A very underwhelming go-home Smackdown Live did little to build towards Hell in a Cell in only 5 days. With barely any actual wrestling on the show at all, every segment seemed to blend into one and all feuds seemed to build for the final time in the exact same way.
Shinsuke Nakamura Promo. Grade: C. Nakamura opened the show giving an in-ring interview with Renee Young saying nothing of any real note, reciting the whole “sticks and stones may break my bones” thing. The Singh Brothers interrupted and allowed Jinder Mahal to attack his opponent. Nakamura looked to fight back but the numbers became too much. The segment achieved what it set out to do in playing up the number advantage, but for a WWE Championship feud in Hell in a Cell, no one could care any less about this.
Natalya & Carmella defeat Becky Lynch & Charlotte. Grade: C+ Another solid segment that did its job but lacked any real excitement Natalya making Charlotte tap out may indicate a title change is coming on Sunday, however it is unclear whether it will be Charlotte or Carmella leaving with the belt. A fairly standard go home show segment
Bobby Roode defeated Mike Kanellis. Grade: D+ The match meant nothing and was nothing more than a squash win for Roode; Kanellis creditability is destroyed even further and Roode comes out looking no better than he did going in. the promo afterward with Dolph Ziggler promising a grand entrance was fine but nothing that we haven’t seen or heard before. This did nothing to really build their match at Hell in a Cell.
The Usos and New Day Promo. Grade: B- The Usos spoke about turning the Hell in a Cell into the Uso Penitentiary before the New Day came out and said how they’ve stolen the show every time; it was great to see New Day be a bit more serious here to sell the seriousness and danger of Hell in a Cell. While nothing too special or near as hot as what they have done previously, this was a nice touch.
Tye Dillinger defeated Baron Corbin. Grade: B- Dillinger picked up a good win here making himself seem a more credible threat to the US Championship when he gets his opportunity; Corbin in defeat isn’t too hurt by the roll up loss given his character and attitude. AJ Styles gave a quick promo afterward calling out Corbin’s terrible attitude. The AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin feud is dead in the water, and while this wasn’t bad, this did nothing to save it.
Randy Orton defeated Aiden English. Grade: D+ Again, this was nothing we haven’t seen before and did absolutely nothing to build to the PPV match. Randy won the match in quick fashion, Rusev tried a sneak attack but Orton caught him coming in a cool spot and Rusev retreated. Again, just nothing to make anyone care about the PPV match.
Shane McMahon & Kevin Owens final confrontation. Grade: B+ Shane McMahon wasted no time in calling out Owens, who appeared in the crowd, a nice touch to make it feel like he didn’t belong. The two brawled in the concession stands before Owens came back to the ring to cut a quick promo; McMahon then recovered and came back for more allowing Owens to beat him down some more. While by far the best thing on the show, this wasn’t nearly as heated as previous interactions; their brawl while a nice change seeing them go into the concession stands lacked the intensity and viciousness needed.