Smackdown – November 27, 2018

Smackdown
Date: November 27, 2018
Location: Target Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s a night of returns this week as both AJ Styles and Becky Lynch are scheduled to appear, at least according to the preview. Of course the preview was rather wrong last week so you never know what you might get. My guess is three new authority figures, two long chinlocks and a rematch in a wrestling ring. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Paige to get things going and she wastes no time in welcoming Becky Lynch back. That’s good for a huge pop and Becky says when you’re the hottest thing going, any time away is too much. She was ready for Survivor Series but Charlotte had to fight for her, so Charlotte needs to come out here right now. This brings out Charlotte, with Becky saying that she told Charlotte to give Ronda the beating that she would have and Charlotte came close. Of course, if Becky had been in there, Ronda wouldn’t have been standing the next day.

Charlotte must be confused though, because it took her channeling Becky to give Ronda that beating. Charlotte says not quite because she was just being herself. She’s the only woman on either roster capable of giving Ronda that kind of a beating. With her genetics and mindset, she can do whatever it takes to get the job done. Becky says Charlotte just went from copying her old man to copying the Man but at least she beat the phoniness out of Charlotte over the last few months. Charlotte: “Man, Nia must have hit you harder than I thought.”

Charlotte is ready to fight again right now but Paige says not so fast. They can fight, but they’ll do it at TLC in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. This brings out the IIconics, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville and Zelina Vega. Any of them deserve a title shot, but Paige just won’t give them a chance.

This brings out Naomi, Asuka, Lana and Carmella to say any of them could be champ. Becky is willing to fight any of them right now but Paige says not so fast. If they all want to fight, we’ll have a battle royal tonight and the winner is added to the TLC match to make it a triple threat. Becky sounded great here and is just on another level right now.

Usos vs. The Bar

Non-title and there’s no Big Show due to an argument with the Bar earlier today where Cesaro took a right hand. The Usos start fast and go after Cesaro’s arm but Jimmy gets punched into the corner. Some stomping has Jimmy down as we take a break. Back with Jimmy still in trouble but Sheamus misses a charge, allowing the hot tag to Jey. Everything breaks down and Jey’s dive is cut off by an uppercut.

Sheamus adds a middle rope knee for two but gets sent shoulder first into the post. A superkick gets two on Sheamus but the Double Us is broken up with an uppercut to Jimmy and double knees to Jey. The spike White Noise is broken up and Jimmy rolls Cesaro up for two. A blind tag brings Jey back in and it’s a superkick into the Superfly Splash for the pin on Cesaro at 8:48.

Rating: B-. There were some great near falls in there, but my goodness find some fresh teams to fight. You have all kinds of people floating around WWE and so many of them have nothing to do. Make some new teams or throw in some of the older ones. Send the Usos over to Raw and bring….I don’t know, the B Team and Heath Slater/Rhyno over or something. Neither would be better than the Usos, but at least it’s something new.

New Day is laughing at a clip of Miz losing last week and Miz isn’t happy. Miz gets a match set up as a result, but Big E. lets it slip that he’s a big Marine fan. Pointing and wailing ensue.

Here’s AJ Styles for his first comments since losing the title. The 14 days since he lost the title have felt like a lot more than the 371 days he held it. He hates losing, but it was the way he lost. After a clip of the loss, AJ talks about the aftermath being what bothered him. We see a clip of Bryan’s speech about being a new man last week and AJ talks about how Bryan has been nowhere to be seen over the last week. Bryan better come out of his little chamber and show up at TLC. Make sure to bring the title though, because it belongs to AJ. Good fire from Styles here and the match should be great.

Video on Lars Sullivan.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev

Non-title. Nakamura jumps Rusev before the bell and hits Kinshasa. No match.

The roster is on the stage and Michael Cole is in the ring for a celebration of Jeff Hardy’s 20 year anniversary of signing with the company. Jeff comes out and we get a retrospective video on his career, showing just how big a deal he really was. Jeff isn’t sure how he did a lot of that stuff but thanks the fans for standing by him and being with him all these years. This isn’t a retirement speech because he’s got a lot left in him. He thanks his family for being there…and here’s Samoa Joe to cut him off.

Joe talks about being ready to drink a toast to Jeff, but you shouldn’t have alcohol around him. That was a great video package, especially since Jeff was so out of it he probably doesn’t remember a lot of it. Joe doesn’t like the idea of Jeff being given another chance when Joe hasn’t had his first.

