5 Ups & 3 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Nov 7)

Coronation Street

AJ Styles WWE champ

WWE are sometimes guilty of producing shows so moribund that they circumvent the need to pored over analytically, with the pre-2016 Brand Extension SmackDown perhaps the biggest offender. A Raw rerun half the time and even less the rest, the blue brand was ice cold rather than the ultra-cool 'Land Of Opportunity it became under the stewardship of WWE Champion AJ Styles following the split.

Though still substantially more engaging in its live Tuesday Night format, the show reverted to type at times this year, not least for the 'Phenomenal One'. Forced to the fringes for a WrestleMania opener against Shane McMahon then lost in a disappointing rivalry with Kevin Owens centred around...Shane McMahon, AJ never stopped delivering bell-to-bell, but presumably felt more than a little disheartened with his lot as Jinder Mahal paraded around with a brand's top strap in a post-modern LOLWWE even ardent nihilistic Redditors couldn't justify.

But as you already know as you read this, that reign of terror is (briefly) OVER! Styles toppled Mahal clean as a sheet in a contest that paid off what's been Jinder's most tolerable storyline to date. In doing so, he's marched into the Survivor Series main event against Brock Lesnar, leaving the 'Modern Day Maharaja' to lick his wounds before presumably retaining in the company's tour of India.

The match was awesome, the finish was great, and the end result is a win for what feels like the entire fanbase. Here's another spoiler - that's going to be an 'UP'...


Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.