This show was an epic one and the WWE roster brought the fury because it was the Blue Team’s chance to rock Manchester. Two championship matches were on the card and plenty of unexpected moments were on the way.

Opening Segment

Shane McMahon came dancing out to open the show and Manchester was mighty glad to see him. Shane-O said after Survivor Series, SmackDown Live won’t be known as the B-show, they’ll be “the show.”

Shane blamed Stephanie and Kurt Angle for what happened to Daniel Bryan when he was chokeslammed into darkness and he vowed to get his payback. Then Shane McMahon announced Daniel Bryan would be back next week.

Shane McMahon introduced The New Day like they were heroes for what they did during the closing moments of Raw last night and Manchester was giving them “New Day rocks” chants before McMahon could even say their name.

The New Day and Shane McMahon were very chummy in the ring and questioned what Dean and Seth were going to even do about what they did… nothing.

Xavier Woods and The New Day said if Raw tries to retaliate then they’ll beat them back to Mondays. Then the crowd started chanting “New Day rocks” and they really got into it. Oh yeah, Shane started to shake his hips too. It was quite difficult to watch.

Thankfully, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn came out to inform Shane McMahon he’s not cool and he should never dance again. Kofi asked if Sami’s ever seen himself do his entrance and The New Day did their own impressions of Sami Zayn’s entrance dance.

Sami said they could have shown up on Raw and taken the whole locker room out by themselves but Shane McMahon set them up to fail. Then McMahon said this is not why they are representing SmackDown Live. Zayn said he didn’t lose to Orton in his qualifying match because he lost to a low blow. He said if KO or Sami did that they would have been reprimanded.

Owens said they shouldn’t have needed to qualify for matches because they’re the best two Superstars on the roster. He asked if Shane wanted them to come in and dance like New Day and then he called them puppets.

The New Day sent some insults KO and Sami’s way and then Zayn said he’ll find it funny when Team Raw beats Team SmackDown and they just have Shane to blame.

McMahon said they don’t have any brand loyalty and since Zayn seems so entitled then he’s entitled to a match against Kofi Kingston.

Sami Zayn vs Kofi Kingston

While Kofi showed off his natural agility, the crowd broke out into “Ole” chants. It’s so great to have a crowd who really appreciates how amazing Sami Zayn is.

Zayn played a great heel against Kofi but The New Day member got the better of Zayn with a sick dropkick that caused Sami to roll out of the ring to collect himself.

Sami didn’t seem like he wanted to get back in the ring but soon jumped in to apply some punishing moves to Kingston. He perched himself on the second rope but Kofi caught him in midair with a dropkick to the stomach and Sami rolled out of the ring once again.

Zayn was able to keep Kofi grounded for a while until Kingston sent him outside and then hit an innovative springboard dive on Zayn. Once they got back inside, Kofi hit the SOS and got a two count on The Underdog From The Underground.

Kofi went for a Trouble In Paradise but it was reversed into a Blue Thunderbomb for a close two count. Zayn was waiting for the Helluva Kick but Kofi avoided it by jumping to the apron. They wrestled around for a bit when Kofi suddenly hit a nice crossbody from the top rope for the pinfall.

Winner: Kofi Kingston via pinfall

After the match, Kevin Owens jumped in to beat Kingston down but Big E and Xavier Woods joined the fray as well and ran him off.

Jinder Mahal cut a backstage promo and didn’t seem like he was worried about AJ Styles. He called Styles the appetizer to the entree that is Brock Lesnar. He’s going to make a meal out of AJ Styles tonight and at Survivor Series he will feast on the Beast.

The Bludgeon Brothers have some very strange promos. “This world is a terrible place and we’re here to make it worse”… neat!

Rusev vs Randy Orton

Rusev needed to win this match in order to secure a spot in the men’s Survivor Series match as a member of Team SmackDown.

Aiden English was alongside Rusev for this one but the segment started with English in the ring by himself. He gave a nice sing-song promo and drew some considerable heat. He said everyone will declare it’s Rusev Day… gotta love that.

Randy caught a kick and tried for an RKO right off the bat, but Rusev avoided it. He tossed Orton down on the mat and started stomping on him.

It looked like Rusev was going to pull this one off after he landed a kick to the head but Randy Orton kicked out at two. The Bulgarian Brute delivered a few elbow drops and waited for Orton to get up.

But that would be Rusev’s major folly as Orton hit an RKO outa nowhere and got the win.

Winner: Randy Orton via pinfall

James Ellsworth was pacing around backstage when Tamina walked out of the women’s locker room he asked her to go get Carmella for him but Becky Lynch came out instead. He asked where Mella was and Lynch said he needed to worry about her instead.

Ellsworth said there’s no way she’s beating her because she’s a woman and he’s a man. They’re in Manchester and not Womanchester… that one was clever. He just kept going with the chauvinist rhetoric to really set it up when Lynch defeats him later on.

Lynch said those were some pretty ballsy statements, but it’s too bad he doesn’t have any.

James Ellsworth vs Becky Lynch

It’s time for an inter-gender match because those are always fun. Becky Lynch looked great walking to the ring and received a huge ovation.

Ellsworth took a breather before they even locked up to do some push-ups and that was just about the most impressive thing he did in this match. He drew a ton of heat on himself during this contest, to say the least.

