King Corbin Addressed Roman Reigns
I hate to compare companies, but it was sad watching this after Cody's incredible promo on Wednesday's episode of AEW Dynamite. Not only was it painfully apparent that it was scripted, the material was brutal. Like, really brutal. I honestly don't mind Corbin's king shtick, but this was almost unbearable. Needless to say, this segment did nothing to get me excited for his match against Roman Reigns later in the night.
The New Day def. The Revival to Win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
Is WWE obligated to do a title change every time they tape TV over in England? I feel like it's an annual occurrence and it's impossible to dodge the spoilers online. That aside, this was an entertaining affair. These two teams have quality chemistry together, but I wish this would have been built up a bit more or even saved for a pay-per-view. I like New Day, but I'm honestly a bit disappointed with them regaining the twin titles so soon after losing them. It looked like they were headed for a heel turn or a character change at the very least, but that's apparently been thrown out the window. Plus, I was looking forward to the Triple Threat that was originally advertised for Survivor Series. There's nothing wrong with New Day replacing The Revival, but I maintain that Revival vs. The Viking Raiders vs. Undisputed Era is the stronger match.
Imperium Attacked Heavy Machinery
Before Heavy Machinery could wrestle their scheduled match (their opponents were never announced), they were laid out by all of Imperium. It was surreal to see WALTER on SmackDown, even if it was brief. I was wondering how NXT UK would factor into this NXT invasion on the main roster and it made sense for some stars from NXT UK to pop up on this show because of how it emanated from England. I doubt we'll see WALTER and the rest of his crew at Survivor Series, but this was still a pleasant surprise.
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro def. Ali and Shorty G
With as much talent as there was in this thing, it really should have lasted longer than it did. They made the most of the time they had and what we got was fun, but they clearly had to rush through it. Nakamura winning a non-title match for a change was refreshing. Meanwhile, I'm digging what they're doing with Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan. I doubt Bryan ends up joining Zayn's mini faction, but I am intrigued to see where Bryan vs. Bray Wyatt goes. If their original rivalry from 2013/2014 is anything to go off of, that could be a blast.
Sasha Banks def. Nikki Cross
I must admit that Banks' new remixed theme song sounds pretty damn cool. Granted, she turned heel three months ago, but better late than never. As for the match, it was well wrestled and given a decent amount of time. Banks winning should put Cross' SmackDown Women's Championship aspirations to rest for now. Afterward, Shayna Baszler struck again and laid out Bayley for the second straight week. Bayley definitely feels like the odd woman out in that Triple Threat at Survivor Series, but I'm excited for it, nonetheless.
Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury Attacked The B-Team
This definitely felt like something for the live crowd and nothing more. I doubt Fury being promoted for the episode will bring in many more viewers than SmackDown would have done otherwise. He seems like a genuinely good dude and a real fan, but I have no desire to see him in another match after the disaster of a match he had with Strowman at Crown Jewel. Hopefully this was the extent of it with him and Strowman laying a beating on The B-Team. The live crowd ate it up, but I personally didn't care for it.
Carmella and Dana Brooke def. Fire and Desire to Quality for Team SmackDown at Survivor Series
This match was originally scheduled to take place last week before Rhea Ripley and Tegan Nox replaced Carmella and Brooke. The crowd sat on their hands for this and I don't blame them one bit. Fire and Desire haven't won anything meaningful in a while and Carmella and Brooke felt like a random pairing. I'm glad people are qualifying for the teams at Survivor Series and aren't just being selected without explanation, but Carmella and Brooke being on the SmackDown squad for the women does nothing me.
King Corbin def. Roman Reigns
So, this was the grand main event we were deprived of last week because of the travel issues? What a masterpiece we missed out on! In all seriousness, this bored me to tears and the interference from Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode didn't help whatsoever. It dragged on and on and didn't get interesting until the final few minutes. I will say that Corbin winning was the right call, simply because Reigns wouldn't have gained anything from the victory. I have zero clue where this is heading or how it's relevant to Survivor Series, though.
I usually enjoy the atmosphere at the shows WWE tapes overseas because it's something different, but this crowd had minimal energy and you could absolutely tell this episode wasn't live. Last week's installment was the best of the year, but things were back to normal (i.e. dull and uneventful) this week. The Survivor Series build has been better this year than in the past, but the effort wasn't there tonight (and that includes a title change).