great guy, but he’s taking back control of his career that took 15 years to build.
Bryan told Sami he’s been in his shoes, but then Sami cut him off. Sami said he and Bryan were similar in that management wasn’t ever really behind them when they were great in-ring performers. He jabbed Bryan, saying “well, at least I still am.” He said the fans were behind Bryan, but “these people” never got behind him the way they did Bryan. The fans pushed so hard, management had no choice, but that didn’t happen to him. He said the amazing part is, he doesn’t care anymore. He said “I don’t care” five times. He said it feels great not to care about them anymore. He told Bryan he should have dropped his martyr complex because the fans got in his head. He told Bryan he should have stopped caring sooner and worked smarter instead of harder, then he wouldn’t have been forced to retire. “Sami sucks!” broke out.
Sami said it broke his heart more than it broke theirs. He said he considers Bryan a “once in a lifetime performer.” He said he was “thee” performer of their generation and his whole career he tried to catch up to him because he was the best, but when he reached his level, Bryan got even better and stayed ahead. “Now you are the last person I’d ever want to be like,” he said. He said he “gave up his body for glory and adulation just to end up a housewife.” Boos. Bryan hung his head.
Kevin Owens then walked out to his music. He said Bryan once fought for the underdogs, and now he’s on the other side. He said he has become “The Authority,” and now he stands against everything he once stood for. Bryan said Owens only cares about himself. Owens said he does what is right for business. Zayn said he’s right, and he could have ended up like Bryan, but instead Owens saved him. They hugged. Bryan walked out of the ring. Owens asked where he was going, but then said he realizes the best thing he can do now is “walk out of this arena.” Bryan stopped and turned and said he’s leaving because he’s going to find two people to punch them in the face. Graves said Owens and Sami deserve each other “and I mean that in a good way.” He said what they just said will have ramifications, though.
(Keller’s Analysis: It was hard to like Sami or Owens after this, so mission accomplished. It’s still kind of uncomfortable watching Bryan have to dispatch others to fight his battles.)
-Cole plugged the Jinder Mahal “Survivor Series” announcement. Graves plugged Roode vs. Ziggler where Roode “will prove to Dolph Ziggler he is more than a glorious entrance.” Saxton plugged the six-woman tag.
-They showed highlights of issues between Natalya and Charlotte.
-Charlotte’s ring entrance aired. [c]
(1) NATALYA & TAMINA & LANA vs. CHARLOTTE & NAOMI & BECKY LYNCH
Carmella joined the announcers on commentary, with James Ellsworth standing behind her with the briefcase. Naomi dove onto Natalya and Tamina at ringside. Lana cheered on Tamina to get up. When Becky was battling Natalya, they cut to a break, but stayed with the action on a split screen. [c]
Tamina controlled Naomi center-ring after the break. Lana tagged in and put Naomi in a headlock. Graves asked Carmella if she needed some newspaper since Ellsworth was out there a long time. Charlotte eventually tagged in and pretty quickly finished Lana with the Figure-Eight.
WINNER: Charlotte via tapout in 7:00.
-After the match, Natalya attacked Charlotte. She grabbed a chair, but Charlotte kicked her in the chest before she could use it. Natalya ran into the crowd once Charlotte picked up the chair and ran toward her. Cole said the story is far from finished.
