SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon Named Himself the Captain of Team SmackDown Live at Survivor Series
Shane did his best to rationalize his actions in attacking Raw last week, but the SmackDown roster still came across like heels last Monday night. It's a good thing Shane is as beloved by the fans as he is because this promo may not have been as well-received otherwise. Meanwhile, it felt anticlimactic when he announced himself as the captain of Team SmackDown Live at Survivor Series, as that should have been the bigger focal point in this promo. It was cool to hear, nevertheless, and makes sense after he and Kurt Angle went face-to-face during the SmackDown invasion.
Bobby Roode def. Dolph Ziggler in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match to Qualify for Team SmackDown Live
The first two matches Roode and Ziggler had were nothing special and fairly forgettable, so while saying it was the best of the bunch isn't a huge endorsement of the outing, it truly was pretty good. The first two falls were rather basic (and I hate when they're rushed because it defeats the purpose of the stipulation), but they picked up the pace in the third fall and worked well together. Roode winning was absolutely the right call and he should benefit from being a part of a star-studded Survivor Series team.
United States Champion Baron Corbin vs. Sin Cara Ended in a No Contest (Non-title)
I understand what WWE is going for with this series of matches, but they have to realize that Cara has been firmly established as an enhancement talent by this point and it's difficult to care about him. Granted, the crowd was hot for him showing a mean streak against Corbin, but I don't see how this is benefiting the United States Championship in any form or fashion. This program is hurting Corbin more than it's helping Cara.
AJ Styles def. Samir Singh
Similar to last week, this match was exactly what it needed to be as Styles made short work of this Singh brother. It was merely a setup for the Singhs and Jinder Mahal to attack Styles and they generated fine heat for it, but I can't shake the feeling that Styles will be the next person to be fed to Mahal eventually. Needless to say, I still couldn't care less about the upcoming match between Mahal and Brock Lesnar.
Rusev def. Big E
While The New Day is out of the SmackDown Tag Team Championship picture, placing them in a program with Rusev and Aiden English is a smart idea because it has the potential to be comedic gold. I enjoyed their backstage segment beforehand and this match was decent as well. It lasted a little longer than I expected it to, but Rusev picked up the win as he should have considering he'll have a chance to join Team SmackDown Live if he can beat Styles on next week's show.
Shinsuke Nakamura def. Kevin Owens to Join Team SmackDown Live
This wasn't the barn-burner of a bout I know they're capable of (I loved the hell out of their War of the Worlds 2014 match), but it was entertaining for what it was and they made the most of the time they had. After Sami Zayn lost to Randy Orton on last week's show, it was predictable Owens would lose here as well, but they did it in a way where he was protected in defeat. I'm sure they'll find their way onto the Survivor Series card somehow.
People are going to want kill me for saying this, but as a huge fan of Halloween, I wish more was done to make this feel like a Halloween edition of SmackDown Live. Hell, Raw had more Halloween elements, and that was the day before the holiday. Then again, perhaps it's for the better that we didn't have to sit through another awful Trick or Street Fight. At any rate, this was a solid show that confirmed more members of Team SmackDown Live and build toward Styles vs. Rusev as well as The Usos vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship next Tuesday night.
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