Date: December 5, 2017
Location: Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, CA
The Big Takeaway --
The jobs of Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will be on the line at Clash of Champions. They will be facing the team of Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura with Shane McMahon as the referee, and if they lose, they will be fired from WWE.
Shane made the announcement even after Owens and Zayn were laid out by Orton and Nakamura at the end of the show. The announcement seemed to surprise Daniel Bryan, who thought Shane might be done with this after tonight.
Show Recap --
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn came out to start the show. The director included a shot of the side of the arena that has very few people sitting in it. Owens welcomed us to the Sami & Kevin Show, and Zayn welcomed us to the Kevin & Sami Show. They received pretty good heat and “You suck” chants.
Owens and Zayn talked about what it’s like being on the wrong side of a McMahon family vendetta--just ask Daniel Bryan, Bret Hart or Steve Austin. Owens and Zayn said they were better than those guys and now they’re the latest targets of a McMahon.
Owens said Shane McMahon sent Randy Orton after him, the same way Stephanie McMahon deployed Orton onto others. Owens said Orton has been handed everything, whereas he and Zayn have had to work for everything. Owens knew he had to take out Orton and said they outsmarted Shane.
Zayn then gave everyone a presentation, showing them the difference between being in the ring and at ringside. He pointed out the terrible announce team and the ring announcer whose name he doesn’t know. Then he skipped onto the ramp and let everyone know that was not ringside, and that’s where he attacked Orton.
Zayn said they won last week by playing within the system. As Zayn and Owens bragged, the crowd buzzed as Orton showed up suddenly and gave Owens an RKO.
Shane McMahon entered to make a match for Clash of Champions. Zayn and Owens will face Orton and a partner of his choosing. Shane also put Zayn in a match with Orton tonight and Owens would be handcuffed to the ring rope.
Backstage, Owens complained that he couldn’t turn his neck and said he didn’t hear anything after the RKO. Zayn told him he had a match with Orton. Owens was fine with this until Zayn informed him that he would be handcuffed to the ring. Owens marched off to find Daniel Bryan.
Rusev & Aiden English defeated Big E & Kofi Kingston (w/Xavier Woods) (9:24)
Before the match, English proclaimed that every day was Rusev Day and the crowd chanted “Rusev Day.” Rusev and English were delighted. English began signing the Twelve Days of Rusev but they were interrupted by New Day.
Rusev tripped Kingston off the top rope as he attempted a springboard move and hit a superkick to the back of the head for the win. A perfectly fine match. The crowd chanted “Rusev Day” after the match, although it was mostly drowned out by the music.
Mojo Rawley told Renee Young that everyone has been asking about what he did to Zack Ryder, including his pal Rob Gronkowski. But Rawley brought up what Ryder has done to him. After Ryder got hurt, Rawley went out on his own and won the Andre the Giant battle royal, but just as things were going well for him, Ryder returned to drag him down. Rawley called Ryder deadweight and said he was nobody’s tag partner. He told everyone to shove it.
The tag title match at Clash of Champions will now be a fourway with the Usos defending against Gable & Benjamin, New Day and Rusev & English. The announcers said four guys would be in the ring at once.
Backstage, Carmella, Lana and Tamina were in Bryan’s office. Carmella said she rid the world of James Ellsworth and deserved a title match for that. Lana wondered why Natalya was getting a title shot after she bailed on her match last week. Bryan said Carmella could be added to the match if she used her briefcase, but she didn’t want to cash in using “Franky” just yet.
The Riott Squad showed up and Ruby wanted to know why she’s not in the title match after she pinned Charlotte. She wondered if it’s because of her tattoos and doesn’t fit in with his Bella army. Liv Morgan accused him of discriminating against blondes and Sarah Logan accused him of being prejudice against the south.
The two sides started yelling at each other until Bryan yelled, “stop it” at the top of his lungs. He then huffed and puffed and made them lumberjacks for the title match at Clash of Champions.
Elsewhere, Baron Corbin approached Bobby Roode and wondered what he thought of Dolph Ziggler being added to their title match considering he doesn’t deserve a shot. Roode said he could beat Corbin one-on-one, and didn’t really like Ziggler being added to the match either.
