WWE Champion AJ Styles Attacked The Singh Brothers
I couldn't be happier that, unlike most people, Styles wasn't made out to look like an idiot by believing the disingenuous apology from The Singh Brothers. I also appreciated the attention to detail with Styles bringing up photos from the India tour from over the weekend with The Singh Brothers supporting Jinder Mahal instead of pretending like it never happened. This was a simple segment to hype up the WWE Championship match at Clash of Champions that will likely be Mahal's best pay-per-view outing all year.
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair def. Ruby Riot by Disqualification (Non-title)
There really wasn't much to this match considering they competed for a few minutes prior to the commercial break, and once they returned from break, Natalya interfered to cause the contest to be thrown out. I didn't think Riot would lose so soon after her main roster debut, and Flair is defending her title this Sunday, so the non-finish was logical. The rest of the women brawling afterward was merely meant to build up the Lumberjack stipulation, teasing chaos might ensue with all of them at ringside.
Dolph Ziggler def. United States Champion Baron Corbin by Disqualification (Non-title)
When fans sat on their hands for Corbin vs. Bobby Roode last week, why did officials think the reaction to this would be any different considering Ziggler and Corbin are both heels? Thankfully, it didn't last long (and was completely uneventful), as Roode quickly got involved and attacked Ziggler the same way Ziggler attacked him last week. Since Corbin hasn't had the slightest bit of momentum since Survivor Series, I assume this means he's retaining his title at Clash of Champions.
The Bludgeon Brothers def. Colin Delaney and Joe Monroe
When it was announced that Delaney was one of the opponents of The Bludgeon Brothers, I couldn't believe it because he looked nothing like the jobber from a decade ago. Upon further inspection, however, it was indeed him, which is hilarious. That screech of his as he got annihilated by Harper and Rowan was nothing short of amazing as well. Oh, and The Bludgeon Brothers will be facing Breezango on Sunday.
SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan Confronted Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
The "Occupy SmackDown" and "Yep Movement" stuff was funny and Owens and Zayn did well with their material, but the real highlight of this segment was Bryan. He's been an interesting one to follow lately because it isn't obvious that he'll be turning heel and aligning with Owens and Zayn. What's more interesting is that he'll be serving as the second special guest referee for the tag team match at Clash of Champions. Will he get physical, and if so, what does that mean in terms of him wrestling again in the future for WWE?
Rusev and Aiden English def. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (Non-title)
I'm not sure if Rusev Day is the official tag team name for Rusev and English yet, and if it isn't, it should be. At any rate, this was a decent tag team match that served as a small preview for what we can expect in Sunday's SmackDown Tag Team Championship Fatal 4-Way match. I was actually surprised Rusev and English emerged victorious, but they deserved the win because they're such a riot together. On a side note, The New Day weren't distracting on commentary and the pre-match promo from Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin was good for a laugh.
Kevin Owens def. Shinsuke Nakamura
Owens working over Nakamura for a majority of the match made the first half rather dull, but it turned into an enjoyable affair down the stretch. The bigger focus was on Bryan on commentary talking about the tag team match at Clash of Champions and him eventually interjecting himself in this bout as the replacement referee. Nakamura eating defeat was a bit of a shocker, but I am intrigued to see how much of a role Bryan will play in that aforementioned matchup.
As a go-home show, this did very little, if anything to get me excited about the upcoming pay-per-view. Yes, the build for the Owens and Zayn vs. Orton and Nakamura tag team match has been well done by and large, but even that is bound to be overbooked. Everything else is just kind of there at the moment, and this was a pretty lousy edition of SmackDown Live all things considered. Here's hoping the event exceeds the low expectations I've set for it.
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