7 Ups & 1 Down From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Nov 14)

THIS is how you do a go-home show.

Kurt angle the shield shane mcmahon

What happens when you combine a compelling promotion-wide narrative, universal commitment to selling one of the year's biggest events, and an awesome show-closing segment? One of the best PPV go-home shows in recent memory, of course.

While Raw limped across the finish line under the weight of more McMahon family vanity, SmackDown succeeded on every level. It was one of the strongest weekly episodes the blue brand have produced all year, and one that successfully built an immense level of hype for Survivor Series.

Red vs. Blue dominated the night, with Shane McMahon spitting hot fire to kick things off, though his enemies eventually bit back. There was plenty room for brand-specific storytelling too, with The New Day and Usos furthering their ongoing rivalry, while Charlotte Flair and Natalya contested the SmackDown Women's Championship. These components combined to form an extremely well-rounded episode of weekly television, and we can only hope its quality is reflected at the PPV.

From great in-ring action and memorable promos to high drama and sublime character work, this show had it all. Let's look at the elements that made it so special, as well its solitary blip...


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