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5 things we learned from SmackDown Live 11-14

SmackDown Live

The go-home show for SmackDown Live was also the all-around go-home show for both brands ahead of Survivor Series on Sunday, which as you may have heard, is the only time all year that the two shows go head-to-head in direct competition.

They certainly did that on Tuesday.

Raw bided their time and launched a counter-insurgency against SmackDown Live to close the show and we are officially on a war path for Houston.

Raw’s counter-attack was devastating

After weeks of waiting for it to come, Raw finally jumped the gates of SmackDown Live and laid waste to the blue brand. Led by The Shield and Raw general manager Kurt Angle, the red shirts flowed in through the crowd and the backstage area, answering the #UnderSiege attack from weeks ago in due time.

Seeing babyfaces and heels working together to beat up the other brand remains a puzzling conundrum, especially for fans who didn’t know whether to boo or cheer while The Shield and Angle beat down SmackDown commissioner Shane McMahon.

It was complete devastation on the final show prior to Survivor Series, leaving the impression that these two brands are ready to rip one another apart come Sunday. All that’s left to determine is who will claim brand supremacy in the seven matches of red vs. blue.

Charlotte Flair is on her throne once again

SmackDown Live was in Flair Country on Tuesday, meaning that Natalya had her back up against the wall in ways more than just having to compete against Charlotte Flair.

Just days before Natalya was set to face Raw Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss, booking pulled one final bait and switch, opting for a dream matchup of Bliss vs. Charlotte to further strength the Survivor Series card. The match has virtually no build-up outside of the huge shot Charlotte took from Bliss later in the night during the counter-attack, but we will finally get Bliss vs. Charlotte on the big stage.

A.J. Styles does not fear Brock Lesnar

SmackDown’s other new champion may be the Face that Runs the Place on Tuesday nights, but by winning the belt, drew himself a ticket to Suplex City where Brock Lesnar awaits.

If you ask Styles, he’s not worried about that. Or ask his new “advocate” Daniel Bryan, who filled the role of Paul Heyman on a one-night only basis on Tuesday, hyping up the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Champion, A.J. Styles.

In a short period of time, Lesnar and Styles have been able to sell the match. It could be the only time the two ever step foot in the ring together to go 1-on-1 and using that as a selling point will work; it comes down to how to book a match this epic and who will come out on top.

It’s two behemoths of the sport, with technically nothing on the line, but also a lot all at once.

Baron Corbin is back in the good graces

After weeks of jockeying for position with Sin Cara over the United States Championship, Corbin put him down with the End of Days to retain his belt. After weeks of Sin Cara’s intensity boiling over, this match felt a bit like hitting eject on any momentum he had, but it did its job of keeping Corbin busy for weeks.

The win moves Corbin on to Survivor Series where he and The Miz can finally lock up after their epic battle of words using mostly social media and promos. It will be an interesting blend of styles from the two heels, with both attempting to establish their title as the superior one.

Daniel Bryan is his own man

After doing his own Paul Heyman impression earlier in the evening, Bryan let Shane McMahon know that they were going to have to talk after Survivor Series, since he is apparently not pleased with the mega-heel tactics used by the commissioner, which resulted in him eating a Chokeslam from Kane.

It’s no secret that Bryan has expressed a desire to return to the ring, while simultaneously acknowledging that it may not necessarily be with the WWE. It’s hard to imagine Bryan not being in the WWE after the immense levels of popularity that he has reached, but how Bryan/McMahon interact over the next handful of weeks will be telling about his role with the company going forward.

Jesse is a news desk reporter and FRS SLAM columnist with FanRag Sports since August 2016. He graduated from Stony Brook University with a dual major in comparative literature and journalism.

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