WWE SmackDown Results: Daniel Bryan's WWE Champion Run Delayed and Top Takeaways
The October 30 edition of SmackDown Live was the last show before the main roster would travel overseas to Saudi Arabia, standing as the go-home show for Crown Jewel. This made it an important night both for establishing the stories from SmackDown and also hyping the controversial event.
SmackDown's biggest angle for Crown Jewel was the WWE Championship match between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. The brand's top two stars would finally wrestle with one man emerging as the blue brand's representative for Survivor Series and beyond.
This show also needed to continue to build excitement for the World Cup as Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy and The Miz would compete for the title of best in the world. All four had a chance to build momentum in a tag team match.
Not everyone though was focused on Crown Jewel with Becky Lynch coming off the biggest win of her career, defeating Charlotte Flair in a showstopper at Evolution. She was expected to appear on SmackDown to address her next challenge, a match with Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series.
All of these moments and building blocks set up the show to be impactful, but only a few moments stood out above the rest. These are the biggest takeaways from this Crown Jewel go-home show SmackDown.
Daniel Bryan's Championship Victory Has Been Delayed for Now
Styles and Bryan chose to start their WWE Championship match early, and Shane McMahon agreed, opening the night with a competitive championship clash. In the end, thanks to a targeted assault of the knee, The Phenomenal One was able to get the submission victory with the Calf Crusher.
This was an excellent match that likely would have been the best contest at Crown Jewel. The two went all out and told a compelling story throughout. It was as good a match as could have been expected in Saudi Arabia if The "Yes" Man had not decided to skip the event.
However, the result was never in question. Despite the whole story so far building to The Beard winning the WWE Championship, he could not win here as Styles is still going to be defending his championship at Crown Jewel. It was announced later in the night he would wrestle Samoa Joe again on Friday.
Bryan will eventually be the top man on SmackDown. It would not be surprising if he won the title before the end of the year. His defiant stance against competing at Crown Jewel alongside John Cena should not hurt him at all given his popularity.
Unfortunately, the big moment had to be delayed for now. This only means fans will be witness to more awesome matches between Bryan and Styles in the near future.
The Winner of the World Cup Will Be from SmackDown
Shane spoke to Orton, Miz, Hardy and Mysterio backstage about the World Cup. After each man said his piece, the commissioner announced that whoever got to the finals of the blue brand would no longer be welcome on the show if he lost to Raw's representative.
This was a bizarre way to add stakes to the tournament. It makes no sense that the best man of the four representatives from SmackDown would be fired after winning two straight matches just because he lost in the final.
The stakes though make it clear that someone from SmackDown will be walking out as the best in the world because the four in the tournament are too valuable to take away from the brand. Mysterio, The Viper, The Charismatic Enigma and The A-Lister would be worse off on the crowded red brand.
The best result would be Miz emerging with the win to set up for a big run at the WWE Championship, but it would not be surprising if the Master of the 619 emerged victorious especially if his final opponent is Kurt Angle.
This tournament is mostly about celebrating legends in the business. While Miz, Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler are younger stars in the competition, they are outnumbered by future Hall of Famers. It is likely the more well-known names will be featured in Saudi Arabia.
Shinsuke Nakamura's Title Reign Has Flopped and Likely Won't Recover
Shinsuke Nakamura fought R-Truth in a contest the host of Truth TV did not take seriously. He had dance breaks during the match and seemed to still dominate before the United States champion caught his opponent with a Kinshasa for the win.
It may seem unbelievable, but The Artist has already been champion for 107 days. In that time, he has defended the title three times, the same number of times he has lost since taking the title from Jeff Hardy. He has been floating for far too long without a story.
While he could be set up for a rivalry down the line with Mysterio, he will likely lose the title when that feud begins. If that is the US champion's complete title reign, it will just be another disappointing footnote in Nakamura's frustratingly booked WWE run.
He should be defended his title regularly, cheating his way to wins against some of the best on SmackDown. Instead, he missed Hell in a Cell. He missed Super Show-Down. He's missing Crown Jewel, and he'll soon drop the title to The Master of the 619.
Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch Should Main Event Survivor Series
Lynch vs. Flair should have main evented Evolution. It was obvious before the show and more obvious after. Now WWE has a chance to rectify the mistake by putting The Man in the main event of Survivor Series. Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey will be the most interesting Raw vs. SmackDown clash at the next big WWE event.
This week, the SmackDown women's champion promised to take The Baddest Woman on the Planet's arm, and it is likely the Raw women's champion will make the same promise soon. This is the highest profile women's match WWE has ever booked.
Lynch is at the top of her game and may be the most popular woman in the company, rivaled only by her opponent. The two have similar styles with it not hard to see The Irish Lass Kicker's style translating well to an MMA-style technical bout.
Coming off the hype from Evolution, it would be a huge statement to put this contest on last, and it would live up to that billing. The men's Raw vs. SmackDown elimination tag match has typically main evented, but that gimmick feels tired.
This is Rousey being tested at a higher level than ever before in a first-time-ever clash that may not be seen again for years. The whole show's hype right now is being built around this contest already. The company just needs to commit.