SmackDown Recap: September 26, 2017
S2017 episode 945 Aired on September 26, 2017

WWE Champion Jinder Mahal arrived at SmackDown LIVE for the third straight week with seemingly only one goal in mind: to relentlessly poke fun at his WWE Hell in a Cell opponent, Shinsuke Nakamura.

Mahal, who was flanked by The Singh Brothers, continued to ridicule Nakamura’s appearance via still pictures, but he got a rude awakening when one of the images came to life and The King of Strong Style made his electric entrance into the building.

WWE’s Rockstar took down The Singh Brothers in the aisle, but that allowed Mahal to blindside him and toss his nemesis into the ring. However, Nakamura fought back, once again taking out Sunil & Samir and then obliterating The Modern Day Maharaja with a ferocious Kinshasa.

Advantage, Nakamura.

Following his “major” win over Randy Orton last week, Rusev was honored during The Pride of Bulgaria Celebration on SmackDown LIVE. Aiden English, the man who assisted him in victory last week, introduced The Super Athlete, and Rusev proudly walked to the ring as the Bulgarian National Anthem was sung by The Drama King himself.

The Bulgarian Brute ascended a podium as The Mozart of Mayhem gave the floor to the Mayor of Rusev’s hometown, Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The Mayor of Plovdiv stressed how great it was for Rusev to defeat Orton and declared that Sept. 26 was now officially Rusev Day.

The celebration went on to feature Rusev replaying his victory over The Viper and being awarded the key to the city of Plovdiv. However, when English began singing an original song for The Bulgarian Brute, the party was crashed by The Apex Predator, who slithered into the ring and dropped both English and Bulgaria’s “great protector” with wicked RKOs.

For the first time ever on SmackDown LIVE, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn continued their illustrious rivalry. Before the main event, Zayn asked Daniel Bryan to tell Shane McMahon to give him a clean crack at Owens without any interference from the SmackDown LIVE Commissioner, despite his boiling emotions. And, at least at first, it appeared we would get a straight up contest in the main event.

Zayn fired off a barrage of offense that had KO reeling, but Owens’ onslaught was eventually too much, and he regained control. Then, after connecting with a vicious superkick, Owens hit the bone-rattling Apron Powerbomb on Zayn, completely incapacitating his foe. With it clear that Owens was in firm control, the official had no choice but to stop the match.

However, that declaration was not enough to stop KO, who was clearly gearing up to attack Zayn with a steel chair, wrapping it around Sami’s throat. This was the final straw for Shane, as he came rushing out to aid Sami and throw fists with Owens. It was to no avail, however, as Owens shoved Zayn and the edge of the chair right into the SmackDown LIVE Commissioner and then escaped through the crowd, making sure that he and Shane would not engage in combat … at least not tonight.

In other action … Kevin Owens kicked off SmackDown LIVE … Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger … The Usos def. The Hype Bros … Charlotte Flair def. Carmella … and Dolph Ziggler’s absurd entrances were halted by Bobby Roode.

Season 2017 episode guides