-Backstage, Bryan approached Owens and Sami chatting. Owens said he must not have been able to find even one person to want to fight them. Bryan said, true, not one person – instead, every person. He said everyone is coming up to him wanting to punch him in the face. Bryan said he’s going to give Sami the opportunity he wants – an opportunity to fight Randy Orton. He said his partner will be Shinsuke Nakamura. When Bryan imitated Nakamura, Owens said he bets Bryan thinks he’s funny, but he’s merely mildly entertaining. Bryan laughed. [c]
-Pulp Fashion with Breezango: They showed a typewriter with a wig on it. The bulletin board had four John Cena pictures wearing different colored gear. He was called Mr. Blue, Mr. Pink, Mr. White, and Mr. Orange. They also had Bushwacker Butch, a picture of Road Dogg labelled “Reservoir Dogg,” and others. Fandango approached Ascension who said they’ve been waiting a couple hours. Fandango said they should stay cool, “like the Fonze.” The Ascension said, “Jumped the shark!” And laughed. In danced Breeze wearing a dark women’s wig, blouse, white vest, and slacks. The Ascension said it’s obvious 2B is The Bludgeon Brothers. Breeze began choking on a pickle or having an allergic reaction. Fandango asked for Ascension’s help. Vicktor said only if they promise to be their friends. They took out an oversized novelty shot and as Fandango was about to puncture Breeze chest, Breeze popped up. He said the bun was disgusting. Ascension said it’s gluten free. Ascension tried to hold them to Fandango’s agreement to be friends. The briefcase went missing during all of this. Ascension offered to work with Breeznango to solve this case. Breezango walked out instead. “To be continued.”
-As Baron Corbin walked to the ring, the announcers reacted to the Pulp Fashion segment. Byron thought it was hilarious, Cole wondered what it was. Cole said he’s not around Smackdown all the time, but he’s heard the locker room is pretty miserable with Corbin as champion.
Got a question or comment about this episode of Smackdown for tonight’s Wade Keller Podcast taping for Podcast One? Send to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
(2) BARON CORBIN vs. SIN CARA
Corbin asked if everyone wants to see a U.S. Title Open Challenge match. The crowd cheered. Corbin said that’s too bad because he only cares about himself, and so the U.S. Title Open Challenge is closed for good. Cole said Corbin was more than happy to take on the challenge until he became champion. Bryon said Corbin is a hypocrite. Graves said at least Corbin admits it. Sin Cara landed an early dropkick, sending Corbin to ringside. Then he dove through the ropes and knocked Corbin into the barricade. Corbin tried to return, but Sin Cara snapped his throat over the top rope. Then he dove off the top rope onto Corbin at ringside. Corbin was counted out. Graves said despite being a countout, it’s still an impressive win and moves him up.
WINNER: Sin Cara at 1:30 via countout.
-Renee Young interviewed The Usos. Boos. Renee asked how they’re feeling. The Usos celebrated being tag champs and being “what’s happening” on Smackdown since the Superstar Shake-up. They said they feel they have the whole tag division on lock. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable walked in. Chad imitated the Usos, saying he’s as confident as them. He said they’re going to wrap them up and tap them out and become WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions. Benjamin said it’s happening real, real soon. They offered a handshake, and when the Usos went to accept, they pulled away from the Usos and left.
-Graves plugged Orton & Shinsuke vs. Owens & Sami.
-They showed Jinder Mahal heading toward the entrance stage with the Singh Brothers. [c]
-A vignette aired with The Bludgeon Brothers in the woods. Erick Rowan took off his sheep mask. They said the darkness of destruction always prevails over the futility of light, and where they go, annihilation follows. They swung their hammers.
-Back to ringside, Graves told Byron to uncover his eyes now. Cole said it’s pretty cool to be sitting by one another this week because they’re the announce team on WWE’s new video game.
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-They showed Jinder Mahal visiting India last week. They showed him on different TV shows and appearing in front of a huge crowd in his homeland with cheering fans. Cole said when WWE tours India on Dec. 8 and 9, it’ll be the first time an India champion defends his title on his home soil.
-The Singh Brothers came out onto the stage live and introduced Jinder. Graves said he had a chance to meet the parents of the Singh Brothers earlier today and they were proud of their sons. Byron said he heard from a media rep who traveled to India with Jinder, and he said Jinder’s reception was like that of a Presidential Inauguration. “That’s how much love and admiration there was for this man,” he said. Graves said some day perhaps Jinder will get the same respect in the rest of the world that he does in India.
