SmackDown on Fox Episode #8
SmackDown Episode # 1,057
Chicago, IL – Allstate Arena
The show opens with the SmackDown roster gathered together in the back and for the third week King Corbin is opening the show with a promo, however he is quickly interrupted by Roman Reigns who hypes up the SmackDown roster by saying that they are going to open the garage door and let all of Team Raw and Team NXT in and then kick their ass when they get there. Corbin and Reigns continue to bicker back and forth. Sasha steps up the podium and says that the women are ready which leads to the women walking out of the meeting as they are headed to the ring.
Yet another Corbin segment to open SmackDown, but at least this one wasn’t as long and there were no dog poop bags or bulldog mascots so compared to weeks previous that was a vast improvement. I liked Sasha taking charge at the end and instead of waiting on the opposing rosters to come to them she wanted to call them out and make the first move which shows she and the rest of the women have bigger balls than Reigns and Corbin combined.
After the intro video we get Sasha coming to the ring along with the SmackDown’s women team, Sasha says that this is their show and their ring and nobody is going to hit them from behind. Sasha calls out Team Raw because she knows that Team NXT won’t show their faces. Team Raw comes to the ring with their captain Charlotte and this would lead to Sasha challenging Charlotte to a match right then. We then get our first look at Team NXT which is comprised of Team Captain Rhea Ripley, Toni Storm, Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, & Candice LeRae, Rhea challenges both Sasha and Charlotte to a triple threat match between the three team captains, this leads to all the women brawling as we go to commercial.
There have been a lot of good, fun, and badass teams in the history of Survivor Series, but rarely do those teams consist of women, but that is going to change this Sunday as the women’s NXT team that was revealed tonight could be the greatest (and most hachi machi) female quintet to ever compete at Survivor Series. I can’t think of a more badass team than NXT has and despite their cuteness, they are not to be taken lightly as they are some of the toughest women that are going to be in the match. When I saw Team NXT coming through the crowd and saw that Toni Storm was apart of the team I popped as it’s nice to finally see her back after losing the title to Kay Lee Ray back in August, it was a big surprise as she hasn’t even returned to NXT UK TV yet. I do find it odd they made the team all babyfaces and didn’t stick someone like Io Shirai or Bianca Belair in the match to mix it up a bit, but I’m not complaining as I am loving the team they do have. I have to mention that when Raw and SmackDown faced off in the ring there was a nice callback that probably nobody noticed as Dana Brooke and Sarah Logan (who had a terrible looking face paint design tonight) were nose to nose which was a nice callback to their feud they had earlier this year on Main Event that nobody watched.
Match #1: Sasha Banks w/ Team SmackDown vs Rhea Ripley w/ Team NXT vs Charlotte Flair w/ Team Raw
All three women start the match by striking each other until both Rhea and Charlotte team up to take Sasha down with a big boot. Charlotte and Rhea have words with each other before Charlotte takes her down with a rear waist lock and then locks in a headlock. Charlotte kicks Rhea in the face and tries for the snap exploder but Rhea counters and drives Charlotte into the corner where she drives her shoulder into the gut of Charlotte. Rhea hits a kick on Charlotte but Charlotte comes back with a big boot that takes Rhea down. Charlotte pays back Rhea with some shoulders to the gut until Rhea moves and causes Charlotte to go face-first into the corner. Sasha finally gets back into the match and hits Rhea with a backstabber and goes for the first pin of the match which only gets a 2 count. Rhea goes for a kick but Sasha catches her leg and knees her in the face only for Rhea to hit Sasha with a short-arm clothesline and a dropkick moments later. Sasha rolls to the outside and when Rhea goes out to roll her back inside she gets caught with a kick by Sasha. Charlotte pushes Sasha into Nikki Cross and they both go into the steps at ringside. Sasha and Nikki have words and start to argue as the rest of Team SmackDown try to break them up. Rhea and Sasha start brawling at ringside until they are both taken down courtesy of a top rope moonsault by Charlotte and this leads to a commercial break.
