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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (2/20/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Kevin Owens VS Dolph Ziggler; Owens wins.
  • Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad; Riott Squad wins.
  • SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders match: The New Day VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin; The New Day wins and will challenge The Usos at Fastlane.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers VS Eduardo Especial & Norville Rodgers; Bludgeon Brothers win.
  • Baron Corbin VS AJ Styles; Styles wins.

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PLAY BY PLAY

Renee Young introduces the Phenomenal AJ Styles!

The WWE Champion has found himself in another rough situation, all because SmackDown management cannot agree on what is fair and unfair to everyone else on the SmackDown roster. Last month, he took on Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn in a 2v1 handicap match for the title. This month, he will have to take on Kevin, Sami, and now Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler in a Fatal Five!

But Phoenix, Arizona is still on his side as they chant his name in a standing ovation. He thanks their ovation with a shout out on the corner, and Renee asks what Styles feels going forward. Is he still in control of his destiny? “Let me see…” He looks up at the Wrestlemania sign overhead, and says “I feel like any man that steps in this ring with me, I can beat.” Styles may sound cocky but he’s always backed it up. Though, he admits the Fatal Five is a big problem, because anything and everything can happen anywhere inside and outside the ring. Look over at the announce desk. He’d love to put Kevin Owens through that table. But the problem there is that over here in the ring, maybe Ziggler could pin Sami and Styles would lose his title. And speaking of outside, look at the steel steps here. They’re “tailor made” for that “ginger Yep Machine”, Sami, and Styles would love to do it. But then again, in the ring, maybe Ziggler will beat Kevin and Styles loses his title. However, if it was all 1v1, Styles could beat them all: Kevin the former Universal Champion, Styles can win; Sami the “ruthless” Underdog, but Styles can win; Ziggler the Show-Off, “every bit the man he says he is”, but Styles can win; and yes, there’s- Baron Corbin appears right on cue!

If Styles thinks he can beat Corbin, Corbin will stop him before he makes a fool out of himself. The fans boo and jeer, but the last time they went 1v1, Corbin beat Styles. He did it for the United States Championship, and in the rematch. Corbin has Styles number, because there’s a major difference: Styles is an athlete, but Corbin is a fight. Corbin can beat Styles, or someone else, because “there will be nothing” Styles can do about it. Either way, the Lone Wolf will be the new WWE Champion. However, Kevin Owens appears to respond!

The Prizefighter is “so sick” of hearing talk, so he came out to shut them up. Styles doesn’t have to worry about running around, because the one going through a table is Styles via the Pop-Up Powerbomb. As for Corbin, “trying to look tough”, but he wasn’t so tough when Kevin & Sami beat him up. But when Corbin got back up, he dropped Kevin “like the little punk” he is. How cocky for someone being handed an opportunity by Shane McMahon. Corbin doesn’t belong in this match, but Shane’s vendetta against Kevin worked in Corbin’s favor. All because Kevin “destroyed” Vince McMahon with the “headbutt heard around the world”, Shane’s been after Kevin. Kevin has had to scratch and claw for everything on SmackDown! Styles asks if Kevin could repeat some of that, he spaced out. Kevin looks great, by the way. Did he get that boil off his back? What boil? Sami Zayn. Oh ha ha, but Kevin doesn’t need Sami. Sami let Kevin down because Kevin had no time to prepare for Corbin. Sami had all night for Ziggler, yet he still lost. If things were reversed, Kevin would’ve won. But this is what Shane is all about! He’s– Shane appears!

The SmackDown Commissioner hears the “Shane O’Mac!” cheers and thanks Phoenix for that. He has also heard the talk, but no one wants a bunch of talk. It’s time for action! Corbin can put his money where his mouth is, going 1v1 in the main event against AJ Styles. As for Kevin, his conspiracy theory might hold up. Can he do what Sami didn’t do last week? He has a match right now, against… Dolph Ziggler!

Kevin Owens VS Dolph Ziggler!

