Welcome to SmackDown Live! It’s the official 900th episode of SmackDown, so we’re in for a bit of a treat tonight. Dolph and Miz are fighting for the Intercontinental Championship, Edge is making an appearance, and the Undertaker will be in the building.
The show proper opens with Shane McMahon, commissioner and as of last week, fifth member of Team SmackDown, making his way down the ramp. Daniel Bryan joins him to a predictably thunderous yes chant. Shane is in a suit while Daniel is in a hoodie. I just wanted everyone to know that.
Daniel hypes up the historic 900th show a bit, celebrating the return of the Rated R Superstar and noting that it’s been three and a half years since the Undertaker has made an appearance on SmackDown. But before all that – let’s get right into the action with the Intercontinental Championship match.
MATCH: The Miz (with Maryse) vs. Dolph Ziggler – Intercontinental Championship Match
The Miz and Maryse make their way out first, looking gorgeous as always. I don’t know if this has been newly added or if I’ve just never read it before, but the superstar profile on the Miz that pops up on his way to the ring states he is ‘married to the most talented, successful, beautiful woman in the world’. I both love and hate the Miz so much. He and his wife just love each other so much. Dolph walks down to the ring with his championship, and we are reminded not only that it’s at this stage unclear whether it will be Dolph or Miz fighting Sami Zayn at Survivor Series, but that if Sami wins, RAW will get the Intercontinental Championship.
- Lock-up almost immediately upon the bell ringing. Ziggler with a waistlock, which Miz fights out of, but Ziggler goes for his leg, taking him to the mat for a bridging cover.
- Attempted superkick from Ziggler is dodged, then Ziggler goes for a rollup for a one-count.
- Unsuccessful dropkick from Ziggler, and Miz tries to take the opportunity for a Figure 4, but Ziggler fights out.
- I could honestly just watch these two wrestle on a daily basis and I don’t even know how long it will take me to get sick of it.
- Double axe-handle attempt meets a dropkick, and the two men both drop to the mat.
- Back on their feet, backbreaker by the Miz into a backpress for a two count.
- David Otunga complains on commentary that Miz uses his wife to get ahead. Miz works Ziggler’s leg, and the crowd chants ‘let’s go Ziggler’.
- Miz tries to follow Dolph into the corner, and meets the ringpost instead.
- Two leaping clotheslines from Ziggler take Miz to the mat, then a swinging neckbreaker into a diving elbow drop. Miz just manages to kick out.
- Ziggler now looking for the sleeper hold. Miz breaks out.
- Ziggler with a rollup, then Miz with a cover, but the ref catches Miz using the ropes for leverage. Long argument with the referee just leads me to wonder what Ziggler’s doing – and yes, when Miz turns around, it’s right into the Famouser for an extremely close nearfall.
- As we come back from commercial, Ziggler’s got Miz rolled up for another two count.
- Ziggler goes for the sleeper again, but Miz knocks him back down to the mat.
- Miz raises his hands tauntingly to mock Daniel Bryan as he commences on his own version of the Yes Kicks. Ziggler dodges the last one and goes for another rollup.
- Running knee into the Skull-Crushing Finale, but Ziggler just manages to kick out.
- Miz goes for the Figure 4 again, but Ziggler kicks him away before he can lock it in.
- Zig Zag from Ziggler – but Miz manages to get a foot on the ropes.
- Ziggler weakly calls for the superkick, but the Spirit Squad rush the ring – Ziggler superkicks them instead, giving Miz time to knock Ziggler down with a kick of his own, then lock in the Figure 4.
- Ziggler scrambles for the ropes and looks on the verge of tapping out when he finally makes a rope break.
- Miz goes for the Figure 4 again, but Ziggler reverses into a small package. Maryse reaches out to push them over so Miz gets Ziggler’s shoulders down – and that’s it, we’ve got a new Intercontinental Champion!
Miz has a nice cuddle with Mikey of the Spirit Squad as the referee hands him his new title. Ziggler looks devastated and on the verge of tears, watching as Maryse takes her place again under her husband’s arm and they celebrate together.
Quick recap of the events of Monday Night RAW in the build to Survivor Series – Seth claims no one on Team SmackDown knows what he and Roman can do when they’re on the same page, which leads to Dean starting that ten-man brawl. This is leading into Edge giving them a little talking to tonight.
