Smackdown – November 19, 2021

Smackdown
Date: November 19, 2021
Location: XL Center, Hartford, Connecticut
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

It’s the go home show for Survivor Series and that means it is time to hype up the Battle Of Brand Supremacy. We don’t have anything else to talk about on the show because there are no title matches or really anything personal to build towards, but maybe Big E. can show up to avenge his friends. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s main event, with the Usos getting Roman Reigns DQ’ed against Xavier Woods. Reigns got the crown anyway.

Here are the Usos to promise to win on Sunday and gives a passionate introduction to Roman Reigns. The throne is set up and Paul Heyman talks about how much he deserves to be crowned king more than anyone else. Heyman says Xavier Woods should never be king, nor should Big E., who will be smashed this weekend by the Tribal King. Reigns asks for the mic and wants to know whose idea this was. He has no idea why anyone would want this because he has already put in the work. Reigns: “HARTFORD, ACKNOWLEDGE ME!”

Cue Xavier Woods to say he challenges Reigns for tonight, with the Usos (referred to as the goons) staying in the back, but the stuff in the ring doesn’t matter. Reigns likes that and tells the Usos to destroy the throne and everything else. Only the crown is left, so Reigns gives him one more change to save it. Woods charges in and gets beaten down. Reigns has him dragged to the middle and says he doesn’t need props. The crown is destroyed and Woods is sent into the pieces. This is one of the best feuds going in WWE today and I’m looking forward to Woods challenging Reigns at Day One in Atlanta.

Post break Woods can’t walk through the back but he’ll be in the ring to face Reigns tonight. Everyone knows the Roman Empire wasn’t built in a day but it will fall tonight.

Cesaro vs. Sheamus vs. Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal

The winner gets the final spot on the Survivor Series team. Cesaro and Sheamus knock the other two down to start so Sheamus can clothesline him. Sheamus does the Bar pose and then beats Ricochet up, only to get sunset flipped for two. Mahal is back up with a knee to Ricochet’s head and they pair off again. Ricochet is tied in the ropes so Sheamus can hit the forearms but Mahal rolls Sheamus up for two. That sets up the forearms to Mahal’s chest but Ricochet is back in to clear out Sheamus and Cesaro. A crazy high springboard flip dive takes out everyone and we take a break.

Back (with a graphic showing everyone’s name and face, which is a REALLY nice thing to have and something that should have been around a long time ago) with Sheamus superplexing Mahal, followed by Ricochet’s super hurricanrana to Cesaro. We hit a parade of taking each other down, leaving Cesaro to Swing Mahal.

The parade of secondary finishers is on but Mahal can’t Khallas Ricochet. Instead it’s Ricochet up with the 630 to Mahal but Sheamus Brogue Kicks him down. Sheamus gets two on Mahal with Cesaro making the save before uppercutting Sheamus out of the air. The Neutralizer is loaded up but here’s Ridge Holland for a distraction, allowing Sheamus to Brogue Kick Cesaro for the pin at 11:01.

Rating: B-. There were some awesome spots in here and Ricochet looked like a star. You could go with a few different choices for the win here and Sheamus works well enough. You can always use a big brawler on a team and while it would be nice to see Ricochet getting the spot, at least it isn’t trying to shine Mahal up again.

Jeff Hardy is excited to team with some very talented people this year, but Happy Corbin is in his own world. Cue Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss, with the latter calling Hardy a redneck. Adam Pearce comes in to say he wants Smackdown to win on Sunday (Since when?) but for tonight, it’s Moss vs. Hardy. That makes Hardy point and laugh in a nice moment.

Sheamus is happy to have Ridge Holland in his corner and can’t believe he was Holland’s inspiration. To the bar they go.

Commentary introduces a long video on Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch, with an acknowledgment of their feud that the media has been talking about. This is a really weird feud as the most of the thing is about something that didn’t officially happen on WWE TV but everyone has heard about it and WWE is running with the thing. I could go with some kind of a direct acknowledgment, but this is feeling more like the AEW model where “yeah but everyone knows what we mean.” You can’t do it all the time, but it’s working here.

Anyway, we see the awkward title exchange and get a talk about how their careers will always be intertwined, including the first women’s match to main event Wrestlemania. Then we move into their on-screen stuff as of late, which is more of a traditional feud between two titans of the division.

Natalya/Shayna Baszler vs. Aliyah/Naomi

Aliyah starts fast with a hurricanrana to Natalya and everything breaks down in a hurry. Shayna grabs the Kirifuda Clutch on Naomi but Natalya tags herself in. That’s broken up and Natalya grabs a rollup for a fast count pin at 1:03 (with the referee bolting to the back). I don’t know if you’re picking up on this, but we might have a corrupt authority figure around here.

Sami Zayn tells Sonya Deville that everything is wrong with his documentary but Sonya has an idea: let’s have a 25 man battle royal at Survivor Series in honor of 25 years since the Rock’s debut. Hold on though as the referee pops in to ask if she did a good job in the women’s tag. Sonya has no idea who she is because she doesn’t associate with crooked referees so get out of here.

