The SmackDown Lowdown: Jinder Mahal sets his sights on the WWE Championship

Last week on SmackDown Live, the Superstar Shake – Up resulted in the migration of a few stars. Former Universal Champion, and current WWE United States title holder Kevin Owens made the jump to the blue brand. At the same time, his former best friend – turned – arch nemesis, Sami Zayn found himself on SmackDown Live!

However, arguably the biggest acquisition came later in the evening, when former RAW Women’s Champion, Charlotte made her SmackDown debut. Going into this week’s show, a mammoth number one contender’s match was announced, between six Superstars. The winner would face Randy Orton for the WWE Championship at Backlash.

Charlotte Flair makes her presence felt

This week’s episode of SmackDown Live got under way, with the former Women’s Champion, Charlotte Flair making her way out. Flair immediately went after the WWE fans, and complained about being looked over for a title shot. Charlotte vowed to get back on her throne, but was interrupted by Naomi.

The SmackDown Women’s Champion told Charlotte that she had no problem giving her a title shot. Naomi pegged Charlotte down a notch, and ended up knocking her out of the ring! The Commissioner of SmackDown Live, Shane McMahon then came out, and made a match between the two. Shane announced it would be a non – title match, with the stipulation that if Flair won, she would face Naomi for the title.

Jinder Mahal becomes the new number one contender

A six – pack challenge was announced to crown the new number one contender, for the WWE Championship. Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Dolph Ziggler, Jinder Mahal, Sami Zayn and Mojo Rawley competed for the spot. Mahal, with the Bollywood Boyz at his side got a lot of offence in.

There were some good spots during the match, including Rowan powerbombing Ziggler onto the other Superstars. In the end, Zayn looked to finish Mahal off, but The Bollywood Boyz held his feet. This gave Mahal the opening to pick up the victory, and become the new number one contender for the WWE title!

Mahal then antagonised the fans, and said he would be the new WWE Champion, whether they liked it or not. Randy Orton then came down, and had some words for Mahal. Bray Wyatt then appeared on the screen, and told Orton that he would win back the WWE title.

Charlotte Flair defeats Naomi

Before the match, Natalya, Carmella and Tamina told Shane that they deserve the championship opportunity more than Flair. The three women then intimidated Charlotte backstage, as the queen prepared herself to face Naomi.

As per Shane McMahon’s orders, Charlotte faced Naomi in a non – title match. If Charlotte Flair managed to beat Naomi, she’d face the champion at a later date for the title. Both the women got their offence in, with Charlotte working on the champion.

In the closing stages, Naomi tried to make a comeback, but Charlotte stopped her in her tracks with the Natural Selection. Charlotte pinned Naomi to become the number one contender for the SmackDown Women’s title.

The Colons (formerly known as The Shining Stars) took on American Alpha. While Chad and Jordan had the upper hand, Epico took Jordan out with a cheap shot. This led to Primo using a handful of tights to pin Gable.

Kevin Owens starts his own open invitational

The WWE United States Champion made his way to the blue brand as a part of the Superstar Shake Up. Owens initially made a name for himself in WWE, when he defeated John Cena. Owens decided to start his own open invitational this week, and introduced himself to the fans.

The open challenge was answered by a rookie, Gary Gandy. Owens made quick work of Gary, and dropped him with the Pop Up Powerbomb to pick up the victory. Owens then cut a promo, saying he will remain the WWE United States Champion.

AJ Styles gets the better of Baron Corbin

In the main event, Styles faced Corbin, with Owens on commentary. Both the Superstars went back and forth, as Owens sized up his next opponent. After more back and forth action, Corbin gained control of the bout.

As the action spilled outside, Corbin threw AJ into Owens. AJ however managed to make it back to the ring before the 10 count, thus winning by count out. SmackDown went off the air, with AJ and Owens staring each other down.

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