The show this week opens with Charlotte Flair making her way down to the ring. She talks about already being upset at not getting a title shot, only to be interrupted by champion Naomi who wants a damn fight. Shane McMahon breaks up the two women brawling and makes a match between them and if Charlotte wins she gets a title match next week. Short breezy segment that sets several things up, if only RAW could do this.
Natalya is backstage and pissed off that Shane is playing favourites with Charlotte. Carmella and Tamina also come in pissed off, and Natalya takes them all away to “talk” in what I assume is the start of a new heel stable.
Dolph Ziggler vs. Erick Rowan vs. Jinder Mahal vs. Mojo Rawley vs. Luke Harper vs Sami Zayn (WWE Championship Number One Contendership)
What a weird collection of talent in this match. These guys didn’t mess around and went straight into big spots, having a fun chaotic spotfest of a match. Everyone got a chance to look good, and even some of the weirder entrants like Rowan and Rawley had a few moments to shine.
The obvious real conversation is that Jinder Mahal of all people won. Now I am by no means a fan of Jinder, in fact I think he straight up sucks, but I am not completely against this. I am completely ready for Jinder to seize this chance and become amazing in his new little faction with the Bollywood Boyz. I am always for giving random pushes to guys on B-shows, sometimes you get a Sheamus out of it and sometimes you get The Patriot. This clearly isn’t even the main focus of the brand as that is the US title right now. #GiveJinderAChance Jinder Mahal pins Sami Zayn ***
Jinder cuts a fine promo after the match, effectively calling the crowd racists, to a hell of a lot of heat only for Randy Orton to come out and confront him. He basically ignores Mahal and starts talking about his match with Bray, who appears and cuts a SPOOKY~! promo on the big screen.
AJ Styles is interviewed backstage about being the number one contender to the US title, only for Baron Corbin to interrupt. The two banter back and forth and a match is made for later tonight.
Carmella, Natalya, and Tamina “welcome” Charlotte to Smackdown on her way to the ring.
Charlotte Flair vs. Naomi
This was a fine match and worked well as a preview for their title match next week. Both women did just enough to keep things interesting while not giving away too much. Unfortunately they lost the crowd a little, which is a shame but not a total surprise since this went a little longer than it probably should have.
Flair pins Naomi with Natural Selection ** ½
The Colons (Primo and Epico) vs. American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable)
The former Shining Stars are getting their third or fourth new gimmick and push. This is the opposite situation to Jinder Mahal where we already know what these guys can do and it isn’t much. They had a complete nothing match and won via shenanigans so sadly more is coming. Primo pins Gable **
We get a quick, goofy Tye Dillinger interview leading straight into a pretty good video package for him. I don’t know what the ceiling is on Tye, but I am excited to see where he lands.
Kevin Owens is out next for his Face of America challenge with an awesome new titatron.
He squashes some random jobber in like thirty seconds flat. This whole US champion that hates the US angle has been done to death and on the surface Owens’ version does nothing for me yet. I have hope he might make it more interesting, but I am not excited.
Baron Corbin vs. AJ Styles
This was a perfectly fine TV main event. Kevin Owens was on commentary for this and AJ got thrown into him which led to the count out finish. Unfortunately the finish fell pretty flat, but this was more about continuing the Owens/Styles story than anything else. AJ Styles wins by countout ** ¼