Smackdown – November 20, 2018

Date: November 20, 2018
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s the final night in Los Angeles and that means it’s probably time for the Shane McMahon Show. Since being swept by Raw on Sunday, Shane has promised big changes for the show and that could mean several things. In theory this is the start of the long awaited Shane heel turn, meaning Paige’s job might be in jeopardy. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Charlotte snapping and attacking Ronda Rousey on Sunday, turning hard heel in the process.

Here’s Charlotte to get things going. Charlotte is very proud of what she did on Sunday and some of the fans don’t seem to mind. Rousey is moving around a little more slowly since Sunday because Charlotte was fighting for everyone in the back. She was fighting for Becky Lynch, who wanted Rousey to take the beating of her life. Well mission accomplished, because Rousey bowed down to the queen.

Cue Paige, to remind Charlotte that Rousey is coming for her soon enough. Charlotte shoved a bunch of referees on Sunday so it’s going to be a $100,000 fine. This brings out the IIconics, who know they’re Paige’s favorite. They want the $100,000 (It’s not a bounty.) so Charlotte will fight one of them right now.

Charlotte vs. Billie Kay

Charlotte sends her outside to start but a Peyton Royce distraction lets Billie get in a big boot to take over. Some right hands keep Charlotte in trouble but she’s right back up with a few shots of her own. Natural Selection finishes Kay at 3:14.

Rating: D. Well what else are you supposed to say about that? Charlotte seemingly turned heel on Sunday and now she’s squashing a heel jobber here. I’m sure this is exactly what WWE had planned and makes perfect sense if you squint hard enough, but I’m still trying to get over Charlotte fighting for Becky, who she hated just a few weeks ago.

Post match Charlotte tells Peyton to get in here but she’d rather leave.

Charlotte vs. Peyton Royce

So much for that. Joined in progress with Peyton hitting some knees to the face for two each and we hit the chinlock. Kay offers a distraction but Charlotte cuts Peyton off with a big boot. That’s enough to draw Kay in for the DQ at 1:48.

Post match the IIconics take her to the floor and grab a chair but Charlotte spears both of them down and rams them into the announcers’ table over and over. Charlotte knees them in the head and throws them over the table before posing a bit. I have no idea where we are right now. Is Charlotte a heel when she’s fighting Rousey but a face when she’s back on Smackdown? Am I missing something?

Rey Mysterio is ready to take on Randy Orton tonight.

We look back at Daniel Bryan turning heel (again, apparently only on this show) to win the WWE Title last week.

Here’s Miz for MizTV to a hometown welcome. He was honored to fight alongside his guest tonight: Shane McMahon. Shane limps to the ring so Miz does the dance for him. Miz says it’s fitting that the two of them were the last men standing for Smackdown, just like at WWE World Cup (So they can’t say Crown Jewel anymore.) when they left it all in the ring. Shane lists off everything he did on Sunday but Miz gets to the point: since they’re both the Best in the World, they should be a team. The Besties in the World! Shane isn’t sure but Miz has already gotten them a match for right here, right now.

Shane McMahon/The Miz vs. The Bryant Brothers

The Brothers are apparently brothers in the same sense as the Dudleys. The announcers make fun of the tiny jobbers as Miz knees one of the them in the ribs. A kick to the face lets Miz do another shuffle and hit a DDT. Miz goes to brag to Shane….and gets small packaged for the pin at 1:16. Shane’s smirk is pretty funny.

New Day runs into the Gobbledy Gooker, as played by R-Truth.

There’s a bunch of Thanksgiving food at ringside and in the ring with the New Day dressed as pilgrims (with Woods’ shirt saying 6-1). They’re excited for Turkey Day and brag a bit about winning the one match for Smackdown. Kofi: “We were the 1 in 6-1!” Woods is thankful for his two terabyte hard drive so he doesn’t have to delete Spider-Man to play Red Dead Redemption II. Big E. is thankful for the succulent breasts…of turkey that is.

New Day vs. The Bar/Big Show

It’s a Thanksgiving Feast Fight. Before the match, Sheamus and the Bar talk about how stupid this is and how they want to fight. Joined not in progress after a break with Show chopping the shirt off of Woods and handing it off to Sheamus for the forearms to the chest. Cesaro grabs a chinlock for a bit but Woods pops back up and makes the tag off to Kofi. Everything breaks down and Show gets kicked through a table of food. The turkey is brought in and Kofi comes off the top with a turkey to Sheamus’ head, driving him through the mashed potatoes. Big E. turkeys Sheamus in the head for the pin at 6:39.

Rating: F. Remember last month when they did this with Halloween stuff? Well now it’s turkey stuff. I’m not sure why WWE thinks this stuff is funny but we’ll be seeing it again next month for Christmas and maybe even in February with some groundhog casserole. I know it’s a wrestling staple and I’m just rather done with being amused by it.

Post match Cesaro gets covered in cranberry sauce.

Randy Orton has a Mysterio mask and says it means nothing to him. It deserves to be destroyed, just like the man who wears it. Tonight, Orton is destroying him with an RKO.

