It’s kind of crazy not seeing John Cena in the opening theme song video, but this is a new era of Smackdown Live. Randy Orton comes out, with his title belt returned to him, to address the crowd and to call out his new rival Jinder Mahal.
Jinder comes out, and I must say, I like this new Jinder Mahal. He really feels like a threat to Randy’s Championship.
He’s so cocky, he already had his promotional pics taken with the title, and they don’t look out of place. He’s a real old school heel, and I love it.
He says at Backlash, a new age will begin, the Age of the Maharajah. And then out comes Kevin Owens, the new face of America, who says that the only thing that matters isn’t either of them, or India, or England, just Kevin Owens.
He is proud of ending Chris Jericho’s career last week, and says next he’s ending the career of AJ Styles at Backlash, then he’s going after the WWE Championship.
AJ is out next (can you say Tag Team main event playas? Holla holla holla) And the crowd goes nuts. Baron Corbin is out as well, because I know nothing about how Smackdown is booked these days apparently.
Sami Zayn attacks him so..triple threat tag match main event? Yup, called it. Holla holla holla!
Match 1-Becky Lynch vs Natalya
First up, we get the rest of the Welcoming Commitee, Carmella, James Ellsworth, and Tamina, to introduce Natalya.
Becky isn’t alone either as Naomi comes out to introduce Becky Lynch, like her own personal Chaucer. Before the match starts, Charlotte Flair comes out as well, because, why not?
Fairly even match early on, both women trading blows and holds with the other. This is a quick match, some chaos ensues with the other women out, and Natalya takes advantage with a rollup, and gets the win.
Well that was a real waste of time and show. Let’s hope this gets better. Backstage, Becky tries to unite Charlotte Flair and Naomi into a united front against the Welcoming Commitee for a match against them at Backlash. Seems they’ll be a team, for now.
Now it’s time for another Breezango Law and Order skit, love these things.
Match 2-Luke Harper vs Erick Rowan
It’s a battle of the former Wyatts, this should be a good match. Rowan takes control early on in this one, but not for too long. This is a pretty fast paced match between these two giants, something you wouldn’t quite expect on the offset of this showdown.
Another quick match, Harper is distracted by an attempted attack with Rowan’s mask, but instead Rowan hits him with a helicopter spin slam and picks up the win.
Match Winner-Erick Rowan
Seems they’re rushing this show tonight for some reason, hope we get some decent matches somewhere in this card tonight, because so far I’m not regretting only watching half this show tonight and finishing it up in the morning.
Dolph Ziggler comes out now to confront Shinsuke Nakamura, a man he’s in a heated rivalry with whom he’s never fought before, but is merely jealous that he has more charisma in one pinky than Ziggler does in his whole body.
He just wants to be appreciated, but maybe if he was interesting again instead of whining about it he’d be interesting . Funny concept huh?
I will agree that with Ziggler that The Artist is a dumb nickname. What was wrong with the King of Strong Style Vince? What because you don’t get it nobody else will? Ummm..people understood it, people get it, it’s just you that doesn’t see it.
Out comes Nakamura to upstage the “show off ” once more. It’s quite sad really. This is like if Shawn Michaels had to feud with the Brooklyn Brawler.
Ziggler wants to see what Shinsuke can do, Nakamura says get a referee, he’ll show him now. Ref gets out, match is about to start, and Ziggler backs down like a punk, saying this will happen when he says so, and he’ll expose Nakamura for the fraud he is at Backlash, then attacks him also like a punk. Nakamura gets some moves in though, and now Ziggler wants to get this on, but still he backs away like a punk. Pathetic. Nakamura is wasting his time in this feud.
Backstage, Sami Zayn tries to get his team together on one page, but just proceeds to bore them with chatter so they leave. Seems we’re back to this gimmick for Zayn right now, ok.
We get an entertaining New Day skit, promoting their Smackdown debut, soon.
Match 3-The Ascension vs Breezango
Seems these guys are legit good guys now, which I like, they’re entertaining together. And the London crowd is digging their vibe too. Haven’t seen this many cheers for Fandango since 2013.
Fandango starts this one off against Konner. The Ascension is controlling this match from the outset, getting a tag in there, staying fresh.
Tyler Breeze gets a hot tag, and gets some good offense in against Konnor, then after a tag, Fandango comes in to finish the job.
Post match, the crowd is loving Breezango, but The Usos come out to break up this celebration. I really dig The Usos heel version, way better than the Haka chanting face paint wearing version of the past.
Match 4- 6 Man Tag Match
Jinder Mahal, Kevin Owens, and Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, and Randy Orton
The traditional Smackdown main event from the Teddy Long era making a return to the show. We start off with AJ vs Baron Corbin. Interesting combo. Nothing much happens here, before we move to Sami Zayn vs Jinder Mahal.
Mahal dominating early on here. Randy wants in on this one though, Jinder does not, and tags in Kevin Owens in his stead. Nothing happens here either, Randy tosses Kevin out of the ring, and we go to break.
Pretty lackluster match so far, not a lot of offense being thrown. Back from break and it’s an entirely different fight in the ring.
Before long it’s back to the arch enemies for life Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn. They fight a bit before Owens tags out to Baron Corbin, who’s using his size and strength advantage to destroy Zayn here.
Owens wants back in on Sami, trying to choke him out but doesn’t get the job done, so it’s back to Corbin. Seems Zayn is the sacrificial lamb here tonight, not wanting to damage their top face stars here.
It’s a whole different match once AJ gets back involved though, soon devolves into chaos, everyone is outside, Sami does an aerial attack to the outside, and now AJ is back in this fight.
Jinder tags in and starts to destroy AJ before tagging Owens back in. This is a good night to be a bad guy it seems, as they are in control this match.
AJ gets a minor advantage attack on Owens and hot tags in Orton! Orton is on fire, destroying everyone almost, then more chaos, people attacking people, Orton hits an RKO on Owens but Jinder is the legal man here, who attacks Orton with his finisher and gets the win!
Match Winner-Jinder Mahal, Baron Corbin, and Kevin Owens.
Match Grade- C
Overall this whole show felt rushed, like they just put this show together the night before. Let’s hope next week is better.