WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Sept. 5

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterSeptember 5, 2017

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Sept. 5

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Harsh words were the hallmark of Tuesday's WWE SmackDown.

    Kevin Owens took uncomfortable shots at SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon. Carmella hit her loyal goon James Ellsworth with merciless lines. And Dolph Ziggler insulted the South Dakota audience, holding nothing back.

    Owens' low blows were part of a story arc WWE used to build SmackDown around. The show began with KO berating McMahon and ended with him promising to bring havoc on the blue brand next week.

    Not every narrative was as rich and effective as Owens', however. Ziggler's attempt to reinvent himself fell flat. Sami Zayn continues to be a non-factor for some reason. And the feud between AJ Styles and Baron Corbin hasn't hit a high gear yet.

    Read on for a full breakdown of Tuesday's SmackDown, highlighting the hits and misses of a busy night.

Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon Collide

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    Kevin Owens interrupted Carmella and James Ellsworth, announcing he would be the referee for her match. McMahon emerged to tell KO otherwise.

    They argued about the U.S. title matches that McMahon refereed. Things got personal in a hurry as KO brought up McMahon's kids. That incited the commissioner, who wailed on Owens before officials pulled him off.

    Backstage, Owens later threatened to sue McMahon.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Give me your shirt!"—Owens to the referee.
    • "Is that because Triple H single-handedly gave you the Universal Championship?"—McMahon.
    • "Is it because your daddy didn't give you enough attention as a kid?"—Owens.
    • "Your entire family would have been better off if you hadn't survived that crash."—Owens.

         

    Grade

    A

         

    Analysis

    What began as a standard back-and-forth exchange hurriedly moved into territory that cut deep. Owens looked like the ultimate heel with his comments about McMahon's kids.

    That's plenty of motivation for the commissioner wanting to tear Owens apart both here and at Hell in a Cell.

    This story has been very logical from the get-go. Every character's actions and emotions make sense. Animosity has steadily increased throughout.

Natalya vs. Carmella

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    Natalya chased Carmella out of the ring early on. The champ punished Carmella with relentless offense, dragging her around the ring.

    Carmella slugged her way back.

    Ellsworth accidentally dropped the Money in the Bank briefcase in the ring, angering and distracting the Princess of Staten Island. Natalya rolled her up for a pin.

    After the match, Carmella berated her loyal crony. She told him they were through as a pair.

         

    Result

    Natalya wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Carmella dizzies Natalya with a lengthy head-scissors.
    • Natalya powers out of a guillotine submission to hit a powerslam.
    • "How dare you, James?"—Carmella.
    • "You're not even a human."—Carmella.

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Analysis

    Carmella showed some powerful emotion here in tearing down her little lap dog. It would have been great had this been foreshadowed more and if Carmella had beaten up Ellsworth on top of tearing him down verbally.

    Still, she came out of this looking like more of a heel.

    The match itself was brief and OK, clearly just a means to get to the moment following it. Having two heels going against each other subdued the audience reaction.

Dolph Ziggler Re-Debut

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Ziggler told fans they didn't appreciate his talents. He said they would prefer a dumb gimmick before storming off.

    He re-emerged parodying John Cena's entrance. He followed up with parodies of Randy Savage. Lastly, he dressed up like Naomi and bounced around the entrance ramp.

    He trashed the fans before leaving.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "No one can do what I do in that ring."Ziggler.
    • "You usually go for that nostalgia crap. Not tonight?"—Ziggler.

         

    Grade

    C-

         

    Analysis

    The Showoff is pouring his heart out into these performances, but it's hard to know what to make of Ziggler's new act.

    How can you build around a gimmick based on a lack of gimmick? This angle doesn't seem to have much of a natural shelf life. Ziggler's motivation makes sense, but it's going to be tough to translate this into much of anything.

Aiden English vs. Sami Zayn

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sami Zayn didn't give Aiden English a chance to serenade the crowd as his entrance interrupted The Artiste.

    A fiery Zayn overwhelmed English. The heel, though, rolled up Zayn for a quick win.

    As English looked to sing again, Zayn chased him away.

         

    Result

    English wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "That's what you get for interrupting art, Sami."—Corey Graves.

