AJ comes out in his home market and gets cheered a lot. Bryan comes out and says he respects AJ but he is going to take his title because the thought of regaining the WWE Title was the thing that kept him going when he was injured and everyone was telling him he would never wrestle again. AJ then admitted that he lied last week and really did kick Bryan on purpose. Things got heated and they were about to fight when Shane McMahon came out to announce that he has decided to just do the title match right here, right now instead of at Crown Jewel. In other words, Shane is a sh*tty promoter. I mean come on, dude. At least make it the main event so people have time to call their friends and tell them about this major change of plans.
(Yes, I realize that doing this now gives them the rest of the show to build up their new title match for Crown Jewel, but I think it would have been better to have someone just injure Bryan early I tonight’s show, have AJ challenge that person to a match tonight, and have that person beat AJ clean to set the title match up. That way you’ve still got AJ vs. Bryan for an upcoming PPV, plus Bryan vs. whoever attacks him.)
WWE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: AJ Styles(c) vs. Daniel Bryan- 8.75/10
This was F*CKING AWESOME. Bryan worked the arm, AJ worked the knee, and they just kept on those body parts the entire time. This was WAY different from most other matches you’ll see in WWE… and, honestly, most places, as a good chunk of the stuff they used to work limbs over is different than you’d see in New Japan or EVOLVE or PWG or CMLL or anywhere else. Lots of smashing limbs into turnbuckles and stuff like that, and combined with some moves you really just don’t see anymore like the shinbreaker. When was the last time you saw a good shinbreaker? It was kind of like they were trying to adapt a New Japan for a WWE audience, but with an almost 1980s WWF-like simplicity. You should all go out of your way to watch it because it was fantastic.
I’m sure people will be unhappy about babyface Bryan tapping out in a world title match, especially after Bryan’s earlier comments, but I think there is a way to spin this for Bryan as a step in the journey. Basically, you have him say that one of the things he learned while being on the shelf was that sometimes you shouldn’t risk permanent injury to win one match, and he knows he is good enough to earn another title shot, and he’ll win the belt then.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- awesome, but…
AJ gets attacked by Samoa Joe. Joe chokes AJ out, so I guess he is getting the title shot. Bryan tried to save AJ but Joe took his knee out and choked him out, too. Joe posed with the belt. This got A LOT of heat, and in a vacuum I’d have said it was an awesome segment, but I’m kind of apprehensive about them going right back to AJ vs. Joe. I realize they could just have AJ beat Joe at Crown Jewel and then transfer the feud to Joe vs. Bryan, but if I’m being honest, I think I would have rather seen AJ defend the title against Jey Uso (who did pin him last week), just to see what Jey can do in a long singles match. It’s not like this would be the main event, and it’s a sold show anyway so you’re not worried about not selling tickets, so why not tie up a loose end and give us a title match we would likely otherwise never get to see?
JEFF HARDY PROMO- It’s a Jeff Hardy promo. Just about the only thing I understood was that he said he wanted to win the WWE World Cup.
THE MIZ PROMO- He, too, wants to win the WWE World Cup.
PAIGE & CHARLOTTE BACKSTAGE- Paige puts over Charlotte vs. Becky from Evolution, then asks her to be the captain of Smackdown’s women’s Survivor Series team. Ah yes, the position of pointless captain. Another reason BRM despises Survivor Series. Charlotte turns the position down, but Paige tells her to think about it. Holy sh*t, someone lost a match and is being affected by it without having a complete and total personality change. Did I accidentally turn on a different promotion?
No. It’s still WWE. Hence why we’re having a Trick-Or-Street Fight.
TRICK-OR-STREET FIGHT: Big E. (w/The New Day) vs. (w/Big Show & Sheamus)- 4.5/10
First we heard Big E’s usual intro for The New Day, but then it was interrupted by The Brood’s music, and they came out dressed as The Brood. This was completely awesome, and would have been perfect, if not for the following: BYRON F*CKING SAXTON laughed in a forced manner and said “oh. I get it now: It’s The New Day as The Brood.” I don’t know if this was something Byron was ordered to do or something he felt it was necessary to do, but the fact that ANYONE felt this was necessary- that someone felt that they needed to explain what was going on to us even though we just heard New Day’s music turn into The Brood’s music and it said “THE BROOD” on the screen in big letters and The New Day came out wearing wigs and puffy shirts and did The Brood’s entrance (minus the fire, they did… something different for that)- is absolutely infuriating to me. HOW F*CKING STUPID DO THEY THINK WE ARE?! Did they really think that there was anyone out there that somehow still didn’t get it?! A MENTALLY CHALLENGED DOORKNOB WOULDN’T NEED THIS EXPLAINED TO IT!
Also, I really think that the fact that Byron reacted/was ordered to react to this by laughing shows that WWE really doesn’t understand the emotions of their fanbase. When New Day came dressed as The Brood, my reaction wasn’t to laugh because it was funny; my reaction was to get excited because it was awesome and fun. And no one in the arena seemed to be laughing, either. They were all cheering.
Saxton then had to go on and explain to us exactly which Brood member each New Day member was playing. Quite frankly, this information was irrelevant. Even if you had no idea who The Brood were, you don’t have to know who they are to get the gag. The gag is that they are making fun of someone else’s entrance. Telling you who is in the stable doesn’t give you a better understanding of what is actually funny here.
Also, Sheamus painted his Mohawk and facial hair a pale white.
