The Erick Rowan push is well underway as he was here to kick off Smackdown Live (yes you read that right). Rowan started off by saying, “don’t call me an artist, call me a creator and what I create commands respect.” This brings out Daniel Bryan, who immediately starts yelling.

Bryan, in his ring gear, tells Rowan if you want respect to fight me NOW! Rowan accepts, and we are underway.

Quick introduction this week but see where this match ranks below as I breakdown the show, starting with my favorite segment.

YES is Back!!!

Bryan tries to attack right after the bell rang, but it did not work. Rowan takes over immediately. Rowan hits Bryan with a close line, an elbow and a cross-body to wipe out Bryan.

Chants of “Daniel Bryan!” come from the crowd and it appears that the baby-face turn is well underway.

Rowan continues to dominate, and Bryan narrowly avoids the count of 10. Bryan then goes after the leg of Rowan and has begun to build some offense. After a second commercial break, Bryan got Rowan out of the ring and attempted a suicide dive, but Rowan caught him. Bryan countered before the powerbomb by running Rowan into the post. Bryan then hit a missile dropkick and then the YES kicks! YES is not dead!!!

Bryan locks in the Labell lock, but Rowan gets to the bottom rope. Harper shows up, and Bryan immediately hits him with a suicide dive. Rowan hits Bryan with two iron claws (and on the first one, Bryan’s leg got caught in the rope) and Rowan wins.

This was the right move to give Rowan the win. It’s not time yet for Bryan to go over clean, save that for a PPV and give the heel Rowan more heat from the crowd.

Harper and Rowan clear the announcer’s table, but here comes Roman Reigns. Reigns get in some moves, but Harper and Rowan are too much. Bryan then takes out Harper, and Roman hits the spear. Roman goes for a handshake, and Bryan slaps it out of the way. Not quite sure why.

Bryan then asks the fans if they want to see Bryan and Roman vs. Harper and Rowan? YES! YES! YES! Cool. That should be fun.

Honestly, not quite sure why Bryan slapped away Roman’s hand but other than that, that was fantastic. The match was outstanding, Bryan is a face again (love it, and it was time), and it sets up a tag team match for Hell In A Cell. Well done. Good start.

Shane vs. Kevin For All the Marbles:

Shane McMahon comes out to a proper introduction. McMahon says let’s get Owens out here and even plays Owens’ music. What a standup guy.

McMahon, with the legal team present, lays out two options for Owens.

  1. He takes this to court for years and just drags it out, leaving Owens without a job the whole time.
  2. Owens drops the lawsuit and is reinstated on the spot, keeps his $100,000 (no fine) and “we start with a clean slate.”

Owens tells Shane he does not belong in the locker room and that no one in there likes him. Owens also says that the lawsuit is not about money, but it is about getting Shane fired.

Owens counters with one final match to settle it. If Owens wins, Shane is gone from WWE. If Shane wins, KO stays fired and are done for good.

Owens then says there’s no catch, but let’s make this a ladder match!!!

McMahon accepts. This will probably be at Hell In A Cell, but we do not know for sure.

The Kabuki Warriors Are Here!!

FINALLY!! We get a women’s division tag team match! I honestly thought they forgot about the Kabuki Warriors. The two get a loud roar from the crowd.

Mandy Rose just gave a signed copy of the new edition of Maxim (she’s on the cover) to Corey Graves! I love it! Graves, of course, loses his mind.

Rose gets the tag and immediately takes the magazine from Graves and waves it in Kairi Sane’s face, but Sane kicks the magazine out of her hands. Asuka gets in and dominates Rose. Sane then hit a majestic In-Sane elbow, and the Kabuki Warriors pick up the win

Sonya in limited action looked good. Rose was worked over the whole match. That was interesting that the cover girl got worked over and looked weak. However, giving the Kabuki Warriors the win was the right call. I hope we see more (hard to see less I know).

Yes, this segment is a little higher than it probably should be but the Rose giving Graves the magazine was so fantastic it needed to be bumped up.

Money In The Banks!!

Carmella and Charlotte Flair take on the Boss and Hug Connection. Bayley starts off by beating up her former good friend Carmella. The announcers really put over that Bayley and Carmella used to be good friends.

Mella eventually tags in Flair who comes in strong hitting several moved including an exploder suplex. Flair locks in the Figure Four but Sasha Banks breaks it up. Carmella hits a few Superkick’s’ and gets a near fall. However, Sasha gets Carmella in the Banks statements, and Mella taps out.

The women’s undercard chases R-Truth and Carmella. In the ring, Banks and Bayley attack Flair. Becky Lynch chases Banks and Bayley out of the ring to stand tall.

This was a solid match. Carmella and Flair looked good, but the heels got a needed win. Becky wasn’t really needed at the end, but I understand it. Overall a solid segment.

At the end of the show, Sasha got her revenge though when the camera cuts backstage, and Banks attacks Lynch. Banks just brutalizes Lynch and leaves her gasping for air. That was really odd timing and seemed rushed. I’m not sure why that couldn’t have been done earlier in the show.

Shinsuke Gets The Win:

This week we get the match! Last week it was supposed to happen, but it never got started. I am Looking forward to this one.

After a few minutes, Shinsuke goes for the Kinshasa but Ali nails a Superkick. Shinsuke kicks out at 2.5. Ali then gets another near fall. Sami Zayn gets involved by pulling Shinsuke out of the ring before Ali could get to him, what a heel!

WOW! Ali then nearly snapped his neck in half when he went for the suicide dive over the referee, but Shinsuke was not in a position to catch him. Luckily Ali is okay and didn’t get hurt.

Zayn gets Ali to chase him, and Shinsuke hits Ali with the Kinshasa to pick up the win.

I really like Shinsuke. I really don’t like Zayn. I know that’s the point. I just think Shinsuke is good enough to win on his own without the help of Zayn.

Mike Kanellis’ Burial Continues: 

Chad Gable starts talking about next time he sees Baron Corbin but is interrupted by Mike Kanellis of all people. Kanellis says he is out here to prove to pregnant Maria that “size does matter.” These two are about the same height but whatever, bad joke. At least this match will be short, no pun intended.

Kanellis doesn’t get in a single move and then 15 seconds later, taps to Gable in the ankle lock. That was even shorter than even I thought.

Elias shows up on the big screen and sings a song insulting Gabel’s height. It was an entertaining song!

The New Day vs. B-Team: 

The B-Team starts off strong, getting in a reasonable amount of early offense and then starts the B-Train. Big E jumps in and takes them out. Big E and Xavier Woods hit the midnight hour for the win.

Kofi Kingston With Michael Cole

Kingston says he feels like he is at the top of his game because he has beaten guys like Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, and Kevin Owens. Cole asks another question, and Kingston basically says the same thing. He thinks he will retain his championship because he is at the top of his game.

This was nothing special at all. It was very short, and Kingston did not say much. Kingston is being respectful so far. There’s been little heat for this match so far.

This was an action-packed episode. A LOT went on during this show. I am thrilled we got to see Fire and Desire and the Kabuki Warriors, the opening match was really good, and The Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon match should be good. I am interested to see how WWE books that. Also, Daniel Bryan is a face again (YAY!!) and the Sasha-Bayley vs. Charlotte-Carmella match was solid.

However, the Kingston interview was underwhelming, and that should be the top match.

This episode was much better than last weeks. Could it have been better? Absolutely. But it was well above average.

I give this week’s Smackdown Live a 4 out of 5!

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