This week on Smackdown Live, Dolph Ziggler battles Sami Zayn while Baron Corbin takes on Kevin Owens. If Ziggler and/or Corbin win then they are added to the title match at Fastlane. Plus, New Day has a heated encounter with Benjamin & Gable debating about pancakes and waffles.
World Wrestling Entertainment presents Smackdown Live
From: Bakersfield, CA
Dolph Ziggler opens the show coming down to the ring for his match against Baron Corbin. The winner of the match will be added to the WWE Championship match at WWE Fastlane making it a fatal four way match. However, Corbin doesn’t come out to his entrance music and it’s revealed that Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn have attacked him backstage. Corbin tried to fight back and he was beaten down some more. They eventually head towards the ring and Ziggler brawls with Zayn in the crowd. Ziggler is beaten down as well and Zayn hits a big boot on the floor. Corbin tries to make the save, or get revenge, and is easily beaten down again.
Since Sarah Logan has the Riott Squad in her corner, Charlotte has Becky Lynch and Naomi in her corner. Lynch and Naomi get their own entrances, too.
Opening Contest: Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte vs. Sarah Logan: They lockup and neither woman gets the advantage. Logan takes Charlotte down to the mat and keeps control on the mat for a few moments. Charlotte tries to break the grip of Logan but it takes a little longer than expected. Charlotte hip tosses Logan followed by a big boot as the show goes to a split screen commercial. During the commercial, Logan has control after knee strikes and dumping Charlotte to the floor. Logan has kept the match on the canvas. Charlotte takes Logan over with a German suplex. Logan counters an atomic drop managing to deliver a chop but Charlotte fires back with a series of chops. Logan counters a suplex by spearing Charlotte from behind for a near fall.
Logan takes Charlotte over with a butterfly suplex for a near fall. Charlotte delivers a high knee but Logan comes back with a double knee strike for a two count. Logan goes for a cover after several strikes only getting a two count. Logan controls the left arm on the mat but Charlotte doesn’t give up. Logan fights back with a clothesline and is chopped several times by Charloote. Logan avoids a big boot and Charlotte has her leg trapped over the top rope allowing Logan to hit a back suplex for a near fall. Charlotte fights back with forearms but is sent face first into the middle turnbuckle. Charlotte delivers a backbreaker and finishes Logan off with Natural Selection for the win. (*1/4. Talk about a rough showing. Logan did not look good in there at all. She was sloppy and didn’t work a good match. Charlotte is much better than so many women that it’s incredibly noticeable and thus leads to a better appreciation for her skill set.)
Backstage, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan talk about what Zayn and Owens have done tonight. McMahon is mad about what they did. Thus, tonight they will be wrestling in singles matches. Zayn will wrestle Ziggler. Corbin will wrestle Owens. If Ziggler and Corbin win their matches then it will be either a fatal four way or fatal five way for the match. If Owens and Zayn get involved they are out of the main event at Fastlane.
Second Contest: Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens: Owens quickly goes on the attack with strikes in the corner, but Corbin comes back causing Owens to bail to the floor. Corbin wants Owens to get in the ring and Owens bails to the floor. Zayn is watching the match on a TV backstage. Corbin brings Owens back into the ring and is met with stomps from Owens. Owens boots a charging Corbin in the corner and is punched off the middle rope. Corbin follows to the floor to grab Owens and sends him into the guard railing chest first. Corbin drives Owens face first into the guard railing. Owens drives Corbin into the apron and sends Corbin shoulder first into the ring post. Owens continues to work over Corbin with strikes. Corbin avoids being sent into the corner and rolls back into the ring only to be kicked in the ribs. Owens hits a cannonball splash as well.
Back from commercial, Corbin sends Owens into the railing but misses a spear and hits the ring steps. Owens hits a senton splash back in the ring for a near fall. Owens keeps Corbin on the mat with a sleeper hold. Owens knee lifts Corbin as the fans are chanting for Rusev Day. Corbin stops Owens with a chokeslam backbreaker.
Corbin continues with strikes to knock Owens off his feet. Corbin slides to the floor and quickly runs back in to deck Owens with a lariat. Corbin has the cover but Owens kicks out at two. Corbin continues to hammer away on Owens and goes for a superplex but Owens fights him off. Owens avoids a spear and Owens hits the post. Owens nearly wins the match with a rollup. Owens heads to the top rope but Corbin grabs Owens by his throat and looks to toss him but Owens fights back. Owens drops Corbin over the top rope but runs into Deep Six. Owens nails Corbin with a superkick and attempts a popup powerbomb. Corbin counters with End of Days and pins Owens. (***. I enjoyed the action as they kept a good pace. I don’t think this was a Corbin face turn by any means, but he was getting a positive crowd reaction. He might be a good face if they were to go in that direction. Corbin has been growing on me in recent weeks.)
WWE United States Champion Bobby Roode comes out for the US Title Open Challenge. Roode admits that he took the challenge idea from Cena, but he respects Cena and will continue it. He hopes that Randy Orton will meet him face to face, though. Orton does come out, but so does Jinder Mahal. Mahal mentions that Orton was number 9 on the top 10 list from last week. Mind you, Mahal wasn’t close to making the list. Mahal talks about Roode wanting to be a legend killer, but Roode cuts him off and reminds Mahal he wasn’t on the top 10 list. Roode thinks that Orton was low on the list because the fans are tired of his attacks. Orton takes out the healthy Singh brother, but Mahal is able to leave both Orton and Roode laying following two cobra clutch slams. Do we really need another triple threat match on pay per view?
