In order to represent WWE SmackDown at Survivor Series, Shinsuke Nakamura will have to go through Kevin Owens.
This is not one of those years where someone appoints the members of Team SmackDown. Superstars are having to battle their way into that spot. And on Tuesday night in Norfolk, Virginia, Nakamura and Owens will be among the four men vying to join that squad.
The King of Strong Style vs. The Prizefighter will headline a show will a heavy focus on the Nov. 19 pay-per-view.
Two BLOCKBUSTER matches with #SurvivorSeries implications will take place tomorrow night on #SDLive, LIVE on @USA_Network! #RAW https://t.co/86iJB8m5UT
The night will feature qualifying matches and PPV warmup bouts. We may also see a new team form and the brand’s commissioner get involved. Backstage news, SmackDown preview on WWE.com and storyline badysis offer a peek at what’s set to unfold.
Tuesday’s SmackDown is set to air at 8 p.m. ET on the USA Network.
The tag team division is apparently about to get deeper.
According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t Randall Ortman of Cageside Seats), Aiden English and Rusev are set to be a full-time team. The two heels have been on-screen allies recently, so it would be a natural transition into an official pairing.
[email protected] doesn’t seem amused by #TheNewDay’s #RusevDay celebration… #SDLive @WWEDramaKing @WWEBigE @TrueKofi @XavierWoodsPhD https://t.co/o9jj59hh1a
As for the Survivor Series team, it looks like the blue brand commissioner will lead the way. Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported that Shane McMahon will be a part of the SmackDown squad at the upcoming PPV joining Nakamura, Bobby Roode, AJ Styles and Randy Orton.
If that’s the case, Nakamura and Roode are badured wins on Tuesday night. And Shane-O-Mac will soon announce himself a member of the five-man crew.
Will Shane McMahon lead Team SmackDown at Survivor Series?Credit: WWE.com
And ahead of Paige’s return after a lengthy absence, speculation is buzzing about her getting a remixed version of her entrance theme.
Jorge Hernandez, who manages singer Shayla, got that conversation going when he posted her performance of Paige’s music. This could be just something for fun, but it’s possible WWE wants to mix things up for The Anti-Diva for her comeback.
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin continue to rack up victories. The new team remains undefeated and is now 5-0 as a team after a win over The New Day last week, per CageMatch.net.
They may not dethrone The Usos as SmackDown’s tag champs, but they are sure being built up to be worthy contenders.
Naomi is getting different treatment. She has slid down the SmackDown ladder after losing the brand’s women’s title at SummerSlam.
Per CageMatch.net, Naomi has lost her last five singles matches. And she’s only 3-5 overall since August. It looks as if she’s being pushed to the background for the moment.
Survivor Series Setup
A week after squashing one Singh brother, Styles is set to face the other. The Phenomenal One will battle Samir Singh on Tuesday.
AJ Styles is set to take on Samir Singh.Credit: WWE.com
Styles would much prefer a crack at Jinder Mahal and the WWE Championship, but he’s having to settle for the taking on the champ’s lackeys. This is a holdover feud until The Maharaja takes on Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series.
Baron Corbin is getting his own appetizer rivalry before the PPV, as he’s been tangling with Sin Cara.
The first time they met, Sin Cara scored an upset count-out victory. The United States champ responded last Tuesday by pounding the masked man into the mat. Corbin clubbed him until the referee disqualified him.
On Tuesday night, they will meet for the third part of their trilogy. Sin Cara is likely just going to be fish food for a hungry shark gearing up for a champion-against-champion showdown with The Miz.
After channeling Pulp Fiction and Miami Vice, Tyler Breeze and Fandango will go a little more contemporary. WWE.com’s SmackDown preview notes that Breezango will be doing a Stranger Things parody with their latest Fashion Files segment.
Things will quickly turn serious after that.
Survivor Series team spots will be on the line in two qualifying matches. First up, Roode will look to outlast Dolph Ziggler in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match.
The winner of next week’s #2OutOf3Falls Match between @REALBobbyRoode & @HEELZiggler will join #SDLive’s #SurvivorSeries team! https://t.co/UAHTlVjzcW
Roode beat The Showoff the first time around. Ziggler evened the series in their second clash. It’s now time for The Glorious One to put away his rival and march into Survivor Series with one shot.
The other Survivor Series qualifier, Nakamura vs. Owens, is sure to be the superior match. Roode vs. Ziggler has been dry toast.
If KO can’t knock off Nakamura, he will join his buddy Sami Zayn on the sidelines for Survivor Series. But considering how hot both those stars have been of late, one has to believe WWE would still find a way for them to factor into the PPV in a significant way.