Published Nov 13 2018 By Andre Corbeil:
WWE SmackDown Live took place in St Louis, Missouri on Tuesday, November 13. 2018. Here’s a recap of what happened on the show…
Commentator Tom Phillips announced that Becky Lynch will be unable to compete at Survivor Series after suffering “a broken face and severe concussion” whilst brawling with Nia Jax on Monday’s episode of Raw.
Opening segment: AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan brawl Summary: AJ Styles began promoting his match against Brock Lesnar when Paul Heyman appeared at ringside. Lesnar’s advocate described Styles as the second-best in-ring competitor in WWE… behind Daniel Bryan. Styles said he has respect for Bryan before moving the subject back to Sunday’s match against Lesnar. Bryan then appeared and warned Styles that he will punch him in the face if he brings up his name again. Styles explained that Heyman was the one who brought up his name before simply saying “Daniel Bryan”, prompting Bryan to punch the champion. Shane McMahon and a bunch of officials had to separate the two men. Following the ad break, the brawl continued backstage and Shane announced that Bryan would face Styles in a title match later in the night.
Verdict: Well, this was… sudden. Styles defeated Bryan fair and square and repeatedly said he has respect for the former #1 contender, yet Bryan kicked up a fuss about nothing and earned himself another title match!
Match 1: Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Jeff Hardy Summary: Andrade “Cien” Almas looked in control after hitting Jeff Hardy with a stomp from the top rope, followed seconds later by double knees into the corner. However, Hardy turned things around with a Twist of Fate and picked up the win with a Swanton Bomb. Following the match, Paige confirmed that Daniel Bryan will no longer be co-captain of Team SmackDown, meaning The Miz is the sole captain. Miz selected Hardy in Bryan’s place on the team.
Verdict: This was a short match designed to give Hardy some momentum ahead of Survivor Series. It’s a shame to see Almas lose so easily — he definitely needs a meaningful storyline after Sunday’s PPV.
Match 2: The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio Summary: When The Miz attempted to remove Rey Mysterio from Team SmackDown, Paige interrupted and said he will have to defeat the high-flyer if he wants him replaced on the team. The finish to the match came when Mysterio hit a top-rope splash following a 619 and Miz got his knees up. Moments later, Mysterio rolled his opponent up with a unique pinfall to get the win and keep his place on Team SmackDown. Randy Orton failed with an attempted attack on Mysterio after the match, so he hit Miz with an RKO instead.
Verdict: This was a decent enough match to keep the Team SmackDown storyline ticking over before Survivor Series. Mysterio has been one of WWE’s best performers over the last few weeks, which is crazy when you consider he has been wrestling for a quarter of a century!
Becky Lynch chooses her Survivor Series replacement Summary: SmackDown GM Paige gathered the women’s division in the ring and allowed Becky Lynch to hand-pick her replacement to face Ronda Rousey. After explaining that she has not been cleared to compete at Survivor Series, Lynch considered every member of the division before she walked up to Flair and told her to make Rousey submit on Sunday. “The Man” then seemingly called a truce with Flair by hugging her after she made her decision.
Verdict: As much as I would like Asuka to face Rousey, it makes more sense from a storyline perspective for Flair to take on the Raw Women’s champion. WWE clearly wants to move towards a Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen feud at some point, and Flair and Lynch need to be on the same page for that to happen. The crowd was absolutely electric here for Lynch — she even received a standing ovation during her entrance!
Match 3: The New Day vs. The Bar & The Big Show Summary: This was a typically chaotic six-man tag match to continue the build to AOP vs. The Bar on Sunday. Kofi Kingston hit Cesaro with Trouble In Paradise and an SOS towards the end of the match but it wasn’t enough to defeat the tag champ. The Big Show then caught Kingston midair with a KO Punch to pick up the win for his team.
Verdict: The New Day vs. The Bar feud has felt very underwhelming over the last few weeks, and this didn’t really do much to build any excitement for the Champion vs. Champion tag match on Sunday. Let’s hope the SmackDown Tag Team title picture gets a shake-up after Survivor Series.
Match 4: AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship) Summary: AJ Styles began well by launching himself over the top rope to hit Daniel Bryan with a forearm on the outside of the ring. Bryan then gained some momentum of his own, targeting the left arm of Styles, and much of the match revolved around Styles’ injured arm and Bryan’s weakened left knee. Towards the end, Bryan got his knees up from a 450 but Styles was able to escape the “Yes!” Lock. Styles then inadvertently took out the referee with a forearm and Bryan capitalised by hitting his opponent with a low-blow, followed by a running knee, to become WWE champion. Following the match, Bryan continued to attack Styles by repeatedly kicking him in the face.
Verdict: Wow! There had been rumours leading up to SmackDown that something “big” was going to happen… and, well, it doesn’t get much bigger than this! I wrote a couple of days ago how it’s about time we saw a more aggressive side to Bryan’s character. He showed that — and then some — with this heel turn. I wasn’t a big fan of the way the match was set up in the opening segment, but the story all makes sense now: Bryan is a bad guy and he’s going to love every minute of it. What a finish to a crazy couple of episodes of Raw and SmackDown.
Daniel Bryan wins WWE Championship from AJ Styles on SmackDown Live
We have a NEW #WWEChampion, @WWE #DanielBryan! #SDLive
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