In a week where the indie wrestling community has launched a diving defence of the high-flying style, the WWE does what it likes to do best and trolled fans by giving no such high-flying action on this week’s SmackDown Live! It served as a little reminder of the power they hold over the main coverage of wrestling in the western world and also a reminder of how much of a narrow-minded individual Randy Orton really is. Anyhow, personal opinions aside we can all agree that this episode of SmackDown will not be featured in the history books. Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

A rebranding of the Kevin Owens Show //

Opening the show this week was the heel face of America, and United States Champion, Kevin Owens. Owens went one step too far and seized control of Jericho’s Highlight Reel, claiming it as his own. Promising that Jericho would never (ever) be seen again, Owens was interrupted by AJ Styles who he will defend his Championship against at Backlash this Sunday. Continuing the theme, Styles was then interrupted by the almighty maharaja, Jinder Mahal, who he was set to face on the night. Jinder vowed to beat Styles, and Randy Orton this Sunday, for the WWE Championship. In the opening match, Owens sat in on commentary, as Jinder beat AJ Styles. Jinder’s aides, the Singh Brothers, hindered Styles and allowed Owens to hit the Phenomenal One in the knee with his title. Mahal then hit Styles with a Cobra Clutch slam for the victory.

Outside the title picture:

– Another episode of the Fashion Files saw Tyler Breeze go undercover as a janitor to spy on the Usos. This is the only reason why I still watch SmackDown.

“And I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren’t for you meddling kids” //

– Breezango defeated the Colons which was, like last week, followed up with a Backlash promo by the Usos.

– Aiden English v Tye Dillinger has been announced as the Backlash Kickoff match. Meh.

– Randy Orton was asked about his upcoming WWE World Championship match against Jinder Mahal to which he called Jinder an “ass”. A bit rich coming from a man who legitimately thinks his wrestling style is superior to any other.

– The commentary team promoted a “first of it’s kind” contract signing for a six-woman tag match at Backlash between the Welcoming Committee and the team of Charlotte, Becky Lynch and Naomi. We’ve all seen a contract signing before so it wasn’t anything we hadn’t seen before. There was a scuffle that resulted in a match between Carmella and Naomi. A brawl happened between the non-competitors at ringside which allowed Carmella to take advantage and roll up Naomi for the win.

– In a backstage segment, Dolph Ziggler was stood awkwardly next to a TV which aired footage of what Nakamura has done in the WWE. However, there was no footage which Ziggler used to back up his claims that Nakamura has done nothing in the WWE, whereas he had accomplished everything. A fair assessment but Ziggler has been with the company longer than I have been with your Mum.

Jeremy Baron Corbin jumped Teresa May Sami Zayn from behind ahead of their General Election on June 8th match at Backlash.

I guess Orton is the one taking a dive //

The night’s main event was a throw away match that saw Randy Orton defeat Baron Corbin. Though Corbin showed his physical dominance for the most part the Lone Wolf of the Labour Party eventually succumbed to the inevitable elitism of the RKO. As we have seen for the last month or so, Jinder Mahal came down and told Orton that he will become the new WWE Champion at Backlash. The Viper was then predictably jumped from behind by the Singh brothers as they and Jinder continued to assault Orton as the show closed.

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver

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