The SmarK Rant for WWE Friday Night Smackdown – 11.22.19
Live from Chicago, IL
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Corey Graves
Meanwhile, Roman Reigns and Baron Corbin and a whole bunch of geeks in blue t-shirts are waiting in the back for people to invade, but they’re still bickering amongst themselves. Oh no, what if they can’t get it together by Survivor Series? They might…well, I don’t really know what the stakes are here. But I bet they’re big and important!
Sasha Banks and her team of women join us to start, and they’re on HIGH ALERT. They’re gonna take care of business! What that business is, we don’t actually know. But it involves BRAND SUPREMACY. So Charlotte and her RAW team (Boo! I hate those RAW people because I’m watching Smackdown right now! Boo!) interrupt and Charlotte wants a singles match. A rumble is teased, but then Team NXT interrupts and now Rhea Ripley wants into the match as well. This is literally the first time they’ve established who is on the NXT team, by the way, although they don’t say any NAMES because, you know, that’s just crazy. It’s Rhea Ripley, Mia Yim, Candace LeRae, Toni Storm and Tegan Nox, by the way. So all the women yell at each other and a brawl erupts, and we take a break.
Charlotte v. Sasha Banks v. Rhea Ripley
Cole clarifies that the purpose of the match is to build momentum towards Survivor Series, so there you go. Cleared it right up. Charlotte takes Rhea down and goes for the leg, but Rhea pounds her in the corner and they trade high kicks, which Charlotte wins. Rhea dumps Charlotte, but Sasha sneaks in with a backstabber on Ripley for two. Rhea comes back with a series of clotheslines and a dropkick to put Sasha on the floor, but Charlotte comes in and sends Sasha into the stairs. This prompts a fight between teammates Sasha and Nikki Cross because they collided, and Charlotte moonsaults them as we take another break. Back with Rhea dropping Sasha on the top turnbuckle to take over while Charlotte has disappeared again. Charlotte reappears with Natural Selection on Ripley to break up a pin attempt and Sasha dumps Rhea, but Charlotte gets the figure-eight on Sasha and Rhea slides back in and hooks Charlotte in a crucifix from underneath for the pin at 10:21. This was OK but kinda meandered around for the most part. **1/2 And then we get a T-SHIRT BRAWL between RAW and Smackdown while the crowd chants for NXT. Charlotte’s face is all bloodied, possibly from her plastic surgery exploding, I dunno.
Meanwhile, Baron Corbin discusses his big plan with Roo-Dolph. If NXT and RAW invade, they’re gonna let them attack Roman. But then Sami Zayn interrupts and challenges them.
Shinsuke Nakamura and his hype man Sami join us, and Sami has one word to describe themselves: STUDLY. So Sami has a present for him to show his appreciation: A brand new and fucking ugly Intercontinental title belt. So Shinsuke pretends he can’t remember Roderick Strong’s name, and this brings out Undisputed Era. And this brings out the New Day, who challenge them to a tag match RIGHT NOW.
So, like, was there an actual card booked for the show tonight or are we just making the whole thing up as we go along?
The Undisputed Era v. The New Day & Heavy Machinery
Big E runs wild on all the Era guys to start and Kofi gets a springboard double axehandle on Adam Cole (Bay-Bay) and follows with a superkick, but Strong this Kofi with a backbreaker from behind and Fish comes in with a slingshot senton for two. Strong bends Kofi over his back with a submission hold, but Kofi reverses to a rollup for two. O’Reilly works the back and Kofi fights back and goes up for something, but Strong dropkicks him down and Kofi lands on Heavy Machinery on the floor and this prompts more potential momentum-killing dissention on Team Smackdown before Survivor Series, even though Heavy Machinery isn’t actually involved in Survivor Series as far as I’m aware. We take a break and return with Kofi making a hot tag to Otis, who no-sells all of O’Reilly’s kicks. Otis teases the Caterpillar on Cole, but the Era rescues him. Machinery double-team O’Reilly for two and Tucker gets a corner splash on Strong and a side slam for two. Tucker awkwardly goes up and manages to hit a moonsault for two, but Cole makes the save. Redragon double-team Big E, but he backdrops them out, so they drag him out and hit him with the high low. And then they take out Kofi as well. Back in the ring, Otis gets his Caterpillar on O’Reilly, but Strong hits Tucker with a high knee for the pin at 14:51. Eh. This was fine. Don’t care about any of it, really. ***
AJ Styles and the Good Brothers are out to trash talk Smackdown (BOO! I hate those RAW guys because I’m watching Smackdown right now! Boo!) and then Daniel Bryan comes out and we get the video of Bray Wyatt going “Yes yes yes” from last week. And then Miz interrupts and is he even doing anything at the PPV? Well anyway, he’s mad at Daniel Bryan and slaps him for some reason. Sure, why not. I guess Miz is a heel again. Sure, why not.