SmackDown returns and the match begins, Ziggler goes right at Kevin! They brawl with rights, Ziggler gets the takedown and rains down rights. Kevin gets free and then out of the ring, but Ziggler slips out to pursue. Kevin kicks low and clubs Ziggler over to the announce desk. He bounces Ziggler off the desk then puts him back in the ring, but Ziggler responds with a dropkick. Kevin exits the ring again, so Ziggler comes out to keep up the attack. Ziggler bumps Kevin off steps and the desk, then puts him back in the ring. Ziggler follows Kevin to a corner but Kevin chops back. He stomps Ziggler, then scoops, but Ziggler slips out to dropkick Kevin down again! Kevin again leaves the ring but Ziggler still pursues. Ziggler swings but ends up put into the barriers! Kevin shouts “Not showing off now, Dolph!?” before he puts Ziggler back in the ring. But Ziggler springs back up to dropkick Kevin back down! Kevin hits the floor on the outside, and Ziggler catches his breath before going back out. Ziggler whips Kevin but Kevin reverses to send Ziggler hard into the LED apron.

Kevin puts Ziggler back in the ring and goes for the back senton, but Ziggler evades! Ziggler gets to his feet and runs at Kevin in a corner for the big splash. He transitions to the neckbreaker but Kevin reverses that into a suplex. Ziggler resists, and suplexes Kevin up and over! Kevin clutches his back as he makes his way to a corner. Ziggler walks over and throws in hands before grinding Kevin’s face on the top rope. Kevin kicks back at Ziggler’s bad leg but Ziggler hits back with a back elbow. Ziggler runs into the corner but Kevin evades, Ziggler bounces off buckles. Kevin goes corner to corner and hits the cannonball! Cover, TWO! Kevin is already frustrated while we go picture in picture.

Ziggler rolls and slumps out of the ring, but Kevin shouts “This is MY show!” Kevin goes out and stomps on Ziggler before dragging him up. He whips Ziggler hard into the barriers, then takes his time mouthing off at Byron. Kevin returns to pick Ziggler up and into the ring, before covering. TWO, and Kevin continues to be annoyed. He taunts Ziggler as he crawls to ropes, but then Ziggler hits back with an elbow. Ziggler throws haymakers, then runs but gets a flapjack to ropes! Elbow drop DDT, cover, TWO! Kevin drags Ziggler up to drive elbows into his shoulders and neck. Kevin mocks the fans cheering for Ziggler before hitting the back senton. Cover, TWO, and Kevin wraps on an aggressive chinlock. Kevin continues to taunt the fans while he squeezes Ziggler’s head. Ziggler endures, reaching for a way out. He works his way up to his feet and fights his way out of the hold. Kevin throws in a knee, back suplex but Ziggler escapes to put on his own sleeper hold. Kevin backs into a corner but Ziggler holds on. Out of desperation, Kevin runs at ropes and they both fall out of the ring! We return to single picture as they both slowly stir.

The referee counts while Ziggler and Kevin slowly make their way over to the ring. Kevin puts Ziggler in but Ziggler jumps and hits the satellite DDT! The fans applaud while both men go down again. The fans duel with chants, Kevin and Ziggler drag themselves up with ropes. Kevin runs at Ziggler but into a back elbow, then into the post! Ziggler gets Kevin quick with the neckbreaker, covers, TWO! Ziggler keeps focus as he gets back to his feet. He throws in the kick but Kevin counters to the fireman’s carry, and gutbuster, to then Vader Bomb elbow drop! TWO! The frustration is growing, but Kevin keeps moving. The fans duel while Kevin climbs up to the top. Ziggler stops him with a right hand! Ziggler climbs up now, and the fans fire up, but Kevin resists the superplex. He headbutts Ziggler down but Ziggler returns, only to be shoved off again! SWANTON, hits knees! FAMOUSER!

