An incredible episode of Smackdown Live provided the final build for Survivor Series with Team Raw finally retaliating and putting Smackdown Live Under Siege. Daniel Bryan cut a wonderful promo, Baron Corbin defended his United States Championship and Charlotte Flair made history in front of her hometown crowd in an emotional match finally claiming the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Shane McMahon pumps up Team Smackdown. Grade: B- These things always feel a little cringeworthy but the addition of multiple pieces from Becky Lynch, Baron Corbin & Sin Cara and particularly the New Day added to this well. Kevin Owens face in the background was fantastic and perhaps an allusion to what may be to come later.
Daniel Bryan Promo. Grade: A+ Maybe the best Daniel Bryan has ever been on the mic in the WWE, the General Manager addressed Survivor Series and the addition of Triple H before promising that the Blue Brand would stand tall. He introduced AJ Styles and proceeded to mock Paul Heyman introducing himself as Styles advocate, before taking multiple shots at Brock Lesnar for not only quitting WWE but quitting in the UFC to a “half-assed knee bar”. Bryan never suggested Styles could match the size and strength of Lesnar, but played up Styles speed and mental advantages. In a perfect promo Bryan sold both the battle of the brands in the 5v5 traditional match as well as Lesnar vs Styles in amazing fashion.
Baron Corbin retained the United States Championship defeating Sin Cara. Grade: D. It’s been hard to care about this feud from the beginning, but even this was below the intensity that both men had tried to establish in previous weeks. Corbin winning is such an obvious choice given how they have built Miz vs Corbin on social media; however Miz vs Corbin is as unattractive of a match as Sin Cara vs Miz, as is Corbin vs Sin Cara itself.
Charlotte Flair defeated Natalya to win the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Grade: A. I can be very critical of Natalya at times but there is no denying that she turns it on like nothing else when taking on Charlotte Flair. The history between these two helped add to a historic match that stood tall as an amazing match on its own, add to that the fact it was in Charlotte’s hometown and with all the hype of Ric Flair’s recent 30 for 30, and this was a recipe for brilliance. Again I’m usually very critical of post-match promos but Charlotte delivered a heartfelt passionate promo with tugged at all the heartstrings before the Nature Boy himself returned to embrace his daughter. Just a beautiful match and a beautiful moment; and finally Charlotte is where she belongs, finally the true Queen of Smackdown Live.
Jimmy Uso defeated Chad Gable. Grade: B+ Both men delivered a solid matchup here giving the Usos a good win ahead of Survivor Series as well as adding fuel to the Usos vs Benjamin & Gable feud that cannot be far away. The Usos cut a great promo before the match during their entrance on The Bar. Chad Gable was particularly good here displaying a much more aggressive side that he has been lacking in his time on the main roster, and the commentators did well to really play this up strongly.
The Bludgeon Brothers will debut next week and the Hype Bros backstage issued them a challenge. There was more tension teased between the Hype Bros as Mojo Rawley was hungry to get at the newest tag team of Smackdown while Zack Ryder played up their danger wanting nothing to do with them.
Also backstage Jinder Mahal confronted AJ Styles vowing to take back his WWE Championship after Survivor Series.
WWE continued to tease tension between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan with Bryan saying backstage that after Survivor Series he and Shane would need to have a serious talk about their cohesion.
New Day vs Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn ends in No Contest when Raw puts Smackdown Under Siege. Grade: A+ A huge main event tag team match between two incredible teams was shaping up as a very good contest while still your standard television tag team main event, before Smackdown became Under Siege. The Shield’s music hit and the Hounds of Justice hit the ring and began to clear house. Owens & Zayn left the ring immediately feeding into the idea they do not support Smackdown at all, similar to how they didn’t feed for the New Day while in Europe. Both locker rooms proceeded to empty as the Raw Women took out the Smackdown Women backstage and Team Raw destroyed everyone in Blue. Shane tried to fight back and stand up to Braun Strowman but fared poorly, before Shane was decimated with a Shield Powerbomb and Angle Slam. This was intense, chaotic and beyond crazy! The crowd was super-hot and loved every second of it which added significantly. The perfect final build for Survivor Series considering this all kicked off when Smackdown invaded Raw, and the build finishes with Raw invading Smackdown. Survivor Series feels huge right now.