WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Nov. 7

Ryan Dilbert@@ryandilbertWWE Lead WriterNovember 8, 2017

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Nov. 7

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE SmackDown reshaped its side of the Survivor Series card thanks to a championship match that had fans in Manchester, England, rocking.

    The apex of Jinder Mahal's WWE title reign came in its final moments. The Maharaja did his best work as champ just before AJ Styles plucked the gold from him.

    Tuesday's show also saw the SmackDown Tag Team Championships go up for grabs, Becky Lynch take on James Ellsworth and Rusev get shafted again.

    The blue brand didn't fill out its men's Survivor Series squad. It didn't settle what The New Day is going to do at the Nov. 19 pay-per-view. But it did rearrange the event's headline bout thanks to Styles taking down Mahal.

    From a truncated title match to Styles ending the era of The Maharaja, an uneven show offered plenty to nitpick and praise. Let's dive into the highs and lows of the latest SmackDown.

Shane McMahon Opens the Show

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    Shane McMahon promised to get payback for Kane's attack on Daniel Bryan. He welcomed The New Day, whom he praised for charging into Raw on Monday.

    Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods celebrated their invasion of the rival brand.

    Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn stepped out to ridicule them. Zayn blamed the commissioner for the two of them not making the Survivor Series team. The New Day fired back with insults.

    To settle things, McMahon booked a match between Zayn and Kingston.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "We're going to be known as the show."—McMahon.
    • "We made them look pretty silly."—Kingston on the Raw roster.
    • "You're not cool, and you should probably never, ever dance again."—Zayn to McMahon.






    While there was solid entertainment value here, there wasn't a ton of storyline advancement. Five of these guys aren't yet booked for Survivor Series.

    The scene did plant the seeds of Owens and Zayn storming into the event to take down McMahon, though.

    One would think The New Day would be more vocal about wanting to be on the PPV card. The former champs obviously care about this brand-war thing, yet didn't request an opportunity to represent Team SmackDown with less than two weeks until the event.

Sami Zayn vs. Kofi Kingston

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    Early on, Kingston and Zayn traded the advantage in a match heavy with mat wrestling.

    Zayn suckered the high-flyer in and was able to take control. He was able to ground Kingston, slowing the bout down.

    A crossbody allowed Kingston to score the win, but he didn't have time to celebrate. Owens attacked him after the bell. The New Day ran him off, however.



    Kingston wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Kingston hits a nasty dropkick to Zayn's face.
    • Kingston springs off the ropes to flip onto his opponent.






    Zayn and Kingston showed some good chemistry, even though there were a few moments where things seemed slightly off. Kingston threw in a fun new springboard move that would be great to see become a regular part of his arsenal.

    Owens playing the protector helped emphasize his bond with Zayn. The New Day showed its usual unity, too.

    If the trio is going to face The Shield, it's smart to get one of its members a win.

Randy Orton vs. Rusev

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    A victory for Rusev would award him a spot on SmackDown's Survivor Series team.

    Aiden English introduced Rusev via song. The Lion of Bulgaria bowled over Randy Orton once the bell rang. He seemed to be assured of a win before Orton hit an RKO.



    Orton wins via pinfall.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Count to three!"—Rusev to the referee.






    What looked set to be a showcase of Rusev's power and aggression turned into a head-scratcher of a booking move. Rusev would be a great fit for Team SmackDown. He's in need of an increase in spotlight and some direction.

    He now gets neither.

    WWE has made a clear effort to play up the power of the RKO of late. It's essentially the only move Orton hit here, and he won regardless. If only WWE spread that kind of love to stars who needed it more.

Becky Lynch vs. James Ellsworth

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Naomi, Tamina, Lana and Charlotte Flair watched on from ringside as Carmella accompanied Ellsworth down the entrance ramp.

    Lynch chased down Ellsworth. The former jobber mocked his foe, but The Irish Lass Kicker responded with fast-paced offense.

    Ellsworth had his moments, but Lynch whipped him convincingly.

    He tried to retreat, but Flair and others forced him back in. Lynch was waiting for him and put him down with the Dis-arm-her.

    Carmella followed up with a kick to Ellsworth.



    Lynch wins via submission.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "We're in a city called Manchester. Not Womanchester."—Ellsworth.
    • Ellsworth wears a Lynch T-shirt with an X marked on it.
    • Fans chant "Becky's gonna kill you!"
    • Ellsworth tried to make up with Lynch midmatch by hugging her and kissing her hand.






    While no in-ring classic, this was still a fun, engaging match. A heavy dose of comedy melded with a display of Lynch's strength. And Ellsworth's begging off Lynch at the end was classic heel stuff.

    Ellsworth represented the kind of men who dismiss women athletes. He got his comeuppance as Lynch stood up to misogyny.

    As a bonus, the SmackDown women looked united ahead of Survivor Series.

The Usos vs. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

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    A slugfest broke out before the bell rang as The Usos went on the attack.

    Chad Gable took out Jey Uso outside the ring, leaving him hobbled. Jey struggled to stand as the referee's count reached 10.



    Gable and Shelton Benjamin win via count-out, but The Usos retain the titles.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • The Usos call Gable and Benjamin "American Alpha part two."
    • Gable chop-blocks Jey Uso and ducks under the ring.






    The callback to The Usos' attacking Gable's knee last year was poetic. Aside from that and The Usos' pre-match trash talk, this was a disappointment.

    Perhaps this is a precursor to a Gable and Benjamin heel turn, or it's how WWE writes The Usos out of their Survivor Series match. For now, this felt random and abrupt. And it did little to elevate The Usos ahead of their big matchup against Cesaro and Sheamus.

Jinder Mahal vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Things began slowly as Mahal and Styles approached each other warily.

    The champ's power earned him the early advantage. He ground down Styles with his typical methodical style.

    Styles was able to charge back. Even though The Singh Brothers put their stamp on this match, The Phenomenal One fought through and took down Mahal.



    Styles wins via pinfall to become the WWE champion.


    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Mahal hurls Styles out of the ring.
    • The Maharaja slams Styles onto the announce desk.
    • Styles nails Mahal with a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside.
    • Mahal counters a Phenomenal Forearm with a Khallas.
    • "The Phenomenal One is going beast hunting at Survivor Series."—Corey Graves.






    Mahal's best match, not surprisingly, came against a man famous for extracting the best from his foe.

    The crowd was all-in during Styles' journey. This boasted the proverbial big-fight feel, too.

    The unexpected title win for Styles is quite the welcome sight. Ending the Mahal experiment frees up the SmackDown main event to reach its full potential again. And Styles vs. Brock Lesnar is a vast improvement over Styles vs. Mahal.