After Shane McMahon led Smackdown Live into Raw this past Monday night and delivered the first strike, the question everyone wants to know if whether or not Raw retaliated tonight on Smackdown Live? Regardless of whether Raw invaded or not, Smackdown Live had it’s own business to take care of. On this episode we find out the first Smackdown Live superstar to join the blue team at Survivor Series for the traditional five on five match. We also learn who will be the captain of the women’s team at Survivor Series as well. To find out these pressing answers and more, keep reading this Smackdown Live review.
Smackdown Live comes from Milwaukee, Wisconsin tonight and the show starts off with none other than the commissioner Shane McMahon. Shane said he wanted to strike first and that’s why they visited Raw last night. Shane took offense when Raw General Manager Kurt Angle said the Smackdown Live roster didn’t stack up to Raw. Shane was proud that his team caught Raw by surprise and that his brand won’t be cause they’re ready.
Sami Zayn interrupts Shane and asked him if there’s no hard feelings about Hell in a Cell. Shane told Sami that there are hard feelings and they’ll deal with them another time. Shane mentioned that he could’ve been seriously injured and that Sami added insult to injury when he placed Kevin Owens on top of him for the pin at Hell in a Cell. Sami then told Shane that he’s the commissioner and that’s fine, but if he was Shane the competitor then he would take him out in a second. Sami got to the reason why he’s out there and told Shane that him and Kevin talked and decided they would join the Smackdown Live team at Survivor Series and carry the load while everybody else followed. Sami told Shane he needs him and Kevin to represent Smackdown Live. Shane told Sami he didn’t want him and Kevin. However Shane said that because this is the land of opportunity that if he wanted to be on the team, then all he’d have to do is defeat his opponent. Sami Zayn’s opponent was then revealed as none other than Randy Orton.
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Great start to Smackdown Live. Loving that Sami Zayn is involved in this feud with Shane McMahon. Little surprised that either Zayn or Orton will get left off the Survivor Series team, but it’s a great big stakes match for later on.
The New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston w/ Big E) vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
The first match of the evening is the number one contenders for the Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship Benjamin and Gable taking on one of the most established tag teams in WWE, The New Day. The current champs The Usos join Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton for commentary. Usos were mostly talking about taking their opponents at Survivor Series Raw’s Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to the Uso Penitentiary. Gable and Woods start, Woods gets the upper hand so Benjamin gets tagged in. Kingston gets tagged in. Both of them try to moves on each other only to have the other land on their feet. Before the commerical, Benjamin delivers a clothesline knocking Kingston to the outside. After the break Benjamin hits Kingston with a suplex for a pin, but Kingston kicks out. New Day Rocks chants erupt in Milwaukee as Xavier gets tagged in as does Gable. Gable eventually gets the upper hand and tags in Benjamin for a double team move, but Xavier kicks out. Xavier gets some offense in on Benjamin with a roaring elbow followed by a kick to pin Benjamin, but he kicks out. Benjamin retaliates with a spinebuster. Gable gets tagged in and in comes Kofi only to receive a flying clothesline. While all this is going on, Xavier Woods gets kicked in the back of the neck by Shelton Benjamin behind the referee’s back allowing Chad Gable to score the pin.
WINNER: Benjamin and Gable via pinfall
Chairman’s Take: Weird seeing Gable and Benjamin using heel tactics, but it’s clear this is the route they’re going. Match was decent and the number one contenders gain some more momentum before their eventual clash with the Usos.
Backstage the Smackdown Live women are talking about their Raw invasion when Carmella interrupts looking for James Ellsworth. Daniel Bryan then appears and tells them that they’re all on the Smackdown Live women’s team at Survivor Series, except Lana. The women fight over who should be the captain which prompts Bryan to make a fatal five way match with the winner earning the right to captain the Survivor Series team.
Breezango have another segment with Ascension who kidnapped James Ellsworth. Carmella ends up finding them and Fandango grabs her Money in the Bank briefcase thinking it’s involved with their case only to find dirty underwear that’s Ellsworth’s???
Backstage again where Daniel Bryan apparently was out of the loop on Shane McMahon’s under siege plot. Bryan didn’t agree with what McMahon was doing, but McMahon said he’s doing what he’s got to do.
