By Steven Flora
Five days before Hell in a Cell, Kevin Owens brutalized SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon, making a bold statement as they approach their PPV battle inside the career-altering structure. Elsewhere, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal ambushed Shinsuke Nakamura with a 3-on-1 attack prior to their title match Sunday.
Kevin Owens sends message to the SmackDown Live commissioner
Five days before attempting to tear each other apart in their Hell in a Cell showdown, Shane McMahon came to the ring for a face-to-face with Kevin Owens, and Shane-O-Mac promised his nemesis he will have hell to pay inside the horrifying structure, also announcing their match this Sunday would now also be Falls Count Anywhere.
However, rather than meet Shane in the ring, Owens appeared deep in the WWE Universe, making it clear he blamed Shane for what KO had done to Mr. McMahon and the beating he unleashed on Shane would be much worse.
Shane eventually chased Owens through the crowd and into the concession area where KO launched a vicious sneak attack, getting the jump on the SmackDown Live Commissioner by attacking him from behind and eventually powerbombing him through a merchandise table. Returning to the ring, Owens began to explain what would happen during his match with Shane on Sunday. And when a war-torn Shane reemerged, Owens again laid into his rival, unleashing a relentless beatdown that culminated with a devastating headbutt and pop-up Powerbomb
SmackDown went off the air in a flurry of chaos, but what will happen at Hell in a Cell?
Side Note: This was a great way to end SmackDown, giving the WWE Universe a sneak peek at what they can expect from these two when Hell in a Cell rolls around this Sunday. Both stars look set to end one another in a match I can't see anyone losing. Though having watched their confrontation, like last week, Shane looks ready to decapitate Owens and their match at Hell in a Cell should be absolutely MUST SEE.
Jinder Mahal gets the final word over Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura kicked off SmackDown Live by making his electric entrance for an in-ring interview with Renee Young, who asked him if he thinks WWE Champion Jinder Mahal has gone too far in his mockery of WWE’s Rockstar over the past few weeks.
Five days before challenging The Modern Day Maharaja for the title, The Artist stated Mahal mocked what he feared and that his opponent’s worst fears would come true when Nakamura takes his championship at Sunday’s pay-per-view.
Before the interview could continue, The Singh Brothers interrupted to introduce Mahal, but this turned out to only be a distraction, as The Modern Day Maharaja surprised Nakamura by jumping into the ring and attacking from behind. Along with Sunil and Samir, Mahal executed a full-scale ambush on his imminent pay-per-view opponent, laying him out with the devastating Khallas.
Side Note: Mahal once again one ups Nakamura and embarrasses the King of Strong Style again on SmackDown Live. Personally this feud lost steam a loooong time ago and needs to end at Hell in a Cell. Mahal's title run has run its course and they (WWE) ideally need an up and coming star to take SmackDown back to being the A Show! Maybe Bobby Roode?
The Usos read the New Day their rights
The latest chapter of one of the most explosive rivalries in WWE will take place inside the terrifying confines of Hell in a Cell when The New Day put their SmackDown Tag Team Titles on the line against former champions, The Usos, in what is sure to be a harrowing showdown for the gold.
Ahead of the career-altering contest, Jimmy and Jey Uso put The New Day on notice, letting their rivals know when they enter Hell in a Cell, they are actually stepping right into The Uso Penitentiary. Accordingly, the Samoan warriors read the titleholders their rights, which included guarantees of an enormous beatdown and a pledge to take back the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
The New Day promised to turn Uso Penitentiary into a Hell in a Cell Block Party, countering The Usos’ reading of their rights by presenting the “lefts” - which stated their opponents would be left in a heap without the titles.
Side Note: Great segment, both teams gel so well it's almost crazy at times. They have elevated the tag division and made it must-see even if it was on the kickoff show or the main event! Though gutted as this feud may come to an end, Hell in a Cell would be a fitting way to end this program between two of the best tag teams in the world today.
Styles & Dillinger thwart the threat of the Lone Wolf
Tye Dillinger def. Baron Corbin
Tye Dillinger returned to SmackDown Live looking like a man on a mission, determined to seek retribution on Baron Corbin one week after The Lone Wolf took a cheap count-out victory over The Perfect 10 by hurling Dillinger into United States Champion AJ Styles, who was providing commentary at the announce desk.
