By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on USA Network
Aired live from Milwaukee, Wisconsin at BMO Harris Bank Bradley Center
Video aired of the “Under Siege” attack from last night, as well as the rundown Kurt Angle gave of the Survivor Series card on Raw.
Shane made his way into the arena to start the show. The announce team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton checked in. Shane exchanged pleasantries with the crowd and said he was glad to be back from rehab. He said Survivor Series was the only time of the year that Smackdown and Raw Superstars compete, and when you know you’re going to be in a fight, it’s best to strike first. So, when Kurt Angle called and said he needed an attraction for The Demon, he hatched his plan. He had AJ Styles stay another night, so they could unleash their plan on Monday Night.
He said Kurt Angle was surprised to see him in his office, but still had the audacity to say Raw’s Superstars were superior, and the Smackdown roster wasn’t on the same level. So when the time was right, they unleashed their “Under Siege” plan to send a message to the Raw Roster. Sami Zayn interrupted at this point, and said hello, and said he had no hard feelings. Shane said he had plenty of hard feelings from when Sami pulled Kevin Owens out of the way at Hell in a Cell, and on top of him for the 1-2-3 to add insult to injury.
Sami said Shane is out there as commissioner of Smackdown, but if he were Shane the competitor, he would take him out in one second. He would leave him hurting even worse than he left Hell in a Cell. Sami then went on to say that they he had mulled it over, and in a gesture of good faith, they had decided to offer their services to Team Smackdown for Survivor Series. He told Shane he knows they need him, and they know he’s not a stupid man, he knows he’ll do the smart thing. Shane responded that he doesn’t need them or want them, but since Smackdown is the land of opportunity, he would give him a match later on in the show, and the winner would be the first member of Team Smackdown.
Shane started to walk away, but Sami demanded to know who his opponent would be. Shane said it would be Randy Orton, and Sami grimaced. New Day vs. Gable and Benjamin is next, and AJ Styles vs. Sunil Singh is later in the show…[c]
My Take: Not the strongest reasoning from Shane for the “Under Siege” story, but I can’t really say that I expected one. I like the idea of Raw and Kurt Angle having a superiority complex, and Smackdown being the plucky underdogs, but honestly the groundwork for this should have been laid over a longer period of time than it has and it feels rushed and half assed as a result.
Usos were on commentary as The New Day made their entrance. The Usos showed New Day respect from the booth as they entered. Gable and Benjamin made their entrance next.
1. The New Day vs. Gable & Benjamin: New Day went to work early with some quick fire offense on Benjamin. Quick tags from Kofi and Woods cut off Benjamin early, but things turned around once Gable low bridged Kofi over the ropes to the outside. Big E ran over and tried to revive him by pulling some cereal out of his groin and putting it on his face. No, I’m not kidding….[c]
Shelton hit a butterfly suplex on Kofi for a two count. Kofi hit a heel kick and both men crawled to their corners for tags. Woods tripped Gable into the ropes and hit a leg drop. Gable hit a somersault kick, and he and Benjamin hit a double brainbuster for a near fall. Woods kneed his way out of a suplex and hit a soccer kick for a near fall. Benjamin recovered and hit a spinebuster. They tried to set up Woods for their finish, but Kofi interfered to break it up. Gable came off the ropes to take him out. Gable pushed Woods into the ropes, where Benjamin hit a kick to the back of his neck. Gable covered for the win.
Gable & Benjamin defeated New Day at 7:33.
Backstage, Bryan addressed most of the Women’s division about their Survivor Series match. The Survivor Series Team would be made up of Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Naomi, Tamina, and Carmella. Lana was there but he dismissed her like she was a potted plant. They would have a fatal five way match later on tonight to determine their captain. Carmella said Ellsworth was missing off his leash, and Bryan said he would send out a search team…[c]
My Take: I liked Gable and Benjamin being an opportunistic team. The Usos recognized the shortcut they took and showed them some respect for it. I think they are doing a decent job of building up Gable and Benjamin as challengers with the limited resources they have to do it. The Women’s division being in another five way match is an eye roller. They have run out of ideas.
Fashion Dogs is up next. They riffed on Resevoir Dogs with Breezango and The Ascension. Ellsworth was tied up to a chair backstage, and they threatened to cut his chin off since somebody saw him with the briefcase. They tried to get information from him, but he just barked at them. The Ascension were about to light him on fire with a can of gas. Carmella walked up and stopped them, and said Ellsworth was supposed to be guarding her briefcase. She told them she wasn’t a part of their stupid skit. Fandango opened it up, and found a pair of dirty men’s underwear. Carmella called Ellsworth a bad dog, and pulled him out of frame. Breeze said th at was another case wrapped up.