As we come back from commercial Rhea breaks up a half crab by drop kicking Charlotte. Rhea sends Sasha into the corner but Sasha tries to fight back by attempting to hit a head scissors but Rhea counters and sends Sash into the corner face-first. Rhea sets Sasha on the top rope looking for a superplex but Sasha is able to fight her off and come off the top with a diving Meteora which leads to Charlotte breaking up a pin attempt by hitting the Natural Selection on Sasha for 2 as Rhea breaks up the pin. At this point, it comes to my attention that Charlotte has a bloody mouth. Charlotte goes to pick up Rhea but gets kicked by Rhea. Charlotte and Rhea are dodging big boots and dropkicks before Charlotte connects with a Natural Selection, but before she can attempt to pin her Rhea rolls out of the ring. Charlotte locks in the Figure Eight on Sasha, however, while has it applied Rhea slides back in and crucifixes the arms of Charlotte which puts her shoulders on the mat for the 3 count to give the Team NXT captain the win.
Winner: Rhea Ripley via Pinfall Match Rating: ***¼
I really enjoyed this match especially the segments that involved Rhea and Charlotte (no disrespect meant for Sasha) because Rhea is the first person that when standing face to face with Charlotte looks like the most legit threat to her as she is one of the very few women that Charlotte doesn’t tower over in the ring and her skills inside the ring are just as great as Charlottes. I will go out on a limb and say that if they want to do another women’s main event at WrestleMania in a few years this one on one match wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility as I think both would be able to pull off the build of a main event WrestleMania match with excellent promos and in-ring action. One thing I didn’t like about the match was the arguing amongst members of Team SmackDown as the trope of team members not liking each other and fighting each other during matches is so overdone when it comes to Survivor Series and to make it even worse they are already running that story with the SmackDown men’s team, but more on that later. Something I did like about the match was the finish as it was really unique and showed that Rhea is smart as she gained a victory in a way never seen before, whoever came up with that deserves a raise or at least a cookie and a gold star as that was brilliant. If this match was a taste of how good the triple threat tag match at Survivor Series will be then we are in for a treat come Sunday.
After the match, there is a brawl between Team Raw and Team SmackDown as Team NXT looks on.
King Corbin is talking to Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode about their match tonight and Corbin has a plan to abandon Reigns if Team Raw and Team NXT get involved. Sami Zayn appears and Corbin calls him annoying which leads to Zayn challenging Corbin to a match before walking off as we go to commercial.
What was the point of this segment it felt completely unnecessary and I don’t see it leading to anything as both Corbin and Nakamura are heels?
After the break, we go to the back where Bayley is being interviewed about her match on Sunday against Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler. Bayley brags about being a women’s champion on all three brands and then challenges Shayna to come out and face her face to face in the ring instead of hitting her from behind like she has done in the previous weeks.
We go to the ring which is being taken up by Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn. Zayn talks about Corbin not accepting his challenge because he is scared of both Zayn and Nakamura. Zayn then talks up how studly Nakamura is and that because he is so studly Zayn has something special for him, Zayn reaches into a bag he brought with him to the ring and pulls out an all-new version of the Intercontinental Championship.
Zayn talks about why Nakamura will get the win for SmackDown on Sunday before running down AJ Styles and then acting as if he had forgotten Roderick Strong’s name. Undisputed Era makes their way to the ring and after a brief staredown, Zayn and Nakamura leave the ring. Adam Cole talks about how Undisputed Era will take care of Raw and SmackDown on Sunday. New Day come out to get some retribution for Undisputed Era attacking them last week and UE are glad to accept a 2-on-4 challenge, however New Day reveal they have a couple of buddies who will help them even the odds, this leads to Heavy Machinery making their way down to the ring as we will have an 8 man tag match after the commercial break.
I like the new Intercontinental Championship, but I’m curious why they changed it as the old one looked good as well. I wonder if this means we get a new United States Championship as well? While I don’t want them on Raw or SmackDown because they will end up getting ruined by the booking on those shows I will say that when UE came out they felt big time and looked like they belong on one of the two main shows whereas some of the NXT stars looked a bit out of place being on one of the main shows, if that makes any sense maybe that was just a vibe I was picking up.
