The Long and Winding Road – Smackdown Live “Summerslam Go-Home Show” Recap/Reactions – August 15, 2017

We’ll have to kick off a second night with a touch of sadness, as we’ve now learned that Ric Flair has been placed in a medically induced coma related to complications arising from his colon surgery.  Our thoughts and beyond are with Ric and the family that is at his side in the hospital tonight in Atlanta.  To be the man, you got to beat the man, and I don’t know if there’s a force on high or down low that’s ready for that fight.  We’ll see you soon, Nature Boy.  (Some part of me is convinced this is also a long con to bed one of the nurses.  You won’t convince me otherwise.)

It’s felt like a lengthy road to Summerslam, and a lot of it has sort of limped along.  Fortunately, at least in my opinion, things crank up post Summerslam as it is really the first stop on the Road to Wrestlemania.  WWE tends to turn it on during Summerslam weekend (and the subsequent Raw and Smackdown broadcasts) and keep a foot on the pedal through Survivor Series, leading into the Royal Rumble as we learn what our Wrestlemania main event will be, and then the show of shows itself, this year coming to us from the Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana as the port city celebrates its 300th Anniversary (and each event listed is only available on the WWE Network, available now for the low price of $9.99 per month with a 30 day trial for new users).

Raw last night was peculiar, not necessarily in a bad way, but they took the Cruiserweight belt off Neville clean a week before it could have happened to a major pop in Brooklyn, and they did pretty much the exact same thing they always do with a Brock Lesnar appearance and had the entire locker room break them up.  Additionally, we now have a reunited Shield somehow the number one contenders for the tag team titles at Summerslam instead of any of the teams that have actively been participating in the division, and its rumored that The Hardyz won’t even be on the card because there is no space for it.  Just weird.  Anyway, let’s see what The Blue Brand has for us tonight.

I’ve Seen That Road Before

Well, I knew something was going to be different when the Singh Brothers came out in bright white dress garbs, and as I expected almost immediately, we got more of the Bollywood personification of India, with bright floral ring decoration to complement the large carpet that is always in the ring when Jinder cuts a promo and the dancing Bollywood group that was part of his championship celebration.

What they didn’t have?  A bad ass violin part.  But that’s ok, because we get Shinsuke.

Jinder’s portion of this went on for entirely too long, or maybe my patience for their use of xenophobia to get consistent heat instead of quality creative is wearing thin.

Shinsuke informed Jinder that it is Independence Day….in India.  And today in Japan, it is what sounded a lot like Memorial Day.  And Sunday in America is Summerslam, or the day when Jinder loses the WWE Championship.  It was a well crafted promo.

That’s about where this ended.  It didn’t really have a whole lot of excitement about it and didn’t make me any more or less excited for a match I was already pretty amped for.  Jinder has come a long damn way and Shinsuke is exciting to watch.  It should be good.  Not Orton-Rusev good, but it should be good.

The Wild and Windy Night that the Rain Washed Away

  • Becky Lynch vs Natalya (w/ Naomi on commentary) – Why does Naomi never actually have matches, or only have matches where she squashes Lana?  Anyway, I’m not a huge fan of Natalya but I think that’s mostly her character.  She’s fine in the ring, and she picks up the win here in her “momentum match” for her title shot.  Natalya wins via submission with the Sharpshooter.  After the match, she goes back for another Sharpshooter, which draws Naomi off the desk but nothing actually happens between them.  Carmella comes out to remind us all that she has the Money in the Bank briefcase, and James Ellsworth’s back to make us all feel attractive.  No action, even with four women and an Ellsworth in the segment.  We’re now 0-for-2 on building excitement with action for a WRESTLING PAY PER VIEW EVENT!  They do remember that, right?  This is Wrestling?  Guys?
  • Tamina is going to use Lana’s passion for her advantage somehow.  I have no idea.
  • The Usos want to know who they’re facing at Summerslam, and they ask Daniel Bryan, who let’s us all know that Big E and Xavier will be defending the belt with Kofi in the corner.  Tonight, they’ll face Xavier and Kofi in a non-title match.  Whatever, at least it’s wrestling.
  • Promo for the Mae Young Classic.  Just know that I am a massive Toni Storm fan.  She’s like a female Dolph Ziggler.  Take that however you want to.
  • Rusev vs Chad Gable – Good for Chad Gable for getting as much television time of late as he has.  I’m thrilled by it because he was always the more talented member of that tag team and now he gets to ride his own merits.  This will not end well for him though, as he’s got a pissed off Bulgarian to deal with.  Rusev lets the double count out go by quickly while beating on Gable on the outside, throwing him over the announce table and locking in the Accolade on top of it (which again, what in the hell is the point in a submission move on the table?  It doesn’t make it any more brutal because you do it standing on yet another flat surface.  It isn’t a bed of nails.)  The crowd wants Randy, but Rusev has to speak first (Another USA chant….).  As Rusev got the word Randy out of his mouth he ate an RKO that seriously came out of nowhere.  I think the crowd was so caught up in the USA chant they didn’t even see him coming.

