SmackDown Recap: Shelton's In-ring Return

Posted August 31, 2017

Benjamin received a decent ovation from the crowd in his first match back with WWE, which he won for the new team.

Two returns also highlight tonight's show. He tosses the Singhs but Rusev arrives and the heels toss Orton and beat down Nakamura.

Orton will face Nakamura in a No. 1 contender match next week for the opportunity to face Mahal.

WWE SmackDown Live's main event scene has been in constant flux with a plethora of superstars getting a crack at Jinder Mahal's WWE Championship title. They wanted to kiss Mahal's royal feet but before they could, Nakamura walked out to the ring. He got in the ring with them but ended up getting attacked as they ran the numbers game.

Mahal is all over Orton, until Randy dodges a charge, sending the champ into the ring post. WWE having the title on Jinder Mahal has resulted in a ripple down its roster that has SmackDown relatively out of whack. Gable made a hot tag late to bring Shelton back in so he could clean house. It will ease Benjamin back into WWE ring-work, and it gives Gable something to do that will (hopefully) get him over with the fans. Gable rushed in to clear Konnor from the ring and then Shelton hit Paydirt on Viktor for the pinfall win. Since the stipulations stated that Owens can never again challenge for the title while Styles is champion, one has to assume Owens is not too pleased about the situation. He damn near cost AJ the title last week, so Styles will surely be looking for payback on tonight's show.

They took turns working over Orton as Nakamura recovered on the ring apron. Tye asked the ref to ring the bell for the match. Dillinger caught Styles and went for the Tye Breaker but Styles blocked it and locked in the Calf Crusher for the win.

After a brief scuffle, Dillinger was still able to face Styles as he punched out Corbin and had the referee immediately start the match.

We saw Bobby Roode debut on SmackDown Live last week, and now it's time to figure out who the former NXT Champion will feud with. Roode ate a back elbow but then connected with a spinebuster and hit the Glorious DDT for the win.

Aiden English was doing his signing bit in the ring when Kevin Owens interrupted and told him to leave the ring.

The scars of last week's defeat still fresh, KO went on rant against Shane McMahon and how it was because of SD Live's commissioner's repeated conspiracies against him that Owens was no longer the US States champion.

Seeds continue to be planted for an Owens-McMahon bout. and the next SmackDown-branded pay-per-view just so happens to be Hell in a Cell on October 8. There was no reason given for this match being made - considering Orton's multiple failed title chances - and it was announced early in the show not after the main event. McMahon explained the situation and noted that he counted the pinfall. He told Owens to get out of the ring so English could have his match next. Owens took over as referee. Owens immediately hits Sami Zayn with the Pop-up Powerbomb and counts to three very quickly to hand the win to English on a silver platter.

On SmackDown LIVE, Woods wore a brace on his leg while accompanying Big E and Kofi Kingston for their match against The Usos.