KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/5: Will Sami Zayn face ramifications for actions last week? Charlotte vs. Tamina, Roode vs. Corbin, New Day vs. Rusev & English

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

WWE Smackdown Live logo - new July 2016 (c)



Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


-A video recap aired of last week’s angle with Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Shane McMahon and the finish of Owens vs. Randy Orton with Sami interfering despite being barred from ringside.

-Owens and Sami came out to KO’s music as the announcers introduced the show. Owens told Sami that when someone becomes the target of a McMahon family vendetta, they never step until they get their pound of flesh. He said to just ask Daniel Bryan. Sami suggested asking Bret Hart. Owens suggested asking Steve Austin. Sami said you could just ask them. Owens agreed, saying that they’re better than everyone else they just mentioned. Sami said: “Combined.”

Owens said Shane is supposed to have the WWE Universe’s best interests at heart, but he tried to end his career by having his vessel of destruction, Randy Orton, do it. Sami said history tends to repeat itself because now Shane uses Orton to do his dirty work, and not long ago it was Stephanie McMahon who used Orton. Owens said Orton has done this for years and he’s had everything handed to him on a silver platter whereas they’ve had to scratch and claw to get anything they’ve gotten on Smackdown Live.

Owens said Shane can’t get over that they humiliated him and his family at Hell in a Cell and Shane led Team Smackdown to failure, and now he’s letting Orton do his dirty work for him. He said his plan didn’t even work because he made the match no DQ with Sami barred from ringside. Owens said at that moment he knew what he had to do – which was beat up Orton so badly, he’d no longer be an option for Shane. Sami said, “Check!” Owens said he had to show the world he is not afraid of Orton or of Smackdown management’s vendetta against them. Sami: “Double check!” He said to do that, he had to outsmart Shane. Sami: “Triple check!” Owens said it’s not that hard to outsmart a man so unaware of his shortcomings.

Sami said he is standing in the ring. “You follow, you dig?” Then he jumped to the floor and said now he’s at ringside. He said he’s getting an up close view of the WWE Universe which isn’t the most pleasant sight in the world. The crowd booed. Sami said they boo because they know it’s true. He then danced up the ramp and said, “This area becomes something very different altogether.” He said that area is where he laid waste to Orton with a chair. He said it didn’t happen at ringside. He told Shane to watch his words a little more carefully. Sami said he and KO worked within the system and still won. “Check!” Orton then gave KO an RKO out of nowhere. Then he stared down Sami from the ring.

Shane’s music then played. He smiled as he approached Sami. He thanked Sami for pointing out what is ringside and what isn’t. He said it seems he and KO have a personal vendetta against the two of them. He said that’s not true. He said they also said he felt disrespected that the two of them were not featured at Survivor Series. He said in just two weeks at the Clash of Champions PPV event, they will be featured. He said Sami & KO will face Orton and a partner of his choosing. He said Sami appears to be all hyped up and full of energy, so they can solve that with a match tonight. Sami took off his hat and rubbed his sweating forehead. Shane revealed he’d have to fight Orton tonight. “Oh, and let me mention, your friend Kevin Owens is more than welcome to join you at the ringside area.” He said Owens will be handcuffed to the ring rope. They showed Owens still knocked out on the floor.

-The announcers hyped New Day vs. Rusev & Aiden English and Bobby Roode vs. Baron Corbin. [c]

-They plugged John Cena appearing on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday night and “The Today Show” the next morning.

-Backstage Sami told KO it’s bad. KO asked what happened, what did Shane say. Sami said he booked him against Orton later. KO said that’s good so they get even. Sami said he will be handcuffed to the ring ropes. Owens freaked out at first, then said he’d go talk to Daniel Bryan. KO was rubbing his neck in pain, wincing the whole time he talked, selling the RKO.

-Inside the ring, Rusev’s music trailed off. He stood next to Aiden English. English said in San Diego, every day is Rusev Day. A “Rusev Day” chant broke out. He sang a Rusev Day song to the tune of the “12 Days of Christmas.” It included a plug for a new Rusev Day t-shirt with Bulgarian flag colors which Rusev held up proudly. He was interrupted by New Day.

New Day danced out to their music. Graves was upset he didn’t get to hear about nine more “Days of Rusev.” New Day came out with giant pancakes. They poured one over the face of a kid.

