Original Air Date: October 17, 2017
Event Date: October 17, 2017 (aired live)
Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
“Take a Chance” by CFO$
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring. After basking in the adulation of his (nearly) hometown crowd for a while, he announces some of the matches and segments for tonight’s show. After that, he begins to talk about what Sami Zayn did at Hell in a Cell. Sami doesn’t let Bryan get far before he interrupts and heads to the ring.
Bryan wonders about Zayn, but Zayn says he’s still the same good guy he’s always been. He’s just taking control of is career now. Bryan begins to say that he understands where Zayn is coming from, but Zayn cuts him off. Zayn admits that there are similarities between their careers, but he claims that the crowd never supported him like they did Bryan. Zayn claims he doesn’t care anymore about being liked by the fans, and he feels great. He says that maybe if Bryan had worked smarter rather than harder, then he wouldn’t have had to retire from in-ring action.
Zayn talks about he always followed Bryan’s example in his career, but now, Bryan is the last person Zayn would want to emulate. Bryan was the best of his generation, but now he’s just a housewife. Before Bryan can respond, Kevin Owens heads to the ring.
Owens is very happy for Zayn. He says that Zayn was right about what he said about Bryan, and he adds that Bryan is a hypocrite. Bryan says that Owens only cares about himself while Bryan cares about what is best for the fans. Owens corrects Bryan, saying Bryan only does what’s best for business. Zayn agrees and calls Bryan a “sell-out.” He also thanks Owens for opening his eyes and saving him from becoming just like Daniel Bryan.
Bryan walks away, but before he leaves, he says he’s going to find “a couple dudes” to punch Owens and Zayn in the face.
** I really liked this segment. I’d noted a while back how it felt like they were initially trying to push Sami Zayn like Daniel Bryan, but it wasn’t working the same way because of the reactions from the crowd. Zayn’s underdog thing felt forced, and fans don’t generally react well to forced, pandering stories. Of course, they also never really followed through on Zayn and kept killing his momentum, but that’s something they also did to Bryan (like the dumb detour in the Wyatt story when he was at his hottest). The fans surged for Bryan while they didn’t for Zayn. I like how they incorporated all that into this segment.
I do feel like they need to let Bryan have a match here and there at some point. A Wrestlemania match with Kevin Owens would be fantastic. Of course his health should come first, but the way they keep using his banishment from the ring as a part of story lines feels like they’re building to some sort of confrontation.
I also liked Bryan’s line at the end of this segment. **
Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch & Naomi vs Lana & Tamina & Natalya (SD Women’s Champ)
(referee: Dan Engler; guest commentary: Carmella w/ James Ellsworth)
Result: Charlotte forces Lana to submit to the Figure Eight
A pretty good match. It was a pretty simple tag match. Naomi took the majority of the beatings as the heel team took turns in the ring against her. Then Charlotte got the tag near the end of the match to shift the momentum in her team’s favor. Becky also helped a little. No one really stood out from the crowd here, but that’s not necessarily a problem.
After the match, Natalya attacks Charlotte and drives her into the announce table. Natalya grabs a chair, but Charlotte takes it away. Natalya runs away before Charlotte can use the chair.
Daniel Bryan informs Owens and Zayn that everyone wants to punch them in the face. Getting that opportunity tonight will be the team of Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Breezango presents Pulp Fashion, in which Breezango interrogates The Ascension. Breeze collapses after eating part of Viktor’s cheeseburger. Breeze is okay, but their glowing briefcase has been stolen.
To be continued…
Baron Corbin (US Champ) vs Sin Cara
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: Sin Cara wins via count-out
This wasn’t much of a match, but it was kind of fun. Sin Cara started off quickly, and Corbin couldn’t keep up at all in this very short match.
Renee Young welcomes The Usos and asks them how they feel about their new number one contenders. They feel good and don’t seem worried. Gable and Benjamin walk up. They seem very confident. They offer their hands to The Usos but take them away before they shake.
** I liked the reference the handshake between The Usos and New Day. **
The Bludgeon Brothers bring annihilation. And big hammers.
Clips of Jinder Mahal’s recent trip to India.
Jinder Mahal heads to the ring with the Singh brothers. He talks about his trip to India and of his conversation with a wise young boy. Mahal doesn’t feel that he has the same respect in America as he does in India. Therefore, at Survivor Series, Mahal wants to fight Brock Lesnar. After he defeats Lesnar, he will prove that he is the greatest WWE Champ of all time. AJ Styles comes out and heads towards the ring.
Styles wonders if he heard Mahal correctly. Did Mahal say he’d beaten every worthy opponent on SmackDown? Mahal clarifies, saying there are no worthy competitors on SmackDown and Styles is a loser. Styles says that if he’s such a loser, why not give Styles a title shot. Mahal dances around the question and says his Indian fans don’t think Styles is worthy of even being in the same ring as Mahal. Styles points out that SmackDown isn’t taking place in India. After a few more words, a minor brawl breaks out which ends with Mahal and the Singh brothers leaving the ring and backing away up the ramp.
** I still don’t really like the India vs The World thing that is inherent in nearly all of Mahal’s promos. I mean, why turn fans against India? That’s what happens when the crowd starts chanting “USA” for no real reason, and that’s what they seem to be pushing for. It’s so strange. I did like the exchange between Mahal and Styles though. It wasn’t great, but it was good. Styles’ no-nonsense speaking style helped push the segment forward in a good way. **
Jinder Mahal wants Daniel Bryan to do something about AJ Styles. Bryan asks Mahal what he’s going to do, so Mahal says that Sunil will challenge Styles next week. Bryan is fine with that.
Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler
(referee: Mike Chioda)
Result: Dolph Ziggler wins via pinfall with a schoolboy and a handful of tights
A pretty good match. The action was good, but the match was short. This match was all about the finish which will certainly be used as a plot point in the ongoing feud. It sets them up for at least one more match.
Aiden English sings as he walks around in the back. He gets offended that two random guys are on their phone while he’s performing. New Day comes out, playing their trombone and dancing. Rusev walks up and says there is no more New Day, it is now “Rusev Day.” And Rusev Day is not a joke.
Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
(referee: Charles Robinson)
Result: Sami Zayn pins Randy Orton after a low blow and a Helluva Kick
Time: 8:34 (1 break)
Good match. The action was good and frenetic at times. Even though it felt a lot like a random team thrown together for no real reason, the match was enjoyable. The finish was well done and good for the current story.
Zayn and Owens celebrate in front of Daniel Bryan and ask him what’s next. Bryan says their next match isn’t up to Bryan, it’s up to Shane McMahon.
Owens and Zayn come back out to the stage and gloat in front of Orton and Nakamura. Owens and Zayn hug as the show ends.
This didn’t feel like a particularly important show, but the first and last matches were worth watching. I like how the Zayn story is developing. Nothing else really stood out on this show as much in the way of significant development. This was an okay show.
Match of the Night
Nakamura & Orton vs Owens & Zayn
I liked this finish the most tonight, and all four guys worked well together. I hope Nakamura gets a decent feud pretty soon, and maybe this will help.