The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown Live–11.15.19

The SmarK Rant for WWE Smackdown Live – 11.15.19

Live from Philadelphia, PA

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Corey Graves

Remember, they’re battling for BRAND SUPREMACY. Which we know because Michael mentions it within 5 seconds of the show starting.

King Corbin joins us to start, along with Team Roo-Dolph, and he’s here to tell some truth. Apparently it is no longer a yard in the possession of Roman Reigns, but a Kingdom ruled by himself. And now he’s also team captain at Survivor Series, as if anyone ever gives a shit about who is a team captain for these matches. Meanwhile, Shorty G and Ali got added to the match when they didn’t belong there, so tonight we have a match to determine who is actually in this match. And then we really crank up the hilarity, as they call out “The Big Dog” and then a guy in a dog suit comes out for a hilariously BITING parody. See, Roman is the BIG DOG, and this guy is in a dog suit! Plus there’s dog barks overlaid on Roman’s music. MY SIDES ARE SPLITTING! And that’s the segment!

Team Roo-Dolph v. Team Ali G In Da House

Gable takes his former tag team championship partner down with some wrestling moves. Hey, remember when Roode and Gable were tag team champions earlier this year and having great matches? For like four months? No, we’re just gonna ignore it because it was six months ago? OK then. G and Ali work on Ziggler’s arm in their corner and Ali beats on Ziggler with forearms and rolls into an X-Factor for two. Roode gets the heat on Ali and slugs away in the corner while the announcers point out that Gable is dressed like someone “cosplaying as a basketball player” to really get him over. Ali gets knocked off the apron and into the announce table and Roman Reigns randomly comes out as we take a break. Back with Ali backdropping Ziggler over the top and going for the tag, but Ziggler cuts him off with a fameasser for two. The replay shows he literally made no contact on the move and Ali basically took a phantom bump. Ali fights back with a superkick and Gable gets the hot tag and throws suplexes, then follows with a neckbreaker on Roode and a moonsault for two. Roode comes back with a spinebuster into a Zig Zag for two, but Gable spins into an anklelock on Ziggler. Roode makes the save as Reigns hits Corbin with the Drive By, and Ali dives onto Roode outside. In the ring, G with the Chaos Theory into Ali’s 450 for the pin at 13:00. The big takeaway: Mustafa Ali got his first name back at some point in the recent past. Good for him. Match was good. *** But here’s a simple question: How is the clusterfuck 15-man three way at Survivor Series any more interesting than just doing a six-man with these guys at the PPV instead? Since there’s actually an issue here and the match seems like it’d be pretty good?

Last week, Sami Zayn offers his managerial services to Daniel Bryan, but the lights go red and the Fiend lays Bryan out. Because Daniel Bryan v. Bray Wyatt worked out so well for them the last time they did it, I guess.

Meanwhile, on the Firefly Fun House, Bray Wyatt changes the Universal title from red to blue with TV magic. Has anyone actually established whether Bray Wyatt is the champion or the Fiend is the champion?

Meanwhile, Roode and Ziggler bitch at King Corbin about losing the match, and the guy in the dog costume is still hanging around with them. With any other wrestling promotion this would be building to a payoff where someone big was in the dog suit, but here I’m giving equal odds for it just getting forgotten by the end of the show.

Braun Strowman v. Drew Gulak & The B-Team

I think this is a match? Gulak has been completely destroyed since going to this show, ruining all the good work they had been doing with him all year. Gulak demands to take his place in the Survivor Series match, and so Braun destroys all three guys and powerslams Axel, and I guess that it’s not a match because they just play his music. OK then.

Meanwhile, The New Day serves pancakes and gets ready to defend the tag team titles in honor of Xavier Woods. He’s not DEAD, for chrissake. He’s probably home making video game streams as we speak.

