INTRO: Shane McMahon rallied his troops backstage. He’s standing on a platform with a microphone; on Raw, Stephanie McMahon would be standing in the ring while the entire roster genuflected before her. He reminded everyone that they sneak-attacked the entire Raw locker room; even the good guys roar in approval because face/heel distinctions don’t matter this month. Shane warned that Raw could counterstrike tonight, so everyone needed to check their egos at the door and get on the same page. After Survivor Series, SmackDown would no longer be known as the B-show; it would be “The Show.”
McMahon did some call-and-response interaction with the SmackDown wrestlers. Becky Lynch threatened to break Asuka’s arm. Baron Corbin vowed to bring about Miz’s end of days. Why did those two superstars happen to have microphones when they responded to Shane? McMahon crowed that no one could stop SmackDown now. The New Day reiterated that they’d accepted the Shield’s challenge, then started a “SmackDown Rocks” chant as dancing ensued.
OPENING SEGMENT: General manager Daniel Bryan hopped to the ring. He said he’s lucky to be standing after Kane chokeslammed him. Bryan claimed he went to Raw with an open mind and tried to make peace. But when he was assaulted, Bryan said, he got right back up. Just like SmackDown (the brand) does. That heart is why Raw is afraid. Bryan said he didn’t agree with ransacking Raw because he knows how vindictive Stephanie McMahon can be. But SmackDown isn’t afraid of Raw coming back on them tonight, and Bryan is proud of their performers. He said they’d prove at Survivor Series that SmackDown has far better “performers” than Raw.
Bryan introduced new WWE Champion AJ Styles. AJ walked to the ring and waited out an impressive chant. Bryan interrupted him before he could speak. Since SmackDown would treat its champions as well or better than Raw, Bryan asked Styles if he wanted his own, personal advocate for the evening. Big “Yes” chant from the crowd, and Styles acquiesced. Bryan began with, “Ladies and gentlemen, my name is Daniel Bryan.” He nicked the “reigning, defending, undisputed” line from Paul Heyman. Bryan said that Lesnar’s arms and legs were big and strong, but his head is big and thick. He stated that Lesnar has a tendency to quit. Then he threw down the gauntlet.
Daniel Bryan on Brock Lesnar: “Just like he quit on a half-assed knee bar on a UFC show.”
Bryan said that Styles would push Lesnar into deep waters, where he always quits. When Lesnar got tired and uncomfortable, he’ll mentally quit. He cannot keep up with the Phenomenal One. Bryan gave his one reason for watching Survivor Series: to watch a beast get mentally conquered by Styles. The champion used his microphone, informing Bryan that he’s not a puppet like Lesnar. He said that Lesnar may quit Sunday, but AJ agreed that he’s the underdog. Styles told Heyman that this isn’t a Rocky movie; it’s an AJ Styles production. He pledged to find a way to beat Brock Lesnar on Sunday.
Styles got confronted backstage by Jinder Mahal. The erstwhile champion told Styles he’d be dismembered Sunday, but even that beating would mean nothing next to the loss he’d suffer when Mahal regained the title. Styles brushed by Mahal on his way.[separator type=”thin”]
United States Championship Match
Baron Corbin (c) vs. Sin Cara
Corbin threw Sin Cara against the ropes, missed a clothesline, and fell victim to a flying head-scissors. Corbin again hurled Sin Cara to the ropes, then absorbed several strikes. Sin Cara took Corbin down with a springboard arm-drag, and knocked him from the ring with a low dropkick as we go to break.
Back from break, Corbin threw Sin Cara into the corner by his neck and walloped him with a clothesline. He face-slammed Sin Cara, then knocked him back to the mat with a running right hand. Corbin slapped around Sin Cara, firing up the luchador. Sin Cara hit Corbin with a springboard back-elbow, then clotheslined him over the top rope. He nailed Corbin dead-on with a suicide dive through the ropes. With Corbin back inside, Sin Cara went for another springboard maneuver. Corbin countered by grabbing his throat, but Sin Cara executed an O’Connor Roll for a two-count. He then gained a near-fall with a springboard cross-body-block.
