Sometimes in wrestling things don’t go to plan. You would think in that event the situation would be swept under the carpet and act like it never happened – that often happens in the WWE. Yet, what went on during last night’s episode of SmackDown Live looked to address such a mistake by simply attempting once more what should have happened in the first place. Weird booking, right? Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

Owens Gets Screwed

The aforementioned ‘mistake’ was indeed the anticlimactic ending to the United States Championship Match at Battleground. Last night, AJ Styles looked to defend his championship against Kevin Owens once more. The match ended just how it should have done at Battleground, only this time it was made a lot clearer. The referee, the ever reliable Mike Chioda, took a bump to the head and was out of position when Styles rolled up Owens. The referee counted the pinfall against Owens, even though Owens’ shoulder was up during the count. This was addressed backstage when Owens furiously interrupted his superiors, Shane O’Mac and Daniel Bryan. Shane acknowledged the referee made a bad call and said he’d make it up to Owens with a large bouquet of roses or probably just a rematch at SummerSlam. Owens, now questioning the ability of all WWE referees, demanded a sturdier referee to which Daniel Bryan made Shane the special guest ref for the United States Championship match at SummerSlam. Owens was clearly not impressed but Shane said either he will be the referee or Owens won’t get his rematch. Shane is sort of being a dick to all refs here. Instead of saying, “we have the best referees in the world and they do the best they can in a difficult job”, he has instead just put himself above all of them and undermined their responsibility. I think an Iron-Man match at SummerSlam would have been a better way to resolve the situation. This way, even if there was an illegal pinfal, the other still has a chance to get back. Then again, this is wrestling and logic is for smart people.

Some other sheeeeeet:

– The Usos trolled the audience as they began their promo with the New Day’s signature “ooooooooooh [insert location name here], don’t you dare be sour” entrance. They then cut a promo sort of rapping about how they beat down the New Day last week. I guess that makes them more like beat-poets hahahahahimdeadinsidehahahaha

– The latest edition of the Fashion Files was a Twin Peaks parody. At the end, Tyler Breeze said he knew who has abducted Fandango. Will we find out next week? Probably not.

– Aiden English surprisingly beat Sami Zayn with a sort of roll up. It was disappointing. After the match, Mike and Maria Kanellis came out just to remind Zayn that he lost. Pointless.

– Naomi and Becky Lynch beat Carmella and Natalya in a tag match.

– Backstage, Jinder Mahal was confident about retaining his title at SummerSlam regardless of who his opponent may be.

Rusev: “this isn’t what I came to SmackDown for”

Chad Gable once again made a great account for himself as a singles competitor but ultimately lost to an Accolade by Rusev. After the match Rusev bragged that the reason he doesn’t have an opponent at SummerSlam is because all of the roster are scared to face him. He was interrupted by Randy Orton who said if he (Rusev) wants an opponent at SummerSlam, he’s got one. Rusev then said something in Bulgarian but then got hit with an RKO. That’ll teach him to speak foreign in Murica!

The night’s main event was a Number 1 Contender match to face the Maharaja at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship. Despite all my scepticism there was no interference from Baron Corbin and John Cena wasn’t made out to be superhero after all. Shinsuke Nakamura defeated John Cena. I repeat, Shinsuke Nakamara defeated John Cena. Clean! The match featured plenty of reversals to keep the crowd guessing. At first, it seemed a given that Cena would probably win considering Cena has been rebooted as the patriotic saviour of the USA of late. Yet, as the match wore on it seemed more likely that Nakamura actually stood a great chance. Eventually, after receiving multiple AA’s, Nakamura slipped out of a rolling Attitude Adjustment and hit an Exploder and the Kinshasa to score the win. So now I guess it’s Nakamura who is being booked as the WWE’s new superhero… and I don’t mind that one bit!

The new face of SmackDown Live

After the match was over, Baron Corbin did attempt to attack Nakamura. What was bizarre about this? It was only viewable on the WWE Network. The show had already gone off-air. So, who in that time went straight to the Network? The two people in the world who watch 205Live I assume. If they did they would have tuned in just in time to see John Cena put Corbin through the announce table in defence of the new No.1 Contender. Pointless but it still shows the WWE’s intent to portray Cena as “the hero SmackDown deserves, but not the one it needs right now.” – Commissioner Shane McMahon.

By Bradley Tiernan

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

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