Smackdown – November 20, 2020

Smackdown
Date: November 20, 2020
Location: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

It’s the go home show for Survivor Series and there are still three spots to fill in on the Smackdown teams. I can’t say I’m overly surprised as WWE likes to take their time, but this is really cutting it close. Other than that…well there isn’t all that much, but we’ll probably get some talking about the champion vs. champion matches. Let’s get to it.

The Street Profits are in the newly refurbished Champions Lounge and talk about how Sunday is going to be Undertaker’s Final Farewell. Montez Ford rolls his eyes back in his head and the thunder and lightning start….and here’s Big E. with a sombrero. Big E.: “It was all they had in props.” They talk trash about Sunday’s match with New Day, with Angelo Dawkins promising to beat Kofi Kingston so badly that his Jamaican accent will be back. The Profits will break bread with New Day anytime but on Sunday, they want the smoke. Big E. says it’s cool because New Day is here tonight and hits the catchphrase.

Here are Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods in the arena, asking if there is a big fist breaking through glass or if they can check into the Smackdown Hotel. Either way, they’re here to talk to the Street Profits, because they want the smoke instead of this fire. Woods says they’re dead men, which Kofi says is rather harsh. Kofi: “I just want a match dude. I don’t want them dead!” Woods says it’s just his way of shifting to talk about the Undertaker, so they both lay down and do the sit up.

Cue Sami Zayn, who says Undertaker is leaving because he knows Sami owes him some revenge. Undertaker chokeslammed him in Madison Square Garden so now he’s taking the coward’s way out. United States Champion Bobby Lashley isn’t leaving so easily, even though WWE wants to protect one of their poster boys. Sami gets in the ring and says he’s going to give New Day a chance to start talking about the hottest thing in WWE: himself. Woods comes up with the best compliment he can: Sami’s outfit makes him look like a dad who just put a down payment on a studio apartment.

Cue King Corbin to say New Day just had a farewell match a month ago so they don’t need to be here. Woods says that was their farewell match as Smackdown stars but tonight they’re here as Raw stars. Violence is teased so here are Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode to interrupt. Ziggler says New Day and the Street Profits trading the titles cost them a title shot, so New Day has an idea: they’ll defend the titles tonight, but they might as well face Corbin and Zayn instead.

Zayn appreciates the offer but doesn’t want to strain something before Sunday and they’re not a team, but they could beat Roode/Ziggler easily. Woods suggests the two teams fight and the winners get a shot tonight…..so Roode and Ziggler jump New Day. Cue the Street Profits for the save, with Ford hitting a big flip dive to take the villains down (and to impress Kofi at the same time). Please just do the eight man so I don’t have to watch either Ziggler or Corbin wrestle twice.

Street Profits/New Day vs. King Corbin/Sami Zayn/Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler

Joined in progress with Ford dropkicking Ziggler and Dawkins coming in to suplex Ford onto Ziggler for two. Kofi and Roode come in with Kofi hitting the jumping back elbow to the face. A dropkick sends Roode into the corner, with Kofi explaining to Ford the proper way to throw one. The Unicorn Stampede is on before Corbin comes in to hit Deep Six on Woods. A sunset flip gives Woods two and it’s already back to Ford for a dropkick of his own. Everything breaks down and Kofi’s spinning crossbody hits Ford by mistake and we take a break with Kofi upset.

Back with Ziggler chinlocking Ford and driving him back into the corner so Corbin can hammer away. Corbin slams him down and then hammers away with right hands. Ford flips out of Ziggler’s belly to back though and hits the enziguri, allowing the double tags to Kingston and Roode. House is cleaned but Trouble in Paradise misses, allowing Woods to tag himself back in. After Woods gets his own near fall, Dawkins comes in for the spinning corner splash on Roode, who tags Sami in a second later. That’s not cool with Sami, who gets caught with the spinebuster into the Cash Out to give Ford the pin at 12:38.

