10/31 Powell’s WWE Smackdown Live TV Review: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens for a spot on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series, Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler in a best of three falls match for a spot on Team Smackdown

By Jason Powell

WWE Smackdown on USA Network
Aired live from Norfolk, Virginia at the Norfolk Scope

[Q1] The opening montage kicked off the show… The broadcast team was Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, and Byron Saxton…

Shane McMahon made his entrance to a strong ovation from the live crowd. He brought up Survivor Series and said people have been asking why Smackdown invaded Raw. He said Raw is approaching its 25-year anniversary and while that’s a big accomplishment, Raw has always looked at Smackdown as the inferior brand. He said that starts at the top with his sister Stephanie McMahon all the way down.

Shane spoke about taking over Smackdown, hiring Daniel Bryan to be the general manager, and going live on Tuesday nights. He said that just wasn’t enough. He said they had a team meeting with the roster and it was decided that the one thing they could do to make a statement was to go to Raw and kick them in the mouth. A small “under siege” chant broke out.

Shane thanked the fans who support Smackdown and the roster of wrestlers who “bust their butts.” He said Smackdown has heart. Shane brought up Bryan going to Raw on Monday and how he was mistreated. He said there will be hell to pay. Shane said Team Smackdown will consist of Randy Orton, three of Smackdown’s finest, and himself as the team captain. He said that was enough talk and it was time to get the show started…

Bobby Roode made his entrance. Dolph Ziggler’s music played and then the record scratching sound occurred and he walked out to no music. Phillips hyped the best of three falls match for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good opening with Shane trying to explain Smackdown’s motivations. He was pretty laid back about Bryan going to Raw without his blessing, but they can always revisit that when Bryan returns. Shane had the crowd behind him, but his delivery of the announcement that he will captain the Smackdown team fell a little flat. The logic of the Smackdown crew deciding to attack Raw still makes them feel heelish, but the live crowd didn’t seem to care. By the way, Jake Barnett is trick or treating tonight, but he will be writing the Smackdown Hit List tomorrow. I suppose I should mention that Jake is taking his lovely daughter out tonight, meaning he’s not a grown ass man begging for candy (or so he claims).

[Q2] 1. Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler in a best of three falls match for a spot on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. Roode performed a Blockbuster off the middle rope for an early two count. They fought at ringside. Roode tossed Ziggler back inside the ring, but Ziggler caught him with a superkick when he returned to the ring and then pinned him to take the first fall. [C]

The match continued to air on the split screen and there was actually a pinfall. Roode catapulted Ziggler, who went up and over the turnbuckle and into the post and was then pinned to even up the match at one fall each.

Ziggler caught Roode with a nice DDT for a two count. Roode went for his finisher, but Ziggler countered into a Zigzag for a strong near fall. In the end, Roode performed the Glorious DDT and scored the pin…

Bobby Roode defeated Dolph Ziggler in in a best of three falls match in 11:00 to earn a spot on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series.

After the match, Renee Young interviewed Roode, who spoke about teaming with Shane McMahon and Randy Orton at Survivor Series. He flubbed his line by saying that he hopes their next two teammates have the same compassion (oops), passion, and competitiveness. Roode said Smackdown up, Raw down, and under siege to close out the promo…

The broadcast team hyped the Kevin Owens vs. Shinsuke Nakamura match for a Team Smackdown spot, and AJ Styles vs. Samir Singh for later in the show…

Powell’s POV: I’m not a big fan of having three falls take place during the same amount of time that a one fall match would typically last. This definitely could have used more time, but they also did a good job with the time they were given. The line flub by Roode was unfortunate. These things happen on live television.

[Q3] [C] Phillips hyped the four-way main event of 205 Live… Backstage, New Day trick or reated. Kofi Kingston was Brother Love, Big E was Akeem the African Dream, and Xavier Woods was Jimmy Hart. Rusev and Aiden English spotted them and didn’t enjoy their antics. Rusev asked what was wrong with them and said the Raw crew could be on their front steps. Rusev said Halloween is a dumb holiday, and the only holiday that matter is Rusev Day. Rusev dumped out New Day’s candy and stomped on it. Big E got pissed and challenged Rusev to a match. Rusev accepted…

Backstage, Becky Lynch spoke to Team Smackdown members Charlotte, Naomi, Carmella, and Tamina while James Ellsworth and Lana stood by. She said they never knew when Raw would strike and they need to stick together. Ellsworth was dressed like a dog, and Carmella had him sit. Natalya showed up and said it’s a shame that she’s not the captain of the team, but she’ll be too busy defending the honor of her championship. She said there’s a weak link on every team and captain Lynch needs to figure out who that is. She said Charlotte better not crack again or she would be to blame…

Baron Corbin made his entrance… [C]

Powell’s POV: I’m pretty sure Smackdown is safe tonight given that the Raw crew headed overseas for the European tour, but I get what they are going for.

