Date: November 21, 2017
Location: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
So the battle between brands is over and now it’s time to find out where we go from here. In theory we go towards Clash of the Champions in just shy of a month, which could mean multiple things. AJ Styles is likely going to have to deal with Jinder Mahal again, though the title match won’t be taking place tonight. Let’s get to it.
We open with a long recap of Sunday’s main event.
Here’s Shane McMahon to get things going. They were so close on Sunday and, despite what his sister wants to say, Smackdown proved that they’re nothing but the best show. The Smackdown roster gives it their all every night and he’s proud of them all. Save for two that is, meaning Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.
Shane has them come out here and Owens immediately calls Shane drunk with power. Sami wants to know whether it’s harder for Shane to keep coming up with excuses for his failures or just admitting that he’s wrong. They would have beaten the Shield or even won a 5-2 handicap match or beaten Brock Lesnar. Shane says he’s the Commissioner and the two of them have no respect for anyone. He teases firing them but Owens says that would be stupid as they’re both future Hall of Famers.
Shane loads up the firing but gets cut off by Daniel Bryan. Sami starts getting fired up but Daniel tells him to be quiet. Everyone in the back hates Sami and Kevin’s guts, to the point where Bryan had to send Randy Orton home before he tried to kill them. Tonight, the two of them will be facing New Day in a lumberjack match.
So to recap: yes, we are just supposed to go with the fact that Shane put himself in the match and assume that he really was the best option. I have no idea why we’re supposed to go with that other than Shane is a former fan favorite but if you disagree with whatever he says, you’re apparently a heel. Oh and Smackdown is totally equal to Raw, even though it lost on Sunday. Such is life in WWE.
Jey Uso vs. Shelton Benjamin
Shelton lets him out of the corner to start, only to climb the ropes for a knee to the face, knocking Jey outside. Back from an early break with Shelton working on a chinlock until Jey fights up with a Samoan drop. Gable offers a distraction so Shelton can get two off a rollup, only to have Jey score with a superkick for the same. The Superfly Splash misses though and it’s Paydirt to give Shelton the pin at 7:07.
Rating: C-. You might as well just pencil in the Tag Team Title match at Clash of the Champions and that’s fine. It’s not like there are many other teams to challenge for the belts unless they hot shot the Bludgeon Brothers up to the title scene in a hurry. Not bad or anything but they need a little more time to get somewhere, especially with such a simple booking idea.
Sami and Kevin try to get help from Baron Corbin and Bobby Roode, both of whom shoot them down. Roode promises both of them a receipt.
Naomi is getting her makeup done when NXT’s Ruby Riot comes up. She’s with Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, all of whom beat the heck out of Naomi. Becky Lynch comes in for the save and gets beaten down as well.
The bosses are in the back with Shane praising Bryan’s decisions tonight because he can fire Sami and Kevin whenever he wants. Shane leaves to go watch the show at his hotel.
Hype Bros vs. Bludgeon Brothers
It’s Luke Harper and Erick Rowan with big Thor style hammers. Rowan runs Ryder over to start and knocks him outside. Harper gets in a hard clothesline and sends him into the steps, leaving Rawley alone. A double spinebuster puts Mojo away at 1:24. Total squash.
Natalya applauds Charlotte for winning the title last week and beating Alexa Bliss on Sunday. I mean, Natalya’s cat could beat Bliss but tonight she’ll give Ric Flair something to really cry about.
Video on Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles from Sunday.
Here’s Styles for a chat, but first we see a post-match video from Paul Heyman, saying Styles is the best in-ring performer he’s ever seen. AJ wishes he could celebrate with all the fans but it didn’t go as well as he thought it would. He’d love to face Lesnar again though because in the sequel, Rocky wins.
That brings him to Jinder Mahal, who says he’s taking the title back tonight. AJ takes off the jacket and the belt, saying come get it. Mahal pops up on screen to say it’s his time instead of AJ’s. If Mahal had faces Brock, he would be hailed as the Beastmaster. AJ says bring it on because Mahal should be well rested after not doing anything on Sunday. Mahal will take his rematch at Clash of Champions. Cue the Singh Brothers from behind to jump AJ, who cleans house without any trouble.
Sami and Kevin recruit Aiden English and Rusev, who don’t say no.
Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Natalya
Charlotte is defending after having won last week. Natalya jumps at her to start but gets elbowed in the jaw. That earns her a face first toss into the middle buckle and we take a break. Back with Natalya getting two off a Batista Bomb and grabbing the Sharpshooter. Charlotte makes the rope for the break but Natalya is right back on her with right hands. A whip into the corner lets Charlotte try the moonsault, only to land on the knees. The spear connects but here are Logan, Riot and Morgan to jump Natalya for the DQ at 6:43.
Rating: C+. They were rolling until the interference here with Natalya showing more fire than she has in a long time. Charlotte looked like she was in a fight and that’s not something you see from her too often. I can go for the trio interfering, though I would have liked to see Charlotte get the win first.
Charlotte gets beaten down as well as the trio poses.
Daniel Bryan has no comment on the trio attacking. Sami and Kevin come up and threaten him with repercussions if he fires them.
New Day vs. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens
Lumberjack match and New Day comes out with some pancakes. Woods is on the floor here as Owens and Big E. get things going. Kevin knocks Kofi outside early on and the lumberjacks let him back in without any issue. Sami comes in so Kofi leapfrogs him into a back elbow for one. Back up and Kofi is sent outside again and for the second time, no one touches him.
Sami goes to get him this time and gets pummeled, sending him running up the aisle. No one is letting that happen though and Sami gets carried back to the ring. We take a break and come back with Owens taking the Unicorn Stampede. Owens knocks Kofi into the corner though and stomps away as Saxton says the lumberjacks are like sharks who can’t wait to get their hands on Owens and Sami. Graves: “Sharks don’t have hands Saxton.”
Sami comes in and mocks New Day’s dancing claps before stomping away. Owens’ backsplash hits Kofi’s knees though and the hot tag brings in Big E. The Big Ending doesn’t work on Sami so it’s back to Kofi for his high crossbody. Everything breaks down with Sami being sent outside, triggering the brawl between the lumberjacks. They all come in and the referee doesn’t call for the DQ, leaving Sami to roll Kofi up for the pin at 11:50.
Rating: C. This was much more about everything else going on than the match itself and that’s fine. Sami and Kevin winning makes sense and it’s not like New Day is hurt by a fluke pin after all the issues with the lumberjacks (or a recent match with Shield). It’s storyline advancement and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Post break the lumberjacks leave with Kofi diving onto Rusev and English. Sami takes the Midnight Hour to leave him laying.
In the back, Owens gets on his knees in front of Bryan, begging him not to fire them. Bryan was never going to do that because he recognizes their talent. Next week, Owens goes one on one with Orton.
Overall Rating: C+. This was a back to normal show without much in the way of major developments. AJ is still champion, Mahal is still in way over his head and saying the same things he always says, Owens and Sami are still right in that they were better options than Shane at Survivor Series and Shane is still a face for reasons that I don’t possibly comprehend. The debuts and returns were nice though and gives the show some much needed fresh blood. Good enough show, though nothing of note really happened.
Shelton Benjamin b. Jey Uso – Paydirt
Bludgeon Brothers b. Hype Bros – Double spinebuster to Rawley
Natalya b. Charlotte via DQ when Sarah Logan, Ruby Riot and Liv Morgan interfered
Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens b. New Day – Rollup to Kingston
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