This week’s edition of WWE Smackdown Live centered around Shane McMahon’s return to the show as the Commissioner, the fallout from the Smackdown #UnderSiege attack on Raw and an entertaining main event featuring Randy Orton taking on Sami Zayn. Here’s a rundown of everything that happened.

Shane McMahon was interrupted by Sami Zayn

After a video showing the Smackdown attack on Raw, Shane McMahon did a promo about how Smackdown executed their plan perfectly. Shane said that Raw general manager Kurt Angle disrespected Smackdown by talking about how great Raw’s roster was while dismissing Smackdown, so their talent was furious about it and that led to the “under siege” moment on Raw. Fans even chanted “under siege” for a bit. Shane said that Smackdown was ready for Raw if they try to surprise them with an attack.

Sami Zayn interrupted the promo. I love Zayn’s heel entrance because it’s a mock dance of what he used to do as a face. They talked about Hell in a Cell from a few weeks ago with Shane saying that Sami and Kevin put his well-being at risk. Didn’t Shane do that himself when he climbed a 20-foot cell and jumped off of it? Oh, well. I guess I can see his point. Shane said that they will settle that when the time is right.

Zayn told Shane that he and his best friend or “brother” Kevin Owens would be happy to lead Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. Shane told him that they don’t want or need Sami or Kevin on the Survivor Series team. However, Shane will give Sami a chance since SD is the “land of opportunity” and that means if Zayn wins his match later, he can be on the Smackdown team. Zayn asked who the opponent is, so Shane told him it’s Randy Orton and the winner is on the Smackdown team at Survivor Series.

It was the typical opening segment to start Smackdown. I thought that maybe they should have done something different with Shane in the ring along with everybody from Smackdown who appeared on Raw. Shane should have said that everybody put their differences aside for the greater good to prove that Smackdown was better. That would’ve explained it to the haters who were mad about faces and heels working together on Raw. Shane could have even said that if Smackdown wins at Survivor Series, then he will personally make sure they are financially compensated for it. That way, it says they are doing it for money even if they don’t like him. Just give us something to try to get the angle over a bit more.

There was a backstage skit with Daniel Bryan telling Shane that he didn’t like what he did on Raw and that he thought they were a team. Shane reminded him that he’s the boss as the Commissioner, so he thought they needed to do that. It wouldn’t shock me if this leads to Shane turning into a heel boss causing a rift with Bryan as the men in charge.

Zayn also had a backstage skit with his buddy Owens as Zayn was getting ready for his match. Owens said that he will face Shinsuke Nakamura next week on Smackdown with the winner getting on the Smackdown team at Survivor Series. They were both overconfident in saying that it would be Team Kevin and Sami (Sami’s suggestion) or Team Sami and KO (Kevin’s suggestion). When I saw that segment, I knew Zayn was losing because any time heels are that overconfident they usually get beat.

Randy Orton defeated Sami Zayn to earn a spot on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series

It would have been nice if Orton did a quick pre-match promo where he said Zayn cheated to beat him with a low blow last week, so payback is a bitch.

They were given about 13 minutes and it was a back-and-forth match with the Milwaukee crowd getting into it. Orton did his usual array of classic moves including a great superplex off the top where they got a lot of height. Zayn was still doing the aerial stuff, although not as much as when he was a face. Zayn did manage to do the sweet looking DDT on the floor where he jumps between the turnbuckles leading to the DDT, which is one of my favorite moves in WWE. When they went back in the ring, Zayn went for the Helluva Kick, Orton moved and Orton hit his DDT off the ropes.

Kevin Owens ran down to the ring to try to help Zayn, but the ref kept him back. Zayn managed to get a rollup for a two-count. With the ref dealing with Owens, Orton hit a low blow on Zayn (just like Zayn did to him last week) that the ref didn’t see. Orton hit the RKO on Zayn and pinned him for the win. It was a very good match and the crowd loved the ending. I thought it was exactly as it should have been, even though I want Zayn to win all the time. What they did here fit the story.