Anyway, there was a match in which the ring was all decorated with goofy weapons and pumpkins. They even had a kendo stick painted to look like a giant candy corn. This sort of thing totally baffles me, both from a kayfabe perspective and a real life perspective. In kayfabe, how do these stupid ideas come about? Did Paige and Shane really get together and run down ideas for they could make their STREET FIGHT fun and Halloween-themed? And outside of kayfabe, how much time and money was wasted getting at least thirty jack-o-lanterns, painting kendo sticks, and getting all of this other sh*t that they had around the ring, and for NO GAIN?
Because this was a Street Fight and thus had no DQs, it couldn’t have been more than a minute before the four guys on the outside ran in and it turned into a six-man. Big Show TRIED TO DROWN XAVIER WOODS in a tub of apples for bobbing.
Big E. won a relatively short match. I popped for him spitting the
SHANE, MIZ, JEFF, ORTON, & REY BACKSTAGE- TERRIBLE SEGMENT!
The wrestlers cut promos on each other. This was basically the sort of big talking segment they would normally have in the ring and call a “summit” or something similarly moronically grandiose, but the ring is currently a mess, so they had to have it backstage. Miz was good, everyone else was lame.
Shane then said he loved the intensity they were showing “And that’s why I asked you guys to come here. Because I have something very important to say. One of the worst things in the world that can happen to me personally that is my sister can call a Raw Superstar the ‘best in the world.’ And I don’t think you guys truly understand the gravity of the situation that you are in. Because whomever- whichever one of you makes it to the finals- if that person is beaten by a Raw Superstar, you will no longer have a home here on Smackdown Live.”
Yes, the return of Shane McMahon to weekly TV also means the return of BRM chucking his empty soda cans at the TV, as well as the return of his trusty bottle of Jack Daniels.
Oh my G-d this arrogant, pathetic horse-diddler! YOU ARE ALMOST FORTY-NINE YEARS OLD! YOU SHOULD NOT BE CALLING LOSING A GAME TO YOUR YOUNGER SISTER AS “ONE OF THE WORST THINGS IN THE WORLD THAT CAN HAPPEN TO ME PERSONALLY.” Because that’s really all this is to them: a game. Yes, they are professional wrestling company executives and this is their profession, but they work in the same company and there are no stakes, so THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES TO LOSING! Raw has won the past two years and there have been ZERO CONSEQUENCES for Smackdown! So the only thing really on the line here are Shane and Steph’s f*cking feelings, which we have been given absolutely zero reason to care about.
And now this utter moron thinks that the best thing to do is to announce that if his side doesn’t win, he is going to fire the guy on his side who actually makes it to finals- i.e. the guy who just proved himself to be Shane’s BEST guy by virtue of winning the SD side of bracket. Does he not realize that this will just result in his best guy going to Raw and tipping the balance even further? Oh. And Shane? If you want your guys to win the tournament, how about not booking them in a match against each other less than three days before the tournament? How does this idiot even dress himself in the morning?
AJ & PAIGE BACKSTAGE- They basically redid the “Paige doesn’t want to reward Joe’s bad behavior but AJ insists on fighting him in a title match” angle that they did last month.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. R-TRUTH (w/Carmella)- 4/10
Between the Mixed-Match Challenge promos, the commercial break, the Evolution photo package, Joe attack recap, the AJ/Paige segment, and Truth & Carmella singing a full song, Nakamura had been standing around for close to nine minutes before his match with Truth finally started. The match was meh. Nakamura won clean.
They told us that we’re also getting US Champ vs. IC Champ at Survivor Series, so that will now make four straight big shows without either one of those belts on the line. And just to make them mean even less, we’ll have one of the champs do a job that won’t lead to anything. But that’s totally worth Creative being able to take a month off and not actually put any thought into storylines for Survivor Series. This will also almost certainly make for three straight PPVs during which the Raw Tag Team Titles will not be defended on a big show. And there are people out there who think it is a good idea to add women’s tag titles to this mess?
BECKY LYNCH PROMO- AWESOME!
Two days after spending three and a half hours telling me how wonderful their Divas’/Women’s R/Evolution is, WWE let Becky go out on TV with a shirt that says “I’M THE MAN.” Whoops.
But yeah. Becky’s promo was awesome. I draw a comparison between the Ronda/Becky face-off to Austin/Tyson, and while the obviously a lot of that doesn’t match up, this promo convinced me that there could be a kernel of truth to the idea. If Becky keeps cutting promos like this rather than acting like an asshole like she did in the Charlotte feud, she is definitely going to have a Steve Austin “I’ll fight anyone I want to I’m not going to let anyone tell me what to do” feel to her.
SAMOA JOE PROMO- Did we really need to bring up AJ’s family again? It feels like I’m stuck in a time-warp.
RANDY ORTON & THE MIZ vs. REY MYSTERIO JR. & JEFF HARDY- 6.25/10
Paint-by-numbers match with Jeff as the babyface in peril. Jeff pinned Miz after a Swanton, then got RKOed by Orton. Rey came off the ropes trying for some sort of springboard move but Randy caught him with an RKO, too. Then he give Miz an RKO as well.
An eventful episode of Smackdown, but it was very hit or miss. Basically, the AJ vs. Bryan match and the Becky Lynch promo rocked, and everything else was full at best. But you really should go out of your way to see both Becky's promo and the AJ vs. Bryan match.