The SmarK Rant for WWE Friday Night Smackdown – 11.29.19
Live from Birmingham, AL
Your hosts are Michael Cole & Corey Graves
Roman Reigns is here, and Michael Cole DOESN’T WANT TO HEAR any more crap about Roman Reigns “not being a leader” after the way he solely survived and defended the honor of Smackdown at whatever that last PPV was. In case you haven’t heard, he’s still the Big Dog, dammit. So Roman is here to talk about Thanksgiving, good health, family, and happiness. And the crowd still boos all that. That’s cold, Birmingham. So Roman puts over his team, except for one member, who is a dummy. Maybe he should try to get the fans to chant “King Dummy” now and they can make t-shirts and shit. So Corbin comes out and Roman offers him another chance to get the job done TONIGHT, IN THIS VERY RING. So Corbin deflects by talking about the 1% rich people turkey that he got to eat and then insults the turkey in Birmingham, where turkey is allegedly very bad. They’re really reaching here for ways to get heat on Corbin. So instead of Corbin, Reigns gets to face Robert Roode, because apparently we need to BUILD UP to Roman Reigns v. Baron Corbin and make people wait to see it on a medium where they need to pay money for it. I don’t like their chances of getting people to do that.
Roman Reigns v. Robert Roode
There’s too many Rs in this match. Just saying. It’s like two secret identities in a Stan Lee comic. They trade headlocks to start and Dolph runs interference, allowing Roode to stomp away in the corner, but Reigns slugs back and Roode bumps to the floor. Roman follows with a Drive By, but gets distracted by Ziggler again, and Roode runs him into the announce table to take over. Like, seriously, couldn’t they just find something else for Reigns to do instead of wasting another two months with the most boring heel stable since TNA died?
Wait, I’m being informed that TNA is STILL AROUND? Really? Huh.
Anyway, we wonder if Roman can build any momentum and take a break, and return with the knowledge that indeed Roman can build momentum via clotheslines in the corner. Roode puts him down with the Blockbuster and sets up for the DDT, but Roman cradles for two and powerbombs him for two. Ziggler pulls Roode out of the ring to stall for time, and Reigns follows like a big dumb dummy, allowing Roode to send him into the stairs. Back in, Roode goes up, but lands on a superman punch and that gets two. Roman tries another, but Roode counters with a spinebuster for two. Corbin sends his scepter into the ring and then takes the ref, but Roman spears Roode for the pin at 12:33. Just a cookie cutter WWE formula “1-2-he got him-no he didn’t!” TV match. **1/2 The heels proceed with the beatdown afterwards and Roode puts his head on a chair and then attempts to cave in his skull with the scepter, which seems like a bit of an extreme overreaction given there was a guy in a dog suit involved just two weeks ago. And then Roman comes back and spears him through the barricade and throws chairs on him before tipping the entire announce table over on top of him, and most horrifyingly, spilling Michael Cole’s Monster energy drink.
So, this was, like, the first 40 minutes of the show. It’s all normal, fine, babyface stuff with Reigns, but this feud really doesn’t need nearly half of the runtime of the program being dedicated to it.
The Firefly Fun House sees Bray Wyatt offering Daniel Bryan another shot at the Universal title. Because they’ve got another PPV to fill time with in December.
Mustafa Ali v. Drew Gulak
Hey, Sheamus is coming back! I thought he was done due to spinal problems. Apparently this is a heated feud based on Drew Gulak doing a spicy Powerpoint presentation on Twitter. No, really. Gulak cuts off an attempt off the top with a slam for two and takes Ali down with a half-crab, but Ali reverses into a superkick for two. Ali goes up and the 450 finishes at 3:10. Man, Gulak is just dead in the water since the draft. *1/2
Sasha Banks and her soccer mom friend join us to whine about Smackdown losing at Survivor Series, and they put the entire women’s division on NOTICE. This brings out Lacey Evans, who wouldn’t trust them to “lead the chicken dance at a garden party”, and she wants to be the locker room leader now, and knocks out Sasha to prove her point. What a weird babyface character.
Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan is ready to answer Bray’s challenge, but the Fun House interrupts, as Bray teaches the pig puppet about the true meaning of Thanksgiving, which leads to a rap video that appears to have been directed by Tim & Eric and features Bray rapping about reptillians trying to take over the Earth. What am I even watching? Meanwhile they keep cutting to Daniel just standing there watching the screen like a geek, and he has no answer to the challenge yet because apparently this storyline needs another couple of weeks to fully gestate. Even though Daniel got beat up for weeks and then lost cleanly to the Fiend already.
Sonya Deville v. Nikki Cross
Sonya takes her down with a sliding knee for two and goes to a chinlock, but Nikki cradles her for the pin at 1:30. The heels go for the beatdown, but Alexa Bliss returns to make the save, after we haven’t seen “for quite some time” according to Cole. This is not particularly exciting to the crowd.
Meanwhile, The Miz gives Daniel Bryan some advice about not facing Bray Wyatt again, because he’s just too important to Smackdown and his family can’t afford to lose him. IT’S BRAY WYATT IN A DAMN MASK. He’s not literally killing people. Christ.
Meanwhile, Drake Maverick puts the moves on Dana Brooke, and Elias pops out of the backstage area after disappearing for weeks. See, now he’s someone who’s been gone for quite some time with no explanation. He sings a song for Drake about his wife finding out and that’s the segment. This was dumb.
Smackdown tag team titles: The New Day v. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura
Sami Zayn rages against Thanksgiving on behalf of his team, which is funny because none of the three are from a country where this particular holiday is celebrated. So we take a break and join things with Kofi getting beat up in the corner and then sent into the announce table as we take a break with the New Day’s championship reign in jeopardy! Back with Big E missing a splash on Nakamura, but he gets a uranage in the corner for two. Nakamura hits a kick out of the corner and Cesaro follows with a splash off the top for two, however. Big E escapes the Neutralizer and the New Day double-teams Nakamura with a Doomsday Device variation for two. Cesaro saves and the heels bail, so E tosses Kofi outside and Cesaro cuts him off with a forearm on the floor. Back in, Kofi counters the Kinshasa with a rollup for two, but Nak gets a second try for two. That looked pretty bad. Cesaro gets rid of Big E and batters Kofi with forearms in the corner, then chokes Kofi out on the ropes. Sami runs in and tries to interfere, but gets caught by the ref and ejected from the match for illegal use of pancakes, and Kofi hits the Trouble in Paradise for the pin to retain at 12:00. I don’t know why they had to go through the whole deal with ejecting Sami and then just went right to the finish. This was fine otherwise. **1/2
Daniel Bryan joins us for the main event interview, as he’s still really torn up about this whole Bray Wyatt thing, man. But fighting the Fiend made him realize that he really does love the fans, and he goes YES YES YES again to prove it. So Bray pops in again to fulfil his promise of a new face in the Fun House, and the lights go out before the Fiend pops out from under the ring and DRAGS DANIEL BRYAN STRAIGHT TO THE DEPTHS OF HELL.
So, you know, Happy Thanksgiving. Presented by Progressive!
What a nothing show this was.