Zayn has gone from barely being on Smackdown for several months to being in key promo segments and the last three main events. I think he’s done a fantastic job. He’s better as a heel than I thought he would be. Long term, he’s probably going to be a face for most of his run, but this feels like heel Daniel Bryan in early 2012 before he blew up as a huge face.

To end the show, Shane and Daniel Bryan were in their “office” (a room they stand in that has a TV in it) with Bryan mentioning that Raw didn’t show up this week, but they could be coming. Shane was confident that they were ready. Bryan told him it was his responsibility.

I expect the Raw roster to be on Smackdown next week. Looking at the WWE schedule, both brands are off live events in the next week because they have the grueling European tour in two weeks. That means Raw talent only has Raw on Monday, so it would make sense for WWE to book them for Smackdown as well to get revenge on the blue team for their attack.

This Week’s Smackdown Live Matches

Here’s a look at this week’s Smackdown matches besides the main event.

Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable defeated Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston (w/Big E)

This could be considered an upset, but it was about putting over Shelton and Chad since they are the No. 1 contenders to the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. There was some good action in the match with Kofi and Shelton showing off their athleticism. Woods continues to impress me. Great mix of speed and has some good power moves.

The finish was controversial. After Gable took care of Kingston with a clothesline off the top, the ref tried to get Kingston out of the ring. Gable shoved Woods into the ropes, Benjamin kicked Woods in the back and Gable pinned Woods off that. I thought it was weak for a finish just because a kick to the back isn’t that deadly. If it was the head maybe, but the back? It seemed weak. Gable should have hit a move after it and then pinned him. Anyway, the point is that Gable and Benjamin found a way to win. It gives them some positive momentum going into the title match with The Usos whenever that is happening.

Sin Cara defeated Baron Corbin by disqualification

Last week on Smackdown, Sin Cara beat Baron Corbin by countout in about two minutes. This week, Corbin was mad about it and took out his aggression. There was some Sin Cara offense, including two suicide dives and a missile dropkick. Corbin slowed him down, pounded him in the corner with punches, wouldn’t stop when the ref told him to and Corbin was disqualified for it. Post-match, Corbin hit the End of Days on the floor to continue the attack.

It should lead to a US Title match for Sin Cara. I wouldn’t expect a title change there. This is about trying to build up Sin Cara a bit, but he will lose when he gets the title shot. This is just giving Corbin something to do until they build up a more viable contender.

AJ Styles defeated Sunil Singh

Before the match, WWE Champion Jinder Mahal did a promo about Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman, saying that he is not Lesnar’s equal, contemporary or counterpart because he is Lesnar’s worst nightmare. I don’t think anybody believes that. Mahal claimed the Maharajah Era had only just begun.

The referee ejected Jinder Mahal before the match. Why did he eject Mahal for doing nothing, yet the Singhs are always at ringside during Mahal’s matches when they cheat all the time? Because it’s WWE, where logic doesn’t matter.

Styles hit Sunil with strikes and a headbutt. Samir tried to interfere, so Styles tossed Sunil into Samir and then Styles slapped on the Calf Crusher on Sunil to win by submission. It went one minute.

Later in the show, Jinder and the Singhs complained to Daniel Bryan about what happened. That set up Styles vs. Samir Singh next week on Smackdown. I have a feeling it will be similar to this match.

Becky Lynch defeated Carmella, Charlotte Flair, Tamina & Naomi to become the captain of Smackdown’s women’s team at Survivor Series

The SD Women’s Champion Natalya was introduced as the greatest woman before the match and posed in the ring. Then she left and the match began.

I liked the way the match was structured because there’s no disqualification or countout in a 5-Way, so they brawled on the floor for most of it. Lots of cool moves on the floor including Charlotte catching Naomi and sending her hard into the hurricanrana. Tamina ended up dumping Charlotte over the barricade to take her out. Back in the ring, Carmella sent Naomi into the ring post for a hard bump. Carmella got a near-fall on Lynch with a superkick. Lynch recovered with the Disarmer submission to win after seven minutes. Solid match with plenty of action.