  • Yeah, that’s surely going to go well.  AJ comes to the ring and calls Shane down.  Shane tells AJ that if he lays hands on him again, Shane will retaliate.  Owens joins the fray, because why wouldn’t he.  Shane takes another kick, this time from Owens.  Gives him plenty of reason to call it down the middle, even though I still expect that this will be a triple threat match by Sunday.
  • The New Day (Kofi & Xavier) vs The Usos (Jimmy and Jay and no I don’t know which is which) – I don’t know why The Usos theme now has lyrics.  Why are they messing with everybody’s theme songs?  For the most part it isn’t for the better, even if I get really amped with the minor addition of “Burn It Down” to the Seth Rollins theme.  New Day is firing on all cylinders with rapid tags and speed attacks right out of the gate.  The Usos would take over on offense during a commercial break.  Some back and forth made this match fairly reminiscent of every confrontation between these two teams, and The Usos win via pinfall over Kofi.  A go-home win doesn’t tend to fare well for anybody, so New Day is statistically guaranteed to retain on Sunday.
  • The Fashion Files: Fashion Peaks conclusion – We find out that The Ascension, in addition to being big Eddie Money fans, are also living a Gluten Free lifestyle.  A mysterious note with the clue “Two B” is followed by “Breezango will return in 25 years…..two weeks”.  So I’m assuming that’s “Two B” Continued.  May this never die, and may the corkboard live on forever.

Why Leave Me Standing Here, Let Me Know The Way

In another of Cena’s “First Time Ever” matches on Smackdown, he’ll take on Jinder Mahal before he moves to the Red Brand next week (rumored, can’t confirm, but very likely).

This is a rather big match for Mahal though, just a few days before a title defense.  His great equalizers are in play early though, with the Singh’s creating advantages for the champion.  They get caught holding Cena’s leg through the ropes and tosses both of them.

Cena quickly locks in the STF, but Mahal gets to the ropes.  Mahal plays the in ring drama incredibly well.  I think it may be what I like most about him.  After some minor offense, Super Cena lands the AA and the expected 1, 2, NOOOO.  Cena takes it to the top rope and drops the Super AA, but just before he can get the pinfall Baron Corbin throws the MitB briefcase at him, drawing the DQ and ending the match.  John Cena wins via DQ, but Jinder Mahal doesn’t take a loss.

With Jinder Mahal knocked out in the ring, Corbin CASHES IN!!!!! The Money in the Bank contract is in play, but he neglects to remember that John Cena is still at ringside.  When the official starts the match, Corbin turns around long enough to knock Cena off the apron, allowing for Jinder to get the roll up and the pinfall.  Corbin was up well before three, so I’d imagine they’ll give him the briefcase back or some other sort of retribution for the poor officiating costing him his contract cash in.  Jinder Mahal wins via pinfall on the roll up.

Overall Grade and Reactions – Baron Corbin will get a title shot next Tuesday, or he’ll be given his briefcase back.  Jinder vs Shinsuke should have a pretty solid global draw, so there was no way they were going to change that.  This was definitely a more coherent show than Raw was, and I was interested in most of what happened tonight.  I’d call it a B- show, but with Fashion Files, it gets a bump to a solid B.

And in closing, there’s a lot of discomfort throughout this great nation of ours, so we will not leave you with any lengthy romp into the political realm, but merely a photo which says so much with a statement so simple it shouldn’t ever even be up for debate.  Cheers, all.