With Styles watching from a monitor backstage, Corbin beat on the always game Perfect 10 with his usual grit. Yet, he was caught off guard when Dillinger trapped him with a surprise rollup for the three-count. Winner: Tye Dillinger.
After the match, The Phenomenal One appeared on the TitanTron, letting The Lone Wolf know there would be no shortcuts against The Phenomenal One in their bout for the US Title at Hell in a Cell.
Side Note: Decent match, but I've really started to dislike Corbin. His fall from grace having won the MITB contract has been terrible for him, but ever since he's lost the briefcase, he has suffered so much bad luck that no one really cares about him anymore. Booking him in a US title match with Styles doesn't do much for him as everyone loves Styles, for what he's done for the US Title and SmackDown Live. Corbin needs to be put in a feud with someone who's on the same level as him, so he can learn and get better and then put up a bigger fight with the likes of Cena and Styles.
Other Notable Moments
Bobby Roode vs Mike Kanellis: Five days before going toe-to-toe with Dolph Ziggler at Hell in a Cell, the always-captivating Bobby Roode battled Mike Kanellis on Team Blue. Roode got through Maria’s husband mostly unscathed, landing the Glorious DDT for the quick victory, but he would have little time to celebrate, as The Glorious One was promptly interrupted by Dolph Ziggler, who was carrying out another one of his mock entrances, complete with drums and an air horn. Winner: Bobby Roode. The Showoff made two promises for Hell in a Cell: to show Roode an entrance like he has never seen and to prove The Glorious One is all flash and absolutely no fight by out-wrestling him for the victory. Not the least bit rattled, Roode countered by showing him what a real entrance looks like … GLORIOUS.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya & Carmella vs. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch: Flair and Lynch joined forces to combat the formidable combination of SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya and Ms. Money in the Bank Carmella, five days before The Queen of Harts puts her title on the line against The Queen at Hell in a Cell. With all four women trading blows, Carmella suddenly attacked Lynch with her Money in the Bank briefcase, causing Charlotte to get off her game and giving Natalya just enough of an opening to lock The Queen in the painful Sharpshooter for the submission victory, giving the champion a huge momentum boost heading into Sunday. Winner: Natalya & Carmella.
Randy Orton vs. Aiden English: After Orton ruined Rusev’s Pride of Bulgaria Celebration last week, English (who also was the recipient of an RKO outta nowhere during the proceedings) offered to go head-to-head with The Viper before Randy takes on Rusev at Hell in a Cell. Prior to the match, Rusev declared that although Orton ruined Rusev Day, there would be many more Happy Rusev Days to come, including Sunday at Hell in a Cell when he is victorious against WWE’s Apex Predator. The Drama King followed up with a song about it being payback time, set to Orton’s entrance music. But, despite the pomp and circumstance, The Viper reigned supreme defeating English with a massive RKO outta nowhere. After the bell, Rusev attempted to strike on Orton, but he was ready, cutting The Bulgarian Brute off at the pass and sending a clear message that he was more than ready for Sunday. Winner: Randy Orton.
The SmackDown Women’s division honored breast cancer survivors with partner Susan G. Komen: Dana Warrior – wife of the late Ultimate Warrior -- and the SmackDown Women’s Division honored breast cancer survivors for displaying their “Warrior spirit.” This fall, WWE and Susan G. Komen are encouraging everyone to “Unleash Your Warrior” in the fight against breast cancer while emboldening those suffering from the disease to “be strong, act bold, and always believe.” In this vein, they have created a limited edition “Unleash Your Warrior” T-shirt, available now at WWEShop.com with a portion of the proceeds raised benefiting Komen research in their goal to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in the United States by half by 2026. Dana Warrior and the Team Blue ladies then recognized three individuals who “live strong, act bold, and always believe” in their fight for survival against breast cancer: Lauren Schwartz, Rochelle McKenzie and Michelle Segura, who were all presented with custom WWE Championships before re-enacting The Ultimate Warrior’s frenetic shaking of the ropes.
Overall SmackDown Live Rating: C
Things to look forward to next week
FASHION POLICE RETURN AT HELL IN A CELL!!!
Can Bobby Roode impress on his PPV debut this Sunday at Hell in a Cell??
Can AJ Styles finally settle his beef with Baron Corbin once and for all?
What's next for Lana & Tamina?
Where are Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin?