Well, well, well. After last week’s moment with Drew McIntyre invading SmackDown and stepping up to the Tribal Chief it certainly seemed on the cards for him to beat Randy Orton and recapture the WWE title and that’s exactly what he did on RAW. Fair play to the man – he can certainly boogie with the best of them and he’s had one hell of 2020. Imagine how great it’ll be for him to take that title back to Scotland in front of fans one day? I hope he gets that chance. The implications for Survivor Series are clear as now we officially get Drew vs Roman Reigns this Sunday and I can’t wait. Just one more stop along the way for this week’s SmackDown to finalise a few teams and create a little more tension.

Don’t you dare be sour

If there’s one thing I can say about the Street Profits it’s that they ooze charisma. They’re off the charts and you can see why they caught on so well in NXT. And also why it’s a natural fit to have them against the New Day this Sunday at Survivor Series. They’ve done their best to build this week on week as a friendly but competitive rivalry, using Big E as a go-between guy. He deserves better by the way. Anyway, the match should be a really enjoyable bout between two strong teams. Will the Profits manage to overcome the New Day and have that passing of the torch moment? I don’t think Xavier and Kofi are ready for that.

Speaking of Xavier and Kofi, they were invited to SmackDown this week and quickly got interrupted by Sami Zayn, then King Corbin and finally Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. They had some fun back and forth – which did go on for a little too long – and you knew it’d end up in a match of some kind. I was just sat there waiting for Teddy Long to come out if I’m honest but we never got him playa. We did get a tag team match though…

The New Day & Street Profits vs Sami Zayn, King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

It’s not something I expected to see this week but the old ‘foes as teammates’ angle is always a WWE favourite, so I shouldn’t be too surprised. I’m not a huge fan of face vs face dynamics in storylines as it always misses a bit of an edge that you need to fully invest in it, plus feuds are way more fun if you’re solidly behind one particular side. It is what it is though and both New Day and Street Profits put on a great performance this week to overcome their loudmouth opponents. One day Ziggler might learn to actually stop talking as it never seems to do him any favours. Poor Zayn tried to stay on the sidelines as he ‘wasn’t ready’ but he got tagged in, took a few moves and ended up losing. I hope Survivor Series treats him better against Lashley.

Survivor Series Team SmackDown Women’s Qualifier: Natalya vs Tamina

Oh great. My two favourites. No, seriously they’re not. How many times do they want to let Natalya try to qualify for the team? She could still be trying to qualify this time next year at this rate. Adam Pearce had already put Bayley on the team and we got treated to Bianca Belair on commentary too. It’s a pretty solid team for SmackDown with the Riott Squad as well, and yes Natalya finally gained a place on the team too. I’d laugh if she lost in a few seconds on Sunday if I’m honest. Bayley is obviously placing herself as team captain and while the team is talented across the board, I’m not sure they’ll all be on the same page. At least Tamina isn’t there so silver linings and all that.

“You’ll always be my favourite number two”

After a hugely successful effort on RAW, Drew made his way back over to the blue brand – unfortunately minus that epic sword – to finalise his match at Survivor Series against SmackDown’s champion Roman Reigns. Contract signings usually mean people going through tables or attacking each other with pens or maybe even Adam Pearce just getting sandwiched between two massive men but actually both champs were on their best behaviour. At least in a physical sense anyway.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – when Roman talks you listen. We all listen. He is absolutely up there with the best right now and he’s great at mind games, whether it’s coming to the ring late and very slowly, or trying to mentally manipulate everyone around him. It’s like he knows he can win the match before the bell even gets rung. The key to this feud is that Roman respects Drew, and Heyman respects Drew, but Roman is the only champion that matters and McIntyre will always be in second place while he’s around. Just like everyone else. Both men signed the contract and both men clearly believe they’re walking out of Survivor Series as the dominant champion. I can’t see past a Roman win, albeit in a very sneaky way again I’m sure.

