WWE SmackDown results, recap: Vince McMahon returns, new champion crowned
SmackDown was action-packed on Tuesday, and it all ended with Mr. McMahon paying a price
A strong two weeks of WWE television continued Tuesday night with an explosive SmackDown Live that included the return of none other than the chairman himself, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Though McMahon did not factor into the show until the final segment, his looming presence was a storyline throughout the show.
McMahon worked great going head-to-head with Kevin Owens, who once again proved that he does not need a title to be a major player on either brand.
There were also a couple championship matches -- one title change -- and plenty of other important storyline development on Tuesday evening, so be sure to check out the results, review and highlights below to catch up on WWE SmackDown from this week.
Mr. McMahon returns ... and takes a bump
In a hot segment to open SmackDown, Owens hit the ring to explain that the threat of lawsuit following Shane McMahon's attack last week meant he basically owned WWE and the blue brand. Owens went on to pontificate about everything he would change on the show -- some funny, some serious -- and Dolph Ziggler even interrupted by coming out to McMahon's entrance music. Just as Owens was wrapping up, general manager Daniel Bryan warned him that Vince McMahon would be in the arena to speak with him before the night was out. Later in the show, Owens was shown backstage coming up with his list of demands when he paused to tell Sami Zayn that he would be out of work and have to return to the independent circuit. He also approached Aiden English about signing the new "Kevin Owens Show" theme.
Mr. McMahon showed up to close the show, saying Owens did not respect authority; rather, he simply could not fight back against Shane. He then insulted Owens, saying he was weak for threatening a lawsuit instead of fighting. "When you look in the mirror, how do you have any respect at all?" McMahon asked. He then promised that, should Owens file the lawsuit, he would be fired from WWE immediately. McMahon said he suspended Shane not just for putting his hands on Owens but because he didn't finish the job and take him out for good. "You made disparaging remarks about his family -- my family -- and you got what you deserved," said McMahon, who reinstated Shane and set up a Hell in the Cell match with Owens for the pay-per-view. Owens made McMahon promise that he would not be fired if he beats Shane and that, if provoked, he could "beat a McMahon senseless."
McMahon then gave Owens a strong handshake and trash talked him, leading Owens to head-butt McMahon -- immediately opening a cut on the chairman's forehead. McMahon rose to try and attack Owens, but he was dealt a punch, kick and superkick before Owens rose to the top rope and delivered a frog splash. As Owens walked off to the back, Stephanie McMahon suddenly appeared and stared Owens down before helping her father -- who refused a stretcher -- hobble to the back.
Any time you get Vinny Mack on WWE television is a treat. But Vinny Mack taking multiple bumps, showing color and receiving a frog splash from Owens? That's a hero storyline if I've ever seen one. It was a great use of McMahon and added a new wrinkle to the HITC match as Shane is now fighting for more than just himself but rather his family. One would expect Owens to beat Shane as Shane is usually good for big spots but often does the job in the end; however, perhaps this is an opportunity for a more developed storyline or something special to happen at the end of the PPV match. Owens was terrific throughout the show, as per usual.
And ... NEW champions
In a "Sin City Street Fight" for the tag team championships, The Usos defended the straps against New Day in the latest edition of their never-ending rivalry. And really, why would you want it to end? These teams simply cannot put on a bad match. It's truly incredible the work they do together no matter the situation. Big E was worked through early before Kofi Kingston got the upper hand and cleared the ring. Eventually though, The Usos had Big E prepped for elimination with a double superkick as they climbed the top rope to hit the double frog splash. Instead, Kingston woke up, tossed Jey Uso off the top rope flying through a ringside table and hit an insiguri on Jimmy Uso. Big E then picked him up and New Day nailed the Midnight Hour for the 1-2-3 to become the new tag team champions.
Short and traded title reigns can often get stale quickly but such is not the case with these teams. The Usos and New Day have each won the titles from one another twice since March 21. Two of those title changes came on SmackDown and three have come in the last nine weeks. Still, every match between these teams is different and tremendous. I do not believe they have put together a clunker yet. Even the rap battle was more entertaining than one could have imagined. This latest championship swap is obviously setting up a rivalry-ending Hell in a Cell match next month, and I'm all for it!
What else happened on SmackDown?
- Jinder Mahal found a different voice: For the first time since becoming WWE champion, Mahal diverted from his typical promo to make fun of Shinsuke Nakamaura's facial expressions and mannerisms in an attempt to play mind games with the King of Strong STyle. Though Mahal and the Singh Brothers were not necessarily funny, there were a couple chuckle-worthy moments and the change of pace was welcome.
- United States Championship -- AJ Styles def. Tye Dillinger via pinfall to retain the title: This challenge was not so "open" as Dillinger as announced as the challenger last week. Styles put Dillinger over by allowing him to show some good offense, but the champion prevailed in the end with future challenger Baron Corbin attacking him after the victory.
- Rusev was embarrassed by his quick loss to Randy Orton at SummerSlam, saying he returned to Bulgaria as a loser but would regain his killer instinct and "break a legend."
- Ronda Rousey was in the crowd at SmackDown to watch the show and be in attendance as her friend, Shana Bazler, competed in the finals of Mae Young Classic after the program.
- Women's Championship -- Natalya (c) def. Naomi via submission: As Carmella and James Ellsworth began to distract Natalya, Naomi dove over the top rope to wipe out the heels. Natalya took advantage by throwing Naomi into the steel steps and rolling her back in the ring for the Sharpshooter.
- Dolph Ziggler ran through his new gimmick again, claiming he's the "best in-ring performer in WWE history" and going back to the multiple entrances. First, he came out like Bayley but stopped and punched a Bayley buddy. Then he said he would return as an overrated performer, donning the Ultimate Warrior mask and tassels before running to the ring and shaking the ropes. "Anyone can do [the entrances], but no one can do what I can do in this ring. No one!" he exclaimed, clarifying that even though it was true the fans did not care.
- Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable def. The Hype Bros via pinfall: The match played off the still-developing chemistry of Benjamin & Gable, while also setting the stage for a Hype Bros split with Zack Ryder being angry at Mojo Rawley for leaving him vulnerable in the finish.
The reports were true as WWE will now only present one pay-per-view event each month
Full list of WWE pay-per-views and special events scheduled for 2018
The "Nature Boy" chooses his best four to build a current Horsemen group in WWE
Creative control in WWE may shift to Triple H sooner than later
Everything you need to know ahead of WWE Elimination Chamber on Raw's Road to WrestleMania...
Raw has been great lately, while SmackDown has been underdelivering for months on end