TWO! Both men are too exhausted and sore to express much of anything, but the fans know “This is Awesome!” Kevin and Ziggler get to ropes and drag themselves up, but Kevin holds ropes to deny the Zig-Zag. He goes to throw a kick but Ziggler blocks, Ziggler goes to kick but Kevin blocks. Kevin throws Ziggler to ropes, Pop-Up but no powerbomb, ZIG-ZAG! TWO!? Ziggler’s best move didn’t end this and he shows his frustration. The two get up slowly again, but Ziggler runs in for the big splash! he runs again, but Sami Zayn comes out? He runs right up to the very end of the ramp, Kevin SUPERKICKS Ziggler in the back of the head! Cover, Kevin wins! Sami gets the assist, but will this come back to bite one of the two “best friends” at Fastlane?

 

Jinder Mahal comes to the ring.

The Modern Day Maharaja has made a “startling discovery”. He believes the WWE Universe needs to know this. For Bobby Roode has a secret, but Mahal believes in transparency. The fans are in for a “Roode Awakening” of sorts. Roode has his own SmackDown Top Ten Superstars List! The list has:

  1. Bobby Roode
  2. Charlotte Flair
  3. AJ Styles
  4. Shinsuke Nakamura
  5. The New Day
  6. Becky Lynch
  7. Naomi
  8. The Usos
  9. Tye Dillinger
  10. Zack Ryder

Obviously Bobby broke the rules, he made himself Number One. Another thing to note, aside from Mahal being off the list, is that a certain someone else isn’t on the list either. There is no mention of Randy Orton. Roode thinks he’s better than Orton, thinking himself “the new Legend Killer”. Yet Roode says he respects Orton? If no one has put it together, it’s that Roode is just a GLORIOUS ego maniac and INGLORIOUS liar! But the GLORIOUS One appears to respond.

Roode doesn’t know what Mahal is talking about, but that isn’t Roode’s list. However, Roode has a secret about Mahal: he can’t even make a single Top Ten List. But also, Mahal just wants to be US Champion so hard that he’s trying to use Orton and Roode against each other. He wants Roode paranoid, but the truth is, “in a fair fight”, Mahal can’t beat Roode. The fans agree, “You Can’t Win!” Mahal admits to the fact that he wants the US Championship, but he wants Roode to “speak the truth”, too. Roode does think he’s better than Orton. No, Roode never said that. So then he does? No, he never said. So, Roode is afraid of Orton? He’s never said anything of the sort. But one person he’s not afraid of, is Mahal. “Well you should be.” Mahal beat Orton, so then- FORGET Randy Orton!! Roode takes off his jacket, because “this is about you and me.”

The two stare down and fans cheer on Roode, but The Viper appears anyway!

Orton knows Roode has been running his mouth, but so has Mahal. That said, Orton goes after Mahal, and Roode helps out! Mahal gets sent out of the ring, but then Orton goes for an RKO on Roode! Roode narrowly denies it, and hits the GLORIOUS DDT! The fans cheer for Roode, and Roode tells Orton, “fool me once, shame on me!” He won’t be caught off guard again! At least, not by Orton, as Mahal returns to hit Roode with a Kalas! The Modern Day Maharaja is once again standing tall over Roode and Orton. Is Mahal’s plan going to work out all the way to making him the next United States Champion?

 

SmackDown General Manager, Daniel Bryan, sees what has happened.

He didn’t realize the SmackDown Top Ten would cause such a stir. Clearly Mahal has a plan on how to use it to his advantage. Shane wonders what Bryan plans next. Obviously Roode should defend his title at Fastlane, “against the man who has gotten the better of him.” That’s Mahal. But Orton answered the open challenge last week, and fans would love that match-up. They’re oddly not on the same page. Not the first time. But that’s only because Bryan wants two names to compete for the title: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn. #Kami is already back to their old ways, they can’t be trusted. That’s why Shane had to give a chance to Corbin and Ziggler. Bryan says that Shane chose him to be GM because he trusted him to run SmackDown. Yet, Shane’s been questioning him at every turn. Only because Bryan makes emotional choices. Roode VS Orton is the better choice, and Shane makes it that, period. “Whatever you want, boss.” The tension remains, what will it take for SmackDown management to put differences aside?

