Date: August 15, 2017
Location: Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, RI
The Big Takeaway --
Baron Corbin cashed in his Money in the Bank contract and lost. John Cena had Jinder Mahal beat in their main event match when Corbin ran in for the DQ. Corbin cashed in on the vulnerable champion but was distracted by Cena and Mahal beat him in seconds with a schoolboy. It was an eventful finish, to say the least.
Show Recap --
They’re pushing the John Cena vs. Jinder Mahal main event pretty hard. JBL said it’s one of the biggest main events in SmackDown history. Tom Phillips also mentioned that today is Independence Day in India.
The Singh Brothers introduced Jinder Mahal. The ring is dressed up for Mahal and India’s Independence Day. Tons of crowd heat. Mahal said these fans had nothing to celebrate, but we can instead celebrate Independence Day for India, the greatest nation in the world. Some dancers performed and they had a woman sing their national anthem as the crowd booed.
She performed the entire anthem uninterrupted and they started dancing again as people booed. Mahal said he expected this reaction and told the fans to expect him to beat John Cena tonight. Mahal claimed he was the reason people from all over the world subscribed to the Network and would destroy Cena worse than Shinsuke Nakamura ever could. He said he would beat Nakamura at SummerSlam.
Nakamura interrupted and got a huge reaction. Nakamura said today was India’s Independence Day, but in Japan, today is a day where they honour those who have fallen in war and pray for peace. He said SummerSlam would be the day Mahal would lose the title and the crowd chanted “Yes.”
Tom Phillips said Ric Flair is resting comfortably but is still in critical condition. All three announcers wished him a speedy recovery.
Natalya defeated Becky Lynch (7:32)
During Lynch’s entrance, they showed three fans standing and cheering for her and they were all wearing Bullet Club shirts. Just as the match was about to start, Naomi entered to join commentary. Lynch hit Natalya with a baseball slide and they went to commercial 75 seconds into the match.
Natalya won clean with the Sharpshooter after Lynch missed a diving leg drop off the top. Good while it lasted. The crowd liked Lynch.
Afterwards, Natalya attacked Lynch and put her in the Sharpshooter again. Naomi jumped in the ring and scared her off. Carmella and James Ellsworth came out. Carmella wished Natalya and Naomi luck on Sunday. Ellsworth pointed at the MITB briefcase and said whoever won on Sunday would lose.
Phillips called Cena vs. Mahal “arguably the most significant main event in SmackDown history.” Pardon me?
Tamina confronted Lana backstage, wondering why she doesn’t have a match tonight. Tamina thought Lana would use her ravishing ambition to get her a match. Lana said Tamina wasn’t ready and people don’t fear her, but if Tamina listens to her, they will. Lana said Tamina could become a destructive force ready to “crush.” This was lame.
The Usos approached Daniel Bryan. Bryan asked if they wanted him as the third member of their rap group. One Uso said yes, the other said no. They wanted to know which members of New Day they were facing at SummerSlam and Bryan said it would be Big E and Xavier Woods. Usos were fine with that but wanted a match with Kofi Kingston and Woods tonight because of what happened last week. Bryan said he would hook them up. Usos went to fist bump him and he grabbed their fists to shake them. This was funny.
Chad Gable defeated Rusev via countout (1:12)
Gable hit an overhead belly-to-belly which got a round of applause. Rusev responded by launching Gable into the steel steps. The referee was counting them out but Rusev ignored and it and tossed Gable over the announce table. The ref called for the bell at the same time, so it could’ve been a DQ, but they didn’t announce anything.
Rusev put Gable in the Accolade on the announce table as the crowd chanted for Randy Orton. Rusev grabbed the mic and spoke one word when Orton suddenly appeared and nailed an RKO. This got a big reaction.
The announcers plugged the Network and I thought Phillips’ head might burst as he loudly listed the reasons to sign up.They also announced that SummerSlam would return to Brooklyn for the fourth straight year in 2018.
AJ Styles came out to a big reaction. He called out Shane McMahon. Shane came out, also to a good reaction, and told Styles he did not need to apologize. Shane said he was made referee because he could take a hit and keep going. Styles told him that the Pele kick last week was an accident.
