WWE SmackDown Live Review: Results, Analysis and Grades for September 27

What happened on SmackDown as we built toward No Mercy?

The build to the second SmackDown live specific pay-per-view continues. How will all the top matches shake out?

We learned from a tweet from WWE that American Alpha is in action, as Chad Gable has returned from his knee injury.

Gable is ready, willing and gable. Will they be able to get the shot at the titles they were robbed of, or are the Usos on a collision course with Heath Slater & Rhyno for the belts?

John Cena, Dean Ambrose & AJ Styles are heading towards a phenomenal clash. These three men will battle in the No Mercy main event for the WWE Championship, but it’s Cena vs Ambrose in the main event of tonight’s show. Will Cena get some revenge for getting hit with Dirty Deeds last week, and will Ambrose continue to creep closer and closer to the dark side?

What is Curt Hawkins even doing on SmackDown, aside from ripping off a terrible meme from about 7 years ago?

Tonight also includes an Intercontinental Championship rematch between the champion the Miz and Dolph Ziggler. Will the “Show-Off” finally be able to win the belt, or will the never-ending Intercontinental Championship reign of the Miz continue?

More women’s rivalries are sure develop between Alexa Bliss and Becky Lynch over the title, and Nikki Bella and Carmella between the fact that Carmella can’t stop beating up Nikki.

All this, and maybe Eva Marie is back, this week on the SmackDown Live review!



Women’s Championship Contract Signing

Daniel Bryan is in the ring and is bringing out the champion Becky Lynch and number one contender Alexa Bliss to sign their contract for their match at No Mercy.

Bliss makes fun of Lynch’s skin for some reason, and Lynch says she’s ready for a fight, not a pageant. The challenger talks about how Lynch’s role is to be the one who wins, and wins, but always comes up short. Lynch isn’t born to be a champion, she’s born to be a loser.

Lynch says she wasn’t born to be a champion, Bliss is right. But Lynch believed in herself and wanted it more than anyone, so she achieved it. She may not have been born to be champion, but she wants it a lot more than Bliss. She says she’ll rip Bliss’ head off if she tries to take her title.

Bliss mocks her inspirational speech and says she was born to be a champion. She calls Lynch a one-hit wonder. Bliss nails Lynch with the contract before signing it, then she flipped the table on the fallen Lynch. As Bliss celebrates up the ramp, Lynch chases her down and assaults her up the ramp.

American Alpha versus the Usos is next!

Bryan Backstage

Miz approaches Daniel Bryan backstage and starts asking Bryan about his Intercontinental Championship match tonight against Ziggler. Bryan says he’ll cancel the match, and cancel the contract. If Miz doesn’t defend the title, he’ll lose his contract. Miz needs to learn to read the fine print of the contracts in the future.



SmackDown Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contenders Match
Usos vs American Alpha

Result: Usos def. American Alpha by pinfall (Samoan Splash)
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars

Gable is finally medically cleared after having his knee messed up by the Usos and missing their shot at the tag team championship tournament. They get a prematch taped promo about Gable being back, and both men talk about how now it’s personal and Gable is still standing.

The Usos just want to keep causing havoc and running the tag team division. Heath Slater and Rhyno are watching backstage, eating Cheez Whiz and waiting to see who their next challengers are.

American Alpha come out swinging, with Gable taking the fight right to the Usos. Eventually, Gable gets his leg caught in the ropes, and the Usos take advantage of his recently healed injury.

Gable eventually finds an opening and gets the hot tag to Jason Jordan. A series of overhead belly-to-belly suplexes follows, and down go the straps for Jordan. The Usos manage a blind tag, and hit a superkick and Samoan Splash. Gable manages to break it up at 2.9.

Gable is in too much pain on the apron to get tagged in, so Jordan tries to go it alone. Jordan gets caught with a superkick, and Gable’s leg gets taken out. A Samoan Splash follows, and the Usos are facing Heath Slater and Rhyno at No Mercy.

Great story told by American Alpha, where Jordan put the health of his teammate ahead of a title opportunity. No doubt that they will have more shots down the line, and the extent of the injury makes sense for Alpha to lose. A great match between these guys.

