Three weeks had passed since the "Under Siege" SmackDown attack on its rival show, Monday Night Raw. So we waited and waited ... and waited for the inevitable. And then it happened, in the waning moments of Tuesday night's go-home SmackDown to Survivor Series.
The Shield's music hit and the trio, donning stitched-together shirts that were half red for Raw and half black for The Shield, interrupted the main event of the night between their Survivor Series opponents, The New Day, who were taking on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
The Shield surrounded the ring before making their way into it to punish the New Day. But the brawl had just begun. The Usos made a beeline to the ring to help Team Blue. Then Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, Titus O'Neil and Apollo Crews came down to assist Raw.
Oh, and then Braun Strowman, beckoned out by Angle, the Raw GM, got his own special entrance into the ruckus and predictably cleaned house. In the backstage area, Alexa Bliss and Co. broke into the women's locker room and eviscerated new SmackDown women's champ Charlotte Flair.
Then even more performers from each team became involved. Utter chaos. The melee was fitting of this upcoming pay-per-view. Raw simply had no choice but to attack SmackDown and create more tension to a Survivor Series conceit that has great appeal, but one that has been constructed by hasty one-off rivalries. Still, for as many times as we've lamented lackluster go-home shows, this one had some spunk.
- WWE (@WWE) November 15, 2017
Angle ultimately got his revenge on McMahon after all, courtesy of a pair of triple powerbombs from The Shield. It was a dramatic departure from the start of the show, as McMahon held a pep rally of sorts. He stood at a podium, applauding SmackDown's efforts of the invasion in late October and everything they'd done since.
But he also warned his team that a Raw retaliation could be coming. Be aware, but not afraid, Shane said. Because the blue brand is the better show. He has the better, stronger roster. Becky Lynch then unleashed a few fighting words, before Baron Corbin said his piece.
Finally, Big E started a "SmackDown rocks" chant as the entire roster joined him for a few moments of hip swiveling. And that wasn't the end of the bombast. After a brief commercial break, Daniel Bryan made his way to the ring and told the crowd how much he bleeds blue, beating an almost patriotic drum. "You knock us down, and we'll hit you twice as hard," he said. "That attitude is why Raw is afraid. It's why they added Triple H."
It's why Bryan and McMahon's squad ultimately took a brutal beating. So make the score SmackDown 1, Raw 1 heading into Sunday's show. We have little idea how things are going to play out considering the number of moving parts, but we are far more intrigued now than we were before Tuesday night. That alone is a win.
The Queen is crowned again
Before the Under Siege revenge with the Super Bowl cast of characters duking it out battle royal style, Tuesday's show demanded we have a box of tissues nearby.
Earlier in the day, Charlotte Flair had posted an emotional Facebook message, dedicating her upcoming SmackDown title match to her father, Ric Flair, who has lived through serious health concerns over the past few months.
In the second of two title matches on the night, a win by Charlotte would give us one last major revision to the Survivor Series come Sunday night. A handful of recent high-profile changes already had been made to the card, including the additions of John Cena and Triple H to the traditional five-on-five match, while AJ Styles was given a shot at Brock Lesnar after he beat Jinder Mahal for the WWE title last week.
On Tuesday, with an array of spears, suplexes and a figure eight, Charlotte forced Natalya to tap, giving the Queen her first SmackDown Live women's championship. She did it in front of her hometown fans in the Spectrum Center no less.
- WWE (@WWE) November 15, 2017
Charlotte joined Alexa Bliss, now her opponent Sunday, as the only women to ever hold the title on both SmackDown and Raw and just the fourth woman to capture five women's championships in WWE history.
But it's what happened afterward that will resonate much longer. Discernibly emotional in her in-ring interview post-match, Charlotte said this was what she has been dreaming of since joining the show. She had worked "24-7" to get here.
"And most importantly, most of you know my dad has had a really hard time ... and I know you have seen ups and downs," Charlotte said. "And I know he is at home like he does every Tuesday. I know I will get text message that says I love you and you're the GOAT. This was for you. Wooo!"
At home? Psst.
As Charlotte walked back down the ramp to the locker room, Ric's music hit, and out he came. They hugged, they cried and the hometown crowd roared.
It was a rare moment when scripted television meets real-life emotions. It was so much bigger than simply winning another title, as was clear in the recent ESPN 30 for 30 film on Ric's life, which delves into his relationship with his daughter; go out of your way to watch it. This was another brief, but joyous, post-script to that story.
Hits & misses
It's not that Daniel Bryan ever had trouble with a promo, but his work as Styles' self-appointed advocate was brilliant. Bryan, who often leans toward a cautious approach on the mic of late, had an edge to his words and cadence to his delivery as he called out Brock Lesnar for quitting WWE years ago, and abruptly quitting a UFC bout because of an innocuous armbar. "When Brock gets tired and blood flows away from his brain, he will get pushed against wall and mentally quit. So, yes, Brock is big and strong, but he can't keep up with the Phenomenal One." Take that, Paul Heyman.
Sin Cara had a few high-flying moments Tuesday night, but after all the momentum he had against Corbin in the past few weeks in building up wins, it's too bad he had to essentially job out to the Lone Wolf in their latest match. Yes, we get building Baron just days before he faces The Miz seemed necessary, but Sin Cara has proved he is more than a stepping stone for other talent. That's what Dolph Ziggler is for.
Speaking of Gable, he finally saw some singles action again Tuesday in a loss to Jimmy Uso. But Gable was ruthless, and his mat work was stellar. It was another reminder that he could have a nice career as a solo performer. Here's hoping he doesn't have to roll over for anyone else any more. Did we mention that's what Ziggler is for?
Well, Survivor Series is coming and neither Owens nor Zayn is on the card. So the question is, are they really not on the card? Will KO and Zayn, who have no brand allegiance, take out Shane McMahon? Will they appear to take out McMahon, only for Zayn to turn on Owens after a brief reunion? Will they interfere in the Styles-Lesnar match? Could they change rosters entirely in the fallout? There are certainly a lot of possibilities.