Despite what Shane just said, Styles asked him if he would use this as an excuse to screw him over. Shane said no, last week was just an accident. Shane did say that if Styles put his hands on him, Shane would do the same. Styles asked if this was a threat. Shane said no. He paused and it seemed like something was up as sweat poured down Shane’s face. Turns out, they were late playing Kevin Owens’ music.
Owens came out. Owens wondered why Styles was getting so upset. He liked that Shane would hit Styles back if something happened and now Styles can’t get himself disqualified. However, Owens did want to mention that if he hit Shane on Sunday, it would just be an accident. Owens said he would win the title back and went to shake Shane’s hand.
Shane said that wouldn’t be appropriate, but said he should shake Styles’ hand instead. Owens offered his hand but Styles didn’t shake it. Owens shoved him. Styles went to punch Owens but he ducked and Styles almost clocked Shane. Shane blocked it, though, and they got into an argument. Owens tried to superkick Styles, but Styles ducked and he nailed Shane. Owens bailed and the crowd loudly chanted for Styles. These guys are all good performers, but this all felt like a very forced set up just to do the spot at the end.
Non-title match: The Usos defeated Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (w/Big E) (7:27)
New Day cut a promo before the match. Big E said defeating the Usos at SummerSlam would be a “breeze.” Kingston made sure to make a reference to the New England Patriots.
An Uso pushed Woods off the top and both Usos hit superkicks to Kingston for the pinfall win. Like the women’s match earlier, this was pretty good but short.
They plugged Akira Tozawa’s championship celebration on 205 Live. The SmackDown announcers put over how great his Raw match was.
There’s a picture of fake Razor Ramon and Diesel with “Doppelganger???” written on it. Fandango spoke to someone on the phone and mentioned he was probed by aliens--mentally probed. Tyler Breeze showed up in a blonde wig and tight red shirt and Fandango referred to him as Diana. Breeze said they need to focus on the case before people start to think they’re just making this up as they go along, and they both looked away awkwardly.
Fandango pulled out a rock (“a rock from space, also known as a space rock”) that was left in his back “pocket” when he was (mentally) probed and said it would help them find their attackers. He threw the rock and it hit the Ascension. Konnor and Viktor showed up to return the pie from last week because it was terrible. Fandango sifted through the pie and found a note that read “Two B.” Fandango considered what this meant as they faded to black. A graphic popped up letting us know Breezango would return in 25 years, then it changed to read 2 weeks.
Non-title match: John Cena defeated WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (9:59)
Phillips referred to Cena as a free agent. Cena made his usual comeback after a commercial break, but after the fistdrop, the Singhs pulled Mahal out of the ring. Cena chased Mahal back into the ring but the Singhs grabbed Cena by the leg, allowing Mahal to knock him down. The referee noticed this and tossed the Singhs from ringside. Mahal was distracted so Cena applied the STF but Mahal got a rope break.
Mahal slipped out of an AA attempted, dropped Cena on the top rope and hit a high knee. Cena countered the Khallas and hit the AA but Mahal kicked out. Cena then hit an AA off the middle rope and had the match won but Baron Corbin ran in and broke up the cover for the DQ. Corbin nailed Cena with the briefcase as the crowd buzzed thinking he might cash in.
Corbin began walking away and the crowd booed. Corbin then turned around, walked to the ring and handed in his briefcase. The crowd popped as they announced he was cashing in.
WWE Championship match: Jinder Mahal defeated Baron Corbin (0:06)
The bell rang, Corbin punched Cena off the apron, and Mahal applied a schoolboy for the win in seconds. They made it clear that the cash-in counted. Corbin was pissed. He ripped off his shirt and tossed stuff around ringside.
Final Thoughts --
You could argue they wasted the Money in the Bank contract but it was a mistake putting it on Corbin in the first place, and would’ve been an even bigger mistake to put the title on him. This got them out of that situation and made for an entertaining and unique segment.
My only complaint is I always wanted to see a heel cash in spontaneously and fail, but to a top babyface (like Nakamura). But this put heat on Corbin’s match with Cena at SummerSlam and played into the story that Mahal has been able to escape with his title in every situation.