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SmackDown has many storylines running, but with Survivor Series coming up November 22, Friday’s show still spent a lot of time adding members to the men’s and women’s teams.
We saw Sasha Banks successfully defend a title for the first time on SmackDown against Bayley, but The Boss’ celebration was short-lived thanks to Carmella.
Jey Uso fought Kevin Owens and Rey Mysterio took on Baron Corbin for spots on the men’s SmackDown team at Survivor Series, while Ruby Riott faced Natalya and Zelina Vega for a spot on the women’s team.
Roman Reigns continued to assert his dominance over his family, and Murphy seemingly realigned with Seth Rollins after helping him secure one of the other spots on the blue brand’s men’s team.
Let’s look at the biggest segments from Friday’s show and how they will influence storylines moving forward.
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Immediately following her victory over Bayley in the night’s opening match, Banks was attacked on the stage by Carmella.
This is the first time The Princess of Staten Island has gone after anyone since she returned recently with a series of vignettes that hid her face until she was ready to reveal herself.
The Boss has just vanquished The Role Model but already has a new challenger. That is the life of a champion. The question is what does Carmella have to do to earn a title shot?
Mella was absent for months, and there are plenty of other women on SmackDown who have been holding down the fort, so she can’t just step to the front of the line.
Banks will face Asuka at Survivor Series in one of the champion vs. champion bouts, so WWE has plenty of time to give Carmella a chance to earn her shot with a No. 1 Contender’s match.
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Reigns not only forced Jey Uso to cut short an interview with Kayla Braxton on Friday, but he had also his cousin face Kevin Owens after KO made a small joke at his expense.
At first, Jey appeared conflicted about his new role, but the past two weeks have seen him also embrace the dark side a bit. The previous week, it was attacking Daniel Bryan after their match, and on Friday it was winning after a low blow.
When Jimmy returns, he will either fall in line or go against his family, which seems like the less likely option. The Tribal Chief is going to amass more power as his dynasty grows.
But what does this mean for The Usos? Will they simply become heels, or will Reigns ask too much of them and force them to make a tough decision?
Both Bryan and Owens have reason to be upset with Reigns and Uso, so a tag team match in the coming weeks is likely to take place. After that, The Yes Man pursuing the universal title seems like WWE’s best option. Bryan is a beloved babyface who can use that support to make Reigns into an even bigger villain.
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Uso, Corbin and Rollins all earned spots on the men’s team Friday, while Riott became only the second member of the women’s team.
Jey Uso used a low blow to get his victory, Baron Corbin won thanks to some confusion outside the ring with Murphy and Seth Rollins and The Messiah won his spot by defeating Otis following a distraction from Murphy.
They will join Owens and one final member, who will be determined before the PPV. With the exception of Owens, SmackDown’s team leans heavily toward the heel side.
Riott won a match against Natalya and Vega to join Bianca Belair on SmackDown’s women’s team. Three other women will join them to face Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Lana, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke.
While the red brand named most of its team members the previous week, SmackDown is taking its time filling up its teams.
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Murphy and Rollins have had a lot of ups and downs, but Friday appeared to show The Juggernaut align with The Messiah once again. Or did it?
After Rollins and Murphy had a quick exchange backstage, and irate Aalyah Mysterio ran up and yelled at him for seemingly betraying her family again. Murphy tried to calm her down and assured her this was all for the greater good. Does he want Aalyah to join him at Rollins’ side, or does he have something up his sleeve?
The past few weeks have seen him attempt to win over Rey and Dominik with no success. Perhaps he feels like the only way to earn their trust is to take down Rollins once and for all. And for that to happen, Murphy needs to make sure Rollins trusts him again.
This storyline has had its issues, but the performers involved have done a good job making it entertaining. It will be interesting to see how all of this plays out ahead of Survivor Series.