Mahal stood center ring with the Singh Brothers and smiled. He held up his WWE Title. He said there are things you only get to experience when you are the Modern Day Maharaja. He said this past week he took the WWE Championship to his homeland and was given a true hero’s welcome. He said nothing but royal treatment for him. He said five-star hotels and the finest restaurants. He said a young boy asked him what was next, since he already has defeated Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura multiple times. He said he has defeated everyone on Smackdown who was worth beating, but in America he doesn’t have the respect that he does in India. “This boy was wise beyond his years,” he said. “I must make a challenge.” Fans pelted him with a chant of “You can’t wrestle!” He said, “Let me remind you I am your WWE Champion.” He held up the belt. He said he must beat a man fans perceive as unbeatable, so at Survivor Series he is challenging the man fans see as the most unstoppable force in WWE, “The Beast” Brock Lesnar. He said he wants all of the fans to kiss his feet when he proves The Beast can be beaten. He said every one of them will realize he is the greatest WWE Champion of all time.
A.J. Styles’s music played. Yes, the guy who lost clean last week to the guy who lost this week in under two minutes to Sin Cara. That A.J. Styles. Styles walked out, obviously to take exception to Jinder’s claim that he has already defeated anyone worth beating on Smackdown. Styles said he must not have heard him correctly. Jinder said he did. A loud “A.J. Styles!” chant broke out. Jinder reiterated his challenge to Lesnar. Styles said that’s not what he was talking about and he doesn’t care about that. He said what jumped out to him was Jinder claiming he beat every worthy challenger on Smackdown. He said he hasn’t beaten him yet. Jinder said there is no worthy competition on Smackdown Live, and that’s what he meant. He said Styles is a loser and he is a winner. He again held up the WWE Championship belt. Styles said if he’s a loser, he wouldn’t have a problem facing him for his WWE Championship. Jinder said in his country, they don’t feel he is worthy to be standing in the ring against him. “We’re not in your country, are we?” Styles said. Jinder said Styles isn’t at the front of the line, he’s at the back of the line. A loud “USA!” chant broke out.
Jinder said Styles is delusional, just like all of the people. He said just challenging him for the title is an absolute joke. “Don’t you know who I am?” he asked. Styles hit Jinder with rapid-fire punches. He fended off the Singh Brothers, then hit Jinder with a Pelé kick. The heel threesome retreated. Styles yanked off his Ultimate Warrior t-shirt promoting breast cancer awareness.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m not sure I’m encouraged by the idea that Styles is a set-up guy for Jinder vs. Lesnar, but if they play this right, Styles can be someone who fans rally behind to finish what Lesnar started – which is taking Jinder off his pedestal. I’m not sure it helps at all that Styles is coming into this having lost a feud to Baron Corbin, who didn’t exactly look strong this week. This was one of Jinder’s better performances on the mic, although it’s still not dynamic and feels carefully orchestrated. The Singh Brothers are really good in their role. The Jinder vs. Lesnar match is intriguing from a storyline positioning standpoint.)
-They showed Bryan talking on his cell phone, at which point Jinder interrupted. He said Styles disrespected him, so he wanted to know what he’d do. Bryan asked what he’d do about it. Jinder said he’ll make Styles pay. He said one of the Singh Brothers would make him pay. Bryan said it sounds like a great idea.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good heelish move to volunteer one of his sidekicks to fight Styles as a way to “prove styles wrong” and make him pay.)
-Roode made his ring entrance. Byron asked if Roode “wears that robe everywhere.” He said if he had a robe like that, he’d wear it everywhere, too. Graves said he’d never have a robe that nice. Cole said he has his footsie pajamas, and that’s enough. They replayed that Ziggler tried to win by cheating, but then Roode used Ziggler’s own tactic against him to win.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to hear the announcers pointing out that Roode cheated only in response to Ziggler cheating first.)
-Ziggler then came out to the start of his music, which then stopped abruptly and the stage went dark.
