Welcome to SmackDown Live, where we have a huge main event.

A huge first-time-ever battle between Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura will determine the next challenger for Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship tonight on SmackDown. Orton hasn’t been in the title picture since his last match with Mahal ended with the shocking return of The Great Khali, who prevented him from escaping the Punjabi Prison. Nakamura’s on the other hand, challenged Jinder at SummerSlam but was foiled by The Singh Brothers, who distracted The King of Strong Style, giving Mahal the opening he needed to retain the championship. Last week on SmackDown, Orton laid-out Nakamura with an RKO, sending a clear message: I want to be the Champion and you’re in my way. This could be a special main event.

Kevin Owens is a man with a screw loose as of late. Owens is convinced that Shane McMahon and WWE referee’s are out to get him. KO tried to prove his point last week by forcing the referee for the match between Sami Zayn and Aiden English’s match to give him his jersey. Owens then laid-out Zayn with a Pop-up Powerbomb and counted the pinfall for English – a decision that McMahon later overturned. It seems Shane and Owens are on a collision course that could see them collide at Hell In A Cell…perhaps even inside of one.

Elsewhere on tonight’s show, Miss Money In The Bank, Carmella, gets an opportunity to send a message to the WWE Women’s Champion, Natalya, by beating her one-on-one. Should Carmella defeat Natalya, there’s nothing stopping her from cashing-in and having a title match immediately afterwards. Especially if Ellsworth is lurking in her corner to help out. Will Carmella be able to defeat the Champ, or will Natalya prove that Ms. Money in the Bank isn’t ready to hold the Title?

In a rather odd bit of housekeeping, Corey Graves has taken over from JBL as SmackDown colour commentator. JBL gave-up his on-screen role to continue his work outside of WWE of helping under-privileged children. A noble deed it seems, although rumour has it he left due to the pressure he felt a few months ago from fans calling him a bully. Regardless, JBL seemingly does do great work with kids and I hope he gets to help many more, and Graves is the best commentator in WWE right now, so having him on SmackDown Live is only a plus.

That’s the preview for tonight’s show, remember to join in the conversation on our Ringside Talk app, which you can grab for free on the App Store or Google Play Store. Enjoy the show!

SmackDown Live opens with a recap of last week’s main event and hype for tonight’s showdown between Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura.

We go live to the arena and Tom Phillips explains why JBL is no longer on the commentary team and welcomes Corey Graves to the table.

We see Randy Orton backstage in what looks like a boiler room. Orton says he has watched more stars rise and burn than he can count. Shinsuke Nakamura is definitely a star but he too can burn. He says he hit Nakamura with an RKO last week to remind him that all it takes is one second. No-one will stop him from taking the title from Jinder Mahal. No-one rises higher than The Viper.

We see Shinsuke Nakamura backstage, in the dressing room shadow boxing. Nakamura says that everyone knows the legend of Randy Orton but he is chasing his own destiny. Nothing will stop him from becoming the next WWE Champion and the pain he inflicts on The Viper will be felt throughout the world.

James Ellsworth and Carmella are in the ring and just as Ellsworth starts to introduce his lady-friend, out comes Kevin Owens. KO walks to the ring and says that he will be the guest referee for Carmella’s match with Natalya up next. However, Shane McMahon makes his way down to the ring. McMahon says he came down here to nip this in the bud, he says KO can’t just make himself a referee. Shane says he has been very patient but Owens has been defiant and they need to make something clear: “you need to stop blaming me for your losses”.

Shane recounts the times when Kevin competed for the United States Championship and lost, only to then blame him. Owens says that Shane interfered in all of those matches and cost him the title. Owens says he knows Shane doesn’t want him on SmackDown Live and he doesn’t want to be here either, he wishes he was still on Raw. Shane says that doesn’t surprise him because on Raw, Triple H literally handed him the title. Shane then tells Owens to stop blaming him for his shortcomings.

Owens says of course he has everything to do with it. Owens says that Shane puts himself in all situations on SmackDown, seemingly to prove himself to his Daddy. Owens mocks Shane, saying he jumps off of the cell etc, in order to prove himself to Vince. KO says that’s the only reason Shane brought his kids to WrestleMania and Shane tells him to never mention his kids again. Owens carries on and says that Shane even survived a helicopter crash but the McMahon Family would be better off if he hadn’t! KO then says especially Shane’s kids…

Shane beats Owens down until he rolls from the ring. Shane chases him out and almost falls but recovers well and tackles Owens over the announce table. Shane beats KO down on the ground until officials and Daniel Bryan come down and stop him. Shane walks off looking like he regrets that. Well, SmackDown Live is off to a fiery start!

