The last Smackdown before Survivor Series saw the battle for brand supremacy rage on.
All the superstars hate each other and their different coloured shirts… until next week when it’s all forgotten, of course.
We were in Chicago, so we got a lot of CM Punk chants, but this time WWE played on it by having AJ Styles rile the crowd up with a great promo.
Daniel Bryan and The Fiend had an altercation ahead of their Universal Championship clash this Sunday night.
Roman Reigns rallied the Smackdown troops prior to a mass invasion, that pretty much resulted in Team Blue getting their asses handed to them.
All this, plus the women stealing the show (what else is new?), the unveiling of a brand new Intercontinental Championship, and NXT arriving along with DX on a mini tank. If you still think Triple H isn’t the fifth member of Team NXT, you haven’t been watching wrestling long enough.
Rhea Ripley Def. Charlotte Flair & Sasha Banks
This was a fantastic way to open the show after Roman Reigns geared up the Smackdown locker room ahead of the inevitable invasion from Raw and NXT. We also got the revelation that Toni Storm (the future of women’s wrestling) was added to the NXT team this Sunday. The yellow/gold brand even got the win, thanks to some quick thinking from Rhea Ripley. This probably doesn’t bode well for them at Survivor Series, but let’s not dwell on the negatives.
The Triple Threat Match between three of WWE’s top performers, male or female, was a superb sprint of a contest. All TV matches should be like this. It got fans excited for the action this Sunday, further developed the angles and showcased a new talent over two established ones. Great writing all round.
The Undisputed Era Def. The New Day & Heavy Machinery
Two for two for Smackdown hitting it out of the park creatively here. Everything moved so fast, a lot happened, and we got a bit of action too. This is what they need to do on a regular basis to keep fans from switching over. In this one segment, we got the unveiling of a new Intercontinental Championship (not sure what I make of it yet), a lively 8 Man Tag, and a fun promo from AJ Styles.
Another win for NXT should suggest not to hold out any hope for them getting a w this Sunday. I like how The Undisputed Era looks like a modern-day Evolution, and by that I mean four guys who like they work in offices and have no star quality about them whatsoever. But they can wrestle 5-star flippy floppy matches where no one sells, so I guess they’re forgiven.
I do like it when a faction or team beat one made of bigger stars, but more egos. It just makes more sense, so the outcome was spot on here. I do feel we will see The Undisputed Era on the main roster soon as they’ve made the most impact. I do like Adam Cole, but when you make Shawn Michaels look like a heavyweight something needs to be done.
Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz Ended In A No Contest
Much better than last week’s convoluted mess of a segment, and we got to see Bryan and Miz renew their rivalry, albeit briefly, so it was all good. The Fiend showing up was also a good move, and his appearance always gets a pop from the crowd. If you’re going to end a match with a no contest, then keep it short otherwise it’s just a complete waste of time.
I’m glad they didn’t go with the obvious of Bray Wyatt answering Bryan’s pleas only to be destroyed, then have The Fiend maniacally laugh on the big screen. This worked better, in my opinion.
Shayna Baszler Confronts Bayley
An interesting one here that clearly keeps Bazsler strong but makes you wonder if Bayley is going to be the one that escapes with the win at Survivor Series. Baszler is basically a more believable version of Ronda Rousey than Ronda Rousey is. Bayley as the heel is also working, which has surprised me. Their Triple Threat Match along with Becky Lynch should be the main event this Sunday, and should steal the show.
It was a slight disappointment not to have Becky Lynch featured at all, but she did make a big statement on NXT, so not all bad. It was just strange for her not to be involved in a Kayfabe sense, even a staredown from atop the ramp would’ve been enough.
Baron Corbin, Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode Def. Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali & Shorty G
Short, sweet and to the point, just how I like it. Corbin winning it for his team adds spice to his relationship with Reigns and continues to give him heat before the inevitable loss to The Big Dog at TLC.
The invasions of Raw (led by Seth Rollins) and NXT (led by DX) was well done and drew a huge reaction from the fans in attendance. It was a good way to end the show with mass chaos, it’s just a shame this is how practically every show this month has ended.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @JK_CFC3. Thanks for reading!