On this Halloween edition of Smackdown Live, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kevin Owens battle in the main event with the winner joining Randy Orton on the Smackdown Live Survivor Series team. Also on this edition of Smackdown Live, Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler face off in a two out of three falls match where the winner will also join the Survivor Series team. We also learn who will be the captain of the Smackdown Live team as well. To find out this and much more, keep reading this review of Smackdown Live.
Smackdown Live starts with Commissioner Shane McMahon making his way to the ring. He talks about Survivor Series and how he wants to defeat Raw and become the “A” show in WWE. Shane brings up Daniel Bryan going to Raw last night and getting brutally attacked by Kane for his troubles. Shane asks where was Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon when this happened? Shane said there’s going to be hell to pay and he told Angle to bring his gold medals to Survivor Series and his “Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman and to pick three more Raw superstars. Shane ended by saying that Raw is going to meet Smackdown Live in their ring with Randy Orton, three of Smackdown Live’s finest superstars, and yours truly.
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Straight and to the point. That’s all you can ask for! It was obvious that Shane McMahon was going to wrestle as the captain of the blue team at Survivor Series when Kurt Angle was named captain of the Raw team and now it’s official. Shane McMahon for the second year in a row will join his brand in the ring at Survivor Series in an attempt to make Smackdown Live superior in the Survivor Series match two years in a row.
Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler (Two Out Of Three Falls Match)
Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler have had a rivalry as of late and it all comes to an end here tonight in this two out of three fall match. Ziggler tries to score a quick cover early, but is unsuccessful. Ziggler and Roode try their signature moves respectfully, but to no avail. The match ends up in the outside and Roode whips Ziggler into the barricade and takes control. After beating Ziggler down for a bit, Roode throws him back inside the ring. An unsuspecting Roode falls victim to a Ziggler superkick and Ziggler steals the first fall before going to a commercial.
Smackdown Live returns and during the break Bobby Roode ties things up. A recap is shown where Roode slingshots Ziggler into the corner with Ziggler smacking his head off the turnbuckle post giving Roode a fall. We enter sudden death now with the next fall winning the match. Both men get back to their feet and exchange blows. Ziggler went for a Famouser, but missed. Roode takes Ziggler down with a slam and goes for a cover, but kickout. Roode looks for the Glorious DDT, but Ziggler reverses it and gets a rollup, Roode counters with a rollup, but kickout. Ziggler then plants Roode with a DDT. Roode then gets up and plants Ziggler with a spinebuster then tries for the Glorious DDT, but Ziggler escapes once again and delivers the Zig Zag. Roode somehow kicked out! Ziggler then goes to the corner and starts tapping his foot to the mat looking for Sweet Chin Music. Ziggler goes in, but Roode side steps and whips Ziggler into the corner. Roode goes for a rollup, but kickout. Roode then is able to hit the Glorious DDT and finish off Ziggler for good.
WINNER: Bobby Roode two falls to one.
Renee Young enters the ring to interview Roode. Roode said now there’s three on the Smackdown Live team Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, and Bobby Roode. Roode just hopes the next two teammates show the passion and competitiveness that we do. Smackdown up, Raw down, hashtag Under Siege.
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Decent first match! The first two falls were quick and everyone knows a two out of three falls match always goes to the third and decisive one. Match was a good pace and now Roode joins Shane McMahon and Randy Orton on the Survivor Series team. Not sure what’s next for Dolph Ziggler, but I’m sure his feud with Roode is over.
New Day is backstage dressed up in Halloween costumes. Big E is Akeem, Kofi Kingston is Brother Love, and Xavier Woods is Jimmy Hart. Rusev and Aiden English however aren’t entertained by New Day’s Halloween celebration and Rusev said Halloween is a dumb holiday and only one day matters now and it’s Rusev Day. Rusev then dumps New Day’s candy and smashes it prompting Big E to challenge him to a match later on.