Madcap Moss vs. Jeff Hardy

Happy Corbin is here with Moss, so Hardy brings out Drew McIntyre to be in his corner. Hardy starts fast and takes Moss down, setting up the Swanton in a hurry. Corbin goes for a distraction so McIntyre throws him over the announcers’ table. Moss catches Hardy on top and tries a suplex but gets reversed into into a small package to give Hardy the pin at 1:45.

Post match McIntyre kicks Corbin in the face and Hardy adds the Swanton to Moss.

We recap the opening sequence.

Kayla Braxton scares Paul Heyman again and yes he has heard Xavier Woods’ challenge. He is tired of this idea that Roman Reigns needs the Usos. Reigns loves the challenge like Kayla loves Heyman, so tonight Reigns will face Woods later tonight.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Angel

Non-title and Angel TAKES OFF HIS PANTS before the bell. Nakamura starts fast and kicks Angel down, only to dive into a dropkick. We see Los Lotharios photoshopped onto People Magazine as the Sexiest Men Alive as Nakamura hits a knee off the apron. Rick Boogs beats up Humberto and the distraction lets Nakamura hit Kinshasa for the pin at 1:43. This was really messy with too much going on at once despite how short it was.

Post match, Humberto jumps Nakamura and runs off.

We look back at Shotzi turning on Sasha Banks a few weeks ago.

Shotzi and Banks glare at each other in the back with Sonya Deville cutting them off. Shotzi goes on a rant about how payback is a….and she’s cut off. Banks says everyone tries to make a name off of her and yeah, payback is a b****, and so is she. Sonya wants them to shake hands after their match.

Sasha Banks vs. Shotzi

Shotzi drives her into the corner to start but Banks cools things down with a headlock. Banks grabs Three Amigos but has to bail out of the frog splash attempt. Shotzi misses a charge to the floor, where she avoids Banks’ dive off the apron. The arm gets caught in the steps so Shotzi can kick away, allowing her to dive back in and break the count. Back to the floor and Banks gets sent inside for one before sending Shotzi back outside.

The Meteora off the apron drops Shotzi and we take a break. Back with Shotzi working on the arm but Banks kicks her away and hits a really good looking top rope Meteora for two of her own. Shotzi is right back with another arm snap over the top and a ram into the post. Back in and the Ball Pit connects, only to have Sasha roll outside. Banks is fine enough to grab the Bank Statement, but uses her leg to pull Shotzi’s head back for the tap at 11:09.

Rating: B-. This felt like a fight and that’s how they should have been going at each other. Banks nailed some of those Meteoras and the Bank Statement at the end was a cool finish. It would be nice to not have Shotzi lose all the time, but beating Banks is a career win that she isn’t quite reach for yet. Good match though as Shotzi continues to be treated like a somebody.

Post match Sonya Deville comes out to watch the handshake. They do shake hands, but Banks pulls Shotzi into a Backstabber.

Roman Reigns asks Paul Heyman if it is time, with Heyman confirming that it is. The Usos are told to stay in the back for this one.

We get a vignette from Xia Li in the form of a comic book. She talks about her dad protecting her as a kid and then dying for some reason. It made her feel vulnerable and their landlord was all over them. He threw their stuff out of their house and into the street, which made her hate vultures. Now she is the protector and she is coming to Smackdown. Cool.

Toni Storm is fired up for Survivor Series, but also after challenging Charlotte last week. We see Charlotte turning her down last week and Toni thinks that makes Charlotte vulnerable. After Survivor Series, she still won’t be scared of Charlotte. Cue Charlotte to say Toni can be next on the list after Becky Lynch. Charlotte makes threats of destruction and walks away, which Toni interprets as fear. Of note: Toni’s 80’s deal was nowhere to be seen here and she was just a normal person.

Here is Xavier Woods to call out Roman Reigns. Last week the Usos interfered when Woods has Reigns beat, because Reigns can’t beat him. Cue Reigns and Heyman, with the latter calling for the Usos. They don’t come out but do get tossed through the entrance….because Big E. is here. The fight is on in the aisle and Reigns is sent into the barricade. Big E. sends Reigns inside and the beating is on.

The Usos come in and get beaten up as well, setting up Woods’ big dive. Reigns is back up with the Superman Punch to Big E. but the spear is countered into a Big Ending attempt. Reigns bails away (while seeming to favor his left arm a lot) to end the show. This was a hot segment and what they have been waiting to do for a long time now.

Overall Rating: B. This was a heck of a show with the Woods vs. Reigns stuff being flat out great. It’s a story that anyone can identify with as they would want to see Woods get some revenge on Reigns. Other than that, they did a nice job of setting up the pay per view, plus whatever is coming next. They were focused this week and that has been lacking over the last few weeks.

Results
Sheamus b. Cesaro, Ricochet and Jinder Mahal – Brogue Kick to Cesaro
Natalya/Shayna Baszler b. Naomi/Aliyah – Rollup with a fast count to Naomi
Jeff Hardy b. Madcap Moss – Small package
Shinsuke Nakamura b. Angel – Kinshasa
Sasha Banks b. Shotzi – Bank Statement

 

 

 

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