On the Road Again…To Survivor Series (They’re Still in Brooklyn) – Smackdown Live Recap – August 22, 2017

For a fourth consecutive night, WWE is still in Brooklyn.   I hate the Brooklyn crowd.  I won’t dwell on it.  Let’s get to the fallout.

The House that AJ Styles Built

AJ Styles opens the show to kick off the United States Open Challenge again, but it’s all for not.  Kevin Owens comes out and whines about Shane McMahon robbing another Canadian of a title, so Shane joins the two of them.

“You don’t like the truth,” Kevin Owens says.

“No, what I don’t like is a whiny ass little bitch like you” replied AJ Styles.  AJ is the new John Cena, who’s allowed to say things like this periodically with no repercussions.

AJ’s pride offers up a title shot, and Kevin Owens demands that he get to pick the referee, and AJ goes for that as well.

If Kevin Owens still doesn’t recapture the United States Championship, this is his last opportunity for as long as AJ Styles remains champion.

  • Owens first approaches Sami Zayn in the back, asking for him to play the role of referee.  Sami seems hesitant.  They revisited this again about a half hour later, and Sami turned him down.
  • The Fashion Police actually offer their services, and KO turns them down, but he’s approached by Corbin who offers to do it if he gets a title shot if Owens wins, and some part of me feels like this is guaranteed to cost Owens.
  • Corbin approaches AJ on his way to the ring to let him know that Owens promised a title shot if he wins.  AJ reminds him that the Open Challenge starts up as soon as Owens is out of the way, so all he’d ever have to do is answer the call if that’s all he’s after.

AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin for the United States Championship with Baron Corbin as Special Guest Referee

Same quality match we’ve grown to expect from these two, actually it was a better match than their Summerslam showing, which wasn’t a bad match by any means.  Corbin was quite fair for the majority of this match, so I thought there was a possibility this would just be a straightforward match and the Corbin referee appearance was a misdirect.  Sometimes I really enjoy misdirects as it means creative isn’t going with the easiest/first thought they had.

Inevitably, AJ Styles would lock in the Calf Crusher and Corbin would break the hold for no reason at all.  When AJ argued with Corbin about it, Owens kicked AJ into him, then Corbin would strike AJ, and start running quick counts when Owens went for consecutive roll up pins.  Shane got involved when he could see clearly that Corbin couldn’t be fair, and Owens would land a low blow.  Corbin tried to quick count another pinfall and Shane pulled him out of the ring.  Corbin’s frustration mounts, and he gives the referee shirt to Shane and bails.  While Owens bickers with Shane, AJ hits the top rope and takes off for the Phenomenal Forearm.  AJ Styles retains the championship via pinfall.

We’re definitely on the road to a Shane-Owens match.  I wonder if they’ll string it out until Survivor Series or use it to sell one of the Smackdown only PPVs?

