Smackdown – November 22, 2019

Date: November 22, 2019
Location: Allstate Arena, Chicago, Illinois
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

It’s the go home show for both Survivor Series and Takeover: WarGames. Normally the second show wouldn’t matter around here but the NXT roster is going to be around to make things a little more interesting. That could play out in several ways and I’m curious to see how it goes. Let’s get to it.

I was in the arena live for this show, sitting in the upper deck and looking straight at the Titantron. That being said, I couldn’t see a lot of the screen due to lighting equipment so there are parts of this that I didn’t see/hear live.

The Smackdown locker room is in the back in front of what looks like the door to the loading dock. King Corbin, Roman Reigns and others get up and say they know NXT and Monday Night Raw are here tonight. They literally open the door for them and say come on in. Sasha Banks gets up as well and, in that completely natural manner of speaking in WWE, says the women’s division is ready so let’s just do this right now.

Opening sequence.

Here are the Smackdown women to get things going, meaning we have to get the Snoop Dogg version of Sasha’s theme again. I get why they’re going with it but the other one is just much better to get a crowd going. Sasha says this is their ring and no one is going to jump them from behind. They jumped NXT last week so Team Raw can get out here for a fight right now.

Cue Team Raw so a single referee comes out to try and keep the peace. Charlotte thanks them for opening the door but Raw would have kicked it down anyway. If Sasha is interested, they can fight one on one for old times’ sake. Cue Team NXT through the crowd, with the lineup being revealed as Captain Rhea Ripley, Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Candice LeRae and Toni Storm, who has barely ever been in regular NXT.

Rhea wants to make it captain vs. captain vs. captain so NXT gets in the ring as well. As you might have guessed, the big brawl is on and we take a fast break. Back with things having settled down (after the brawl went all the way through the break and started again after being stopped once) and the bell ringing.

Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley vs. Sasha Banks

Sasha slugs away at both giants but walks into a double big boot for her efforts. That means it’s time to talk some trash until Rhea rolls out of a waistlock. A superkick rocks Charlotte but she’s right back with a big boot of her own. The shoulders in the corner keep Ripley in trouble but the last one misses, allowing Banks to come in and hammer away at Ripley. That doesn’t last long either as she sends Banks outside, only to have Charlotte get back up and start the fight on the floor. With everyone else getting involved, Charlotte busts out the huge moonsault and takes out Banks and Ripley as we take a break.

Back with Charlotte on the floor and Ripley dropping Banks face first onto the top turnbuckle. Banks is right back with the Meteora but Charlotte runs in with Natural Selection to Banks for her own near fall. Natural Selection hits Ripley as well, sending her straight to the ropes before the cover. That leaves Banks to get caught in the Figure Eight but Ripley comes in and crucifixes the bridging Charlotte for the pin at 9:41.

Rating: C+. The commercial took something out of this as the chaotic nature was great and made it feel like these women wanted to destroy each other. I really liked the ending too with Ripley showing intelligence and catching Charlotte when she wasn’t paying attention. All three were fighting hard here and it was a very entertaining performance from everyone involved, including the people on the floor.

Post match Charlotte and Banks keep up the fight with everyone else getting involved as NXT watches from the stage.

King Corbin tells Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler that they are going to bail when NXT interrupts their six man tag tonight while Roman Reigns, Ali and Shorty G. get beaten up. Then the three of them can beat up Roman and company again! Sami Zayn comes in and seems to want to fight, while holding a bag. If they’re interested, come see him in the ring RIGHT NOW.

Bayley isn’t worried about Sunday and invites Shayna Baszler to come after her face to face tonight.

Here are Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura for a chat. Sami knows that Corbin isn’t coming out here because Corbin is scared of him. People have called Sami annoying, but he would go with something more like….stud. The only person studlier than him is Nakamura, which is why Sami has gotten him a present. That would be a new Intercontinental Title, which is rounder with a black strap and a round center plate. It’s going to take some time for me to get used to that but it’s not bad.

Sami takes the old title, saying this is the only way to get it off of Nakamura. They’re ready for Sunday against AJ Styles and….whoever the North whatever champion is from NXT. Nakamura: “I’m drawing a blank.” Cue the Undisputed Era with Sami instantly getting behind Nakamura, as you would expect him to do.

The two of them leave with Adam Cole introducing the team and promising to win on Saturday and Sunday. That is undisputed, but here is New Day to dispute something. Kofi accuses the Undisputed Era of running off last week without a proper goodbye. They’re all here right now, so how about an eight man tag with these guys joining in?

Undisputed Era vs. New Day/Heavy Machinery

Strong takes Big E. into the corner to start but that doesn’t last long due to some straight power. Suplexes abound to send Fish and Strong down, with the former winding up on the apron for Big E.’s splash. A suplex drops O’Reilly on the floor and it’s Kofi slugging it out with Cole inside. Strong sneaks in on off a blind tag for a half nelson backbreaker though and it’s Kofi in trouble with Fish getting two off a double suplex.

Something like a Gory Stretch has Kofi in more trouble but he slips out and grabs a rollup for two. That’s not enough for a tag though as Strong is right back with a front facelock to keep Kofi down. Kofi fights out and goes up but Strong dropkicks him to the floor, where he lands on Tucker. Otis goes over to check on things but Big E. isn’t happy with that, with a near brawl taking us to a break.

Back with Kofi hitting a dropkick on Fish and diving over for the hot tag to Otis. House is cleaned (Graves: “Like the Kool-Aid Man with a bad attitude.”) and O’Reilly’s kicks are shrugged off by the power of….jiggling? Some corner splashes look to set up the Caterpillar but a save is made.

