Smackdown – October 17, 2017: Hug It And Hold It Close

Smackdown
Date: October 17, 2017
Location: KeyArena, Seattle, Washington
Commentators: Byron Saxton, Corey Graves, Michael Cole

It’s time to start getting ready for Survivor Series and if you’ve seen the rumors, you know what the big match seems to be. The previews for the show suggest that A, they’re announcing it tonight and that B, they’re actually going through with it. Hopefully I’m wrong though and we won’t be subjected to that. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here’s General Manager Daniel Bryan for the big home state reception. The fans chant WELCOME HOME and Bryan finally has to say the show is only two hours long. After previewing some of the show, Bryan wants to talk about Sami Zayn. This brings out a dancing Sami to face off with Bryan. Daniel asks what happened to the Sami he’s known for over thirteen years.

Sami says he’s the same guy but he’s taken control of his career again. Bryan gets the idea but Sami cuts him off. It’s true that there are similarities, such as them being great in-ring performers. Sami: “Well, I still am.” Management never liked either of them either, but Daniel had the fans. The difference is the fans never got behind Sami like they did with Bryan. They didn’t uphold their end of the bargain. If Daniel had worked a little smarter instead of a little harder, he wouldn’t have had to retire in this very arena.

Bryan was the performer of Sami’s generation and every time Sami started catching up to him, Bryan jumped two more steps ahead. Now Sami would never want to be like Bryan: a retired housewife. Cue Kevin Owens to say the same things until Bryan says he and Shane McMahon did what was best for the fans. Owens doesn’t buy this and says Bryan is doing what’s best for business, which makes him the authority. Sami calls him a sellout and thanks Owens from becoming what Bryan is now. Bryan leaves, saying he’s going to find a couple of dudes to punch them in the face.

We recap Charlotte’s issues with Natalya.

Charlotte/Becky Lynch/Naomi vs. Natalya/Tamina/Lana

Carmella is at ringside with James Ellsworth on a leash. Naomi slaps Natalya in the face to start and it’s time for a huddle on the floor. A slingshot dive takes out Natalya and Tamina as Lana looks on and yells a lot. Back in and Becky works on Natalya’s arm before dropping a leg for two.

We come back from a break with Lana coming in and grabbing a suplex for one. Naomi gets pulled into the villain corner for some stomping as Charlotte plays cheerleader on the apron. A kick to Lana’s chest allows the hot tag off to Charlotte and house is cleaned with some chops (Lana has no idea how to sell them). We get the strut as everything breaks down, including a Figure Eight to make Lana tap at 8:43.

Rating: D+. Lana may be stunning but she’s not a great in-ring performer. At the end of the day, you just need more ring time than she has and the only way to get that is to be in the ring. That’s not going to do her much good in a place like this, which is why she needed more time in developmental. Or we can just write her off as a failure and go from there.

Post match Natalya grabs a chair but Charlotte uses one of her own to chase them off.

Bryan tells Sami and Kevin that everyone wants to punch them in the face. Therefore, tonight it’s going to be Sami/Owens vs. Randy Orton/Shinsuke Nakamura. Bryan does the Nakamura pose and Owens isn’t happy.

It’s time for Pulp Fashion, which should be amazing to put it mildly. Ascension is now in the opening credits, along with the cast of Pulp Fiction, who will NOT be in this show. The bulletin board is full of Quentin Tarantino references, including John Cena as Mr. Orange. The Ascension is being interrogated with Fandango telling them to be cool like the Fonz. Konnor: “Like when he jumped the shark?” Viktor: “They already did.”

Tyler Breeze, as Uma Thurman from Pulp Fiction, does a dance from the movie and finds a cheeseburger. After more movie quotes, Ascension says Breezango hasn’t even figured out the case of 2B. Konnor: “It’s obviously the Bludgeon…” Fandango cuts them off though as Breeze has fainted. Ascension still wants to be friends and offers Fandango a huge needle to save Breeze’s life. That’s a big negative though and Breeze wakes up, having fainted at the idea of a gluten free sandwich. In the melee, someone has stolen the briefcase from their table, meaning this story MUST CONTINUE (sweet).

Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara

Corbin cuts off Sin Cara’s entrance and says the US Open Challenge is done for good. Cara wastes no time in kicking Corbin to the floor for a suicide dive. A big dive off the top takes Corbin down again….and Cara wins by countout at 1:22.

The Usos are talking about having the tag division on lock when Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin come up and rap about how they’ll win the titles soon. The champs go for a handshake but Gable and Benjamin pull the hands away.

Video on the Bludgeon Brothers.

Video on Jinder Mahal in India.

