(Almost) Live Reactions to WWE SmackDown Live

Well, it’s time. Backlash has lashed back, and Jinder Mahal is holding the most prestigious championship in wrestling history. Sammartino, Graham, Backlund, Hogan, Andre, Savage, Warrior, Taker, Flair, Hart, Michaels, Austin, Rock, Foley, Triple H, Angle, Lesnar, Cena, Orton, Punk, Bryan, Styles, and now Jinder Mahal. No, I’m not thrilled with this decision. Hey, I hope he proves me wrong and figures out how to wrestle, how to cut a promo, how to not injure people, etc. I really do hope that he proves me wrong and is the best champion ever. But for now, I’m not thrilled. I’ve seen some crazy stuff in my time, but putting the belt on a jobber because “Wouldn’t that be funny?” pretty much tops the list. So, how would the era of Mahal begin? Read on to find out.

Opening Segment

Shane McMahon was the first one through the curtain tonight. He announced that Randy Orton would receive his championship rematch at Money in The Bank, the upcoming SmackDown PPV. He proceeded to list off the six men who would compete in the eponymous match at the show: Styles, Corbin, Zayn, Ziggler, Owens and Shinsuke Nakamura. The participants bickered amongst themselves to close things out.

I like the field. Everybody in the match has beef with somebody else, so that could turn out quite well as a result. And I’m really not sure who’ll come out on top in that one. For now I’ll say Nakamura, being the newest member of the roster who probably needs the showcase the most. Thumbs up from me!

Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs Natalya and Carmella

Lynch frustrated her opposition early, getting the best of Carmella. Team heel worked together to turn the tables and isolate Lynch, keeping her in the corner and working her over. The tag was made to Charlotte, who steamrolled the competition. Naomi, Tamina and even Ellsworth all caused a big distraction and in the chaos, Lynch applied the Did-Arm-Her for the win.

Result: Becky Lynch and Charlotte win by submission

I wasn’t a big fan of this. Ultimately, the match we got on Sunday was not great, and this didn’t even live up to those low standards. This group of heels has no real reason to still be together, WWE aren’t doing enough to play up any tension betwixt Charlotte and Naomi, and the match was very short. Nothing to see here, let’s just move on.

Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn

Corbin charged right at Zayn to begin. Zayn rolled him for the win just seconds in. An enraged Corbin beat down his rival with a chair as a result.

Result: Sami Zayn wins by pinfall

Very clever. They had me confused with giving out a PPV rematch on free TV, but ended up making it work. Zayn gets yet another win (once again in a flukey way) while Corbin gets the memorable moment and all his heat back. Nicely done.

Jinder Mahal Celebrates With His New Belt

Mahal had a police escort, some dancers, some trash talk to aim at Randy Orton, and a bunch of fireworks to celebrate his championship.

This was a misfire in more than a few ways. Because of how sudden this story has been, this moment lacked any significant impact. Since there was no real build up to him winning, you don’t feel any sense of payoff here. Furthermore, I’m rather not liking his schtick of playing up to his ethnicity. Being foreign really isn’t a good enough reason to boo him, so let’s maybe stop having him use that as his primary heel tactic?

Tag Team Stuff

Fandango and Tyler Breeze campaigned for matches backstage, which Shane McMahon granted in the form of two separate singles bouts against Jimmy and Jey Uso respectively. The heels were both defeated quickly. The Fashion Police demanded a tag title match, and the champs obliged immediately. Breeze was on the receiving end of lots of offense right away, but fire from Fandango evened things up. The Usos grew desperate and started a superkick party, and got the win in the process.

Results: Tyler Breeze wins by pinfall, then Fandango wins by pinfall, then The Usos win by pinfall

Good stuff. Breezango continue to be the most fun thing on the show, and I’m glad to see that they’re not getting tossed to the wayside just yet, despite coming up short on Sunday. They’re super over, too, which is pleasing to see.

Kevin Owens and Dolph Zigger vs AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura

Styles and Ziggler used their amateur backgrounds to trade control while mat wrestling in the early goings. Team heel got the better of Nakamura, keeping him from getting his spots in. Styles and Owens took turns dishing out lots of punishment to the opposite team before things went very chaotic. Between the fighting, Nakamura smashed Owens with a Kinshasa for the three count.

Result: AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura win by pinfall

Quite awesome. This greatly benefitted from going as long as it did, which was very long indeed. Nakamura got the pin which is a plus. He wasn’t used in the match quite as dominantly as I would have preferred, but that’s no deal breaker yet. But for real, have him start running all over some mid-card guys really soon.

And that was SmackDown Live. It was a rather good show, and compared against what I felt was a really weak RAW last night, it was a great show. One question, though: Where in the blue hell has Rusev been? They announced him to show up weeks ago, and then he never did, and he hasn’t been around since. But anywhere, what did you think of this week’s show? Let me know in the comments, or come and tell me on twitter @ejdupras_VVV. Subscribe to the site so you don’t miss anything this awesome website puts out, including this series that I can tell you quite enjoy. Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next week!

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