Naomi/Asuka vs. Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose

It’s a brawl to start with Naomi and Asuka hitting stereo hip attacks to put them on the floor as we take a very early break. Back with Naomi getting stomped down in the corner and Sonya coming in for a choke in the corner. An enziguri drops Sonya though and the hot tag brings in Asuka to run through Mandy. Sonya gets knocked off the apron by mistake and there’s no one for Mandy to tag. A German suplex drops Mandy and a Shining Wizard gives Asuka two. Sonya tags herself in and nearly hits Mandy before getting kicked in the head by Asuka. Naomi hits the Rear View on Sonya and the Asuka Lock makes Mandy tap at 6:44.

Rating: D+. What does it say that I was relieved when Asuka didn’t lose to these two? Mandy and Sonya splitting will do both of them some good as WWE seems to want to push Sonya but you can only get so far when you’re teaming with someone like Mandy. Naomi and Asuka as a team still does nothing for me so it would be nice if we could just have Stephanie come out for her photo op with the Women’s Tag Team Titles.

We recap Randy Orton vs. Rey Mysterio, which started when Rey eliminated him from the World Cup at World Cup.

Lars Sullivan is coming.

At TLC: AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan for the title.

Here’s Daniel Bryan for a chat. Speaking in the third person, Bryan says he gave up on his dreams three years ago and betrayed himself when he retired. The difference between Bryan and the people is he doesn’t give up and accept failure. He decided to fight and went to every doctor he could find and spent three hours inside a hyperbolic chamber every day. The healing worked but it also allowed him to meditate on his mantra of “fight for your dreams and your dreams will fight for you.” And it worked!

How else can you explain the miracle of him being able to return to the ring? He heard the loudest YES chants ever and it was a great moment. For these people though, it was just a moment because they weren’t there for the struggle and the pain. They weren’t there for everyone telling him to move on. The people were the only ones who moved on and you can hear it as these idiots chant for AJ Styles.

Bryan calls them fickle and says last week, Bryan’s dreams took over like they were programmed to do and kicked AJ low. Bryan’s dreams told him that he didn’t need to beat Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series because he won when Brock beat the weakness out of him. There would be a new emergence after that match because the old Bryan, the one that these people loved, is dead. The YES Movement is dead and all that’s left is Daniel Bryan: WWE Champion. All that matters is that you never give up on your dreams. He goes to leave but has the announcer say he is the NEW Daniel Bryan.

It’s going to take some time to see how this sticks, but I think I can go with it for now. The problem of course is the fans cheering Bryan anyway because he’s going to be great in this role, but WWE has pretty clearly given up on the concepts of faces and heels so you can’t exactly expect anything else.

R-Truth and Carmella sell stuff and dance.

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton

Rey misses a very early 619 so Randy bails to the floor and gets taken down by a seated senton. Back in and Rey gets caught on the top, allowing Randy to get original by going for the mask. We come back from a break with Randy getting two off a hard clothesline. Another attempt at the mask is knocked away but it’s torn a bit on the side. A springboard seated senton and a wheelbarrow bulldog have Orton in trouble. Rey gets two off a top rope legdrop but the 619 is blocked again. Orton gets knocked to the floor so Rey tries the sliding splash…and lands in the RKO. Back in and another RKO finishes Rey at 8:34.

Rating: D+. I’m still not sure why WWE insists on ending the show with guys on this level so often. They’re fine, but really they’re ending it with the upper midcard in a feud that doesn’t have a lot of heat instead of their big stuff. I can understand that more on Raw when the show is ending at 11, but I’m really not sure I get it here. The match was watchable, but nothing more than that.

Post match Randy puts the chair around Rey’s throat and gently throws it into the chair, knocking Rey’s mask off. Randy takes the mask with him to end the show. This might be more effective if Ronda Rousey hadn’t had something similar happen to her on Sunday before she won a match the next night.

Overall Rating: D. I don’t know what I just watched. Once the show was over, I didn’t remember disliking anything that much save for the really stupid food fight, but looking back there’s almost nothing good, aside from the Bryan promo. This show felt like they’re completely ignoring Survivor Series (the sweep wasn’t mentioned and Shane’s advertised State of the State address didn’t happen.

I’m still not sure where they’re going with the stories. Are we supposed to cheer Charlotte after what she did on Sunday? Or like Shane because he fought oh so hard? It’s like this show just ignored Survivor Series but wanted to use some parts of it in different ways than they set them up in the first place. Why I’d want to see Shane vs. Miz isn’t clear, but that’s the case with almost everything Shane does. The show wasn’t bad at first look, but when you look back at it, I’m more confused than anything else.


Charlotte b. Billie Kay – Natural Selection

Charlotte b. Peyton Royce via DQ when Billie Kay interfered

The Bryant Brothers b. Shane McMahon/The Miz – Small package to Miz

New Day b. The Bar/Big Show – Turkey to the head

Naomi/Asuka b. Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville – Asuka Lock to Rose

Randy Orton b. Rey Mysterio – RKO

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