SmackDown General Manager and SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon Named Daniel Bryan and The Miz Co-Captains of SmackDown's Men's Survivor Series Team
This whole "Shane McMahon is the best in the world" shtick just isn't doing anything for me and I can't imagine I'm alone in feeling that way. I guess it's to add to the "bad blood" between Raw and SmackDown Live going into Survivor Series, but because Shane teetered between being a babyface and a heel here, I have no clue what to think and the audience doesn't, either. Bryan and Miz having to coexist as co-captains of Team SmackDown should be fun, though.
The Usos def. The New Day to Become the Captains of SmackDown's Tag Team Survivor Series Team
It's been a while since New Day and The Usos last did battle (the post-WrestleMania 34 edition of SmackDown might have been the last time), so this felt fresh and, of course, they worked wonderfully together as they always do. They were given a ton of time and made the most of it by contesting an exhilarating encounter filled with awesome spots and suspenseful nearfalls. The show of respect from both tandems afterward was predictable yet logical in setting the stage for Team SmackDown for its tag teams at Survivor Series.
SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Nikki Cross (Non-title)
Lynch continues to kill it on the mic and what's cool is that she's incorporating the fact that she's at the top of her game (and arguably hotter than anyone else in the company at the moment) into her promos. I'm definitely more excited for her match with Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series than anything else on the card as of now, and that's saying something given the loaded lineup. At any rate, Cross answering Lynch's open challenge was a neat surprise. She had a solid showing against the champ and looked good in defeat. It remains to be seen whether this is an official call-up for her or merely a one-off, but time will tell. The SmackDown women's division would definitely benefit from having her.
Rey Mysterio def. Andrade "Cien" Almas
This was one dream match I was hoping to see more than any other upon Mysterio's return to WWE last month, and although I wished it would have been saved for a grander occasion and advertised in advance as opposed to being thrown out there on a random episode of SmackDown, this was an awesome outing, nonetheless. It's clear they have chemistry and the crowd ate up everything they did. Mysterio winning allowed him to cement his spot on SmackDown's men's Survivor Series team, but hopefully Almas isn't lost in the shuffle coming out of this.
SmackDown General Manager Paige Revealed SmackDown's Women's Survivor Series Team
This segment was pretty paint-by-numbers and went down exactly as you would expect it to. Paige included Asuka, Naomi, Carmella, Sonya Deville and Charlotte Flair on the team, though Flair never ended up appearing, and Mandy Rose claimed her spot instead. Deville and Rose teased tension with Rose alluding to how Rose eliminated Deville from the Evolution Battle Royal, but does anyone honestly care about that feud? I assume Flair will ultimately accept the invitation to be team captain, only to lose at the event and suffer another major defeat.
Samoa Joe def. Jeff Hardy to Join SmackDown's Men's Survivor Series Team
Joe and Hardy first collided in a WWE World Cup qualifier about a month ago, so this was Joe's way of redeeming himself following that loss to Hardy and getting back on track. They were somewhat short on time, but it was a solid main event and both men put forth an admirable effort. Joe needed to be on Team SmackDown much more than Hardy, and on paper, Team SmackDown looks stacked (though Shane being on the team is totally unnecessary).
Raw was abysmal on Monday night, so I was happy that SmackDown washed that sour taste out of fans' mouths with an entertaining episode. In addition to all the build that was done for Survivor Series in less than two weeks, we were treated to a handful of well-wrestled matches as well as an unexpected appearance from NXT's Nikki Cross. The two hours flew by and there wasn't much filler, making it one of the blue brand's better shows in recent memory.