This week Smackdown started by doing something that they don’t do often as the opening of the show: play a clip of RAW. It all made sense though because on RAW was when the Smackdown women’s roster invaded RAW. After the recap the commentary team confirms the already broken news about Becky Lynch being injured during the segment. They pose the question of who will fill in Lynch’s spot in her match on Sunday. I could sense during the day that they would hold off on reporting the story until Smackdown because it made sense.
AJ Styles came to the ring after this announcement. Styles was there to talk about his Champion versus Champion match against Brock Lesnar this weekend. He said that he fights Lesnar at Survivor Series for the second year in a row this year. He realised while talking that Paul Heyman had entered through the crowd. Announcer Mike Rome was persistent at keeping the mic away from Heyman until Styles told him to give Heyman a mic. After both exchanged words, Daniel Bryan came out to the ring because his name was mentioned in the conversation. Bryan said that if AJ mentioned his name again he would get punched in the face. AJ did just that and got punched in the face. Shane McMahon came out and tried breaking up the brawl. The brawl was broken up by the time we went to commercial break.
After the break Bryan was arguing with Shane backstage. Styles and the many referees separating them came in seconds later. Shane shouted over everyone saying that he will book a WWE Championship match for later in the show. But why? Bryan lost completely clean only a few episodes ago. What gives him another shot? Because he punched the champ in the face?
Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs. Jeff Hardy
The first match of the evening was Andrade Almas versus Jeff Hardy. Before the break Almas was kicked out of the ring by Jeff after doing his tranquilo pose. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate followed up by a Swanton Bomb to win the match. This was a very short match. This wasn’t a bad match, but to show how insignificant it was, as the replays were rolling Corey Graves was back to talking about AJ Styles. The Miz is now sole captain of the Smackdown team, with Bryan off the team. The Miz added Jeff Hardy to the team and took Rey Mysterio off the team since Rey was Bryan’s pick when he was co-captain. Paige didn’t let this fly immediately, saying that for Rey to be taken off the team The Miz has to beat him in a match. As a reminder, these two just fought on October 23, AKA three weeks ago.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio
When The Miz made his entrance he walked out with a copy of The Marine 6: Close Quarters like how Toru Yano enters with his DVD. Late into the match The Miz did a Powerbomb for a two count. Mysterio was on a roll and went for a Frogsplash but The Miz put his knees up to reverse it. The Miz did a roll-up for a two count, then Rey did a roll-up of his own to get the three count. Mysterio stays on the team. After the match Randy Orton tried sneak attacking Mysterio. Rey avoided it but The Miz found himself caught in the crossfire, with Orton RKO’ing him. After the match we got a sneak peek of USA Network’s show “Real Country.”
After the break Paige brings out the Smackdown live women’s roster. Paige brought out Becky Lynch after everyone was in the ring. Lynch said that she has to pick who will replace her. She makes Charlotte take the spot, then they hugged afterwards.
Sheamus & Cesaro and Big Show vs. The New Day
Sheamus, Cesaro and The Big Show faced The New Day in the next match. Mid-way through the match Xavier Woods did a missile dropkick off the top to Cesaro then gave Kofi Kingston a hot tag. After a series of moves involving everyone in the match, Kofi did an SOS for a two count. Big Show got tagged in and KO punched Kofi as he was coming down from the top rope to end the match. Backstage we see The Usos give Smackdown Live shirts to The Colons, The Good Brothers and Sanity. It’s interesting that the Survivor Series matches forces the bookers to use people who otherwise would be out of work.
Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship Match)
The main event of the evening was Daniel Bryan versus AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. The match started quick with Bryan being thrown outside the ring in the first minute. Styles did a forearm off the top rope onto the floor before the broadcast went to a break. After the second break Bryan was closing in on a win. He landed a Hurricanrana off of the top rope for a two count. Bryan did a Belly-to-back Superplex off the top rope moments later for another close count. Styles tried a Springboard 450 but Bryan put his knees up. Bryan then transitioned into a Yes Lock which Styles escaped by getting to the ropes. Styles tried for the Calf Crusher in the center of the ring but Bryan reversed it into an Armbar and then another Yes Lock. Styles escaped the Yes Lock and put Bryan into the corner. Styles tried for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Bryan dodged it making Styles run into the ref. As the ref was down Styles got kicked in the groin. Bryan hit a running knee to become the new WWE Champion. After the match Bryan continued his beatdown on Styles. Looks like heel Bryan is back. I was expecting Bryan to win, but by no means was I expecting a heel turn here.