It was a night of mayhem as SmackDown took to the air from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia on the eve of Halloween .
The WWE World Heavyweight title picture changed heading into the Crown Jewel pay-per-view, The Brood returned – in a fashion – to TV, the male superstars learned of an added twist to their WWE World Cup campaigns while Becky Lynch confirmed her Survivor Series opponent.
Here’s all the details from last night’s action, starting with the WWE Championship.
1. Title picture changes
As they say, if you’re not on last, you want to be on first.
It was announced a WWE World Cup tag match of Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio vs The Miz and Randy Orton would close the show just moments before WWE World Heavyweight champion AJ Styles opened it with some words for his Crown Jewel opponent Daniel Bryan.
Styles offered Bryan an apology for last week, which Bryan immediately took.
The leader of the yes movement accepted it was nothing personal, and despite his respect for the champion, all he saw was the black and gold of the title belt heading into Friday’s matchup.
His comments took Styles by surprise, who went on to say Bryan didn’t let him finish his apology. The Atlanta native admitted the pele kick that struck Bryan last week was intentional, and he can’t wait to do it again.
With tensions getting the better of the two wrestlers, the gloves came off and they declared they were ready to fight there and then.
Enter commissioner Shane McMahon, who made the match official. Bryan got off to a flying start, but tweaked his knee on the landing of a suicide dive.
That knee became the centre of attention for Styles, and the two continued to play out a classic on SmackDown.
Styles eventually won as he turned an armbar into a Styles clash before rolling into the calf crusher, and Bryan tapped. The two men shook hands over the title, only for Samoa Joe to strike down the pair, leaving bodies in his wake.
Styles would later tell General Manager Paige that, having fulfilled his contractual obligations in facing Bryan, he now wants Samoa Joe at Crown Jewel.
Paige accepted, chalking Bryan off the card and seemingly revealing rumours he – like John Cena – refused to work the show to be true.
2. Trick or street fight
Who better to cosplay on Halloween than The New Day? Xavier Wood as Gangrel, Big E as Edge, and Kofi Kingston as Christian made up the trio as they entered as former SmackDown faction The Brood.
The Bar chose not to dress up, though Sheamus did dye his beard and mohawk a pale white to match his face.
Kofi took a face full of pancakes from Sheamus, Woods went bobbing for apples with a little help from The Big Show, and Cesaro eventually ate a big ending delivered by Big E into a pile of jack-o’-lanterns as New Day picked up the win.
3. Survivor Series shun, World Cup warning
Paige welcomed Charlotte to her office to congratulate the seven-time women’s champion on her efforts against Becky Lynch in the ‘first ever’ last woman standing match, and offered her the role of team captain for the ladies at Survivor Series.
Charlotte claimed she wasn’t the woman for the job, leaving Paige taken aback by her refusal. With some words of wisdom, Paige insisted Flair take some time to mull over the decision.
Meanwhile, commissioner Shane McMahon gathered the four representatives of SmackDown in the WWE World Cup tournament in his office to wish them luck in their main event tag match.
As the heat began to turn up between four larger than life superstars in his office, Shane added a final word of warning… should the representative of SmackDown that makes the final lose to the representative of RAW – his sister’s show – that superstar will no longer have a home on the blue brand.
4. The champ is here
Off the back of her match of the night showing with Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch returned to SmackDown Live to affirm her Survivor Series plans.
Proclaiming her brilliance for beating the most decorated woman in WWE history, Becky asked the crowd what her next challenge should be.
Though there were some audible chants of AJ Styles, the Irish lass kicker confirmed she claims to take on Ronda Rousey.
Stating she would “slap the head off” of anyone in the RAW locker room, she went on to add: “Ronda calls herself the baddest woman on the planet, but which planet?”
Becky followed up by suggesting every fight Ronda has had since she came to WWE has been over before the bell rung, but this would be different.
In what was a short segment for the champ, she delivered a fantastic promo as she continues to elevate both herself and the SmackDown Women’s Championship to new heights.
5. Main event havoc
The main event of the show suddenly seemed to have a little bit of an edge to it after Shane McMahon upped the ante with the announcement that if a SmackDown World Cup finalist loses, he will be fired.
It was a game of faces versus heels in a tag match, with Mysterio and Hardy teaming to take on Orton and Miz.
Hardy took much of the brunt of the heels’ offence before finally making a hot-tag to Mysterio, who hit Miz with a 619 and left the A-lister primed for Jeff to close off the victory.
That he did, delivering a swanton bomb and picking up the pinfall. Celebrations didn’t last long, however, as a furious Randy Orton returned to the ring to drop an RKO on the Charismatic Enigma.
Mysterio suffered the consequences when he tried to exact revenge on Orton, spring-boarding off the rope and into the ring only to be met with the same fate.
By this point, Miz had found his way to his feet, and he patted his partner on the back for making the victorious opposing team pay.
Unfortunately for the Most Must See Superstar, Orton felt he deserved punishment too, and he ate the third RKO of the night as the Viper stood dominant in the ring heading into Crown Jewel.
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