We open with a video package highlighting last week's match between King Woods and Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Reigns survived a great attempt by Woods, who won the match by Disqualification when the Bloodline attacked. Even though Woods won, Romans had the Usos anoint him with Woods' crown. Michael Cole and Pat McAfee welcome us to Hartford and our go-home edition of Friday Night SmackDown.
We cut straight to the ring, where red carpeting covers the mat, a throne with a scepter and cloak sit in the middle, and the Usos flank it. The twins both cut a quick promo, informing the audience "we the ones" after threatening to defeat RK-Bro at Survivor Series. The Usos then welcome the head of the table, the tribal chief, their cousin, the Universal Champion, King Roman Reigns. Roman makes his way out with Heyman. Roman's streak of keeping his entrances under 3.5 minutes continues for a record seventh week. After playing to the crowd who are neutral--despite the raging digital crowd, fiercely angry for piped-in fans--our new King is ready to address the Kingdom.
Hey blubbers on at first, praising Reigns while explaining that he's been preparing for this all week. He gloats that no one deserves to be the king like our tribal chief--no, tribal king--Roman Reigns. Heyman states that everyone here would agree that the "distinction of king surely doesn't belong ot Xavier Woods and it sure as hell will never belong to Brock Lesnar." Even the name drop can't get this crowd to wake up. Heyman goes on to state that Reigns is eager to smash Big E Sunday night. Reigns interrupts Heyman, asking for the mic by simply extending a hand.
The champ speaks. "Who's idea was this?" Heyman point at the Usos and Roman turns to them. "This must be a joke, right? You don't really think that I care about this stuff, do you? You don't really think I need this stuff, do you? You think I need this stuff to be acknowledged? No, no, no, no, I put in the hard work and I earned the respect...Hartford, acknowledge me!" The fans come alive, popping and acknowledging their tribal chief despite the piped-in boos. Roman explains the only reason he took the crown is because he can. Xavier Woods makes his way out in his nWo-themed shirt and takes a turn on the mic. Woods explains that Reigns doesn't know what it takes to be a king. He says if Reigns were kingly material, he'd have come out here and looked Woods face-to-face. Woods challenges Reigns to meet him without the Usos. Woods states that the clothes don't make the man.
Reigns gestures to the king setup and asks if Woods truly doesn't care about it, then gestures to Jey who throws the cloak down.
Next, Jey takes the scepter and breaks it over his knee. Again, Roman taunts Woods, asking "are you sure" (you don't care about this stuff?) Woods remains silent as both Usos lift the throne and slam it into the mat, shattering it. They smash it a few times and throw it out of the ring. Woods glares angrily and Reigns laughs at him. Woods taps his chest, indicating his prior comments--that the clothes don't make the man--stand true. Roman asks one final time, "are you sure this crown doesn't mean anything to you?" He then sets the crown on the mat before him as the crowd starts to cheer. Woods rushes the ring and is quickly double-teamed by the Usos, who pound him in a corner. After a brief beatdown, Reigns tells Woods that he doesn't need "props" because he's the man. Woods is left sprawled amongst the rubble of his kingdom as the Bloodline stands tall over him.
Sheamus makes his way out first as we head to a break. When we return, everyone's in the ring and the ref calls for the bell. All four men are in the ring and, as per usual Fatal 4-Way, the first person to pick up a pin fall or submission will win the match and be added to the SmackDown Men's Survivor Series team. The competitors pair up, changing up frequently with Sheamus and Jinder Mahal generally working together for a few moments. Mahal is distracted by a rope-tied Ricochet and Sheamus looks for a quick roll-up. Mahal and Sheamus fight along the ropes and on the apron. Sheamus delivers his signature Ten Beats of the Bodhrán. Shanky, at ringside in support of Jinder, looks on angrily. Sheamus turns, taunting the crowd--and right into an attack by Cesaro. Cesaro looks for the King of Swing by Sheamus escapes. Ricochet cleans the ring then hits a top rope-launching attack on everyone at ringside. We head to our next break!