Alexa Bliss is backstage with Daniel Bryan, trying to explain that her foot was on the rope so she should not have lost the Women’s Championship match against Becky. Daniel promises her a rematch but says he needs her to focus on Survivor Series, and he needs to focus on the fact that the Miz is now Intercontinental Champion. Luckily for the both of them, Natalya as coach of the women’s team wants to use this as a ‘teachable moment’. Alexa finds Natalya’s advice that if she gets knocked down she should get back up again rather trite. I take it Alexa does not want to drink the whiskey drink, the vodka drink, the lager drink OR the cider drink. She just wants to know when she gets to beat Becky.
MATCH: Kalisto vs. Oney Lorcan
I don’t keep up very closely with NXT, so I know virtually nothing about Lorcan except that his name doesn’t exactly roll off my tongue. (Then again, does ‘Dolph Ziggler’?)
- Lorcan right on the offensive, throwing himself into Kalisto in the corner then hitting a half and half suplex for a two count.
- Kalisto comes back with a kick, then tries to springboard off the ropes but slips and falls instead.
- Salida del Sol, and Kalisto wins!
Brian Kendrick had better watch out in his match against Kalisto at Survivor Series! I don’t know as much as I should about the Cruiserweights so I’ll just assume that’s right.
Quick aside at the commentary table, and Tom Phillips asks his commentary mates if they’re having as much fun as he is. Update on my irrational hatred of the new SmackDown theme song; I’ve started singing it under my breath. Black and Blue what, am I right?
Next up, Team SmackDown: Tag Team edition is backstage somewhere. Mojo Rawley is bouncing and yelling and people, someone is wooing, and Heath Slater explains that not only are they going to have a match tonight, he’s brought in a motivational speaker. King Booker is here, to tell them about how important the Survivor Series matchup is when someone starts making siren noises from off-screen and I realize that only four of the five teams that qualified for Survivor Series are in the house.
Tyler Breeze and Fandango stroll in, because they cannot stand for this fashion emergency, and begin to throw fashion tickets at everyone. But never fear, Tyler has had new shirts made for the team so he doesn’t have to lower himself to wearing such a fashion disaster as the SmackDown t-shirts. Fandango throws one of the shirts at ‘King Booger’, and sounds so proud of himself until Booker starts screaming at him and Tyler that they have to wear the same shirts as the rest of the team – champion shirts, not reject pirate shirts. He wipes his nose on the pirate shirt he has been presented with, and Fandango and Tyler flee.
MATCH: Nikki Bella vs. Carmella
Nikki, captain of the blue team, is fighting her rival and teammate tonight! Carmella skips down to the ring to follow up, and then we’re into the action.
- Collar and elbow tie-up, which eventually ends with Carmella grabbing a handful of Nikki’s hair and holding her against the ropes.
- Carmella tauntingly mimics Cena’s ‘you can’t see me’, then slides out of the ring as Nikki tries to come after her.
- Run around the ring, then the two women are back in. Nikki with a suplex, then whips Carmella into the ropes and meets her with a dropkick.
- Baseball slide blocked by Carmella, and a neckbreaker on the outside.
- Back in the ring, Nikki kicks out of the lateral press.
- As Carmella poses for the crowd, there’s a quick rollup from Nikki, but Carmella kicks out.
- Rear chinlock from Carmella, Nikki gets to her feet but Carmella hangs on until Nikki drives her into the ringpost.
- Carmella with another handful of Nikki’s hair, then another chinlock. Nikki powers out.
- Carmella sets Nikki up in the corner and goes for the Bronco Buster, but Nikki rolls out of the way.
- Before anything more can develop in the ring, Charlotte is making her way down through the crowd, rocking her Team RAW shirt.
- When we come back from commercial, Nikki slams Carmella into the ringpost again then sets up for a corner clothesline into a step-up enzuigiri.
- Both women out of the ring, and Nikki throws Carmella into the barricade before turning to Charlotte and hitting her with a big elbow.
The bell rings for disqualification as Charlotte and Nikki tumble into the ring together and start brawling. The rest of Team RAW make their way in – Sasha, Alicia and Bayley joining in on the beatdown while Nia watches from the side. Carmella comes in to attack Team RAW in turn, and is soon joined by the rest of Team SmackDown, plus Natalya. Nia throws Natalya and Becky aside like ragdolls, then goes crashing through the barricade as Becky rolls out of the way – I assume, though it kind of looks from the camera angle like Nia did it for no reason. Naomi takes down the rest of Team RAW, flying over the ropes at them, and it looks as though the invading team have to leave with just a trace of embarrassment.