*Commercial Break*

We return to SDLive and get a replay of what just happened. We see referee’s helping Owens to the back but he can barely walk. Daniel Bryan appears and apologises to Owens and says Shane was out of line. Owens says that of course he did, he can’t help himself. Owens says that SmackDown will literally become the Kevin Owens show because he is going to sue Shane, sue WWE, sue the McMahon Family, and take them all down. He is going to destroy WWE. Bryan tells him there is a better way to do this and Owens agrees, saying he will charge criminal offences to Shane himself.

Natalya makes her way to the ring to face Carmella, who is still thee following the brawl. Next week, Natalya will face Naomi for the Women’s Championship, live from Las Vegas!

Carmella W/James Ellsworth Vs. Natalya

The bell rings and Natalya begins with a side headlock takedown on Carmella. Carmella with a spinning head scissors takedown and follows it up with a dropkick for a two count. Natalya with a big slap. Carmella slaps her right back but then eats a discus clothesline. Carmella bails to the outside as Natalya tries brawling with her.

*Commercial Break*

Carmella avoids a Sharpshooter attempt back live. Natalya tosses Carmella to the corner. Carmella fires back with a superkick. Ellsworth accidentally throws the Money in the Bank briefcase inside the ring. Carmella yells at Ellsworth that she doesn’t want to cash in the briefcase right now. Natalya rolls up Carmella and gets the pinfall.

Winner: Natalya

After the match, we see James Ellsworth accidentally dropped the briefcase inside the ring when he jumped up on the ring apron to distract Natalya. Back live, Carmella grabs a mic and Ellsworth is apologizing to her. She says he doesn’t have to apologize. Carmella says Ellsworth is the sorriest excuse for a human being she’s ever met. She says he isn’t even a human. Carmella calls him a genetic defect. She doesn’t understand why he is still employed. Carmella calls Ellsworth a charity case and that his mother should have given him away at birth. She calls him lucky to even be in here. Carmella says they are done.

Dolph Ziggler re-debuts next, apparently.

*Commercial Break*

Dolph Ziggler and we get the usual music and look. Ziggler grabs a mic and says the entire WWE Universe has no appreciation for what he can do in the ring. He calls himself the greatest performer in WWE history. Ziggler said they just want some dumb gimmick. He throws down the mic and heads to the back.

John Cena’s music goes off and Ziggler runs back out with a Cena hat on. Ziggler tosses it to the crowd and mocks Cena talking to the camera. He stops himself and says the crowd must want nostalgia. Ziggler heads to the back again. He walks back out with a woman to the “Macho Man” Randy Savage’s theme. Ziggler is wearing a red robe and says the crowd must not be buying it. He gives the robe to the woman and tells her to head to the back.

Ziggler once again goes backstage. He comes back out to Naomi’s theme wearing glowing hair. Ziggler does the Naomi knee slide. He says the crowd must want “dumb ass” stuff like this. Ziggler says anyone can do that, but no one can do what he does in the ring.

Sami Zayn vs. Aiden English is up next.

*Commercial Break*

Sami Zayn Vs. Aiden English

Zayn with a head scissors takedown early on English. Zayn catches English with a quick clothesline. Zayn with an elbow and boot combo in the corner on English. Zayn misses a cross body attempt from the corner. English rolls up Zayn and gets the win.

Winner: Aiden English

After the match, English grabs a mic and wants to give the audience the grand finale. He goes back to singing on the mic when Sami Zayn starts chasing him down to the back.

Backstage, WWE Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos propose a Sin City Street Fight next week on Smackdown Live in Las Vegas. Daniel Bryan then takes a call and is told to go handle something inside the ring. That will apparently happen next.

*Commercial Break*

Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan walks to the ring without music. The fans chant his name loudly on the way to the square circle. Bryan tells Shane McMahon to come down to the ring.

Shane walks down the ramp and gets inside the ring. Bryan asks him what he was thinking. Shane said things obviously got a little out of control tonight. Bryan talks about The Miz berating him on Talking Smack shortly after he retired. He talked about wanting to headbutt Miz right in the face and saying screw WWE and this job. Bryan said he didn’t because Shane told him that as the General Manager he had to put WWE, the fans and the employees first. He talked about restraining himself every week with Miz. Bryan says Shane can’t assault employees or Superstars. “We can’t run Smackdown Live like that.”

