The WWE tries to maintain its surprises as buttoned up and hid as doable, however for the second straight evening on a tape-delayed present, a title modified palms and dramatically altered the course of Survivor Series.
Tuesday’s version of SmackDown struck a a lot bigger blow, with the primary WWE world title change in Europe and the primary WWE title change on SmackDown in 14 years. That arrange for one of many extra extremely anticipated matches the corporate has placed on all 12 months. As one Twitter consumer put it, “Brock Lesnar vs AJ Styles omg I think I may pbad out.” And he actually wasn’t alone.
In Manchester, England, Styles put an finish to Jinder Mahal’s 170-day championship run with a match-ending Phenomenal forearm that pushed an already raucous crowd right into a state of delirium. Most anticipated some type of intervention, however when the ref’s hand struck the mat and counted three, the Manchester Arena crowd turned fully unglued.
All eyes had been on Ric Flair, and his robes, each time he stepped into the ring. Here are the tales of a few of his most memorable robes and the matches wherein he wore them.
Ric Flair’s affect stretches far and large, and he nonetheless maintains connections with quite a few sports activities icons. So what would a number of the greatest names and personalities throughout the sporting world appear like with Flair’s iconic platinum blonde hair?
Sheamus and Cesaro defeated Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose to not solely win the Raw tag workforce championship, however unlock The Shield for a dream match at Survivor Series.
As Styles celebrated the beginning of his second WWE championship reign, one other actuality set in: Styles vs. Lesnar, a first-time match, provides one other top-of-the-marquee conflict to Survivor Series. Hyperbole? No likelihood. Styles, arguably the preferred performer within the wrestling enterprise, lastly bought the gold again. SmackDown Live is actually, as soon as once more, the home that AJ Styles constructed. The timing of the end result could be questionable, and it begs the query of a possible about-face, however the actuality is that for many of the 12 months, Styles did not look like the man who was the de facto MVP in 2016. Multiple stints because the U.S. champion had been nice, as was his rivalry with Kevin Owens, however Styles is hardly somebody who needs to be vying for the secondary titles — not but, anyway.
Speaking of timing, nothing like upstaging Ric Flair and the debut of his 30 for 30 movie, proper? The 16-time legend abruptly turned the second-most necessary performer Tuesday, at the least for a few minutes. But with SmackDown off the air simply in time for the beginning of the premiere, Flair probably would not thoughts his pal getting such an enormous second.
But sufficient of the cheerleading. There are some main ramifications right here, the primary being the aforementioned Survivor Series shakeup. Styles-Lesnar could be essentially the most attractive Super Bowl-esque matchup we have had all 12 months. That’s saying one thing, contemplating that Lesnar already confronted Braun Strowman and John Cena duked it out with Roman Reigns at No Mercy in late September.
Suddenly, Survivor Series turned a totally completely different present. Per week in the past, we wrote that too many intersecting storylines had been making an already scripted tv present that rather more implausible. Although that continues to be true, to some extent, the concept of getting a real marquee occasion in Styles-Lesnar hides most, if not all, of the plain shortcomings of a manufactured model vs. model brouhaha with little to no construct.
Who is aware of? There’s a risk that Survivor Series may get one other main shock if Charlotte Flair takes out Natalya subsequent week for the ladies’s championship, establishing a brand new match for Alexa Bliss in Houston.
– WWE (@WWE) November eight, 2017
There’s no definitive purpose the WWE determined now could be time to tug off such a stunner and fully change the dynamics of SmackDown, however after this variation, the cardboard for one of many “big-four” pay-per-views lastly feels prefer it lives as much as the billing. But it has been clear for months that the artistic workforce has put much less onus in meticulous, gradual story-building, opting as an alternative for the immediate humdinger.
Still, subsequent month, the WWE shall be touring in India, the place Mahal’s celeb standing has risen tenfold since he gained the heavyweight championship in opposition to Randy Orton at Backlash in May. Should we anticipate Mahal to get the belt again after Survivor Series, if solely briefly? After all, a number of titles have had an inclination to bounce backwards and forwards between the cruiserweights, together with the tag-team championships on each exhibits and the United States championship.
A jobber-turned bona fide champ, Mahal lastly went down after a title reign few foresaw lasting so long as it did. True, he wasn’t one of the best in-ring performer, however give him credit score for the way in which he dealt with his feuds with Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura, amongst others.
Outside the ring, Mahal typically spoke of the unrelenting work he put in to make it on this enterprise — particularly after he was launched by the WWE in 2016 — earlier than re-signing two years later. Even if he had his share of haters, Mahal’s old-school nationalistic heel method labored, and his mic expertise vastly improved because the months went on. He leveraged his sidekicks, the Singh Brothers, the way in which a well-versed heel ought to.
But at the present time was concerning the return of Styles the champion — and nobody else. It was the type of end result that makes you wanna go, “Wooo!”