Becky Lynch is backstage with the Smackdown Live women giving them a motivation speech regarding team Smackdown vs team Raw. Natalya shows up and mentions how every team has a weak link. Natalya calls out Naomi at first, then she calls out Charlotte making it a point to oust her.
Baron Corbin vs Sin Cara
Corbin starts on the attack and his new motive it seems here is to unmask Sin Cara. Corbin delivers a big boot and then tosses Sin Cara outside. Corbin gets some more offense in during the course of the match and continues to work on the mask of Sin Cara. Eventually the match goes back outside and Sin Cara snapped after Corbin continued working on taking off his mask. Sin Cara unloads punches and even pushes Corbin onto the commentary table giving the referee no choice but to rule the match a no contest. After the match, Sin Cara goes as far as to throwing a chair at Corbin which prompts him to retreat into the audience.
WINNER: No contest
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Three weeks in a row this is happening. I have no idea how this benefits Corbin at all, especially with his high profile match against Miz at Survivor Series. Not sure what’s behind the Sin Cara push all the sudden either? Now with Corbin’s mask interest, something tells me a mask vs title match could be in the works…
Renee Young is backstage with the Usos talking about their upcoming match at Survivor Series against Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose. Usos stated they’ve proved they got the Smackdown Live tag team division on lock. They then get confronted by Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable. Gable starts some rapping on the Usos. Long story short, Benjamin and Gable will be facing the Usos next week in a Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship match.
AJ Styles vs Samir Singh (w/ Sunil Singh & Jinder Mahal)
Before the match, Jinder Mahal touches on his match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Jinder then cuts his usual promo and gets interrupted by Styles. The match of course is over instantly as Styles puts Samir away with the Styles Clash. After the match though, Mahal and Sunil ambush Styles and Mahal delivers not one, but two Khallas to Styles.
WINNER: AJ Styles via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Not really sure what the point of these squash matches with Mahal’s henchmen are for Styles. I’m really hoping this leads to a WWE Championship match between Jinder Mahal and AJ Styles, but the question is when? I’d rather see Mahal get knocked out of the Survivor Series match against Lesnar and replaced by AJ Styles, but we all know that isn’t happening.
Backstage Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn criticize Shane McMahon for making himself captain of the Smackdown Live Survivor Series team and how he didn’t punish Randy Orton for using a low blow to defeat Sami Zayn last week. Owens vowed that he’d beat Shinsuke Nakamura and lead Smackdown Live to victory making Shane McMahon owe them and give them whatever they want.
Bludgeon Brothers Luke Harper and Erick Rowan are shown in another promo video.
Big E (w/ Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs Rusev (w/ Aiden English)
Aiden English and Rusev are in the ring with English about to sing, but gets interrupted by New Day’s entrance. The match starts with Rusev trying to gain the upper hand, but Big E gets him in the abdominal stretch with the New Day Rocks beat slaps. Big E is hitting elbows in the face and then gets Rusev in the corner and stomps away on him. Rusev however gets control and whips Big E into the turnbuckle post prompting him to roll to the outside just before the break.
After the break Rusev has Big E in an arm lock, but Big E manages to escape and starts taking Rusev down with a series of suplexes. Big E then leaps off the ropes and delivers a big splash. Big E looks for the Big Ending, but Rusev escapes and delivers a kick to the head. Big E is in the corner and Rusev charges in only to find himself getting taken down by a uranage. Aiden suddenly starts singing then attacks Xavier Woods. This gets Kofi Kingston involved and Aiden runs into the ring only to get a Big Ending from Big E. Big E though with his back turned to Rusev gets a Machka Kick to the back of the head and Rusev scores the pinfall win.
WINNER: Rusev via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’s TAKE: Rusev gets a big singles win over Big E. I’ve been enjoying this feud between New Day and Rusev and Aiden English. It’s nice that there’s a good storyline not centered around titles. Curious to see where things go next between these superstars.
Renee is backstage with Sin Cara and mentioned that we seen a different side of him tonight. Sin Cara talked about his mask and that it represents familia and it makes him a superhero to his children. He said he went thru hell to get his mask and he will go thru hell to keep it.