Match #2: New Day & Heavy Machinery vs Undisputed Era
Big E and Strong start the match out with Strong trying to find an opening to take Big E down, but Big E backs him into a corner, but Strong finally gets the opening he was looking for thanks to a distraction from the UE. Strong tags in O’Reilly and they beat Big E down in the corner and then O’Reilly tags in Fish. Fish & O’Reilly try for a double team move but Big E runs right through them clotheslining O’Reilly and hitting Fish with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Big E tags in Kingston and then hits Fish with a big splash on the apron followed by an overhead belly to belly suplex on the floor to O’Reilly. Kingston comes off the top with a springboard axe handle on Cole who had been tagged in while the action was happening on the floor. Cole and Kingston trade strikes while Strong blind tags himself in and hits a half-nelson backbreaker on Kingston then stomps a mudhole into Kingston’s chest. Fish works over Kingston with strikes and hits him with a tope atomico before tagging in Cole. The Undisputed Era is making quick tags and working Kingston over in their corner. Kingston tries to make a comeback as he goes up to the top but is dropkicked off and sent to the floor where he crashes right down on top of Tucker (who was trying to prevent O’Reilly from interfering). Otis runs over and pulls Kingston off of Tucker and Big E does not take this well as he gets in Otis’s face and we get a bit of shoving as we go to commercial.
As we come back from commercial Fish has grounded Kingston with a chin lock and body scissors, Kingston fights his way out of it and tries to make a tag but Fish knocks Big E off the apron. Kingston finally makes a comeback when he hit Fish with a dropkick out of the corner and then makes the hot tag to Otis. Otis clotheslines Strong and O’Reilly and splashes Cole in the corner. O’Reilly tries to attack Otis with kicks but they don’t phase Otis as he catches O’Reilly and hits him with a capture suplex. Otis calls for the Caterpillar but Fish pulls Cole out of the ring to stop that. Otis catapults O’Reilly into a hip toss from Tucker. O’Reilly tags in Strong but that doesn’t help anything as Tucker throws Strong across the ring and then hits a sidewalk slam for a 2 count. Tucker has Strong down and then looks around like a complete dumbass for what felt like an entire minute before finally going up top and hitting a moonsault which gets him a 2 count after Cole breaks it up.
Big E hits Cole with a side belly to belly and then backdrops Fish & O’Reilly to the outside. Kingston looks to dive to the outside but Cole grabs his foot to prevent that from happening, meanwhile on the other side of the ring Fish & O’Reilly pulls Big E out of the ring and hit him with the High Low. Kofi fights off Cole and runs around to take care of Fish & O’Reilly but as he leaps off the steps O’Reilly moves and then they hit Kingston with the High Low as well. Otis hits the Caterpillar on O’Reilly but gets taken down by Fish. Cole hit a superkick on Tucker and Strong follows that up with a running knee that gets the win for the UE.
Winners: Undisputed Era via Pinfall Match Rating: **¾
This match really showcased just how great Undisputed Era are to the fans who don’t watch NXT as they were firing on all cylinders and working so well together, in fact, they were so good they made New Day look way less impressive than they usually look which is not an easy thing to do as New Day have been one of the top teams in WWE for the past five years. As far as Heavy Machinery goes they are really good when they want to be but I didn’t feel tonight was the best night for them, the fact that Tucker looked like a complete idiot by looking around like he didn’t know where he was before the moonsault really irked me. This was the second match in a row where people who are supposed to be on the same team get into an argument and this time it made less sense because both teams are babyfaces, although maybe it’s a tease for an upcoming heel turn from Big E or New Day as a team because he really overreacted to Otis pulling Kingston off Tucker. Once again I just want to say that this match was Undisputed Era’s coming out party to the non-NXT fans.
After the match Roderick Strong confronts Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn (who were watching the match from the top of the ramp) when out of nowhere AJ Styles hits a forearm on Nakamura and this leads to all three men brawling until Zayn helps Nakamura get the advantage as he takes out AJ and then hits Strong with some chair shots until UE run them off.
Michael Cole and Corey Graves run down the Survivor Series card and inform us that NXT is keeping their men’s team a secret. We go to a commercial.