Flailing, Corbin Irish-whipped Sin Cara into the turnbuckles. When Sin Cara sidestepped his charge, Corbin slid outside the ring, then reentered to hit Deep Six for a near-fall. Corbin took his time recovering after the kickout. When he tried to grab Sin Cara on the ring apron, the challenger dropped his throat across the top rope and landed an enziguri. Corbin’s third attempt at offense resulted in his opponent pulling down the top rope, sending him tumbling to ringside. Sin Cara capitalized by going to the middle rope and scoring with a moonsault.
Throwing Corbin back inside, Sin Cara went back up top. He leapt over an attacking Corbin before running directly into End of Days.
Result: Baron Corbin pinned Sin Cara with the End of Days.
We get a replay package consisting of brand warfare, starting with the Under Siege brawl. It felt like we saw this video three times on Raw last night. Kinda funny to watch Kurt Angle stand glued to the spot while Triple H pedigreed his kid.
Bryan smiled as he examined his cell phone. McMahon greeted him and thanked Bryan for his support. He stressed the importance of cohesion. Bryan agreed that cohesion was important. Which is why they’d be having a conversation after Survivor Series. Bryan said McMahon never consulted him about the raid, leading him to play diplomat and get choke-slammed on Raw. He didn’t give McMahon a chance to explain himself.
Smackdown Women’s Championship Match
Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
This is Flair’s rematch from the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, and it takes place in her hometown. Quick schoolboy pinning combination from Charlotte got a one-count. She pushed Natalya into the corner; Charlotte gave a clean break, but the champion didn’t. Natalya bashed Charlotte with a forearm, then pounded her on the mat. Charlotte responded with her own strikes, causing Natalya to bail to ringside. The Queen followed, whipping Natalya into the barricade back-first. Back inside, Charlotte got a two-count. A running boot sent Natalya scurrying to ringside, where Charlotte kicked her with a baseball slide. Non-stop offense from the challenger as we go to break.
Natalya trapped Charlotte in a surfboard as we return. Charlotte escaped and threw several chops at Natalya, who retaliated with a discus clothesline. Natalya applied a reverse chinlock. She ran off the ropes and up Charlotte’s back, but the Queen got off her posterior and met Natalya with a spear as the champion bounded off the ropes. She gained another near-fall off that move. Charlotte rose slowly and went for the figure-four, but Natalya kicked her face-first into the turnbuckle. That last-ditch move got a couple of two-counts.
Natalya got frustrated and yelled at the crowd to shut up. She went for the Sharpshooter, which Charlotte countered with a slap. Nothing was gained from missed attempts at a second schoolboy (from Charlotte) and a second discus clothesline (from Natalya). But Charlotte hurt Natalya with an overhead throw that caused the champ to just miss the bottom turnbuckle on her way down. Natalya rolled to ringside to avoid the pin attempt. Charlotte went to the ring apron and floored Natalya with a running boot. She mounted the barricade for a moonsault, but Natalya snatched her off in a powerbomb position and drove her foe’s spine into the ringpost.
Natalya picked a limp Charlotte off the concrete and pushed her inside the ring. She applied the Sharpshooter. Charlotte battled intense pain to crawl to the ropes, making it on her second attempt. Natalya beat on her opponent with right hands. Charlotte created some space by using a leverage move to pull Natalya to the arena floor. Natalya ran back inside and straight into a big boot. Charlotte applied the Figure Eight, leaving Natalya with no option but to tap out.
Result: Charlotte Flair beat Natalya by submission via the Figure Eight to become the new SmackDown women’s champion.
Renee Young entered the ring to ask Charlotte how her victory felt. The new champion said it meant everything to win the championship in her hometown. She proclaimed her intent to make Alexa Bliss bow down to her at Survivor Series. More importantly, she said, everyone knew that her father had experienced health battles. She told him that she loved him, and this victory was for him.
As Charlotte walked back up the ramp, Ric Flair’s music hit. She appeared to be caught by surprise. The Nature Boy walked out; his daughter ran to him. The two Flairs embraced. Charlotte held up her title belt while Ric blew a kiss to the crowd.
