SmackDown LIVE starts off with Tom Phillips & Byron Saxton explaining that, with John “Bradshaw” Layfield deciding to step away from his color commentary duties on SmackDown LIVE in order to spend more time working with his Beyond Rugby charity helping underprivileged children, there is a new addition to the SmackDown LIVE commentary team. Tom Phillips then welcomes Corey Graves to the SmackDown LIVE announce team as Corey will be pulling double duty; working as a commentator for both RAW and SmackDown LIVE every week.
Before he faces Shinsuke Nakamura with a WWE Championship match at WWE Hell in a Cell on the line, “The Viper” Randy Orton appears on the Tron with a message for Shinsuke Nakamura. Orton says that he’s seen countless stars “crash and burn” over the years, asking if Nakamura will “rise” or if he will “fall”. Orton then says that nobody is going to stand in the way of him beating Jinder Mahal and taking the WWE Title back. In a different location, Shinsuke Nakamura would have a response for Randy Orton, saying he respects the legend of Randy Orton, but he is chasing his “destiny” and that is the WWE Championship. Nakamura then says that the “pain” that he inflicts on Orton tonight will be “felt everywhere”.
“Ms. Money-in-the-Bank” Carmella & James Ellsworth are then in the ring, but before Ellsworth can even finish his introduction of Carmella, he is interrupted by Kevin Owens. Owens tells Ellsworth that he’s sure Ellsworth was about to say something “extremely profound”, but he has some “good news” for Carmella, telling “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank” that the match she is about to have against Natalya is going to have a Special Guest Referee and that referee is going to be him! Owens then orders the referee to give him his shirt but, before this can transpire, SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon would make his way to the ring. As Carmella & James Ellsworth exit to the back, Shane tells Owens that he’s not going to do what he did last week by making himself the Special Guest Referee. The Commissioner then says that Owens has been so “defiant” to him, saying that he needs to make something “clear” to Owens, saying that Owens needs to stop blaming him for Owens’ losses. Shane says that the only reason he took over as the Special Guest Referee a couple of weeks ago was because Baron Corbin quit being the Special Guest Referee halfway through the match.
Owens points out that the only reason that Corbin walked out as the Special Guest Referee during the match was because Shane pulled Corbin out of the ring. Owens then accuses Shane of interfering at SummerSlam and in the rematch two weeks ago. Owens then says that he knows that Shane never wanted him on SmackDown LIVE, saying that he doesn’t want to be on SmackDown LIVE either and, if it were up to him, he’d still be on RAW. The Commissioner responds by saying that Kevin Owens wishes he was still on RAW because Triple H single-handedly “gave” Owens the Universal Championship. Shane then says that, on SmackDown LIVE, Superstars have to “earn their success” before telling Owens to blame himself for not being successful. Owens responds by accusing Shane of wanting to be in the “spotlight” before Owens gets personal by asking if Shane’s “daddy” didn’t give him enough attention as a kid. Owens then says that the Commissioner “parades” his kids around for everyone to see with Shane getting in Owens’ face and telling him to never mention his kids again.
Owens continues, saying that Shane jumping off of Hell in a Cell and surviving a helicopter crash was all to try and get his father’s attention. Owens then gets really serious, telling Shane that his entire family would have been “better off” if Shane had not survived that helicopter crash! Owens continues, saying that Shane’s dad, wife, and “especially” his kids would have been better off. Having heard enough from Kevin Owens, the Commissioner would absolutely snap, attacking Kevin Owens and pummeling Owens with left and right hands, knocking Owens out of the ring and sending Owens over the announce table! Shane would then continue pummeling Kevin Owens as agents and referees rush out to try to stop him to no avail with Shane only stopping once SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan comes out to break it up, asking the Commissioner “what are you doing?!” Shane then heads to the back, being escorted by agents and referees while Daniel checks on Kevin Owens, looking disapprovingly at Shane.
Backstage, referees are helping Kevin Owens before Kevin Owens takes a seat as he is confronted by SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan. Daniel apologizes for Shane’s actions, saying that the Commissioner was “out of line”. Owens says that Shane could not help himself before telling the GM that he better enjoy his job while he can, vowing that he is going to “literally” turn SmackDown LIVE into “The Kevin Owens Show”. Owens explains that he is going to sue Shane McMahon, he is going to sue WWE, and he is going to sue “every member of the McMahon family”. Owens then vows to not only take SmackDown LIVE down, but the entire WWE as well before saying that Shane McMahon will “regret” ever putting his hands on him. Daniel then tries to reason with Owens, saying that there has to be a better way to handle the situation before Owens says that he is going to “press criminal charges” on Shane McMahon himself before Daniel walks off as the referees check on Owens.
