By Steven Flora
Following the siege of Raw, Survivor Series became the watchword on SmackDown Live, with Randy Orton taking on Sami Zayn to see who would become the first official member of the SmackDown Men’s Survivor Series team, while WWE Champion Jinder Mahal responded to his opponent at the battle for brand supremacy, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.
Orton strikes back to become first member of Team Blue
Randy Orton def. Sami Zayn to become the first member of the SmackDown Men’s Survivor Series Team
Sometimes, you just gotta stoop to their level.
Zayn overcame Orton in tag team action last week thanks to a myriad of factors, the largest being the willingness to incorporate foul play by way of a savage low blow that led to a match-ending Helluva Kick.
In a back-and-forth singles bout that carried a big-fight feel from the opening bell, Kevin Owens attempted to tip the scales in the favor of his best friend by storming the ring and jumping onto the apron. However, Orton met him with a stiff kick, and when the referee prevented Owens from entering the ring, Sami couldn’t quite seal the deal with a rapid-fire rollup. Irate at ringside, Owens complained about the pace of the count to the referee, and with the official distracted, The Viper struck Sami with an unforgiving low blow in retaliation for last week. With Zayn in agony, Orton downed his opponent with a head-ringing RKO for the victory. Winner: Randy Orton.
Turnabout is fair play, right?
Side Note: Though I’m not really thrilled that Zayn doesn’t get his chance at Survivor Series, it was a solid match. Orton did have to resort to the low blow, which isn’t something he normally does of late but shows how hard he had to fight in order to beat Zayn. With next week featuring another match with Survivor Series implications between Shinsuke Nakamura and Owens, it’ll be interesting to see if Zayn or Orton get involved in that match in some capacity.
Becky Lynch outlasts four others to become female captain of Team Blue
Becky Lynch def. Carmella, Naomi, Tamina and Charlotte Flair to become Captain of the SmackDown Women’s Survivor Series Team
Prior to the start of the lightning-fast Fatal 5-Way Match, SmackDown Women’s Champion Natalya hit the scene and got herself announced as the “true Queen of SmackDown,” seemingly only to try to get underneath the skin of Charlotte Flair.
The five Superstars held nothing back in pursuit of becoming the one to lead Team Blue’s charge against Raw in the battle for brand supremacy at Survivor Series. After a wild free-for-all that saw all five Superstars brawl all over and around the squared circle, Lynch turned the tables on Carmella by catching Ms. Money in the Bank in the excruciating Dis-arm-her for the submission victory, securing her role as captain for Team SmackDown! Winner: Becky Lynch.
Side Note: Lynch deserves this a million times over. She (in my opinion) is the most underrated performer in WWE today and deserves some recognition for the hard work she’s put in since debuting in August of 2015. A captain like Lynch is definitely an asset to have, a hard worker who can motivate and lead your team to victory. SmackDown Live Women’s team sure looks strong indeed!
WWE Champion Jinder Mahal responded to Universal Champion Brock Lesnar
After Lesnar and his advocate Paul Heyman made some stinging comments directed at Mahal on Monday Night Raw, The Modern Day Maharaja fired back on his Survivor Series opponent on SmackDown, letting it be known he’s overcome plenty of adversity here in WWE and that, even though he was being doubted, he would slay The Beast during the battle for brand supremacy.
Side Note: Mahal was hilarious here I have to say; as I didn’t think much of him when Heyman verbally assaulted him. The reference to the “human walrus” was in connection to Heyman boasting how he never trash talks Lesnar’s opponents. Though when Jinder said he’d be “Brock’s Worst Nightmare” I just had to shake my head and laugh. Jinder can talk all he wants but when it comes to Lesnar, you better hit hard or just survive.
Styles knocks one half of the Singh Brothers in record time
A.J. Styles def. Sunil Singh
After Mahal delivered an impassioned speech about how he would defeat Lesnar at Survivor Series, it was time for his confidant, Sunil Singh, to stick true to his promise from last week and square off against AJ Styles.
Worried about his protégé’s chances, The Modern Day Maharaja attempted to get involved prior to the match starting, but he was immediately caught in the act by the referee, who tossed the WWE Champion from ringside. From there, it was easy pickings for The Phenomenal One, who took Samir Singh out of the equation when he hopped up on the ring apron to interfere before locking Sunil in the Calf Crusher for a seamless tapout victory. Winner: AJ Styles.
Side Note: It was the best case scenario for the situation. As Jinder wants Samir to fight next week for his honor, I don’t see Samir faring any better and I guess this all leads to a WWE championship match at a later date where Styles has to win as I don’t see someone of that talent putting over Mahal like Orton and Nakamura did previously!
Other Notable Moments
Non-Title Match: Sin Cara vs. Baron Corbin (c): United States Champion Baron Corbin looked to get back on track in a non-title contest against Sin Cara, who scored a shocking upset over The Lone Wolf last week via count-out. Corbin was the aggressor, but Cara, much like last week, refused to give in to his much larger opponent. Getting more aggressive by the second, The Lone Wolf attempted to viciously remove Sin Cara’s mask, but even that would not deter the fighting spirit of the masked luchador. Getting frustrated, Corbin backed Sin Cara into the corner, threw savage haymakers, refused to yield to the referee’s five-count and was disqualified for his second straight loss to Sin Cara. An enraged Corbin unleashed a brutal post-match beatdown on Sin Cara, connecting with an emphatic End of Days on the floor to leave his rival in a heap. Winner: Sin Cara via DQ.
Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable vs. New Day: With Benjamin & Gable now officially the next in line for an opportunity at SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos (who were offering their unique insight at the announce desk), the upstart tag team looked to make a major impression and continue their winning ways against former champions The New Day. After a spellbinding bout that kept the WWE Universe on the edge of their seats, Benjamin and Gable outwitted The New Day when Shelton, positioned on the apron, struck with a perfectly placed kick to Xavier Woods' back out of the official’s sight, allowing Gable to secure the pinfall to keep his team rolling. Winner: Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable.
Overall Smackdown Live Rating: C-
Things to look forward to next week
How will Raw respond to #UnderSiege?
What's next for Rusev?
How will the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar respond to WWE Champion Jinder Mahal's comments on conquering the Beast at Survivor Series?
More Fashion Files?
What can we expect from the newly formed Bludgeon Brothers?