Smackdown Live had a strong showing at Survivor Series, unfortunately the brand just fell short of defeating Raw. Now that Survivor Series has come and gone, Smackdown Live can get back to business. That business involves a Smackdown Live Women’s Championship match where Charlotte Flair defends the title against Natalya. Also what does Shane McMahon have in store for Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for getting involved in the main event at Survivor Series? Keep reading to find out more.
The show begins with Shane McMahon in the ring proud of the efforts of all the superstars on the Smackdown Live roster. That is except for two of them, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Owens and Zayn go to the ring and boast about how unlike the New Day, they could’ve beat the Shield. How the could’ve defeated Raw two on five, and how they could’ve defeated Brock Lesnar. Owens and Zayn demand that Shane McMahon apologizes to them for leaving them off the team. Shane McMahon had enough of Owens and Zayn that he was going to fire them, but Daniel Bryan came out and stopped Shane. Bryan goes on about sending Randy Orton home to protect Owens and Zayn and because New Day is upset about losing at Survivor Series that Owens and Zayn would face New Day and because the locker room is angry at Zayn and Owens, that the match would become a lumberjack match.
Shelton Benjamin (w/ Chad Gable) vs Jey Uso (w/ Jimmy Uso)
Coming off their big win against the Bar at Survivor Series, Usos find themselves in the ring once again. However it’s Jey in singles action against Shelton Benjamin. Match starts slow, though right before the break Benjamin manages to land a big knee strike knocking Jey Uso off the turnbuckle and to the outside. Smackdown returns with Benjamin holding Jey in a chin lock. Jey escapes though and gets little offense in before Benjamin hits Jey in the midsection with a knee. Benjamin looks for a clothesline, but misses and ends up in a Samoan Drop. This point Chad Gable starts getting involved trying to help his partner, but Jimmy Uso stops the threat and throws Gable into the barricade. With the distraction, Benjamin goes for a rollup, but kickout. Jey then hits a superkick, but another kickout. Jey then goes to the top looking for a big splash, but Benjamin gets out of the way and delivers Paydirt for the win.
WINNER: Shelton Benjamin via pinfall
CHAIRMAN’s TAKE: Match elevates Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable as threats to the Usos Smackdown Live Tag Team Championship. Whether they wait until Clash of Champions to decide this is another story.
Backstage Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are trying to convince superstars to not attack them during the main event. They start with Baron Corbin, but he tells them to find someone else who’s weak minded. They then ask Bobby Roode, but Roode blows up saying that they cost his team the win at Survivor Series.
After the break, Naomi is backstage and gets attacked by Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan. Superstars from NXT invade once again similar to last night on Raw where Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose joined forces with Paige to attack women superstars. Becky Lynch also gets taken out by the newcomers.
Backstage Shane McMahon compliments Daniel Bryan on his recent additions to the women’s division and leaving him to fire Owens and Zayn once the show is over.
The Bludgeon Brothers (Erick Rowan & Luke Harper) vs Hype Bros (Mojo Rawley & Zack Ryder)
Match was over instantly. Harper throws Ryder into the steps on the outside and Rowan and Harper double team Rawley and finish him off with a tag team finisher.
WINNERS: Bludgeon Brothers via pinfall
Natalya is backstage talking about Charlotte’s fluke win over Alexa Bliss and how her cat 2 Paws could beat her. Natalya then said she’ll give Ric Flair something to cry about by beating Charlotte.
AJ Styles is in the ring talking about his match against Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. He then touches on Jinder Mahal wanting to challenge him for the WWE Championship. Styles was ready to go, but Mahal shows up on the titantron and claims that Styles took advantage of him because of the European tour. Jinder claimed that he would’ve defeated Brock Lesnar and became the Beastmaster. Styles told Mahal that he should be well rested to fight tonight since he didn’t do anything at Survivor Series. Mahal calls Styles a disgrace and he will regain his title at a place more deserving than Texas. Mahal invokes his rematch clause to take place at Clash of Champions. The Singh Brothers then show up and ambush Styles, Styles however fights them off.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn continue finding allies before the main event, this time Rusev and Aiden English. KO and Zayn mention that they rather celebrate Rusev Day than Thanksgiving and bring up the fact that John Cena was handed a Survivor Series team spot while Rusev was left out.
