The Sept 12th edition of WWE SmackDown airs live on the USA Network from the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, featuring all the latest build to the upcoming Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV) next month in Detroit.
Advertised for tonight: Vince McMahon is back, three huge title matches, and more!
The show opens up with a video package recapping the brawl between Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens from last week and its fallout, including Shane’s indefinite suspension, which ultimately led to the return of Mr. McMahon this week.
We are welcomed to the show by Tom Phillips.
Kevin Owens makes his way down to the ring. He gets on the mic and welcomes us to the Kevin Owens Show, and says that we should all better get used to him saying that, because we all saw Shane’s “cowardly and brutal” attack. He points out that he didn’t fight back, and he chose not to, because he respects authority, and McMahon was a figure of authority who attacked him.
Which is why he’s now suing everyone in WWE, from the board members to the McMahons to everyone who’s anyone, until Smackdown is no more, and from then on it will be Kevin Owens presents the Kevin Owens Show starring Kevin Owens. He’s going to make a few changes, a few improvements, including firing some folks, like Sami Zayn. Gone!
He continues by saying Tom Phillips and Byron Saxton aren’t going anywhere, but they’ll have to wear the same suit. And he doesn’t mean matching suits, he means they’ll wear one suit, because they sound the same and they might as well be the same person. The Fashion Files? Cancelled forever! But before he carries on telling us how he’s going to make it better, there’s one person he needs to talk to, and he calls Mr. McMahon down.
Shane’s music starts playing and Owens is furious, but it’s actually Dolph Ziggler. Owens says Dolph is actually talented, which rules Shane right out, and Ziggler apologizes, saying he was just trying out a new entrance and it’s gonna go in the maybe pile, since it didn’t really work out. Owens thanks him and sends him on his way before carrying on.
Daniel Bryan makes his way down to the ring. He takes the atmosphere in for a second before saying he hates to break it to Owens, but he doesn’t run the show. He’s happy he’s having a good time, but the fun and games will be over soon, and Owens says he’s happy he’s happy and once he takes over, he has big plans for Bryan as the janitor on the Kevin Owens Show.
Bryan says he’s not opposed to a little hard work and manual labor and Owens should probably try it, but just wait, because Mr. McMahon is gonna be here very soon and Owens isn’t gonna like what he has to say. Owens fires back that Vince isn’t going to like what Owens has to say and he takes leave.
Commentary hypes up our three huge title matches for tonight, with The United States Championship coming right up after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, commentary talks about the recent natural disasters and points out how we can donate to help out the victims of these disasters.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Tye Dillinger: The United States Championship is on the line in this one. Dillinger hits a neck-breaker on AJ early on, and AJ fires back with a dropkick. They fight out onto the apron where Tye throws AJ into the ring post. Dillinger takes Styles back in the ring and lays in some chops to the chest in the corner. Tye hits a back-breaker and just gets a two count, then Tye drops some knees on AJ and applies a chin lock. Tye mounts AJ in the corner for ten punches, but AJ reverses into a power-bomb in the middle of the ring. AJ follows up with some elbows and Tye answers with a big boot. AJ misses a Pele kick, but he connects with a clothesline and both men are down. AJ hits another elbow to the face of Tye and the challenger is down. Baron Corbin runs in and gets on the apron, so AJ hits the Phenomenal Forearm on him to knock Corbin down to the floor. Tye rolls up Styles from behind off the distraction for a two count. Tye follows up with a Tyebreaker for another two count. Tye goes to pick up AJ, but AJ grabs him and puts him in the Calf Crusher for the win via submission. Winner and Still United States Champion: AJ Styles
After the match, AJ Styles holds up his United States Title and shakes hands with Tye. But before AJ can leave, Corbin grabs him and throws him into the fan barricade. Corbin then clotheslines Tye and continues to beat down AJ. Corbin hits the End of Days on Styles on the ringside floor, then Corbin tells Styles that next week he’s going to face AJ in his United States Title Open Challenge.
We head backstage where Rusev is being interviewed about his recent return to Bulgaria. He says that he suffered the biggest embarrassment of his career when Randy Orton beat him in under ten seconds at SummerSlam. So he needed the time to recharge, but his family and his people looked at him with shame and embarrassment, expecting a winner but getting a loser.
Rusev continues by saying that he is not a loser and he lost his killer instinct but he knows what he has to do to get it back, he has to break a legend.
We head backstage where we see Jinder Mahal and The Singh Brothers walking and that sends us to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, The Singh Brothers comes out to the stage first and gives Jinder Mahal his usual big introduction.
Jinder Mahal gets on the mic and begins talking about Shinsuke Nakamura, putting over his charisma and energy as like nothing that has ever been seen in WWE before. Mahal continues by saying that his preparation is not just physical, but mental, trying to get in Nakamura’s head. They put a picture of Shinsuke mid-pose and The Singhs fall over laughing as Jinder says what he sees there is constipation.
