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WWE SmackDown Live preview (Nov. 21, 2017): Retreat, regroup, resupply

Last night in Houston as WWE wraps up Survivor Series’ Big 4 with the blue brand.

The Headliners

We thought tonight was going to feature a WWE title fight.

Even in a losing effort, . Now he’s got to wrestle with his belt on the line, because Jinder Mahal is exercising his rematch clause tonight.

That’s because while The Modern Day Maharajah wasn’t booked for the latest pay-per-view (PPV), he did get on-screen to announce he’d be looking to reclaim the title on this week’s SmackDown. Jinder also got half his wish from Styles/Lesnar... he was rooting for AJ to win, but he also wanted The Beast to rough him up. One out of two ain’t bad.

Unfortunately, it looks like “plans changed” after that interview aired. WWE.com’s official preview for tonight’s show makes no mention of a match, instead questioning whether Jinder and WWE champion AJ Styles will “cross paths” in the wake of The Phenomenal One again blowing away the fans, and his opponent’s Advocate, when he took Universal champ Brock Lesnar to the limit in a losing effort on Sunday.

With that off the docket, the top order of business is commissioner Shane McMahon addressing the troops after a 4 - 3 loss to Raw two days ago. McMahon himself played a role in that, being lulled into a false sense of security when his brother-in-law Triple H turned on Kurt Angle.

And General Manager Daniel Bryan was already wanting to talk about Shane’s strategy and poor communication skills before they resulted in a loss! Should be an interesting night for the money... do you think he’ll tell us why they pulled the title match off this show?

The Title Scene

Four people who don’t have any explaining to do for this past weekend are Team Blue’s titleholders.

Charlotte Flair lived up to her royal nickname when she made Alexa Bliss tap in the battle of Women’s champions. Now who among the ranks of the blue will try to take The Queen’s throne? Natalya is getting a rematch in a steel cage at Starrcade Saturday, but who knows how that plays in on-screen kayfabe.

The tactic of trash talking his opponent’s wife may not have won United States champ Baron Corbin many fans, but The Lone Wolf surely doesn’t care. Now who’s next?

Tag titleholders Jimmy and Jey Uso know who’s next after they pole vaulted over and tended to The Bar. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin beat the twins via countout, but that’s not going to satisfy the amateur standouts thirst for gold.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- They’ve been in communication with Raw commissioner Stephanie McMahon, but will Steph still be interested in Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens’ services after their attack on Team Blue was fended off by a weary Shane? It did end up resulting in a red win, so maybe. But their current bosses are likely pissed.

- New Day may have come up short against The Shield, but they continued to earn their respect of their other rivals, The Usos. Where do The Princes of Positivity go next?

- The Bludgeon Brothers are supposed to debut against Hype Bros, but for some reason I have a nagging suspicion they’re going to be the new Emmalina, and we’ll just get another video of them reciting tumblr poetry and smashing things in the forest.

- Whether or not she goes after her Tea Time partner, Becky Lynch probably has some soul searching to do after the captain was quickly eliminated in Sunday’s five woman elimination tag.

- After Raw got reinforcements (including a big one rumored for Tuesday nights), will anyone new show up tonight?

- So much of their two hour shows have been focused on inter-brand warfare, it’ll be interesting to see how SmackDown refocuses with their Clash of Champions PPV just a month away.

It’s the Survivor Series fallout show!

What will you be looking for on SmackDown Live tonight?

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