WWE Smackdown this week aired live tonight as the blue brand looked to build anticipation for the Payback and also further the developing storylines after the Superstar Shake-up. Here are the highlights from the night.
AJ Styles keeps his streak alive
Styles faced Baron Corbin at the start of the show with the United States Champion Kevin Owens looking on from the commentary booth. Both superstars had faced off a few times, resulting in a certain degree of familiarity with each other’s offence. That was apparent in the reversals they both came up with during the course of the match. Owens tried to cause a distraction and cost Styles the match, but it backfired when Styles caught Corbin with the Phenomenal Forearm and rolled him up for the win.
Charlotte receives an unpleasant welcome
Former four-time RAW Women’s champion Charlotte got her match for the Smackdown title tonight. After beating the champion Naomi last week, all she needed to do was do it again in order to become the first ever woman to hold both active titles on the WWE roster.
With stakes raised this time around, both competitors brought their A-game; Charlotte showed marked resilience and kick out of Naomi’s patented Rear View. But before the match could end decisively, Natalya, Carmella, James Ellsworth and Tamina interfered. Charlotte won by DQ and she was attacked after the bell rung. Ellsworth posed over Charlotte while Naomi recovered in the ring. Fans chanted for Becky Lynch as the Smackdown went off the air.
Queens recognize other queens. And tonight, I felt the GLOW. @NaomiWWE ??✨
The Breezdango are the new #1 contenders
Breezdango beat the clock and became the new number one contenders for the Tag Team championships. The time to beat was 5 minutes and 47 seconds, set by the American Alpha, who beat the Colons earlier. Breezdango exhibited renewed fluidity in the ring as they systematically dismantled Konor and Viktor to pick up the win. This marks the first time they find themselves close to winning gold in the WWE.
Jinder Mahal makes his presence known
WWE Champion Randy Orton faced off against old nemesis Erick Rowan with less than a week remaining before his match against Bray Wyatt for the WWE championship. The match was a No Disqualification match; the action in the ring back-and-forth affair that Orton ended up winning after nailing an RKO on Rowan.
Call #Breezango weird and this is how they will retaliate… @WWEFandango @mmmgorgeous @JCLayfield @ReneeYoungWWE #TalkingSmack https://t.co/IjDmntjtFL
Once the bell rung, Jinder Mahal – next in line for a WWE title shot – came out and demanded that Orton treat him with respect. Mahal talked about his culture and wealth and warned Orton not to overlook his wrestling ability. Soon after, Mahal turned to attack Orton, but Orton struck back. But that did not last; the Punjabi Boys came to the aid of Mahal and held the WWE champion down, allowing them to triple-team Orton.