It’s raining in Bludgeon Brother land. Erick Rowan’s sheep mask is loud. Their purpose is obliteration. They turned their backs, then remembered to smash the camera on the ground with their hammers.
Jimmy Uso vs. Chad Gable
The SmackDown tag team champions dissed The Bar on their way to the ring. When the ball rang, Uso slid to avoid being whipped into the turnbuckle, and came back with a strong right hand. Gable recovered outside the ring. Uso tossed him back inside, but got distracted by Shelton Benjamin, allowing Gable to execute a leg-whip against the middle rope. A second leg-whip sent Uso sprawling to the mat again. Gable stomped him in the corner as Benjamin barked in Uso’s ear. The former Olympian brought his weight down on Jimmy’s knee as we go to commercial.
We return to find Gable attempting to hyperextend Uso’s left knee. Gable charged Uso in the corner. When Jimmy got his boot up, Gable grabbed his leg and slung him to the mat face-first. Gable went up top slowly. He backflipped onto his feet when Uso moved, but Jimmy then took out Gable’s left knee with a kick. Gable clutched his knee in pain. Uso built momentum with two clotheslines and an arm-swivel into a right hand. Gable ran off the ropes in a Samoan Drop, and Uce followed with a running hip-block while Gable was stuck in the corner. Gable rolled to ringside, then quickly reentered the ring to hit Uso with a somersault kick. He grabbed Uso, did a 360, then flung him into the middle rope in a nasty move reminiscent of Simon Gotch knocking out Enzo Amore last year.
Gable shoved Jimmy outside the ring, then shoved Jey Uso. Jey took off after Gable, then was forced to kick Benjamin when the former Golden Gopher got involved. Gable knocked Jey Uso off the apron, only to eat a superkick from Jimmy for the win.
Result: Jimmy Uso pinned Chad Gable following a superkick.
As the announce team ran down the Survivor Series card, Charlotte Hornets player Dwight Howard appeared to eat a banana in the front row behind them. Perhaps 6’11 NBA centers don’t have to leave their food at security when they enter a WWE live show.
Sami Zayn stewed in his locker room. Kevin Owens asked him what was wrong, prompting a Zayn tirade about the two Canadians being left off the Survivor Series card. Owens told Zayn no one was better than them. The only show that mattered is the Sami and Kevin Show. Zayn smiled, donned his paperboy cap, and prepared for their upcoming tag-team match.
Howard danced as Big E doused a child in cereal before this bout. While Xavier Woods repeated the worn line about Survivor Series being the only time of year when Raw and SmackDown battled in “head-to-head competition”, Kofi Kingston tapped his two index fingers together. Hmmm. While the Shield had 13 titles among them, New Day claimed, their trio had at least 27. Most of which were Kofi’s. They asked why anyone would want to be a dog when they could be unicorns. Kingston said that New Day knew they could fully trust each other, whereas the Shield had already disintegrated from betrayal. Like Gloria Gaynor, Big E declared, the New Day would survive this Sunday.
The New Day vs. Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens
Woods and Big E would compete tonight. Zayn started with a headlock and shoulder-tackle on Woods. Back up, Woods ducked two strikes from Zayn before flipping him with a flying head-scissors. Woods and Big E partnered for a Unicorn Stampede, capped off with a Woods baseball slide into Zayn for a two-count. Back on his feet, Zayn drove Woods into his team’s corner and tagged Owens. KO bashed Woods with right hands and kicks.
Woods backed up and suckered Owens into a drop-toehold, bringing his throat down onto the middle rope. Xavier followed up with a dropkick to the back. He trapped Owens in his team’s corner for a running forearm. Tagging in, Big E slammed into Owens with a running shoulder-tackle, then fed him into an Honor Roll from Woods. A quick tag brought Woods back in for a tandem v-lock/splash maneuver. Zayn tried to break up New Day’s double-teaming, only to get clocked with a discus forearm. As Woods bounded off the ropes to press the attack on Zayn, Owens tripped him up. He pulled Woods face-first onto the floor, then flattened him with a senton as we go to commercial.
