April 18, 2017
City: Louisville, KY
Venue: KFC Yum! Center
Commentary: Tom Phillips, JBL, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
Before the show starts, WWE shows an image in tribute of Matthew “Rosey” Anoa’i, 1970-2017.
Last week, the Superstar Shakeup proved that SmackDown Live is the land of opportunity.
Charlotte makes her way to the ring. She’s only been on SmackDown for seven days, but she’s already lost her patience. Why hasn’t she been granted a title match yet? What’s taking so long? Naomi then comes out and heads to the ring.
Naomi says there are no kings or queens on SmackDown. But there are champions. She knows what Charlotte wants, and she hates to see Charlotte beg. Naomi isn’t scared, so she decides to give Charlotte what she wants. Apparently she thinks Charlotte wants a punch in the face, because that’s what she gives her.
As they brawl, Shane McMahon comes out and says that everyone has to earn their opportunities on SmackDown. If she can beat Naomi tonight, then she’ll get a title match next week. Charlotte likes that. Charlotte also attacks Naomi and dumps her out of the ring, but Naomi responds by getting back in the ring and dumping out Charlotte. Naomi stands tall in the ring as Charlotte backs away up the ramp as the segment ends.
Natalya is upset with Shane McMahon. Why does Charlotte get a title opportunity? Shane reminds Natalya that she had a title shot at Wrestlemania then she just has to ask. Carmella and James Ellsworth walk in and agree with Natalya about Charlotte. Tamina walks in next. She’s also upset. Everyone starts talking over each other, but Natalya says she has a plan to take care of everything. Everyone walks away together while Shane remains behind, looking slightly confused.
Six Pack Challenge WWE Title Number One Contender Match
Dolph Ziggler vs Erick Rowan vs Jinder Mahal vs Mojo Rawley vs Luke Harper vs Sami Zayn
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Jinder Mahal pins Sami Zayn after a Cobra Clutch slam (and a little help from the Bollywood Boyz) and becomes the number one contender for the WWE Title
Time: 10:59 (2 breaks)
This was a fun match. The action was great and the pace was high pretty much the entire time. It’s difficult to pick one guy that stood out, but I think Zayn and Harper both looked very impressive. Rowan and Rawley were pretty quiet, and Ziggler and Mahal both had some moments. The finish was unexpected, but I quite liked it.
After the match, Renee Young congratulates Mahal on his victory. He accuses the crowd of booing him because they can’t accept diversity.
As he’s basking in the hate from the crowd, Randy Orton comes out to the stage. Orton also congratulates Mahal. He says Mahal’s prize won’t be the title though, all he’ll be getting is an RKO. Orton then proceeds to ignore Mahal as he responds to Bray Wyatt’s House of Horrors match. Wyatt then appears on the Tron, saying that Orton will never walk out of the House of Horrors. “Run.”
New Day has ice cream and cereal, and they’re headed to SmackDown.
A highlight package for Shinsuke Nakamura.
Renee Young welcomes AJ Styles. She asks Styles whether he’d prefer to face Owens or Jericho for the US Title. Styles says it doesn’t matter. Either way he has the homefield advantage. Baron Corbin walks up and says Styles stuck his nose in Corbin’s business last week. Styles then challenges Corbin to a match, which Corbin accepts.
Charlotte walks in the back and is met by Tamina, Natalya, Carmella, and James Ellsworth. They welcome Charlotte to SmackDown, and Natalya bumps Charlotte as she walks by.
Charlotte Flair vs Naomi (SD Women’s Champ)
(referee: Charles Robinson; stipulation: if Charlotte wins she gets a title match next week; watching in the back: Natalya, Tamina, Carmella, James Ellsworth)
Result: Charlotte wins via pinfall after Natural Selection
Time: 9:31 (1 break)
Good match. It felt like they took a little while to get warmed up with each other, but once the match got going it was quite good. I think they’ll have better matches, but this was a good start.
Charlotte laughs as she walks by Natalya, Tamina, Carmella, and James Ellsworth.
Primo & Epico Colon vs American Alpha
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: Epico pins Jason Jordan after a kick from Primo
An okay match. It was a little typical for an American Alpha match with Gable getting beat up and Jordan coming into the match late, and the finish wasn’t terribly spectacular. Still, it worked, and the point of the match came across.
Lana will soon be dancing her way onto SmackDown.
Dasha Fuestes welcomes Tye Dillinger and asks him why people are supporting him so well. As an answer, Dillinger shows a video package of his highlights.
Face of America Open Challenge
Kevin Owens (US Champ) vs Gary Gandy
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)
Result: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall after a pop-up powerbomb
After the match, Owens tells everyone to put down their hot dogs and listen. As long as he holds the US Title, he will remain the “Face of America.” Neither Chris Jericho nor AJ Styles will take that from him.
Austin Aries says he will knock the smirk off of TJ Perkins’ face tonight on 205 Live.
Baron Corbin vs AJ Styles
(referee: Mike Chioda; guest commentary: Kevin Owens)
Result: AJ Styles wins via countout
Time: 9:50 (1 break)
A good match with a slightly underwhelming ending. I understnad why they went with a countout finish, but it doesn’t make anyone look great. Still, the action in this was good.
This was a pretty good show. It had some neat surprises and some pretty good matches. Having Jinder Mahal as the number one contender for the WWE Title is kind of cool. I don’t expect he’ll win, but it does seem like he’s being rewarded for his hard work. I’ve also learned that WWE is going to start featuring him and the Bollywood Boyz more because of their interest in gaining momentum in India, but that doesn’t really lessen the impact of seeing Mahal work his way up from forgotten curtain-jerker to competent competitor. I’ve long thought that he deserved more. Lots of people on the roster do.
Match of the Night
Six Pack Challenge
This was fun, and the surprise finish helped make this memorable. I liked how they built it up to where it seemed like a sure thing that Sami Zayn would win, then switched it up right at the end. It was well done.