Date: April 11, 2017
Location: TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, John Bradshaw Layfield
It’s the second night of the Superstar Shakeup which means we’ll be seeing a lot of new names showing up tonight. That primarily means names from Monday Night Raw but there’s also the chance of some people from NXT or maybe even the cruiserweights of 205 Live. Let’s get to it.
We open with the debuting Kevin Owens(in a suit), who declares this the new Kevin Owens Show. Now some people might be confused about how a Canadian can be the face of the United States but it makes perfect sense. Canadians are just better athletes than Americans and there’s no denying it. Just look at the Montreal Canadiens defeating the Boston Bruins all the time. There’s no one in the back that can beat him because he is the new face of America.
Cue Baron Corbin of all people to say that Owens can’t beat him up. Last week Corbin beat Dean Ambrose up so badly that he ran off to Raw. Last night, Ambrose beat Owens up so badly that he came here so that means Corbin should get a US Title shot. Owens says no but here’s the debuting Sami Zayn (JUST LET HIM STAY AWAY FROM OWENS FOR FIVE MINUTES!) to send Owens into a near fit because he can never escape. Sami wants a shot as well but here’s AJ Styles, who is actually still on Smackdown.
AJ gets a huge face reception and says this place is still about him. This brings out Daniel Bryan to say Owens vs. Chris Jericho is still on for Payback and the winner will officially be on Smackdown. The title can’t be defended until then though, but tonight we’re going to crown a new #1 contender for the US Title. Tonight it’s Styles vs. Corbin vs. Zayn for the future shot.
Randy Orton vs. Erick Rowan
Non-title. Orton hammers away to start but gets shoved into the corner. Erick rains down right hands until Orton grabs the powerslam and does the Garvin Stomp. They head outside with Rowan getting sent into the steps, followed by the elevated DDT. The RKO is loaded up but Bray appears on screen, already making the Superstar Shakeup seem worthless. Seriously it hasn’t even been twenty four hours. Wyatt says he’s everywhere and will see Orton in the House of Horrors. The lights come back up and Rowan hits Orton with the steps for the DQ at 3:50.
Rating: D-. I was tempted to not rate this one as a minute and a half of it was spent on watching Orton listen to Bray. Hopefully things are all square after Payback as these show vs. show matches defeat the point of the Shakeup (just do the Shakeup later). The match was a squash until the ending and I’m kind of glad they didn’t have Rowan just lose clean again.
Rowan gives Orton a full nelson slam.
Tag Team Titles; Usos vs. American Alpha
Alpha is defending in their rematch after losing the belts last month. The Usos don’t even get an entrance. Jimmy and Chad start things off with Alpha using some early double teaming to take over. Both champs are sent to the floor and we take an early break. Back with Jimmy kicking Jason in the face but getting sent hard into the corner. The hot tag brings in Chad to clean house, including a great looking moonsault for two on Jimmy.
Some double teaming puts Gable in trouble but the Superfly Splash hits knees for two. The Steiner Bulldog gets a very close two with Jey making a save. Alpha is sent outside for stereo suicide dives but you don’t dive at suplexers as Alpha grabs stereo belly to belly suplexes. Back in and Jey makes a blind tag, setting up a superkick into the Superfly Splash to retain at 8:51.
Rating: B. Good stuff here as you would expect but can we PLEASE have someone show up to bolster the division a little bit? Right now it’s these two and whomever else we can find as jobbers that week. With a roster as deep as WWE has, there’s really no excuse to not be able to put four teams together for a regular division.
Post match the Shining Stars run in and leave American Alpha laying.
Mojo Rawley vs. Jinder Mahal
Rob Gronkowski is in the front row again. Mahal starts fast and takes Rawley down for a kneedrop and armbar. Jinder makes the mistake of going after Gronkowski though and gets a cup thrown on him, allowing Mojo to take him back inside. The running right hand puts Jinder away at 2:41. At least it was short.
Mojo celebrates with some New England Patriots.