Meanwhile, Sami Zayn and Nakamura make another pitch for Bryan’s services, but he deflects them and pitches Braun Strowman instead. So we get a wacky bit where Sami goes on a rant about Braun and then HE’S STANDING RIGHT THERE. Because people in WWE world do not exist unless they’re on camera, and are invisible and silent until they step into frame.

Smackdown tag team titles: The New Day v. The Revival

So the New Day made their entrance before the break, and then had to stand there in the ring while they did the entire backstage segment, and then finally the Revival makes their entrance. Cole is all offended that Corey thinks Big E should go solo and be a singles star, because the New Day is a TEAM, man!

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Kofi does some stuff and gets cut off by the Revival, and we take a break. This encompasses the entire heat segment, apparently, as we return with Big E getting the hot tag, but he misses the Big Splash. Dawson comes in and slugs away, but E hits him with a uranage and then walks into a tornado DDT from Wilder that gets two. E and Wilder clothesline each other for the double down, but Kofi gets the tag and dumps the Revival, then hits them with a dive. Back in, they set up for the finish on Dawson, but Wilder breaks it up and Dawson DDTs Big E for two. E launches Kofi onto the Revival on the floor, but they send him into the post to get rid of him. Back in, Shatter Machine gets two, but Kofi makes the save. And then the Undisputed Era runs in for the DQ at 10:00 and beat up both teams. This was going good before the fuck finish. ***

Heavy Machinery v. Kevin Tibbs & Kip Stevens

Squash of the local enhancement guys as the announcers discuss whether there’s ever been a tough guy named Kip. I’m assuming that’s not one of their veiled burials of Billy Gunn, but one never knows. Caterpiller on Tibbs and Compactor on Kip finishes at 2:15. The big takeaway: The jobbers helpfully had their names on their tights in big letters so I could tell who they were. I always appreciate that.

Bayley v. Nikki Cross

This is not for the Women’s title, it’s for something for more important: BRAND SUPREMACY. Yes, if Nikki wins, she gets to join Team Smackdown. Shayna Baszler runs in immediately and Bayley runs into the crowd, where the other NXT women chase Bayley back in. And then Sasha comes in and attacks Shayna and we get a big brawl, setting up an impromptu tag match.

Sasha Banks, Dana Brooke, Carmella and Nikki Cross v. Mia Yim, Rhea Ripley, Tegan Nox & Dakota Kai

We get various wristlocks to start and Carmella moonwalks at Mia Yim, but gets caught in the NXT corner and worked over. Team Kick double-teams her for two and Nox chokes her out on the ropes for two. Sasha comes in and faces off with Rhea Ripley, and gets slammed for her troubles. Sasha reverses another slam into the Bank Statement, but Rhea powers out and then everyone comes in and bitches at each other as we take a break. Back with the Smackdown women hitting some big moves on Rhea to send her to the floor and everyone does their highspots, but Nikki hits a neckbreaker on Kai out of nowhere and pins her at 9:57. Not particularly good and pretty sloppy overall. *1/2

So…I guess Nikki is just part of the team now? We never really established how that stipulation played out. But, I mean, why would we?

Miz TV with special guest Daniel Bryan! Miz wants to know if he’s the New Daniel Bryan or the Yes Yes Yes guy, but Daniel points out that Miz TV sucks and he’s got passion combined with mental instability, and that’s a dangerous combination. He kicked a man in the balls to win the WWE championship! To be fair, HHH did that a couple of times, too, and he seems pretty stable. Anyway, Bryan gets interrupted by the Firefly Funhouse, as Bray finds his new favorite toy in the toybox, the Universal title, and then Daniel Bryan gets into an argument with Bray’s puppets, which leads to Bray accepting a challenge for the title at Survivor Series. And then Bryan goes “Is that it?” to Miz and we’re out. I feel the same way, man.

This was a show I would deem “OK” building up to a PPV I could not care less about. The match combinations do nothing for me, although they’ll probably be good, but this stuff with “Team Blue v. Team Red” is just the dirt worst laziest booking possible.