Slater & Rhyno Backstage

Slater starts talking about how they can beat the Usos again, since they’ve done it before. The Usos show up and talk about how they competed twice in one night at Backlash, and still almost won. The Usos talk about busting Slater’s knees, and sending his kids back to the mudhole they came from. A tense staredown ends the segment.

Tonight, Randy Orton takes on Erick Rowan, also known as the Erick the Big Red Proxy.



Apollo Crews vs Baron Corbin

Result: Corbin def. Crews by pinfall (End of Days)
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Jack Swagger, SmackDown Live’s newest superstar, is on commentary with the rest of the crew. He’s looking on as Crews is set to battle Corbin.
Last week, Crews got decimated by Corbin from behind before the match could even start. Crews ate an End of Days on the arena floor, and is all business today. No smiles, just focus as he makes his way out to the ring.

This time, Crews gets an actual match with Corbin and starts it off hot. That doesn’t last long, though, as the Lone Wolf begins to dominate. On commentary, Swagger talks about wanting to chase the most prestigious title in the WWE.

After running Crews into the ring post repeatedly, Corbin nails an End of Days to pick up another win over Crews. Post match Corbin confronts Swagger at ringside, and after a tense staredown, Corbin backs away.
I’m hoping all these losses are being built into something for Crews that will give him a wrinkle of character. He’s been nothing but smiley so far on the main roster, and needs some depth to make him a believable fighter on SmackDown.

They plug the main event of Ambrose vs Cena as well as the Intercontinental Championship match.

A Curt Hawkins promo airs and it’s still one of the weirdest attempted gimmicks I’ve seen in a long time. Is he face? Is he just delusional? Who knows.

We shall see.



Naomi & Nikki Bella Backstage

They’ll be facing Natalya and Carmella tonight. Naomi tells Charlie Caruso about how they both have the glow and all the positivity. Naomi calls Nattie corrupt, and Nikki says Carmella is just trying to make a name for herself. Bella says she’s fighting each match like her last; Nikki Bella is rebooted, and Carmella is a bootleg.

Ziggler Pre-Match Promo

Renee Young talks to Ziggler about if tonight is going to be different. Ziggler says he hasn’t been winning, but anything can happen on SmackDown Live. He says Miz is desperate to remain champion, but Ziggler is desperate too; desperate to remind people about what he can do.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Match
Miz (c) w/Maryse vs Dolph Ziggler

Result: Miz def. Ziggler by pinfall (Skull Crushing Finale)
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Ziggler and Miz had a great match at Backlash where Miz held his own for as long as he could, but got the assist from wife/valet Maryse to keep his Intercontinental Championship. Miz has been in a feud with Daniel Bryan, and has been mocking Daniel Bryan’s mannerisms and moveset in the ring.

Miz wants to prove that even if he is safe, and hasn’t been an indy star, he’s still the best Intercontinental champion WWE has had. Ziggler just keeps trying to fight, but can’t win the big one. Or anyone, really.

Miz uses Bryan’s moveset to wear down Ziggler and attempt to out-wrestle him. Corner dropkicks and seated kicks control Ziggler, but a dropkick catches Miz out of mid-air to even the matchup.

Miz hits a slingshot sit out powerbomb for a two count, so close to retaining his title.

As Miz distracted the ref, Maryse went for the same spray to the eyes that she used at Backlash. This time, the ref caught her and tossed her from ringside.

After some rollups, Ziggler hits a ZigZag, but only gets a two! Miz tries to take his title and leave, but Ziggler tosses him into the steel steps. When Miz gets back in the ring, the ref tosses the belt out. Miz sprays the same spray bottle into Ziggler’s eyes, which leads to a Skull Crushing Finale for the win.

Miz is the best Intercontinental Champion of the last five years. Discuss in the comments, you know it’s true. Fantastic match.



