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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (12/12/17)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad VS Charlotte Flair; Charlotte wins, by disqualification.
  • Baron Corbin VS Dolph Ziggler; Ziggler wins, by disqualification.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers VS ???; Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • The Usos VS Rusev & Aiden English; Rusev & English win.
  • Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Randy Orton VS Kevin Owens w/ Sami Zayn; Owens wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Kevin & Sami have been crying “SmackDown Conspiracy”.

As if Kevin being handcuffed to the ring rope during a match Sami was having against “the McMahon’s weapon”, Randy Orton, wasn’t bad enough, SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon is piling on. Sami & Kevin will have a tag team match at Clash of Champions against The Viper and a partner of his choosing. And to end last week’s SmackDown, Orton found a partner in The Rockstar, Shinsuke Nakamura! Kevin & Sami are going up against two of WWE’s finest, but also in a match where Shane McMahon is the special guest refereeAND where they could lost their JOBS in the WWE! Is Shane O’Mac going too far?

 

Sami & Kevin recruit for #OccupySmackDown tonight.

Kevin & Sami are beginning the #YepMovement in the WWE, and ask others take a stand against the unfair tyranny of the Commissioner. They even ask Benjamin & Gable to join in to make for a better SmackDown. Will this movement work out in their favor?

 

AJ Styles heads to the ring!

The Phenomenal WWE World Champion will defend said title against Jinder Mahal at Clash of Champions, but tonight, we get the promised face-to-face in the ring. The fans give Styles a standing ovation as he welcomes them to “The House that AJ Styles Built”, SmackDown! He’s usually more “cool, calm and collected” but he’s anxious being this close to his title defense. Styles doesn’t want to lose the title he just got back, but Mahal must feel the same. But what good is being champion if you’re not going to fight for it? If you’re not a fighting champion? Styles will defend his title against Mahal, who was champion for six months and did anything and everything to keep it. Mahal needed a Punjabi Prison and a Punjabi Monster, as well as the Singh Brothers, so Styles knows what he’s talking about. Styles agrees, he knows what it’s like- The Singh Brothers interrupt! They would normally introduce the Modern Day Maharaja, but not this time. In case you missed it, the Singh Brothers share footage of SmackDown a couple weeks ago, where The Singhs failed to defeat Styles 2v1 and were then angrily punished by Mahal. Styles feels that was just cruel, he feels sorry for them. Styles has an idea, “let’s hug it out.” The Singh Brothers hug each other, but Styles wants them to hug “Ol’ Uncle Allen.” The fans want them to hug it out. They enter the ring, and do give Styles hugs. But only one each.

The Singh Brothers thank Styles for his support, but also wish to let Styles know that at Clash of Champions, they’ll be in his corner. Fans aren’t so sure about that, but the Singhs want to let it be known that they’re just as done with Mahal as he is with them. Mahal is a disgrace to the 1.3 billion people of India! Styles encourages them to vent. Mahal rides first class but he leaves the Singhs in coach. Mahal stays in five star hotels while the Singhs are in crappy roadside motels. He doesn’t even know the difference between Samir & Sunil, he thinks they’re TWINS! That’s why they dress the same! Worst of all, Mahal made them kiss his feet! They smelled like cheese, garlic and buttered chicken! That sucks. They’ve got beef with Mahal, huh? Styles asks them: if they’re this angry, why were they still with Mahal all during WWE India? He caught them off guard with that one. The Singhs insist they are done!

Styles offers handshakes. That’s when Mahal himself arrives! Styles tells Mahal to stay up there, he sees where this is going. The “dingle berries” are Mahal’s moles. They all suck. But Styles liked what they said: Styles VS Mahal, nothing more and nothing less. Styles likes that, but he ensures it is 1v1 by taking out The Singhs again right here! He dares Mahal to come in the ring, Mahal gets right up to the apron, but Mahal only goes as far as to vow that at Clash of Champions, he will be champion again.

Fans let Mahal know “Jinder Sucks!” The Modern Day Maharaja is irate but confident, but will he be silenced by the equally confident Phenomenal AJ Styles?

 

Ruby Riott w/ The Riott Squad VS Charlotte Flair!

The SmackDown Women’s Championship match will have every woman other than Charlotte and Natalya as Lumberjacks, but the leader of The Squad wants to show she’s worthy of taking on the Queen of Flair directly. Of course, the Queen of Harts is on commentary to watch this herself. The bell rings, Charlotte gets Ruby in a waistlock takedown, then up for another. Ruby resists the third but is still thrown back, Charlotte swipes at Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, Ruby tries to capitalize but Charlotte kicks out and then kicks back. She throws Ruby overhead then kip-ups to fire up while The Squad regroups.