Konnor told him they had yet to solve a single mystery. Who broke into their office, the briefcase, 2B, nothing. They said it was clearly the Bludgeon Brothers, but Breeze said there’s no B in Brothers. Konnor corrected him, but he insisted the B must be silent. Fandango said things were set to get even strangerer, and they plugged next week’s episode theme of “Strangerer Things”. Baron Corbin made his entrance for a rematch with Sin Cara…[c]
My Take: I’m sure that segment was funny to someone. These guys have their moments, but I still find these segments more miss than hit.
Backstage, Bryan objected to Shane’s ransacking of Raw the night before. Shane said he’s the Commisioner and he’s going to make calls on his own sometimes. It’s in his job description. Bryan said that he’s just expressing his opinion, and that’s part of his. Sin Cara made his entrance while video of Baron Corbin’s count out loss from last week was shown.
2. Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara: The match started out all Corbin. He used his size and power to keep Sin Cara grounded with some strikes and stomps. Sin Cara fired back with a springboard back elbow and two suicide dives on the outside. Sin Cara went up top and hit a Missile Dropkick, but only got two. Corbin retreated to the outside and got angry, and returned to the ring and pummeled Sin Cara. He refused to break from strikes in the corner and was disqualified after a five count.
Sin Cara defeated Baron Corbin by Disqualification at 3:44.
After the match, Corbin hit End of Days out on the floor. The crowd chanted “one more time” after it was over. The camera cut backstage to an exit door as Cole hyped up the possibility of Raw retaliating for last night. AJ Styles vs. Sunil Singh is next…[c]
My Take: Well, at least Bryan hasn’t lost his mind for Survivor Series. I can’t say I’m thrilled about the idea of another McMahon being a heel lording over a show. Sin Cara and Corbin continue to tell a rather uninteresting story.
We got more video of the Smackdown Invasion of Raw, this time with more gloating from the Smackdown roster on social media. Afterwards, we got the Singh Brothers out to introduce Jinder Mahal. He made it to the ring and grabbed a microphone. A USA chant broke out, and Jinder held up his Championship. Jinder called Paul Heyman a liar, and introduced a clip from Raw of Heyman running him down and accepting the challenge. Jinder said unlike used car salesman Paul Heyman, he would tell them the truth.
He said he had earned everything he’d ever received in WWE. He started at the bottom, and now he’s the most powerful man in WWE. He said he doesn’t get the respect here that he does from the 1.3 Billion in India, but after Survivor Series he would prove to everyone and especially that human walrus Paul Heyman that the Maharaja Era had just begun. Mahal started talking about Sunil Singh and AJ Styles, at which point AJ made his entrance.
3. AJ Styles vs. Sunil Singh: Mahal got tossed by the referee. AJ slapped around both Singh Brothers, forcing Sunil to tap to the Calf Crusher after a short encounter.
AJ Styles defeated Sunil Singh at 0:40.
Backstage, Kevin Owens approached Sami Zayn and said that he had spoken to Daniel Bryan, and next week he’d have a qualifying match for Team Smackdown against Shinsuke Nakamura. Sami said that was no problem, he’d beat Orton tonight, and Owens would take care of Nakamura next week, and Team Smackdown would officially be Team Kevin and Sami. Owens said it would be team Sami and Kevin, and slapped him on the shoulder…[c]
My Take: Last week I was kind of hoping that this would eventually turn into a situation where Shane desperately needed Owens and Zayn to fill out the team. I’m wondering if that’s still the case, except they’ll initially fail to make the team, and then other members will be mysteriously attacked in the coming weeks. I still have absolutely zero interest in Jinder Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar.
Backstage, Jinder Mahal demanded Daniel Bryan make a match between Samir Singh and AJ Styles to Samir could defend his honor. Samir accepted, but clearly wasn’t excited about it. Some of the women were already in the ring. Naomi made her ring entrance, followed by Charlotte. Natalya was at ringside, and entered the ring. Greg Hamilton read off a bunch of compliments about Natalya for some reason.
4. Carmella vs. Becky vs. Tamina vs. Naomi vs. Charlotte: Tamina cleared everyone from the ring in the first 30 seconds. She hit a nice Samoan Drop on Carmella, who then rolled outside…[c]
Carmella jumped on Tamina’s back at ringside, and Tamina crashed into the ring apron. Charlotte entered the picture and took out both Tamina and Carmella with strikes. Becky Lynch jumped off the apron and hit a right cross that dropped Charlotte. Naomi took out Becky with a plancha, but Charlotte slammed her into the barricade. Lana provided a distraction and took Charlotte’s focus for a second, which allowed Tamina to hit a superkick on Charlotte.
