Often times, “special” episodes of wrestling shows end up being duds, as the episodes rely heavily on nostalgia at the expense of the current product. While SmackDown had some nostalgia, it actually ended up being an important show, capped off by the return of The Undertaker.
The end of the night on Tuesday, it seemed like we would get a pretty standard lead-in to Survivor Series with the entire team rallying together to try to beat Team RAW, or at least set the tone for the fractures in the team to come out. Instead, as the team members started to argue among themselves, the conscious of WWE himself, The Undertaker, came out.
He talked about how SmackDown was his home in WWE, and what that meant to him. He then said that he wouldn't just be all about WrestleMania, and that he was back. Finally, he told the team that if they didn't win, they would have to fear the Dead Man.
In my mind, Undertaker's promo sets up a very clear, and very logical, potential path for WWE to take between now and WrestleMania. The Undertaker indicating that he's going to be around answers a big question about the next big show, Royal Rumble.
You knew WWE would try to bring out a high-profile match to try to fill the 60,000 seat Alamodome. Barring getting a huge outside act to come in, it's hard to get much bigger than AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker for the WWE title. The Undertaker said that if the SmackDown Survivor Series team lost that they would have to answer to him, so it's quite easy to see The Undertaker coming out after AJ (presumably successfully) defends the title at TLC, saying that he didn't represent SmackDown well at Survivor Series. From that point, it would be logical to see The Undertaker beat AJ Styles and set up a huge matchup with John Cena at Wrestlemania.
Will that definitely happen? No, it's not definite. But with a single segment on a go-home RAW, that possibility is out there, and if nothing else, getting a full four months out of The Undertaker, instead of just a short Wrestlemania run, is a good thing.
The Rest of Smackdown:
-The other surprising moment on Smackdown happened at the top of the show, in the Intercontinental title match. The Miz won the title back from Dolph Ziggler, with the help of Maryse. Dolph caught Miz in a small package, and Maryse helped roll Miz on top. This is a pretty surprise move just weeks after Dolph won the title in an emotional moment, and day before the IC champ will face Sami Zayn at Survivor Series. This wasn't done for no reason. I'm not sure if it's because they want Sami to defeat a heel, or because there are going to be some shenanigans with Miz threatening to jump to RAW, but this wasn't done for the sake of being done. Expect something huge to happen at Survivor Series.
-Carmella vs. Nikki Bella ended when Team RAW's women jumped the barricade and started attacking the two members of Team SmackDown. After a lengthy beatdown, the other members of Team SmackDown came out to even the odds, and eventually got the advantage to stand tall at the end.
-The four teams on Team SmackDown (minus Heath and Rhyno) beat The Ascension, The Vaudevillains, The Spirit Squad and The Headbangers. Earlier in the night, Booker T came to give a pep talk to the teams in his King Booker regalia.
-Kalisto beat Oney Lorcan (NXT wrestler, formerly known as Biff Busick) in a match to show his abilities before the cruiserweight title match at Survivor Series.
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