SmackDown goes picture in picture as Charlotte dares Ruby to get back in the ring. The Squad help Ruby up and in, Charlotte is right on her. Charlotte swipes at Sarah again, Ruby makes the best of this opening, STO on Charlotte before raining down right hands. Ruby cools off before dragging Charlotte up and putting her in a corner with buckle bumps. Charlotte blocks the next bump then dodges but Ruby retaliates with Deadly Nightshade. Ruby snapmares Charlotte into a ghost pin, TWO, but right into a modified Rings of Saturn where Ruby uses her legs to hold Charlotte’s arms in place. Ruby puts all her weight on Charlotte’s shoulders, using her arms for leverage. Charlotte rolls in a pin attempt but Ruby slips right into a chinlock. Ruby thrashes Charlotte around, wrenching in deep. The Squad likes what they see as Charlotte is grounded down. Charlotte finds her second wind, though, and she powers Ruby to a corner. She tries to run out but Ruby yanks her down, cover, TWO. Ruby puts that chinlock right back on, wrenching and grinding Charlotte down again. Charlotte gets to her feet, throws Ruby off, then boots Ruby back. Charlotte gives Ruby those Flair chops, but Ruby elbows out of a corner.

SmackDown returns to single picture as Ruby throws Charlotte face first into buckles and then climbs up. Ruby cannonballs only to meet Charlotte’s knees! The Squad is worried now as their leader gets up and takes a backbreaker to buckle shot! Charlotte throws Ruby out for a low boot, then finally connects with Sarah via a forearm. Charlotte then throws Ruby out onto her Squad, then decks Liv with a forearm. Natty gets off commentary to trash talk, but takes a forearm herself!

Charlotte is wrecking everyone until Natty clotheslines her down. The match ends in disqualification, but The Squad drags Charlotte up and into the ring. They surround the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Charlotte revives to fight them off alone! It doesn’t work since it is 3v1, The Riott Squad throws Charlotte out of the ring and into steel steps! They’re not done, Charlotte goes into barriers. Ruby brings Charlotte around as Sarah and Liv prepare the big steel steps. Naomi to the rescue!

The damage done last week wasn’t enough, and she makes the entire Riott Squad #FeelTheGlow! Naomi throws forearm after forearm into Ruby’s face, then whips her to the ropes for the Rear View! Naomi is fired up, The Riott Squad retreats, only for The Welcoming Committee to attack from behind! The SmackDown Women’s Championship may be a Lumberjack Match, but can the Lumberjacks keep themselves under control at ringside?

 

SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, is on the phone.

Bryan assures Shane that he has things under control. Bryan will be on commentary for the main event to make sure any trick Kevin & Sami might pull doesn’t work out. However, Sami & Kevin appear in his office to discuss just that. Will #OccupySmackDown work out after all?

 

Baron Corbin VS Dolph Ziggler!

The Lone Wolf doesn’t feel The Show-Off deserves a spot in the WWE United States Championship match at Clash of Champions, but Ziggler is working to prove him wrong. Likewise, The GLORIOUS Bobby Roode is on commentary to keep an eye on both men ahead of the biggest opportunity in his career. The bell rings, the two circle, COrbin puts Ziggler in a corner. He lets him out, Ziggler shoves him back, Corbin decks Ziggler with a right hand. Ziggler crawls to a corner as Corbin trash talks Roode, but then Ziggler springs back with a dropkick and a splash in the corner. Corbin reverses the neckbreaker but misses wide in the corner, he rams his shoulder into a post. Corbin and Ziggler are both down already, Roode steps away from commentary. Roode shakes off that GLORIOUS robe to slip into the ring, he is returning the favor from Ziggler last week by stalking him, and hitting a GLORIOUS DDT!

This match ends in disqualification, Corbin revives but ends up in a GLORIOUS DDT as well! Roode vows HE is the next US Champ, and yes, it will be GLORIOUS! Can The Lone Wolf keep his title when he has two hungry opponents coming for him?

 

The Fashion Files comes to SmackDown courtesy of Social Media.

