This week’s episode of SmackDown aired live from the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was the first episode of SmackDown following WWE Hell in a Cell 2017 this past Sunday. Here are 3 winners and losers from this week’s SmackDown:
The Usos and New Day kicked off this week’s episode of SmackDown with a truce. The two teams showed each other respect after carrying the SmackDown tag division and putting on an epic Hell in a Cell match on Sunday. New Day will be stepping out of the title picture for now, but there is no doubt that they will be back in the near future.
The Usos have always been a tremendously talented team, but they have elevated their game since turning heels. Whenever The Usos are in a match nowadays, it is almost a guarantee that it will be entertaining. The same can be said for New Day and the crowd gave both teams a great reaction tonight. The Usos and New Day stole the show at WWE Hell in a Cell and I’m interested to see what is next for the SmackDown tag division.
Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable became the #1 contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships tonight after winning a Fatal 4-Way match against Breezango, Hype Bros and The Ascension. Gable and Benjamin will now go on to face The Usos for the titles in the near future.
The crowd was heavily behind Breezango in this match, but still gave a great reaction when Gable and Benjamin won the match. Gable and Benjamin have been an afterthought on SmackDown since they became a team, but now they are finally getting their shot. Both Benjamin and Gable are ridiculously talented in-ring performers and will no doubt have an awesome match with The Usos.
Carmella still has the MITB contract, but it sure doesn’t feel like it right now. Whatever momentum she had is completely gone at this point. There was a brief period of time on SmackDown where Carmella was cutting great promos and getting the crowd to despise her. Now, she is just an afterthought on every episode of SmackDown.
I would like to see WWE build Carmella back up if they plan on having her cash in the MITB contract soon. It won’t get the reaction now that it would have when the crowd was invested in Carmella. I also do not understand why James Ellsworth is still with her. Carmella quite literally has him on a leash tied to the ring post for every match.
Sami Zayn explained why he helped Kevin Owens defeat Shane McMahon at WWE Hell in a Cell this past Sunday. Zayn explained that Kevin Owens opened his eyes when he Powerbombed him on the ring apron a couple of weeks back. He noted that Shane McMahon promised him opportunity on SmackDown and that never happened.
Sami said that he tried doing everything the right way and that only brought him to mediocrity. Zayn added that Kevin Owens was right about everything he said about him and that he had to save him at Hell in a Cell because he will always be his brother. The two then hugged and celebrated in the ring.
Shinsuke Nakamura teamed up with Randy Orton tonight to face Randy Orton and Aiden English. He was just randomly added to this feud for no reason after being defeated by Jinder Mahal at Hell in a Cell. Nakamura wound up getting the victory by hitting the Kinshasa onto Aiden English.
Orton also hit the RKO on Rusev in the match. Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura are two of the better Superstars on SmackDown’s roster, yet both have had to endure a brutal feud with WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. The feud ultimately damaged Shinsuke Nakamura and he’s now fallen down the card. When Nakamura arrived on SmackDown, he was special. However, he has been booked terribly and now comes off as just another Superstar on the card.
AJ Styles has his rematch for the United States Championship tonight in the main event of SmackDown. Styles controlled the majority of the match, but the momentum turned when Corbin launched AJ off the ring apron.
Corbin then brought AJ back into the ring and connected with the End of Days for the pinfall victory. Corbin didn’t take any shortcuts tonight, instead he simply just beat AJ Styles. Odds are that AJ will wind up back in the main event scene in the near future, but tonight just wasn’t his night. Baron Corbin absolutely needed this victory and hopefully has a long run with the United States Championship.