Tucker and Strong come in with a splash crushing Strong in the corner. A side slam gets two and Tucker’s moonsault is good for the same as everything breaks down. Big E. throws Fish to the floor (Cole: “Now it’s New Day’s turn to have some fun!”) but the Era cuts Kofi off. Fun haters. The very spinning slam plants O’Reilly and there’s the Caterpillar but Strong is back in with the jumping knee to finish Tucker at 15:04.

Rating: C+. Nice one here as it was more of a fun match than anything else. Putting two teams together to face the Four Horsemen style team worked very well and the Era gets to show that they can hang with and defeat main roster talent. I don’t think anyone seriously questioned that, but it’s nice to see it take place.

Post match Strong and Nakamura have a staredown on the stage. Cue AJ Styles to jump both of them but Sami makes the save before the Era gets up to the stage as well.

Survivor Series rundown.

Post break Styles and the Good Brothers are still yelling about how much they don’t like Chicago. Styles says he could clean house with anyone from this city. Cue the CM Punk chants, with AJ saying he would do it to him too. He’ll win at Survivor Series.

Here’s Daniel Bryan to summon (Summon?) Bray Wyatt. Bryan shows us a clip from last week with Bryan challenging Bray for Survivor Series and getting a big (and kind of maniacal) YES from Bray. Back in the arena, Bryan says he isn’t here to say YES or play with puppets because he wants Bray out here right now.

They can talk about the past or just fight right now….and there go the lights. They come back up with no one in the ring but here’s Miz instead. Daniel: “If there is one thing worse than Bray coming out here, it you.” Miz rants about how Bryan is being insane and how he has always tried to slap some sense into him. Instead he just slaps Bryan and I think you know where this is going.

The Miz vs. Daniel Bryan

Joined in progress with Miz hitting some YES Kicks but getting thrown outside for the running knee from the apron. Back in and Miz kicks him in the face for a pair of twos and the headlock goes on. Bryan starts with the strikes but gets caught with the corner clothesline. Bryan’s own running clothesline slows Miz down and he headbutts Miz off the top. The missile dropkick into the nip up sets up the real YES Kicks (Graves: “Night night Miz.”) and it’s time for the corner dropkick but we’ve got a Fiend as the match is thrown out at we’ll say 5:40.

Rating: C-. These two are always worth a look but there is only so much that you can get out of a match that only had about five minutes before Wyatt interfered. That being said, was there any reason to not have Bryan get the win here before the Fiend showed up? Bryan isn’t exactly on a roll here so let him get a quick pin and then do the Fiend stuff. It’s not like Miz has anything going on at the moment.

Here’s Shayna Baszler for a chat. She wastes no time in calling out Bayley so the jacket comes off, but it’s Bayley running in from behind with a chop block. The fight is on and they head to the floor with Baszler getting in the Kirifuda Clutch. Bayley drives her into various things to escape….and that’s it. No Becky appearance and no extra fighting. That’s quite the odd ending.

Quick look at last week’s tag match which set up this week’s six man.

Roman Reigns/Ali/Shorty G. vs. King Corbin vs. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler

Ali gets the huge hometown welcome, Corbin is brought out on the throne, and THANK GOODNESS Gable has lost the basketball jersey. It’s a small improvement but I’ll take everything I can get here. Reigns slugs away at Roode to start and the fight is outside in a hurry. Ziggler and Corbin get in a few cheap shots to take over on Reigns, who fights back inside without too much effort.

Gable comes in for some kicks and throws but Roode and Corbin slam him off the apron and onto the announcers’ table. We take a break and come back with Ziggler DDTing Reigns for two but walking into a Superman punch. The hot tag brings in Ali to throw some right hands and the rolling X Factor plants Corbin. The dive sends Ziggler into the announcers’ table and there’s the springboard tornado DDT to drop Corbin again. Roode’s spinebuster on the floor plants Gable but Reigns is right back with the Superman punch off the steps. Back in and it’s the Deep Six to finish Ali at 8:53.

Rating: C. This wasn’t a long match in the first place and a lot of it took place during the break. What we got was good enough though, even if they need to let the fans have something to cheer for without putting the heat on Corbin every single week. It’s good to do that a lot of the time, but it’s ok to not snatch everything away from the fans.

Post match Corbin grabs his scepter and goes after Ali but Reigns makes the save. Cue Raw through the crowd with Rollins getting in the ring for the big staredown. The fight is on, with the CM Punk chants being drowned out in a hurry. Braun Strowman leads the Smackdown charge to start the huge brawl…..and it’s Road Dogg/Shawn Michaels/HHH driving a tank into the back with NXT coming inside to make it an even bigger fight.

This is one of the wildest brawls I’ve ever seen and it’s Keith Lee staring Strowman down inside as the show ends with the fighting continuing. This ended WAY earlier than it should have, as Ali hit a huge super Spanish Fly onto the pile to knock everyone down, which at least gave Ali something back after getting pinned, which was completely necessary.

After the show was over, everyone headed to the back and D-Generation X offered to put Corbin on the team. HHH said “for the millions watching at home….even though we’re off the air because this will be on like in about five minutes” and a huge beatdown of Corbin ended the night as DX celebrated.

Overall Rating: B-. This is a case where you need to look at the bigger picture rather than the individual things. The point of this show was making me want to see Survivor Series and that worked out quite well. The wrestling was forgettable at best most of the time but every major story was addressed and the huge brawl at the end was excellent. I want to see where things go on Sunday and that is entirely the point of something like this. Get better wrestling and this is great, but as it is we’ll call it job done well enough.


Rhea Ripley b. Charlotte and Sasha Banks – Crucifix to Charlotte

Undisputed Era b. Heavy Machinery/New Day – Jumping knee to Tucker

Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz went to a no contest when the Fiend interfered

King Corbin/Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler b. Roman Reigns/Shorty G./Ali – Deep Six to Ali

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