The Fashion Police were mourning the loss of their “friends”, The Ascension, but turns out Konnor & Viktor are alive and well. Not only that, they encourage Breezango to continue investigating the case. They believe in their “best friends”. If it gets The Ascension to stop all this, Breezango will do it. Breezango will face the Bludgeon Brothers. They are? Yes, they are. Scared as they are, do they have a chance at Clash of Champions?

 

The Bludgeon Brothers VS ???

Harper & Rowan have been dominantly undefeated since returning to SmackDown and the Tag Team Division, is there a chance of that changing tonight?

Delaney & Rowe sure don’t seem capable given the dropkick Rowan gives. Tag to Harper, whipped into Rowe and then big clubbing clothesline for Delaney! Rowan drags Rowe up and trophy lifts him into the ring. The Bludgeon Brothers surround the poor man, full-nelson lift into a vicious powerbomb! Tag back to Rowan, they finish Delaney with the double choke slam! The Bludgeon Brothers win again, may they have mercy on Breezango’s souls.

 

Sami & Kevin prepare to #OccupySmackDown, they head to the ring!

The #YEPMovement begins tonight in Cincinnati! Can Kevin feel the energy in this building? Yep. The WWE Universe finally stands side-by-side with Sami & Kevin, and against Shane McMahon, united in the name of change. Yep! Kevin & Sami know management took a “step too far”, and show the footage from last week’s SmackDown to expalin how. Orton won the match, but then he and Nakamura would beat down Sami & Kevin to then officially become a team for Clash of Champions. Stephanie and Vince McMahon are nothing compared to Shane. Shane handcuffed Kevin “like a common criminal”, and then named himself the special guest referee for the tag team match. Then, Shane made it so that if Sami & Kevin lose the match, they’re fired from the WWE. Shane is “a madman on a rage bender”, “trying to humiliate” Kevin & Sami when he couldn’t defend the McMahon family honor. Sami & Kevin will show this business is bigger than Shane’s grudge, let’s #OccupySmackDown! Come on out! No one comes out… But then SmackDown GM, Daniel Bryan, does! Is the #YESMovement joining the #YEPMovement?

Bryan heads to the ring, that’s a good sign. The inspiration for the #YEPMovement himself is here, he is the one man “who truly does occupy SmackDown”! What are they doing? What does Bryan mean? He knows, right? The #YESMovement did #OccupyRaw, so as a tribute, the #YEPMovement will #OccupySmackdown. These three have been treated all the same! You two are nothing like Bryan. This alone proves it. Bryan’s movement was not about himself, but about the fans. The fans agree with “YES! YES! YES!” as Bryan explains his movement was about what the fans want and deserve. Sami says that’s close, but it’s about what Sami & Kevin want and deserve. Bryan drank Shane’s Kool-Aid, but he can tell why Shane wants to be special guest referee. Shane wants to screw Kevin & Sami over, to take their jobs after they scratched and clawed in the indies. Bryan has an agreement with Shane that they each have the other’s back. Sami & Kevin are talented, yes, so Bryan will make sure their tag team match at Clash of Champions is fair. If they still lose, there will be no excuses. Shane may not agree, but he should still have Bryan’s back. Bryan appoints a second guest referee, and that person will be… Daniel Bryan!

Kevin & Sami are glad to hear that! But is the SmackDown GM right about the SmackDown commissioner supporting this decision?

 

The Usos VS Rusev & Aiden English!

The SmackDown Tag Team Champions will be defending their titles in a Fatal 4 Way at Clash of Champions, but for tonight, they are going to test “Team Rusev Day” in a standard 2v2. Who will gain the last bit of momentum before the tag team titles are on the line? The New Day is on commentary, with plenty of pancakes! The Drama King starts by singing the praises of Rusev Day~! “On the Eighth Day of Rusev, my partner gave to me~… Eight Aiden Songs, Seven Boards a breaking, Six Machka Kicks, FIVE~ ” The Usos point out it isn’t Christmas yet, but English wouldn’t get gifts anyway. What kind of presents would Santa even give English? Singing lessons? A toupee? A new tag team partner? A nice tan? Clash of Champions isn’t about New Day or Rusev Day, but about DAY ONE!

However, Benjamin & Gable appear to remind everyone they’re part of the match, too. Rusev Day, New Day, Day One, days are for the week, and they are weak. The day that matters is Sunday, that’s game day. Sunday is when Benjamin & Gable get those belts, that’s collection day. And King Kong ain’t got ISH on them, that’s Training Day. Gable & Benjamin will train these dogs to roll over and fetch those titles for them, Chad Gable & Shelt’n Benjamin!