New Day makes their way down to the ring where a table has been setup with pancakes. Apparently, Big E is going to eat 100 pancakes in eight minutes. E tries to achieve the goal, but isn’t able to do so. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable make their way out and they aren’t enjoying this nonsense. They suggest that New Day open their own pancake shop and leave the tag division to them. Xavier dismisses the statement that they aren’t serious wrestlers and says that nobody wants to see Gable and Benjamin as tag champions. Benjamin and Gable toss pancakes to the mat and say they are going to eat waffles instead. Big E freaks out when they tossed the pancakes to the canvas. This is seriously a feud?
Third Contest: New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) vs. Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable: The match starts during a commercial with Gable and Kofi trading moves. Benjamin tags in and continues to beat on Kofi with strikes in the corner. Kingston kicks Shelton in the corner and comes off the top to avoid Benjamin. Benjamin connects with a knee strike for a near fall. Benjamin sends Kingston hard back first into the corner and Gable works over Kingston by working over his left arm. Gable connects with a somersault kick to stop Kingston for a two count.
Benjamin tags in and quickly tags back out to Gable as they double teamed Kingston in the corner. Kingston kicks Benjamin and dumps Gable to the floor as well. Kingston tries to tag in Big E, but Gable pulls E off the apron. Benjamin goes to the floor and decks Xavier Woods. Kingston drops Benjamin with a stomp to the chest. E and Gable get tagged in with E tossing Gable with overhead suplexs. E hits a belly to belly suplex on Gable and comes off the ropes to deliver a big splash. Gable counters the Big Ending to hit a rolling German suplex. Benjamin gets tagged in but the referee was distracted by Woods. Kofi dropkicks Benjamin to the floor. Gable is yelling with the referee and that leads to Midnight Hour finishing him off. (**. A quick tag match, but I continue to be impressed with Gable’s in-ring stuff. The angle that led to this match was a complete joke and embarrassing.)
Backstage, Dolph Ziggler is interviewed before the main event. Ziggler says that he should be more selective picking his spots. Ziggler loves this business and lives for it. Ziggler was put on this planet to perform in the ring. Nobody is better than him and nobody will outshine him. Ziggler calls Zayn and Owens cowards for attacking him from behind. He’s back to simply main event WrestleMania as the WWE Champion.
Smackdown Tag Team Champion Usos had a pre-tape promo saying that a lot of teams have tried to step up to them. They are brothers and nothing can break their bond. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan destroy the television that the video package was airing on. That’s our next tag title feud.
Backstage, Kevin Owens apologizes to Sami Zayn for his mistake tonight. Owens tells Zayn that he can’t lose tonight to make it a five way match. Zayn tells Owens it is every man for themselves.
Main Event: Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler: Zayn goes to the rope as Ziggler goes right after him. Ziggler tries to get a front facelock on Zayn, but Sami goes to the ropes. Sami cheap shots Ziggler with a strike to the ribs to back Dolph away. Ziggler decks Zayn against the ropes and connects with a neckbreaker. Ziggler splashes Zayn in the corner and continues with a neckbreaker. Zayn bails to the floor and regroups. Zayn pummels Ziggler in the corner with right hands to get control but backs away. Sami kicks Ziggler in the face a few times and catapults Ziggler throat first into the middle rope. Zayn elbows Ziggler in the corner and comes off the middle rope but is met with a dropkick in midair. Zayn rolls to the floor as we go to commercial.
Zayn has control on Ziggler with a headlock. Zayn runs over Ziggler with a clothesline for a near fall. Zayn elbows Ziggler away but Ziggler is able to plant Zayn with a DDT. Zayn avoids a Fame Asser, but Ziggler goes for it a second time and hits it for a near fall. Ziggler goes to the top rope but Zayn cuts him off only to be punches away. Zayn gets up and crotches Ziggler. Zayn has Ziggler on the top rope and hits an exploder suplex!
Ziggler hammers away on Zayn but Zayn comes back with forearm shots. Zayn catapults Ziggler face first into the post. Ziggler avoids a boot in the corner and hits the Zig Zag but Zayn kicks out at two! Zayn avoids a superkick and sends Ziggler shoulder first into the post. Zayn tosses Ziggler shoulder first into the post a second time. Ziggler gets a rollup on Zayn and nerly wins. Zayn tosses Ziggler into the corner with an exploder suplex. Zayn waits for Ziggler and runs into a superkick. Ziggler has the cover and wins the match. We see Kevin Owens acting pissed off backstage. (***1/4. A solid main event as they won me over by the end. The top rope exploder suplex was not expected and kick the match into a second gear. It’s a shame that nobody really cares about these two guys. This was a good main event to end the show.)
I really dislike how RAW and Smackdown Live seem to do the same booking. RAW has a 7-man Elimination Chamber match and now Smackdown has a 5-man title match. It is tough to care about a product when they just put so little effort into storytelling. A decent show, but a little underwhelming. There’s just not much on Smackdown Live that I care about.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.