 

Six Woman Tag: Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch VS The Riott Squad!

The Queen of SmackDown has gone up 2-0 on The Riott Squad by defeating Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan. Her sweep will have to wait, however, as she and her friends take on the entire Squad amidst the race to find a #1 contender to her title. Can #RoyalGlowFire keep up the momentum on the Road to Wrestlemania?

The bell rings and we start with Sarah Logan and Charlotte. They tie up, Charlotte shoves Sarah away and dares Ruby to step up. Ruby refuses, so Sarah ties up with Charlotte again. Charlotte throws Sarah down and puts on a headlock, then tags in Naomi. Naomi prepares, and Charlotte feeds Sarah to the Twerk Attack! Naomi runs in but Sarah runs her over! However, Naomi springs right up and then ducks the punches to slide under and jump over. She kicks Sarah right in the thigh, then tags in Becky. They double whip and double hip toss Sarah down, before the Lass Kicker throws in leg drops and elbow drops. Becky covers, TWO, but Becky keeps focus. She scoops Sarah but Sarah slips out and throws Becky down by her hair. Sarah tags in Ruby and together they double suplex. Becky escapes and calls in reinforcements, she and Naomi double dropkick Ruby & Sarah. Liv gets mad, she gets a double hip toss then a clothesline! The Squad is on the defense while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to Becky and Ruby in the ring. Becky goes to kick but Ruby forces her to roll. Becky whips Ruby then arm-drags her down. Another arm-drag and Becky puts Ruby in an arm-drag. She taunts the rest of the Squad, which upsets Liv most of all. The fans cheer for Becky as she wrenches and yanks Ruby’s arm. Tag to Naomi for a slingshot sunset on Ruby, TWO. Ruby knees low and grabs Naomi in a headlock. She tags in Liv and Liv rolls Naomi, TWO. Naomi gets the waistlock but Liv the standing switch. Naomi bucks her off then they bump shoulders, but neither woman budges. They go again, still a solid collision. They go a third time but Liv goes Matrix, then Naomi does the splits! Naomi kicks then bulldog bumps Liv off buckles. The fans fire up while Naomi hits the split-leg moonsault, but The Squad drag Liv out. In that case, Naomi slingshots onto both Ruby & Sarah!

Liv throws Naomi into steel steps! She drags Naomi up and into the ring, then covers, TWO. Liv drags Naomi over and tags Sarah in. They stomp on Naomi, then Sarah puts Naomi in an Anaconda Vice of sorts. Sarah wrenches and thrashes Naomi around while the fans rally. Naomi feeds off the energy and gets up to fight back, only for Sarah to drag her right back down. The Squad taunt Naomi to give up, but Naomi endures. Naomi reaches for ropes with her legs but Sarah drags her away. The fans rally again, Naomi gets up but Sarah wrings her out for back elbow after back elbow. Sarah stomps Naomi in a corner, then drags her up for forearms. She runs in but Naomi evades, only for Sarah to suplex her. Naomi slips out and retaliates with a jumping headscissors! The two head for their corners while the fans rally, hot tag to Charlotte! The SmackDown Women’s Champion rallies on all three members of the Squad, then chops away on Sarah. She adds a jumping knee, then some styling and profiling…

Before the neckbreaker and boot! Charlotte grabs a leg but Liv distracts, so Charlotte boots her down. Sarah chop blocks the other leg! Then another chop block! Charlotte goes down but she manages to shove Sarah away to tag in Becky! Becky climbs up and hits a missile dropkick on Sarah. Sarah hurries to tag in Ruby, but Becky rallies on the Squad leader all the same. Becksploder, then another, and Becky has the fans fired up. She hits Ruby with a forearm smash, then one for Sarah. Becky grabs the arm, but Ruby rolls, TWO, into the Disarm-Her! Ruby endures, Liv breaks it up! Charlotte boots Liv then exploder suplex throws her! Naomi takes shotgun knees from Sarah, but Sarah takes a Becksploder! Ruby pounces, Riott Kick! Cover, The Riott Squad wins! Charlotte may be 2-0 in 1v1, but The Squad wins again as a unit. Can Ruby herself turn it around to even the score?

