The WWE went into SmackDown Live on Tuesday with the Survivor Series card looking one way, and they exited the show with a completely different look to a major pay-per-view and perhaps more changes to follow. A new WWE Champion was crowned, a loyal companion might be history and an injury could change the tag title match.
The main event saw AJ Styles take on Jinder Mahal, Rusev tried to make the SmackDown Live team for Survivor Series and The New Day take credit for leading the charge against Raw, laying another blow to the red brand that should give the blue brand a clear advantage.
In a two-hour jam-packed show, the show answered a few questions but left many unanswered. Here are your Five Winners and Five Losers From SmackDown Live – November 7, 2017.
5. Loser – New Day
What role will The New Day play at Survivor Series? They’ve been front and center with most of the storyline that involved “Under Siege” and they were instrumental in the Sheild’s loss of the titles on Raw but as of now, they still don’t have a place on the Survivor Series card.
In fact, it’s odd that to date, The New Day hasn’t once asked Shane McMahon why their not a part of SmackDown’s Survivor Series team. They’ve clearly led the charge, but they’re being left off the show. Either something is coming or this a glaring plot hole.
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5. Winner – Charlotte
She’s got a very good chance of walking into Survivor Series as the new women’s champion. Why? Because after a series of title changes just before the pay-per-view on both Raw and SmackDown Live, it seems logical the WWE wouldn’t hesitate to put the SmackDown Live women’s title around the waist of Charlotte.
The idea of Alexa Bliss versus Charlotte has much more curb appeal than a Natalya versus Bliss match, and if it were up to us, that’s where we’d be going with it.
4. Loser – Rusev
What does Rusev have to do to catch a break? After being instrumental in the siege that saw SmackDown Live take out Raw, WWE had an opportunity to add Rusev to the blue brand’s team and reward him with involvement in the pay-per-view. Instead, they gave Orton another unnecessary win, and Rusev will now be left off the show.
This is just another blown opportunity to do something good with a WWE Superstar who should be given more than what he’s being given. It’s almost like the WWE is punishing him for something.
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4. Winner – James Ellsworth
On paper, he was a loser but the silly angle that was meant to get Becky a good pop from the crowd in Manchester and serve to unite the women heading into Survivor Series did what it was supposed to. For that reason, it worked and was fun and the loss suffered here doesn’t actually hurt Ellsworth. It simply makes him a bigger, greasier heel than he was before and he got what was coming to him which all heels of this nature should.
The match wasn’t anything to write home about, but we don’t think that was the intention here.
3. Loser – The Uso’s (Jey)
Hours prior to SmackDown Live airing on television, the WWE Universe believed Jey Uso legitimately injured himself at the SmackDown Live taping when he could barely walk to the back and the match was prematurely ended via count-out. The question now is, did Jey actually hurt himself or is this another way to throw a wrench into Survivor Series?
The way it was presented on television was much different than what the live audience thought was a serious incident. Is this a precursor to a Gable and Benjamin heel turn? Is this simply payback? Is this foreshadowing a split between Gable and Benjamin? There’s too much unanswered here. Intrigue is good. Too much intrigue at once is counterproductive.
3. Winner – Becky Lynch
It was a fun segment that was more about seeing Ellsworth get his comeuppance but in the process, the captain of the blue brand’s Survivor Series team got a rub, a moral and literal victory and she helped unite her teammates, even Carmella who seems to have decided that the women deserved better.
Lynch still isn’t bringing the fun that Alicia Fox is as captain of the red team but Lynch offers a different kind of leadership and it’s more believable. She’ll have to be fierce if they want to beat a stacked Raw team that has Asuka and Nia Jax on it.
2. Loser – Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
This duo is either going to play a larger role in hurting team blue at Survivor Series or the seeds were laid to a feud with The New Day, but as of right now, they’re not on the card and Tuesday’s show really didn’t do anything to answer any questions as to how they’ll be involved.
Zayn took a loss in the ring to Kofi Kingston, and for two guys who were focal points of the show just weeks ago, both are still lurking but taking a back seat for now.
2. Winner – Kofi Kingston
This is going to one of the weaker reasons to include someone on our winner’s list and it might seem odd since we labeled The New Day as losers this week, but the move that Kingston did to Sami Zayn as he bounced himself over the top rope, using the ropes as a slingshot, was amazing. It was simple, effective, fresh, and it’s unbelievable that it’s not been done before. Here’s to hoping he adds that move as a regular in his arsenal.
Every once in a while, the magic that is Kingston’s in-ring creativity gets lost as part of The New Day. The match itself wasn’t great, but that move reminds us he’s still a pretty wicked wrestler.
1. Loser – Jinder Mahal
It appears the WWE decided that the Jinder Mahal experiment as champion is over. He deserves credit for hanging on as long as he did, but let’s be honest, the Mahal versus Lesnar match for Survivor Series just didn’t have that big-fight feel to it.
What Mahal will do now is still a question mark, but really, what does the future hold? He’s going to have to find himself a battle partner right away or he’ll vanish from relevancy pretty quickly. It was only a matter of time and apparently, Manchester’s SmackDown Live was the time and place.
1. Winner – AJ Styles
It makes so much more sense to have AJ Styles wrestle Brock Lesnar than it does Jinder Mahal, and the WWE will be glad they made this decision. The idea of a Styles vs Lesnar match has to be near the top of a lot of people’s dream matches, and the WWE Universe is going to be rewarded with what could be a classic.
It was a somewhat shocking ending to a strong episode of television, and the win made everyone forget about what else might be going on with superstars who’s futures are up in the air. All we care about now is that Styles vs Lesnar is a real thing.
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