By: Jamie Henry –
Last night’s WWE Smackdown Live at the Talking Stick Resort Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, begins with AJ Styles. Renee Young interviews Styles in the ring, and she asks him if he feels like he’s still in control of own his destiny, he responds with, “Yeah, I’m in control of my own destiny. I feel like any man that steps in the ring with me, I can beat. Now, I know that sounds pretty cocky, but I can back it up……this fatal five-way is a problem, a big problem, because anything can happen.” Baron Corbin comes out, as one of the men in the fatal five-way. Corbin mentions that he has beaten Styles more than once, saying that Styles is just an athlete and Corbin is a fighter and they are looking at the new WWE Champion. Kevin Owens comes out, without Sami Zayn, which is not much of a surprise after last week, saying he’s going to shut the previous two up. The three trade words, mentioning Sami Zayn not being out there with them, until Owens begins talking about Shane McMahon, who interrupts. McMahon makes two matches: Corbin vs Styles in the main event of the night and Owens vs Ziggler, starting now.
Owens and Ziggler go back and forth, cannonballs and superkicks occurring throughout. After a near count out, Ziggler pulls a DDT on Owens, gaining some momentum. Owens does a gut buster and then an elbow drop and nearly pins Ziggler before he kicks out. Suddenly, Zayn comes rushing out to distract Ziggler enough for Owens to kick him from behind and score the pinfall for the win. Owens is confused momentarily over Zayn helping him before celebrating the victory.
Jinder Mahal is seen walking backstage, the announcers saying Mahal has discovered a secret about Bobby Roode. In the ring he says he has discovered something that has shook him to his core. Mahal shows Roode has created his personal top ten list for the superstars and that Orton is not on the list. Roode comes out saying he didn’t create the list and he has a secret on Mahal, saying that Mahal can’t even make a top ten list and that Mahal wants to be US Champion so bad that he is pitting Orton against Roode and that is a fight Mahal would not win. Mahal tries to twist Roode’s words in his favor, which doesn’t work out. Roode admits he doesn’t fear Mahal and Mahal says he should, that he’s beaten Orton, only for Roode to interrupt: “This isn’t about Randy Orton! This is about you and me!”
Orton comes out before Mahal can say anything, having words with Roode before attacking Mahal. Roode then attacks Mahal out of the ring, Orton attacks Roode but Roode is victorious over Orton, the only one standing in the ring, yelling, “Fool me once, shame on me. I’ve got you this time!” His music hits, and then he’s surprised by Mahal pulling a Khallas on him. We’re shown Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon talking about the three. Bryan talks about how it should be Mahal vs Roode and McMahon says it should be Orton vs Roode, since Orton answered Roode’s open challenge the previous week. They quickly discuss Owens and Zayn before Bryan says that McMahon is always resisting Bryan’s decisions. McMahon says Roode vs Orton will take place and Bryan replies, “whatever you want boss,” before he walks away.
Charlotte Flair comes out for her six-woman tag team match. She is wrestling alongside Naomi and Becky Lynch and the three face the members of the Riot Squad. Naomi, Flair and Lynch take the lead early on with Lynch nearly having the Riot Squad tap out with a Disarmer. However, the Riot Squad pins Lynch for the win.
Kevin Owens is backstage with Sami Zayn, who thanks Owens because he is now where he belongs because of Owens. Zayn says that he does what is right and that the two of them are better than anyone else on the roster and because of that, the two of them will take out the other men in the fatal five-way and because he does what is right, when it is just the two of them, Zayn will lay down for Owens to win. Zayn hugs his Owens and we end with a shot of a confused Owens. This was no a confusing segment as fans wonder whether Zayn will turn on Owens or lay down like he said. After all, Zayn did say that he is “taking everything my friends have done for me and paying them back” and we all know Owens has turned on his friend before.
The New Day vs Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable are next up with a title shot for The Uso’s tag team titles at Fastlane on the line. The New Day wins after some shenanigans by Kofi Kingston, who distracted the referee. The Bludgeon Brothers come out during The New Day’s celebration with Rowan looking at The New Day for a few moments before entering the ring. The duo is back for a squash match once again, and dominate the unlucky local tag team.
The main event is Styles vs. Corbin and the match has equal footing from the start. We see Ziggler watching backstage where Styles begins attacking Corbin, turning the tides to his favor. Both men continue to have hit and miss moments as Styles hits Corbin with a Calf Crusher. The match, while short, did not have that many good spots, with Styles winning in mere minutes. However, Owens and Zayn come out to attack Styles after his match. Corbin attacks Zayn when Owens prepped the announcer tables, with Owens coming to the Zayn’s aid and being levelled by Corbin. In the end, Corbin stands tall to end Smackdown Live.