Before she defends the SmackDown Women’s Title against former champion Naomi on next week’s special Sin City SmackDown, the opening match of the night would see SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya face “Ms. Money-in-the-Bank” Carmella, with James Ellsworth in her corner, in a non-title match. During the match, Carmella would catch Natalya with a super kick but Natalya would just manage to kick out before the three-count. However, apparently thinking the match was going to be over, James Ellsworth would get on the ring apron and would accidentally drop the Money-in-the-Bank briefcase in the ring. The referee would pick up the briefcase and Carmella was quick to tell the referee that she was not cashing in right now before snatching the briefcase away from the referee and yelling at Ellsworth for his mistake. Carmella then tosses the briefcase back to Ellsworth on the outside. Ellsworth’s accidental distraction would end up costing Carmella as Natalya would surprise Carmella with a roll-up, picking up the win.
After the match, James Ellsworth would beg for Carmella’s forgiveness as Carmella grabs a microphone, saying that Ellsworth doesn’t need to say he’s sorry because she knows he’s “sorry”. Carmella then tells Ellsworth that he is the “sorriest excuse for a human being” that she has “ever met”! Carmella continues, saying that she doesn’t need some sort of “genetic defect” like James Ellsworth to succeed, asking how James Ellsworth is even still employed. Carmella then calls Ellsworth a “charity case” before saying that Ellsworth’s mother should have “given you away at birth”! As Ellsworth continues to apologize, Carmella tells Ellsworth that he’s lucky to even be in her presence and he has stuck his “pathetic lump” where his chin is supposed to be in her business for the “last time” before telling James Ellsworth “we’re through”! With James Ellsworth crumpling in the corner in disbelief, Carmella would pick up her Money-in-the-Bank briefcase and leave the ring, having publicly humiliated James Ellsworth.
After two weeks of promising a new and improved Dolph Ziggler, Dolph was expected to make his “re-debut” on SmackDown LIVE but, instead, Dolph Ziggler came out looking exactly the same as he always does. Dolph grabs a microphone, saying that the fans don’t appreciate what he does in the ring, saying that they would rather sit on their hands unsatisfied with the “greatest performer in WWE history” right in front of them. Dolph then says that they don’t want him, they would rather have some “dumb gimmick”. Dolph then heads to the back before John Cena’s music plays with Dolph Ziggler coming out to the stage, this time wearing a John Cena hat and shilling a towel with his initials on it, yelling into the camera to “buy this”. Dolph then starts to do Cena’s run to the ring but stops himself before saying that the fans saw right through his attempt before asking the crowd if they like “nostalgia”.
Dolph then heads to the back once again before the music of the legendary “Macho Man” Randy Savage plays as Ziggler comes out wearing a robe with a beautiful woman by his side, doing his best “Macho Man” impression. Dolph then says that this isn’t working before handing the robe over to his valet and telling her that she isn’t needed. Ziggler continues this charade, telling the crowd that he knows what they “deserve” before asking for the lights to be turned off in the arena. Dolph’s impersonations then continue to get more unusual as, this time, Dolph comes out to Naomi’s music, wearing Naomi’s glow-in-the-dark dreads and a fuzzy vest before doing his best to imitate Naomi’s dancing, including the slide down the ramp. However, Dolph disrobes again before saying that this is what it’s come to, saying that “anyone” can do what he just did but “no one” can do what he does in the ring. Dolph then says that the fans could care less before saying that he doesn’t “give a damn” about them either before saying that they make him “sick”. Dolph then walks to the back, having made his point abundantly clear.
After Kevin Owens inserted himself as the Special Guest Referee for the match between Sami Zayn and Aiden English last week, hitting Sami with the Pop-Up Powerbomb to allow Aiden to get the win, Sami Zayn would get his chance at redemption as Sami would go one-on-one with Aiden English on SmackDown LIVE. During the match, Sami Zayn would miss a cross body off of the second rope and Aiden English is quick to take advantage, surprising Sami with a roll-up to pick up the win. After the match, Aiden English would look to celebrate his win with a song but a frustrated Sami Zayn would have none of it, chasing Aiden to the back.
Backstage, The New Day try to cheer up SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan before SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos enter the office. Daniel then asks The Usos to reveal their stipulation for their title defense against The New Day next week with the champions opting to defend the gold in a Sin City Street Fight on next week’s special Sin City SmackDown! Daniel then gets a phone call, asking The New Day to step out of the office before the GM talks to an unknown individual, who asks Daniel to do something in the ring with the GM trying to reason with the person before telling the person “yes, sir” and he is going to do it right now.
