An incredible night in Manchester has once again made SmackDown Live the number one show in WWE programming. Don’t believe me? Have a read of what went down and then tell me I’m right! Welcome to the most must-see Vulture Hound weekly review in history; welcome to… The SmackDown Review.

As we’ve grown accustomed to, Shane McMahon opened the show where he reminded us that Survivor Series is the only time in the year SmackDown goes head to head with Raw. Completely ignoring the fact 30 men from both brands also go head to head at the Royal Rumble. I digress. Shane introduced the New Day. The unicorned trio stated that it wasn’t their intention to make Ambrose and Rollins lose the tag titles but Shane said that they’re true SmackDown team players for going out on their own and causing havoc over at Raw.

Shane also informed us that Daniel Bryan will return next week and, as a result of his attack from Kane, Smackdown is still on high alert for potential retaliation for Under Siege 2. Then, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn interrupted the promo and made it clear they think SmackDown will lose at Survivor Series because of Shane’s decision to keep them out of the team. I’m retaliation Shane booked a match between Zayn and Kofi Kingston where the latter won. Straight after the match, Owens attacked Kingston but was run off by Big E and Xavier Woods.

Throwaway details:

– Randy Orton defeated Rusev which resulted in a chorus of boo’s from the crowd after an RKO only minutes in to the match. Orton is now the fourth member of the SmackDown men’s Survivor Series team.

– There was no Fashion Files this week. Sad face emoji

– WWE announced the Shield will reunite on Raw next Monday even though that has nothing to do with the Blue Brand.

– Becky Lynch defeated James Ellsworth in a bizarre Lumberjack match. Firstly, there wasn’t enough women outside the right for it to be a proper lumberjack match. Secondly, Ellsworth was facing a woman. The guy really has no shame. He tried to run away but was stopped by the women on the outside. Charlotte Flair threw Ellsworth back in and he tapped out to the Disarmer.

– Another Boring Bludgeon Brothers vignette.

– Shane McMahon made a Smackdown Women’s Championship match between Natalya and Charlotte Flair for next week’s SmackDown Live.

– Gable and Benjamin defeated the Usos in their SmackDown Tag Team Championship match. However, they won by countout as Jey Uso stayed outside the ring appearing to be suffering from a leg injury sustained during the match.

The Phenomenal Main Event:

Due to a change in schedule, it was announced via Twitter (which seems to be the norm these days) that AJ Styles would no longer be facing Rusev for a spot on the SmackDown men’s Survivor Series team. Contrary to what was billed last week Rusev faced Randy Orton instead, and we all know how that went! Instead, Styles would be given an opportunity at Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship. Many questions ran through my head:

“Styles must surely be winning if he’s not invovled in the 5v5 match?”
“Would they really have such a huge title change at a UK show?”
“Have they given up on Jinder?..”

When I decided to stop thinking and just start watching, the answers to those questions hit me harder than your Dad ever could. Well, maybe not the last question but they all hit me pretty hard. The match itself was an impressive back and forth, showcasing Jinder’s sheer power and AJ’s overal phenomenal ability. After Styles seemingly had it in the bag from a 450 Splash, the Singh Brothers, pulled Mahal out of the ring to save the Maharaja. This led to Styles attempting the Phenomenal Forearm but was instead caught in the Khallas. As he went for the pin, it sunk in, maybe Jinder is meant to stay the champ [ONE]. For f**k sake [TWO]. Then, suddenly, the crowd roared as Styles got his foot on the ropes. The match grew on and the crowed got louder. Styles attacked the Singhs outside the ring and went for the Phenomenal Forearm once more. He hit it. Time stood still as the ref counted. ONE. TWO. THREE! Everyone screamed the house down as Style was named new WWE Champion.

An amazing way to close the show and it seems as though he may now be facing Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series!

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver