Tonight, on the With Spandex WWE Smackdown Live open discussion thread for September 5, 2017:
The next challenger for Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship will be determined on SmackDown LIVE when Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura clash in a huge first-time-ever showdown. Who will earn the right to face The Modern Day Maharaja: The Viper or The King of Strong Style? Find out on SmackDown LIVE, tonight at 8/7 C on USA Network! — via WWE.com
Our five-point preview:
1. Something about tonight’s main event feels very familiar. Shinsuke Nakamura and Randy Orton will face off in a No. 1 contender’s match to see who will get to face Jinder Mahal. Is this Orton’s role forever now? Perpetual mini-boss for whatever new title challenger we’re trying to build up? It’s not the worst role for him, I suppose, but all that’s going to happen this week is everyone watching being horrified at the prospect of ANOTHER Orton vs. Mahal world title match.
2. Smackdown will have a whole new sound tonight. Corey Graves will officially replace JBL as color commentator, and will be the heel voice of reason on both flagship shows. The team of Tom Phillips, Graves, and Byron Saxton will probably be … really good. No JBL on Smackdown — or anywhere on WWE television — will probably go a long way to making the product feel fresh. Let’s just go ahead and make this the team for both shows, why don’t we?
3. Women’s Champion Natalya somehow got maybe the best shirt in the company over the past week (non-Aleister Black division), but this week she’s taking on Money in the Bank holder Carmella, because there are only seven women in the division, and Carmella is probably going to get title shots regardless, because literally everyone does.
4. We’re continuing to build to Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon, and AJ Styles and Baron Corbin will continue to fart around and we probably won’t get the real United States Open Challenge for real, ever.
5. Dolph Ziggler might re-debut tonight, or he might not, and neither he nor anyone else seems all that invested in whether he does.
As always, we’re including 10 of the best comments from tonight’s open discussion thread in tomorrow’s Best and Worst of Smackdown Live report. Reply to your favorites with a +1 to nominate them for consideration, and share the open thread around so we can get some fresh voices and jokes in here. Enjoy the show!