This match begins picture-in-picture, and starts with Rusev and Jey Uso. The two circle, Rusev kicks low but then Jey responds with uppercuts and chops. Jey runs, Rusev clobbers him at the ropes. Rusev is fired up as he rips off Jey’s shirt and throws body shots. English tags in as Rusev stomps, English continues the stomps in his place. Jey is choked against the ropes, the referee backs English off. English puts Jey in a corner, Jey hits English back, Engilsh gives Jey a DRAMA Kick to the back before clubbing away with forearms. The referee backs English off, English brings Jey over to tag Rusev. Rusev Day isolates Jey, and shouts down the chants for the Usos.

SmackDown returns to single picture as Rusev drags Jey to his feet for the Bulgarian Bearhug. Benjamin and Gable watch and talk strategy while the New Day serves pancakes to everyone but Corey Graves. Jey endures the squeeze, Rusev adds on, Graves brings things back to play by play as Rusev embraces the heat. Rusev swings on Jimmy, misses, Jey revives to hit a dragon whip! Jey and Rusev are down, heading to their corners, hot tags to English and Jimmy. Jimmy rallies, pops and locks on the uppercut, Samoan Drop! Jimmy is fired up, The New Day is fired up with him, corner to corner but a boot stops Jimmy. English flies, into a SUPERKICK! Rusev breaks the pin to save his partner. Jey throws Rusev out then DIVES into a fist! Rusev is dropkick’d to ropes, ENglish goes after Jimmy, MACHKA Kick from Rusev and then English with the DDT, Rusev Day wins! Rusev Day is on a roll, will they win out to have their day at Clash of Champions?

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

Styles saw through the Singh Brothers’ plans, Styles won’t be fooled by anyone. However, Mahal attacks Styles this time! Mahal clobbers Styles an extra time before reminding Styles that “you will not be beating the odds.” Can Styles recover in time to overcome?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Randy Orton VS Kevin Owens w/ Sami Zayn!

The King of Strong Style and The Viper are two of SmackDown’s best, if not the entire WWE’s, and are willing to team up together if it means kicking Sami & Kevin out of this company. But first, an in-ring interview. Do they anticipate any conflicting motives for why both SmackDown Commissioner and SmackDown GM want to be guest referees?

Orton can’t speak for the two of them, but he can speak for his own. Orton dislikes Sami & Kevin, so he and Nakamura are doing everyone a favor by making sure “those two idiots lose their jobs”. Does Nakamura agree? “Yep.”

Daniel Bryan joins commentary as promised, and promises that he and Shane will work out how a two-referee match this Sunday will work.

The match scheduled tonight finally begins, fans fire up, and the two circle. Kevin kicks low and stomps on Nakamura, Sami hyped up for his best friend. Kevin keeps Nakamura down, then puts on a headlock. Sami cheers Kevin on as Kevin trash talks Orton, Nakamura gets to his feet but can’t power out. Fans cheer Nakamura on, he feeds off the energy to pry his way out of the hold, but Kevin throws in a knee and more stomps. “That’s why I’m the man!” Kevin brings Nakamura up for a chop, Nakamura fires a forearm in return, Kevin gives back forearms of his own. He then whips Nakamura, Nakamura holds ropes to then kick Kevin back. Nakamura whips Kevin, Kevin holds ropes to get out of the ring. Sami regroups with Kevni, Nakamura comes out but is put into the apron edge by Kevin. The referee reprimands Kevin before Kevin puts Nakamura in the ring and flattens him with a back senton! TWO, and Kevin puts a chinlock right on. Sami taunts Orton from across the way, Kevin grinds Nakamura to the mat. Fans rally, Bryan insists he is not biased, Nakamura gets up and fights out of the hold. Nakamura is thrown down by his hair, Kevin stomps and clubs him down, cover, TWO. Kevin keeps stomping, but also keeps an eye on Orton. He puts Nakamura in a corner, chips him and gives a European Uppercut. Corner to corner whip reversed, Nakamuar gives Keivn a big knee. Nakamura fires forearms and hoists Kevin up, Top Shelf Knee evaded. Hotshot from Kevin, Kevin drags Nakamura out to throw into barriers. Kevin in control as we go to break.