 

Kevin finds Sami backstage.

Kevin thanks Sami, and apologizes for what he said, but Sami says he should thank Kevin. He was right, things have been rocky, but in the end, Sami owes Kevin. Sami was spinning his wheels, but now that he is alongside Kevin, he’s headlining PPV’s and title matches. Sami will be the Guardian Angel, because he has always done what’s right. In this case, that’s paying back a friend. Seriously? Yep. Which is why they need to use this plan of division against Shane, because they’re both stronger than anyone. Then when it’s just Kevin & Sami, Sami will do “the right thing”: He will lay down for Kevin. Kevin is taken aback, but that’s fine. Sami just wants Kevin to win and main-event Wrestlemania. THey hug it out, but Kevin still looks very confused. Is a lay-down victory really going to happen at Fastlane?

 

SmackDown Tag Team Championship #1 Contenders match: The New Day VS Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin!

Awwwwwwwwww… PHOENIX!” Don’t be sour, the four time WWE Tag Team Champions are competing for a chance at a fifth! However, Gable & Benjamin felt robbed last week and demanded this rematch. SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan acknowledged the gripe, so this match will settle a grudge as well as determine who faces The Usos at Fastlane.

Woods and Gable start, at the bell. Gable gets the leg and covers, ONE. Things speed up, Gable shoves Woods to keep things moving, Woods gets the waistlock. Gable resists and gets the standing switch, then things speed up again, Woods runs Gable over with a lariat! Cover, ONE, but Woods stays focused. He brings Gable up but Gable escapes the suplex. Woods elbows him away, Benjamin tags in, Woods doesn’t see it until he runs into a kick. Gable feeds Woods to Benjamin’s spinebuster, cover, TWO. Benjamin sits Woods up to punch him down, then brings him up for a scoop slam. Benjamin brings Gable up but Woods fights back. Woods backs Benjamin down, then mule kicks, but Benjamin responds with a running knee. Cover, TWO, and we go single picture.

Benjamin drags Woods up, then Gable tags in. They lift Woods up for the flying knee back suplex. Gable blasts Big E away before covering, but TWO! Gable keeps focus as he goes after Woods’ arm again and again. He grounds Woods with the armlock, but fans rally. Woods gets up and fights back with body shots and chops. Gable blocks a chop to throw Woods down, then rock him with the rolling kick! Cover, TWO! Tag to Benjamin, and they continue working that arm. Benjamin drags Woods up, puts that bad arm into a hammerlock, then throws Woods into the buckles. Benjamin hoists Woods up to the top rope, then climbs up. Woods fights back, but Benjamin rock shim with the step-up knee!

SmackDown returns to single picture while Benjamin climbs up. He sits Woods up but Woods fights back again. They brawl on the top, Woods gets the better with a headbutt. WOods readjusts, jumps and hits the missile dropkick! The fans rally, “New! Day Rocks!” Hot tags to Gable and Big E! Big E rallies with overhead belly2belly suplexes, but Gable slips around the side belly2belly to try a backslide. Gable gets Big E halfway, but Big E swings it back to swing Gable over his back. But then Gable gets Big E with the Belly2Belly overhead! Cover, TWO! The Olympian can’t believe it, so he takes his frustration out on Woods. Gable then climbs up to the top rope, moonsault but he lands on his feet when Big E evades. He runs in at Big E, Big E yurinagis Gable down! Big E rallies the fans while he stalks Gable. The scoop, but Gable slips out to feed Big E into a corner. Big E elbows back then hops up, but Gable rocks him with a palm strike! Tag to Benjamin, Gable kicks Woods away before climbing up. Benjamin manages to power Big E up into powerbomb position, but Kofi gets on the apron to distract the ref. Gable & Benjamin hit the Doomsday, but the ref is slow to seeing it. This gives Woods time to get in and break the cover! Gable throws Woods out, then the argue with the ref. Woods tags in, the ref sees that. Woods throws Gable out, rocks Benjamin with a forearm and Shining Wizard! The New Day win again! They’re once again #1 Contenders!

