Shane McMahon Interrupted Kevin Owens
If you mistakenly thought that Shane would take time off from WWE TV following his loss at SummerSlam, you're a fool like me. Then again, we probably should have expected him to show up on SmackDown since Owens beat him with a low blow on Sunday night, meaning their rivalry isn't over yet. Shane fining Owens $100,000 is comical, even if it is a storyline. This felt like it dragged and I fear this feud will only hurt Owens' momentum the longer it lasts.
Charlotte Flair def. Ember Moon
Moon and Flair's first-ever one-on-one encounter a few weeks ago ended within a minute, so I was happy they were given the chance to redeem themselves here. It wasn't a barn burner by any means (and the lack of televised entrances didn't help), but what we got from them in the time they were allotted was great. Flair winning was the right call coming off her victory over Trish Stratus at SummerSlam and I'm glad Moon was made to look credible in defeat.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan Vowed to Prove Their Innocence
I believe this is the first time we've heard Bryan speak in front of the crowd in nearly a month and, for those wondering, there was no mention of his "career-altering announcement." I guess that's just been forgotten about at this point? Bryan responded to Buddy Murphy's allegations that he was behind the Roman Reigns attacks exactly how you'd expect him to: by denying it all together. I still assume he'll be revealed as the mystery assailant and that he put Rowan up to it.
Roman Reigns def. Buddy Murphy
Part of me honestly thought this would be a glorified squash match with Reigns beating Murphy within a matter of minutes, so I was very glad that wasn't the case. Murphy scored way more offense against the former four-time world champion than I originally anticipated and had a hell of a showing. This was surprisingly competitive and just an all-around terrific match. Murphy deserves to go far in the King of the Ring tournament, even though he isn't my pick to win the whole thing.
Samoa Joe def. Kevin Owens (Elias Served as a Special Guest Enforcer)
This is the one feud in NXT that was teased for a brief bit that never actually ended up coming to fruition, so hopefully we get it eventually on the main roster. If what we saw here from them was any indication, I think they'd have strong chemistry together. This was solid for what it was, but you had to know Elias interfering was inevitable. Sure enough, he pulled the referee out of the ring and made a quick three count on Owens to award Joe the win. I doubt Joe benefits from this at all and now we'll be subjected to more matches between Owens and Elias. Ugh.
Randy Orton and The Revival def. The New Day
The New Day and The Revival were supposed to face off straight up, but Orton insisted that he and Kofi Kingston be added to the match. While this was a pretty standard six-man tag team main event on the whole, New Day always find a way to make anything they're involved in entertaining. They picked up the pace down the stretch and Revival pinning New Day was an unexpected outcome. The heels obliterated New Day afterward, which should mean that we're getting Kingston vs. Orton and New Day vs. Revival at Clash of Champions.
I didn't have high hopes for this show after it started off with the continuation of the Owens vs. Shane story, but it recovered nicely from there with Flair and Moon having an above-average outing as well as Reigns and Murphy. Combined with the well-wrestled main event, this was an enjoyable edition of SmackDown Live. That said, I'm not a fan of the focus largely being on the drama with Reigns and Owens vs. Shane. If the Reigns angle improves and Owens vs. Shane wraps up soon, the show would be in better shape by the time it premieres on FOX in early October.
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