(1) NEW DAY (Big E & Kofi Kingston w/Xavier Woods) vs. AIDEN ENGLISH & RUSEV

English went for an early suplex against Big E. Big E didn’t budge, and instead gyrated and escaped. Graves called it oddly inappropriate. Rusev pulled English to safety at ringside a minute later. [c]

Rusev and English took over during the break, which aired on a split screen. Rusev put Kofi in a bear hug. Graves said 12 percent of male Bulgarians born in 2017 have been named Rusev. Eventually Kofi dove to his corner and hot-tagged Big E who went to work on English with a string of suplexes. He stuck his tongue out and played to the crowd. He gyrated and pretended to flip crotch sweat onto English. Then he delivered a running splash. English raked Big E’s eyes and tagged in Rusev. Rusev charged, but Big E one-arm slammed him for a believable near fall. Big E tagged in Kofi, but then Rusev yanked Big E out of the ring by his leg and threw him hard into the ringside steps. Kofi then did a running dive onto Rusev on the floor and threw him back into the ring. Kofi kicked English who briefly distracted him, but that gave Rusev an extra second to stand and knock Kofi off balance. Then he kicked Kofi in the back of his neck and shoulder for the win. Graves said, “We have witnessed the genesis of one of the next new great tag teams in WWE.”

WINNERS: Rusev & English in 8:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: This isn’t a bad idea to give a push to Rusev and English as a team since they didn’t have a lot going with them otherwise, and feuding with New Day is a significant spot to be in on the card. Plus there’s some good comedic aspects of Rusev and English that could play well off of New Day’s quirky traits.)

-The announcers threw to a video recap of Mojo Rawley turning on Zack Ryder last week.

-Renee Young interviewed Mojo backstage. The crowd booed him. Renee asked for an explanation for brutally attacking her friend and tag team partner. Mojo said everybody is getting on him. He said “my boy Gronk” is getting on him. (This is a good week to bring up Gronk as a pal if you’re trying to get over as a heel.) Mojo said people should be asking him what Ryder did to him. He said he went out and won the Andre the Giant Battle Royal by himself when Ryder was out injured. He said when things finally started going his way, Ryder came back to drag him down “because he’s dead weight.” He said he’s a serious competitor and he is nobody’s tag team partner because he is a superstar. He said if there’s anyone in that locker room or that arena who has a problem with what he did to Ryder, then they can shove it. He walked away as Renee looked disgusted by him. [c]

-They showed the exterior of the arena.

-The announcers hyped the fatal four-way match for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles at Clash of Champions.

-Backstage Carmella told Bryan she rid the world of James Ellsworth, which justifies her being given a spotlight at the Clash. Lana asked why Natalya gets another championship match when her Samoan soldier Tamina deserves the chance to destroy Charlotte. Bryan said the Clash is all about title matches, but he told Carmella she could be in the title match if she just hands over her contract now. She revealed she has named it Frankie. In walked the Riott Squad. Riott said they’ve shifted the tectonic plates of Smackdown Live, yet they’re on the outside looking in. Riott said she pinned Charlotte, yet she’s not in the Smackdown Title match. She wanted to know why. “Do my tattoos make our nervous?” She asked if she didn’t “dress the part.” Liv Morgan said Bryan favors brunettes so he shouldn’t treat beautiful blondes like they don’t matter, except for Lana. Sarah Logan said Bryan is prejudiced against people from the South. She asked if he’s ever hunted live game or tasted gaming. She butchered that and left out words. It led to a big argument with Carmella, Lana, and Tamina arguing with Riott Squad. Bryan let out a very very very loud scream to “stop it!” He then made the Charlotte vs. Natalya match a lumberjack match so they can all be involved.

-Corbin asked Roode backstage how he feels about management making their match a Triple Threat match. Roode said one-on-one he can beat him, which he’ll show later. He said his odds of winning the title, “mathematically speaking go down by a third.” Corbin agreed. In walked Ziggler. He said they’re probably wondering why he was added to the match. He said it’s probably because he was a two-time World Champion and five time Intercontinental Champion and cashed in his Money in the Bank successfully. He began yelling for no reason once again as he said this. “Oh, and I used to crush it at Kent State.” He said mathematically both of their odds dropped to zero.

-Graves plugged that The Bludgeon Brothers were up next. [c]

(2) THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs. ADAM JAMES & JOSH CARR (actually indy wrestlers Peter Avalon & Fidel Bravo)

When the Bludgeon Brothers walked out, Graves told Saxton to uncover his eyes. Phillips plugged the ticket launch this Friday for the March 11 Fastlane PPV in Columbus, Ohio, a Smackdown-exclusive and the final PPV on the Road to WrestleMania. The Bludgeon Brothers destroyed the two little jobbers in under a minute. Graves said, “I don’t know if that was James or Carr [who got pinned]; we’ll read about it in his obituary tomorrow.” Phillips said according to them “the darkness of destruction always prevails over the futility of light.”