However, while they’re celebrating with pancakes, the Bludgeon Brothers appear.

Harper & Rowan have cryptically yet also bluntly made it known they want after The Usos. They leave the New Day alone for right now, because they have their own match to worry about next. What poor souls will be sacrificed to these two in their pursuit of gold?

 

The Bludgeon Brothers VS Especial & Rodgers!

Double dropkicks from the bell and there is no hope of recovery. Harper & Rowan take one man each and hit the backbreaker sandwich on the floor! Then Harper becomes a weapon for a scoop slam senton! Harper rips apart the announce desk while Rowan hits both men with a running splash! They drag one man into the ring, then the other. “Eduardo Especial” is placed with “Norville Rodgers” in the corner, for an assisted corner splash! Then they hit Eduardo with the full-nelson sit-out powerbomb! Harper finally tags Rowan in officially, and they give Norville the Bludgeon Bomb! Cover, and the Bludgeon Brothers win again. No mercy, but no word on where Harper & Rowan are headed yet on the Road to Wrestlemania.

 

Ruby Riott speaks.

She and The Squad feel good about beating Charlotte’s team tonight. Naomi is welcomed to a 1v1 rematch next week, but the big prize is Charlotte. The only way Charlotte can attempt the sweep is if she puts the title up at Fastlane. “The cracks in your perfect little world are starting to show,” and Ruby will make it all come crumbling down. Daniel Bryan makes it happen! Can Ruby get the championship to make Charlotte only 2-1?

 

Baron Corbin speaks.

“Arrogant, cocky, smug.” That’s what people say about Corbin, but he prefers, “Dangerous, heartless and better than AJ Styles.” At Fastlane, people will also have to say he’s the new WWE Champion. Can the Lone Wolf take the first step to backing his words with a win here tonight?

 

Baron Corbin VS AJ Styles!

The Phenomenal One still has some time before his Fatal Five Way defense, can he build up momentum using the Lone Wolf while he can?

The bell rings and the two circle. Corbin pokes Styles, Styles fires off strikes. Styles backs Corbin into a corner, but then Corbin turns it around. Corbin swings but Styles slips out to chop away at Corbin. Styles puts Corbin in another corner then throws in shoulder after shoulder. He goes to whip but Corbin denies with strength, to reel Styles into a lariat. Dolph Ziggler watches backstage while Corbin bumps Styles off buckles.

Corbin rams a knee into Styles, Styles chops back. Corbin rocks Styles with a forearm then throws him out, but Styles stays on the apron. Styles shoulders in then slingshots, and narrowly avoids the punch to dropkick Corbin back. He sweeps the legs, then hits a low running forearm. Corbin rolls out of the ring while fans cheer Styles on. Styles walks over, then slingshots over, but Corbin catches him for the choke slam backbreaker! The Lone Wolf is in control while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to see Styles and Corbin brawling. Corbin rocks Styles with a right, and Styles end sup in a corner. Styles evades as Corbin runs in, so Corbin slides out to slide back in and he hits the big lariat! Cover, TWO, and Corbin’s frustration grows. He keeps on Styles with a chinbar and half-nelson. Corbin wrenches Styles but Styles gets to his feet. Styles fights out, but Corbin gets a waistlock, so Styles runs straight at a buckle to ram Corbin’s head into it. Corbin staggers back, Styles runs out but narrowly evades the scoop slam. Styles ends up in a new corner, Corbin runs at him again, but Styles side steps to send him into the post. Corbin tumbles to the outside, and Styles catches his breath before heading over. He wrecks Corbin with a dropkick, then runs at him from the apron for the sliding knee! Corbin goes down while Styles reenters the ring. Corbin drags himself up and around so Styles goes out again. He goes over to Styles but Corbin throws him right over the announce desk! But Styles lands on his feet to hop over the table and back into the ring!