Jeff doesn’t mind being put up on a pedestal no matter what he’s done, but those demons are always in the back of his mind. The next time, and there will be a next time, that Jeff messes up, there is a Samoa Joe path to recovery and it’s one painful step. Jeff says he’s always ready to live for the moment so let’s have a moment right now. And of course Joe walks away. Those were some harsh words but Joe needs to win something and it’s not like Hardy is there for much more than putting people over at this point anyway.

The Usos and Naomi sell stuff.

Kofi Kingston vs. The Miz

Miz works on a wristlock as pancakes are thrown around at ringside. Kofi sends him outside though and a big dive takes us to a break. Back with Kofi hitting the Boom Drop but Trouble in Paradise is caught. The SOS is reversed into a failed Skull Crushing Finale attempt, followed by an SOS to give Kofi two. Miz’s DDT gets the same but Big E. offers a pancake distraction so Kofi can grab a rollup for two more. A knee to the ribs cuts Kofi down so Miz DROPKICKS WOODS to take out the trombone. Miz grabs a chair but walks into Trouble in Paradise for the pin at 6:48.

Rating: C-. Well that was random. Kofi beating Miz is fine and it helps a bit that Miz going after the rest of the team cost him the win. It’s certainly better than having the Lucha House Party fight with an advantage and then still pretending to be the heroes. This seems to be building to Shane vs. Miz and….dang that makes me cringe a bit.

Here’s Randy Orton, carrying Rey Mysterio’s mask, for a chat. He talks about how people haven’t been happy with what he did but to him, it felt euphoric. Orton never understood what was so important about a mask like this because he never bothered to learn the history. What he did last week was meant to embarrass and humiliate Rey and bring him off the pedestal that the fans have put him on. At this stage in his career, all Rey is is just another of Orton’s victims.

This brings out Rey, still in a neck brace. The fight is on in the aisle with Orton getting the better of it and taking the brace off. Rey fights back and scores with a quick 619 to set up a second 619. It’s time for a chair but Rey takes too long and gets caught in the hanging DDT. Orton isn’t done and wraps the chair around Rey’s neck to slam it into the steps. Doing it again makes Orton look like that much more of a villain and that’s interesting.

Miz comes in to see Shane McMahon and asks where he was. He can’t will this team into existence and calls the Best in the World trophy their baby. They need to get it together.

Battle Royal

Carmella, Asuka, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Billie Kay, Peyton Royce, Naomi, Zelina Vega, Lana

The winner gets to join the TLC match at TLC and Charlotte and Becky are sitting at ringside. It’s a brawl to start of course and Vega is out less than a minute in. Lana is sent through the ropes (not eliminated) and Vega beats her up as we take a break. Back with the IIconics dumping Lana and Asuka sending the two of them to the apron. A hip attack eliminates both of them but Carmella kicks Asuka in the head.

Asuka kicks her out anyway but gets beaten down by Sonya and Mandy. A jumping knee to the face rocks Asuka but Naomi makes a save with some forearms. Mandy blocks a hurricanrana though and puts Naomi on the apron. Naomi pulls her out as well and backflips on the apron before sending Mandy into the post for the elimination.

Sonya knees Naomi out and it’s down to two, which the fans really like. Asuka starts throwing the kicks but gets taken down by a double leg. Mandy offers a distraction and gets kneed in the face, leaving both of them to be pulled over the top and out to the apron. Sonya makes the mistake of trying a charge though and gets kneed in the face to send Asuka to TLC at 10:19.

Rating: D+. This was quick and not terrible and I’ll certainly take what I can get with Asuka. She’s long overdue for a rebuild and just putting her in the title match is better than anything she’s done in a long time. I wouldn’t have her win the title or anything of course but it’s a little breath of air in the title picture and that’s almost always a good thing.

Overall Rating: C-. While not a great show, this blew away anything Raw did last night and that makes it easy to watch. The wrestling wasn’t the best thing in the world, though the segments were there to pick things up. Hopefully things continue to stay interesting and we get a strong build towards TLC. As long as Becky gets to keep talking like she did here, everything should be awesome.

Results

Usos b. The Bar – Superfly Splash to Cesaro

Kofi Kingston b. The Miz – Trouble in Paradise

Asuka won a battle royal last eliminating Sonya Deville

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