(3) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. BOBBY ROODE
Roode knocked Ziggler down with a clothesline. Ziggler retreated to the floor. Roode went after him, but Ziggler rammed him back-first into the ring apron and then dropkicked him. They cut to a break. [c]
They stayed with the action on split-screen. Ziggler stayed in control, including settling into the obligatory chinlock right before the commercial ended. Roode came back with a catapult, and both were slow to get up. Roode leaped off the second rope, then awkwardly ran backwards right into a Ziggler schoolboy. Roode powered out and then went for a Glorious DDT. Ziggler avoided it, then sidestepped Roode and rolled him up with a yank of the tights for a three count. Graves said that was poetic justice for Ziggler. Cole said Ziggler “started this tights pulling stuff.” Graves said the record books won’t say Controversial Victory, just Victory.
WINNER: Ziggler in 7:00 with a CONTROVERSIAL VICTORY. (Take that, Corey Graves.) [c]
-Cole announced that Lesnar will respond to Jinder’s challenge next Monday on Raw.
-Backstage Aiden English was singing opera. He walked past a couple backstage workers who were chatting about something on one of their phones. English was offended they were on their phone while he sang. He asked if he’s not up to their musical standards, then who is. Suddenly New Day barged in and began dancing as Xavier played the trombone. All three told jokes at English’s expense. In walked Rusev who didn’t seem amused. “No more New Day,” he said. “The only thing that matters now is Rusev Day!” Kofi asked if it’s Rusev Day again. Then New Day began to celebrate for him. Big E threw popcorn in the air as they danced and played trombone. Rusev said Rusev Day is not a joke. English began singing, “It’s Rusev Day!” Rusev said, “Not the time.”
-Nakamura’s ring entrance took place. Then Orton’s. Then Owens’. Then Sami’s. [c]
(4) SAMI ZAYN & KEVIN OWENS vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & RANDY ORTON
Sami and Nakamura opened against each other. Cole said they have a real history between them. Graves encouraged fans to look up their match in NXT on WWE Network. A few minutes in, Owens avoided an RKO and rolled to ringside. Sami leaped down to protect Owens from Orton. Owens hit Orton from behind and threw him into the ringpost and then fallaway slammed him into the barricade. They cut to a break. [c]
A few minute after the break, Orton dropped Owens over the ringside barrier. Sami licked his lips and then dove toward Orton, but Orton hit him with a forearm. Orton set up a DDT off the ring apron, but Sami blocked it. Orton then dropped Sami through the announce table instead. Orton then threw Sami into the ring and scored a two count, the cover broken up by Owens. Nakamura entered and threw Owens out of the ring. When Sami went at Orton with a Helluva Kick attempt, Orton turned it into a snap powerslam for a believable near fall. Orton then set up a DDT off the middle rope. Owens, meanwhile, yanked Nakamura off the ring apron and then threw him into the ringside steps. With the ref distracted by that, Sami gave Owens a low-blow to block the DDT attempt. Sami then charged at Orton with a Helluva Kick and pinned Orton.
WINNERS: Sami & Owens in 12:00.
-Backstage Owens and Sami celebrated. Bryan walked up to them. Owens gloated. “How did that work out for you?” he said. “You thought you had us! But we’re too good!” Sami said they just beat the top two guys on Smackdown Live, so what does he have in store for them next. Bryan said it’s not up to him what they have next week, it’s up to Shane McMahon. Owens’ complexion changed to distress. Cole said that’s big news that Shane returns next week to Smackdown Live. Cole wondered what Shane thinks of what’s happened with Sami since he interfered in the Hell in a Cell match.
-They went back to Nakamura and Orton at ringside, soaking up their loss. Owens and Sami walked back onto the stage. Owens tried to start a “Yes!” chant and said they just beat Orton and Nakamura. “We are Smackdown Live!” He said nobody can do anything about it. He said Sami is his best friend. Cole said his tune might change next week. “Hug me!” he said. “Hold me tight!” Owens yelled to Sami.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was an awkward finish, like they had 30 seconds left they didn’t know what to do with, so they went Owens and Sami out to gloat some more.)