Those Two Hours Before 205 Live Starts – Smackdown Live Recap and Reaction – Dec. 5, 2017

Tonight’s episode of the 205 Live kickoff show is hiding a few hours down the coast from the wildfire moving through Ventura, as San Diego hosts the superstars of Smackdown and the Cruiserweight Division this evening.

InZayn In The Membrane

Kevin Owens and his new/old best friend Sami Zayn (although if you watched the WWE 365: Kevin Owens you found out Finn Balor is actually his best friend), head to the ring as we cut away for a reminder of what happened last week, as Sami was banned from ringside during the No DQ match that Kevin Owens was scheduled for against Randy Orton and he still got involved with a chair to help KO get the win over the Viper.

San Diego is not on Team Kevin and Sami, launching into a “You Suck” chant as they attempted to play the victim of another McMahon Family screwjob.  Ten minutes in and they were still explaining how they weren’t in violation of his ringside ban, as the ramp is not ringside.  And as Sami Zayn made his way up the ramp to emphasize that it wasn’t ringside, Randy Orton emerged from the crowd to deliver everyone’s favorite ending to any Randy Orton related situation, the RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!

Shane makes his way out to deal with his Sami Zayn problem, and it’s announced that at Clash of Champions, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will be in tag team action against Randy Orton and a partner of his choosing.  But tonight, Sami Zayn will be in action against The Viper in single’s competition with Kevin Owens handcuffed to the ring rope at ringside.

Coming back from commercial, Sami and Kevin are in the loading dock area so Zayn can explain the extra stipulations for the match to Owens now that he’s conscious.  Kevin Owens vows to fix it, and his plan is to talk to Daniel Bryan.

What Else We Got?

  • Rusev and Aiden English are celebrating yet another Rusev Day in the ring, where English serenades with the 12 Days of Rusev Day but is interrupted after day two by their tag team opponents, The New Day, who are carrying 2′ wide pancakes that they toss recklessly into the audience.  The New Day are riding high to Clash of Champions where they will go into Triple Threat Battle with The Usos and American Alpha 2.0 for the Tag Team Championship.  I wish I could tell you that the match here was worthy of Rusev’s talents, but unfortunately the majority of it was split screen opposite Liberty Mutual Commercials, so I don’t know, we returned to a hot tag and Big E laying waste, but an eye rake and distraction from English allowed Rusev to pick up the pinfall victory with the jumping kick thing to the back of Kofi’s head.  
  • Angry Mojo Ain’t Hyped, but he’s got a point.  In a backstage interview with Renee, Mojo explains that when Ryder went down to injury, Mojo won the Andre at Wrestlemania.  When Ryder came back, they paired back up and couldn’t buy a victory.  Mojo goes on to tell the entire locker room that if they have a problem with what he did, they can shove it.  This giphy find seems oddly fitting.

  • Following a commercial break, it’s announced that the victory for Rusev and Aiden English earned them a spot in the Triple Threat Match for the Tag Team Championship, making it a Fatal Four Way Tag Team Championship Match.  Yes! Yes! Yes!
  • Daniel Bryan was further confronted by the rest of the Smackdown Women’s Division (save for Becky Lynch who’s off filming Marine 6, and Naomi who is injured) who are all a little butt hurt about not getting a title opportunity.  They bicker, Bryan freaks, and at Clash of Champions Charlotte and Natalya will square off for the Women’s Championship in a Lumberjack Match,
  • Bobby Roode is confronted backstage by Baron Corbin about their match.  Dolph Ziggler turns up to remind them that he’s a two time World Champion, and he’s a bad ass.  Corbin will retain because…
  • The Bludgeon Brothers destroyed a pair of jobbers.  I don’t like the gimmick, and don’t necessarily feel fulfilled by the booking, but whatever has to happen to keep Luke Harper on my TV on Tuesday nights I’m going to accept.  #PushThisMan, and follow him on Twitter.  He’s definitely not going to clog up your Twitter feed like following Lane Kiffin will (Kiffin wins Twitter regularly, so it’s worth it).

  • I have yet to mention it, but since WWE felt the need to say it every third sentence, Clash of Champions is only 12 days away, and this Thursday night, Charlotte Flair and John Cena will both appear in the Psych movie, only on the USA Network.
  • Sami and Kevin in the back again.  Kevin has spoken with Daniel Bryan, who said he’d “think about it” with regards to helping them with their ongoing Randy Orton/Shane McMahon problem.
  • I hate that I sort of like Baron Corbin’s theme music.  Dolph Ziggler is at ringside with the commentary team as The Lone Wolf is set to go one on one with the Glorious One in a non-title match.  I’m glad they didn’t just abandon the ongoing Ziggler vs Roode thing, but just amped it up a touch and added Corbin and a title belt to the mix.  Ziggler is great on commentary, but as expected he doesn’t stay there long.  After both competitors go down to simultaneous clotheslines, Ziggler enters the fray and delivers a pair of ZigZags, and Roode gets the win via DQ since Ziggler hit him first.
  • Natalya is attempting to shore up her alliances with Lana, Tamina and Carmella going into the Lumberjack Match by reminding them of the Welcoming Committee that preceded the Riott Squad.  They’re confronted by the Squad, who Natalya sucks up to, calling them powerful women she’s proud to share the ring with before bailing on the scene.  It was a stare down between the six women once Natalya was gone, but nobody laid hands…..bummer.

