By Graham "GSM" Matthews
SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon Addressed Team SmackDown
It's refreshing to see that Team SmackDown is somewhat more cohesive than Team Raw was on Monday night. Shane should have ridiculed Raw for putting their team members against each other, but he ended up doing the same thing. Essentially, this was a carbon copy of what we saw at the start of Raw. Everyone played their role well, but I'm starting to care less and less about James Ellsworth with each week that passes because he's beginning to feel overexposed.
Breezango def. The Vaudevillians to Qualify For Team SmackDown
Thankfully, they saved the qualifying match involving the two teams fans couldn't cared less about for last. Not even the lively Glasgow crowd could get invested in this, which wasn't surprising considering both The Vaudevillians and Breezango are heels. The match was largely inconsequential, but if nothing else, it was kept short and sweet with the more entertaining duo going over.
Naomi def. Natalya
I was actually looking forward to seeing this match because it had the potential to be well-wrestled, but the focus was on anything but what was going on in the ring. Sure, Nikki Bella and Carmella were able to further their feud, but it came at the expense of the match, which was way too short to be anything of note. This felt like something you would see from Raw's women's division. I know Natalya's a heel and this is the type of reaction she is supposed to elicit, but that damn whistle is already annoying.
Baron Corbin vs. Kalisto Went to a No Contest
Most people probably didn't even realize that these two had been feuding for weeks before Kalisto was shelved with an injury. That said, I was happy they picked up where they left off, and it looks like this wasn't a one-and-done type of deal considering how Kalisto "injured" Corbin. It was an interesting return for Kalisto who came off like a complete heel here, and I doubt they would do a double turn with them.
SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss
The commentators got my hopes up when they said that this would be the main event... only for it to happen in the middle of the show. Was there any real reason why it didn't close the show? Because it was definitely the most anticipated match of the night. At any rate, this was a very good match, and I still think they're capable of producing an even better bout. I didn't notice Bliss' foot on the rope until the replay was shown, so I hope that means we'll be getting a rematch between them come TLC. Ladder match, anyone?
Curt Hawkins def. Apollo Crews
Wait, you're telling me the guy who lost to Dolph Ziggler last week in seven seconds last week just beat Apollo Crews? Why?! I like Hawkins, but Crews has a far brighter upside than him. This was a nothing match that was merely designed to kill time. I was really hoping the Brand Split would benefit Crews, but he has been directionless since losing to The Miz at SummerSlam.
Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Randy Orton def. Dean Ambrose, James Ellsworth and Kane
I likely won't remember anything from this match a month from now, but I enjoyed it while it lasted. The Glasgow crowd was hot for Ellsworth, but I don't know how much shelf life his act has left. We'll see in the weeks ahead. As for the post-match announcement, I was initially disappointed to hear Corbin was being removed from Team SmackDown, but Shane O'Mac is a notable replacement for his star power alone. I'd prefer The Undertaker in that slot, but Shane could be fun.
The build for Survivor Series has been all over the place. This edition of SmackDown Live wasn't as good as it has been in recent weeks, yet still much more bearable than Raw. All the talking dragged it down, and there's so much chaos with the various tag team matches it's difficult to keep track of. I'm excited for the event regardless, and next week's 900th episode celebration with Undertaker and Edge should be a blast.
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