- Last week on Smackdown Live... Becky Lynch successfully defended her Women's Title against Alexa Bliss, but not without controversy... The NEW Wyatt Family defeated the whacky trio of Dean Ambrose, Demon Kane, and James Ellsworth... Kalisto exacted revenge on Baron Corbin, taking him out of the Survivor Series... Shane McMahon has accepted Daniel Bryan's offer to be the 5th Smackdown Tag Teams Survivor Series Team... Curt Hawkins pinned Apollo Crews because he needed at least one victory... There's a whole lot of people who don't like each other being forced to team up at Survivor Series.
- Smackdown Episode #900 is live from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barre, PA, with Mauro Ranallo, John "Bradshaw" Layfield, Tom Phillips, and David Otunga calling the action. Advertised on tonight's VERY SPECIAL EPISODE, Dolph Ziggler defends the Intercontinental Title against the Miz, Edge will be hosting a special edition of the Cutting Edge, and THE UNDERTAKER IS HERE.
- Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan come out to kick things off. If you haven't heard, this is the 900th episode of Smackdown (but not of Smackdown Live. This is only about the 18th episode of Smackdown Live).
We return with Miz coming off the top rope and being met in mid-air with a dropkick. The instant replay from the commercial break is brought to you by Mattel's Then. Now. Forever line (and includes a kickass combo pack of Warrior and Sting). Miz with the back breaker and neck breaker combo for a two count. Miz goes for the legs and smashes the knees into the canvas. Whip to the corner and Miz misses the Awesome Clothesline. Ziggler with a pair of diving clotheslines and a swinging neck breaker. Jumping elbow drop gets two. Ziggler goes for a rear-naked choke, but Miz gets a foot on the ropes to force a break. Sunset flip for two. Miz gets a boot up on a charge and uses the ropes for leverage, but referee Mike Chioda sees it and stops the count. Miz argues, buying Dolph time to recover and hit the Famouser for a near fall. We return from another break with Ziggler rolling Miz up for another near fall. Ziggler with a series of rights, but the Zig-Zag is blocked. Miz chooses now to be his Daniel Bryan Tribute, laying into Dolph with Yes!-Kicks. Ziggler ducks the roundhouse and rolls him up for two. Miz with the RUNNING KNEE! Skull Crushing Finale connects, but it only gets two! Dolph blocks the Figure-Four, escapes a DDT, and hits the Zig-Zag, but Miz gets a foot on the bottom rope to break the count. Here comes the Spirit Squad for a distraction. Miz wipes Dolph out from behind and hooks the Figure-Four in the center of the ring. Dolph scrapes and claws his way to the ropes to force a break. Miz tries it again, but Dolph cradles him. He happens to land near the ropes, so Maryse shoves them over, and Miz stays on top for the three count to become the 6-time Intercontinental Champion at 10:40 (excluding two breaks). I think it was obvious they were doing the switch, and a cheap finish was equally expected. ***1/4 It made a lot of sense to feature a lot of counters and near-hits, considering how much they've worked together lately and should know each other's moves enough to be able to counter them in their sleep. I know some people might not care for it, but I'm all for another Dolph/Miz showdown at TLC. As a Smackdown Live fan, I'm actually rooting for Miz to retain over Sami Zayn, knowing that booking Miz retaining would be easier since heels can cheat.
- Last Night on Monday Night Raw, Team Raw and Team Smackdown got into a big brawl to end the night. Team Raw stood tall at the end, so that usually means Team Smackdown is going over at Survivor Series.
- Smackdown Memorable Moment: From Episode #36 on AUGUST 27th, 2000, Steve Austin returns to destroy the DX Express. Actually, it was April 27th, since it was the go home show for Backlash, but whatever. Not my company.
- Alexa Bliss is backstage with Daniel Bryan, showing footage of last week's match, and the finish where she had her foot on the bottom rope. Daniel Bryan says the referee's decision is final, and there's more important stuff to worry about right now. She'll get a rematch, but for now, she has to focus on beating team Raw at Survivor Series. Natalya interrupts, blowing her whistle and throwing it out there that she's the "Coach" of Team Smackdown. I guess she's quoting Chumba-Wumba now. "What is a Chumba-Wumba" indeed.
- The Undertaker is backstage and he picks his hat off the table.
- Smackdown Memorable Moment: From Episode #1 on August 26th, 1999, Triple H is defending the WWF Championship against The Rock, but Special Referee Shawn Michaels turns heel to Triple H retain and disappears from television for the next 8 months.
- Heath Slater and Rhyno are rallying the troops for the Smackdown Tag Teams, and have a special motivational speaker... KING BOOKER. Breezango don't approve of his wardrobe and give him a ticket (they're the fashion police, don't you forget) and fluffy shirt. He interrupts his Kingly proclamation to go into traditional Booker T mode, chewing them out for being rejects from the Pirates of the Caribbean. CAN YOU DIG THAT?!