Mahal says he looks like he is going to sculpt a masterpiece but forgot the most important phrase in English, which is “Where is the bathroom?” They put another picture and this one is described as Shinsuke listening to Michael Jackson and thinking about what to rip off next, which leads to The Singhs trying Nakamura’s hanging off the ropes pose and failing horribly.
They put one more picture, Mahal describes this one as his reaction to somebody yelling Godzilla! Mahal asks the crowd if they are really laughing at what he is saying before saying that it is the American way, anything he has said, these people have thought, and Shinsuke doesn’t want the title because people will treat him the same way they’ve treated Jinder, chanting USA! when he tries to speak, telling him his eyes, skin and hair are different, that he looks like Pikachu having a seizure.
Jinder tells Nakamura that it’s not worth it and he should just walk away. He then addresses his people in his language of Punjabi.
We head backstage where Kevin Owens is talking to a crew member about his changes, including a new intro video, a new entrance for himself, a private jet for him and his family, separate limos, and he peels off, walking over to Sami Zayn, who happens to be standing nearby. Owens asks Sami how he’s doing, saying he’s great and asking if he remembers about seven years ago they were driving in a blizzard through Ohio.
They had just wrestled in an armory in front of like 42 people and promised each other they would do anything to get to WWE so they would never have to do it again. And Owens is about to own the biggest company in sports entertainment, and Zayn is about to get out of a job. Owens just wanted to tell him that he has permission to break that promise when the armories start calling again.
Sami says he would rather go back to wrestling in armories than ever work for Owens.
Commentary hypes up our tag team title match and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, Big E does his usual New Day catch phrase and The New Day make their way down to the ring.
The Usos (c) vs. The New Day: The Smackdown Tag Team Titles are on the line in this one, and The New Day will be represented by Big E and Kofi. This one is under Street Fight rules. The two teams brawl around ringside and The Usos take control after driving The New Day members into the ring posts. The Usos then double team Big E and one of The Usos super-kicks a steel chair into Big E’s face. They work on Kofi at ringside, then grab a Kendo stick and go back to work on Big E in the ring with the stick. Kofi runs in and DDTs Jimmy Uso then dropkicks Jey. Kofi grabs the Kendo stick and tees off on The Usos. Kofi dumps Jimmy out to ringside then dropkicks a chair into Jey for a two count. Kofi throws Jey out to ringside, then he throws the steel chair at Jimmy. Kofi goes for a suicide dive onto The Usos, but they catch him and throw him into the fan barricade.
Big E grabs one of The Usos and hits a belly to belly overhead suplex, then he slams the other one into the announce table. Back in the ring, Big E hits a suplex on Jey then a suplex on Jimmy. He hits the big splash on both Usos, then he goes for the Big Ending but Jey escapes. Big E clotheslines Jey outside, then Jimmy super-kicks Big E. Big E comes right back with the Big Ending on Jimmy, but Jey breaks up the pin. Jey delivers two kicks to Big E, then The Usos double super-kick Big E. The Usos both go up top for the double splash, but Kofi knocks Jey off the top through a table at ringside. Jimmy hops down and runs at Kofi but Kofi kicks him in the head. Big E grabs Jimmy and Kofi goes up top and they hit the Midnight Hour for the win via pinfall. Winners and New Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions: The New Day
After the match, The New Day are handed The Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships and they celebrate their championship victory in the ring.
We head backstage where we see Daniel Bryan talking to a member of the crew in advance of Mr. McMahon’s arrival.
Commentary hypes up our women’s championship match for later and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, we get a recap of the Mae Young Classic Finals Red Carpet and a little hype for the finals that will happen immediately after Smackdown Live. A YouTube influencer is shown in the crowd, followed by Ronda Rousey who is shown sitting at ringside.
Carmella is at the commentary desk for the next match which is for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship and next to her is James Ellsworth who is chained and collared.
Natalya (c) vs. Naomi: The Smackdown Live Women’s Title is on the line in this one. After some back and forth mat wrestling in the opening moments, Naomi hits some kicks and a slap to the face. Natalya turns the tides and stomps a mud hole in Naomi in the corner, then puts her in a chin lock to slow down the pace of the match. Naomi fights her way up and hits some leg kicks then a hurricanrana. More kicks by Naomi then she slingshots over the top rope for a leg drop on Natalya. Naomi misses a moonsault and Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter. Naomi fights out and dumps Natalya out to ringside. Carmella and Naomi get in a shoving match, then Naomi hits a suicide dive onto Carmella and Ellsworth. Natalya takes advantage of the distraction and throws Naomi into the ring post. Back in the ring, Natalya locks the Sharpshooter in on Naomi for the win via submission. Winner and Still The Smackdown Live Women’s Champion: Natalya
After the match, Natalya celebrates with the title on the ramp as Naomi sits in the ring contemplating her loss.
We head backstage where Aiden English is singing some opera when Kevin Owens enters and English stops. Owens tells him not to stop on his account because unlike everyone else he enjoys his beautiful voice, and actually he’s going to need somebody to sing the new theme for the Kevin Owens Show. English has a song worked out and demos it for Owens, who is very much into it.
