KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 12/12: Nakamura vs. Owens and the final developments headed into Clash of the Champions PPV on Sunday

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


WWE Smackdown Live logo - new July 2016 (c) WWE.com

KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
DECEMBER 12, 2017
CINCINNATI, OHIO
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

[HOUR ONE]

-A highlight package aired on the latest happenings with Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan, and Shane McMahon.

-They went backstage to Owens and Sami handing out fliers to “End the Tyranny of Shane McMahon,” dubbed by them the “Yep!” movement. They wore Bryan-style t-shirts that said “Yep! Yep! Yep!” on them. Owens said they were going to make changes in the world that would make it a better place. They pitched directly to some anonymous workers and then to Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable.

-They went to the arena where a camera panned the crowd with fans holding up signs.

-A.J. Styles made his full ring entrance. Saxton said Styles told him he’s tired of hearing complaints from Jinder Mahal and he wants to silence him and solidify his own title reign with a win on Sunday. The crowd chanted “A.J. Styles!” Styles looked around and smiled. He took off his jacket and showed that he was wearing his belt around his waist (like a real champion should!!). He rubbed the belt as the crowd cheered. He said he can’t eat because his entire focus is on Sunday’s defense of his title. He said he doesn’t want to lose what he finally got back. “What good is being champion if you’re not willing to fight for it?” he said. “What good is being champion if you’re not a fighting champion?”

Styles talked about his six month title reign, which included having Great Khali come from India to help him keep his title despite the home field advantage of a Punjabi Prison match. He said Jinder will do anything and everything to get the belt back. The Singh Brothers interrupted. They said this is usually when they introduce Jinder, but not tonight. They threw to a video of Jinder attacking them two weeks ago after Styles beat the Singh Brothers in a two-on-one match. Styles saw the footage and said, “That was just cruel.” He said he feels sorry for them now, so he asked them to come to the ring hug it out. The fans laughed. The Singh Brothers discussed it and then hugged each other. Styles said, “Not each other!” He called them to the ring. The crowd chanted “Hug it out!” Styles gave them brief one-armed hugs, and then turned down a second hug. The Singh Brothers thanked him for his support. They said they want to be in his corner at the Clash of Champions. The fans booed.

The Singh Brothers told the fans not to boo and hear them out. They said Jinder’s a disgrace to the 1.3 billion people of India. Styles enthusiastically told them to get it all off their chest and tell it like it is. They said Jinder travels first class while they are packed in the back like sardines. “He can’t even tell us apart,” one of them said (irony intended). “He thinks we’re twins. He makes us dress the same. Worst of all, he made us kiss his feet.” They said his feet smelled like cheese and garlic mixed with butter chicken.

Styles asked if they are really broken up with Jinder, why were they by his side this weekend in India. They put pictures up on the big screen. “It’s called social media, guys,” Styles said. “It’s everywhere.” The Singh Brothers insisted they are done with him. Styles then shook their hands. Mahal’s music interrupted. Styles told Jinder: “These two little dingleberries are trying to convince me they’re not working with you anymore? You’re not convincing anybody. You guys suck.”

Styles said he liked what they said about a one-on-one match, though, and headbutted them and tossed them out of the ring. He lay the belt on the mat and called Jinder in the ring to come and get it. Jinder stood on the ring apron and yelled at Styles that he doesn’t know what’s coming his way. “Jinder sucks!” chanted the crowd as Jinder and Styles yelled back and forth at each other.

(Keller’s Analysis: I’m really glad and impressed that WWE acknowledged the widespread social media awareness of the Singh Brothers still being with Jinder this past weekend. It would have been a real narrative break to pretend otherwise, and it would have made Styles look bad, or just complicit in sloppy scripting of his character. Overall, a fine segment where Styles was likable and came across like defending his title means everything to him, and closing the chapter on Mahal as a challenge is his determination going into Sunday.)

-The announcers hyped Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens coming up later. Then they showed Liv Morgan, Sarah L0gan, and Ruby Riott backstage. Byron hyped Ruby vs. Charlotte Flair. [c]

-A video package aired on what the Riott Squad have been up to since their arrival.

(1) CHARLOTTE FLAIR vs. RUBY RIOT (w/Liv Morgan, Sarah Logan)

Natalya joined the announcers at ringside. Natalya said she’s a uniter, not a divider, and she’s attempting to make friends with all of the lumberjacks. Saxton said some would call it sucking up. Natalya said it’s pretty clear all week on social media that the other women see her as a leader and they all love her. Charlotte kicked out of a early schoolgirl and overhead tossed Riott, who rolled to the floor to recover. They cut to a break. [c]

They stayed with the action on split screen during the commercials. Riott took over after a distraction at ringside. Riot held Charlotte down with a long chinlock. After the break, Charlotte lifted her knees on a Riott splash and took over. Charlotte took it to the Riott Squad members at ringside when they got near her. When Natalya stood up and had some words for Charlotte, Charlotte hit her with a forearm. Natalya then clotheslined Charlotte, and the ref called for the DQ.

