SmackDown Live certainly had a lot to live up to this week. Last week's Las Vegas show was one of the best the blue brand has put on since the show went live following the draft last year. Featuring three title matches and the unmissable closing segment between Kevin Owens and Vince McMahon, it was must-watch TV. Having back to back SmackDown Lives like that was always going to be unlikely, but this week's edition still had its moments. The United States Title was once again on the line, plus a returning Charlotte Flair did what she does best and main-evented Tuesday night's show along with three of her female peers.
Here are the biggest moments of the show.
5. Jinder Mahal Doubles Down On Nakamura
Last week on SmackDown Live, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal, accompanied by The Singh Brothers, came to the ring and absolutely peppered an absent Shinsuke Nakamura with insults. They mainly involved the trio laughing hysterically at the facial expressions Shinsuke makes, but there was also a little racism sprinkled in there too. Well, this week The Modern Day Maharajah went full force with the casual racism, mocking Nakamura's accent and suggesting that Japanese people eat cats. Yes, he may have tried to quantify his comments by claiming that's what the xenophobic fans think, but Mahal is still the one saying them. The King of Strong Style didn't come to the ring, but he did say during a backstage interview that Mahal won't be laughing when he takes his WWE Championship at Hell In A Cell.
4. Rusev Cuts Randy's Celebrations Short
Aiden English has become a regular fixture on SmackDown Live, and not only for his singing either. The operatic Superstar has actually been racking up wins in the process. Aiden had somewhat of a tall order on this week's show however as he took on The Viper, Randy Orton. To make matters worse, he provoked the 13 time World Champion by performing his own rendition of Orton's entrance. English certainly gave it his all, but as per usual an RKO outta nowhere brought an end to the match, and it was an impressive looking one too. Orton didn't have time to enjoy his victory though as Rusev, the man he embarrassed at SummerSlam, came looking for revenge. He got it too. The bell actually rang for the pair to have a match and after a distraction from English The Bulgarian Brute hit a swift super kick and defeated The Viper.
3. Kevin Owes LIVE...Via Satellite
Last week, the curtain came down on SmackDown Live after Kevin Owens helped deliver one of the most memorable closing moments in the show's history. The Prizefighter truly snapped and delivered a horrific beat down to the 72-year-old chairman of the board, Vince McMahon. A reinstated Shane McMahon opened this week's show and delivered a short and not so sweet message to KO. Owens had a response of course, via satellite, and it wasn't quite what you may have been expecting. Kevin actually apologized for his actions last week, but quickly followed that up by telling Shane he had it coming. The former Universal Champion then went on to add that the beating he'll give Shane-O Mac inside Hell In A Cell will be on a whole other level to what he did to Vince last week.
2. US Open Challenge Ends In Anarchy
All AJ Styles wants to do is emulate the good work John Cena did during his weekly open challenge for the United States Championship. Thanks to Baron Corbin, that hasn't really happened. This week, The Lone Wolf already made sure that the title match was his to compete in. Corbin thought he'd try and be smart, attacking The Phenomenal One before the bell had even rang. This was a mistake. Tye Dillinger, a man continually being foiled by Corbin, came to the aid of Styles, and thus confirmed that there would be no title match on Tuesday night. After The Perfect 10's attack, Corbin was left clutching his knee and informed the official that he was unfortunately in no shape to compete. The calf crusher Styles slapped on after the fact certainly wouldn't have helped things either.
1. Charlotte Flair Is Back With A Bang
Charlotte Flair has been absent from SmackDown Live recently due to the poor health of her father. Well, Ric is doing a lot better which means The Queen is back on Tuesday nights. Current Women's Champion Natalya stole Flair's thunder somewhat though as Neidhart interrupted her heartfelt speech thanking the fans for their support for her father. Talk between the two quickly turned to Natalya's title, and thus the ladies were joined by Becky Lynch, Naomi, and Tamina along with her representative, Lana. They all want the gold, of course, so Daniel Bryan emerged and announced a Fatal 4-Way between the potential challengers in the night's main event, the winner getting a title shot at Hell In A Cell. It wasn't the longest match in the world, but a returning Flair shone and deservedly picked up the win by the end of the night. If her match with the champ is anything like their famous bout in NXT then we are in for a treat at Hell In A Cell.