Commentary hypes us up that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon is on his way to Smackdown right now and he will make his way down to the ring later and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, Dolph Ziggler makes his way down to the ring.
Ziggler says that last week he came out to show us that these so-called elaborate entrances are only done by wannabe supposed superstars who couldn’t lace his boots. He says he’s the greatest in-ring performer in WWE history and he shouldn’t need an elaborate entrance to look like a star, but that’s the association people have, so fine.
Ziggler heads to the back and comes out again, doing Bayley’s entrance. Of course, he stops short and takes all the gear off and slaps the tube men down, asking if that’s superficial and saccharine enough for us. Ziggler continues and says that the sad reality is at some point the bell has to ring and the performer has to be able to compete. Which reminds him, the biggest waste of them all, a superstar who couldn’t hold a candle to his athletic ability but we all idolized him.
Ultimate Warrior’s music plays and Dolph comes running down doing the full entrance, running the ropes and shaking them and everything. Ziggler takes the mask and the paint off and gets back on the mic, talking again about this being what the crowd thinks makes a star. Ziggler continues by saying that anyone can do what he just did, he says, anyone, but no one can do what he does in this ring and each and every one of us couldn’t care less, so he couldn’t care less about us.
We head backstage where we see Daniel Bryan on the phone and we go to a commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, we are just in time for the entrances for the next match which is a tag team match.
Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. The Hype Bros: Gable gets Mojo in a hammerlock to start then immediately tags in Shelton. Shelton takes down Mojo, then the two trade elbows to the face. Shelton hits a spinning heel kick to the face then Mojo tags in Ryder. Ryder hits a facebuster for a two count, then Mojo runs in but Gable throws him into the ring post. Ryder throws Gable outside, then Ryder hits a missile dropkick on Shelton. Shelton comes back with a spine-buster on Ryder, then he and Gable hit a double team powerbomb/ inverted bulldog combination for the win. Winners: Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
After the match, Mojo shakes their hands but Ryder doesn’t and he walks away.
We head backstage where we see Mr. McMahon talking to Daniel Bryan in the parking area. McMahon starts strutting towards the ring, and he will be out next after the commercial break.
Back from the commercial break, Kevin Owens makes his way down to the ring once again and looks up at the stage waiting for the arrival of Mr. McMahon.
Vince McMahon’s music hits and The WWE Chairman and CEO struts his way down to the ring. Mr. McMahon steps into the ring and receives a warm reception from the crowd. Before Vince says anything, Owens says that this is a first for him, standing in the ring with Mr. McMahon. Owens says that Vince McMahon is intimidated by him, but Vince says he’s not intimidated he’s more like nauseated. Vince says that last week Owens disparaged the McMahon name, so Shane jumped him. Vince says Owens didn’t fight back because he couldn’t, because Shane was beating his ass. Vince asks Owens how he has any respect for himself when he looks in the mirror, and mocks Owens for wanting to sue instead of fighting back. Vince says Owens thinks he has the upper hand, but as soon as Owens files the lawsuit Vince is going to immediately call Owens’ attorney and say “Kevin Owens, you’re fired!”
Vince tells Owens to go ahead and file his lawsuit, because he’s undefeated in court. Vince says the laws of this land are written for people like him, because he’s a billionaire. Vince says by the time the lawsuit gets to court years and years from now, Owens will be bankrupt and Vince won’t. Vince tells Owens to go ahead and file his lawsuit and see what happens. Owens complains to Vince that his son Shane put his hands on him, and Vince says he gets it which is why he suspended Shane. But Vince says he really suspended Shane for not finishing the job against Owens. Vince says he wanted Shane to kick Owens ass so badly that his bowels spill out onto the floor. Vince says Owens got what he deserved, and he’s going to reinstate Shane. Vince says there isn’t going to be a lawsuit, but there is going to be a match. That match will be Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon in a Hell in A Cell match. Owens says he wants Vince to promise that he won’t get fired for beating a McMahon senseless if provoked. Vince gives Owens his word, and shakes hands with Owens. They exchange some words off-mic, then Owens head-butts Vince. Vince is down and he’s bleeding from the forehead. Owens gets on the mic and says Vince just gave him his word that he can beat a McMahon senseless. Vince gets up and charges at Owens but Owens drops him with a right hand. Owens kicks Vince while he’s down, and a couple of referees come out to help.
McMahon slowly gets back up to his feet, so Owens super-kicks him. Owens throws the referees away and drags McMahon into the middle of the ring. Owens goes up top for a frog-splash, but Joey Mercury comes out and jumps in front of Vince. Joey tells at Owens not to do it. Owens comes flying off the top, Joey moves and Owens hits the frog-splash on Vince. Owens leaves the ring as Mercury and a medic check on Vince. Stephanie McMahon comes out and yells at Owens then goes to check on Vince. Vince declines to get on the stretcher as Joey Mercury, Stephanie, and some referees and trainers help walk Vince to the back. Vince has his hands on his ribs and still declines the stretcher as Smackdown goes off the air.