Impromptu Match: The Miz v. Daniel Bryan
So again, did they book ANYTHING for this show in advance in kayfabe? Outside of the one six-man match they’ve been advertising. Miz gets the heat during the break to start and hits the Miz Kicks, but Bryan comes back with an attempt at the Yes Lock and then goes up Miz crotches him. Bryan fights him off and gets the missile dropkick, then teases going YES, but then the lights go out and the Fiend appears and lays out Bryan out with the Mandible Claw for the fuck finish around 6:00. Well, there goes all of Bryan’s momentum towards Survivor Series. I hate it when that happens. *1/2
Shayna Baszler is here to call out Bayley, who attacks Shayna from behind but gets choked out on the floor. Bayley has now gone from a distinctively styled babyface hero to “50 year old single mom grabbing some Starbucks pumpkin spice lattes before getting ready to pick up her kids after yoga”.
King Corbin & Roo-Dolph v. Da Ali G Show In Roman’s House
Roman is so mad about whatever they’re supposed to be mad about that he hits all the heels with drive-bys , but Dolph cuts him off on the floor and the heels go to work on him in the ring. Shorty G comes in and suplexes the heels and gets a northern lights on Ziggler for two, but Corbin and Roode team up and slam him onto the announce table from the apron. Things are looking bleak for the babyfaces, and we take a break. Back with Roman now getting worked over, but Roman counters a Ziggler superkick with the superman punch and Ali gets a hot tag. The way they keep stressing that he’s in his HOMETOWN cannot bode well for him. Ali clears the ring and hits Dolph with a suicide dive, then dives onto Corbin. Back in, Ali escapes a chokeslam and gets a tornado DDT on Corbin, and then everyone does big moves on the floor while Corbin hits the Deep Six and pins Ali clean at 9:35. So of course the guy jobs in his hometown, before he’s supposed to be in the MAIN EVENT of the show, when Roode and Ziggler were right there and aren’t even on the PPV. **1/2 And then Roman is left alone in the ring as Seth Rollins and the RAW team (BOO! I HATE THOSE RAW GUYS BECAUSE I’M WATCHING SMACKDOWN! BOO!) and we get the big staredown with Reigns and Rollins while the crowd chants for CM Punk.
Oh god, they probably think that’s their big Wrestlemania main event, don’t they? They’re doing a hell of a job with this buildup regardless, especially with the way they’re keeping us in suspense about who’s on the NXT team and all. And then all the guys in the blue t-shirts come out and brawl with all the guys in the red t-shirts. Maybe that’s why Roman and Seth didn’t get a reaction here? Because Roman wasn’t wearing his blue Smackdown t-shirt and so people didn’t know who they were supposed to be cheering for.
But then, just like it’s 1998 again, Hunter and Shawn lead their NXT team into the arena in a TANK and everyone brawls. Amazingly, they have WALTER as one of the geeks in a NXT shirt and they didn’t even put him on this show. That would have been a lot better.
Also, I presume that at some point before the PPV we’ll find out who’s actually on the NXT team. I mean, it would just make sense, but then they went through this whole show with only one match booked, so who knows.
So yeah. Survivor Series this Sunday. Woo. All about BRAND SUPREMACY. Except for the matches that aren’t about brand supremacy. I think Daniel Bryan wants the belt? I’m not sure? Adam Cole might be fighting someone?
Hell of a buildup. Top notch. Way to sell those red and blue t-shirts. That CM Punk guy seemed pretty popular tonight, though.