Slingshot forearm! TWO! Styles stands up and drags Corbin up, but Corbin rocks him with a right. Corbin swings but misses, Styles lets out the Phenomenal Blitz. Corbin counters with a body slam, cover, TWO! Styles stirs and Corbin stalks him. Corbin drags Styles over to a corner, then gives a body shot before hoisting him to the top rope. Corbin keeps on Styles with forearms that almost send Styles to the floor. Styles fights back while Corbin climbs up, sending Corbin back. Styles adjusts and jumps but Corbin gets under, so Styles runs back but into a HUGE Deep Six!

TWO! Corbin can’t believe it, but he keeps on Styles all the same. He reels Styles in, but Styles counters End of Days into the Calf Crusher! The fans chant “TAP! TAP!” at Corbin as he endures. Corbin reaches back and rams Styles’ head into the mat! The hold breaks and Corbin gets away to a corner. Styles slowly makes his way up and runs back in, but Corbin puts him on the apron. Corbin sees the forearm coming and grabs Styles at the ropes. He shouts “You can’t beat me!” But Styles knocks him away, to springboard, Phenomenal Forearm! Styles wins!

The WWE Champion proved that he’s just as much a fighter as Corbin. However, #Kami appears to prove they’re as opportunistic as it gets! They go after Styles 2v1, and Kevin holds Styles up for Sami’s Helluva Kick. Kevin finishes dismantling the announce desk, but Corbin gets Sami with End of Days! Kevin returns but even he gets End of Days! The Lone Wolf may have lost tonight, but he is still a dangerous force. What will he do to make sure he wins the furious Fatal Five Way at Fastlane?

 

My Thoughts:

SmackDown already had a tall task ahead of them following up such a great Raw, but not everything in this episode was up to the task. The usual curse of opening with a promo still exists, but it made sense for Styles to explain his mindset going into a tall task of his own. At least it all led to matches like most opening promos do. Ziggler VS Kevin was a really solid match, but Sami showing up to distract was probably as confusing to fans as it was to Kevin in kayfabe. The skepticism is setting in as Sami claims to be putting Kevin’s interests ahead of his own only 7 days after what both sides said last week. Following it up with Mahal trying to use the SmackDown Top Ten List as a way to turn Orton and Roode against each other wasn’t much better. Clearly the list is nothing more than a kayfabe excuse to push feuds, including the Shane-Bryan feud of disagreeing management styles. Bryan wants to help Mahal, but Shane “hinders Jinder” by choosing Orton instead, both options still falling short of the superior triple threat option. Then we follow that up with another copy-paste Six Woman Tag match. The match itself was great, and I did enjoy that Corey Graves actually referenced how similar this is to the Raw Women’s Division situation. However, the difference of Riott Squad winning wasn’t unexpected, since they can’t just be buried so easily. Charlotte VS Ruby for the title, even with The Squad ringside, probably won’t end in Ruby winning the title, it still feels too soon.

Another thing that felt off was making New Day VS Gable & Benjamin a #1 Contenders match out of the blue. The New Day win with more of their old number game tactics, but given what has been building between Usos and Bludgeon Brothers has to play into this. There’s still plenty of time left before Fastlane, perhaps the Bludgeon Brothers will bash their way into the tag title match. But at least Corbin & Styles have an incredible main event match for us. That was probably the most revolutions on a Deep Six ever. Styles wins to live up to his word that he can beat anyone 1v1, and it’s somewhat emphasized by #Kami attacking him 2v1. Again, confusing to see #Kami having patched things up so quickly, but hey, Corbin earns some points by putting them both down. I can’t imagine Styles would lose so close to Wrestlemania and the dream rematch of Styles VS Nakamura, but I expect Corbin to have a pretty good showing at some point during all the Fatal Five madness.

My Score: 7.7/10


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