With Survivor Series drawing near, SmackDown focused on a match that has no guarantee of happening at the Nov. 22 pay-per-view. Universal champion Roman Reigns was put in the sights of former WWE champion Drew McIntyre, with the Raw superstar making a surprise appearance on the show.
McIntyre, who faces Randy Orton in a rematch for the WWE championship on this coming Monday’s edition of Raw, interrupted a promo with “The Tribal Chief” to open the show, and closed the night by picking up a win over Reigns’ cousin, Jey Uso. It was a surprising turn for the show and built a story that could lead to a showdown between two of the biggest stars currently in the promotion.
CBS Sports was with you all night, bringing you recaps and highlights of all the night’s action. Read on for everything you need to know coming out of SmackDown.
Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre come face-to-face
Roman Reigns began the show with an in-ring promo about his “Island of Relevancy” while attempting to talk about facing Randy Orton at Survivor Series, but before he could say much, Drew McIntyre’s music hit and the Raw superstar made a surprise cross-brand appearance. McIntyre told Reigns not to worry about facing Orton, because he plans on beating Orton in their upcoming title match on next week’s Raw. McIntyre brought up eliminating Reigns to win the Royal Rumble before saying that he is now the man, having taken that title from Reigns during the universal champion’s absence in the early months of the pandemic. Before Reigns and McIntyre could come to blows, Jey Uso ran to the ring, grabbed the microphone and challenged McIntyre to a one-on-one match later in the night. McIntyre shoved Uso to the mat and stared down Reigns before Reigns, Uso and Paul Heyman left the ring. A furious Reigns was shown later beating Uso, saying that he calls the shots, not Uso.
Drew McIntyre def. Jey Uso via pinfall after a Claymore. Uso came to the ring with a look that seemed split between intensity and fear and was quickly on the defensive as McIntyre taunted him and told him to prove himself. Uso eventually fought back, but he couldn’t match up with the power and speed of McIntyre, who began to throw Uso around the ring with a series of belly-to-belly suplexes. Reigns’ music hit and the universal champion walked to the ring with Paul Heyman, providing a distraction that allowed Uso to ram McIntyre into the ring post and the steps. Uso went to get in the ring, saying, “I’m going to beat him,” but Reigns stopped him and said, “I don’t care if you beat him. Make him understand.” Uso got in the ring and tried to pummel McIntyre, but was quickly hit with a Claymore for the finish. The show ended after a brief staredown between McIntyre and Reigns.
With both Reigns and McIntyre near the peak of their respective powers, there was a bit of electricity to the opening segment when it was clear the two were about to come face-to-face. Uso continued to fill his role well as a lackey who doesn’t quite know how to handle his out-of-control cousin. But if McIntyre doesn’t beat Orton on Monday, what was the point of spending a week hyping up a match that isn’t going to happen at Survivor Series instead of building to the actual pay-per-view main event? Still, it’s hard to see any real issues with what was presented between the two this week. Grade: B+
The Mysterio family finally accepts Murphy
Rey Mysterio def. Seth Rollins via pinfall in a No Holds Barred Match with a 619. The whole Mysterio clan was outside the ring on one side, with Murphy on the other, seemingly fully behind Rollins once again. Rollins would hit a powerbomb from the first rope through a table set up in the ring for a near fall. Rollins pulled the rubber stopper off the leg of a chair and tried to shove it in Mysterio’s eye, but Dominik Mysterio pulled him from the ring, a distraction that let Mysterio hit a dropkick to drive the chair into Rollins’ face. Murphy jumped in the ring to help Rollins before handing him the chair. As Rollins was about to attack Mysterio, Murphy turned and hit him with a jumping knee. As Rollins yelled at Murphy between the ropes, Mysterio tried to hit a 619 but slipped in the process, so they set the spot up again for him to hit the move and a frog splash for the win.
After the match, Mysterio told Murphy to get in the ring. He asked Murphy if he wanted his approval to date Aalyah and shook his hand. Mysterio then told Dominik to do the same, which he did. The family then embraced Murphy as he finally showed that he was done with Rollins for good. Later, Rollins approached Adam Pearce and demanded he be given a match with Murphy, saying he would destroy him.
While this was supposedly the end of the story between Mysterio and Rollins, things between Rollins and Murphy seem far from over. The real story of the match was how many botches happened between the bells. The blown 619 at the finish and the table powerbomb spot going badly when Rollins almost dropped Mysterio and had to drop from the second rope to the bottom, which significantly lessened the spot, stood out in a big way. Also, Murphy had defended the Mysterios from Rollins on multiple occasions prior to this match, but this time it seems to have stuck that he’s a “good guy” so now he can date Rey’s 19-year-old daughter? Nothing really worked here except for Rey getting in the tribute frog splash on Eddie Guerrero’s birthday. Grade: C-
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
- Intercontinental Championship — Sami Zayn (c) def. Apollo Crews via count out to retain the title. Zayn was upset he only found out about his title defense an hour before the show. The two battled outside the ring when the ring apron came off. Zayn used the ropes along the ring to tie up Crews’ foot before getting back in the ring to beat the count while Crews was stuck outside.
- Carmella attacked Sasha Banks for the second week in a row. Banks was cutting an in-ring promo about how she proved the doubters wrong by retaining the SmackDown women’s title last week in her rematch with Bayley when Carmella’s music hit and she attacked the champ from behind, laying her out.
- Otis def. Dolph Ziggler via pinfall with a Vader Bomb. Ziggler and Robert Roode made fun of Otis for eating three plates of food in catering during a backstage segment. Otis was handling Ziggler easily but Roode interfered, allowing Ziggler to hit a Zig Zag for a two count. Otis quickly came back to win the short match.
- Chad Gable offered Otis a chance to be mentored. Gable, after complimenting Otis on his victory, said Otis needed to unlock his “inner alpha” and gave him a flyer.
- Survivor Series Qualifying Match — Liv Morgan def. Natalya, Tamina and Chelsea Green via pinfall after hitting a facebuster on Tamina. Green made her SmackDown debut in the match, being announced as a late entrant into the match after being shown backstage with Adam Pearce earlier. She was taken out of the match quickly after suffering an apparent injury before Morgan qualified for the Survivor Series team by pinning Tamina.
- The Street Profits and Big E traded insults backstage. Big E was again serving as a surrogate for his New Day brothers ahead of the Survivor Series match between the two teams.