WWE Champion Jinder Mahal Attacked Shinsuke Nakamura
It was definitely for the best to keep Nakamura's interview with Renee Young short and sweet because he typically doesn't do well with promos in front of live crowds. I also appreciated that Mahal's attack on Nakamura was brief as well. This feud has largely been a disappointment and I honestly couldn't care less about their upcoming clash for the WWE Championship, but Mahal getting the upper hand over Nakamura here gives me hope we see a new champion crowned at Hell in a Cell.
SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya and Carmella def. Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch
Although Lynch remains popular with the audience, it's a shame Lynch has become just another woman on the roster by this point with very little direction. At any rate, this was a decent enough tag team match that successfully furthered the feud between Charlotte and Natalya. The heels scored the win, which was fine, but I was surprised Charlotte tapped out to Natalya. There was a time when she was much more protected than she has been during her stint on SmackDown Live.
Bobby Roode def. Mike Kanellis
Roode hasn't been in action on SmackDown since his last match on the show in late August, where he beat Kanellis. Thus, I guess it kind of made sense for Kanellis to be his return opponent, and it's interesting that we haven't seen Kanellis on TV at all since then, either. With Maria now pregnant, Mike is officially dead in the water and would honestly benefit from a move to NXT. Roode went over in dominant fashion as he should have, though the post-match promo from Dolph Ziggler dragged on a littler longer than it needed to.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day Confronted The Usos
Ever the excellent talkers, The Usos did a damn good job with their promo, hyping up the Hell in a Cell match and listing off reasons why they'll win the back the belts. New Day also were awesome in their response by staying serious and delivering their final words ahead of the event. This has been such a fantastic feud over the last number of months and I have no doubt they will do everything imaginable to ensure they steal the show on Sunday.
Tye Dillinger def. Baron Corbin
Dillinger has been a part of this program for AJ Styles' United States Championship every bit as much as Corbin has been, so why isn't he in the title match at the pay-per-view? Plus, he beat the No. 1 contender here! I know Corbin is in the doghouse with officials right now, but he has been buried six feet under in recent months. I enjoyed this match and thought they worked well together, but Dillinger picking up the win made no sense unless the plan is for Corbin to capture the championship from Styles.
Dana Warrior and the SmackDown Live Women's Division Presented Breast Cancer Survivors with Custom Championships
This was essentially the same segment we saw on Raw this week, just with the SmackDown women's division this time. Say what you will about what kind of person The Ultimate Warrior was before he died (or at least the controversial comments he made in the past) or your thoughts on the organization itself, but WWE always does a nice job with these segments even if they aren't technically a part of the "show."
Randy Orton def. Aiden English
We've seen Orton against English a bunch of times before, so it was best this to keep this as short as possible. Orton wanted revenge after English played a part Rusev's Russian celebration last week, so this was a logical way of achieving that. I would like to think Rusev beats Orton in their match at Hell in a Cell, but I realize WWE has no plans to push him any time soon, despite his hilarious pre-match promo.
Kevin Owens Attacked SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMAhon
Shane adding the Falls Count Anywhere stipulation to his Hell in a Cell match with Owens felt unnecessary since it pretty much defeats the purpose of the cage in the first place, but that aside, this was a strong delivery from him. Owens was equally exceptional, acting cowardly from the crowd before beating down Shane around the arena and in the ring. It made him out to be extremely vicious and force fans to rally behind Shane.
As the go-home show before Hell in a Cell, I thought this edition of SmackDown Live failed to get me excited about the event. I'm very much looking forward to the two Hell in a Cell matches, but the build for the pay-per-view was pretty poor on this episode with nothing leaving a lasting impression with the exception of the stuff with Shane and Owens. We'll see how Hell in a Cell shakes out, but anticipation isn't exactly at an all-time high among fans, unfortunately.
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