Here are the Singh Brothers and Jinder Mahal for a big announcement about Survivor Series. When he was in India, a young boy asked him what was next. After defeating Orton and Nakamura multiple times, the question was who he would face next. Even after those wins, he doesn’t receive the level of respect that he should on Smackdown Live. The fans chant YOU CAN’T WRESTLE but Mahal just holds up the title. In order to achieve respect, Mahal must defeat the undefeatable, which means he wants to face Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Cole: “Are you kidding me?”

This brings out AJ Styles to a rather nice reception. AJ doesn’t care about Lesnar, but rather about Mahal saying he’s beaten all of the worthy challengers on the show. Mahal calls him a loser, which AJ says means there should be no worries about a title defense then. AJ is called a joke so the beating is on with AJ cleaning house in short order.

Post break, Mahal demands that Bryan make AJ vs. Sumil Singh for next week. Bryan is fine with this.

Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

Rematch from Hell in a Cell. Bobby takes it to the floor and drives Ziggler into the barricade as we take a break. Back (after one WWE2K18 ad, meaning it’s not even a full commercial break) with Roode fighting out of a chinlock and grabbing a catapult into the corner for a double knockdown. A running forearm and swinging Rock Bottom get two on Ziggler. They trade rollups with tights until Ziggler gets another and grabs the trunks for the pin at 3:55.

Rating: D. Oh my goodness this is continuing. The match being short helped a little bit but this feud (Can anyone explain what the issue here even is? Something about Ziggler thinking Roode is all flash and no substance I think?) is turning into one where they’re fighting now because they’ve fought before and that’s not a good thing.

Pay per view rundown.

Aiden English is singing and is annoyed when people aren’t paying attention to him. New Day comes in with the trombone and a party breaks out. Rusev comes in to declare it his day again. Kofi: “Again? Time to celebrate!” Woods plays Rusev’s theme on the trombone and New Day dances off. English starts singing that it’s Rusev Day but Rusev cuts him off. I’m assuming a tag match next week.

Shinsuke Nakamura/Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn

Sami works on Nakamura’s wrist to start but gets sent into the ropes for a COME ON. Some kicks in the corner have Zayn in trouble and it’s off to Orton. That goes nowhere so here’s Owens for the slugout instead. Everything breaks down for a few seconds and it’s Owens posting Orton, followed by a fall away slam into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Nakamura loading Owens onto the top for the running knee but Sami makes the save. The knee crashes into the buckle and Nakamura is in trouble. After a quick mocking of Orton, Owens gets two off the backsplash.

We hit the chinlock for a few seconds before Nakamura kicks him away and makes the hot tag to Orton. Everything breaks down with Orton dropping Orton onto the barricade and blocking a Zayn dive. Sami gets suplexed through the announcers’ table but Owens makes a save at two. Nakamura comes back in and takes care of Owens, leaving Sami to charge into the scoop powerslam. Sami hits Orton low and the Helluva Kick is good for the pin at 13:02.

Rating: C+. Pretty standard main event tag here and that’s a good thing in this case. Sami getting the pin through nefarious means is a great way to start off the new heel run. The wrestling wasn’t all that great, but at least they had a good ending with Sami being especially evil to give him the first win.

Post break Owens and Zayn laugh at Bryan, but there’s a big surprise: Shane is back next week. Back in the arena, Orton and Nakamura aren’t happy but Owens and Sami come back in to celebrate (Owens: “Hug me! Hold me close!”) to end the show.

Overall Rating: B-. I’m digging the heck out of this new Sami run, especially with he and Owens being all happy with the fact that Shane is back next week. Owens already destroyed him and I’m glad that he really wasn’t all that scared. The rest of the show worked well too and it’s cool to see things picking up after so many horrible weeks.

Results

Charlotte/Naomi/Becky Lynch b. Lana/Tamina/Natalya – Figure Eight to Lana

Sin Cara b. Baron Corbin via countout

Dolph Ziggler b. Bobby Roode – Rollup with a handful of trunks

Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens b. Randy Orton/Shinsuke Nakamura – Helluva Kick to Orton

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2 comments

  1. Mike M. says:

    Dolph Ziggler is the NXT killer. Breeze, Corbin, Nakamura, and now Roode. He’s been the first feud for all of them and they’ve all been the awful. They’ve also all been the same 50-50 booking, save for Nakamura. None of the first three care out of their Ziggler feud for the better and after last night, I’m afraid Roode is in store for the same fate.

  2. Jay H (the real one) says:

    That last line from Kevin Owens telling Sami Zayn to hold me tight was priceless. Im already digging them as a Heel combo on Smackdown. Im not wild on Jindar facing Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series but the best part might be Brock killing The Singh Brothers. I was glad they seem to be setting up AJ Styles moving back up to the WWE Title.