SmackDown Live General Manager Daniel Bryan Welcomed WWE Champion AJ Styles
It's refreshing to hear from Bryan about this "brand supremacy" storyline for a change considering it's been all about Shane McMahon for the most part and this was a good, basic promo from him. It was cool to see him serve as the "advocate" for Styles for one night only and it was a nice way to offer final hype for the WWE Champion vs. Universal Champion match at Survivor Series. Relegating Jinder Mahal's face-to-face encounter with Styles to a backstage segment afterward was wise as well.
United States Champion Baron Corbin def. Sin Cara
I didn't care much at all for the past encounters between Corbin and Cara, but this was easily the best of the bunch. They played off their other matches well with Corbin more aggressive than he has been in some time and Cara having a solid showing as well. It was a fun, energetic sprint for as long as it lasted with the right result. Here's hoping this is the start of Corbin being booked stronger as champion going forward.
Charlotte Flair def. Natalya to Win the SmackDown Women's Championship
I wasn't particularly impressed with the matches these two had in 2016 or at Hell in a Cell last month, which is weird because they had such stellar chemistry in NXT years ago. Well, this was the match I had been waiting for from them, and obviously it emanating from Charlotte's hometown helped as well. Putting the belt on Charlotte, especially one week removed from Ric Flair's 30 for 30 special on ESPN, was a smart move and it made for a very memorable moment. Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss at Survivor Series is much more appealing than Natalya vs. Bliss, not to mention Natalya wasn't lighting the world on fire as champion anyway.
SmackDown Tag Team Champion Jimmy Uso def. Chad Gable
It's nice to see that the feud between The Usos and Gable and Shelton Benjamin is continuing beyond last week's disappointing effort, and I assume it will culminate at next month's Clash of Champions pay-per-view. This was a fine little match for what it was and I liked the story they told with Gable targeting Uso's previously injured knee. A double turn could very well be in the works, but I'm not sure how necessary that is.
The New Day vs. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn Ended in a No Contest
As a match, this was perfectly solid and featured good performances from all involved, but you had to know the non-finish was coming considering Raw had yet to strike back prior to this point. That said, the invasion was excellently executed and the crowd was hot for it. The Shield and Kurt Angle taking out Shane McMahon was well done and interesting. Could it lead to Shane being replaced on Team SmackDown at Survivor Series?
I thought this was a much better go-home show for Survivor Series than what Raw provided on Monday night, and it was newsworthy as well. The two title matches were well-wrestled, Charlotte capturing the SmackDown Women's Championship was a really cool moment, and the Raw invasion ended the episode on a high note. The other segments and matches breezed by and I find myself much more excited for the upcoming pay-per-view than I was weeks ago.
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