Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens Confronted SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan
With this show emanating from Seattle, you had to know Washington native Daniel Bryan would receive a raucous reaction from the live crowd and it was so cool to hear. They almost refused to stop chanting for him even long after he picked up the microphone. Zayn and Owens' promos were fantastic and it was wise to have the newly turned Zayn run down the hometown hero, but how badly do you think Bryan wished he could have fired back? It's no secret he wants to wrestle again and sometimes I feel WWE does this on purpose because they're well-aware he's going to leave and compete elsewhere when his contract is up next year.
Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and Naomi def. SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya, Lana and Tamina
It's been well-documented that I absolutely hate it when there's no individual stories in the women's division and when they're all thrown together in one multi-woman match. Yes, Charlotte is currently chasing the SmackDown Women's Championship, but there was no reason for the rest of these women to be involved because they have no established issues. The actual match was fine for what it was, but it's difficult to get invested in the division these days.
Sin Cara def. United States Champion Baron Corbin by Count-out (Non-title)
I liked Corbin's line before the bout about closing the open challenge indefinitely because it helped him elicit heel heat, but unfortunately, anything he gained from beating AJ Styles in clean fashion last week was quickly erased when he lost to Cara in the matter of a minute. Yes, it was by count-out, but this is the same guy who hasn't been on television in many months and has been an enhancement talent for years. This wasn't exactly the strongest start to Corbin's reign as United States Champion.
AJ Styles Attacked WWE Champion Jinder Mahal
When it was initially rumored over the weekend, I couldn't believe that Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar was being considered for Survivor Series but held out hope that it was just that: a rumor. Unfortunately, Mahal officially challenged Lesnar on this show. That has the potential to be one of the most boring "big-time" matches WWE has put on a pay-per-view in some time. Thankfully, Styles interrupted and is apparently next in line for a shot at the WWE Championship. That could also mean he'll be the next to lose to Mahal, but fingers crossed that won't be the case.
Bobby Roode def. Dolph Ziggler
As if this feud wasn't flat enough, their latest encounter didn't do anything for me whatsoever. I can't even say the effort was there because it looked like they were simply going through the motions. I firmly believe that these two are capable of so much more than this, but the rivalry hasn't been promising up to this point. Worse yet, using 50/50 booking with a new Superstar like Roode is the definition of dumb.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens def. Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura
Despite how Orton laid out Nakamura when they teamed together last month, I've been digging them as a temporary team lately and would love if it culminated in Orton officially turning on Nakamura. As for this match, the in-ring action was excellent and the chemistry Zayn and Owens showed as partners was wonderful to watch as well. They picked up the big win as they should have and continue to build momentum as they begin their partnership. It will be interesting to see how Shane McMahon reacts to all of this when he returns next week.
The state of SmackDown Live is very much a mixed bag at the moment. The tag team division should remain entertaining for the time being and the Zayn and Owens storyline has been stellar, but the booking of Corbin is questionable, Ziggler vs. Roode is boring, the women's division is a mess, and Mahal vs. Lesnar is an awful idea. That being said, this was an average episode with the opening and closing segments being the main highlights.
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