WINNERS: The Bludgeon Brothers in 1:00.

-A preview aired of Charlotte in “Psych: The Movie” airing on USA Network this Thursday.

-Sami paced nervously backstage. Sami asked Owens if he talked to Bryan. Sami said maybe they can get a lawyer to get him un-cuffed because they’re not circus animals and not even circus animals deserve to be treated that way. Owens said he did talk to Bryan and Bryan said he’d think about it. Sami was excited at first, then asked if that was a good thing or bad thing. Owens said they’d have to wait to find out. Sami paced nervously.

-Saxton plugged Roode vs. Corbin. [c]

-They showed a clip of the Roode and Corbin getting into a battle at ringside during the big show-closing brawl on Smackdown two weeks ago.



Ziggler joined the announcers on commentary. Ziggler said Roode is nothing but an entrance. He said he has proved that he’s a little more than that, but he can’t stand him and that he embraces the WWE Universe. “Focus on winning matches,” he said. (Wow. Pot. Kettle.) He told Corbin to focus on winning a match and one day he’ll maybe he at his level. Ziggler said Corbin said on Twitter that he doesn’t belong in the match, but then said belongs wherever he wants to be. Roode knocked Corbin to ringside early. Corbin punched Roode in the face when Roode leaned through the ropes to grab Corbin. Corbin mounted and punched away at Roode. After both guys were down after a simultaneous clothesline, Ziggler said he needed a closer look. He took off his headset and entered the ring. The ref told him to get out, but he ignored him. Ziggler gave Roode a Zig Zag from behind. Boos from the crowd. Ziggler stood over Roode and laughed. Then he gave Corbin his Zig Zag. Ziggler’s music played. Graves said Ziggler sent a signal he is not to be ignored at the Clash.

WINNER: No contest in 3:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: I’m surprised they didn’t have Corbin and Roode go longer. Ziggler made himself a part of the match with that angle. Ziggler’s usually at his best when he’s on commentary because HE DOESN’T YELL and he’s less scripted. This was no exception.)

-Natalya told Tamina, Carmella, and Lana she heard the good news. She said Charlotte will never be one of them. She said if at the Clash Charlotte gets thrown to the floor and tries to viciously attack them, they have the right to defend themselves. She said if for some reason she makes her way to the floor and Riott Squad heads her way, she needs to know they have her back. They said nothing. Natalya said they are the Welcoming Committee and the heart and soul of the Smackdown Women’s Division. She said they can’t let three stray cats ruin the division. In walked Riott Squad. Natalya played nice and said they want to welcome them to Smackdown and thank them for taking out Becky Lynch and Naomi the last two weeks. She said they’re the epitome of beauty, braun, and brains. She said she is so honored to share the spotlight with the most powerful women in WWE. She then snuck away quickly before finding out of they bought even a word of it.

(Keller’s Analysis: I don’t know if it qualifies as a guilty pleasure, but Natalya’s over-the-top mannerisms and heavy-handed reciting of her lines is a hoot. It really fits her heel persona, and this was her best work as a manipulative two-faced heel.) [c]

-A video featured aired on A.J. Styles beating Jinder Mahal to become WWE Champion and hype their rematch at the Clash. Graves said Jinder is embarrassed and incensed, so he better be ready for the fight of his life.

Got comments or questions about Smackdown? Be sure to send them to during the show and we might read them on tonight’s taping of the Post-Smackdown edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast on Podcast One.

(4) CHARLOTTE vs. TAMINA (w/Lana, Natalya, Carmella)

Charlotte took control early with some chops and then an armbar. Some fans briefly chanted “We Want Lana!” Tamina took over a couple minutes in with some power moves. [c]

They stayed with the action on split screen. Tamina mostly held Charlotte down with a chinlock. Charlotte eventually came back by countering a Samoan Drop with a sudden boot to the face and then the Figure-Eight.

WINNER: Charlotte via tapout in 6:00.

-Natalya said from the ring apron afterward that at the Clash she is taking back her title and will reclaim her throne as the best there is, there was, and there ever will be. She said Charlotte better have her head on a swivel because this is a taste of a lumberjack match as Carmella and Lana surrounded her from the ring apron. Out walked Riott Squad to their music. Ruby told the WWE Universe to break out the popcorn, break out the candy, and take a sip of soda because the Riott Squad is there for their featured presentation. The other two had a few scripted “clever” lines. Then a brawl broke out at ringside with everyone except Charlotte. Graves said this is a sign of the combustible elements that could break out at the Clash. Phillips said these lumberjacks aren’t going to help keep order.

