SmackDown Recap: October 17, 2017
S2017 episode 948 Aired on October 17, 2017

After announcing that the United States Championship Open Challenge was closed for good, titleholder Baron Corbin seemed laissez-faire about his contest against Sin Cara, seemingly seeing the luchador as an afterthought.

But the only thoughts on The Lone Wolf’s mind after the contest were of the “what the heck just happened?” variety, as Sin Cara defeated Corbin after an explosive and death-defying offensive attack for a quick and surprising count-out victory.

WWE Champion Jinder Mahal promised a major announcement for Survivor Series and, boy, did he ever deliver.

Flanked by The Singh Brothers and fresh off a trip to his native India, The Modern Day Maharaja declared that he had defeated everyone worth defeating on SmackDown LIVE and had a new conquest in mind: Raw’s Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar. The challenge sent shockwaves throughout the WWE Universe, with them all thinking about what it would be like if Raw and SmackDown LIVE’s top champions were to clash in an epic brand vs. brand showdown.

However, in the wake of the announcement, AJ Styles hit the scene with a different, ringing statement: Mahal had never beaten him. The two traded verbal barbs, which resulted in Mahal insulting The Phenomenal One and Styles dropping Mahal with a barrage of strikes and a pinpoint Pele Kick.

Furious with AJ’s treatment of him, Jinder stormed into Bryan’s office and volunteered Sunil Singh to challenge Styles to a match the following week on Team Blue, which Sunil tentatively accepted and Bryan immediately approved.

After getting into a spat with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn earlier in the evening, Team Blue General Manager Daniel Bryan delivered on his promise to find opponents for KO & Zayn, tabbing the combo of Shinsuke Nakamura & Randy Orton.

The contest brought the WWE Universe to a fever pitch, especially when The Viper sent Zayn plummeting through the announce table in devastating fashion. However, KO and Zayn rebounded when Owens neutralized Nakamura and distracted the official, allowing Zayn the time to drill The Viper with a low blow behind the referee’s back and leading to a perfectly placed Helluva Kick by Zayn for the three-count.

After Owens and Zayn made their way backstage, Bryan attempted to cut their celebration short by informing them that Commissioner Shane McMahon would be returning to SmackDown LIVE next week. And, although that did give the pair pause, it would not derail them from returning to the stage to gloat about their victory and declare themselves best friends yet again.

In other action … Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn exchanged heated words … Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Becky Lynch def. Natalya, Lana & Tamina … and Dolph Ziggler def. Bobby Roode.

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