WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
NOVEMBER 6, 2018
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND AT THE MANCHESTER ARENA
AIRS ON USA NETWORK 8:00PM EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
Arena / Recap of Last Week & Crown Jewel / Items Advertised by WWE
WWE remains in the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England tonight for Smackdown as they were for Raw last night. We thankfully continue to move past Crown Jewel and begin to turn our attention towards Survivor Series which is less than two weeks away.
Last week, we had one of the matches scheduled for Crown Jewel take place on Smackdown as was speculated. A.J. Styles successfully defended his WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan, who had been rumored to not want to take part in the event in Saudi Arabia. Samoa Joe, who recently had a rivalry with A.J., attacked him following the match. A.J. requested Joe take Bryan’s place at Crown Jewel, and that request was granted. A.J. successfully defended his championship over Joe once again.
As I talked about in yesterday’s primer, Shane McMahon inserted himself into the finals of the World Cup and defeated Dolph Ziggler. Also, at Crown Jewel, The Bar retained their Smackdown Tag Team Championship over New Day.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch cut the first promo last week discussing her match with Ronda Rousey upcoming at Survivor Series. Charlotte Flair was asked by Smackdown G.M. Paige to be the captain for women’s team for Smackdown at Survivor Series but declined for now. U.S. Champion Shinsuke Nakamura successfully defended his title over R-Truth, who replaced an injured Tye Dillinger. In the run-up to the World Cup, Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy defeated Randy Orton and the Miz. Following the match, Randy Orton RKO’d all three other participants in the match including his own partner.
Thus far, WWE.com has advertised these items for tonight:
- How will Shane McMahon & Paige respond to Raw’s Survivor Series bombshells?
- Will Becky Lynch respond to Ronda Rousey?
- How will Shane McMahon’s WWE World Cup victory effect Team Blue
- Is A.J. Styles ready for Brock Lesnar?
At the moment, no matches have been announced.
Shane McMahon & Paige Response to Raw Surivior Series Announcements
Last night on Raw, we learned that interim G.M. Baron Corbin will captain the Raw men’s team in a managerial role heading into the Survivor Series match against Smackdown’s team. Alexa Bliss was announced as the captain for the women’s team in the same role.
“Vacationing” G.M. Kurt Angle was to face Corbin for the right to captain team Raw. Corbin left the building as he was being pursued by Braun Strowman whom had been cost the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel in part due to Corbin. Angle instead faced Drew McIntyre, and lost via submission. At the onset of the show Corbin announced that Strowman, McIntyre, and Ziggler would be part of team Raw.
Last week, Smackdown G.M. Paige asked former women’s champion Charlotte Flair to captain the women’s team. She declined; however, Paige asked Charlotte to reconsider to which Charlotte agreed. Tonight, we should expect Paige to follow up on this as well as Shane having input on the men’s match. He did captain team Smackdown last year.
Frank’s Analysis: I like how Charlotte initially declined to be team captain. It shows a level of humility given she was coming off of losing her championship match to Becky Lynch. I still expect her to be the captain, and given Becky’s popularity it will be hard to make the fans want to feel sympathy long term for Charlotte as she’s still more of a natural heel. That said, I expect Shane to captain team Smackdown. It will be interesting to see the dynamics if any between he and the Miz, the man he “replaced” in the World Cup final. This is me speculating but I would think Miz, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, and Daniel Bryan would be the logical men’s team for Smackdown. Rey Mysterio would be in the mix as well. You have quite a bit of the “odd couple” dynamics WWE goes for around Survivor Series time with Miz & Bryan and Orton & Hardy. R-Truth and Tye Dillinger would be fringe candidates if you want a jobber to take easy pin falls. For the women it’s anybody’s guess with Charlotte, Asuka, Naomi, the IIconics, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, and Lana all in the mix.
Becky Lynch Response to Ronda Rousey?
In a battle of women’s champions, Smackdown’s Becky Lynch will face Raw’s Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series.
Last week on Smackdown, Becky fired the first “shot across the bow” as she discussed the upcoming contest. Most notably, with Ronda being dubbed the “baddest woman on the planet,” Becky questioned from which planet is Ronda. She said she was heading to Survivor Series to rip Ronda’s arm off.
