Date: November 6, 2018
Location: Manchester Arena, Manchester, England
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
We’re in England again for the final big show on the long international tour. This show is going to be almost all about the fallout from Crown Jewel and the build towards Survivor Series, which is a mere twelve days away. Expect a lot of people being added to the card in a hurry. Let’s get to it.
Here’s Paige to get things going. She wastes no time in introducing Shane McMahon, though the fans are NOT happy to see him. After a quick clip of the ending of the tournament and a photo op with the cup, Shane says he isn’t the Best in the World. That trophy doesn’t belong to him, but it does belong to everyone here on Smackdown. He reacted by instinct on Friday because he couldn’t handle the idea of Smackdown not being considered the best.
That brings him to Survivor Series so we run down the champion vs. champion matches. What matters most though are the elimination matches so here’s the captain of the men’s team: Daniel Bryan. After soaking in some cheers, Daniel says Shane deserves some cheers for not saying he’s the Best in the World. That’s quickly cut off by the Miz, who comes out with a slight limp.
Miz doesn’t like the idea of Shane coming in to steal his trophy, because 2/3 of it should belong to the man who won the first two matches. So how are they splitting this up? Does Shane come live at his house? Shane says if things had gone the way they should, Miz would have been fired. Miz doesn’t buy that, because he’s never been too injured to compete.
Based on his performance at the World Cup, he should be the captain. Shane agrees, but Bryan is captain too. My goodness they overbook the heck out of things like this one match. It puts the focus on the battling teammates instead of the story, and then the Raw vs. Smackdown stuff means nothing because there’s still no reason for them to be fighting. Just do Team Miz vs. Team Bryan and Team Corbin vs. Team Angle with some of the people in the champion vs. champion matches included.
Post break Miz and Bryan are bickering when Shane comes in to say they bring out the best in each other. That’s what he’s counting on to win at Survivor Series. By the end of the night, they need to pick their other members. Miz picks Shane and Bryan agrees as Shane leaves. Bryan will get to pick the next member at some point.
New Day vs. Usos
The winners are the captains, because there are totally five Smackdown teams to pick from. After New Day throws a bunch of pancakes into the crowd, Kofi and Jimmy start things off. The Usos are sent outside in a hurry and it’s off to Big E. as Woods plays the trombone and Kofi vibrates on the ropes, allowing E. to run Jimmy over. That was so odd that we need to take a break.
Back with Big E. coming in off the hot tag and throwing some suplexes. The Rock Bottom out of the corner gets two and there’s the Big Ending for two with Jimmy making a very last second save. Kofi tags himself in as Jey avoids a charge to send Big E. outside. Big E. is fine enough to drive Jimmy HARD into the barricade, only to be sent over it himself. With everyone else on the floor, Kofi dives onto both Usos (Graves: “That was falling with style!”) and throws Jey back in for two.
The SOS gets two, followed by a high crossbody for the same as we take a break. Back with Big E. saving Kofi from a double suplex to the floor by spearing Jey through the ropes. Trouble in Paradise hits Jimmy on the apron but the delayed cover only gets two. A superplex is broken up as Jimmy superbombs him down in a huge crash. The Superfly Splash gives Jimmy the pin at 16:14.
Rating: B. Another good match from these guys and it’s nice to see the Usos do something for a change. I still don’t get why they can’t be sent to Raw, just for the sake of having them rock the house with the AOP. It’s not like that show has many teams to go around in the first place and the Usos are too good to have sitting on the sidelines.
Post match the Usos offer New Day a spot on the team. But they’re not CAPTAINS are they?
Miz is on the phone plugging the new Marine movie, but apparently the talk shows want Becky Lynch instead. Bryan comes in to pick Rey Mysterio for his next spot on the Survivor Series team. Miz isn’t impressed, so Bryan lists off everything Mysterio has done since he came back. However, Miz will agree if Mysterio impresses him tonight against Andrade Cien Almas. For the third man, they can each pick someone who will have a match for the final spot.
We see Ronda Rousey’s comments about Becky Lynch on Raw.
Here’s Becky to respond. Ronda has said that she’s the last woman on earth to provoke, but who is Ronda to tell the champ what to do? It’s true that Ronda holds a championship but she’s not a champion. A champion wills herself to keep going but Ronda has never been tested. The truth is that Becky is the man, and that’s why she’s a champion and Ronda isn’t. At Survivor Series, Ronda’s titanium body will be let down by her weak mind.
Lynch has kept fighting every day and is the most relentless person that Rousey has ever met. Becky wasn’t handpicked like Ronda but here she is. The fans cheer her again as Becky says she’s not coming to Survivor Series for Ronda’s respect, but rather the arm. Ronda might be the baddest b**** in the world, but Becky is making Ronda hers. Becky is so fired up that she wants to fight right now. Cue Sanity with Nikki Cross of all people to say she wants to play. I have no idea how this is supposed to make Becky come off as a heel, but I’m sure it’s just going over my head.
Nikki Cross vs. Becky Lynch
Non-title. Becky takes her down to start so Nikki gets up and screams a lot. The fans are behind Nikki as she headscissors Becky to the floor. Some forearms and stomps have Becky in even more trouble on the floor but she trips Nikki onto the apron. Becky whips her into the barricade a few times and it’s time for the chinlock back inside.
