SmackDown LIVE kicks off with Bray Wyatt as “The Eater of Worlds” would go one-on-one with “The Big Red Machine” Kane in a No Disqualification match. It wouldn’t take long for the action to spill to the outside of the ring and this is where Bray Wyatt would look to take full advantage of the No Disqualification aspect of the match as he grabs a steel chair. However, Kane would knock “The Eater of Worlds” down before he could use the chair before Kane exposes the announce table with evil intentions. Just as Kane is about to chokeslam Bray through the announce table, the lights go out and Luke Harper appears on the announce table. Harper would proceed to kick Kane in the face before leveling “The Big Red Machine” with a discus clothesline, giving Bray Wyatt the advantage in the lawless match.
Kane would find a way to battle back, taking down both Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper on the outside before bringing Bray back into the ring. However, Luke Harper would get in the apron and Kane would knock Harper to the floor, but the distraction would nearly cost Kane the match. “The Eater of Worlds” then looks for Sister Abigail on Kane, but Kane fights out before Bray launches himself at Kane, taking both big men out. Luke Harper then gets in the ring, but this is when Randy Orton arrives on the scene and, after a brief stare-down, Harper backs down and exits the ring. This leaves Bray Wyatt at the mercy of Randy Orton & Kane as both men size Bray Wyatt up for a chokeslam and an RKO. However, just when it looked like Bray was in dire straits, Orton would turn and hit Kane with the RKO, which leaves even Bray Wyatt in shock! Bray and Harper then stare perplexed as Randy Orton leaves the ring, walking away as Bray pins Kane for the win.
After a few weeks out of action due to an undisclosed injury unrelated to in-ring competition, the SmackDown Women’s Champion would return on SmackDown LIVE as Becky Lynch would appear for an in-ring interview with Renee Young. However, Becky’s interview would be cut very short by the arrival of the #1 Contender for the SmackDown Women’s Title, Alexa Bliss. After shooing Renee Young out of the ring, Bliss says that, as soon as she became the #1 Contender, Becky knew that her “fairy tale” was going to end. Becky says that she was rushed to the emergency room before No Mercy and the doctors would not let her compete, apologizing to the fans for her absence. Unimpressed, Alexa calls Becky a “world class con artist”, saying that the champion can fool the fans but she can’t fool her, asking Becky what her excuse is going to be in two weeks in Scotland when they are scheduled to face each other with the title on the line.
The #1 Contender then calls Becky an “orange troll” before saying that Becky’s life means “absolutely nothing” and telling Becky to hand the SmackDown Women’s Title over to her. Becky says that she will be in Glasgow, Scotland and she will defend her title as planned. Alexa responds by telling the champion to hold onto the title very closely because, in two weeks, the title will be hers. Bliss then tries to cheap shot Becky but the champion fights back, sparking a brawl that spills to the outside where Alexa sends Becky back-first into the ring post before tossing the champion into the barricade. Back in the ring, Bliss plants Becky with a DDT, leaving Becky face-down in the middle of the ring. The #1 Contender then grabs a can of yellow spray paint, spray painting a yellow streak down the champion’s back!
With less than a month to go before Survivor Series where SmackDown LIVE will battle RAW in a trio of Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Matches, the Traditional 10-on-10 Survivor Series Elimination Tag Match would begin to take shape on SmackDown LIVE as The Hype Bros would face The Ascension in a Survivor Series Qualifying Match where the winning team will earn a spot on Team SmackDown LIVE. In the end, it was The Hype Bros hitting Viktor with the Hype Ryder as Mojo Rawley pins Viktor to pick up the win as The Hype Bros join SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno on Team SmackDown LIVE at Survivor Series!
After turning on Kane earlier in the night, hitting “The Big Red Machine” with the RKO and allowing Bray Wyatt to beat Kane, Randy Orton was interviewed about his actions backstage. Orton’s simple explanation for the betrayal is, “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em”!