Not sure what the purpose of keeping the NXT men’s team hidden is. I get maybe having one or two surprises on the night of the show but the entire team doesn’t make much sense, especially since you can kinda predict most of the team given who has been highlighted in the build-up to show and doesn’t already have a match, I’m guessing the team will be Tommaso Ciampa, Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Walter, & either Finn Balor, Pete Dunne, or Triple H.
As we come back the OC is beside the stage to cut a promo which leads to AJ saying he would mop the floor with CM Punk when the fans started chanting his name. Styles runs down his opponents at Survivor Series to end the promo.
With both Rollins and now Styles mentioning Punk I feel the chances of Punk coming back to the ring are highly likely.
Daniel Bryan makes his way to the ring, Bryan says he isn’t here to do Yes! Chants or to inform people about climate change but he is here to call out Bray Wyatt. Bryan says they can talk about the past or they can fight, whichever one Wyatt would rather do. The lights go out and come back on without anything happening. Bryan is now getting angrier and once again challenges Bray to fight.
The Miz makes his way to the ring and Bryan wants to know why Miz is out there, this leads the two of them eventually getting into a heated exchanged like they always do when they are in the ring together. Miz says he can’t wait for The Fiend to rip Bryan apart and then he slaps Bryan and then we cut to commercial completely out of the blue.
Match #3: Daniel Bryan vs The Miz
As we come back the match has already started and Miz is hitting Bryan with the Yes! Kicks. Bryan catches the leg of Miz and then delivers a slap of his own before sending Miz to the outside, Bryan dives off the apron and catches Miz with a flying knee. Bryan gets Miz back in the ring where they exchange blows before Miz hits Bryan with a kitchen sink. Miz gets a 2 count on Bryan after a PK to the head. Miz hits a couple more kicks to the head while trash-talking Bryan. Bryan makes a comeback and hits Miz in the corner with kicks and chops before hitting the running dropkick in the corner, but as he goes for the third one Miz follows him and hits Bryan with the corner clothesline. Miz comes off the top with an axe handle but Bryan avoids it and tries to go for the LeBelle Lock but Miz prevents it from happening. Bryan hits a running clothesline on Miz before going up to the top where Miz cuts him off and goes for a superplex but Bryan fights him off and lands a missile dropkick off the top. Bryan hits the Yes! Kicks and then just as he was thinking about doing the Yes chant the lights go off and when they come back on The Fiend is sitting in the corner. The Fiend locks in the Mandible Claw on Bryan to end the segment.
Winner: No Contest Match Rating: **
This was nothing special of a match and was used just to set up The Fiend attacking Bryan. Of all the matches happening at Survivor Series this is the one I’m least excited about which is a shame as I shouldn’t feel that way about a match that has one of the best wrestlers in the world facing a champion who just underwent a gimmick change a few months ago and should still be interesting and captivating only a few months later. It feels like there has hardly been any build to this match and this segment on the go-home didn’t sell me on the match either, in fact, it feels like they are building up to another Bryan vs Miz match instead of Bryan vs The Fiend. Hopefully, the match at Survivor Series is good (although if they keep the red light on during the match none of Bray’s matches are going to be that good) but right now I’m not feeling it. I also feel like the Bray/Fiend character development has stalled compared to a few months ago, I actually think the character could use a segment where he has a serious one on one interview with one of the announcers similar to the interview Mankind did with JR back in the late 90s so we can get some more development on why Bray is the way he is.
After the commercial, Shayna Baszler makes her way to the ring and calls out Bayley, but this time it’s Bayley hitting Shayna from behind as she takes her down with a chop block. Shayna gets in control and Bayley doesn’t want to stay and fight but she has no choice as Shayna locks her in the Kirifuda Clutch on the floor, Bayley is able to escape by ramming Shayna into the ring post. Bayley runs to the top of the ramp as we have a staredown between the two women’s champions before Bayley goes to the back.
Kind of a bummer Becky couldn’t be there for the go-home show but this match doesn’t really need much more build to get people hyped for it as the build for it has been really well done and I have no doubt those three women will put on a great match on Sunday.