The Rest of the Show

  • Daniel Bryan is on the phone, interrupted by the Singh Brothers to introduce Jinder Mahal.  Apparently Jinder asked for an audience with him.  While I’m on this, why do they insist on having the GMs on the phone talking about how great a show they have lined up for tonight?  Shane is clearly in the building, so who is he trying to convince?  DB lets Jinder know that he doesn’t have to face Shinsuke in a rematch tonight, because tonight Shinsuke gets to take out some frustrations on The Singh Brothers, seemingly in handicapped action.
  • Welcome to Smackdown Live, Bobby Roode.  Aiden English is mid-serenade when he’s interrupted by that all too familiar piano opening.  English gets his licks in during this matchup, but you don’t debut the Glorious One with a loss, as Bobby Roode lands the Glorious DDT and picks up the pinfall.  Welcome to the Blue Brand, I’m happy to have you.
  • Post match, Renee Young enters the ring to interview Bobby, lending me the hope that Roddy is right behind him, because he won’t get away from him that easily.  No luck.  What a shame.  That storyline was really starting to get traction, especially now that McIntyre will have to deal with Adam Cole as champion and Roddy-Roode could have gone on without any interference.  Bummer.
  • Shelton Benjamin is back too, and he’s apparently now the Ebony to Chad Gable’s Ivory.  I’m cool with it, I didn’t get to see enough of his stuff, and only seem to catch pieces of his work on the network.
  • Holy Crap, The Hype Bros are on television.  The Hype Bros vs The Usos.  I don’t know if any of you follow Mojo on Twitter, but I do (as a mark should).  He was bummed to not have a spot on the Summerslam card, but he never seems to let it get him down that he’s not being used, he just posts himself in the Performance Center putting in more work.  It’s something Vince will notice, and he’ll get a push because he’s paying dues.  Unlike entitled roster members who seem to be on everyone’s shit list, like Emma, Cass, Enzo and Baron Corbin.  Hype Bros looked great in this one.  I’m so happy to see them using a tag team other than The Usos and New Day.  In the end, The Usos win with their usual heelish means.  JBL and Phillips agree with me that that Tag Team match in the Kickoff Show Sunday stole the show, which makes me feel validated.
    • Following the match, The Usos got a microphone.  As good as that match was, I resisted the urge to fast forward my way past their promo.  I kind of wish I had gone ahead and skipped it.

  • It felt weird to put Shinsuke in the bullet list, so enjoy the gif.  The Singh Brothers (w/ Jinder Mahal) vs Shinsuke Nakamura (2 on 1 Handicapped Match):  The Singh Brothers take the ring in their business casual attire, which doesn’t bode well for their chances, but Shinsuke tried to bait Jinder and the distraction gave them an opportunity to get the upper hand for a few minutes.  Shinsuke wins via submission with the Triangle on one of the Singh Brothers, and is quickly dropped from behind by Mahal.  Wouldn’t last long either, as a Kinshasa would leave the Modern Day Maharaja laid out in the ring with Nak standing tall.
  • New Women’s Champion Natalya cuts a “best there is…..ever will be” promo, only to be interrupted by Carmella and Ellsworth.  Ellsworth goes hard on her, making sure the universe is aware that Natalya has been around forever and finally won the belt again.  Carmella is getting stronger with the microphone.  Pretty soon Ellsworth is going to cost her something (like the MitB cash in) and she’ll turn on him, she won’t need him for long.  Could be something like Ellsworth pointing out that she could very well let Naomi and Becky Lynch beat the hell out of her the whole match so Carmella could cash in tonight, since we’re gearing up for….
  • Natalya & Carmella vs Becky Lynch & Naomi:  Some part of me expected both Women’s Champions to have to go through rematches on Raw and Smackdown this week, but neither one did.  Carmella does avoid taking a tag a number of times, but it feels like a tease.  The Brooklyn Crowd has now started doing the wave, I hate these damn people.  Ungrateful bastards.  Carmella would take a tag while distracted and be on the receiving end of both a Bexploder and Moonsault from the face team, as Becky Lynch and Naomi pick up the win via pinfall on Carmella.
  • Yay!  Dolph Ziggler!  He’s frustrated like I am that he’s not being used much lately, and even now he’s just in a backstage interview.
  • Tamina is taking life coaching advice from Lana, because if you want to know how to get to the championship, it’s best to take advice from a woman from Gainesville, Florida, who’s Russian accent is getting worse and worse because through parts of this she sounds like a Leprechaun, and who doesn’t have a win in her career.  I’m confused by all of this, because Tamina is worse in the ring than Lana, so I don’t know why of all the talent in this women’s division these two are eating up the limited women’s division time each week.

This show was fine.  Smackdown will always be at the disadvantage of being the bookend of a really damn long four days of WWE action when they do the big events, and even worse when the PPV is stretched out to a 6 hour broadcast.  As much as I hate the Brooklyn crowd, I can at least depend on these lunatics to stick around for 205 Live, which is where you should be, now that you’re done reading this.  I’ll hit you with that recap tomorrow.  Good night, Dark Match Readers.  And Good Luck.