Ronda responded on Raw last night. She pointed out things such as when Becky’s alarm was going off for school, Ronda’s mom was waking her up to try to break her arm (well that could lead to anger issues). When Becky was in clown college, she was training for the Olympics. When Becky was a flight attendant “serving snacks,” she was in the midst of a dominant MMA championship run.
We can expect a response from Becky tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m not a fan of hitting below the belt the way Ronda did last night. Having worked with many flight attendants as an airline pilot, I could tell you they do a lot more than “serve snacks.” Perhaps I’m taking Ronda’s flight attendant comment a bit to heart, but it the bigger picture it just felt like she was hitting below the belt for the sake of doing so rather than trying to tell us why she’s superior to Becky. I’m fascinated to continue to watch the build to this match as Becky is still technically the heel; however, she hasn’t “heeled” on the crowd in recent promos. If anything, Ronda was a heel last night in taking her shots at Ronda and proclaiming to be the “baddest bitch on the planet.”
Shane McMahon WWE World Cup Victory
This past Friday at Crown Jewel … in Saudi Arabia (that is where it was right? Asking for a friend) … Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon replaced an “injured” Miz in the World Cup final and defeated Dolph Ziggler from Raw. According to what was on the line, Shane is now the “best in the world.”
Last week on Smackdown, prior to the tournament, Shane threatened to fire the Smackdown finalist if he lost in the finals. Tonight, we follow up on this monumental accomplishment by Shane-O-Mac.
Frank’s Analysis: Sarcasm? Ya think? This has got to be, by far and away, the stupidest thing WWE has done recently. I lived through Katie Vick, McMahonism, the Spirit Squad, Hot Lesbian Action, etc. and I’m saying this. Let me ask a question. Could the New York Mets and Minnesota Twins insert themselves into the World Series if they took out the L.A. Dodgers and Boston Red Sox this year? The World Cup was silly, but WWE could have made it work by making the winner get a championship opportunity. Did they do this to get people talking and take the attention off of Crown Jewel? Someone needs to send a memo to WWE that you should want “people talking” about good booking, not something as silly as Shane McMahon inserting himself into a tournament in which he did not participate. This is 2018. The roster is deep enough to avoid needing the McMahons to do things like this.
A.J. Styles Ready for Brock Lesnar?
At Crown Jewel, in Saudi Arabia, A.J. Styles retained his WWE Championship by defeating Samoa Joe whom he had a feud with going back to SummerSlam. Brock Lesnar regained the Universal Championship by defeating Braun Strowman with help from interim Raw G.M. Baron Corbin.
Last year at Survivor Series A.J. and Lesnar faced each other in the battle of champions which saw Lesnar come out on top. This essentially is part II. Following the match last year, A.J. vowed to win their next match citing Rocky when he defeated Apollo Creed in Rocky II following Apollo’s victory in the original Rocky. Tonight, we begin the build towards A.J.-Lesnar II.
Frank’s Analysis: As a die-hard Rocky fan, you won’t hear me complain about comparisons to Rocky in WWE promos. A.J. had a great showing in last year’s match only to come up short. Given the audible WWE had to call putting the title on Lesnar due to Roman Reigns’ leukemia, it’s anybody’s guess who goes over this time. While A.J. certainly wouldn’t suffer losing to Lesnar again, you can only beat the WWE Champion so much. Keeping Lesnar strong helps the opponent who eventually conquers him, and thus I would tend to think he goes over again. The other way to look at it is you can tell the story of Lesnar being too focused on UFC, thus giving a reason to put A.J. over. This could also be the way to get the Universal Championship off of him. Time will tell but I am definitely locked into this storyline.
Start Time & Matches Advertised
The arena website shows that doors will open at 5:30 p.m. local. They advertise these matches:
- A.J. Styles & Daniel Bryan & Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz & Randy Orton & Shinsuke Nakamura.
- Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka vs. Carmella in an apparent fatal 4-way but doesn’t specify if the title is on the line.
They also show New Day appearing and “many more.”
Follow me on Twitter @FrankPeteani and ask any questions you may have. Thank you for reading!