  • I’m going to give them a pass tonight on the limited number of actual matches, because I’m pretty sure the roster spent the afternoon entertaining the troops in San Diego, so we can’t expect them to perform again.  But did we really need a full recap of the AJ Styles-Jinder Mahal Championship match build?  I can sum it up really easily:  Nobody wanted to see Jinder get obliterated by Brock Lesnar, so they took his belt in an effort to give us something more exciting in Lesnar-Styles.  While the first few minutes made me cry in my chair, the match ended up being one of the better things Lesnar has done in years.  Now, a contractual rematch is going to happen.  He’s sans Singh Brothers, so the idea that a world exists in which Jinder Mahal would ever beat AJ Styles is not a world I care to be a part of, because that’s like comparing apples with fucking fresh baked cookies.  Nobody wants a damn apple.  And yes, AJ is the fresh baked cookies in this insanely weird rant.  I didn’t get much sleep last night and I’m fading fast.  I love you guys though, so I persevere to bring you this hotly anticipated Smackdown recap in a timely manner.
  • Speaking of lopsided matches, we move into Charlotte vs Tamina.  Charlotte is really in a league of her own.  The San Diego crowd “wants Lana.”  Charlotte didn’t even get the bridge all the way in, so it was like a Figure 5.2, but either way the Women’s Champion won via submission.  Natalya, who was at ringside but played no role in the actual match, climbed on the apron to act like a crazy cat lady.  The Riott Squad joined the affair, walking toward the ring as Riott (which does have an extra T now) delivers a promo about being the featured attraction.  The Squad splits off to corner the members of the Welcoming Committee.  Charlotte wasn’t really given any attention as the other six went at it briefly on the outside.
  • More backstage with Kevin and Sami.  This time they approach Daniel Bryan in the bowels of the arena, but Daniel Bryan supports the decisions of the commissioner, and Kevin Owens will be handcuffed to the ring post.

Kevin Owens was still pandering to Daniel Bryan, who escorted the pair to the ringside area to secure the handcuffs himself.  As Owens continued to refuse, DB threatened suspension if he did not comply, so Owens got handcuffed.

The majority of the early going was pretty standard Randy Orton fare.  It went to the outside numerous times, lots of bumps on the commentary table, etc.  Owens’ taunting drew Orton’s attention temporarily, allowing Sami to get the upper hand for a bit, leading us into the first commercial break of the match.

Sami was still on the offensive coming back from the break, but Orton would turn it around quickly, eventually hitting his trademark snap Powerslam.  On the rope DDT attempt, Sami would reverse and buy enough time to get bolt cutters out from under the ring.  Orton got there to make the save before Sami could get Owens free, and both would eventually move back into the ring, but they left the cutters in the corner where Owens could get to it.  After landing a stalling Superplex, both guys were down for a bit, creating an opening.

Orton took him right back off the apron when he attempted to interfere, then dropped Sami with the Apron DDT.  He’d go into Viper pose, but wouldn’t get an RKO to finish this one out, as a series of reversals would turn into Randy Orton picking up the pinfall with….a roll up?  That’s an odd choice, with a packed house eagerly awaiting an RKO.  Sami and Owens would double team The Viper, but it wouldn’t last long, as Shinsuke would run in to make the save.  Looks like we’ve found Randy’s tag team partner for Clash of Champions.  He’d land a Kinshasa on Owens for good measure, then Orton would take down Zayn with an RKO.

Randy turns to Shinsuke and asks, “Do you want to be my partner?”  Nakamura nods affirmative, then shakes hands with the Legend Killer.  Shinsuke picks up Owens and serves him up to Orton for another RKO, then Orton returns favor holding Sami in place for a Kinshasa.  Just make these guys the new Tag Team Champions.  I’m sold already.  They can just take turns landing finishing moves on their opponents for 15 minutes a night.  I’m good with it.

Shane toots his own horn for the conclusion of the show, then informs Daniel Bryan that the part he left out was that he will be the Special Guest Referee for the tag match at Clash of Champions, and if Owens and Zayn do not find a way to win, they’ll be fired from WWE, not just from Smackdown.

Final Thoughts

For a kickoff show, it wasn’t bad.  All kidding aside, we’re rounding out a damn good card for the final PPV of the year.  There was a lot of promo work on this show, but I won’t complain about it too much.  Like I said earlier, I’m giving them a pass because they’re working the shows for the troops.  I’m really excited about Clash of Champions, mostly because I’ll get New Day-Usos again, but they’ve added Rusev to it, and what could be better than that?????

Now go watch 205 Live!