With Clash of Champions right around the corner, SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan decides to firmly insert himself into new temporary role. Live from the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, chaos began to unfold not only during the main event, but between SmackDown’s own management.
With his partner and best friend Sami Zayn was defeated by one of their Clash of Champions opponents, Randy Orton, a week ago, Kevin Owens was looking for redemption against Orton’s partner, Shinsuke Nakamura. With their respective partners at ringside and Owens and Zayn’s jobs on the line Sunday, they needed some serious momentum.
It seemed like no matter what Owens did, The King of Strong Style had an answer for it, even getting his knees up to block a top rope senton bomb. Then, the referee got caught in the melee between the two men, getting knocked clear from the ring.
Daniel Bryan, who was at ringside on commentary, decided to then insert himself into the match as a guest referee, where he called it perfectly down the middle. Zayn however did not agree as he came into the ring to berate the GM.
Orton was not having any of this as he proceeded to attack Zayn and drive him from the ring, only to be shoved into the steel ring post for his troubles. This slight distraction, however, was just enough for Owens to drop Nakamura with the Pop-up Powerbomb for the win.
With this, Bryan had also inserted himself into the tag team match at Clash of Champions between the two duos as a second, less biased referee alongside Commissioner Shane McMahon, a decision that McMahon will surely not be pleased with.
As he prepares to defend his WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal on Sunday, AJ Styles stood tall in the ring as he hyped up the encounter. As he was preparing to finish up, The Singh Brothers came out. This time, however they were not introducing Mahal.
The brothers claimed to be done with Mahal, after he brutally attacked them two weeks ago. Styles invited them into the ring to pass the olive branch, but instead turned the tides on the obvious trap that was set as Mahal made his entrance and The Singhs attacked.
Later on during an interview segment, Styles said he was never fooled and that he was ready to defy the odds. Then, out of nowhere, Mahal and the Singhs attack Styles from behind, beating him down and telling him his title reign was coming to an end.
The night was also filled with a few not so savory finishes. The first came from the feud over the United States Championship in a match between champion Baron Corbin and one of his challengers on Sunday, Dolph Ziggler.
The match was very back and forth as Corbin’s superior striking came head-to-head with Ziggler’s stellar technical ability. Both men ended up down and out at one point in the match and that is when things went downhill.
Bobby Roode, Corbin’s other challenger whom was sitting on commentary, wanted some retribution for Ziggler’s attack during his match with Corbin last week. So, while both men were down he slipped into the ring and dropped both men with his Glorious DDT, declaring he will be the next US Champ.
The other bad finish came from the Women’s Division as Ruby Riott took on SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair with Flair’s challenger at Clash of Champions, Natalya, at ringside on commentary. The Riott Squad, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, also joined their boss at ringside for support.
Riott showed why she was brought up to the main roster, really taking it to The Queen. Things broke down though once the two competitors spilled out to ringside. Natalya was getting in Flair’s face, which led to a hard forearm shot that dropped her.
From here the champ had to play defense, fending off the entire Riott Squad until a Clothesline from Natalya caused a disqualification. From there, The Riott Squad proceeded to beatdown Flair, preparing to injure her shoulder like they did to Naomi weeks ago.
As if summoned by this action, Naomi made her return and attacked The Riott Squad, laying out Ruby Riott herself with The Rear View. As The Riott Squad retreated, they were met by the remaining Lumberjacks for the Women’s title match on Sunday, who beat them down and stood tall against the newcomers.
The Bludgeon Brothers showed their dominance again as they absolutely squashed former ECW star Colin Delaney and a local talent. Their opponents got zero offense in as the match was ended swiftly by hitting their huge double team slam.
On a more competitive note, Rusev and Aiden English, who were recently added to This Sunday’s Tag Team Title match, had a chance to prove themselves against the champions, The Usos. While they are a newly formed tandem, you wouldn’t be able to tell by how well they work together.
The match remained very competitive, as both teams landed big time tandem maneuvers. It all turned in Rusev’s favor as a fall to the outside allowed him to knock out one Uso and then, behind the referees back, landed a devastating kick that allowed English to land his finisher for the win.
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