With no music and lacking his usual excitement, SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan would solemnly make his way to the ring. The GM then grabs a microphone, asking for Shane McMahon to come out to the ring. The SmackDown LIVE Commissioner would then make his way to the ring in a similar fashion; not having any music or any of his usual excitement. Daniel asks Shane what he was thinking with Shane admitting that things got “out of hand” before Daniel reminds Shane of an incident last year on Talking Smack where The Miz “berated” him about he would never wrestle again shortly after he retired. Daniel continues, saying that there were several times when he thought to himself, “screw WWE” and “screw this job” and that he was going to headbutt The Miz in the face but he didn’t because Shane told him that, as the General Manager, he had to put WWE, the fans, and their employees first. Daniel then says that he did what was best for this company and for this show, telling Shane that he cannot assault their employees or their Superstars, saying that they cannot run SmackDown LIVE like that. Shane admits that Daniel is right, saying that he knows that he’s put the GM in a tough spot and he takes “full responsibility” for his actions. The Commissioner then says that, when someone talks about his family the way Kevin Owens did, he goes into a “blind rage”, saying that, when someone crosses that line, there is “no coming back”.
Shane then tells Daniel that Daniel is a father now, telling the GM to imagine if the shoe was on the other foot. Daniel then explains that the entire WWE is in a lot of legal trouble right now because of Shane, saying that Kevin Owens is a “vindictive man” and that he’s worried about the jobs of everyone in the back and how they’re going to feed their families. Shane then vows that he is going to take care of this, saying he’s going to talk to Kevin Owens and get the situation smoothed over. However, Daniel tells Shane that it’s “too late for that”, revealing that the man he was talking to on the phone a few minutes ago was Shane’s father and WWE Chairman Vince McMahon! Daniel then delivers the bad news to Shane, informing the Commissioner that, effective immediately per the Chairman of the Board and the CEO of WWE Vince McMahon, Shane is “indefinitely suspended”! Emotional over having to be the bearer of bad news, Daniel Bryan would leave the ring, leaving Shane McMahon all alone in the ring as the fans say goodbye to Shane with chants of “Shane-O-Mac” and “thank you, Shane” as the Commissioner leaves the ring.
After Baron Corbin tried his best to take Tye Dillinger out of answering AJ Styles’ U.S. Open Challenge last week, “The Perfect Ten” Tye Dillinger would go one-on-one with “The Lone Wolf” Baron Corbin with United States Champion AJ Styles a guest on commentary. After catching Tye Dillinger with a shot to the throat and dropping Tye Dillinger chest-first on the ring post, Baron Corbin would connect with the End of Days, pinning Tye to pick up the win.
Backstage, United States Champion AJ Styles confronts Tye Dillinger following Tye’s loss to Baron Corbin. AJ tells Tye that Baron Corbin is a “cheap-shot artist” before giving Dillinger a tempting offer, saying that he is going to have the U.S. Open Challenge next week but it’s only going to be open to one man and that’s Tye Dillinger! AJ and Tye then shake hands, agreeing to a title rematch on next week’s Sin City SmackDown.
Backstage, James Ellsworth pleads with Carmella not to kick him to the curb with Carmella telling Ellsworth that, from now on, they’re doing things her way. Carmella then kisses James Ellsworth before slapping Ellsworth across the face and walking away, leaving Ellsworth as confused as everyone else by Carmella’s actions.
Then it was time for the main event as “The King of Strong Style” Shinsuke Nakamura would go one-on-one with thirteen-time former World Champion “The Viper” Randy Orton with the winner facing Jinder Mahal for the WWE Championship at next month’s WWE Hell in a Cell. During the match, Randy Orton would go for the RKO, but Shinsuke Nakamura is able to counter into the triangle choke with Orton managing to power out of the submission. “The Viper” would go for the RKO again, but Nakamura would counter again before connecting with the Kinshasa, pinning Randy Orton to pick up the win and earn a WWE Championship rematch against champion Jinder Mahal at WWE Hell in a Cell on October 8!
Backstage, Daniel Bryan catches up with Kevin Owens, telling Owens that Shane McMahon has been suspended so that’s the “end of this”. However, Kevin Owens tells the GM that he’s just “getting started” and, next week, he’s going to turn SmackDown LIVE into his “own personal playground” and, legally, there is nothing that Daniel Bryan or anyone else can do about it. Daniel says that there is someone that is coming to SmackDown LIVE next week to address this whole situation. Owens jokingly asks if he made Shane’s wife mad and if Shane’s wife is coming to handle it. However, the smile on Kevin Owens’ face is quickly erased when Daniel Bryan informs Kevin Owens that none other than the boss himself, WWE Chairman & CEO Mr. McMahon, is coming to Sin City SmackDown next week!
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