Owens and Zayn continued punishing Woods as we return to action. KO tagged in to take a free stomp at Woods, whose legs were trapped by Zayn. Owens whisked us away to Chinlock City as the crowd turned away from the hard camera to look at something happening elsewhere in the arena. Woods made it to his feet, only to suffer a DDT for his troubles. Owens got a two-count, then tagged Zayn. Sami toyed with Woods, lightly brushing a boot against his opponent’s head. But, when he whipped Woods into his team’s corner, Xavier cracked Owens with a forearm, and somersaulted under Sami’s arms to make a tag.
Big E sent Zayn airborne with two overhead belly-to-belly tosses, then slammed him with a third suplex. When Owens tried to interfere, Big E slung him into a Woods enziguri, then heaved him through the ropes. Woods ensured Owens stayed out of the ring with a somersault dive over the top rope to the floor. As Big E waited to pounce on Zayn, the Shield’s tactical call rang out. Both men watched warily for the Shield as Kofi entered the ring. The Shield appeared in the live arena. Corey Graves announced that it looked like the Hounds of Justice were here to serve the warrant for the counterinsurgency.
The Shield made their way through the audience and surrounded the ring, in which the New Day, Owens, and Zayn stood ready. As the interlopers stood on the ring apron, Zayn and Owens rolled to ringside and abandoned their brand-mates. The Shield and New Day fought tooth and nail, with the Shield getting the best of their weary opponents. The Usos ran into the ring, combining forces with New Day to briefly overpower the red team. Sheamus and Cesaro then ran through the crowd to even the odds. The production team took us backstage to find Alicia Fox leading her Raw team through the arena hallway. They stormed into the SmackDown women’s locker room and beat down its inhabitants. With her fellow SmackDown competitors strewn around her, Charlotte stared up at her assailants. As she attempted to stand, Bliss knocked her silly.
Led by Samoa Joe, a parade of Raw superstars ran through the timekeeper’s area and into the ring. Finn Balor and Apollo Crews stomped down Woods in the corner. Shane McMahon paced a group of SmackDown superstars as they raced into the ring. Balor kicked Bobby Roode in the grill before being clubbed off the apron by Shane. As the two brands battled, a roar bellowed through the arena. Kurt Angle stood on the entrance ramp and beckoned Braun Strowman to enter the fray. Who approved a rival superstar’s entrance music to be blared out during a SmackDown event? Strowman laid out the Hype Bros on his way to the ring. By the time he climbed over the top rope, only Shinsuke Nakamura, Dolph Ziggler, and McMahon remained. The monster among men ejected Nakamura from the ring. McMahon belted Strowman when his back was turned. Strowman slowly turned toward his prey. Shane pelted Strowman with right hands, then ran off the ropes only to take the direct brunt of the behemoth’s rage.
Team Raw exited the ring to cause more damage. Strowman rag-dolled Ziggler into the barricade. The Shield manhandled McMahon, forcing him to survey the destruction at ringside. When he fought back, the Shield stomped him into oblivion. Sheamus threw right hands at a defenseless McMahon. Outside the ring, Samoa Joe beat Big E with the remains of Woods’ trombone. Angle entered the ring to stare down Shane. He grabbed his opponent’s jaw and yelled, “How’s that feel, Shane?” He told the SmackDown commissioner to wait until Sunday if he thought this pummeling was bad. Angle gave Shane two thumbs down; the Shield carried out his verdict with a triple-powerbomb.
With his sport-coat removed, Angle grabbed Shane for an Angle Slam. A lot of SmackDown wrestlers (such as Styles, Mahal, Rusev, and Randy Orton) apparently decided to skip this brawl. Strowman called for more as the Shield eviscerated McMahon with another triple powerbomb. If Sunday looked anything like this, Graves intoned, SmackDown would be the “C show”. The Raw intro theme was inexplicably played as the red team celebrated.
Result: Presumably, the New Day beat Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens by disqualification.