Baron Corbin vs Sin Cara
Corbin wanted revenge for his upset loss last week and starts off on the offense. Sin Cara however when thrown into a corner avoids Corbin and takes control. Corbin goes to the outside only to receive two suicide dives from Sin Cara. Back in the ring Sin Cara goes for a missile dropkick, but only gets a two count. Corbin again goes outside to catch a breather before returning and going on the attack. He starts stomping Sin Cara in the corner and starts punching him as the ref starts a five count and ends up disqualifying Corbin. After the match Sin Cara gets an End of Days to the floor.
WINNER: Sin Cara by disqualification
CHAIRMAN’s TAKE: Sin Cara who’s been off television until last week is owning Baron Corbin in the win loss column. This is some really curious booking considering Corbin is the United States Champion and has a big match with The Miz at Survivor Series. I’m sure Sin Cara is getting a title shot with these wins he’s picking up, but that’ll be when Corbin gets a decisive victory over Sin Cara and Sin Cara probably will disappear again for weeks.
Jinder Mahal is introduced and heads to the ring. He talks about people that speak the truth and those that are liars such as Paul Heyman. A recap of the promo Paul Heyman did on Jinder Mahal is replayed. Mahal goes on talking about how he earned everything he has in WWE. How he started at the bottom to become the most powerful. Jinder talks about dominating Orton and outwrestled Nakamura, yet he doesn’t get respect. Mahal says he’s not Lesnar’s equal, he’s his worst nightmare. Right before Jinder brings up Sunil facing AJ Styles, Styles music plays and he makes his way to the ring. Before the match, the referee ejects Jinder from ringside.
AJ Styles vs Sunil Singh w/ Samir Singh
Styles hits Sunil with a right hand followed with a headbutt. Samir gets on the apron and Styles grabs him as he kicks Sunil then throws him into Samir knocking him off the apron. Styles locks Sunil in the Calf Crusher and he taps out.
WINNER: AJ Styles via submission
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: This was a qch and a pointless one at that. This will more than likely lead to a match against Jinder Mahal, just a matter of when…
Backstage we see Sami Zayn in the locker room area as he’s approached by Kevin Owens. Owens reveals that next week he has a qualifying match for Survivor Series against Shinsuke Nakamura.
Jinder Mahal confronts Daniel Bryan backstage upset about AJ Styles. Next week Samir Singh will defend his honor in a match against Styles.
Charlotte Flair vs Tamina vs Carmella vs Naomi vs Becky Lynch (Winner is Captain of Smackdown Live Women’s Team at Survivor Series)
Before the match, Natalya comes to the ring and stands before all the Smackdown Live women. Match begins and Charlotte gets the upper hand on Carmella into a corner. Tamina superkicks Charlotte and Carmella gets excited only to find herself in a Samoan Drop before the break. After the break the match is chaotic. The women are all over the place on the outside. Carmella jumps on Tamina’s back and they both end up on the ground. Charlotte then starts chopping Tamina and then big boots Carmella. Charlotte then delivers a fallaway slam to Tamina. Becky then leaps off the apron and takes out Charlotte. Naomi launches herself over the ropes to take out Becky. Charlotte then whips Naomi into the barricade and clocks Tamina. Lana in support of Tamina takes a cheap shot at Charlotte. Charlotte knocks Lana over only to find herself getting superkicked by Tamina. Tamina then launches Charlotte over the barricade and into the crowd. As this is going on Naomi is back in the ring with Becky and they both try to roll each other up. Carmella gets back into the ring and throws Naomi into the ringpost. Carmella tries pinning Becky, but she keeps kicking out. Carmella starts having a tantrum and starts slapping Becky. Becky then when Carmella isn’t suspecting it gets locked into the Disarmer and taps out.
WINNER: Becky Lynch via submission
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: It’s nice to see Becky Lynch get a big win and get the chance to lead the Smackdown Live women team. I can’t remember the last time Becky received a shot at the Smackdown Women’s Championship so again it’s great she gets rewarded for what she does. Becky Lynch will lead Charlotte, Naomi, Tamina, and Carmella into battle at Survivor Series against an Alicia Fox led Raw team of Bayley, Sasha Banks, and two unnamed women that didn’t care enough to wrestle for the right to be captain on Raw.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan cut another Bludgeon Brothers promo video.