Becky and Naomi ended up back in the ring. They traded roll ups and then Carmella broke up Naomi’s pin. Carmell tossed Naomi into the ringpost and then hit a Superkick on Becky for a near fall. Becky pulled her into a Disarmer a moment later and got a tap out victory.
Becky Lynch won the match and became the Captain of Team Smackdown at 8:11.
Becky celebrated after the match. Naomi and Charlotte looked bummed out. Sami vs. Orton is next…[c]
My Take: A bit of a chaotic effort from the women. I don’t think anybody really stood out in a good way. They seem to have Becky embracing the role as captain, being one of the people front and center during the invasion, and making a video for social media talking about breaking up Raw’s supposed superiority. I’m still confused what the whole Natalya bit was about. We’ll see where they take it from here.
Dolph Ziggler was interviewed backstage and cut off Renee straight away. He said she would say a question nobody cared about, and he would regurgitate a bunch of lines nobody cares about until he gets to a stupid catchphrase. That’s all anybody wants. He started to stammer out a bunch of old catchphrases, before saying that his catchphrase is “I told you so”. He said he told people Bobby Roode was nothing but an entrance, and nothing but a catchphrase, and last week he proved it when he beat him in the center of the ring. Roode walked up and told Ziggler that since they both had one match a piece, how about a third match to see who the better man really is.
Ziggler balked, and said all he needed was two. Roode then said two was a great idea. Next week, they could have a 2 out of 3 falls match to settle it once and for all. Ziggler responded that he was in, but he wasn’t sure if Roode’s ego could handle being embarrassed twice in one night. Ziggler walked off, and Roode told Renee he had a feeling that next week would be simply glorious. Zayn and Orton made their entrances. Video was shown of Zayn hitting a low blow and pinning Orton next week.
My Take: I liked that segment between Ziggler and Roode more than their previous segments, but mostly because it focused on their rivalry instead of on Dolph’s anti-showmanship wrestling philosophy. The 2 out of 3 Falls Match will take up a decent amount of time, which will be necessary while this show continues to kill time for a few weeks waiting for the final push towards Survivor Series.
The announce team said that the winner of Roode vs. Ziggler next week would represent Team Smackdown at Survivor Series, along with the winner of Owens vs. Nakamura.
5. Sami Zayn vs. Randy Orton: Things started off slowly as they traded holds and leverage. Zayn backed Orton into the corner and tapped on his chest when the ref separated them to get in his head. Orton smiled a bit and Sami danced a bit. Sami backed him into the corner and hit some chops, and taunted a Orton a bit. He responded with some big Euro Uppercuts. Sami tried to retreat to the floor, but Orton followed and tossed him back into the ring. Sami recovered quickly and hit a baseball slide that sent Orton into the announce table. Orton regrouped and tossed Sami at the barricade, but he was able to course correct and jump up on the barricade and hit Orton with a moonsault…[c]
Sami attempted a vertical suplex, but Orton reversed and dropped Sami on the top rope, and he did a somersault off the rope to sell the impact. Orton followed up with a powerslam, but Zayn was able to recover enough to roll out to the floor. Orton followed and hit a back suplex on the announce table, and then it another overhead suplex in the ring for two. Zayn hit a tope rope cross body and got a two count. Orton went for an RKO, but Sami reversed into a backslide for two.
Sami climbed to the top rope, and Randy followed and hit a superplex for a near fall. A moment later, Zayn hit a Heluva kick and Orton hit him with a draping DDT. Orton set up for the RKO, and Kevin Owens ran down to the ring and jumped up on the apron for a distraction. Orton went to hit Owens with a draping DDT, but Sami rolled him up from behind for a near fall. The ref tried to get Owens off the apron, which gave Orton the opening he needed to give Sami Zayn a return low blow. He stared down Owens and gave Zayn an RKO for the win.
Randy Orton defeated Kevin Owens at 14:33.
Backstage, Shane McMahon told Daniel Bryan they had a great show, and Raw didn’t invade like he through they would. Bryan admitted that they didn’t invade tonight, but told Shane that eventually they will, and he needs to be ready to accept the consequences of that. Bryan told him that was part of his job description.
My Take: I enjoyed the Orton and Zayn match. There were a few character moments in the early going that were entertaining, and I wish we would have seen more of them as the match went on. Owens costing Zayn the match while trying to help is likely going to feed heavily into how Owens vs. Nakamura pans out next week. The post match conversation between Bryan and Shane will be another important thread for Smackdown going forward. Will Shane drive Bryan away with his bad decision making? Will Bryan start undermining him with his own choices? It’s a fine line to try and walk without devolving into the authority figures taking up way too much screen time.