Smackdown Live Shake-Up Notes (@RobbieRadford)

Robbie Radford

Robbie Radford

Robbie covers NJPW, Lucha Underground and a few other promotions as well as various other articles. He is also a co-host of the PuroLads podcast. Robbie lives in Leeds, England.
Robbie Radford

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By Robbie Radford

The second and final night of the bizarre WWE roster emanated from Boston, Massachusetts.


Randy Orton defeated Erick Rowan via DQ.

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) defeated American Alpha.

Mojo Rawley defeated Jinder Mahal.

Tye Dillinger defated Aiden English.

United States Championship Number One Contenders match: AJ Styles defeated Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn.


Kevin Owens kicked off this evening’s proceedings, looking rather dapper in a grey suit whilst being cheered by the raucous Boston crowd. The US Champion welcomed us to the brand new Kevin Owens show. KO wound up the crowd, insisting that Canada is far superior to USA, which, he’s not wrong really. Corbin interrupted, cutting a solid promo, insisting he’s owed a title shot. Sami Zayn then emerged, much to the annoyance and shock of former best friend Kevin Owens. Zayn announced he had successfully made the switch to Smackdown Live. AJ Styles then interrupted the segment, which had me instantly thinking of a Zayn vs Styles feud, wonderful!

After a few sentences, Smackdown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan emerged and  had seen enough and set a number one contenders match for the United States Championship. AJ Styles vs Baron Corbin vs Sami Zayn was set for tonight.

Erick Rowan vs Randy Orton

Returning from the ad break, Rowan and his unsightly mask were ready for Orton ahead of the first match of the night. Rowan, much to his credit, looked like he’d improved well however it was a reasonably straight forward match for Orton until Wyatt interfered on the titantron, temporarily distracting Orton. As it turned back to the match, Rowan slammed Orton with the steel steps outside of the ring, resulting in a DQ victory for Orton. Rowan then followed this up with a full nelson slam to stand tall over the WWE Champion.

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship: The Usos (c) vs American Alpha

Alphas dominated the early stages of the match, following up multiple pin attempts by clearing the ring of the Usos to stand tall heading into another ad break. They slowly worked towards the Gable hot tag whilst Jason Jordan struggled to mount offence. American Alpha looked great, still a very slick tag team despite some poor booking and wrestling quick television matches aside from The Usos normally. The Usos and American Alpha have fantastic chemistry and it showed here once again, unfortunately the match came to an early close when The Usos retained the championships with a samoan splash. Shining Stars attacked American Alpha after the match, confirming rumours that they were moving to Smackdown.

Mojo Rawley vs Jinder Mahal

This match was set when the pair faced off backstage before Smackdown went on-air. Jinder recently completed a move to Smackdown Live. This match had some really sloppy moments. It was essentially used as an angle considering Gronkowski was at ringside again. God I hate the patriots. Rawley picked up the win. As a Steelers fan, or more importantly an NFL fan, the Patriots love in as of late has been heavily nauseating. It could be worse, it could be Brady.

Shane McMahon emerged to address the state of the Smackdown Live Women’s Division. After thanking the crowd for getting behind the Smackdown brand, Shane then invited the current Women’s roster to the ring to welcome any new additions. There was only four women stood in the ring, showing just how tiny and overexposed the Women’s division is. After teasing Charlottes arrival, Shane McMahon welcomed Tamina, prompting a ‘oh for fuck sake’ reaction from the crowd. In her defence, Tamina is a very strong acquisition however it was one hell of a swerve. Shane did eventually announce Charlotte Flair had joined the blue brand, although it seemed that the original swerve took a lot of reaction away from the announcement.

Smackdown made two more signings, bringing Sin Cara and Rusev to the blue brand, solidifying the midcard that seemed very small prior to the shake up.

Aiden English vs Tye Dillinger

Similar to interrupting Hawkins last week, Dillinger interrupted a singing Aiden English, much to the joy of the Boston crowd. Dillinger made short work of English, who barely got any offence in, nailing English with a Tye Breaker for the victory.

A vignette aired for Lana. The Ravishing Russian will be joining Smackdown Live as a performer having impressed on the NXT circuit with a dancing gimmick from what I remember.

Dolph Ziggler stood in the ring, revealing that he will be staying on Smackdown Live. The Showoff was interrupted by Nakamura, much to the delight of the crowd. Pairing Ziggler with Nakamura was a smart move by Smackdown. The crowd chanted his name and sang his theme song when Dolph asked who he was. Nakamura spoke with extreme levels of confidence and incredibly well to say he had a mouthguard in. Ziggler went for a superkick but Nakamura countered it, taking down Ziggler before the ShowOff retreated out of the ring.

New Day were also moved to Smackdown Live, further strengthening the tag division.

Triple Threat United States Championship: AJ Styles vs Sami Zayn vs Baron Corbin

Zayn and Styles initially worked over Corbin, attempting to eliminate the big man from the equation temporarily but it backfired, Corbin suplexing them both to gain the advantage. The tandem offence of Zayn and Styles did eventually take out Corbin from the match for a short while. Corbin took control of the match, his raw power mixed with his strength and aggression allowed him to dominate proceedings. The dominating performance continued as Corbin showcased his inner Stan Hansen with a stiff lariat. The trio had really strong chemistry which allowed for some really slick sequences and spots. The finish came when Styles landed a huge phenomenal forearm on Sami Zayn after Zayn Helluva Kicked Corbin off the other side of the ring. Styles vs Kevin Owens is going to be one hell of a war

Final Word:

Smackdown ShakeUp was a strong show. Despite fears that they would struggle with The Miz and Alexa Bliss going across to RAW, the acquisitions of Rusev, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, New Day and Charlotte ensured the blue brand will remain the A Show for a little longer.

Robbie Radford
About Robbie Radford 137 Articles
Robbie covers NJPW, Lucha Underground and a few other promotions as well as various other articles. He is also a co-host of the PuroLads podcast. Robbie lives in Leeds, England.

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