Happy Rusev Day, WWE fans! It’s the first Smackdown Live of November 2017, and the second straight night of a WWE show airing out of Manchester. Spoilers should be appearing online shortly, but this blog is written completely spoiler-free! I’m Spencer Love - @SpennyLove for those of you curious - and this is your official Over the Top Rope preview for the November 7th edition of Smackdown Live.
Smackdown Live Recap - October 31st
It’s been two weeks since the blue brand’s ambush of the Monday Night Raw locker room, with no repercussions as of yet. With the New Day appearing on last night’s RAW, Smackdown holds a clear advantage over their Monday counterparts.
(For more information on Monday’s RAW, check out Monday Night Hayden here!
To kick off last Tuesday’s show, Shane McMahon got selfish and named himself the captain of the men’s Survivor Series team and explained his reasoning behind attacking RAW. To make a long story short, McMahon is sick of Smackdown being regarded as the “B-Show” to Monday Night Raw. It’s a reasonable explanation, but not something that I would have thought WWE would exploit. While I was slightly disappointed by McMahon’s inclusion of himself on the team, at least we’ll maybe get to see more of this:
A man can dream
In addition to Shane O’Mac’s opening statement, two qualifying matches for the Survivor Series team took place. The night’s first action saw Sami Zayn battle Randy Orton in a rematch of the previous week’s battle. With Zayn’s new best friend Kevin Owens trying to distract the referee, Orton gave Zayn a low-blow to win the match. While still building towards it, I feel as though they’re going to turn Orton heel sooner rather than later. However, it seems as though they have an Orton/Owens feud coming up first - and hopefully even Nakamura/Zayn!
Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler faced off in a two-out-of-three falls match, in which the Glorious One solidified his position at Survivor Series. Another loss for Ziggler had him reflecting on his career post-Smackdown:
State of the Championships
AJ Styles was set to face Rusev in a Survivor Series qualifying match this week. However, after an attack by WWE Champion Jinder Mahal (ugh), Styles is now set to battle for the title in this weeks Smackdown. So help me if Styles doesn’t win; everyone and their mother is sick of the Maharaja’s title reign at this point. While I won’t guarantee a victory for the Phenomenal One, the time is right to put the strap back on it’s rightful owner - and to set up a match against the Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar.
Sin Cara was injured at a Smackdown house show over the weekend; will a new challenger emerge for Baron Corbin’s United States championship? Here’s to hoping; anything to get the strap off of the tire fire that is the Lone Wolf.
There’s apparently still a Smackdown Women’s Championship, but you wouldn’t know it lately from the lack of time Natalya spends on TV. Still hoping for that Carmella cash-in!
The Other Stuff
Neither Kevin Owens or Sami Zayn will be at Survivor Series following losses in qualifying matches. Will the reunited best friends accept their positions, or will issues arise from being excluded?
I have a feeling issues will arise.
Bobby Roode and Randy Orton both earned their spots on the Survivor Series team last week. What do the Glorious One and the Viper have in store this week?
Becky Lynch is set to battle James Ellsworth in intergender action. This is the first sanctioned intergender match that I can remember; certainly since the start of the PG Era. However, Lynch should make quick work of the Chinless Wonder - at least, one would hope so.
Three Things to Watch For
- Rumours of Paige’s return are flying, and with this being the last WWE show in the UK, it seems like the perfect time to bring back the Anti-Diva. She hasn’t been seen on WWE TV since teaming with Sasha Banks in June 2016 amid a disaster of a relationship with Alberto El Patron (formerly Del Rio). Is there a chance for her to replace a member of the Smackdown Survivor Series team?
- Rusev was set to face AJ Styles in qualifying action for the men’s survivor series team. With Styles now set to battle for the WWE Championship, will Rusev have a reason to celebrate? Or, will GM Daniel Bryan force Rusev to earn his slot?
- Two weeks before Survivor Series, and no sign of John Cena yet. Will the Face that Runs the Place return in time for one of the Big Four PPV’s?