The RichStaple Live Review of Smackdown LIVE 8/1/17

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US Title: AJ Styles (C) vs. Kevin Owens

With Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion, the feud between AJ and Kevin Owens has felt like the real WWE Championship feud. Match starts with a tie up and Kevin Owens gets a quick high elbow and goes for a quick cover. Another lockup and AJ pushes Owens asides and looks for the dropkick but KO stays on the ropes and AJ falls. KO clubs AJ from behind and continues with another clothesline on the outside. We come back from commercial and we find KO with a big boot to AJ and some stomps for two. KO goes back but gets met with the high dropkick from AJ. AJ with some kicks to the gut, a couple of knife edge chops and a kick to the back, followed by with the high knee drop, but KO is near the ropes. AJ and KO slug away at each other in the corner, but AJ gets the vertical suplex which gets a 1 count. These two sure are taking their time out there. KO gets a knife edge chop but AJ comes back with stomps in the corner. KO goes for a strike, but AJ gets out of it. Styles goes for the Phenomenal Forearm, but KO is able to get out of the right. However, persistence pays off for AJ as he gets a forearm to the outside. Is that considered the same as his regular forearm as a finisher?

AJ looks to continue the assault on the outside, but KO reverses AJ’s momentum into the barricade and KO finishes with a cannonball right to the face. We go to another commercial, but fortunately, we get a split screen shot of the action this time. Wonder why RAW doesn’t do that. Owens covers for two, and Owens follows that with a senton for two. KO then goes back to his vintage headlock of death. AJ comes back with his vintage strikes and gets another variation of his forearm onto the pavement. Aj gets a forearm shot to the corner and the Fireman’s Carry into the knee to the back of the neck for two. Styles goes for the Styles Clash, but Owens gets the back body drop. AJ is in the position outside for the Phenomenal Forearm, but KO gets out of it again and reverses into a superkick for a two count. KO goes for the Pop Up Powerbomb, but AJ reverses into the Calf Crusher. Ko slams AJ’s head to the mat in desperation to get out of it. KO then goes for the power slam, but AJ reverses into the Pele Kick. KO with a strike, but AJ reverses back into the Calf Crusher, and KO teases tapping out for a good while before getting to the ropes. Great little tease there. KO then gets two superkicks back to back, and KO goes for another punch, but the ref somehow gets knocked out. Give me a freaking break.

KO gets another superkick and goes for the pop-up powerbomb, but AJ reverses into a pin and retains the title at 16:47. Clearly, they played up Battleground’s botched finish, but they really couldn’t come up with a definitive finish? KO’s shoulder was also apparently up, so clearly this feud must continue. Match had a much better flow than their Battleground match, but I can’t help but be left wanting. Please don’t tell me this feud will continue. Can we just move on already? ***1/2


Backstage, we have the ref apparently apparent recovering from that supposed stuff shot to the face. Come on now. How many more vicious bumps has Mike taken? A typical punch is enough to do him in now? KO then comes back and he is heated and that finish. KO shoves the referee and claims that he was screwed in the match. Shane McMahon tells KO to calm down and that while he shouldn’t put his hands on a referee, he will get a rematch for the US Title at Summerslam. Oh, goodie. KO requests that he gets a referee that isn’t a complete p***y and Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan agree that the special guest referee will be Shane McMahon. Shane says KO needs to cool off and KO does the exact opposite by flipping over a table.


Back from commercial, we come out to the New Day, but we’ve been fooled, it’s The Usos. Okay, that was friggin hilarious. Sounded exactly like Big E. The Usos come out to mock The New Day and lay out a rap dissing The Usos, referencing their lame catchphrases, trombones and their…..popsicles. Good heel promo playing off the events of last week and setting up a rematch between the two teams, probably at Summerslam.

We get another Fashion Files segment. I didn’t even know what was going on, but all I could tell you was that I felt like I was on acid watching whatever that was.

Sami Zayn vs. Aiden English

English came out and sung about….something. Sami’s face during the segment told the entire story for me. Well, at least it’s…..unique, I guess? They start with a lockup and English gets the shoulder block. English gets an arm lock and forces Sami to the mat. Zayn fights back and reverses into an arm hold of his own and into the Kevin Owens-esque headlock. Zayn flops away from English and gets his trio of arm drags back into an arm lock. English reverses and gets the fluke pin at 1:57. Sami’s losing to Mike Kanellis and Aiden English now? English is on a roll, but did it have to come at the expense of Zayn? Wrestling was pretty solid, but the abrupt finish kinda ruins it for me. *1/2


Becky Lynch and Naomi vs. Carmella and Natayla


Natayla looks like she’s on acid in that match card graphic. Natayla and Lynch have a roll-up sequence that ends up with Becky going on top. Becky gets a kick to the gut into a front facelock. Naomi goes up top for the sunset flip and Becky comes with a kick and Naomi gets a jumping leg drop for two. Carmella gets the tag and Naomi gets a couple of kicks in. Naomi goes for a third, but Carmella counters with a slap to the face, to which Naomi responds with a slap of her own. Naomi gets the Fireman’s Carry which Carmella reverses, but she gets the knee lift. Naomi fights off Natayla but Carmella slams her down from behind, and the two tag team her for two. Naomi looks for the tag, but Natayla slams her down and takes out Becky. Then Natayla goes for the Sharpshooter that she gets in the middle of the ring. That is one ugly looking Sharpshooter. Natayla drags her to the middle of the ring and Naomi looks to fight it and she does by getting to the ropes. Carmella gets the tag and orders Natayla out of the ring and she gets her butt submission of doom.

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