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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Oct. 17, 2017): But why

WWE returns to General Manager Daniel Bryan’s stomping grounds for tonight’s show in Seattle.

The Headliners

His conversation with Kevin Owens seemed pretty straight-forward... Sami Zayn came to KO’s aid at Hell in a Cell because his friend’s latest apron powerbomb opened his eyes to the error of his ways - and commissioner Shane McMahon’s empty promises.

But apparently his explanation for his not only saving KO from Shane’s latest death-defying elbow drop but helping Owens pin McMahon wasn’t enough. At least according to’s preview, we need to hear more from Sami about the realization that being a good guy only led to mediocrity and that “The Land of Opportunity” was just a slogan wasn’t clear.

Or maybe there’s more to an additional round of “Why, Sami, Why!?!?” On a night when they’re also promising to start setting up another big match for the next pay-per-view (PPV) - more on that in a moment - could we see the return of Shane O’Mac and the start of the rumored Team Owens vs. Team McMahon build for Houston?

The Title Scene

After a celebratory public relations swing through his kayfabe homeland, WWE champion Jinder Mahal is back, and ready to make an announcement about Survivor Series. The assumption is he’ll be up on top of the card in a (non-title) champ vs. champ match against Brock Lesnar... the most interesting about which could be how WWE builds to it. Looks like they’re about to start that build.

Don’t call it an “open challenge”, but fresh off certifying his United States title reign by beating AJ Styles in their Hell in a Cell rematch, Baron Corbin is setting sail on the river of our tears and right into a match against... someone... tonight.

While they may have entered into a respect-fueled “Uce Truce” with their rivals in New Day, tag champs The Usos have new challengers in Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. The former amateur standouts defeated three other teams last Tuesday to become #1 contenders.

We don’t officially know who’ll next be challenging for Natalya’s Women’s title, and maybe the belt is taking a little break for more red vs. blue booking at Survivor Series. But Charlotte Flair has a great case for another shot, and there’s also Ms. Money in the Bank...

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- At Hell in a Cell, Dolph Ziggler had a no frills entrance, took a loss to Bobby Roode, then beat The Glorious One down. So basically, nothing was definitively settled in Roode’s quest to prove he’s not all flash and Dolph’s mission to... steal the show, I think? Anyway, they’ll do it again tonight.

- They did get to actually wrestle for a change, but it wasn’t the promised debut of “Pulp Fashion”. The official preview vows we’ll get the next chapter in Breezango’s ongoing Fashion Files saga this evening, but we’ll believe the it when we see it - in all it’s 1994, Tarantino-esque glory.

- Becky Lynch picked up a win! Yay!

- The Hype Bros still can’t... and it may really and truly be leading to a break-up. Some day.

Four weeks until Survivor Series!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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