- Smackdown Memorable Moment: From Episode #149 on June 27th, 2002, Kurt Angle issues an open challenge, accepted by John Cena, because he has RUTHLESS AGGRESSION.
We return from a commercial break, with Nikki escaping another chin-lock by ramming Carmella into the turnbuckle. Nikki with the Alabama Slam. She charges into the corner with a clothesline and "hits" the Disaster Kick. Carmella rolls to the floor, and Nikki decides to cheap shot Charlotte and drag her over the barricade. Bell rings at 8:13, and I guess it's a No Contest. Nikki pounds away on Charlotte in the ring, but here's Team Raw (including Dana, but not Nia Jax), including Bayley in a bit on an uncharacteristic moment. Carmella tries to save, so now Nia Jax shows up to lay her out. The rest of Team Smackdown, including Coach Nattie, show up to even the odds. Everyone but the Captains fight on the floor, with Nia Jax throwing everyone around before putting herself through the barricade on a missed charge. Naomi wipes out the rest with a plancha, and Team Smackdown Live stands tall at the end. Remember what I said about Team Smackdown going over Team Raw's men after what happened on Raw? Draw your own conclusion here. *1/2 Decent match, but it seemed like something to fill time until the post-match shenanigans.
- Long advertisement for Brock Lesnar vs. Goldberg II.
We return from commercial, with Konnor working over Ryder. Ryder avoids a charge, with Konnor taking out some of his partners instead. Gable with the hot tag, and he lays into Mosh with a clothesline. Mosh comes back with a slam, but Gable takes him over with a back drop and takes Thrasher off the top with a belly-to-belly suplex for two. Spirit Squad with a double team on Jordan. Breezango take out the Spirit Squad, and the Ascension takes out Breezango. More chaos until the Usos go back to their roots as good guys and hit a pair of suicide dives onto the pile, and the Grand Amplitude finishes Thrasher at 6:30 (excluding a commercial break). Everyone, including the Usos and American Alpha, celebrate. Gag me with a spoon. ** Match was fine and served a purpose to showcase everyone that mattered for Survivor Series (notice Breezango got almost zero ring time).
- Is it odd we only got THREE Smackdown Moments, and none of them were from after 2002? I guess the limitations of a 2-hour show will do that to you.
- Your MAIN EVENT... Segment, is THE CUTTING EDGE with the WWE Hall of Famer himself, Edge, looking like he's borrowed from Shawn Michaels book of wanting to be a Ducks Dynasty knock-off. Even Tony Chimel has shown up to introduce the Rated-R Superstar. His guests are the men from the Smackdown Singles Team: A.J. Styles, Dean Ambrose, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and of course, Shane O'Mac. Yes, we've gone the entire show without seeing the Main Event guys, and it hasn't been a bad show. Edge says this is the show of opportunity and wants to shake the hand of the man of exemplifies that... A.J. Styles naturally thinks its him, but Edge approaches James Ellsworth, instead. Ellsworth is so excited that he wants to do a 5-second pose. Styles says no, because it was stupid then, and it's stupid now. Edge asks Randy what's up about joining the Wyatt Family, but Orton is just standing there like a robot and Bray answers for him. Bray promises a more dangerous Viper will be at Survivor Series than we've ever seen before. Dean Ambrose and A.J. Styles waste little time getting in each other's face. TLC is December 4th, by the way.
Finally, the moment everyone has been waiting for all night. The lights go down and the familiar music plays, which means HOLY CRAP, IT'S THE UNDERTAKER! THE DEADMAN RETURNS TO SMACKDOWN LIVE! We're also rapidly running out of time. Undertaker gets in the face of Shane and says there's no better man to be the Commissioner of Smackdown than the man who knows no fear. Undertaker says WrestleMania will no longer define who he is, because he's back taking souls and digging holes. He was born at Survivor Series, and Smackdown has always been his home. At Survivor Series, there's no reason to fear failure, but if you fail, there'll be reason to fear the Deadman. Team Raw better REST IN PEACE. End Show.
In case you give a crap, as a WWE.com Exclusive, The Undertaker and Kane shared a brotherly moment at the top of the ramp, because that's a thing they do, but it wasn't important enough to feature on the live telecast.
Final Thoughts: Perfectly acceptable go-home show, with a lot of last-second hype for the Survivor Series. As a "Special Episode", this was whatever. Seriously, Episode #900 isn't exactly #500 or #1000. Still, it's cool to see Edge and The Undertaker make their special appearances, and even Booker T dressing up as King Booker was a cute moment. The Miz winning back the Intercontinental Title from Dolph Ziggler is another chapter in their rivalry worth giving a chance. The rest of the show was just "what's going to happen at Survivor Series." Should be a fun night Sunday night, and don't forget, NXT TakeOver is this weekend, as well.