WINNER: Charlotte via count in 5:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Boy, they didn’t have faith in that match holding the attention of the audience for long. Under a minute before the break and under a minute after the break before the DQ finish.)

-The Riott Squad then attacked Charlotte at ringside, throwing her into the ringside steps and ringside barrier. They put the ringside steps over Charlotte and then appeared to be setting up a catapult, but Naomi ran out for the save. She gave a running dropkick to Morgan and Logan. Then in the ring she took it to Riott with a barrage of punches followed by the Rear View. Logan and Morgan pulled Riott to safety and ran to the stage to recover. Tamina, Lana, and Carmella ran out and attacked Riott Squad from behind. Graves said it’ll be pure chaos at the Clash on Sunday. [c]

-A commercial aired for NXT’s debut on USA Network tomorrow night hyping Andrade Cien Almas would be on the show.

-They went to the announcers at ringside. Phillips said NXT would be on commercial television for the first time ever at 7 ET. “Come and experience the phenomenon known as NXT,” he said.

-Backstage Daniel Bryan was on his cell phone telling Shane McMahon that he has everything under control. He said he’d be on commentary for the main event keeping a close eye on things. Owens and Sami walked into the area and whispered to him and put up an anti-Shane flyer on a table set up behind Bryan. (How convenient that for the first time ever there’s a table in that spot.)


Send your questions or comments about Smackdown for tonight’s taping of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast on Podcast One to wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com during or right after the show.


(2) BARON CORBIN vs DOLPH ZIGGLER

Bobby Roode joined the announcers at ringside. He said he feels absolutely glorious (because if we’re learned one thing about Roode over the years, his character can’t get enough of incessantly repeating his gimmick in the form of puns and catch phrases). Ziggler eyed Roode after he came to ringside. Roode said he doesn’t care if it’s a three-way or a two-way match, he just wanted an opportunity at the U.S. Title. With both men down, for no apparent reason, Roode just entered the ring and gave Ziggler a Glorious DDT. The ref called for the bell.

WINNER: Ziggler via DQ after Roode interfered in 3:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Boy did that make Roode just seem like an idiot. His two opponents on Sunday are fighting five days before the match and he, for absolutely no reason, enters the ring and attacks one of them to stop the fight in its tracks. Who wrote that segment?) [c]

-They went to the announcers who noted that The Fashion Files will now be exclusively on WWE.com. A clip aired of the latest episode where the Ascension told Breezango they shouldn’t be scared and they believe in them. Fandango said they’d face the Bludgeon Brothers if it gets those two off of their backs, and Tyler Breeze seemed surprised and nervous. Saxton said this could be a big mistake.

(3) THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS (Luke Harper & Erick Rowan) vs. COLIN DELANEY & JOE MONROE

The jobbers looked nervous, if not freaked out. Erick Rowan nailed Delaney with a dropkick. Then he knocked Monroe off the ring apron. Harper hit a hard clothesline. They gave Delaney a couple double team moves, and he let out a high-pitched scream as he was going up for it. Pretty funny. They need to bring him back for more squashes. On the replay, they amplified the scream, and Graves couldn’t seem to stop laughing.

WINNERS: The Bludgeon Brothers in 3:00. [c]

-They flashed back to February 2011 of The Rock giving Michael Cole a hard time on Raw. Graves said he can’t get enough of Rock emasculating Cole.

-Sami and KO walked to the ring with the anti-Shane flyers. Sami said it seems the entire WWE Universe finally decided to stand side-by-side with them to stand against WWE management. Owens kept saying “Yep!” after each of Sami’s sentences. Sami said last week Shane took things one step too far when Owens was handcuffed to the bottom rope and then Shinsuke Nakamura coming to Randy Orton’s aid at the end.

[HOUR TWO]

Owens said without a doubt, Shane McMahon is the worst McMahon of them all. Sami said, “Yep.” He said Shane made himself the guest referee at the Clash and if they lose, they are fired from the entire WWE. Sami said Shane is nothing but a madman on a rage bender, trying to humiliate them because he couldn’t defend his family’s honor. He said it’s time to show that this business is bigger than Shane McMahon and his vendetta. Owens said he hopes the ring is reenforced because it’s time to occupy Smackdown. Nobody came out. Graves said just wait a few seconds because it’s a grassroots movement and it’s new. Instead, out came Daniel Bryan. Graves wondered if he was joining the Yep Movement. “That could be historic!” he said. Bryan’s music played and he skipped to the ring.