It’s now time for the main event
Match #4: King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, & Robert Roode vs Roman Reigns, Shorty G, & Mustafa Ali
Reigns immediately takes down the heels and then hits a Drive-By on Corbin. Reigns rolls Roode into the ring but Roode grabs the referee with allows Ziggler to hit Reigns from behind and then Corbin sends Reigns into the barricade. Roode tags in Ziggler and they try to double team Reigns only for him to fight them off and hit Roode with a Samoan drop. Reigns tags in Shorty who dropkicks Corbin off the apron and then hits an exploder on Roode and a northern lights on Ziggler that gets a 2 count. Ziggler backdrops Shorty to the apron where Corbin and Roode are waiting, they toss him from the apron onto the announce table as we go to commercial.
As we come back from commercial Ziggler hits Reigns with a big DDT for a 2 count. Ziggler tunes up the band for the Superkick but gets caught with a Superman Punch from Reigns. Reigns makes the hot tag to Ali while Ziggler tags in Corbin, Ali hits a couple of dropkicks and moments later hits the rolling X-Factor. He catches the leg of Ziggler who was attempting a Superkick and hits him with a spinning wheel kick. Ali hits the tope suicida on Ziggler followed by a tope con hilo on Corbin. Ali rolls Corbin back into the ring and gets out of an attempted chokeslam and then follows up with a springboard DDT out of the corner. Ali goes up top looking for the 450 but Roode crotches him, Shorty tries to take care of Roode but gets hit with a spinebuster on the floor for his efforts. Reigns leaps off the steps and hit Roode with a big Superman Punch and then turns around and gets hit with a Superkick from Ziggler. Ziggler pushes Ali off the top rope and Corbin hits Ali with the Deep Six to get the win.
Winners: King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, & Robert Roode via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
This was a fun match but nothing special except for Shorty G getting tossed on the announce table which was a nice looking spot. As Reigns made his way to the ring Michael Cole tells us that Reigns had sent out a tweet that he was going to help Corbin practice getting eliminated for Sunday which is kind of dickish that he puts his personal issues with Corbin ahead of the betterment of his team and the SmackDown brand, if I were Fox I would be like screw this guy get us someone else on the team who wouldn’t be happy with one of his team members being eliminated.
The heels leave Reigns in the ring alone as Seth Rollins’s music hits and he leads the Raw roster through the crowd. Rollins enters the ring alone and starts trading punches with Reigns before the rest of Team Raw join Rollins in the beat down. The SmackDown roster then ran to the ring to help their Team Captain. After a few minutes of Raw and SmackDown brawling, it’s time for NXT to get involved as we cut to the back and see the NXT stars walking beside the DX tank which has DX, Keith Lee, & Tommaso Ciampa inside it. DX sends the NXT roster into battle and there are at least 50 people brawling around ringside as it is all-out chaos.
The show closes with a face-off between Keith Lee and Braun Strowman in the ring, they take out some lower card talent with a pounce and a shoulder block before going at each other as members of all rosters get back in the ring to join them as the show goes off the air.
This was pretty much how you expect the Survivor Series go-home show to end now as we have to have the annual Survivor Series multi-brand brawl between all of the wrestlers, it has become as much a November tradition as Thanksgiving is, I’m actually not against the crazy brawl as it is one of my wrestling guilty pleasures. I do think Team NXT coming into the arena on the DX tank (otherwise known as a jeep) was overdoing it, especially since we had already seen NXT stars throughout the night so it wasn’t like they were just now arriving and the fact they didn’t drive it into the arena to give a cool visual made it even more unnecessary, Why do the NXT guys get to be led down to the ring by three Hall of Famers when Raw and SmackDown doesn’t have anybody like that supporting them, it actually kinda makes NXT look less than the other two shows because it comes off as they are a bunch of kids that are being led by their babysitters or parents. I also didn’t like how they didn’t involve the women in the final segment as they did a few years ago when the SmackDown women stood side by side with the men and beat down the Raw women, if they want them to be equal then they should’ve been apart of the brawl. I am excited for Survivor Series weekend as there is potential for some really great matches.
That’s all for this week, but be sure to come back next week when everyone will hate each other again and the us vs them mentality will be a thing of the past.