Smackdown Live saw several advancements to the Clash of Champions card with both the Women’s Championship & Tag Team Championship matches received upgrades as well as a critical tag team match was announced for the PPV that will have drastic effects on Smackdown Live & the WWE.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn Open Smackdown. Grade: C+ Owens & Zayn again claimed that the McMahon family has a vendetta against them. Zayn’s over the top heel act is genuinely hilarious however arguably dragged here, as did Owens and his repetitiveness saying much the same thing he has been saying for months now. Orton hit an RKO out of nowhere and the main event was set up by the Commissioner Shane McMahon.
Rusev & Aiden English defeated New Day. Grade: B+ RUSEV DAY! Aiden English helped celebrate the 12 Days of Rusev which I genuinely think I would have enjoyed seeing him finish. The match was good and Rusev & English going over is a nice and welcome shock. Rusev & English are now added to the Tag Team Championship match at Clash of Champions, and personally I’d love to see them win.
Mojo Rawley Promo. Grade: C- Mojo was fine here but didn’t little to add to his turn. Why WWE just essentially leaves him off the show so soon after his turn is puzzling.
Women’s Championship Scene Backstage. Grade: C+ The Women of the Smackdown Women’s Division as well as the Riott Squad were all arguing in the General Managers office. It was hilarious to see Daniel Bryan lose it and yell at the women before making the Women’s Championship match at Clash of Champions a Lumberjack Match. Natalya then tried to convince the Lumberjacks to have her back throughout the match which was as cringeworthy as any Natalya promo.
The Bludgeon Brothers defeated Adam James & Josh Carr. Grade: A- The Bludgeon Brothers straight slaughtered the two local talents. Another good squash match building more momentum for the team.
Bobby Roode vs Baron Corbin ends as a No Contest as Dolph Ziggler Interferes. Grade: D- This whole feud is puzzling; why is Dolph Ziggler, as good as he is, even in this match? Roode feels flat as a babyface and Corbin is flat in general. The whole thing they played up with Roode & Corbin saying their odds of winning just went down a third is silly, and mathematically incorrect; going from 50% to 33% is not going down a third, its going to a third; one time and that wouldn’t be an issue, but they said this multiple times.
Charlotte Flair defeated Tamina. Grade: D- There was absolutely no chemistry here and as good as Charlotte is, even she couldn’t save this. Tamina looked completely lost during this match, and post-match wasn’t much better. The Riott Squad came out and all three members, but particularly Logan and Morgan struggled on the mic. A brief brawl at ringside was broken apart for some reason. Silly.
Randy Orton defeated Sami Zayn. Grade: B+ While perhaps not as good as last weeks main event match, this was fantastic. Owens handcuffed to the ropes was fun and allowed the heels to slither out of another predicament. After the match Owens & Zayn jumped Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura made the save, and it became clear Nakamura will partner Orton at Clash of Champions against Owens & Zayn. This match is suddenly critically important as if Owens & Zayn lose they will be fired from WWE.
More tension between Shane & Bryan was fantastic, and Bryan continuing to defend Owens & Zayn only teases something much more special could be in the works. Fantastic stuff all round.