Written by: The Immortal KB
Tonight’s International edition of SmackDown is actually taped from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, UK The next Smackdown PPV is WWE Survivor Series a cross brand event and one of the “big four” PPVs live from Houston, Texas, USA in the Toyota Center Sunday November 19th 2017. Only two weeks away.
The show opened with AJ Styles looking at the camera saying tonight he has an opportunity to become WWE Champion. He said Jinder Mahal may be bigger and stronger than him, but he’s not him, the Phenomenal One then Jinder Mahal said last week he just flat-out beat up Styles and it was fun. He said because of that, he is forced to defend his WWE Championship tonight against Styles, “which is alright by me.” He said he will be a Phenomenal Loser tonight and he will remain the Modern Day Maharaja.
The Smackdown opening aired.
The announcers hyped the line-up as the camera panned the crowd and showed graphics advertising Becky Lynch vs James Ellsworth, Usos vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable,and Jinder Mahal vs AJ Styles.
Shane McMahon danced onto the stage as “Here comes the money!” blared. Graves said Shane is looking to build momentum for the Blue Team headed into Survivor Series. Shane asked how Manchester was doing. He talked about Survivor Series being the one time a year that Raw and Smackdown go head to head. He said after Nov. 19, they won’t be known as the B-show, they’ll be known as Thee-Show. He blamed Kurt Angle and Stephanie McMahon for locking Daniel Bryan in their office and sending Kane to do his dirty work. He said he’ll get his payback against Angle at Survivor Series, “so get ready.” The fans chanted “Shane-o-Mac.” He said Bryan will be back next week. He said Bryan represents the locker room, which doesn’t stay down when they’re knocked down. Shane then introduced New Day for “doing a phenomenal thing last night,” firing a shot at Raw that is still going. The crowd chanted “New… Day sucks!”
As New Day walked out, they showed highlights of last night’s New Day prank on Raw. Back live in the ring, New Day said they made Raw look pretty silly. Kofi Kingston said it wasn’t their intention to have Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose lose the tag team titles, “but such are the consequences of putting Raw Under Siege, bay-bee!” There were scattered boos when Kofi mentioned costing Seth & Dean the tag team titles.
Big E said they led the Siege two weeks ago and looked the Raw roster dead in the eye “and we beat them down.” Kofi said they’re ready to accept full repercussions for their actions. Xavier said if anyone from Raw shows up, they’ll beat them back to Mondays. Shane said they are all about Team Blue. New Day then encouraged Shane to dance and gyrate with them, and he did. They were interrupted by Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Graves said they saved Shane from embarrassing himself anymore because “that dance was atrocious.”
Owens said that was the stupidest, most painful thing he’s seen in his life. Sami said: “I hate to break it to, but you are not cool and you probably should not dance again.” Kofi asked if Sami has watched himself dance on stage. “You look like a fool!” They didn’t exactly defend Shane’s dancing, did they? Owens said Shane is acting out because he lost at Hell in a Cell and is coping with his daddy issues, but he shouldn’t make Smackdown pay for his shortcomings.
Sami said he should be representing Smackdown at Survivor Series, but he lost to Randy Orton because of a low blow. He said if that happened to one of Shane’s favorites, Shane wouldn’t have let that stand. Owens said it was ridiculous he even had to wrestle a qualifying match because he and Sami are the two best wrestlers on the roster. He asked if they have to sing and dance like the New Day puppets. Kofi said the only puppet he sees is the 1930s-paperboy-looking, never-been-to-a-gym in a life Sami Zayn. Big E said Owens has his arm so far up Sami’s butt that when Sami brushes his teeth, he gets a manicure. New Day celebrated their joke.
Shane told Owens and Sami that don’t care about Smackdown and have no brand loyalty. He said they walked around like the own the place and are entitled. Shane said what they are actually entitled to is a match tonight. Shane booked Sami vs. Kofi “right now” (meaning right after the break)…
The first match of the show was Sami Zayn vs Kofi Kingston. Byron said New Day are so loyal to Smackdown because they succeeded on Raw and then were “traded away” in the Superstar Shakeup. The crowd pelted Sami with a “Paper Boy” chant. Graves said maybe if Orton didn’t cheat, Sami would be representing Smackdown at Survivor Series. There was cut to a break, but stuck with the action on split screen.
Owens distracted Kofi at ringside during the break, then Sami threw him into the ringpost. Sami controlled offense during the break. Kofi flip dove onto Sami at ringside to reverse momentum and then hit the S.O.S. for a near fall. Sami countered a Trouble in Paradise into a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. The pace picked up and Kofi scored a three count after a crossbody out of the corner off the second rope to win the eight minute match.
