Before he defends the WWE Championship against Jinder Mahal this Sunday at Clash of Champions, SmackDown LIVE kicks off with WWE Champion AJ Styles. AJ says that he is a “fighting champion” so he will defend the WWE Title this Sunday, saying that Jinder Mahal will do “anything and everything” to get the WWE Title back. The champion is then interrupted by The Singh Brothers, saying that they would normally be out there to introduce Jinder Mahal but not tonight. The Singh Brothers then show Jinder Mahal’s attack on the brothers two weeks ago. AJ responds by saying that he feels sorry for The Singh Brothers, telling Samir & Sunil to “come hug it out with old Uncle Al” with the brothers reluctantly doing so. The Singh Brothers then say that the reason they are out there right now is because they want to be in AJ’s corner for his match at Clash of Champions!
Samir & Sunil then say that they’re done with Jinder Mahal, calling Jinder a “disgrace” to India and saying that Jinder can’t even tell them apart and that Jinder makes them dress the same. Smelling a rat, the WWE Champion asks why The Singh Brothers were with Jinder Mahal this past weekend in India, showing photos of the weekends WWE Live Events as proof. The Singh Brothers insist that they are really done with Jinder Mahal before “The Modern Day Maharaja” himself comes out. AJ then decides not to buy the claims of Samir & Sunil, attacking The Singh Brothers and taking the brothers out with ease. Styles then dares Jinder to get in the ring and fight him but the former champion only gets as far as the ring apron, opting to shout threats at AJ before dropping off of the ring apron. Jinder then checks on The Singh Brothers, not taking his gaze off of AJ Styles as the champion proudly holds the WWE Title belt high.
Before she defends the SmackDown Women’s Title against Natalya in a Lumberjack Match at Clash of Champions with The Riott Squad, Carmella, Tamina, & Lana surrounding the ring as lumberjacks, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair would go one-on-one The Riott Squad’s Ruby Riott, with Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan in her corner, in a non-title match with Natalya a guest on commentary in the opening match of the night. During the match, the action would spill to the outside where Charlotte Flair would take down Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan before attacking Natalya. This would lead to Natalya responding by delivering a clothesline to the champion, ending the match by disqualification. The Riott Squad would then use the numbers game to their advantage, beating the champion down as Natalya looks on with glee. The Riott Squad then look to take Charlotte out but Naomi would make the save, getting the better of The Riott Squad and dropping Ruby Riott with the Rear View before Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan pull their leader to safety. Carmella, Tamina, & Lana then attack The Riott Squad from behind on the stage, standing tall as The Riott Squad back off.
With “Glorious” Bobby Roode a guest on commentary, SmackDown LIVE would see United States Champion Baron Corbin go one-on-one with Dolph Ziggler in a non-title match five nights before he defends the prestigious title in a Triple Threat Match against both Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler at Clash of Champions. During the match, Bobby Roode would have payback on his mind for Dolph Ziggler’s actions last week as “The Glorious One” would first deliver the Glorious DDT to Dolph Ziggler, ending the match by disqualification before Roode drops Baron Corbin with a Glorious DDT as well, leaving Bobby Roode standing tall before the title match this Sunday.
Before they face Breezango at Clash of Champions this Sunday, The Bludgeon Brothers were in action on SmackDown LIVE as Harper & Rowan would face former WWE Superstar Colin Delaney and local competitor Joe Monroe in tag team action. The Bludgeon Brothers would dominate their opposition before Harper & Rowan plant Colin Delaney with the double arm-lift crucifix powerbomb with Rowan pinning Delaney to pick up another impressive victory.
As a part of their “Yep Movement” crusade against SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn would make an appearance on SmackDown LIVE five nights before they put their WWE careers on the line in a match against Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura with Shane McMahon as the Special Referee at Clash of Champions. Sami Zayn says that they “stand united” in the name of change before saying that SmackDown LIVE management took things too far last week. Kevin Owens then says that Shane McMahon is “the worst McMahon of them all” before saying that Shane is trying to make them lose their jobs because Shane failed to defend his family’s honor. Owens then declares that it’s time to “occupy SmackDown LIVE”, asking for the movement’s supporters to join Owens & Zayn in the ring. This brings out SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan as Kevin Owens points Daniel out as the “inspiration” for the “Yep Movement”.
Owens then says that they created the “Yep Movement” in honor of Daniel Bryan, saying that they are like Daniel Bryan. However, Daniel argues that they are nothing like him, saying that the “Yes Movement” was not about him, it was about the fans. Sami calls Shane a “ruthless tyrant” before Daniel says that he and Shane have an agreement to watch each other’s backs. The GM then says that he is going to make sure that their match this Sunday is “fair” and that Owens & Zayn will have the chance to prove that they belong in WWE. Daniel continues, saying that, if Owens & Zayn lose at Clash of Champions, there will be “no excuses” before saying that he doesn’t know if Shane will agree with him or not, but he’s hoping that Shane will have his back just like he always has Shane’s back. The GM then announces that he will be the second Special Referee in the tag match at Clash of Champions! Daniel then leaves the ring as Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn celebrate Daniel Bryan’s decision.
Before they defend the SmackDown Tag Team Titles against The New Day, Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin, and Rusev & Aiden English in a Fatal 4-Way Tag Match this Sunday at Clash of Champions, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos would face Rusev & Aiden English in a non-title match with The New Day guests on commentary and Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin at ringside. In the end, it was Rusev catching Jimmy Uso with the Machka Kick behind the back of the referee and Aiden English would follow this up with a snap facebuster, pinning Jimmy to pick up the win for Rusev & Aiden English.
Backstage, an interview with WWE Champion AJ Styles is interrupted by Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers as Jinder would beat AJ down, leaving the champion laid out.
Then it was time for the main event as, before Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn put their WWE careers on the line against Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura with Shane McMahon & Daniel Bryan as Special Referees at Clash of Champions, Kevin Owens, with Sami Zayn in his corner, would go one-on-one with Shinsuke Nakamura, with Randy Orton in his corner, with SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan a guest on commentary. During the match, Kevin Owens would inadvertently take out the referee and Daniel Bryan would leave the commentary position to put on the referee’s shirt and call the match himself! On the outside, Sami Zayn would take out Randy Orton as, on the inside, Shinsuke Nakamura would size Kevin Owens up for the Kinshasa.
However, Sami Zayn would get on the ring apron, distracting Nakamura long enough for Kevin Owens to capitalize as Owens hits Nakamura with the Pop-Up Powerbomb and, with Daniel Bryan counting the three, Kevin Owens picks up the win. After the match, Kevin Owens says that “nobody” is going to take their WWE careers away from them, saying that they’re the best in WWE before leading a “yep” chant as Daniel looks on, leaving a lot of questions about the GM’s agenda heading into Clash of Champions.
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