Below are the results and reaction from this week’s Smackdown Live, from San Jose, California:

Dolph Ziggler Promo/Ziggler vs. Spirit Squad

New IC Champion Dolph Ziggler comes out to cut a promo about winning the Intercontinental Championship at No Mercy. He says to the fans that “we did it”. Miz and Maryse interrupt, both wearing all black. Miz declares that Dolph’s title reign is the IC title’s funeral. He says Ziggler is tainting it’s legacy and that he brought prestige back to the belt. Miz also says that this isn’t the end of their feud and he will win it back. Dolph wants to fight, so Miz brings out Mikey and Kenny of The Spirit Squad. A handicap match is set, Ziggler vs. Mikey and Kenny.

The match starts with Miz and Maryse at ringside. Ziggler is in control in the early going. Spirit Squad takes a breather, before Kenny goes on the attack. Kenny tags in Mickey, who gets caught in a sleeper hold. Mikey tags out without Dolph’s knowledge and rolls him up, but Kenny breaks it up and takes control. Some double team action, before Ziggler counters with a double DDT. Ziggler continues to control Kenny, before Mikey gets a cheap shot in , and allows Kenny to take over. Ziggler counters and hits a Superkick to win.

Dolph Ziggler def. The Spirit Squad

After the match, Miz attacks Ziggler and hits him with the Skull Crushing Finale. Mikey and Kenny attempt to continue the assault, but Tag Team Champs Rhyno and Heath Slater come out to make the save.

“This feud continues to be extremely entertaining and this whole opener highlights this massively. Both Ziggler and Miz came out and cut more powerful and passionate promos, then followed up with a good match and good action after. Now that we know the story is advancing, it’s exciting to see how much more these guys can provide. I’m not too sure why Rhyno and Slater were inserted into the segment (probably to set up a 6 man tag match), but two of the most entertaining stories coming together is not a problem for me”. 

Daniel Bryan & Shane McMahon Survivor Series Challenge

Backstage segment with Bryan and McMahon speaking directly to the camera. They challenge Raw to three Traditional Survivor Series matches at Survivor Series. One involving the best five superstars on each roster, one with the five best tag teams from each roster, and one with the five best female wrestler on each roster.

“This is an interesting propitiation. Three variations of the same match feels excessive, but I guess it will depend on who participates in the matches. Plus, Raw vs Smackdown matches are worth anticipating”.

Carmella vs. Naomi

A video is shown of Carmella attacking Nikki Bella after a backstage interview. Carmella is out first. As Naomi gets in the ring, Carmella attacks her. Then the match begins. Carmella is dominant for pretty much the whole match. Alexa Bliss is watching backstage. Nikki Bella comes out to try and confront Carmella. Carmella is distracted and Naomi rolls her up for the win.

Naomi def. Carmella

After the match, Nikki chases Carmella, before Carmella escapes through the crowd. Naomi and Bella stand tall in the ring. We cut backstage to Alexa Bliss, who says she lost to Naomi at No Mercy because she wasn’t prepared and she can beat her anytime. GM Daniel Bryan approaches her and tells Alexa that she will face Naomi next week on Smackdown.

“This match was better than both women’s matches at No Mercy. This showed off Carmella’s progressing heel status, and set up Naomi for a future title shot, which is long overdue. Hopefully, Naomi vs Alexa Bliss next week will be a lot better than there recent affair”. 

Jimmy Uso vs. Chad Gable

Chad Gable gets the upperhand in the early going, working Uso’s arm. Uso retaliates with a kick to the stomach, and then takes over the match. Just as Gable is getting back into it, Jimmy rolls him up, with Jey Uso pushing his brother so Gable can’t kick out. American Alpha complain to the referee.

Jimmy Uso def. Chad Gable

“A very quick match, which seemed very rushed. It didn’t really advance any particularly story. However, it did continue The Uso’s heel turn, which is okay. I hope both teams have a defined feud soon”.

A backstage segment with Mojo Rawley hyping up Zack Ryder, before they are interrupted by The Ascension. Ascension stare the Hype Bros down, before leaving.

