SmackDown Live closes Survivor Series weekend with exciting debuts
Four days of awesome wrestling in our very city came to an end with SmackDown Live. Before the show even began, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven, The Mustache Mountain, teamed up in a dark match against WWE UK Champion, Pete Dunne, and Mark Andrews. Mustache Mountain won the match to great reaction from the crowd.
SmackDown Live opened with Shane McMahon thanking the blue team roster for their efforts at Survivor Series. He, then, asked Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to come down to the ring. Just when he was about to fire them, Daniel Bryan came out and persuaded McMahon to place them in a Lumberjack Match against The New Day, instead. Shelton Benjamin upset Jey Uso thanks to the distractions of his tag team partner, Chad Gable. Backstage, Ruby Riot, Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, formerly of NXT, introduced themselves to Naomi and Becky Lynch by brutally attacking them. The Bludgeon Brothers, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan, finally made their TV debut in a dominating win over The Hype Bros.
The Champ that runs the camp, AJ Styles came to the ring to talk to the fans about his loss to Brock Lesnar. Before he could even speak, fans comforted him with chants. He expressed his disappointment with his loss, but explained that he had to move on to deal with Jinder Mahal. He asked Mahal to come down and take his title like he said he would. Instead, Mahal appeared via the monitor because he was not about to waste his time in Texas. The Singh Brothers attempted to surprise Styles from behind, but the champion ended up having the last laugh hitting one with The Styles Clash. Natalya invoked her rematch clause to attempt to recover the Women’s Championship from Charlotte. Riot, Morgan, and Logan returned to spoil Natalya’s rematch by attacking both her and Charlotte. The main event of SmackDown Live was the Lumberjack Match between The New Day and Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Typically, whenever one gets out of the ring in a Lumberjack Match, the lumberjacks attack them until they get back into the ring. The rule only seemed to apply for Owens and Zayn as everyone wanted to get their hands on them after what they did at Survivor Series. Of course, a brawl eventually broke out between the lumberjacks, and this distraction helped Owens and Zayn win the match. Afterwards, Owens bailed from the ring, leaving Zayn alone to suffer a beatdown from The New Day to close the show.
After taping 205 Live, Styles, Nakamura, and Bobby Roode took on Jinder Mahal, Baron Corbin, and Rusev in a dark match. These matches are always great because the talent can get really loose since they are not being televised. This was definitely the case for this match. Rusev and Aiden English informed the Houston crowd that every day is Rusev Day. The crowd chanted along with English. Styles explained that if every day was Rusev day, then those cheering will not be eating turkey on Thursday. The match eventually got started, and it was won by the team of Roode, Nakamura, and Styles. After the match, they celebrated with Rusev, and thanked fans for coming out.
Highlight of the night
The introduction of Riot, Morgan, and Logan, especially how it happened, was the highlight of the night. The SmackDown women's roster definitely needed a boost. They have it now with these additions.
As fans began leaving Greg Hamilton, SmackDown Live’s ring announcer, thanked them for showing their southern hospitality. The Toyota Center became the home of the WWE these last four days. From War Games to SmackDown, the venue was filled with fans showing their support. The WWE repaid those loyal fans with four unforgettable nights of wrestling.
*I want to break down the fourth wall for a minute to personally thank a couple of people for this week. Never in my life did I think I’d cover a wrestling weekend of the magnitude of this one. Thank you to Kristina Anderson for helping me get credentials to every event. Thank you to Joshua Jordan giving me the freedom to write these recaps in whatever form I saw fit. Finally, thank you to Fred Faour for allowing me the opportunity to cover Survivor Series weekend in the first place. It was an unforgettable experience.