By Steven Flora
Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton worked together to take on WWE Champion Jinder Mahal & Rusev despite them competing against one another for an opportunity to obtain a title match next week. Elsewhere, Kevin Owens and SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon's personal problems continued to escalate.
Nakamura feels the RKO
Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton def. WWE Champion Jinder Mahal & Rusev
Following their brawl to kick off the show, Jinder Mahal & Rusev rekindled their alliance to take on Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton for the first time ever on Team Blue.
The team of Nakamura & Orton combatted Mahal & Rusev with valor, fending off their underhanded tactics and The Singh Brothers at ringside. Ultimately, WWE’s Rockstar was able to defeat Rusev with the Kinshasa for the win. Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton
Earlier in the night, it was announced that The King of Strong Style and The Viper would face off next week for the first time ever in singles competition, with a WWE Championship opportunity hanging in the balance. With the tag team victory and celebrations out of the way, Orton shockingly laid out The Artist with an RKO, showing only one thing matters to him: getting the WWE Championship back.
Side Note: An OK match. In theory this was your typical house show with the faces going over to send the crowd home happy. We see Orton showing his true colors and getting one over on Nakamura as he wants his shot for the WWE Championship. Thinking about this now, I wonder if WWE will do a fatal 4-way for the WWE Championship, Jinder, Rusev, Orton and Nakamura. If they do, you heard it here first!
Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon get into a war of words prior to Sami Zayn's match against Aiden English
Aiden English def. Sami Zayn
Kevin Owens, frustrated over how his defeat to AJ Styles in the United States Title Match went down last week, interrupted Aiden English mid-song to make it clear he believed SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon screwed him out of the win (and the championship).
Not willing to stand for that, Shane-O-Mac made his way to the ring to retort Owens and tell him this was neither the time, nor place, for this discussion. He then asked KO to leave the ring as English’s match against Sami Zayn was occurring next.
An enraged Owens left the ring but remained at ringside and joined the commentary table. In the heat of the action, KO got in the ring and forcefully removed the referee shirt from the official and told him to get lost. Confused, but intimidated, the referee left, prompting Owens to put the striped shirt on himself. This led to Owens interjecting himself into the contest and hitting the Pop-Up Powerbomb onto Zayn, allowing English to pin Zayn with Owens administering a fast three-count.
Owens then called for the bell and told the ring announcer to proclaim The Drama King the winner, then raised English’s hand and disdainfully threw the referee shirt back at the official.
After the match, McMahon declared that Owens' decision was not final and that it would not be reflected in the records book that English defeated Zayn. Winner: Aiden English
Side Note: OK, so bad news is Zayn continues to get buried as they are slowly building to a Daniel Bryan type situation, hopefully soon as possible. Good news is we get the slow progression of Owens and Shane's feud, building up to Hell in a Cell. The seeds are slowly being planted and with Hell in a Cell taking place in the first week of October, hopefully this feud will be red hot by then!
The Usos choose the stipulation
The Usos def. The New Day allowing themselves to choose the stipulation for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Rematch
Following their recent series of thrilling matches and the SmackDown Tag Team Championship volleying back and forth between them, the SmackDown Tag Team Champion Usos took on The New Day with the winning team getting to choose the stipulation for their eventual title rematch.
In the latest chapter of their incredible rivalry, The Usos caught The New Day by surprise, defeating Kofi with a rollup after a blind tag. Jimmy & Jey were now in the driver’s seat when it came to determining whatever stipulation would be next for this classic rivalry, but what are they going to choose? Winner: The Usos.
Side Note: This was solid, but was hard to get into since they started screen in screen. New Day has their title rematch coming, but the Usos will be able to choose the stipulation. Hopefully they get time to deliver like they have on PPV when that happens.
The U.S. Championship is STILL Phenomenal
WWE United States Champion Match: Champion AJ Styles def. Tye Dillinger
United States Champion AJ Styles was ready to reopen the United States Open Challenge on SmackDown Live, a challenge that rising Superstar Tye Dillinger seemed more than eager to accept. However, before The Perfect 10 could walk down the ramp to take on The Phenomenal One, he was blindsided by Baron Corbin.
The Lone Wolf had stated in an interview minutes prior that he was going to be the one to answer the call tonight, but Dillinger had beat him to the punch. This led to Corbin and Dillinger getting into it and The Lone Wolf attacking him from behind when it was clear The Perfect 10 did indeed plan on accepting the challenge. However, Corbin, so blinded by rage, allowed himself to wait too long to officially begin the match with Styles, leading to Dillinger being able to recover, slip into the ring, temporarily take Corbin out and begin the match with The Phenomenal One himself.
Dillinger was all over Styles in the early goings of the contest, rallying strongly despite suffering the attack from Corbin. However, Styles was able to weather the storm and defeat Dillinger with the Calf Crusher for the submission victory. Winner: A.J. Styles (c) (remains champion)
After the contest, Corbin reemerged and took out The Perfect 10. He then attempted to go after Styles, but The Phenomenal One knocked him to the arena floor. Corbin, now unbelievably annoyed, chose to walk away and fight another day.
Side Note: This was a nice quick win for Styles, with the angle building to Corbin getting a title shot, but being delayed at getting it. I was a bit disappointed, because I wanted to see what Styles could get out of Tye here, and it really did Tye no favors losing so quickly.
Other Notable Moments
Bobby Roode vs. Mike Kanellis: They lock up and work a slow beginning, Roode takes Kanellis down and then poses. Kanellis fights back, but Roode cuts him off with chops, a back elbow and clotheslines. It’s all Roode now, the blockbuster follows and then the spinebuster. The glorious DDT finishes it. Winner: Bobby Roode
Fashion Police Season 2 BEGINS: The Fashion Files are back! They want to get back to work and check out “the new tech,” which is a bunch of normal stuff they pretend is something special like a James Bond segment. Their black light reveals secret arrows in their room, and it points to their evidence, “to b or not to b.” They now think it’s Aiden English they’re after. To be continued … I’m still thinking Authors of Pain get the call up here.
Tamina vs. Tina Stock: The crowd chants for the jobber, Lana demands Tamina crush her and Tamina hits head butts and tosses Stock around. The superkick finishes it. Winner: Tamina
Overall Smackdown Live Rating: C-
Things to look forward to next week
Will the Fashion Police become one step closer to finding the culprits?
What's next for Kevin Owens & Shane McMahon?
What's next for Naomi?
What's next for Sami Zayn?
What can we expect from Gable and Shelton Benjamin in the near future?