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WWE SmackDown Live recap & reactions (Oct. 10, 2017): Explain Yourself


WWE SmackDown Live returned last night (Oct. 10) from the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan with the fallout from the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view (PPV). Find all the happenings from this show at the live blog here.

The Explanation

Yesterday, my man Sean Rueter wrote a piece speculating why Sami Zayn helped Kevin Owens. One possible reason was that Sami Zayn was just sick and tired of losing and needed to change his ways. The other was that he and Kevin are friends forever.

Turns out, they were both right. And there was a third reason: Sami hates Shane McMahon.

Sami Zayn, with Owens by his side, explained his actions from Sunday. He said that for so long, he was adamant about doing things the right way. But while Kevin found so much success in WWE by doing things the wrong way, all Sami found was mediocrity.

He then aired his grievances regarding the commissioner of SmackDown Live. He claimed Shane offered him opportunity when he came on board but he never saw it. In fact, the only time he spoke to Shane was when McMahon tried to recruit him to the blue brand. And then last week, when Shane brushed off Sami’s warnings about Owens, Zayn knew that Shane never gave a damn about him. He just cares about himself.

His final point was that despite the fact they’ve been best friends, greatest enemies, and everything in between, he and Kevin are brothers. So when Shane looked to do serious harm to his brother, Sami had to intervene.

All of those reasons make perfect sense and that is why this has worked thus far. While they weren’t planning this for years, they used the past relationship between Owens and Zayn and Sami’s struggles as motive for the change of heart.

It’s a good start to things. We don’t yet know how these two will function as a villainous unit. But there are plenty of places these two can go together and I’m looking forward to seeing where they end up.


The show opened with the Usos calling their Hell in a Cell opponents down to the ring. And then the champs did what they’ve done for months now. They cut a fantastic promo.

The Usos talked up the brutality of Hell in a Cell by discussing not just what happened inside the structure but what happened after. They talked about their painful drive to the next stop because of the wounds they suffered from battle. And when they went to bed that night, they knew there was only one other team who felt like they were feeling: The New Day.

They went on to discuss how these two teams are the SmackDown tag division. In fact, the Usos straight up said the rest of the division sucked. The teams called a bit of a truce based on their new found respect for each other.

But their words about being the best of the tag teams caught the ire of the rest of the division. The Hype Bros, Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable, Breezango, and the Ascension all walked out to claim that they want the next shot at the champs. Daniel Bryan, who just wasn’t having it tonight, booked those four teams in a #1 contenders match.

It was a fun match that saw the Hype Bros continue to malfunction, the Ascension save Breezango because they want to be friends, and Benjamin and Gable function like a well oiled machine. Despite the fans being mainly behind Breezango (there was a huge pop on a nearfall for Breeze), they were outmatched by Gable and Shelton, who picked up the win.

After months of the division being dominated by two teams, it has finally opened up to everyone else. Looks like things are going to be fun for team graps.

All the Rest:

Rematch: AJ Styles exercised his rematch clause against new United States Champion Baron Corbin in the main event. Corbin didn’t defeat Styles at Hell in a Cell. He pinned Tye Dillinger. Now, to retain his title, he’d have to beat the Phenomenal One.

Tonight, he and AJ had a fun main event where Baron came out victorious. Looks like AJ could be moving on from the US title picture.

Women’s Division: Here’s what happened with the Women’s division last night:

  • Backstage, Natalya told Charlotte she didn’t want to give her a rematch because she didn’t want the Queen to break her pathetic father’s heart again. This obviously pissed off Charlotte and this turned into a brawl backstage.
  • Becky Lynch defeated Carmella last night. The Lasskicker came out angry given the issues she’s had with the Princess of Staten Island. Hopefully this win means there will be some direction for Bex as she’s been pretty lost in the fray lately.

Overall, the division treaded water tonight.

Random tag: Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev and Aiden English in a random tag match. Orton surely has issues with Rusev and English. However, they didn’t give any reason for Nakamura’s involvement.

Dolph/Roode: These two had a spat about how Roode won by grabbing Dolph’s tights on Sunday. The Glorious One was ready to fight Ziggler again but Ziggler didn’t want to. It was a bad segment that had no heat. The verbal back and forth between Roode and Dolph was painful.

Harper/Rowan: We finally saw the repackaged tag team of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a pre-taped clip. They’re calling themselves the Bludgeon Brothers and are carrying huge hammers. The name is lame, but I’ll forgive it if there’s actual bludgeoning.

BASTARDS!: They cut the Fashion Files again! Much like Geno, I’m livid.

MIA: WWE Champion Jinder Mahal wasn’t on this show at all. Not even in a backstage bit. Maybe he was supposed to be on Fashion Files?

It was an OK show. The tag division had the best moment on the show. Sami’s explanation was a good start to that story and the main event was a fun bout. However, the rest of the show felt like filler.

Grade: C+

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