Charlotte Flair © vs Natalya (Smackdown Live Women’s Championship Match)
Natalya starts on the attack, but Charlotte hits Natalya with the Flair chops. Nattie hits a discus clothesline and goes for the Sharpshooter early, but Charlotte escapes and tosses Natalya headfirst into the middle turnbuckle before the break.
After the break, Charlotte has Natalya in the corner. Natalya however manages to powerbomb Charlotte followed by a pin, but only a two count. Natalya moves in for the Sharpshooter and holds it on for quite some time. Charlotte however fights for the ropes and successfully scores a rope break. Charlotte starts taking control of the match again and goes up top for a moonsault shortly after, but Natalya gets the knees up to block it. Natalya measures up Charlotte, but Charlotte hits the spear. Natalya being the veteran rolls to the outside. However the outside wasn’t safe as Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan hop the barricade and attack Natalya throwing the match out.
WINNER: Natalya by disqualification (Charlotte retains title)
After taking out Natalya, the three NXT women stalk Charlotte in the ring and ambush her as well.
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: Well I’m disappointed the Iconic Duo Peyton Royce and Billie Kay didn’t get called up, but it is what it is. At least it would’ve made sense that they came up since they’ve been a team opposed to throwing random NXT women together on both Raw and Smackdown Live. I also didn’t like the fact that Charlotte was left for the pickings and there wasn’t even an attempt from Carmella to cash in Money in the Bank. Granted, the NXT women could’ve returned and ambushed her right before the cash in, but I felt this was another poor writing decision. I’m guessing the reason alot of these women got the call was to add depth to the women divisions. However I don’t see any of them really going anywhere other than maybe Ruby Riot? Time will tell I guess.
Backstage Daniel Bryan is asked about the NXT women, he declines comment. Owens and Zayn then tell Byan firing them would be the biggest mistake. Bryan wishes them luck.
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn vs Kofi Kingston & Big E w/ Xavier Woods (Lumberjack Match)
The match starts with Big E and Owens and they brawl a bit before Kofi gets tagged in. Kofi gets tossed to the outside, but the lumberjacks leave him alone. Owens frustrated tags in Zayn and Kofi gets thrown outside again, but the lumberjacks leave him alone. Zayn goes after Kofi and gets ambushed by the lumberjacks. Zayn tries to go up the ramp, but the lumberjacks all carry him back to the ring before the break.
After the break, Kofi goes for a pin on Owens, but he kicks out. Zayn gets tagged in and beats Kofi into the corner. Kofi gets clotheslined and Zayn with a cover, but kickout. Owens is tagged in and headbutts Kofi. Kofi gets bodyslammed and pinned, but kickout. Owens starts mocking the New Day clap before going for a running senton, but it’s blocked. Big E is in as is Zayn and Zayn gets dropped by a series of suplexes followed by the big splash from Big E. Kofi gets tagged and soon enough all four men are down. Zayn gets dumped to the outside by Kofi. Baron Corbin goes for a cheapshot on Zayn, but Zayn dodges and Corbin hits Bobby Roode. They start brawling and the lumberjacks start brawling inside the ring and everywhere. With all the chaos, Zayn manages to rollup Kofi for a pin and earn the victory.
WINNERS: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens via pinfall
Owens and Zayn try to escape after the match, but Big E isn’t letting them pass. Rusev however takes Big E out which allows Owens to leap the barricade. Kofi Kingston leaps from the top to take out Rusev and Aiden English. Meanwhile Zayn tries to escape, but he gets stopped by Xavier Woods. New Day end up attacking Zayn in the ring with Kofi’s Trouble in Paradise followed by the Midnight Hour from Big E and Xavier.
Owens is backstage and begs Daniel Bryan not to fire them. Bryan says he wasn’t going to fire them because he recognizes talent. Bryan then makes a match between Kevin Owens and Randy Orton for next week. Owens says that Bryan couldn’t, but then thanked him when he realized what the alternative was.
CHAIRMAN’S TAKE: The Shane McMahon vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn feud has taken front and center once again and it’ll be interesting to see how Shane reacts next week with them still being employed. Also with Corbin striking Roode in the main event, we very well could see our next United States Championship feud.
RATING: 6 out of 10. It wasn’t the worst show, but not the best either. I think tonight’s show was more about progressing storylines than the wrestling. Clearly the Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn feud against Smackdown Live took front and center, but the buzz is surrounding the NXT callups of Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan, and Liv Morgan adding depth to a thin women’s division. I’m excited for Owens vs Orton next week, but still anxious to see where things fall into place for many other Smackdown Live talents.