Back from the break. We get repeats of Ricochet's aerial bombardment. Sheamus looks to suplex Ricochet, but Ricochet counters with a DDT and a standing Shooting Star Press! Mahal attacks Rico, sending him out of the ring. Cesaro picks the legs of Mahal, dropping the Modern-Day Maharajah. Cesaro executes his King of Swing and swings Mahal twenty-one times! Cesaro immediately transitions it into a modified Sharpshooter. Jinder grabs the rope but there's no rope-break in this match. Ricochet hits the ring and beats Cesaro out of the ring, then attacks Jinder. Rico goes up top and hits a 540. He rolls to his feet and right into a Brogue Kick! Sheamus covers but Cesaro makes the save! Sheamus drops Cesaro and climbs the turnbuckles. Cesaro recovers in time to catch Sheamus mid-air with a forearm uppercut! Ridge Holland runs out to the ring. Holland distracts Cesaro and whacks him with his shillelagh. Sheamus rolls up Cesaro to pick up the win and will join Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy, King Woods and Happy Corbin as the final member of SmackDown Men's Survivor Series team.
Your Winner, Sheamus!
A sweaty, reddened Sheamus limps backstage with Holland. He's asked for comments and he goes on a bout Ridge believing in him. Holland tells Sheamus that if it weren't for Sheamus, Holland would still be in Ireland, broke, fighting on the streets. He swears his fealty to his fellow Irishman and they walk off, destination: a bar.
Cole sends us to a video with narration from both Lynch and Flair, discussing that they've been friends and foes forever. Recent clips are shown as well as a mix of old photographs from the two. More hype for the two going into Sunday's match, especially interesting as there is rumored heat between the two still. As always, a rumor is nothing but fiction until made fact.
Aliyah and Naomi come out together, dancing down to the ring. Let's see how long this tag team lasts. We've got the neon duo up against Nattie Neidhart and the Queen of Spades after these words from our sponsors. Well, theirs, not mine. When we return, we start with Aliyah and Nattie. Aliyah and Nattie briefly spar before bringing in Shayna Baszler and Naomi. Baszler looks for an early Kirifuda Clutch but fails to cinch it in. Nattie with a blind tag. Naomi with a hip attack before being rolled up by Natalya. The ref does a very fast count and Natalya steals the win. This adds to the conspiracy narrative that WWE Official Sonya Deville has it out for Naomi and Aliyah.
Your Winners, Shayna Baszler & Natalya
Zayn continues on with his usual conspiracy crap; Deville is confronted by the ref from the prior tag match, who is baffled when Deville feigns knowledge of the ref's actions.
This match marks the singles in-ring debut of Madcap Moss, escorted by Happy Corbin. Hardy makes his way out first, playing up to a crowd that's been mostly lethargic. We head to break. Afterwards we get Madcap Moss, escorted by Happy Corbin. Hardy gets on the mic and objects to Corbin's presence in Moss' corner. Hardy states that he might as well have someone in his and out comes Drew McIntyre with his sword Angela. Cole really likes pointing out the sword's name. McIntyre bro fists with Hardy and takes up a position at ringside as we, finally, get ready to start this match. Madcap Moss opens us up with a spinebuster, followed up quickly with rapid knees to the midsection. Moss shows aggression right out of the corner. Hardy gains some separation with a jaw breaker followed by his patented Inverted Atomic Drop into a double leg drop chained into a basement dropkick combo. McIntyre blocks an attempt at a distraction and Hardy rolls up Moss to promptly end this short match. After the match, McIntyre hit a Claymore and Glasgow Kiss on Moss & Corbin before Hardy hit a Swanton.
Your Winner, Jeff Hardy!
Angel Garza is now just Angel. Nakamura is out first, rocked out by Boogs who still manages to make McAfee's voice rise an octave in excitement. After a break, we get the entrance for Los Lotharios--real-life cousins Angel and Humberto--and get on with the match. Humberto still has his surname...for now. Angel rips off his pants prior to the match and throws them at Nakamura when the bell rings. Angel with a running kick followed by a basement dropkick to Shinsuke's neck. Angel attempts to keep up the aggression but the king of strong style takes the lead for the first time with a barrage of kicks. His offense is short-lived, however, as a middle-rope leaping kick is countered by Angel. Angel looks for a sliding apron powerbomb but Nakamura redirects Angel into the commentary table. Nakamura fights off a Humberto attempt at interference and Boogs picks Humberto up in an upside-down submission (similar to the vertical portion of a Styles Clash). Nakamura uses that distraction to pin Angel.
Your Winner, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura!
Deville approaches the two opponents--and teammates come Sunday night--to attempt to de-escalate the tension. Banks and Shotzi exchange verbal jabs and Deville informs them both that she expects them to shake hands when this match is over, get out their aggression in the ring, and pull together for the Survivor Series.
