WWE SmackDown results, recap: Owens and Zayn chaos, another women's faction
Two nights after Survivor Series, WWE looked to move on with a new slate of SmackDown storylines
Two nights after Survivor Series, WWE SmackDown looked to move on after being defeated by Raw 4-3 in one of the company's four biggest pay-per-views of the year.
In addition to an apparent storyline crossover from Raw with a women's faction invading SmackDown, the show featured one storyline that weaved throughout the two-hour show involving Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, commissioner Shane McMahon and general manager Daniel Bryan.
Let's take a look at what went down on Tuesday night.
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An involved and diverse lead storyline
SmackDown opened with commissioner Shane McMahon crediting his brand for all being on the same page … well, everyone except Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. As McMahon called the duo out to the ring in an attempt to fire them, Owens and Zayn said McMahon should actually be admitting he was wrong and apologizing to the best friends. Just as McMahon was about to say his father's famous two-word phrase, general manager Daniel Bryan interrupted, told Zayn to stop complaining and scheduled a handicap lumberjack match for the two with The New Day in the main event.
McMahon told Bryan backstage that he was confident in the way he was handling the situation, so he was going to go back to the hotel and watch on TV. Owens and Zayn sought help backstage from Baron Corbin, Bobby Roode, Rusev and Aiden English. They were turned down by the former but had Rusev and English considering after they said they would celebrate Rusev Day instead of Thanksgiving.
The match itself was a bit of a cluster, but once Owens and Zayn goaded the lumberjacks into the ring, Zayn was able to roll-up Kofi Kingston for the 1-2-3. After the match, Rusev and English attacked New Day, but Kingston took them out with a splash from the top rope outside the ring. Owens and Zayn attempted to run away, but New Day caught Zayn as Owens disappeared. They then took turns hitting Zayn with their finishers. Owens caught up with Bryan backstage and made him promise not to fire them, even getting down on his knees to beg for his job. "I was never going to fire you guys," Bryan said with a smile. "You see, I do recognize your talent." Bryan then booked Owens one-on-one with Randy Orton next week. Owens accepted and thanked him.
It is clear that SmackDown was left lacking direction following Survivor Series as a feud with McMahon took center stage. There is a good amount of confusion here as to what has gone down on Tuesday. Zayn will obviously be angry that Owens left him out there to fend for himself. McMahon will be upset that Bryan did not fire the duo. Bryan seems to be siding with Owens and Zayn over his boss. There's a month to go until Clash of Champions and plenty of storyline to be developed here.
Another women's faction attacks
While Naomi was getting made up backstage, her conversation was interrupted by Ruby Riot, who introduced herself before bringing in fellow NXT-ers Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan. The trio attacked and laid out Naomi -- similar to how Paige, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville did to Raw roster on Monday night – before going after Becky Lynch when she attempted a save. During a woman's championship rematch later in the show, they ran in from the crowd to flatten Natalya outside the ring before turning their attention on Charlotte Flair and doing the same inside the squared circle. Bryan later said he found the situation "interesting" and offered "no comment."
There is obviously some connection between these two trios -- otherwise it's the laziest booking of all-time -- but it's quite strange how much they are mirror images of one another when you consider Paige-Riot, Rose-Morgan and Deville-Logan. WWE is certainly boosting the women's roster as it appears to be on its way to holding a first-ever female version of the Royal Rumble in January. From a storyline standpoint, it remains to be seen how this all plays out and whether it's a hero or zero.
What else happened on SmackDown?
- Shelton Benjamin def. Jey Uso via pinfall: Benjamin avoided a splash from Uso and immediately hit Paydirt to take the victory. This will surely build to a tag team title defense at Clash of Champions.
- The Bludgeon Brothers def. The Hype Bros via pinfall: The short match ended with the Bludgeon Brothers debuting a new team finisher that you can see below.
- AJ Styles called out Jinder Mahal two days after falling to Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series. Though Styles explained how he gave Lesnar all he could handle, he was disappointed that he fell short and chose to take Mahal up on his challenge from before the show. Styles told Mahal to come to the ring and take the WWE championship from him; Mahal appeared on the TitanTron and declined, saying he invoke his rematch clause at Clash of Champions. The Singh Brothers then attacked Styles from behind, but he easily fought them off.
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