By: Keila Cash
Hello everyone and welcome to the Halloween Edition of The SmackDown Files. Tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live emanated from the Scope Arena in Norfolk, Virginia. Daniel Bryan found himself in the middle of Brand Wars 2017 as he tried to broker a peace deal with Kurt Angle last night on Raw. Angle didn’t bite as he gave Kane the ok to chokeslam Bryan straight to hell in the proverbial sense. How did Shane-O-Mac respond to Angle’s counterattack as the march towards Survivor Series continues? The answer to that question can be found throughout this blog. Without further ado, let’s dissect tonight’s show in no particular order.
· Shane McMahon delivered an impassioned rah-rah speech about how SD Live was always viewed as the lesser brand in the WWE hierarchy. Despite going live and appointing Daniel Bryan as General Manager, the blue brand was still viewed as an inferior product. In order to change that perception, McMahon held a team meeting and formulated the perfect plan to invade Raw last week.
· Kurt Angle retaliated by luring Daniel Bryan in a trap which resulted in Kane chokeslamming Bryan in Angle’s office while the lights were turned off. Shane vowed to make Raw pay by naming himself the team captain for the Men’s Traditional Interbrand 5-on-5 Survivor Series Elimination Match as the opening segment came to an end.
· This was a fine way to start the show. Shane McMahon had the crowd in the palm of his hand during his promo. When the “Under Siege” hashtag gains traction amongst fans, WWE must be doing something right when it comes to the promotion of this year’s Survivor Series. I can’t knock the hustle when the company’s marketing strategy is clicking with the masses.
· Bobby Roode defeated Dolph Ziggler with the Glorious DDT to secure a spot on Team SD Live at Survivor Series. The 2 out of 3 falls match between Roode and Ziggler was good. This was Roode’s best showing since his debut a couple of months ago. Ziggler stepped up his in-ring game which was nice to see as well. His gimmick still sucks, but I digress…
· Sin Cara and Baron Corbin’s latest match ended via No Contest after Sin Cara tackled Corbin over the announce table and continued to kick his ass after the referee tried to restore order. Corbin disrespected Sin Cara when he attempted to rip his mask off several times during the match. One can only assume that both men will face off for the United States Championship next week as the show emanates from Manchester, England.
· Speaking of Manchester, the city will also host a SmackDown Tag Team Championship match featuring The Usos vs. Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable. Gable’s rap had me cracking up once again. He is such a gem inside and outside the ring.
· AJ Styles defeated Samir Singh with the Styles Clash, but the Phenomenal One didn’t get a chance to celebrate because Jinder Mahal attacked him from behind. Mahal and Sunil Singh put the boots to Styles as the fans showered them with boos.
· Mahal slammed Styles back first against the ring post and added insult to injury by stretching Styles’ body like a Gumby humanoid.
· Mahal finished him off with the Cobra Clutch Slam and delivered a second one for good measure as the segment came to an end.
· Jinder Mahal’s promo on Brock Lesnar was pretty blah, but his attack on AJ Styles was very good. Mahal will get his comeuppance, but the WWE Champion should be perceived as a legit threat heading into his match against Lesnar at Survivor Series. I don’t believe Mahal has a snowball’s chance in hell of beating The Beast, but I give WWE credit for giving it the old college try nonetheless.
· Rusev defeated Big E with a Superkick in a solid match. Aiden English provided the distraction down the stretch as he climbed on top of the announce table to serenade the crowd. Xavier Woods countered by playing a ditty on his trombone only for English to attack him from behind. Kofi Kingston made the save by chasing the balladeer in the ring.
· Big E dropped English with the Big Ending, but the diversion allowed Rusev to pick up the tainted win moments later. The action was hard-hitting throughout, but it was hard to take the match seriously due to E’s Halloween costume and the antics taking place at ringside.
· Shane McMahon booked Rusev vs. AJ Styles for next week with the winner earning the right to join Team SD Live at Survivor Series. Sounds good to me.
· Stranger(er) Things was a total camp fest. Tye Dillinger saying that he was Ten instead of Eleven was clever, but rest of the spoof was pretty lame until Breezango and The Ascension got jumped in the dark. Was it The Bludgeon Brothers or another evil force lurking in the shadows? Hmm…
· Shinsuke Nakamura is the fourth man to join Team SD Live at Survivor Series as he defeated Kevin Owens with the Kinshasa in a very good main event match. Owens and Nakamura woke up the Norfolk crowd and ended the night on a high note as they had maximized their minutes to the fullest.
· The highlight of the match was Owens delivering a beautiful Swinging Fisherman Superplex to Nakamura from the top rope. It was a great spot that popped the crowd something fierce. Sami Zayn caused a little mischief down the stretch when KO ordered him to tear apart the announce table so they could finish off Nakamura.
· Randy Orton threw a monkey wrench in their game plan when he dropped Zayn with a sick Belly-to-Back Suplex on the announce table which distracted Owens long enough for Nakamura to hit his finisher for the win.
· SD Live went off the air with Nakamura celebrating in the ring while Owens cried out for his best friend who was taking a nap on the announce table.
· This was a hot way to end the show. Nakamura and Owens delivered the goods in the ring while Orton ruined any chance at Owens being added to Team SD Live by screwing him over in epic fashion. I have a strange feeling that KO and Zayn are going to make Orton pay at Survivor Series which will leave Shane McMahon a sitting duck for Team Angle to maim and destroy at their own discretion. Shane rejecting their olive branch will come back to bite him in the ass in the worse possible way. You can take that prediction to the bank. Just make sure the check clears first. Just saying…
· Overall, I thought tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live was solid. The show was bookended by two strong matches as Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode blew off their feud with the Glorious One picking up the win to earn the third spot on Team SD Live while Shinsuke Nakamura secured slot #4 by defeating Kevin Owens thanks to an assist from Randy Orton. AJ Styles and Rusev will face off next week to determine who will round out the lineup at Survivor Series. The Men’s Traditional Interbrand 5-on-5 Elimination Match is shaping up to be a great one despite Brand Wars 2017 not being my cup of tea. If the in-ring action is top notch, I have no room to complain. For now…
On that note, this wraps up another edition of The SmackDown Files I hope you enjoyed it and I will be back next week with a brand new installment of The Raw Exposé. See you later, boys and girls!