Bryan asked what they were doing. Owens said they have been made to feel like they don’t belong there, just like Bryan was a few years ago. Bryan said they’re nothing like him, and if anything proves it, it’s this. He said the Yes Movement was all about the fans, not himself. Sami said this is almost exactly like that, except it’s more about them and what they deserve than the fans. (Funny.) Sami told Bryan that Shane won’t stop until he took away all that they have earned including years working hard on the independent scene. Bryan said he and Shane promised to watch each other’s backs. He said he does recognize their talents, though, so he’s inserted himself into the match as a second special referee. Cheers. He said therefore, if they lose, they’ll have no excuses. He said he wasn’t sure if Shane will like this decision. Graves wondered how that would even work. Owens and Sami seemed happy and led the crowd in “Yep!” chants. [c]

-The New Day joined the announcers on commentary. Aiden English stood in the ring with Rusev. English said before the match that every day is Rusev Day. He said he’d try to finish the holiday song they started last week, “The 12 Days of Rusev.” It ended with “a massive win over New Day.” New Day weren’t impressed and said it gets zero percent on their Rotten Tomato-0-Meter. The Usos came out and said they had Christmas gift ideas for English – singing lessons, a new toupee, a better tag partner, and a tan. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable came out and said the only day that matters is Sunday because that’s collection day. Gable said some lines from “Training Day.” New Day made appropriate facial expressions in response, which was “What was that supposed to be?” [c]

(4) AIDEN ENGLISH & RUSEV vs. THE USOS

They showed the start of the match on split screen during the commercial. Benjamin and Gable were watching from ringside. Rusev had an Uso in a bearhug after the break. At ringside, New Day were throwing pancakes at the announcers. Graves didn’t like it. When an Uso dove through the ropes at Rusev, Rusev punched him and then gave him his Machka Kick. English then finished him with a Director’s Cut for the win.

WINNERS: English & Rusev in a non-title match in 7:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Basic booking of having the champs lose a non-title match.)

-The announcers threw to a recap of the opening segment with Styles and the Singh brothers.

-Renee Young interviewed Styles backstage. He said he’d “beat the odds” on Sunday with the Singh Brothers on Jinder’s side. Jinder then attacked him and said he wouldn’t beat the odds.  [c]

-The announcers hyped the Clash line-up.

-Ring entrances took place for Randy Orton and then Shinsuke. Renee interviewed them mid-ring. She asked Orton about Shane being the guest referee, and now Bryan being in the mix. The crowd chanted “Nakamura!” Orton paused and soaked up that they weren’t chanting his name. Orton said he can’t speak for the motivations of Shane or Bryan, but he can speak about his. He said Owens and Sami are obnoxious and self-entitled. He said he and his partner on Sunday will make sure those two idiots lose their jobs. Renee asked if he agrees with Orton. Shinsuke said simply, “Yep!” He smiled and the fans laughed. [c]

(5) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Randy Orton) vs. KEVIN OWENS (w/Sami Zayn)

Bryan on commentary said he doesn’t have any doubt Shane will be a fair referee, but he inserted himself to make sure nothing happens. Graves wondered if Bryan really believes Shane will be fair. Bryan said if he’s of sound mind, yes, but his inclusion is to assure Owens and Sami that it will be fair. He said he admires Owens and Sami because of what they share in common having worked the indy scene back in the day. Graves asked Bryan if he spoke to Shane since he added himself as referee. Bryan said no, he talked to him earlier, but he said they are making to much of the situation. Bryan said he’s known as a fair person. He said he and Shinsuke roomed together years ago and they became friends, so he won’t be biased toward either team. Byron said maybe Bryan will be biased in favor of Nakamura. With Nakamura knocked down at ringside, they cut to a break. [c]

Owens had control after the break. Bryan said Owens ten years ago tried to gouge his eye out in front of 300 people and he hasn’t forgotten it. He said that’s evidence he has reason to be objective and not be biased either way. Bryan said just because it didn’t happen in WWE, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t remember it. Saxton said if Sami & KO lose, they can go back to the indies where they all came from. Bryan said they worked very hard to be here, and both of them have families to support. Saxton said Bryan made himself special referee because he doesn’t trust Shane. Bryan said he didn’t know Shane’s decision last week before he announced it and he just wants to be sure KO and Sami feel it’s a fair situation. Bryan said all four are incredible performers and they all belong on Smackdown. Owens mistakenly elbowed the referee in the face. Bryan got up and took off the ref’s shirt and then put it on. Owens threw Nakamura into the ropes and went for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Nakamura escaped and landed a tornado kick. Bryan counted to two. Sami entered the ring. Orton entered and knocked Sami to ringside. When Sami stood on the ring apron again, Nakamura knocked him to the floor. Owens then hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb for the win. Graves said Bryan might have shown his true colors just now.

WINNER: Owens.

-Afterward, Renee tried to interview KO and Sami on the stage as Owens celebrated. She asked if he has any final words in case this is his last match on Smackdown. Owens took the mic and said nobody – not Shane, not Shinsuke, and not Orton – will take this away from them because they are the absolute best in the entire WWE. He gave Sami a big smooch on the cheek. He yelled “Yep! Yep! Yep! Yep!” Graves said Bryan just proved in the heat of the moment he can be fair and balanced. Saxton was skeptical.


NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: 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

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