SmackDown returns as Nakamura fights out of another chinlock but Kevin clubs him down again. Nakamura fights back, snampare and knee drop! Kevin crawls to a corner, Nakamura goes corner to corner but Kevin boots him away. Kevin reels Nakamura in for a lariat, cover, TWO, which frustrates Kevin. He rains down rights, then more stomps before trash talking Orton again. Kevin kicks Nakamura, goes for another back senton but meets Nakamura’s knees. Nakamura and Kevin slowly stir, fans are rallying for the Rockstar. He brings Nakamura up, Nakamura and Kevin brawl with heavy forearm shots. Kevin whips, Nakamura ducks, dynamic dropkick! Sami is getting worried as Nakamura and Kevin stand back up. Nakamura dodges to unleash a strike fest, gordbuster!

Nakamura kicks away at Kevin’s chest, Kevin blocks one, Nakamura gives him an enziguri. Both men get to opposite corners again, Nakamura runs in for a big knee strike, and even more knees. Good Vibrations!

The referee backs Nakamura off, but Nakamura gives more knees. Nakamura hoists Kevin up, Top Shelf Knee connects, cover, TWO! There’s no stop, Nakamura drags Kevin up and puts him on the top rope again. He stuns Kevin with more forearms, then climbs up to join Kevin, but Kevin fights back. Kevin headbutts Nakamura down, adjusts, Swanton Bomb into knees! Kevin blocks the reverse exploder, Nakamura dodges to send that forearm into the referee! The referee goes down, Bryan gets up! Bryan puts on the referee’s shirt while Kevin and Nakamura standing-switch back and forth! Kevin snapmares Nakamura off, throws him to ropes, Pop-Up avoid, wheel kick knocks him down! Nakamura covers, Bryan hurries into the ring to count, TWO!

Everyone is shocked by this, Sami is furious enough to get in and argue. Orton clobbers Sami! Sami is thrown out, but then pokes Orton in the eye before putting him into a post. Nakamura fires up, takes aim, but Sami distracts. Sami gets thrown back out, Pop-Up Powerbomb from Kevin! Bryan counts, Kevin wins! Does this prove that Bryan is on the side of Sami & Kevin?

Stage interview with Kevin & Sami.

This might be their last night on SmackDown, what do they have to say to the WWE Universe? “Nobody, not Shane McMahon, not Shinsuke Nakamura, and not Randy Orton, will take this away from us!” Because they are the best not just on SmackDown but in the entire WWE! “YEP! YEP!” Will this new movement survive Clash of Champions?

 

My Thoughts:

As far as a go-home SmackDown goes, this was a bit of a middle ground between the worst and the best go-homes of SmackDown 2017. It did well in hitting all the relevant stories, but it still felt a bit haphazard in execution. SmackDown’s Women’s Division was advertised to have a Six Woman Tag but that got scrapped for a singles match. Ruby VS Charlotte was still a solid match, though obviously a lot of the events were influenced by Sarah, Liv and even Natalya ringside. With the SmackDown Women’s Division ringside, I would hope that no matter who wins, Carmella finally attempts to cash in her Ms. Money in the Bank contract to take advantage of the chaos and become the new champion. The SmackDown Tag Team Division is at least being booked strongly since the fourth team to join the Tag Title match, Rusev Day, is racking up big wins this close to the match. The titles will also be contested in a unique form of the Fatal 4 Way tag, any one of those teams could win the SmackDown tag titles that way.

I am disappointed that SmackDown doesn’t think to let Bobby Roode wear a great suit to ringside. If Roode wears his robes everywhere, that makes it less important for when he wears them out for his matches. That aside, Roode copying Ziggler from last week doesn’t really build towards the US Championship Triple Threat, hopefully SmackDown fixes the problems they’re having with Roode after Clash of Champions. However, SmackDown was very clever to then have Styles see through the Singh Brothers’ facade, but then still have Mahal get the upper-hand later to keep the math on 50-50 booking muddy. I would hope Styles still wins, forcing Mahal to actually drop the Singh Brothers as his henchmen and try things on his own. I loved the YEP Movement and the #OccupySmackDown protest Sami & Kevin were trying to start, because as they said, it is a very clever homage to what Daniel Bryan did in his battle against The Authority. Bryan naming himself guest referee #2 was a surprise, but this almost guarantees a Heel Turn for someone, SmackDown would be smart to make it Shane because of how over Bryan still is. The match tonight was only okay, but made great because of Bryan going at it on commentary with Byron Saxton, and then getting involved as the substitute referee, and him counting the win for Kevin might be signs of things to come.

My Score: 8/10


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