         

    Grade

    D

         

    Analysis

    There has to be a better way to use Zayn's talents. A feud with English has little appeal, especially one with such minimal story to sink their teeth into.

    It's not as if this is boosting English's career. He's looking like a lucky scavenger, not the least bit dangerous. Neither man is getting to showcase much of their characters with such a thin slice of the airtime pie.

Daniel Bryan Brings the Hammer Down on Shane McMahon

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    Credit: WWE.com

    General manager Daniel Bryan asked McMahon to meet him in the ring. Eventually, the commissioner stepped out to hear him out.

    After recalling his issues with The Miz, Bryan reprimanded McMahon for attacking Owens. He explained that Vince McMahon asked Bryan to suspend Shane-O-Mac.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "When they cross that line, there is no coming back."—McMahon.
    • "I'm sorry, man. You're indefinitely suspended."—Bryan.
    • Crowd chants "Thank you, Shane."

         

    Grade

    B

         

    Analysis

    A quick, powerful segment made it clear just how serious this Owens-McMahon situation is. There is a bit of a plot hole in that McMahon assaulted AJ Styles earlier this year ahead of WrestleMania with no repercussions, but that can be explained away.

    Bryan's acting was strong here. And this didn't overstay its welcome, moving along at an efficient pace.

    With so much time until Hell in a Cell, though, it's surprising WWE didn't save this for next week.

Baron Corbin vs. Tye Dillinger

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    Credit: WWE.com

    AJ Styles sat in on commentary as Baron Corbin and Tye Dillinger clashed.

    The Lone Wolf made sure to talk trash to Styles during the action. The Perfect 10 blasted him outside the ring.

    After slowing the match down, Corbin took control.

    Corbin flung Dillinger around the ring but paid too much attention to Styles at ringside, nearly falling to the babyface as a result. Corbin recovered, delivered End of Days and came away with the victory.

    Backstage, Styles offered Dillinger a U.S. title match for next week.

         

    Result

    Corbin wins via pinfall.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Corbin is getting rocked right now by Tye Dillinger."—Tom Phillips.
    • Dillinger stomps on Corbin in the corner to the delight of the crowd.
    • Corbin slams Dillinger's chest onto the ring post.
    • "You can't sleep on Tye Dillinger, but you can put Tye Dillinger to sleep."—Graves.

         

    Grade

    B-

         

    Analysis

    A solid match between Corbin and Dillinger here. The Perfect 10 had the crowd engaged when on the attack. That's a sure sign we need to see more of that.

    Styles not issuing an open challenge is a disappointment. Instead, his feud with Corbin took a small step forward. WWE will have to explain what Corbin has done to deserve the right to face the U.S. champ. Wins over Dillinger aren't enough to do that.

Randy Orton vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (No. 1 Contender's Match)

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    Shinsuke Nakamura outwrestled Randy Orton to kick things off, but The Viper kept Nakamura on the defensive by going for his signature moves.

    Orton took over, punishing Nakamura on the mat. Leaning on his strikes, Nakamura charged back. The King of Strong Style survived a superplex and fired back with a flurry of knee strikes.

    Nakamura was able to fight Orton's offense and nail him with Kinshasa for the win.

    Backstage, Owens told Bryan that his issues with McMahon weren't over. He was going to make the night nightmarish for Bryan. The GM informed him Vince McMahon would be in town to oversee the situation.

         

    Result

    Nakamura wins via pinfall to become the No. 1 contender for the WWE Championship.

         

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I am chasing my destiny."—Nakamura.
    • "May the better man win. And may that man fall to the Modern Day Maharaja."—Jinder Mahal.
    • Orton goes for the RKO seconds into the match.
    • Orton suplexes Nakamura into the announce table.
    • Nakamura counters an RKO with a cross armbreaker.

         

    Grade

    B+

         

    Analysis

    Orton and Nakamura had the crowd crackling by the end of their battle. Once Mahal and Nakamura's issues are done with, WWE may want to consider pitting The Viper against The King of Strong Style again.

    This was a quality showdown, but one with an easy-to-predict result. WWE wasn't going to go with a fourth Orton vs. Mahal PPV match, and that lessened the suspense of this match.

    SmackDown, though, once again delivered a bout fans had never seen before and used high stakes to make it feel important.