AJ Styles Victory Speech/Styles vs. James Ellsworth

AJ comes out and cuts a promo about beating John Cena and Dean Ambrose at the same time. He says that he’s a winner and that the crowd are all losers. He says that he is giving a main event opportunity to his opponent tonight. Dean Ambrose comes out, but Styles says that it isn’t him and that he shouldn’t be out here. Ambrose tells Styles that he is not done with him, and anyone else who wants to face him for the title will have to get in line behind him. Styles again invites his opponent for tonight out, who turns out to be famous jobber James Ellsworth. Styles vs Ellworth will be non-title and Ambrose can’t be at ringside, but Daniel Bryan comes out and makes Dean Ambrose the referee for the match. Also, Bryan says that if AJ puts his hands on Ambrose, he will be suspended (similar to a superstar putting his hands on a normal referee).

The match kicks off and AJ dominates. But Ambrose is very distant from the match. He trips Styles over, takes selfies with a fan, eats popcorn and while Ellsworth is tapping out to the Calf Crusher, Dean is on his phone ignoring it. Styles hits Ellsworth with a scary Styles Clash (Ellworth botched) but Ambrose only counts to two. He then hits Styles with two Dirty Deeds and places Ellsworth on AJ to give James the win.

James Ellsworth def. AJ Styles (Yes seriously)

“Overall this was a very entertaining portion of the show, but it did drag on a little too long. I’m assuming AJ goes on to defeat Ambrose clean at some point, so this was a good continuation of their rivalry. Hopefully Ellsworth is okay after the botched Styles Clash, particularly since he will get an actual title shot next week. A decent segment that continued the story nicely”. 

Backstage again. Randy Orton tells Kane that he is sick of Bray Wyatt’s world, and want to bring him into his. Kane agrees to come along for the ride, and states that Orton has issues. We cut to Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan’s office, and AJ Styles walks in. He’s very angry. Shane confirms that AJ actually lost to James Ellsworth, and asks Styles if he understands. AJ does, and says he understands that he will have to take matters into his own hands. Bryan says he has a plan for Ellsworth next week. On Talking Smack, he confirmed this plan is Ellsworth vs Styles for the WWE Wrold Title.   

“Both nice transitional segments. Not much to really add, but I am looking forward to the WWE championship match next week”.

Bray Wyatt & Luke Harper vs. Randy Orton & Kane

Wyatt and Harper cut a promo before their match. Harper says he now sees the light, and Wyatt adds that the light is brighter than ever. He basically then says that Randy Orton and Kane can’t compete with him and Harper. The match starts with Harper and Bray controlling Kane. Harper hits a kick to the gut, and Wyatt hits a running senton. Kane manages to tag Orton in and he focuses on Wyatt. He beats down Wyatt outside the ring, hitting his head off of the announce table and throwing him into the steel steps. Both get back into the ring, with Wyatt begging for mercy. Kane and Harper fight on the outside, and Orton hits Wyatt with a second-rope DDT. Kane and Harper both look for the tag, and as Orton is about to tag in Kane, the light go out. The weird Wyatt imaging happens and the lights come back on, with Harper standing on the apron where Kane was. Kane is nowhere to be found. Orton is confused and distracted, so Bray takes advantage and hits a Sister Abigail on Randy for the win. Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper stand on the entrance ramp to end the show, while the commentators question about what happened to Kane.

“A decent match to end the show. The action was quite slow and a bit clunky, but overall was a good way to showcase the reunion of Harper and Wyatt. Orton looked very strong beating the hell out of Bray Wyatt, and the ending itself serves to make all parties look good. It shows that it’s not that simple for Orton to escape Wyatt’s world, and Bray winning again is proving that there is some truth to what he talks about. Hopefully this continues, and Smackdown makes Bray Wyatt look as menacing as his character says he is. Also, I hope Kane is okay”. 

Final Thoughts:

“Does Smackdown beat Raw again? Yes it does. The main reason it does this week is because every segment felt necessary to watch. While Raw is mostly filler, every part of Smackdown felt important to all the storylines that are being built. Every match or segment (apart from maybe Gable vs Uso) advanced a plot in some way, and made next week’s episode feel like a must-see. While some of the match’s action was a bit bland, and some segments were too long, the show as a whole flew by. Making a two hour show feel like an hour is a testament to all of Smackdown’s worker. This wasn’t Smackdown’s best show since the brand split, but it was certainly good”.

Grade: 7.5/10

So, was Smackdown better than Raw this week? Are you excited about the announced matches for next week’s show?

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About Author

Hey everyone, I'm LJ, an Aussie journo in the making. Extremely passionate sports and pro wrestling fan who loves covering all the latest in WWE, Ring of Honor, NJPW and all your favourite promotions. Favourite wrestlers are Kevin Owens, AJ Styles and Seth Rollins.