This Hasn’t Really Been an Open Challenge – Smackdown Live Recap – September 19, 2017

Smackdown was in Oakland as the WWE spends the month of September in the state of California.  It’s all good, it’s a big state with a lot of large cities and a massive wrestling fanbase to work with.

Why are you griping about the United States Open Challenge?

I do.  I love the concept in the pure form that it is supposed to exist.  It got a pass last week because Tye Dillinger deserved that sort of showcase without getting jumped by Corbin as he did in his attempt to answer the call the first night.  This is not an open challenge, this is booking the same match a number of different ways and acting like it’s something new.  Use this forum to build talent.  Let Aiden English give it a shot.  Mojo Rawley.  Rusev.  There are forty guys on the damn Smackdown roster, use this platform appropriately.

Anyway, this match didn’t actually happen.  Corbin jumped AJ before the match had a chance to begin, Dillinger came out of the back to aid Styles, clipping Corbin at the knee before AJ locked the then injured leg in the Calf Crusher to make things worse.  So you know what that means…..we’ll get the same match again, in some fashion, every week until the Triple Threat finally takes place at Hell in a Cell (that’s a prediction, not anything that’s been announced).  I’m good with them actually making use of Dillinger though, so maybe I should just shut the hell up.

The Women Got Two Segments!!!!!!

In the first segment, Charlotte thanked everyone for the support during Ric’s surgery and recovery efforts.  Then she was interrupted by Natalya so that the rest of the women’s division could make fun of her for being a crazy cat lady.  If you are going to go back and watch Smackdown or if you watch it going forward, pay attention to Natalya.  I love the character’s conscious effort to clutch the belt like a kid trying to run away with it’s ball.  It’s a fantastic little detail that they hopefully don’t play up, just let it continue to happen.  I loved it.

Anyway, these four above joined the fray and Daniel Bryan had an idea, put them in a match against each other to determine the Number One Contender for Hell in a Cell.

On to the match, it was a pretty good one.  Tamina is still not good in the ring, but that didn’t matter because the talent around her elevated the match.  Charlotte hit the moonsault on both Naomi and Tamina at the same time, it was a thing of beauty.  I’ve missed the Queen.  In capitalizing on the good will she’s got right now coming off the absence for Ric’s sickness, Charlotte picks up the win over Tamina with a big boot and will go into HiaC as the face against Natalya.

The Rest of the Show

  • Jinder Mahal was racist.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Jinder Mahal for all his “you’re all xenophobic racists” claims decided it was a good idea to refer to Nakamura as Mr. Miyagi and made fun of the difficulty that some Asian peoples have using certain letters in the English language.  It was horrible.  Even the crowd launched in with a “That’s Too Far” chant.  Yikes.
  • The New Day defeated The Hype Bros clean with The Usos on commentary but not coming into play at all.  In a promo later, The Hype Bros committed to “something drastic” to turn everything around.
  • Aiden English was slaughtered by an RKO Outta Nowhere.  English came off the top rope with what looked to be a Benoit-esque diving headbutt and was yanked out of mid-air.
  • Rusev def. Randy Orton quickly with a superkick.  I don’t really know why the referee rang the bell.  Rusev didn’t claim to want a match, just to beat the hell out of Orton and “pull the Viper’s teeth”.  Anyway, they’ll probably have a HiaC match.
  • Baron Corbin vowed to get even in a backstage interview with Renee following the altercation with Styles and Dillinger.  If we go on his track record, AJ will end up underneath heavy machinery at some point in the next three weeks.
  • Shane McMahon opened the show and “condemned” Kevin Owens to Hell, which was offputting.
  • Kevin Owens in a via-satellite statement sort of apologized for attacking Vince but vowed that he would end up in Heaven for what he does to Shane.  I’m really not sure these religious things are tracking.

All in all, not a bad show, the women’s match had some great spots.  There’s a few weeks between now and Detroit, so they’ll likely amp things up on the next two Smackdown Live shows heading into the PPV.