This week’s episode of WWE SmackDown LIVE saw the blue brand prepare for the WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view.
The episode started with SmackDown General Manager Paige entering to introduce SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon, who now has the additional title of “Best in the World” after winning the WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel. McMahon made clear that he knows he isn’t really the best wrestler in the world; he just filled in for The Miz in the tournament finals out of instinct, to do what was best for his show.
McMahon also announced that Daniel Bryan will captain the SmackDown team for the men’s traditional Survivor Series five-on-five elimination tag team match. When Bryan said it was an honor to be chosen, The Miz interrupted his speech and made his case for captainship. Shane was convinced… but only to the point where he made these enemies co-captains.
Backstage, an argument between The Miz and Daniel Bryan was interrupted by Shane McMahon, who noted that he thinks they actually “bring out the best in each other” and that their tension will bring “urgency” to the team. He gave them until the end of the night to pick three other team members. First up, The Miz picked Shane McMahon, who accepted the invitation to join once Bryan pointed out that no one has more on the line at Survivor Series than the SmackDown Commissioner.
The Miz then granted Bryan the next pick for the team, proving that they could in fact co-exist. Both men even smiled at each other… only to turn away in disgust as soon as they realized what they were doing.
Later in the show, Bryan informed The Miz his pick was Rey Mysterio. The Miz agreed to this choice, as long as Mysterio could beat Andrade “Cien” Almas in their match that night.
Elsewhere on SmackDown, longtime rivals The Usos and The New Day faced off in a match to decide which team would captain SmackDown’s Survivor Series tag team elimination match. Big E and Kofi Kingston pulled out all the stops, as did their opponents. The hard-hitting match put half of each team out of commission, and with no tags available, Jimmy Uso pinned Kingston after a super powerbomb and
After we saw the highlights of Ronda Rousey’s promo from the previous night’s episode of RAW, SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch entered the ring and responded to her RAW counterpart. She said that Rousey has yet to be tested as a champion and that her “titanium body will be let down by [her] weak mind.” Lynch described her struggles to get to this point in her career and how they’ve made her “the most relentless person you’ve ever met.”
Instead of leaving the ring after her promo, the champ issued an open challenge.
The challenge was met by Sanity… who welcomed out the deranged faction member they left back in NXT when they came up to the main roster: Nikki Cross. Cross fought scrappily and got some near falls, but she ultimately tapped out to the Dis-Arm-Her in her first main roster match.
Back in the men’s division, the team co-captains found themselves at odds again. Bryan’s last pick was Jeff Hardy, but The Miz’s was Samoa Joe. They decided that whoever won the Hardy vs. Joe match later in the episode would earn a spot on the team.
We also saw United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura cut a promo on Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins ahead of their Champion vs. Champion match, and WWE Champion AJ Styles cut one on Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.
Rey Mysterio defeated “Cien” Almas to earn his spot on the Survivor Series men’s team. Both wrestlers showed why they are legends in their respective generations of
Paige entered the ring to announce the blue brand’s women’s Survivor Series team: Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville, and Asuka, the sole survivor of last year’s Raw team, all joined Paige with enthusiasm. But Charlotte Flair, who Paige had asked to captain the team on last week’s show, didn’t enter at all. Instead, Mandy Rose came out and insulted the rest of the team, including her regular tag team partner Deville. She took things a step too far when she brought up Naomi’s marriage and a brawl broke out.
The night’s main event was Jeff Hardy vs. Samoa Joe. Both SmackDown LIVE team captains sat in on commentary, and after getting along oddly well earlier in the show, found themselves quickly back at odds. Victory looked sure for Hardy, but Joe blocked his Swanton Bomb with double knees and transitioned into the Coquina Clutch to win the match by submission.
After the match, Joe went over to commentary to antagonize Bryan, and Bryan attacked him. The Miz attacked Bryan, and Shane McMahon got involved as well. Bryan came out on top and exited the arena alone, leaving viewers to question if the members of Team SmackDown can co-exist.