Smackdown Live became The Kevin Owens Show as Owens stole the show confronting and assulting the Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon. The New Day became the new Smackdown Tag Team Champions in an incredible Las Vegas Street Fight, and both the United States & Smackdown Women’s Championships were also defended.
Kevin Owens Opening Promo. Grade: A. Owens opened the show once again threatening to sue WWE after the events of last week. He said that once he makes Smackdown Live The Kevin Owens Show that he will fire Sami Zayn (their constant hate is so great), he would make Tom Phillips & Byron Saxton share a suit because they say the same things on commentary, and he would cancel the ever-popular Fashion Files. Dolph Ziggler came out mocking Shane McMahons entrance and Daniel Bryan came out saying the Chairman of the Board would be there later in the show. A hot opener and a wonderful way to build the entire show around the brilliant Kevin Owens.
AJ Styles defended the United States Championship against Tye Dillinger. Grade: B. The two men put together a fun championship television match here. Dillinger hit the Tye-Breaker but Styles kicked out for an amazing near-fall, only for the commentators to correctly point out that Dillinger did not expose the knee like he normally does, protecting Dillinger’s finish. Baron Corbin jumped both men and inserted himself into the US Title picture for next week.
Jinder Mahal Promo. Grade: F. This was awful. Mahal came out and tried to be funny with an over-the-top promo making fun of Shinsuke Nakamura. Mahal wasn’t funny, the Singh Brothers weren’t funny, all this did was make Shinsuke Nakamura look silly. This was awful.
New Day became the new Smackdown Tag Team Championship defeating The Usos. Grade: A. Last week I said that this feud was in overkill and needed to end…I was wrong; just let these two teams wrestle every week. A brutal Street Fight with all sorts of weapons and spots, a wonderful match that made worthy the stipulation it was given. People can debate the ‘Hot Potato’ of the belts here, but this match was undeniably great.
Natalya defended the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Naomi. Grade: D. This achieved nothing; cut quickly to the match because WWE choose to show Ronda Rousey promoting the Mae Young Classic final over their championship match; this felt unimportant from the start. Natalya defeated Naomi again, just like at Summerslam; Carmella and Natalya again pushed their tension, this just achieved nothing.
Dolph Ziggler mocked Bayley’s & The Ultimate Warrior. Grade: C- This needs to go somewhere quickly; this was the exact same as last week and while it was fine then, it really needs to progress further.
Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin defeated The Hype Bros. Grade: B. A nice fun match once showcasing the new team of Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin for only the second time. A nice momentum building win, but the real story here was the post-match hint at a Zack Ryder heel turn; Mojo Rawley shook the hands of the winners but Ryder refused. A Ryder heel turn is well overdue and would be fantastic to see; a much-needed change in his character.
Kevin Owens & Vince McMahon Promo & Attack. Grade: A+. This was perfect! Owens & Vince went back and forth on the mic, Vince laughing off the possibility of a Lawsuit saying he has been in many and never lost one. Vince announced that at Hell in a Cell Kevin Owens would face Shane McMahon in a Hell in a Cell match! Owens was in fury but agreed if he had the Chairman’s word that he could lay hands on a McMahon and there would be no repercussions. Things then got physical as Owens headbutted Vince busting him open, Owens assaulted the Chairman hitting him with a Superkick and a Frog Splash as security and officials tried to separate them. Owens comes out of this looking like a second Stone Cold Steve Austin; he showed his sadistic, manipulative and intelligent side before showing absolute viciousness and brutality in attacking the 70+ year old Chairman. Just perfect!