Ziggler happened to be nearby and showed up behind them. Ziggler ran down his accolades, including cashing in his Money in the Bank contract successfully (unlike Corbin). He said they needed him in that match (because the performance is more important than the title) and their odds of winning just dropped to zero.
Ziggler looked like retired Shawn Michaels here. It was mostly his camo baseball cap. And his hair. And beard and tan. To be fair to Ziggler, he came off better here than the other two.
Bludgeon Brothers defeated Adam James & Josh Carr (1:01)
Harper and Rowan beat two jobbers in a minute with a double chokeslam.
Owens let Zayn know he spoke to Bryan and all Bryan said was that he would think about it. They weren’t sure if this was a good thing or not.
Non-title match: Bobby Roode defeated U.S. Champion Baron Corbin via DQ (3:26)
Three minutes into the match, Ziggler (who was on commentary) decided to jump in the ring after Roode and Corbin collided with clotheslines. Ziggler gave Roode a Zig-Zag and the referee called for the bell. Ziggler than gave one to Corbin.
Backstage, Natalya was excited that Carmella, Lana and Tamina would be at ringside for her title match. Carmella reminded her that they were lumberjacks. Natalya said she would have Tamina’s back tonight against Charlotte and basically wondered if they would do the same for her at Clash of Champions. They weren’t biting. She took a shot at the Riott Squad when, what do you know, they showed up behind her. She sucked up to them before scrambling off.
They aired a video package for AJ Styles vs. Jinder Mahal. Tom Phillips wondered if the Singh brothers would be at ringside.
Non-title match: Women’s champion Charlotte Flair defeated Tamina (w/Lana, Carmella & Natalya) (6:42)
Nobody got an entrance. Charlotte won with the Figure Eight. Tamina tapped before Charlotte fully transitioned from the Figure Four to Figure Eight.
Natalya warned Charlotte of what’s to come when they were interrupted by the Riott Squad. Ruby agreed with Natalya that Charlotte should get a preview of Clash of Champions, but they wanted to do it themselves. Tamina attacked Logan and they brawled briefly before being separated by their respective teams. Charlotte posed with her title on the ramp. This was weak.
Owens and Zayn approached Bryan backstage. Bryan considered their complaint but he agreed with Shane and three security guys showed up with handcuffs for Owens. After a break, Owens and Zayn continued to plead with Bryan, this time at ringside. Bryan told Owens he would be suspended if he didn’t do this, so Owens caved.
Randy Orton defeated Sami Zayn (11:37)
Last week was just the second ever singles match between Orton and Owens, and that appears to be the case again this week with Orton and Zayn.
As Zayn had the heat on Orton, he grabbed bolt cutters from under the ring and tried to free Owens, but Orton stopped him. Orton also slammed Owens into the ringpost for fun. The referee kicked away the bolt cutters, but it was hard not to notice that he just kicked it towards the corner of the ring right where Owens was.
Orton hit a great superplex on Zayn as Owens used the bolt cutters to free himself from the cuffs. He was immediately clotheslined by Orton, then Orton gave Zayn a draping DDT. Owens distracted Orton allowing Zayn to use a schoolboy for a nearfall. Orton then dodged a Helluva kick and used a schoolboy of his own for the win.
Owens and Zayn jumped Orton afterwards. Shinsuke Nakamura ran out to make the save, hitting kicks to both Owens and Zayn. He leveled Owens with a Kinshasa, then Orton gave Zayn an RKO. Orton and Nakamura nodded at each other and shook hands.
After a few replays, Nakamura picked up Owens and Orton gave him an RKO. Then Orton picked up Zayn and Nakamura gave him a Kinshasa. The crowd sang along to Nakamura’s music.
They cut backstage and Shane called this a satisfying ending. Bryan wondered if this meant he was done punishing them. Shane said no. He was making himself the referee in the tag match at Clash of Champions, and if Owens and Zayn lost, they’d be fired from all of WWE, not just Smackdown. Shane left and Bryan just stared at him.
This was a fun ending to an otherwise dull show.