Thanks to the win, Lynch is the captain of Smackdown’s team. The other women in this match are on the team as well, which was announced earlier in the show. Do I care who the captains are? No, but I hope it’s a good match.

Other Key Items From Smackdown

1. Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode set up a 2/3 Falls match next week.

Dolph Ziggler was interviewed backstage. He said people only like catchphrases, so he stole The Rock’s “if ya smell…” bit and then said “told you so” as he bragged about beating Bobby Roode last week. That led to Roode showing up to complain about Ziggler cheating last week. Ziggler said they fought together on Raw, but they are not friends which Roode confirmed. Ziggler kept bragging, so Roode challenged him to a 2 out of 3 falls match next week and Ziggler agreed. Roode ended it with his “Glorious” catchphrase.

Later in the show, it was announced that the winner of Ziggler vs. Roode will be on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. I expect that to be Roode.

2. An episode of “Pulp Dogs” aired

This week’s movie parody with Tyler Breeze and Fandango was Reservoir Dogs. They were joined by the Ascension, who captured James Ellsworth and tied him to a chair. Konnor of The Ascension drank some liquid in a gas can, so the idea is he drinks gas? Sure. It’s silly. Viktor wanted to cut Ellsworth open and had plastic kitchen utensils. Carmella walked in with the Money in the Bank briefcase because she was looking for Ellsworth, who only can bark now. Fandango opened the MITB briefcase and there was underwear with brown stains on it believed to belong to Ellsworth. This was so dumb. Anyway, The Ascension told Breezango that 2B meant Bludgeon Brothers, so the mystery is solved… or so we thought.

The video ended with them teasing an episode of “Stranger-er Things” next week as a knock off of the Stranger Things show that I don’t watch. Thrilling.

3. The Bludgeon Brothers are coming soon

Another video aired featuring Luke Harper and Erick Rowan as The Bludgeon Brothers. No word on when their return may take place, but I’m glad it is because they are good performers. Harper is an awesome all-around talent that is ridiculously underutilized. Rowan isn’t that great from a technical standpoint. However, as a big man worker he does a good job of looking dominant when needed and he sells well. I like them as a duo.

Looking Ahead to WWE Survivor Series

The next WWE pay-per-view is Survivor Series on Nov. 19 in Houston featuring Raw and Smackdown. Here are the announced matches so far.

Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. WWE Champion Jinder Mahal

Intercontinental Champion The Miz vs. United States Champion Baron Corbin

Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Dean Ambrose vs. Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Usos

Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss vs. Smackdown Women’s Champion Natalya

Elimination Tag Team Match: Raw’s 5 men vs. Smackdown’s 5 men (Randy Orton is on the team)

Elimination Tag Team Match: Raw’s 5 women captained by Alicia Fox vs. Smackdown’s 5 women (Becky Lynch as captain, Charlotte Flair, Tamina, Naomi & Carmella)

Survivor Series is four hours long, so there will be more than six matches. I think Braun Strowman vs. Kane is likely as well and if Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn aren’t in that tag match then they need to be featured in some kind of tag team match because they are too good to not be on the card. An elimination tag team match with the cruiserweights seems likely too.

In Closing

Good show this week. Better than most of the shows in the last couple of weeks. The main event was very good, I liked the opening promo a lot and the tag team match early in the show was fun too. The women’s match was solid. There really wasn’t much that was that bad except the soiled underwear gag that is bad comedy.

Next week’s Smackdown has Nakamura vs. Owens, Roode vs. Ziggler in a 2/3 Falls match and Styles vs. Samir Singh. It’s also Halloween next week, so there could be some silliness with people dressed in costumes as well. Have a great week.

 

About John Canton

John has been writing about WWE online since the late 1990s. He's written for WhatCulture, Bleacher Report, Layfield Report, Rajah.com and many other places. You can follow John Canton on Twitter @johnreport or email him at mrjohncanton@gmail.com with any comments or questions. For more of his wrestling opinions, visit his website at TJRWrestling.net.