Rating: C+. The action was good, even if this is the kind of match that you might have seen a few dozen times. Ford didn’t seem to remember the crossbody after the break but it’s not like they have anything else to build the match at the moment. Also we didn’t have to watch Ziggler or Corbin twice in a night so it could have been much worse.

Post match Sami stumbles to the back and says that shouldn’t count as he runs into Daniel Bryan. Sami yells a lot as Bryan puts on a mask and then keeps shouting so Bryan shoves him down. Bryan says he tries to social distance as much as possible.

Post break Bryan looks back at Jey Uso beating and attacking him last week. Bryan talks about how everyone has an angel and a devil on their shoulder and no he isn’t concerned about coming back too soon. Bryan was the one who heard his kid crying every night and couldn’t even pick her up. Tonight, Jey needs to be worried because Reigns, the devil on his shoulder, got him here. As usual, Bryan can bring the emotion when he needs to.

Adam Pearce has picked the final member of Team Smackdown because there is something about his story that he likes. It’s Otis, which makes Chad Gable very proud. They go off to get ready so Pearce turns around to see Natalya. She says she should be on the team too but now she has to face Tamina in a qualifying match. Pearce says the other spot has been taken by Bayley, but Natalya needs to go now because her match is next.

Seth Rollins talks about how Murphy was nothing until Rollins saved him and gave him a new life. Now Murphy owes everything he has to Rollins, from his career to his new girlfriend. After tonight, Murphy goes back to being nothing.

Survivor Series Qualifying Match; Natalya vs. Tamina

Bianca Belair is on commentary but hold on because here’s Bayley to sit in as well. Tamina knocks Natalya out to the floor and then hits some elbows back inside. Natalya is right back with the discus lariat though and the Sharpshooter makes Tamina tap at 1:46. Well that was quick. Natalya even kisses the referee on the cheek in celebration.

Post match the Riott Squad comes out so the entire team can pose.

We look at Drew McIntyre showing up last week and confronting Roman Reigns, who told him to win a World Title and come see him at Survivor Series. Then McIntyre beat Randy Orton on Raw and now the match is set for Sunday.

It’s time for the contract signing with Reigns and McIntyre, with Reigns making sure to sit at the head of the table, as he should. Reigns says he knew McIntyre could do it because he’s been in those shoes. Paul Heyman told him years ago: he is the right guy in the right place at the wrong time. McIntyre says Reigns isn’t going to get inside his head because he already has his match on Sunday.

Reigns told him to go win a World Title and that’s exactly what McIntyre did. McIntyre signs and says it’s Reigns’ move, but he has some advice: please underestimate him. Spend the last two days of peace to prepare for war. Reigns doesn’t seem to appreciate that because he’s the one who gives advice.

Now he is going to let McIntyre sit underneath the learning tree. On Sunday, McIntyre is not going to understand the brutal truth but one day he’ll learn that he is a secondary title holder. McIntyre has the title that people get when Reigns is busy (that’s a great line). Reigns is the head of the table and one day McIntyre will have the chance to do that. When that is true, he’ll look back at these nights and thank Reigns.

McIntyre is going to thank him and Reigns will love him right back, because McIntyre will always be his favorite #2. Reigns signs and Heyman hands him the title. This was really good, partially because they were just talking (without holding microphones) and you could feel the power struggle.

We look back at last week’s Final Chapter between Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins, with Murphy helping Mysterio by attacking Rollins.

Seth Rollins vs. Murphy

Rey, Dominick and Aalyah Mysterio are here with Murphy, who gets knocked off the apron during the entrance. Murphy says he has this and charges in to start the brawl in a hurry. Rollins ties him in the ropes and asks if Murphy remembers this. It’s time to grab a kendo stick but Rey takes it away, only to get punched in the face. Dominik gets beaten down as well but Murphy gets loose and makes the save, only to get shoved HARD off the top and down into the barricade.

