By Steven Flora
Charlotte Flair returned to SmackDown Live and immediately made an impact when she took on Becky Lynch, Tamina and Naomi with an opportunity to challenge SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya for the title at WWE Hell in a Cell.
Charlotte meets Natalya at Hell in a Cell
Charlotte Flair def. Becky Lynch, Tamina and Naomi to challenge for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at WWE Hell in a Cell
With so much at stake, four of Team Blue’s top Superstars let it all out in their quest to become the next to challenge Natalya for the SmackDown Women’s Championship at Hell in a Cell.
All four nearly captured victory at points in the contest, as they held nothing back in pursuit of the title. However, in a chaotic sequence, Tamina landed a top-rope splash on Becky, Naomi interrupted the count, Lana dragged Naomi out of the ring and received a kick to the head for her troubles, and Tamina kicked Naomi off the apron. Finally, Charlotte came all the way back from one of the toughest stretches of her life, defeating Tamina with a vicious kick, securing her ticket to Hell in a Cell and earning the chance to regain her throne.
Side Note: Really good match to end the show with the deserved Charlotte winning. Charlotte & Natalya have always put on great matches from their encounter in NXT to Roadblock 2016. These superstars are great and can put on a great match without question and this may be a contender for the main event of Hell in a Cell.
Kevin Owens addressed his situation with the McMahon family via satellite
Appearing on SmackDown via satellite, Owens very calmly and coldly addressed his conflict with the McMahon family. Showing no remorse for his attack on Mr. McMahon last week, KO hauntingly rehashed the details of the devastating beatdown and admitted having remorse for not inflicting more punishment on WWE’s Chairman, also blaming Shane for his vicious attack.
Owens then preemptively apologized to everyone who will watch Hell in a Cell, letting them all know if they thought his attack on Mr. McMahon was bad, then they would have to brace themselves for what he was going to do to his son inside the cell, because it would be far, far worse.
Side Note: Great promo by Owens. You can really see WWE is behind the Prizefighter and it shows from what he did to Mr. McMahon. This speech gives the impression their match at Hell in the Cell will be an instant classic, and combining Shane's high risk offense with Owens' willing to do anything, makes this a recipe for a MUST SEE match.
Shane McMahon returned to SmackDown Live and condemned Owens
Following Owens’ heinous Sin City SmackDown attack on Mr. McMahon that gave The Chairman three fractured ribs, commissioner Shane McMahon returned from suspension to Team Blue with one clear directive: To let KO know he was in for the beating of a lifetime when they meet inside Hell in a Cell on Oct. 8. Shane touched on his tumultuous history with his father, but said he loves him and plans on avenging him inside Hell in a Cell.
Side Note: Really powerful opening segment from Shane McMahon. You can tell in his walk to the ring, his monotone voice and his facial expressions that he meant business. Shane has a habit of getting his emotions in the way of his job (A.J. Styles for example) and this feud with Owens is no different. I believe in Hell in a Cell, both Owens and Shane will go out their way to end each other, for good.
Tye Dillinger’s attack prevented Baron Corbin from answering AJ Styles’ United States Open Challenge
United States Open Challenge: United States Champion A.J. Styles & Baron Corbin ended in a Non Contest
Last week, Corbin unleashed a post-match ambush on Styles and Dillinger after the two Superstars combatted for the United States Title before forcefully declaring he would be the one to answer The Phenomenal One’s U.S. Open Challenge tonight.
Styles first riffed on the Owens/McMahon family situation and, despite having problems of his own with Shane in the past, declared he was supporting Shane and the McMahons wholeheartedly. Styles then gave his thoughts on Corbin, prompting The Lone Wolf to enter the Oracle Arena with purpose, attacking Styles during the ring introductions before the bell could even ring. Corbin’s barrage was only halted when Dillinger hit the scene to jump his foe, returning the favor after being on the receiving end of several blindside attacks from The Lone Wolf in recent weeks.
The Perfect 10’s attack apparently caused Corbin to hurt his leg, leaving The Lone Wolf vulnerable and allowing Styles to apply the excruciating Calf Crusher when Corbin attempted to re-enter the ring. With Corbin tapping furiously, Styles soon broke the hold, leaving Corbin in a heap of pain and without his championship match ever taking place.
When approached by Renee Young for an interview in the backstage area, a furious Corbin vowed to “get even.”
Side Note: Was great to see Dillinger get payback this week. I do see Tye getting involved in this match which will build him as a talent, getting to work with the experienced Styles. Corbin is just bland, bland, bland. Pitching him against Styles and Dillinger is almost a mismatch. Whilst Dillinger and Styles are known for their in-ring ability, Corbin is known for, being mean? You can see how complex it is, in just describing Corbin, a very complexed individual indeed.
Other Notable Moments
Dolph Ziggler re-debuts on SmackDown Live … yet again: Ziggler continued his odd antics again this week, this time impersonating Triple H, Shawn Michaels and D-Generation X’s iconic entrances. After all the pomp and circumstance, The Showoff reinforced that nobody can do what he can do in the ring before telling the WWE Universe that he, appropriately, had two words for them … who cares.
Jinder Mahal & the Singh brothers insult Shinsuke Nakamura yet again: Doubling down on his efforts of last week, WWE Champion Mahal verbally lambasted his Hell in a Cell challenger, Nakamura. Flanked by The Singh Brothers, The Modern Day Maharaja once again promised to make an example out of WWE’s Rockstar and reiterated his claim to Nakamura that the WWE Universe would turn on him the same way they turned on Mahal. Following Jinder’s harsh assertions, The King of Strong Style made it clear in a separate interview that Mahal wouldn’t be laughing at Hell in a Cell, as Nakamura would win the WWE Title.
Randy Orton vs. Aiden English: Looking to continue his ascent up the ranks, English took aim at Orton. The Mozart of Mayhem brought his best to The Viper, managing to keep him down and, at times, inflict significant damage to The Apex Predator, but Orton defeated English with a vicious RKO out-of-nowhere after English took flight from the top rope. Winner: Randy Orton
Rusev vs. Orton: Immediately following Orton’s victory over English, an irate Rusev hit the scene and boldly proclaimed he was here to avenge his 10-second loss to Orton at SummerSlam. He challenged The Viper to a match on the spot, and Orton, never one to back down, immediately accepted. Almost immediately after the match started, English popped up on the apron, and Rusev pushed Orton into him. Rusev capitalized on the distraction to connect with a kick flush to Orton’s face, giving The Super Athlete a controversial victory over his nemesis in mere seconds. Winner: Rusev. However, questionable or not, The Bulgarian Brute celebrated the victory as though it was one of the biggest accomplishments of his career, both on the ramp and in a backstage interview.
Non-Title Match: Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions The New Day vs. Hype Bros: Fresh off of regaining the SmackDown Tag Team Championship by defeating The Usos in a huge Sin City Street Fight, The New Day kept the good vibes going against The Hype BrosE. The New Day did not show any signs of wear after the brutal match from last week, toppling Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley after hitting The Ultimate Broski with the Midnight Hour for the win, as The Usos watched from the announce table. Winner: New Day.
Overall Smackdown Live Rating: C+
Things to look forward to next week
Where is season 2 of the FASHION POLICE?
Does Charlotte have Natalya's number?
Will we see Shane and Owens face to face before Hell in a Cell?
Where is Bobby Roode?
What can we expect from the Hype Bros in the near future?