Never provoke the Viper unless you are ready to deal with the repercussions.
The blue brand was live from the Valley View Casino Center in San Diego, Cal.
The show opened with Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens speaking out against Commissioner Shane McMahon’s “vendetta” against them. They then proceeded to gloat about how Owens beat Randy Orton in last week’s no disqualification match thanks to Zayn.
The gloating was short-lived, however, as Orton hit Owens with an RKO out of nowhere. McMahon then came out to announce that Zayn would be taking on the Viper later in the night, with Owens being handcuffed to the ring rope. He also announced that at Clash of Champions, it would be Owens and Zayn against Orton and a partner of his choosing.
Owens and Zayn did everything they could to stop the match from happening, including talking to General Manager Daniel Bryan, but to no avail.
Orton wasted little time punishing Zayn once the bell rang, taking the fight to ringside and using the announce table to his advantage. The two went back and forth until Zayn threw Orton into the steel steps.
After Orton attempted a comeback, Zayn retreated back out to ringside where he supposedly went to grab a weapon. But what he actually had was a pair of bolt-cutters to try and free Owens.
Orton stopped the attempted prison break, and the two continued to battle inside the ring. Owens was eventually able to use the bolt-cutters and free himself from the handcuffs. His distraction almost allowed Zayn to steal the win, but the Viper turned the tables and rolled Zayn up for the victory.
Right after the bell rang, Owens jumped Orton from behind and a beat down ensued. That was until Shinsuke Nakamura ran to the ring and took both Owens and Zayn out. Orton and Nakamura then hit their finishers on both men.
Backstage, McMahon and Bryan watched the chaos unfold. Bryan then asked McMahon if he was done punishing the two, to which the Commissioner scoffed. He then announced that he would be the special guest referee for the match at Clash of Champions.
But that wasn’t all; if Owens and Zayn lose that match, then they both will be fired from WWE.
The New Day kicked off the action as they took on Rusev and Aiden English. The two teams had some bad blood and were looking to settle things in the ring.
Kofi Kingston and Big E had control of the match early, having some fun at the expense of Rusev and English. The Bulgarian Brute battled back, and a thumb to the eye by English almost gave them the victory. Big E and Kingston were able to recover, but yet another distraction by English gave Rusev the opportunity he needed.
Rusev hit the ropes while Kingston was attempting a top rope maneuver, sending him crashing to the mat below. This allowed Rusev to nail him with a kick to the back of the head, giving him and English the win.
Continuing their path of destruction, The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan) faced two local competitors. The match was short-lived, as Harper and Rowan dispatched their opponents in mere minutes. Week after week, the duo keeps showing they’re a force to be reckoned with in the tag team division.
Ahead of their match at Clash of Champions, Bobby Roode fought United States Champion Baron Corbin. Their other opponent at the upcoming pay per view, Dolph Ziggler, watched the match from ringside.
One right hand from Corbin put him in the driver’s seat early on. The Glorious One attempted to mount a comeback, but a double clothesline knocked both men out temporarily. Ziggler took this moment to enter the ring and hit the Zig Zag on Roode, ending the match in a disqualification.
Ziggler gave the US Champ the same punishment, sending a clear message to each man before Clash of Champions.
In a women’s division match, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte battled Tamina. It was a back and forth start to the match, but Tamina’s strength put her in control. She continued to wear down the champion while her manager Lana watched from ringside.
The Queen started to get some offense in, desperately trying to get back in the match. It didn’t take long for her to complete her comeback, dropping Tamina with a big boot. Charlotte followed this up with the Figure Eight submission, which forced her opponent to tap out.