(Keller’s Analysis: Since WWE has a whole women’s division, but doesn’t want to fill a PPV line-up with three women’s matches, they have to come up with situations like this to give all of the women some screen time. It seems the Riot Squad are neither face nor heel, but mostly face.)

-Owens and Sami approached Bryan. Owens kissed up to him, thanking him for thinking about his side of things. Bryan said he thought out it. Bryan expressed that he understands both sides. Three security guys walked up behind Bryan. One of them, a foot taller than Owens, presented handcuffs. Bryan said he agrees with the commissioner. Owens was despondent. [c]

-At ringside, Owens told Bryan he’s not doing this. Bryan said if he doesn’t do it, he’ll be suspended. Owens gave in as the tall security guy handcuffed him.

-At ringside, the announcers ran down the Clash line-up.

-Orton made his full ring entrance. [c]

(5) RANDY ORTON vs. SAMI ZAYN (w/Kevin Owens handcuffed at ringside)

Graves was upset that Owens was handcuffed because all Sami and Owens did last week was outsmart Shane. Orton threw Sami into the announce table at ringside and then dropped him across the barricade. After briefly being inside the ring to break the count, Orton threw Sami back to the floor and threw him into the ringside barrier. Sami showed some fight with a few chops to the chest. Orton took over again and rammed Sami into the announce table and then slammed him onto it. He didn’t move the monitors, and one of them broke when Sami landed on it. That looked dangerous, actually. The circuitry was exposed after the screen broke off. Orton then walked toward Owens. Sami slidekicked Orton. Sami took over and they cut to a break. [c]

Sami had Orton in a chinlock after the break. Orton made a comeback with two sudden clotheslines and a snap powerslam. Sami snapped Orton’s neck over the top rope seconds later, then looked under the ring. Orton grabbed him before he could grab anything, but Sami punched him. Sami then came out with a bolt cutter. He walked over to Owens. Graves said, “This is genius! This is brilliant!” Orton attacked Sami before he could get to the snipping the cuffs. Orton then rammed Owens into the ringpost. Sami hit Orton from behind. Sami climbed to the top rope, but Orton popped up and knocked him off balance. Fans chanted “RKO!” Instead, Orton superplexed Sami.

Owens snipped himself free, but Orton immediately clotheslined him off the ring apron. Sami charged, but Orton side-stepped him and hit a second rope DDT. Orton pounded the mat, but had to turn to address Owens. Sami rolled up Orton from behind for a quick two count. Sami blocked an RKO, but Orton avoided a Helluva kick. Orton then rolled up Sami for the win.

WINNER: Orton in 12:00.

-Afterward Owens attacked Orton from behind and stomped away at him. Sami joined in. Shinsuke Nakamura ran out for the save. He threw some kicks to take out both Sami and Owens. Then came the Kinshasa Kick to Owens. Orton then gave Sami an RKO. Orton and Nakamura shook hands. The announcers put two-and-two together to realize this indicated Orton would pick Nakamura as his partner at Clash of Champions. After a replay, they went back to the ring where Orton held up Sami and then Nakamura delivered a Kinshasa kick to Sami, too. Nakamura’s music played as Orton and Nakamura played to the crowd.

-Backstage Shane told Bryan this is one of the most satisfying finishes to Smackdown ever. Bryan said this should be the end of punishing Owens & Sami. Shane said after all they’ve done, he has one more surprise. He said he’ll be the referee for the tag match, and if Owens & Sami lose, they’ll be finished with Smackdown. Bryan seemed to think that was going too far, based on his blank expression as Shane walked away.)

(Keller’s Analysis: That’s a big stipulation.)

Got comments or questions about Smackdown? Be sure to send them to during the show and we might read them on tonight’s taping of the Post-Smackdown edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast on Podcast One.


1 Comment on KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/5: Will Sami Zayn face ramifications for actions last week? Charlotte vs. Tamina, Roode vs. Corbin, New Day vs. Rusev & English

  1. HOw is attacking CHarlotte a face move by the Riot Squad?

    Did I miss a double turn?

    I actually would prefer they make the Riot Squad a face team it would contrast the heel team on Raw captained by Paige. I like members of the Riot Squad, I don’t like anyone in the Paige group, maybe that is why they are more appealing. The name is better too. Absolution? THat just sounds like a random word.

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