It's time for our fifth and final match of the night, our main event as the two Survivor Series teammates attempt to squash the beef. If only they had a rum ham. Banks is out first, followed by a commercial break. When we return, Shotzi's already out with her tank and both competitors are ready to rock. Banks starts off with a side headlock. Shotzi whips Banks away and performs a head-slam. Sasha with a hard chop to Shotzi followed by an arm-wrenched toss. Both women talk smack and take turns shoving each other. Both women then pull on each other's hair and the ref counts a warning to both. Banks with a suplex--and hangs on, playing tribute once again to Eddie Guerrero by executing the Three Amigos. The crowd comes alive long enough for an Eddie chant. Banks looks for a Frog Splash but Shotzi rolls out of the way. Shotzi catches Banks and the two battle against the ropes, then down to the floor. Shotzi slams Banks' face into the steel steps. Shotzi shoves Banks left wrist into the steel steps, in one of the hand holds, and Shotzi kicks the steel steps repeatedly. The ref's count-out warning gets to eight and Shotzi rolls in the ring then out to break the count. Shotzi sends Banks into the ring and covers for two. Banks counters a whip with a roll-up. Banks battles Shotzi to the outside and connects with a Meteora off the apron and onto Shotzi, sending us to break!
Back from the break. Banks slugs Shotzi and looks for a side headlock. Sasha looks to convert to a sleeper but Shotzi fights out of it. Shotzi with a fireman's swinging neckbreaker. Shotzi covers for two. Banks shoves Shotzi into the turnbuckles and covers for two. Banks sends Shotzi into the turnbuckle and hits a running knee in the corner. Banks, the captain of the SmackDown Women's Survivor Series team, has eliminated more women than anyone in the history of Survivor Series outside of one name...which Cole fails to tell us despite the fun fact. Banks with a Meteora off the top rope for a two count. Shotzi begins targeting Banks' arm. Shotzi with an impressive corner takedown, using the top turnbuckle to hit a float-over driver and covering for a two. Shotzi growl-screams at Banks, calling her a bitch and calling her trash. Banks continues to take targeted assaults from Shotzi as the green-haired Superstar continues to target Banks' arm. Shotzi with a springboard Senton. Banks rolls out of the ring, avoiding a pin. Shotzi growls in frustration and exits the ring, retrieving Banks and bringing her back in. Shotzi hoists Banks up but Banks rolls through and into a Crossface! Banks, aware her arm was weakened in the match, improvises to use her spare leg to help cinch in the Crossface. Shotzi taps out!
Your Winner, Sasha Banks!
Banks and Shotzi shake hands as WWE Official Sonya Deville watches from the stage. Banks then hits a Backstabber on Shotzi. Banks exits, telling Deville that she shook Shotzi's hand as instructed.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns asks his wise-man, Paul Heyman, if it's time. Heyman states it is. Reigns and Heyman leave, ordering the Usos to stay behind as Reigns promises to handle this.
We'll get to this eventually. Hang tight. Finally, after 20 minutes of teasing, we get to this segment. Woods is out first, addressing the crowd and Roman via the camera. Woods wants to find out if Roman is a man. Woods points out that he had Roman beat last week before the Usos interfered and sums it all up to mean that the Universal Champion cannot beat, on his own, Xavier Woods. "So Roman, if that makes you feel any kind of way, why don't you bring your ass down to this ring and prove me wrong?" Woods waits, the world waits, we all wait for Roman to finally start his second entrance of the night. Woods constantly glares up the ramp. Eventually, Reigns and Heyman make their way out.
As Roman and Heyman get halfway down the ramp, both Usos are tossed out onto the entrance platform. Woods shrugs and then we get the theme for WWE Champion Big E! Big E huffs as he slowly walks down the ramp. Reigns and Big E clash, throwing rights. Big E sends Reigns into the steel steps before running him along the ring and tossing him into the barricade. Big E sends Reigns into the ring and King Woods joins Big E as the duo stomp down Reigns for several long moments. The Usos hit the ring but eat a Superkick and a Big Ending each for their troubles. King Woods with a top rope senton to wipe out the Usos at ringside; Roman uses the distraction to hit a Superman Punch on an unsuspecting Big E. Roman calls for the Spear and looks for it--only to be snatched up by Big E, who looks for a Big Ending! Reigns wiggles free and escapes up the ramp, livid. The two heavyweight champions will square off this Sunday!