Here’s Shane McMahon to address the Women’s Division. They’ve acquired some new talent but he’d like to have the entire division come out here. This brings out Naomi, Natalya, Carmella (with James Ellsworth) and Becky Lynch. Since that’s the entire division so far, Shane stops to congratulate Naomi but Ellsworth takes the mic to say Naomi is horrible.
Naomi threatens violence and says bring out the new talent. That would mean a long introduction for a second generation star and the daughter of a Hall of Famer: Tamina! I don’t think that really counts as a new talent as she was out injured and never officially on Raw. Shane isn’t done though and brings out Charlotte for the real big surprise.
Sin Cara and Rusev (no mention of Lana) are coming to Smackdown.
Here’s Aiden English on his own to ask for a spotlight. In a callback to his NXT days, English sings a song about himself, only to be cut off.
Aiden English vs. Tye Dillinger
Tye gets the important things out of the way first with a snapmare and cartwheel into TEN. English takes him into the corner and sings that this is his show. The Tyebreaker is good for the pin on English at 2:20.
Video on AJ Styles.
Video on Lana dancing around a chair in a very revealing red dress. She’s on Smackdown too and seems to be her own act instead of with Rusev.
Here’s Dolph Ziggler to talk about how awesome he is and how the Superstar Shakeup doesn’t matter. Cue Shinsuke Nakamura for his full entrance. Ziggler asks who Nakamura thinks he is so the fans sing his song. Nakamura says his name and blocks a superkick, setting up the BRING IT pose. Ziggler bails of course.
Video on Baron Corbin.
New Day is coming to Smackdown. Now that helps things a lot.
Video on Sami Zayn.
Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles vs. Baron Corbin
The winner gets a US Title shot at some point after Payback. Styles and Zayn go after Corbin to start but he suplexes both of them at once without much effort. A double clothesline sends Corbin outside, leaving us with a Zayn vs. Styles showdown. Corbin pulls Styles to the floor but Sami moonsaults onto both of them as we take a break. Back with Corbin in full control, hitting a side slam and big boot for two on Styles.
AJ grabs the Hoshi Geroshi on Sami but gets blasted by a clothesline from Corbin to put all three down. Corbin takes a knee to the face and Sami grabs the Blue Thunder Bomb for two on AJ. Baron gets back up for one heck of a Deep Six on Sami with AJ making the save. The springboard 450 gets two on Corbin with Sami making a last second save this time around. That earns him a Pele kick but the Clash is backdropped to the apron. The Helluva Kick drops Corbin, only to have AJ hit the Phenomenal Forearm for the pin on Sami at 16:42.
Rating: B. Corbin is getting better and better every single week and working with people like AJ and Sami is only going to help him even more. AJ winning is a bit of a surprise but he immediately elevates the US Title. I do wonder who is next for Orton after this as you would think AJ would have been a good choice for the next challenger after Wyatt.
Overall Rating: B-. While I’m going to need some more time to figure out how much I liked the second half of the Superstar Shakeup, the first instinct would be to think that it went a lot better for the red show. The big names here are New Day, Charlotte and Owens, but the problem is a lot of the names are nothing. I mean, Sin Cara? The Shining Stars? Jinder Mahal? Those aren’t exactly exciting names. Then again, did anyone really expect WWE to put a focus on Smackdown?
The show itself was good enough with a good Tag Team Title match and main event but we still don’t really have a feel for how things are going to go on this show. The problem is we won’t until after Payback, which makes things a bit more complicated than they need to be. Smackdown has potential but they’re lacking a top level star (remember that Cena is going to be gone for well over a month), which is a problem they’ve had for a long time.
Randy Orton b. Erick Rowan via DQ when Rowan used the steps
Usos b. American Alpha – Superfly Splash to Gable
Mojo Rawley b. Jinder Mahal – Running punch
Tye Dillinger b. Aiden English – Tyebreaker
AJ Styles b. Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn – Phenomenal Forearm to Zayn
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