Randy Orton vs Erick Rowan

Result: Orton def. Rowan by pinfall (RKO)

2.25 out of 5 stars

As usual, when Bray Wyatt is feuding with someone, they have to brawl with Wyatt’s crony Erick Rowan. Orton is looking to send a message to Wyatt ahead of their battle at No Mercy. Rowan is looking to impress Wyatt I guess? I wonder what Rowan’s motivations are. Maybe Wyatt pays him in beard cream and head polish.

Orton goes for the RKO early, but it’s blocked by Rowan. Orton hits a hangman’s DDT on Rowan, and follows it with an RKO for the quick win. He looks more than ready to deal with Wyatt at No Mercy.

Wyatt screen hits, lights go out. Lights come back on, and Orton is alone in the ring with Rowan’s mask. Wyatt is on the screen and is applauding Orton. He tells Orton they’re bonded till death do they part. Wyatt says Orton is a man, and he is a god who can never die. Run, cut. Same ending as most promos from Wyatt.

Women’s tag match is coming up next!

Nikki Bella & Naomi vs Carmella & Natalya

Result: No Contest

This match starts off quick, as Natalya locks Bella in a sharpshooter. Carmella rips Bella out of the ring, and brutally assaults her. She tosses her into the barricade and beats her down. This match starts, but ends in a no contest because of the assault by Carmella.

Naomi comes to the aid of Nikki Bella and drives Carmella off. A good little piece of storytelling that continues to establish Carmella as a vicious heel on the SmackDown Live women’s side.

AJ Styles Interview

Caruso interviews the champ about the main event tonight: Cena vs Ambrose. Styles says neither of those guys are in his league since he’s beaten them both. He’s the face that runs the place, and the champ that runs the camp. He’s superior in every way, and the only way he’ll lose that title is if he’s not pinned for it. Styles says he’s going to sit back and relax while his two opponents brutalize each other.



John Cena vs Dean Ambrose

Result: Ambrose def. Cena by pinfall (Roll-up)

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

This is a pay-per-view main event, and we get it for free on Tuesday. Bless wrestling in 2016.

Last week, Ambrose and Cena went blow for blow verbally, with Cena saying that Ambrose doesn’t step up and has lost his shot. Ambrose called Cena a lazy part-timer, and these two are both competing for the WWE Championship at No Mercy against Styles. These two were a team against Styles and Miz last week and even though they won, Ambrose laid Cena out with a Dirty Deeds to end the show.
The two men trade some tentative moves early before the Lunatic Fringe gets the advantage. He goes for an early Dirty Deeds, but it’s reversed into an STF by Cena. Ambrose gets a crossbody and it’s rolled through by Cena. AA by Cena, but Ambrose kicks out at two!

Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds in return, but kicked out at two. Less surprising.

Cena goes for the Attitude Adjustment again, but Ambrose rolls through and pins Cena with a roll-up. Clean as a whistle.

Styles comes out from the back and lays out both men. Styles taunts the men, but Daniel Bryan makes his way out. He tells Styles that since Ambrose asked Shane McMahon for a one on one rematch for the title, it’ll happen next Tuesday on SmackDown Live.

Styles loses it, and turns around right into a Dirty Deeds. Ambrose stands tall, and he gets a title shot next week!



Final Thoughts

Another fantastic episode of SmackDown Live. The official tagline of Tuesday night should be “All Killer, No Filler.”

Where as a ton of segments on RAW feel like they are out of place or disjointed, or straight up lazily written, SmackDown has a purpose. Instead of just mashing three feuds together in a long 10-man tag segment and match, each part of SmackDown serves a purpose of establishing characters, feuds that make sense, and being an enjoyable watching experience.

Note: The viewing experience of that ten man tag was fun for one reason – Xavier Woods’ WorldStar video.

SmackDown just has purpose to it all. The champions on the show are all legit, even the rag-tag tag team put together has gotten more over than anyone could have imagined. Their next challengers? A revitalized Uso team that has more development in two weeks than their cousin has had in a year.

Overall, another great show. No Mercy is going to bring it again for the blue brand. Clash of Champions will have to step up huge to compete with SmackDown.

What did you think of this week’s show? How sad are you that Eva Marie didn’t appear? Let us know in the comments below!

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