Shane agrees and knows he put Bryan in a tough spot. He takes full responsibility for putting his hands on Owens tonight. Shane adds he goes into a blind rage when people talk about his family like that. He talks about Bryan being a father now and how he could relate. Bryan tells Shane not to put him in that position. He says Owens is threatening to sue everyone in this company and he cares about the talent in the back that need a job. Shane says he will talk to Owens personally and smooth this over. Bryan says it is too late for that. He reveals he got a phone call just before he came out here.

Bryan says the phone call was from Vince McMahon. He says “effective immediately, per the Chairman of the Board and the CEO of the WWE, I’m sorry man, you are indefinitely suspended.” Shane is not pleased as Bryan exits the ring. Shane puts the mic down and slowly exits the ring. The crowd start a thank you chant as he heads up the ramp.

*Commercial Break*

Backstage, Jinder Mahal talks about remaining WWE Champion for the last 100 days and how he will be watching tonight’s main event very closely.

Back live, WWE United States Champion AJ Styles is on commentary joining Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves at ringside.

Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger

When the bell rings, Corbin rolls out and gets in the face of AJ Styles. Dillinger dives out and catches Corbin. Dillinger then tosses Corbin into the ring barricade. Dillinger with big stomps over Corbin. Corbin dives back inside the ring and eats chops from Dillinger. Dillinger clotheslines Corbin over the top rope as we head to a break.

*Commercial Break*

Back live, Dillinger catches Corbin with a jawbreaker. Corbin slides out, slides back in and eats some shots from Dillinger. Dillinger with a jumping forearm as Corbin falls to the corner. Corbin with a cheap shot on Dillinger. Styles is not happy seeing this on commentary at ringside. Corbin with End of Days and gets the pinfall.

Winner: Baron Corbin

*Commercial Break*

Backstage, AJ Styles tells Tye Dillinger it was a good fight tonight and talks about Baron Corbin pulling a cheap shot on him. Styles says next week the United States Championship Open Challenge will only be open to Dillinger next week. Dillinger shakes his hand.

A video package on the debut of Bobby Roode the last two weeks airs. Backstage, James Ellsworth tries apologizing to Carmella. He knows he is a freak and probably belongs in a zoo, but he wants another chance. Carmella says from now on they are doing things her way. She kisses Ellsworth and then slaps him. OK then.

Shinsuke Nakamura heads to the ring for tonight’s huge main event!

*Commercial Break*

Number One Contendership Match
Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura with a snapmare takedown early. Orton goes for an RKO and Nakamura avoids it. Nakamura backs Orton into the ropes, puts his forehead on the chest of Orton to mock him, Orton goes for his DDT off the ropes and Nakamura breaks free.

We head to the commercial break with a stalemate and the Maharaja watching on.

*Commercial Break*

Back live, Orton dumps Nakamura over the top rope. Nakamura avoids a big DDT off the ring apron to the floor from Orton. Orton then dumps Nakamura with a back suplex over the announce table! Orton tosses Nakamura back inside and gets a two count off a pinfall attempt. Nakamura catches Orton on the side of the head with a spin kick.

Nakamura with a jumping big boot that catches Orton flush. Nakamura with kicks to the chest of Orton, catches Orton with a right and then connects with a splash in the corner. Nakamura props Orton up on the corner and connects with his running high knee. Orton avoids an exploder attempt. Orton with a superplex on Nakamura. Nakamura with huge knees to Orton. Orton with a snap powerslam when Nakamura goes for the Kinshasa but akamura kicks out.

Orton with his DDT off the ropes on Nakamura. Nakamura counters an RKO in mid air and drops down getting Orton locked in an armbar. Nakamura transitions to the triangle. Orton is trying to fight out of the submission. Orton is definitely the favourite here tonight. Orton lifts Nakamura up and drops him down in a powerbomb to break free. Nakamura with a knee to the spine of Orton to counter the RKO. Nakamura connects with the Kinshasa. Nakamura hooks the leg and gets the win.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Backstage, we see Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan walks up. Bryan tells him Shane McMahon has been suspended. Owens says he is only getting started. He plans to make Smackdown Live his own personal playground. Owens said Bryan can’t do anything about it. Bryan informs Owens that Vince McMahon will be on the show next week.

That’s it for this week’s SmackDown Live and next week is a stacked show: AJ Styles defends the WWE United States Championship against Tye Dillinger, The Usos defend the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships against The New Day in a Street Fight and Natalya defends the Smackdown Women’s Championship against Naomi. Join us on 205 Live and until next time, safe travels.

Curtis Dillion

Curtis does our weekly live match-by-match coverage of WWE RAW and SmackDown for Ringside News. In addition to SmackDown, Curtis also does WWE & NXT special event coverage as well. He has been helping out at for Ringside News for many years.

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