SmackDown In A Nutshell: Setting Up Survivor Series

As RAW was last night, tonight’s SmackDown is overseas taking part in the WWE European tour. Fresh off of a controversial Crown Jewel, it’s finally time for the blue brand to start setting up Survivor Series. We will no doubt hear from Shane McMahon on his World Cup thievery, and there are a few Survivor Series teams that will need to be formed. There’s plenty to cover and just two hours to cover it in, so let’s crack open this Nutshell!

Best Match of the night:

The main event was good, but the action after was better. All that said, I think I was more in favor of the tag match between the Usos and New Day.

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Though, honestly, flip a coin, both matches were enjoyable.

Also have to give an honorable mention to Mysterio versus Almas.

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Worst match of the night:

In a refreshing change, I don’t have one tonight.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

The easiest one to hear? CM Punk.

Star of the Night

I could go so many different ways. In honor of the team element for Survivor Series, and with that factoring heavily into tonight’s show, I am going to say…no one. You could have gone with Jimmy and Jey Uso. You could have gone with New Day. There’s a case to be made for Daniel Bryan, The Miz and Shane McMahon.

Spot of the Night:

Not a move at all, but I really enjoyed the show of respect at the end of the tag team battle. The Usos and The New Day engaged in a drawn out fight, the winner becoming the captains for the SmackDown tag team Survivor Series team. The Usos were victorious, and following the match, the teams shook hands and Jimmy and Jey offered them the first spot on their Survivor Series team. Nice and classy move, considering the battles these two teams have had.

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Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Maybe a minor one, but Nikki Cross made a surprise debut as she came out to challenge Becky Lynch. Given that she’s been playing an integral role on NXT television, it would be a surprise if she’s up for good without a little more work out of Florida…but with that said, I would not be surprised if she wraps things up in NXT soon, and she joins her Sanity friends on SmackDown soon.

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At the end, we had Daniel Bryan kind of snap, ending up attacking Samoa Joe and then Shane McMahon before storming off.

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Noteworthy Moment:

The Nikki Cross debut, even if not permanent (yet) was nice.

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Announcing most of the three Survivor Series teams is big news too.

On the tag team Survivor Series team, it’s The Usos and New Day for now.

On the women’s Survivor Series team, we have Carmella, Naomi, Sonya DeVille, Asuka and Charlotte. Notable here, Flair’s music hit, but Mandy Rose came out instead. She took umbrage with Paige’s choices, and a bit of a fight broke out. That will be one to watch, to see where they go with Rose moving forward.

On the men’s match, we have co-captains in Daniel Bryan and The Miz. They will be joined by Shane McMahon, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe.

Overall lowlights:

Honestly, not a whole lot to complain about here tonight. A very good show, in my opinion.

Overall highlights:

Really, from start to finish, this show hit the notes it needed to hit. The opening tag match was very good. Almas and Rey, it could have been longer, but it was satisfying. Shane addressed his win at Crown Jewel, and they used that to leap into the Survivor Series match planning. The whole show worked.

After the final bell:

Honestly, one of the better SmackDown offerings we’ve had in recent weeks or even months. With talk of the show suffering from lower ratings, a strong performance on air has to help. No idea yet how it will translate to the oh so important ratings, but if fans see consistently improved performances, it can’t hurt. One thing I liked is that this show felt much more focused on forming the Survivor Series teams, which they have all but one team set. My big gripe about Survivor Series (an overall gripe, not a SmackDown gripe) is that hype for the show has been slow to materialize. It’s supposed to be one of the four biggest shows of the year, yet over the last two months or so, we’ve heard and seen far more (good and bad) about both Super Show-Down and Crown Jewel. Both of those were getting that attention even with other “regular” WWE PPVs coming up, and even at the expense of Evolution. I get it, the overseas fans have money to spend and all that, but Survivor Series should have been getting more attention as far back as a month ago, at least.

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