Sin Cara made his entrance coming out of the break…

[Q4] 2. U.S. Champion Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara in a non-title match. The broadcast team recapped Corbin working over Sin Cara after being disqualified in their match last week. Corbin was in offensive control early and attempted to remove Sin Cara’s mask multiple times. They fought at ringside where Sin Cara snapped and worked over Corbin on the broadcast table until the referee called for the bell. Corbin ended up leaving through the crowd to get away from Sin Cara…

Baron Corbin fought Sin Cara to an apparent no-contest in 3:10.

Powell’s POV: The live crowd was flat the start of the match, but they seemed to get behind Sin Cara when he showed a mean streak. By the way, it’s odd that WWE officials have been so adamant about international talent learning English, yet Sin Cara speaks English and we rarely hear from him.

Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Smackdown Tag Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso. They said Smackdown is the A show and they are the A team. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable showed up and informed them that they will get their title shot next week. Gable did his Uso impersonation along with Benjamin…

The broadcast team hyped Owens vs. Nakamura for later in the show. Jinder Mahal and the Singh Brothers were shown waling backstage while Graves hyped the AJ Styles match for after the break… [C]

The Singh Brothers introduced WWE Champion Jinder Mahal and then they all headed to the ring together. Jinder cut a promo in which he claimed he was unfairly ejected from ringside last week due to fear of what he would do to AJ Styles.

[Q5] Jinder said Brock Lesnar should have the same fear. Jinder said The Beast will be conquered at Survivor Series and then he will be known as The Beastmaster. AJ’s entrance theme interrupted Singh as he was speaking in Punjabi…

3. AJ Styles vs. Shamir Singh (w/Jinder Mahal, Sunil Singh). Shamir slapped Styles, who then tackled him and worked him over with punches. A short time later, Styles performed the Styles Clash for the win…

AJ Styles defeated Shamir Singh in 0:35.

Jinder attacked Styles after the bell and got some help from Sunil. Jinder roughed up Styles and performed his finisher on him. Mahal teased leaving, then performed his finisher on Styles again…

Powell’s POV: WWE should start a Go Fund Me page so that fans can donate money to the charity of the company’s choosing. If they raise a certain dollar amount, then the company agrees to put the WWE Championship on AJ Styles before Survivor Series so that fans can see the real dream match. I’m only half kidding. Anyway, the beatdown angle was fine and put some good heat on Jinder. I just have no interest in Lesnar vs. Mahal.

Backstage, Sami Zayn vented to Kevin Owens about how the best opportunities in the Land of Opportunity go to Shane McMahon. Sami said he was screwed out of representing the brand at Survivor Series. Owens said he will beat Nakamura and lead Smackdown to victory over Raw and then Shane will owe them and they will get everything they ever wanted… [C]

The latest Bludgeon Brothers vignette aired with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. They claim to be the cure for moral decay and all sorts of other things…

Rusev and Aiden English were in the ring. English asked the fans to stay completely silent while he sang his Halloween song, which was also about Rusev Day.

[Q6] New Day interrupted English’s singing and headed to the ring still dressed in their Halloween costumes.

4. Rusev (w/Aiden English) vs. Big E (w/Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods). Rusev ran E through the ropes in the corner and into the post heading into a break. [C] Rusev targeted the arm of E coming out of the break. E came back with some suplexes and a running splash. Rusev caught E with a kick to the head, but then ran into a uranage in the corner.

English took the mic and stood on the broadcast table while singing that it was Rusev Day. Woods played the trombone, and was struck by English from behind. English entered the ring and took a Big Ending from E, who was then kicked from behind and pinned by Rusev…

Rusev pinned Big E in 7:40.