A dropkick gives Becky two and the Bexploder has Nikki in the corner. She’s right back with forearms to the chest and the running clotheslines put Becky down again. A high crossbody gives Cross two and a falling reverse DDT gets the same. Becky finally sends the arm into the rope and the Disarm-Her makes Cross tap at 5:36.
Rating: C+. I’m not sure if Nikki is going to be up here full time or not but it’s a nice sign to see her getting in some offense against the champ. She got to show off the insanity well here and even if this is just a one off cameo, at least she’s had the chance to make an impact. Good little match too, even if the ending wasn’t in doubt.
Bryan and Miz pick Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe for the final match tonight.
Shinsuke Nakamura promises Seth Rollins will take a knee to the face.
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade Cien Almas
No Zelina Vega, instantly making this less interesting. Mysterio, all banged up from World Cup, flips him down to start but gets elbowed in the face for his efforts. Almas gets two off a kick to the chest but misses a running knee in the corner. The running seated senton off the apron is caught though and Almas swings him into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Mysterio hitting the springboard seated senton and kicking Almas in the head for two.
Rey takes too much time going up top though and gets punched in the face. Almas hits a pair of running knees in the face for two but his moonsault hits knees. The 619 is broken up as well though and they head outside with Mysterio on Almas’ shoulders. That means a hurricanrana into the apron and a sliding tornado DDT (he almost lost Almas but it could have been worse) makes things even worse. Back in and the 619 into the springboard splash finishes Almas at 8:22.
Rating: C+. Perfectly fine match here as Mysterio is certainly getting in some big matches on his return. That’s the reason you bring someone like him back, though I’m sure the losses where he puts people over are coming. I could go for more of Almas, but that doesn’t seem to be what WWE is looking for at the moment.
Post match Randy Orton runs in for an RKO on Mysterio.
Bryan and Miz watch on and Miz agrees that Mysterio can be on the team. If that goes badly though, it’s Bryan’s fault.
Video on WWE partnering with Girl Up.
AJ Styles talks about winning the WWE Championship a year ago right here in Manchester. Now he’s coming up against Brock Lesnar again at Survivor Series. Last year he gave Lesnar everything he had but it just wasn’t enough. Maybe it ends the same way this year, but it’s not easy being a WWE superstar. At Survivor Series, he’s going to beat Lesnar and that’s a spoiler.
Here’s Paige to announce the women’s Survivor Series team. That would be Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville, Asuka and Charlotte, each with their own entrance. Well save for Charlotte, who doesn’t come out. Instead here’s Mandy Rose to say she might not be the blonde you’re looking for but she’s an upgrade. Paige says she won’t be taking Charlotte’s place but Mandy isn’t sure about her decision making. If you remember, Mandy eliminated Sonya from the Evolution battle royal but Sonya is on the team anyway.
Mandy insults everyone, including saying Carmella’s dance breaks are like her title reign: short and meaningless and asking if even Jimmy Uso is still feeling the Glow. That’s too much for Naomi so the fight is on with Sonya pulling Mandy off. Mandy stares Sonya down before storming off.
Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe
The winner is on the team and Miz and Bryan are on commentary. Joe goes straight at Hardy in the corner to start and even shouts trash talk at Bryan. Jeff is right back up and tries the Twist of Fate but Joe bails to the floor. Back in and Joe runs him over with an elbow and we take a break. We come back with Joe peppering him with right hands in the corner and the enziguri getting two.
The neck crank keeps Jeff in trouble until Joe takes him outside for a whip into the barricade. This serves as a backdrop for Bryan and Miz’s latest argument, meaning they ignore Jeff walking the barricade for the clothesline. Back in and the basement dropkick gets two on Joe, followed by the Twisting Stunner. The Swanton hits knees (in a great looking crash) and Hardy taps to the Clutch at 9:27.
Rating: C-. This was just going through the motions until the ending and there’s nothing wrong with that, especially given the story here. Joe is the better choice for the spot here, though that landing on the Swanton alone should give Jeff something. Maybe a nice back brace or a full body cast at this point.
Post match Joe talks more trash to Bryan and the fight is on. Miz breaks it up so Bryan beats him up as well, only to have Shane come in for the save. Bryan flips him over, not realizing who it was. Shane is incensed as Bryan walks off to end the show.
Overall Rating: C+. The wrestling was good tonight but my goodness that was one of the most heavy handed shows I’ve ever seen with the battling over being captains taking over the whole show. I still have no idea how I’m supposed to care about this but it’s the same thing on Raw: battling teams with more focus on who is in charge than who is actually in the match. That was the whole focus on this show and it got really annoying, especially when it means we’ll have to hear about bragging rights all next week. Good show wrestling wise, but really tiresome storyline wise.
Usos b. New Day – Superfly Splash to Kingston
Becky Lynch b. Nikki Cross – Disarm-Her
Rey Mysterio b. Andrade Cien Almas – Springboard splash
Samoa Joe b. Jeff Hardy – Koquina Clutch
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