MATCH: The Spirit Squad, The Ascension, the Vaudevillains & The Headbangers vs. The Usos, American Alpha, The Hype Bros & Breezango (with Slater and Rhyno) – 16 Man Tag Match
God, I almost have to wonder if that match title is going to be longer than the description. The teams that did not qualify for the Survivor Series team are waiting in the ring as we come back from commercial. Team SmackDown: Tag Team Edition come out together to Heath Slater’s theme, and oh god, Breezango. I have to assume that after Booker yelled at them to wear their SmackDown shirts, Fandango and Tyler compromised by wearing as little of the shirts as possible. The fashion police are wearing blue crop tops, is what I am trying to say here.
- When we’re back from commercial, the match is already well underway with Gable making a quick tag to Jordan to take on Aiden English.
- One of the Usos tags himself in, and while he and Jordan are arguing about that, Mikey tags in.
- Simon Gotch tagging in now, and Jey Uso tags in now for a suplex for a one count. Chants of ‘we want Slater’ from the crowd.
- Mojo Rawley tags in, hitting a seated senton on Gotch, then tagging in Ryder.
- Neckbreaker from Ryder only gets one-count. Ryder tags Rawley back in, slapping Gotch to the ground and trying another quick cover.
- Ryder back in again with strikes to the midsection. Gotch counters his next move, however, and tags in Viktor.
- Viktor working Ryder in the corner, but Ryder gets his knees up and hits a missile dropkick. Viktor out of the ring, then a wrecking ball dropkick from Ryder takes out both members of the Ascension.
- Both teams confront one another as we cut to commercial; when we’re back, Konnor is in the ring with Ryder. The Usos and Mojo Rawley are knocked off the apron, and Breezango jump off to go check on them, leaving only Alpha on the apron.
- Ryder manages to get out of the way of Konnor’s assault, and the tag is made on both sides – Mosh and Gable in the ring together.
- Scoop slam from Mosh, then Thrasher tags in, but Gable hits an avalanche alphaplex on him. Nearfall, but Mosh breaks up the pin.
- Jason Jordan into the ring to take out Mosh, but the Spirit Squad come in to take him down in turn. Breezango in next with a pair of spinning heel kicks, but they get thrown out by the Ascension. The Hype Bros take out the Ascension, then the Vaudevillains try to clothesline the Hype Bros out of the ring, but all four men tumble over the side.
- A pair of flying Usos knock down the whole group of men on the outside, then Gable and Jordan hit Grand Amplitude on Thrasher, and the Survivor Series team get the win!
The ten members of Team SmackDown celebrate together in the ring, as we cut away.
A quick reminder that TLC is only two weeks after Survivor Series. Watch me sigh heavily at that realization.
Next up it’s our special returning guest – Edge! He’s faintly resembling Jesus, with his long hair and beard combination. He hypes the crowd a bit for the Cutting Edge and for Survivor Series, as he invites Team SmackDown out to the ring. Dean and mascot James Ellsworth are in match Team SmackDown shirts, but obviously Booker didn’t have a word with the rest of the team, because Bray, Randy, Shane and AJ are all in their regular gear.
AJ looks half appalled and half broken-hearted when Edge refuses to shake his hand, instead shaking the hand of Ellsworth. When Ellsworth asks Edge if he’ll do a Five Second Pose with him, AJ interrupts to tell us all that the Five Second Pose is stupid, and demands Edge talk to someone who matters. The crowd actually takes up in an ‘AJ Styles’ chant, but Edge agrees to talk to someone more important and asks Randy Orton what’s up. Bray answers on Randy’s behalf, saying that the old Randy doesn’t exist anymore but the world will soon see a more dangerous Randy.
Shane McMahon speaks up next that they all have to act as a team (this means you, AJ), but AJ yells back at him that he’s lucky that he’s even agreeing to cooperate with a hothead like Dean Ambrose. Dean counters that he’s just holding it together until after Survivor Series, because at TLC he’s going to take AJ apart.
A gong interrupts, though – we all know who that means is coming out for a quiet word.
The Undertaker tells us that there’s no better man to lead SmackDown than the man who has no fear, and tips his hat to Shane. The crowd takes up in a ‘Shane O’Mac’ chant, because no one is not going to chant for a guy Undertaker shows that much respect. Undertaker goes on to tell us that he’s not going to have WrestleMania define his career anymore, and also that Team Blue doesn’t have to fear failure but if they should happen to fail, they will have reason to fear him.