Renee Young is backstage with Dolph Ziggler who now is going on about how catchphrases are what the WWE Universe is obsessed with. Ziggler starts mocking the Rock’s “If You Smell” catchphrase before settling on “I Told You So” such as saying how nobody thought he’d beat Bobby Roode last week. Roode appears and the two go on about their recent rivalry which prompts Roode to propose that next week they wrestle in a two out of three falls match to settle things once in for all. Ziggler agrees and hopes Roode’s ego can take being embarrassed twice in one night. Roode tells Renee that next week will be absolutely glorious!
Randy Orton vs Sami Zayn (Winner joins Smackdown Live Survivor Series Team)
Orton starts off dominating by locking Zayn in a headlock. Zayn keeps trying to escape, but Orton keeps gaining the advantage. Zayn keeps taunting Orton, but Orton unleashes uppercuts and strikes and knocks Zayn to the outside. Orton wasting no time goes out there and brings Zayn back into the ring. Zayn is able to get some offense in briefly, but quickly finds himself being assaulted including getting whipped into the barricade, but Zayn somehow leaps on top of it and takes Orton down with a moonsault before the break.
After the break Orton clotheslines Zayn. Zayn gets back up and tries a clothesline of his own, but misses and on the return gets powerslammed. Zayn rolls outside, but Orton gets him and bounces him off the commentary table. They return to the ring for a pinfall, but Zayn kicked out. Orton takes Zayn down with a suplex followed by another pin, but kickout. Zayn manages to elbow Orton in the face and takes him down with a crossbody for a pinfall, but Orton kicked out. Orton attempted an RKO, but Zayn manages to get Orton in a backslide pin, but kickout. Zayn makes his way to the top, but Orton stops him and delivers a superplex. Orton with a cover, but kickout once again. Zayn rolls out of the ring, but Orton stalks him on the outside. Zayn bounces Orton off the ringpost and then sets up and delivers the suicide dive tornado DDT. Zayn returns the ring as the referee counts Orton. Orton eventually gets back in and rests in the corner. Zayn measures up the Helluva Kick, but missed. Orton then grabs Zayn and gets him into the ropes and drops him with the DDT. Just as Orton got ready to finish off Zayn, Kevin Owens ran down to the ring. Orton tried to DDT Owens, but Zayn rolled up Orton, Orton however kicked out. With the referee distracted by Kevin Owens, Randy Orton manages to hit Sami Zayn with a low blow. Orton then stares down Kevin Owens just before he hits Zayn with an RKO for a victory.
WINNER: Randy Orton via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’s TAKE: Great match! One of the few matches of Randy Orton’s I enjoyed. Of course, it’s nice that Sami Zayn actually got time to work and a formidable opponent. There’s no way Sami Zayn gets left off Survivor Series so I’m really curious what happens next for him. Does he find another way onto the Smackdown Live team? Does he end up helping Raw win at Survivor Series? So many questions surrounding Sami Zayn right now and it’s great. I’m so happy he’s finally in a featured storyline and this reunion with Kevin Owens has been fantastic.
Just as the show closed, Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are backstage. After the fear of Raw attacking, they didn’t show up. Bryan warns McMahon that someday they will return the favor and there will be consequences.
RATING: 7 out of 10. I didn’t think this episode of Smackdown Live was that bad. Obviously you were invested because of the Smackdown Live invasion of Raw last night waiting for a counterstrike, that didn’t happen. The Orton and Zayn match was fantastic and I think they could do wonders on a pay per view should they cross again. The opening tag team match was alright, it did what it needed to do. The women’s match was somewhat chaotic and these fatal five way matches are overdone. Corbin and Sin Cara was bad filler and Styles beating one of the Singh Brothers was nothing special either. Next week will be huge with Kevin Owens vs Shinsuke Nakamura along with Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler in a two out of three falls match. I just hope Roode and Ziggler have a better match than they did last week. With that being said did you enjoy Smackdown Live this week? Didn’t like it? Let me known on twitter @chairmanpodcast and thanks again for reading and enjoy the rest of your week.