An incredible Smackdown Live saw Kevin Owens battle Randy Orton in a hard-hitting No Disqualification match, the Riott Squad made their in-ring debuts causing absolute destruction, multiple superstars turned on their partners and more tension was teased between Commissioner & General Manager.
Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan Promo. Grade: A. The Commissioner called the General Manager to the ring and expressed his concerns that Bryan did not fire Owens & Zayn as instructed last week. Bryan was quick to defend Owens & Zayn and this simple segment created significant tension between McMahon and Bryan and even teased an alliance between Bryan, Owens & Zayn. If that doesn’t excite you for the future, nothing will.
The New Day defeated Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin. Grade: B. While it wasn’t given the time necessary to become something really special this was a solid tag team match between two high quality teams. With the Usos on commentary WWE teased putting the New Day back into the title picture; however as good as the New Day are surely this is way too early.
Backstage after an interview Bobby Roode challenged Baron Corbin for the United States Championship in a match tonight, but Corbin refused. A nice little quick way to remind and build upon this feud during a stacked show.
The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Hype Bros before Mojo Rawley turns on Zack Ryder. Grade: A. The Bludgeon Brothers battered the Hype Bros in mere seconds continuing their fantastic path of destruction. The real story came when Mojo Rawley finally gave in after months of teases and turned on his partner beating down Ryder mercilessly. It will be very interesting to see how Mojo goes as a heel, however personally I would have liked to have seen Ryder be the one to go heel.
AJ Styles defeated the Singh Brothers in a Handicap Match. Grade: B+ Before the match Jinder Mahal jumped the WWE Champion and with the help of the Singh Brothers they threw Styles around the ring. Once the match began the Singh’s used the numbers advantage but Styles got the win with an incredible second rope Styles Clash on one Singh onto the other Singh. Post-match Mahal turned on the Singh Brothers nailing them both with a Khallas. It will be interesting to see how Jinder goes without his sidekicks, if he can win at Clash of Champions he will gain much more credibility being able to do it on his own, but if he loses he could find himself falling rapidly down the card. Of course the Singh’s could always reappear and prove their loyalty to the Maharaja by making a play at Clash of Champions, planned or not to help Jinder. The way the Singh’s sell is absolutely fantastic taking a crazy spot with the finish of the match as well as making the Khallas look like a million dollars; if this is the end of them with Mahal hopefully they are not wasted as they could do some wonderful things on 205 Live.
Fashion Files “Saw”. Grade: B- Breezango and the Ascension found themselves chained up and told they were about to be gassed and that they must escape. Breezango escaped and while the Ascension told them to save themselves, Breezango implied they were always going to anyway. These are nowhere near as good as they once were but hopefully this can quickly and ultimately build to some sort of feud between Breezango and the Ascension in-ring both teams are far too good for silly backstage antics like this.
Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan) defeated Charlotte Flair, Naomi and Natalya. Grade: A- Natalya quickly walked out on her team which gave the heels a 3 on 2 advantage which was a bit odd. Logan & Morgan then savagely destroyed Naomi on the outside causing her to be stretchered out all while Riott forced Charlotte to watch. Charlotte made a brief brave comeback but Riott squad overcame and got a good win. The Riott Squad was fantastic in their aggression and intensity, and this was a great first in-ring showing for the trio. All this must surely be leading to Charlotte vs Ruby for the title at Clash of Champions.
Kevin Owens defeated Randy Orton in a No Disqualification Match. Grade: A. This was a fantastic No DQ match with some really good spots and story all packed in. The intensity was really strong emphasising the distain between the two and adding to the story of Orton being furious about the actions of Owens and Zayn at Survivor Series. Sami Zayn was banned from ringside, but as the two battled up the entrance ramp Zayn came out and attacked Orton with a steel chair, technically not at ringside. This kind of bending of the rules is exactly what’s needed by Owens & Zayn as heels given their overwhelming popularity. A fantastic hard-hitting match and Owens & Zayn once again bent the rules and came out on top in the most heelish of manners; absolutely wonderful stuff.