Aiden English and Rusev find Shane McMahon. Rusev told Shane he should put him on the Survivor Series team. Shane McMahon of course said Rusev had to earn his spot and next week he would get his chance to do so. All he has to do is beat AJ Styles.
Another Breezango skit called Strangerer Things took place. The end showed a picture of Luke Harper and Erick Rowan making it more clear they’re the ones attacking them.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Kevin Owens
The main event of the evening and the winner will join the Smackdown Live team at Survivor Series. Nakamura starts on the offense early prompting Owens to head for the outside. Nakamura taunts him and Owens runs in. Owens though is taken down by Nakamura’s knee strikes. Nakamura gets Owens in the corner and gets him with Good Vibrations.Owens heads outside again, Nakamura gives chase, but gets attacked for it. Owens goes to whip Nakamura into the barricade, but Shinsuke counters and Owens hits the barricade just before the break.
After the break, Owens gets control with a superkick to Nakamura. Goes for a pin, but kicked out. Owens hits a DDT and cover, but kickout. Owens then starts rubbing his forearm on Nakamura’s face. Owens delivers elbows to the face then applies a headlock. Nakamura makes a comeback though and starts kicking Owens. Owens grabs the leg, but Shinsuke quickly uses the other leg and kicks Owens. Nakamura lifts Owens in the corner and then strikes him in the chest. Nakamura goes for a pin, but kickout.
Sami Zayn makes his way to ringside. Nakamura distracted gets rolled up, but is able to kick out. Nakamura regains control and has Owens in the corner. Nakamura starts lifting Owens up and is looking for a superplex, but is blocked. Owens then lifts Nakamura and drops him from the top. Owens goes for the pin, but Nakamura kicked out. Owens grabs Nakamura and whips him into the ropes looking for the Pop Up Powerbomb, but Nakamura is able to take KO down with a hurricarana followed by a sliding knee to the jaw. Nakamura with a cover, but kickout. Nakamura then measures up for the Kinshasa, but Zayn pulls Owens out of the ring. Nakamura goes outside to confront Zayn, but Owens from behind pushes Nakamura into the steel steps. Owens gets Nakamura in the ring and delivers a frogsplash from the top followed by a pin, but another kickout. Owens tells Zayn to clear the announcers table with the intentions of putting Nakamura thru it. All the sudden Randy Orton’s theme hits and Owens and Zayn wonder where he is, suddenly Orton appears behind Zayn and puts him thru the announcers table. Owens distracted gets taken down by Nakamura and receives a Kinshasa to put the match away for good.
WINNER: Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall.
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Great main event! Hopefully we get Nakamura vs Owens in a big pay per view match someday. Storytelling was well done here as well with Zayn getting involved followed by Nakamura getting an assist from out of nowhere by the Viper Randy Orton. With Nakamura moving onto the Survivor Series team, it’s clear now that both Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are left out. There’s definitely a bigger story here in the works with Owens and Zayn and I’m excited to see where this goes next.
RATING: 4 out of 10 stars. Even though the main event with Shinsuke Nakamura and Kevin Owens delivered as expected, there were parts that really dropped the ball. Having Baron Corbin and Sin Cara for the third week in a row was a turnoff as was having AJ Styles wrestle a squash match against the other Singh brother. Also a letdown that there wasn’t a women’s match as well. Of course I feel the writing team backed themselves into a corner with this unity between the Smackdown Live women until Survivor Series and Natalya is the only one out for herself at the moment. I will say Big E and Rusev was a fresh and fun effort and for what it’s worth Roode and Ziggler had an okay match. Lastly, why is Smackdown Live advertising Raw’s 25th Anniversary when they’re in a major feud at the moment???
We’ll be back next week to see if the Usos can survive the threat of Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin for their Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship and who gets the last spot on the Smackdown Live Survivor Series team between AJ Styles and Rusev. With that, let me know what you thought of Smackdown Live this week on Twitter @chairmanpodcast and thanks for reading.