We open with Roman and Jey Uso continuing their story from Hell in a Cell, where Roman retained his Universal Championship in an I Quit Match in the titular structure. Roman being a dick is cool and all (I’m whatever about it), but he plays his hand perfectly here. “Take the oath. Accept the membership. Fall in line.” Jey really gets pushed to the brink here, and screams he hates Roman. And Roman just says by the end of the night, he will fall in line. Paul Heyman deserves to speak more than to be cut off; although he was used nicely here, I miss that guy.
Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso and Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Robert Roode as Survivor Series team qualifiers are promoted, with Owens and Ziggler up next.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match – Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler (3 stars)
Owens comes down and looks fresh in blue again. His face when seeing Dolph come out is priceless. Ziggler and Owens are part of the qualifying for the tag team elimination match, from what I can only assume with their not so great graphic screaming over the entire screen. Good start for Ziggler early on. When Owens got a move in or an advantage, Ziggler went for his left knee. Eventually, Ziggler put Owens on the outside and Roode got a cheap shot in during the distraction and was thrown out. I’ve seen far worse get pushed aside but then again, there’s no massive heat between these guys and it wasn’t gonna go far with him around anyways. Decent start, and we go to commercial. Coming back and Ziggler gets a near fall and is still in control. Finally Owens lands an atomic drop, a lariat to knock Ziggler down, and a senton. Then a fall-away swinging neckbreaker. Near-fall. Promoting the match, Owens gets up on the top rope for a big move, but Ziggler counters. Ziggler has always been good at working as a heel, but him and KO have some good work here in the sequence where Ziggler goes for Sweet Chin Music, but Owens nails a Superkick. Owens then goes for the kill for the pop-up powerbomb, but Famouser landed by Ziggler. A stunner sequence at the end with him missing and then landing it for the pin was a nice finish for this match.
Natalya, Billie Kay, and Bianca Belair all talk well enough at Adam Pearce, and a triple threat will happen after…
Lars Sullivan talks about being called a freak with Corey Graves. It was not good. Even when he got angry again, it was just… off. I could just not ever deal with this ever again and life would be better. After the break, Seth Rollins and Murphy got a recap of their match and kendo stick beatdown in front of the Mysterio family. And then we cut to Murphy announcing he’s going to apologize for his actions with
Survivor Series Qualifying Match – Bianca Belair vs. Billie Kay vs. Natalya (2 ¼ stars)
Really silly work from Kay (read: good) between Belair and Natalya actually trying to work a little bit. Belair’s ring work definitely impresses here. A couple of nice sharpshooter spots before Belair performs the Kiss of Death on Billie Kay and gets the pin. A pretty fun, simple match. It never got to reach a higher point, just stayed at good throughout. I enjoyed that they are selling Belair as good enough to compete in a big match at a big PPV but I didn’t feel that this match was as impressive as the last match in story and execution.
A segment evolves from extremely quiet Murphy tries to apologize to Dominik and Rey and Seth Rollins comes out and lays it all out for him, saying he still accepts him and will forgive him and plugging the Greater Good. He even talks at Aalyah, and she doesn’t really respond visually. Rollins starts mentioning Dominik and he shows up all the sudden. Rey comes down, they keep this misunderstanding up between Murphy and Dominik & Rey. Aalyah refuses to allow Rey to continue attacking Murphy and states she’s not leaving with them but Murphy, then those two make out in the kiss and it’s just… okay. It’s not horrible, but it’s definitely not good.
Daniel Bryan gets a quick plug for his match backstage, and then…
The Street Profits vs. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura (2 ¾ stars)
The Profits are promoted to face the New Day at Survivor Series and they cut a real nice “we want the smoke” promo. It’s good, but for some reason I just see Cesaro and Shinsuke and go blind. Not because of the visual, but I LOVE THESE GUYS. High energy right away and nice big moment of Shinsuke kicking Dawkins’ headband off. After an awkward dive of Ford to Shinsuke on the outside, he goes to Cesaro and he launches him over the barricade immediately cutting to commercial. Cesaro actually yeeted Ford. Dawkins has a really nice comeback that with some more experience will be a huge moment in the near future. Cesaro and Shinsuke really threw a lot of big moves at the Profits, but they get a good win to keep them interesting for Survivor Series and the division.
Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn cuts a promo on United States Champion Bobby Lashley and how he is a worldwide champion and takes a literal approach of saying the IC belt is the best of the two. And beyond literally (and figuratively), Zayn really does a nice job of saying what he needs to for now. Sasha Banks comes out after beating Bayley at Hell in a Cell, which if you missed that you can read about it HERE. Carrying the chair Bayley brought to the ring at their PPV title champ, she puts over how she thought the future was going to be Bayley and her forever, but now she’s her past. Bayley comes out, says she won’t be able to beat Asuka at Survivor Series without her in her corner and calls out Sasha’s inability to keep the title, and they immediately set up the rematch for next week’s show for the belt.
Survivor Series Qualifying Match – Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso (3 ¼ stars)
Jey looks disturbed and angry throughout the opening, getting a lot of offense on Bryan to start. A solid amount of work is put in on Bryan in the opening salvo, but Bryan eventually gets Jey on the outside and Roman Reigns’ music starts playing. Heyman and his client walk down to the ring and we cut to break. Come back to Bryan nailing Jey in a tree-of-woe position and back-and-forth near-falls after a big corner move. Jey gets some momentum after nailing a kick (it really didn’t look like he nailed it at all) from the outside and going for a big splash, but Bryan countered into the LaBell Lock. After Bryan nailed his signature first of two kicks in the corner, he goes to land the second but Jey lands a massive Superkick and hits a massive splash from the top and gets a pin, 1-2-3. Jey, along with Kevin Owens, will be part of team SmackDown at Survivor Series. Roman gets in the ring and Jey tries to prove to Roman he’s in by kicking and splashing Bryan again. And then doubles down on what he said before. Roman orders him to keep going, the entire time him screaming that he “understands” now. Placing Daniel Bryan on the commentary table, Jey lands a massive splash and continues to beat up Bryan as they go to black.
All in all, a decent way to get the ball rolling for Survivor Series. Since Jey Uso won, that does free Daniel Bryan up to possibly face Roman. Otherwise I don’t know why Jey beat him up beyond flexing his power over him now. Roman and Daniel would be a good match, and probably one of the last times we’ll get to see Bryan face for a main belt. I’m excited to see where things go next week for Bayley and Sasha – it was always going to work and it has so far. A very decent, if not borderline good show. See you next week!