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WWE SmackDown recap & reaction (8/22)

WWE SmackDown

United States Champion AJ Styles kicked off this week’s episode of SmackDown. The crowd chanted “AJ Styles!” as AJ stood in the ring. Styles then welcomed everyone to SmackDown Live and stated that SmackDown was the house that AJ Styles built. AJ Styles then announced that he was reinstating tonight the United States Open Challenge.

Kevin Owens came down to the entrance ramp with a pissed off look on his face. Styles said that he defeated Owens at SummerSlam and that they are done. Owens said that Styles did not defeat him at SummerSlam and blamed Shane McMahon for his loss at WWE SummerSlam on Sunday.

Shane McMahon then came down to the ring and joined Owens and Styles. Shane stated that he called the match at SummerSlam right down the middle and that AJ won the match fair and square. Owens disagreed and questioned why Shane can survive helicopter crashes but cannot withstand being grazed by 450 Splash from Styles.

Owens then rolled footage of Shane counting to three as AJ’s foot was on the rope. Owens complained about being screwed over by the referee a couple weeks ago even though his shoulders were off the ground. Owens didn’t understand why that decision stood and why Owens wasn’t awarded a victory at SummerSlam. Shane said that his decision stands and Owens threw a tantrum. AJ then called Owens a “whiny ass little bitch”.

Styles then said that Owens can have his match tonight. Owens then questioned Shane and Owens’ manhood and said that he wanted to pick the referee for the match tonight. AJ said that he didn’t care who the referee was and agreed to the stipulation. Shane McMahon then stated that no matter what this will be the final match between the two for the United States Champion.

The Singh Brothers and Jinder Mahal had a conversation with WWE Champion Daniel Bryan backstage. Daniel Bryan accused Mahal of not being able to win a match without The Singh Brothers. Mahal then said that he thought Daniel Bryan was better than this and accused him of being xenophobic. Bryan announced that Shinsuke Nakamura will face The Singh Brothers later tonight.

Kevin Owens approached Sami Zayn backstage. Owens said that Zayn is the only person he trusts on the roster. Owens also noted that Zayn has been doing absolutely nothing since coming to SmackDown. Zayn didn’t give an answer right away and Owens asked Zayn to think about it.

Aiden English performed a song in the ring. The light’s went out and Bobby Roode’s music hit. Roode appeared on the entrance ramp as the Brooklyn crowd sang his theme music. Roode then made his way to the ring as the crowd continued to sing along.

Bobby Roode vs Aiden English

The crowd chanted “Bobby Roode!” as the bell rang. Roode posed in the ring and the crowd chanted “glorious”. Aiden English took a bow in the ring as the crowd booed. Roode connected with a Clothesline and knocked him out of the ring as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

During the break, English took his sweet time getting back in the ring. English finally returned to the ring and Roode connected with a chop in the corner. Roode then stomped on English in the corner and once again posed for the crowd. English booted Roode in the chest and then bounced his head off the turnbuckle. English then planted Roode with a Suplex for a two count.

When SmackDown returned, English was still in control of the match and started slapping Roode in the back of the head. Roode got pissed off and launched English into the corner. Roode connected with a couple of chops and then hit an inverted Atomic Drop. Roode hit a Clothesline in the corner and then hopped up to the second rope and hit a Blockbuster. English hit the Director’s Cut for a two count.

Aiden made his way up to the top turnbuckle and tried to jump on Roode but Bobby ducked out of the way. Roode then planted English with the Spinebuster and followed it up with the Glorious DDT for the pinfall victory.

Winner: Bobby Roode

Renee Young then interviewed Bobby Roode after the match. Renee asked what brought Roode to SmackDown and Roode congratulated Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan for cashing in on the hottest free agent in sports entertainment today. Roode said that everything he does is big box office. Roode said that now that he is here, SmackDown has gone from being great to absolutely glorious. Roode then posed for the crowd once again as his music hit.

SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan had a conversation with Chad Gable backstage. Daniel Bryan said that he was sorry that Gable’s tag team partner joined the RAW roster. Gable got frustrated that all everyone wants to talk to him about is the fact that Jason Jordan is Kurt Angle’s son. Gable said that he is focused on his future in WWE and not his past. Daniel Bryan agreed and said that he had a surprise for him.

Daniel Bryan said that he didn’t just give Jason Jordan to WWE RAW, he asked Angle to help him sign one of his friends.

Bryan then announced that he signed Shelton Benjamin and Benjamin joined them backstage. Bryan suggested that Gable and Benjamin form a tag team. Gable thought that sounded great and it was announced that Gable and Benjamin will debut as a tag team next week on SmackDown.

Sami Zayn informed Kevin Owens that he doesn’t want to referee his match later tonight against AJ Styles.

The Usos vs Hype Bros

This was a quick back and forth match. The Hype Bros put up a fight for a couple of minutes but eventually Jey Uso connected with a Superkick on Zack Ryder for the victory.

Winners: The Usos

After the match, The Usos cut a promo about how they own the division now and bragged about defeating New Day at WWE SummerSlam.

Reaction: The first hour of SmackDown has been very eventful. First, there was the Bobby Roode debut. That was an okay match but I’m more excited about the future of Bobby Roode on SmackDown. This opportunity is long overdue for Bobby Roode and I hope he has a very successful run on the main roster.