Lynch grabbed Ellsworth’s arm and tried to apply the Dis Arm Her on him but Ellsworth squirmed out of it. James took his shirt off and Graves said he was the palest guy in England.

Becky wrapped her legs around James but it was not a good time. She rolled him around the mat and she soon had him up for an airplane spin. James was very dizzy and confused so Lynch tossed him out of the ring.

All of the women on SmackDown Live’s women’s team for Survivor Series was at ringside as well and they did’t looks too happy with Ellsworth. He got back in the ring and did a Karate Kid taunt to them then he shoved Lynch and tossed her outside.

Ellsworth turned around to eat a missile dropkick from Lynch but he kicked out at two. James moved out of the way and Lynch hit nothing but turnbuckle during a splash. He sent her to the mat again and geared up for the No Chin Music. Becky counted and hit an atomic drop and a Beckspoder Suplex to send Ellsworth rolling out of the ring.

The women of SmackDown Live circled him and tossed Ellsworth back inside. He begged off and kissed her hand and then he forced a hug on Lynch. So she got Ellsworth in the “Dis Arm Him” and he promptly tapped out.

Winner: Becky Lynch via submission

After the match was over Carmella kicked James Ellsworth in the head to walk up the ramp on her own while her music played on. It looks like Carmella can cash in her MITB briefcase on Alexa Bliss after the champion vs champion match at Survivor Series and move over to Raw without having to worry about leaving James Ellsworth behind… just saying.

Backstage Shane and Charlotte Flair were chatting it up when Natalya walked up. Nattie said she would be winning to take Charlotte’s spot in the women’s elimination match. That wasn’t Shane’s plan though. Instead, he booked a SmackDown Women’s Championship match between Charlotte and Natalya.

“That’s not fair!” Nattie exclaimed, “how many chances is she going to get?!”

The Usos vs Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable (SmackDown Tag Team Title Match)

The Usos came out spitting fire on the microphone where they called Benjamin and Gable “American Alpha Part 2” then they jumped the challenges before the bell.

These two team had a pretty good match with some nice back and forth action. But after a spot where Jey Uso was taken out of the ring, Chad Gable came out of nowhere with a chop block and it looked like Jey really hurt himself.

The referee counted to 10 and that was all she wrote with this one. The challengers won, but there was no title change.

Winners: Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin

AJ Styles was interviewed backstage where he seemed pretty sure that he was going to defeat Jinder Mahal. He said Jinder Mahal needs to learn about portion control if he’s an appetizer. He said people have been underestimating him throughout his whole career. SmackDown LIve is the house that AJ Styles built and he will become the Beast Master when he slays Brock Lesnar.

AJ Styles vs Jinder Mahal

The Singh Brothers really gave as much gusto they could to their intro as the introduced Jinder Mahal as WWE Champion for the last time. Yep, spoiler alert: Jinder Mahal loses his title here. After such an amazing run where he proved so many doubters wrong, he lost his title during a pretaped SmackDown Live from Manchester. So how did it happen?

AJ Styles happened, that’s what went down. Because as his theme music says, “they don’t want none” and “ain’t nobody breaking this redneck.”

Mahal shoved AJ down when the bell sounded to receive some “you can’t wrestle” chants from the crowd.  But once they got wrestling it seems like everything AJ tried seemed to backfire due to Mahal’s overpowering strength.

Mahal ended up out of the ring and AJ popped him with a forearm when he tried to get back inside. They battled on the outside for a bit when AJ hit a crossbody on Mahal from the timekeeper’s area but Jinder caught him and sent The Phenomenal one onto the announce table.

Mahal used his strength against AJ to keep Styles down and locked in a submission hold to wear his opponent down. AJ started to fight back with some strikes and took Mahal down with a forearm and then hit a sliding forearm to the face. Styles jumped up and tried to hit a suplex but Mahal blocked it. No matter what Styles did Mahal seemed to power out and kick out.

They made their way to the top turnbuckle where Styles slipped under Mahal and took out his leg with a kick. Then AJ spun Mahal around and locked on a Calf Crusher. Mahal slammed Styles’ head onto the mat. Mahal was really showing his strength here by turning Styles inside out with a lariat.

AJ pulled the top roped down while Mahal went for him and sent Mahal toppling to the mat. AJ hit a diving forearm on Mahal to the floor and geared up for the 450 Splash which he hit perfectly.

But the Singh Brothers got involved and pulled Mahal out of the ring. AJ Styles took out the Singh Brothers one-by-one while Mahal crawled back in the ring. He tried to grab Styles from behind but AJ blocked him. He went for the Phenomenal Forearm but Mahal reversed it into a Khallas. 1-2-AJ got his foot on the bottom rope!

Jinder placed AJ on the top rope and looked like he was going to do something brutal. But AJ grabbed Mahal’s head and jumped to the floor hanging him out to dry. He perched himself on the apron and hit the Phenomenal Forearm. 1-2-3 and AJ Styles won the WWE Championship two weeks before Survivor Series!

Winner and NEW WWE Champion: AJ Styles

After the match was over, Jinder Mahal laid both Singh Brothers out while AJ continued to celebrate his victory.

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Aaron Varble hasn’t just been writing for more than a decade in various formats including sketch comedy, stand up, television, radio, and other various projects; nor is he just another professional wrestling fan with a master's degree in journalism and Tourette’s syndrome. He's always looking to explore the why not with the why and the how come along with the how. Follow on Twitter @TheVarble