This was an A+ match Kofi and Sami are underrated in ring workers. Smooth as peanut butter when you just open it.
Owens ran into the ring to beat up Kofi afterward. Big E and Xavier quickly made the save.
The announcers commented on a replay of Mahal beating up Styles last week on Smackdown.
The camera went backstage to Mahal and the Singh Brothers enjoying the replay. Renee Young asked Mahal about how he’s adjusting from preparing to face Brock Lesnar to facing AJ Styles first. Mahal said last night at a fine restaurant he asked his server to refer to his first course as AJ Styles because Styles is the appetizer and at Survivor Series, he’ll Feast on the Beast.
Another Bludgeon Brothers vignette aired. They said the world is a horrible place and they’re there to make it worse. They smashed their sledgehammers to the floor.
The second match of the night was Randy Orton vs Rusev. Orton caught Rusev’s boot and went for an early RKO. Rusev blocked it and kicked Orton, then went for a pin over and over rapid-fire. Graves said Rusev really wants to be on Team Smackdown. They cut to a very early break.
No split-screen during this break. The crowd chanted “Rusev Day!” Graves imagined Rusev versus either Braun Strowman and Samoa Joe. They showed Shane McMahon, Bobby Roode, and Shinsuke Nakamura watching the match backstage. Rusev continued to express frustration when Orton kicked out of his pin attempts. Suddenly, Orton caught a frustrated Rusev with an RKO out of nowhere for the clean win in seven minutes.
D- minus match because it felt good until it just dropped off. Randy needs to go away. Rusev has lost 863 matches against Randy Orton.
Phillips said just like that, Rusev is not going to Survivor Series. Graves said that means Smackdown still has an open spot on the team. They showed Shane, Roode, and Nakamura reacting.
The announcers hyped Jinder vs. Styles.
Backstage James Ellsworth was pacing when Tamina stepped out of the locker room. He asked her to get Carmella for him please. Out came Becky Lynch instead. Ellsworth asked if she really thinks she has a chance because she’s a woman and he’s a man. He said the Women’s Revolution is a farce. He said if Raw invaded Smackdown, she’d be the first to hide behind him. He said the ring is no place for the “softer sex.” He said he lets Carmella compete because it makes her happy. He said he’ll prove he’s the better man. She said those are ballsy statements. She looked down and said, “Too bad you don’t have any.”
The announcers threw to a long video package on the Raw-Smackdown happenings since Under Siege including what happened on Raw with New Day.
The third match was the tragedy that was James Ellsworth vs Becky Lynch in a Lumberjill match. Charlotte, Tamina, Lana, and Naomi were at ringside. Graves said he normally admires Ellsworth’s loyalty, but the little doggie might have bitten off more than he can chew. They showed images of Tweets exchanged by Ellsworth, Becky, and Carmella to build up this match in the last few days. Graves was mocking Ellsworth’s physique and trunks. Ellsworth did some push-ups after the bell rang. The fans chanted “Becky’s going to kill you.” She went for an early Dis-arm-her.
The crowd chanted “Where’s your chin!” at Ellsworth. They sang other songs. Graves made fun of Ellsworth for taking off his shirt and for being pale. They did some comedy spots in the ring leading to some leverage pins, obviously an effort play into Ellsworth’s character but also avoid any man-woman violence. He did the crane pose and then shoved Becky. She tumbled to the floor and then made some comments at the other women at ringside. Becky then surprised him with a missile dropkick for a two count. Graves: “That dropkick would have caved in Ellsworth’s chest, but nature beat her to it.” Becky blocked a No Chin Music kick and then gave him an atomic drop and an exploder suplex. Ellsworth rolled to the floor at the feet of the other women. Ellsworth reentered the ring and tried to make amends. He hugged Becky, and she countered into a Dis-arm-her for submission win in six minutes.
This was an F+ match. Very horrible it only leads to one question what’s next for the Big Hog?
After the match, Carmella and Becky exchanged some words. It appeared Carmella was there to defend Ellsworth, but instead she superkicked him. The crowd was shocked. Becky’s jaw dropped. The crowd chanted “Yes! Yes!” Carmella left the ring with her MITB briefcase. Graves said someone should call animal control and scoop him off the canvas.