As part of the three Traditional Survivor Series Elimination Tag Matches between SmackDown LIVE and RAW at Survivor Series, the team captain of Team SmackDown LIVE for the Women’s Traditional Survivor Series 5-on-5 Elimination Tag Match would be determined on SmackDown LIVE as Nikki Bella would go one-on-one with Natalya with the winner becoming the team captain and the loser not being on Team SmackDown LIVE at all. In the end, it was Nikki Bella utilizing one of her boyfriend John Cena’s signature moves, the STF, to make Natalya tap out as Nikki earns her spot as the team captain of SmackDown LIVE at Survivor Series! However, as soon as the match is over, Nikki is ambushed by Carmella as “The Princess of Staten Island” beats Nikki down before using Nikki’s own Bella Buster, leaving Nikki laid out in the middle of the ring.
The Miz, his wife Maryse, and The Spirit Squad would then make their way to the ring on SmackDown LIVE to address the state of the Intercontinental Championship. Following a cheerful introduction from The Spirit Squad, The Miz says that these are “dark times” as they are living in a world where he is not the Intercontinental Champion. The Miz then says that he feels sorry for the legends that “paved the way” for the Intercontinental Championship to become the most prestigious championship in WWE. The Miz is then interrupted by the Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler, who makes his way to the ring to confront The Miz. Dolph says that he is a fighting champion, telling The Miz that The Miz can get his rematch for the Intercontinental Title right here and right now. The Miz says that he will have his rematch when he is good and ready, saying that, if Dolph is looking for a fight, then they can accommodate him right now.
However, just as The Miz and The Spirit Squad are about to exit the ring to attack Dolph Ziggler, SmackDown Tag Team Champions Heath Slater & Rhyno come out to back Dolph up. Now at a stand-off in the ring, Heath Slater says that The Miz is hiding behind Maryse and The Miz responds by calling Slater a “joke”, asking what Heath would know about being a “great champion”. Slater says that a great champion wouldn’t back down from a challenge before The Miz brings up Kenny of The Spirit Squad pinning Heath last week. The Miz then says that The Spirit Squad would love to challenge Heath Slater & Rhyno for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles, daring the champions to put their titles on the line against Kenny & Mikey. When Heath appears hesitant, The Miz accuses Slater of being “afraid of a couple of male cheerleaders” and, before Slater can respond further, Rhyno takes the microphone and accepts the challenge!
In an impromptu match, Heath Slater & Rhyno would defend the SmackDown Tag Team Titles against The Spirit Squad on SmackDown LIVE with Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and former champion The Miz both guests on commentary. During the match, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz would get in each other’s faces on the outside and Heath Slater would knock Mikey off of the apron as Mikey inadvertently takes out The Miz. Meanwhile, in the ring, Kenny turns right around into the Gore from Rhyno as Rhyno pins Kenny to pick up the win as Heath Slater & Rhyno successfully retain the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
Backstage, James Ellsworth thanks Dean Ambrose for helping him out the last couple of weeks, begging Ambrose to let him be in his corner for the main event with “The Lunatic Fringe” reluctantly agrees.
Then it was time for the main event of SmackDown LIVE as “The Lunatic Fringe” Dean Ambrose, with James Ellsworth in his corner, would go one-on-one with WWE World Champion AJ Styles in a non-title match. Towards the end of the hard-fought match, AJ Styles would lock in the Calf Crusher on Dean Ambrose and, despite Ambrose’s best attempts to fight out of the submission hold, AJ would keep it locked on before “The Lunatic Fringe” is able to pull himself to the bottom rope to force the break. With Ambrose weakened, AJ Styles would decide to cheap shot James Ellsworth, taking Ellsworth out with a baseball slide.
Shortly after this, AJ Styles sets Ambrose up for the Styles Clash, but Ambrose dumps AJ to the outside. This is when James Ellsworth would psych himself up before hitting the WWE World Champion with his super kick, dubbed “No Chin Music”. However, Ellsworth did this right in front of the referee and, despite Dean Ambrose begging the referee not to, the official had no choice but to ring the bell for the disqualification, meaning that AJ wins the match and Ambrose misses out on becoming the new #1 Contender. After the match, Dean Ambrose is in disbelief in the ring as James Ellsworth is on his knees on the outside as Ellsworth is on the verge of tears, realizing the mistake he made.
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