Shelton Benjamin also made his return to WWE and will team up with Chad Gable next week. Gable and Benjamin are terrific in the ring and that is an immediate upgrade to SmackDown’s tag team division. I actually wanted Sami Zayn to take up Kevin Owens’ offer and be the referee for the match tonight. It would be nice to see Sami Zayn in a relevant storyline for once, instead of wasting away every week on SmackDown.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs The Singh Brothers

Jinder Mahal was ringside for this match and kept trying to distract Nakamura. It didn’t work as Nakamura quickly won via a Triangle submission hold. After the match, Mahal tried to attack Nakamura but Shinsuke leveled him with the Kinshasa.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Breezango offered to be the referees for tonight’s match to Kevin Owens but Owens declined. Corbin then said that he wanted to be the referee but only if he gets the first shot at the United States Championship if Owens wins. Owens agreed and gave him the referee shirt.

Natalya cut a promo and vowed to be the SmackDown Women’s Champion forever. Natalya also got rid of Naomi’s glow belt. Carmella interrupted and raised the MITB contract. Carmella reminded Natalya that she will cash in at any time.

Carmella & Natalya vs Becky Lynch & Naomi

Carmella avoided Naomi in the beginning of the match and quickly tagged in Natalya as SmackDown went to a commercial break. When SmackDown returned, Becky Lynch was in control of the match and Natalya tried to call timeout. Natalya bounced Becky’s head off the turnbuckle and then posed in the ring.

Natalya applied a Chin Lock to Becky as Carmella taunted Becky from the ring apron. Becky fought out of the hold but Natalya leveled her with the Clothesline. Natalya then punched Naomi off the ring apron. Natalya tried to tag in Carmella but she jumped off the ring apron. Natalya shouted at Carmella and Becky rolled Natalya up for a two count.

Naomi was then tagged in. Carmella was standing on the ring apron with the briefcase. Carmella was shouting at Ellsworth and not paying attention. Natalya then tagged Carmella in and proceeded to chase her around the ring. Carmella finally got in the ring and Becky hit her with an Exploder Suplex. Naomi then connected with the split-legged Moonsault for the pinfall victory.

Winners: Becky Lynch & Naomi

Dolph Ziggler made his return to SmackDown and was interviewed backstage. Ziggler said that he was watching a lot of WWE while he was gone and he figured out what it takes to be a star in WWE. He then sarcastically said that he was going to start singing, dancing and get a big fancy robe. Ziggler said that he is going to get a beautiful woman that glows in the dark to escort him to the ring because that is what the WWE Universe wants. Ziggler said that he will return to the ring next week and walked away.

Lana and Tamina had a conversation backstage. Lana told Tamina to close her eyes and remember the feeling of being in a locker room full of people but they don’t see you because you are different and don’t fit in. Lana then told Tamina to let that feeling sit in and let the anger boil over. Lana told Tamina to open her eyes and now the “ravishing reign of terror begins” and they will not stop until Tamina becomes SmackDown Women’s Champion.

AJ Styles was walking backstage and was interrupted by Baron Corbin. Styles said that when he wins the match tonight, there will be a United States Open Challenge every week and told Corbin to answer the challenge.

United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs Kevin Owens ( w/ Special Referee Baron Corbin)

Owens started out the match in control and beatdown Styles in the corner with a series of chops. The crowd was behind the United States Champion and started chanting “AJ Styles!”. AJ connected with a Dropkick and Owens rolled out of the ring. Styles then hit a forearm to Owens outside the ring as SmackDown went to a commercial break.

When SmackDown returns, Styles was still in control and connected with a Pele Kick that knocked Owens out of the ring. Owens tripped up Styles on the ring apron and then hit a Fallaway Slam that sent AJ into the barricade. Back in the ring, Owens went for the cover but AJ kicked out at two.

Owens then applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring. Styles got out of the hold and connected with a Facebuster. Owens and AJ traded punches. AJ got the upper-hand and knocked Owens to the mat with a Clothesline. AJ planted Owens with a Fireman’s Carry Neckbreaker.

Styles locked in the Calf Crusher but Owens touched the ropes and Baron Corbin broke up the hold for some reason. Corbin and Styles started arguing in the ring. Owens shoved AJ into Corbin. Corbin then shoved Styles and Kevin Owens rolled AJ up for a two count. Shane McMahon then sprinted to the ring and accused Corbin of counting too fast. Corbin and Shane were arguing and Owens used the distraction to hit a low-blow.

Baron Corbin tried to count and Shane McMahon pulled him out of the ring. Corbin and Shane started arguing again and Corbin took off the shirt and gave it to Shane McMahon. Corbin then walked away as Shane put on the referee shirt. Owens got pissed off and started shouting at Shane McMahon in the ring. Styles immediately hit the Phenomenal Forearm for the victory.

Winner & Still United States Champion: AJ Styles

Reaction: The main-event was a decent match. This is obviously heading towards some kind of match between Shane McMahon in the near future. The crowd didn’t react at all to Dolph Ziggler’s backstage interview. His “new” character just seems to be a bitter Superstar that thinks the crowd should respect him more.

Shinsuke Nakamura got some revenge on Jinder Mahal tonight, but overall I’ve been very disappointed with how WWE has booked Shinsuke. Since coming to the main roster, he has lost a ton of momentum and his match with Mahal didn’t help that at all. Overall, tonight’s episode of SmackDown was decent. The best parts of the show were Bobby Roode making his main roster debut and Shelton Benjamin returning to WWE.

What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Let us know in the comments below.

  • ROB-1.

    Glad to see Bobby Roode on the main roster. Owens is having more fits lately. I wish Nakamura would end his silly dancing . Him & Lesnar should have a dancing contest.