Powell’s POV: Fine mid-card silliness with some good moments inside the ring.

Backstage, Young interviewed Sin Cara (amazing!). He spoke about how the mask is a part of him, it represents his family, and he becomes a superhero to children. He said he went through hell to get the mask and will go through hell to keep it…

Powell’s POV: Sin Cara speaks! He said the same thing they have every luchador say when someone makes a play for their masks, which is still better than nothing.

The broadcast team hyped the Fashion Files segment for after the break… [C]

[Q7] Backstage, Shane was texting on his phone when someone knocked on the door. Aiden English entered the room and said he was sorry to hear about Daniel Bryan. He asked how Shane was celebrating the holiday. Rusev burst into the room and yelled, “Rusev Day.” Rusev asked to be on Team Smackdown. Shane said he had to earn his way. Shane booked Rusev in a match against AJ Styles for next week with the winner earning a spot on the team…

The broadcast team set up the Fashion Files segment called “Strangerer Things.” It was labeled “Chapter 27: The Right-Side Up.” Fandango was in their office wearing a sheriff’s outfight. The bulletin board had all of the tag teams on it minus any jokes. Fandango slipped some Eggo’s to a mystery person under a table. Tyler Breeze showed up in drag holding a box of “Uggo” waffles. Viktor of the Ascension showed up wearing a red wig and said he was Barb, which was good enough for an Emmy nomination.

The table with the mystery person started shaking. Another man in drag emerged. They asked if he was No. 11. “No, I’m a ten,” Tye Dillinger responded before taking the Ugo waffles. Konner showed up dressed as Kane and they all started beating him up until he removed the mask. The room went dark and Christmas lights surrounded the photo on the board of the Bludgeon Brothers. The room went dark and a bunch of commotion could be heard. The lights flickered and there was a shot of a wannabe Jigsaw from the Saw movies on a screen…

Powell’s POV: A timely edition of the show with the second season of Stranger Things taking the streaming world by storm last weekend. I plowed through the season in a couple of days and thought it was great. As for the Fashion Files spoof, it was good for more laughs than usual.

Kevin Owens made his entrance and then the broadcast team hyped the Raw 25 Years event… The broadcast team hyped The Usos vs. Benjamin and Gable, and Rusev vs. Styles for next week. Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance for the main event…

[Q8] 5. Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kevin Owens for a spot on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. Phillips recapped the other Team Smackdown developments and said Shane announced himself as “the commissioner and that irked Kevin Owens.” Oops. Nakamura had Owens down at ringside heading into a break a couple minutes into the match. [C]

Nakamura was in offensive control when Sami Zayn walked out. Owens took advantage of the distraction and rolled him up for a two count. Owens got another two count off a suplex from the middle rope. Owens went for his finisher, but Nakamura turned it into a huracanrana. Nakamura set up for his finisher, but Zayn pulled Owens to ringside.

Nakamura followed to ringside and went after Zayn. Owens shoved Nakamura into the ring post. Owens went up top and performed a frogsplash for a good near fall. Owens had Zayn prep the broadcast table. Randy Orton’s music played. Owens emerged behind Zayn and put him through the broadcast table. Nakamura caught Owens with the Kinshasa and pinned him…

Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Kevin Owens in 12:55.

A graphic showed Shane McMahon, Randy Orton, Bobby Roode, and Shinsuke Nakamura as the members of Team Smackdown (the final spot will be filled by the winner of next week’s Rusev vs. Styles match)…

Powell’s POV: A good television main event with Owens getting a very good near fall and the fans popping big for both Orton attacking Zayn, and Nakamura getting the win. I must confess that I cringed at the thought of covering the Halloween edition of Smackdown, especially after seeing that Trick or Street Fight match on Raw. Fortunately, they went very light on the campy comedy and delivered a straight forward show. I will have more to say about this episode in my members’ audio review later tonight. Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by voting in our poll on the main page. Happy Halloween (and Rusev Day).


Readers Comments (1)

  1. Jason Powell: Yer not a fan of Lesnar/Mahal, we get that, but be a mark for a few minutes. Lesnar is known for his short matches, Jinder Mahal is a candidate for such a squash, which would hurt Smackdown short-term, but could put the title on Shinsuke, Bobby or preferably AJ two nights later.

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