Seth Rollins vs Murphy

After the final chapter between Rollins and Rey Mysterio last week, I suppose this is more of a spin-off of the main story. Although Murphy was accompanied to the ring by the Mysterios. If I was to take a guess, this is all heading towards Seth taking some time off to be with Becky Lynch and enjoy some family time, and I don’t think the time off is a bad idea at all really. He works so hard and he’s so all over the place that having a little reset and refreshing can’t do anything but help in his situation. Seth’s been a top tier talent for a number of years now and there’s still life in him yet.

Murphy’s just a great wrestler, isn’t he? I admire the fact that they’ve tried to give him additional layers and give people something to invest themselves in rather than just Murphy having a good match after a good match. That only takes a wrestler so far. Time will tell if this approach works, especially when there are no actual fans to react to him, but I hope he gets a more prominent position. The match with Rollins was a physical encounter that allowed him to showcase his best and going over Seth cleanly for the win is a huge pat on the back for him. Let’s see where he goes next.

You’re not the boss of me

Michael Cole should know better than to try and get in the middle of two angry women, especially Asuka and Sasha Banks. Sure, I have no idea what Asuka is saying half the time but she’s still funny in a crazy way. I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. Sasha felt a little bit heelish this week but I suppose confidence is one of her main character points.

I’m struggling to care about their Survivor Series match and I’m more interested in Sasha being able to get revenge on Carmella who attacked her again this week – interestingly with Asuka just watching on – and I do wonder if she’ll get involved again on Sunday.

Daniel Bryan vs Jey Uso

After a few weeks off to recuperate after Jey’s violent attack to prove himself to his cousin, Daniel returned this week determined to teach Jey a lesson. He even had a new haircut during that time so it’s nice to know he used it wisely. While I like the idea of Bryan coming back and being determined to prove himself again, I’m not entirely sold on the main event being nothing to do with Survivor Series. Bryan’s doing nothing at the PPV so it’s a bit of a weird choice unless he’s going to be Roman’s next challenger which would be absolutely perfect. Both men gel together really well and this new version of Reigns vs the leader of the Yes Movement would be an incredible feud.

We’ve gone from finding it strange that Jey Uso is out there in singles competition to it actually being completely comfortable and enjoyable. He’s really holding his own out there recently and often putting on the best match of the night. It may be nothing personal between the two men but damn it felt like it with such a hard-hitting match. Jey’s new demeanour is working really well for him but the passion and fire from Daniel Bryan were too much for him. DB is just so easy to get behind and you always want him to succeed. Just as Jey was going for the victory with the Uso Splash, Bryan caught him with the knees and stole the win from him. We ended the night with Bryan victorious and surely on to bigger things.

The best of SmackDown

  • Daniel Bryan – a very successful return in the main event and definitely more to come from him
  • Carmella – making her mark again and sending yet another message to Sasha Banks
  • Drew vs Roman – a short build over the last couple of weeks but both men delivering so far
  • Murphy – one of the biggest wins of his career

The worst of SmackDown

  • Natalya – I don’t need to see her trying to qualify every week
  • Tamina – I don’t need to see her at all
  • Chad Gable – I really want more than a few seconds backstage, please
  • Big E – I’m constantly waiting for him to get an actual feud
  • Still no Kevin Owens or Cesaro – I hope this changes after Survivor Series

In summary…

After a really strong episode last week this did feel a little disappointing, if only because I’d much prefer they were able to focus on their own SmackDown feuds rather than trying to force together with some brand rivalry. There’s just a lot of empty matches going around. I’m still feeling positive about the SmackDown side of things and I definitely think that post-Survivor Series we’ve got some great options going forward that should be very entertaining. We’ve just got to get there first and while this Sunday’s PPV doesn’t look like one to remember I’m sure it’ll be an enjoyable effort from everyone involved. Will Lana go through a table? Can Drew overcome the Tribal Chief? Will Undertaker actually retire? Not long until we find out.

All images and videos courtesy of WWE

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