The camera went backstage to Shane chatting with Charlotte. He was talking to her about the tease of an invasion and how Angle’s reaction was priceless. Natalya interrupted and said she will prove she is the best women’s champion in WWE at Survivor Series, but she will gladly take Charlotte’s place on Team Smackdown. She said Natalya is delusional. Shane said she escaped with the Women’s Title at Hell in a Cell because of a chair. Natalya said it was because of self defense. He said that didn’t sit well with him or Bryan, so next week she’ll defend the Smackdown Women’s Title against Charlotte, the winner will face Alexa Bliss at Survivor Series. Charlotte let out a big wooo!
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin came out first then the Usos came out. They asked who was standing in the middle of the ring, and said it looks like American Alpha, part two. Some fans laughed. They said they’re their next victims, then threw the first punches. They knocked Gable and Shelton out of the ring.
The fourth match of the night was a tag team match for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship with the Usos defending their titles against Young Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin.
After the break, Shelton and Gable dominated for a couple minutes. Shelton ducked a charging Jey Uso, who flew to ringside. Gable then clipped his knee and then snuck under the ring. Jey sold a left knee injury. Graves said that could have terribly damaged his knee. He tried to put his weight on the leg, but couldn’t re-enter and the ref counted him out. So they won but the titles won’t change on a countout.
Can’t give this a grade until I know if it’s a work or a shoot. This is another match that just dropped suddenly. So maybe an I grade for incomplete. It seemed legit the way they played it with the sudden awkward end. Not sure what the point was if it was planned so was it a shoot work or work shoot.
Renee interviewed Styles backstage. Styles said the last thing Jinder should do is take him lightly because people have been underestimating him his entire life. He said he has an opportunity to do what every WWE Superstar wants, which is to become WWE Champion. He said he remedies not being the biggest or strongest by working harder and getting up earlier and staying later. He said Smackdown is the house that AJ Styles built. He said he’ll borrow a Jinder phrase, because he’ll become the beastmaster when he slays the beast Brock Lesnar.
The announcers hyped Sin Cara vs. Baron Corbin next week for the US Title, Charlotte challenging Natalya, and Owens & Sami vs. New Day. So we could see Miz vs. Sin Cara and Charlotte vs. Bliss at Survivor Series in addition to Styles vs. Lesnar.
Finally in the main event for WWE Championship the challenger AJ Styles took on the champ Jinder Mahal. The crowd taunted Jinder with a “You can’t wrestle!” match. Graves said, “Look at the physique of Jinder Mahal. That’s what a champion should look like.” Jinder blocked a Styles sunset flip and then lifted Styles by his head and threw him to ringside. Jinder settled into a chinlock. He took it to Styles at ringside and threw him onto the announce table. Jinder settled into an armbar. He stomped away at Styles, but Styles lifted his boot and caught Jinder on the chin to take over. Styles rallied and threw some round kicks to Jinder’s chest. Jinder caught his boot and shoved him down hard. Jinder lifted and dropped a charging Styles onto the mat and scored a two count. Styles slipped under.
Jinder went on the top rope and then rolled him into a Calf Crusher. Jinder teased tapping and the crowd cheered in anticipation. Jinder escaped by slamming Styles’s head on the mat. Styles applied it again, but Jinder reached the bottom rope. Jinder came back with a clothesline that flipped Styles. He set up a superplex. Styles ducked a charging Jinder, who tumbled to the floor. Then he slingshot himself onto Jinder with a Phenomenal Forearm. Styles landed a 450 splash next, but the Singh Brothers pulled Jinder to safety at ringside. Styles rolled out to ringside and went after one of them. He tackled him and punched away at him then he hit the other. “Yes!” chants rang out.
Jinder caught Styles on the ring apron, but Styles fought free. Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm. Jinder countered with his finisher, but Styles draped his leg over the bottom rope. A loud “Yes!” chant rang out. Graves said the place is rocking. Jinder stood up again and set Styles on the top rope. He set up his finisher from the top rope. Graves said Styles might never fight again if Jinder nailed that. Instead, Styles leaped to the floor and snapped Jinder’s neck over the top rope. He then hit the Phenomenal Forearm square on and scored the pin to win the match in sixteen minutes and become a two time WWE Champion.
As Styles celebrated, Byron said he’s going on to face The Beast at Survivor Series. Phillips said that was the first time in history the WWE Title changed hands outside of North America. Jinder threw around the Singh Brothers in frustration after the match.
This was the best match on Smackdown all year. This was an A++ match. The reign of Jinder is over and AJ is back as head of the household. AJ is the best wrestler in the world.
This overall was a very good one the first hour was week after the first match and the second hour was so strong giving this Smackdown a A- grade. Survivor Series is looking Wrestlemania like. I am very excited about this PPV less than two weeks away but as tonight showed card is always subject to change.