Back from a break with Murphy’s Cheeky Nandos kick being blocked, allowing Rollins to grab the Sling Blade for two. Murphy gets in a kick to the face to stagger Rollins though and there’s a dropkick through the ropes to the floor. The big running flip dive drops Rollins again but Rollins is right back with the superplex into the Falcon Arrow.

They head to the apron to slug it out and Murphy hits a good looking jumping knee. Rollins is fine enough to hit the Stomp on the way back in but Murphy gets a foot on the rope. There’s the Buckle Bomb but another Stomp is cut off with the jumping knee. That works so well that they do it again, followed by Murphy’s Law to plant Rollins for the pin at 11:09.

Rating: B-. This was a good and hard hitting match to FINALLY end things and hopefully frees up both of them to do something else. They beat each other up rather well and Murphy gets a huge boost, but what matters is WWE following up on it. That has never been their strong suit, but the pieces are there to make it work.

Michael Cole is in the ring with Asuka and Sasha Banks to talk about how this Sunday will be the finale of a big rivalry. They have traded the Raw Women’s Title over the last few months but Banks says it’s Boss Time all the time. She has time for Asuka though because Asuka is one of the best ever. Asuka laughs about Summerslam but Banks promises to make her tap on Sunday. Asuka: “YOU CAN’T SEE ME!” Banks: “I can see you and for once I can finally understand you.” Banks is ready to fight right now but here’s Carmella to jump her from behind and tie her in the Tree of Woe. Asuka watches on but doesn’t seem happy.

Jey Uso doesn’t like Daniel Bryan saying Roman Reigns is the devil inside Jey’s head. The only devil is right here and he made himself beat Bryan up. Tonight, he’s doing it again.

Jey Uso vs. Daniel Bryan

Bryan takes him down by the leg to start and then kicks away for a bonus. Back up and Uso gets in a hard shot to the face, meaning it’s time to take off the elbow pad and get serious. They head outside with Jey sending him into the steps and loading up the announcers’ table. Commentary points out how evil Jey looks but Bryan fights back and hits the missile dropkick back inside.

Bryan is holding his back but is still able to strike away in the corner. A backdrop puts Jey on the floor and Bryan hits a suicide dive, sending Jey hard into the edge of the table. Bryan’s charge is backdropped through the table though and we take a break. Back with Jey hammering away but shouting that this isn’t personal. A headbutt to the ribs has Bryan in more trouble and there’s a backbreaker to keep him down. Jey hits a top rope superplex for two but has to fight out of the YES Lock attempt.

Some hard knees to the ribs and back have Bryan in more trouble but Bryan crotches him on top. That means a belly to back superplex, with Jey landing hard on his shoulder. Bryan grabs the arms and starts stomping at the head but the superkick cuts Bryan down. A low superkick sets up the Superfly Splash but Bryan gets the knees up, setting up the small package to pin Uso at 13:50.

Rating: B. This was a hard hitting fight and Bryan coming out with the win was the right call….at least I think it is. Uso has now lost back to back matches, but he has been losing to former World Champions so it’s not like this is some huge demotion. They probably shouldn’t have had Jey lose on the way to Survivor Series, but this felt like a way to start the build up of Bryan as Reigns’ next challenger.

Overall Rating: C+. Good enough show here, but there some of the stuff they did to build to Sunday really didn’t make me want to watch the show. The opening tag felt like what they came up with at the last possible second (likely because it was) and really showed that these champions have no important reason to be fighting. That makes for some rather wacky television and that was the case here, save for Reigns vs. McIntyre which felt big because of who was involved. The other stuff worked, but I really need a better reason for people to fight other than they both have titles.

Results

Street Profits/New Day b. Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode/Sami Zayn/King Corbin – Cash Out to Zayn

Natalya b. Tamina – Sharpshooter

Murphy b. Seth Rollins – Murphy’s Law

Daniel Bryan b. Jey Uso – Small package

 

 

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