KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 28, 2017
LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-A video recap aired of last week’s happenings with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn from almost being fired by Shane McMahon to getting beat up by New Day and the lumberjacks to Daniel Bryan booking Kevin Owens against Randy Orton this week rather than firing him.
-Shane McMahon made his way to the ring pounding his fits on his heart and slapping hands with fans. Phillips said he must’ve been pretty happy to watch the end of Smackdown from his hotel room. (Huh?) Graves said he couldn’t have been happy that Bryan didn’t follow through and fire Owens and Sami Zayn. Saxton agreed and said Shane expected them to be out of jobs this week. Shane got the usual “exclusive” right to get the cheap pop for mentioning the town they were in. He said Lexington, Kentucky bleeds blue. He said last week he was in the process of firing Sami and KO for betraying the Blue Brand because they admitted they had no respect for anyone else on the Smackdown roster or the commissioner’s office or any of the fans. He explained that he was looking forward to firing them until Bryan had another idea. He said he and Bryan have talked about what happened, but he’s going to let the fans “hear it from the horse’s mouth himself.”
Bryan came out to his music and the fans cheered and threw their arms in the air and shouted “Yes!” He entered the ring to a “Daniel Bryan” chant. He said he understands why Sami and KO should be fired, but as someone who has been fired himself, he believes in second chances. He said KO and Sami made a bad decision out of jealousy of not being involved in Survivor Series, but he said Shane’s temperament gets in the way of his better judgment sometimes. Shane said “in this specific case I agree you.” He reminded Bryan that KO beat his father unmercifully in this ring. He said, “Check on my temper there.” He said it was Sami who got involved in his his Hell in a Cell match against KO. “Double check.” And he said those two betrayed the entire Smackdown roster, so “triple check.”
Bryan said they did those things in the spirit of competition and trying to grab the brass ring. He said he sees real talent in them, and if he fires them, they’ll end up Raw. Shane: “Great, they’ll be my sister’s problem.” He mocked her “Yes!” chant arm gesture. Bryan said he took this job under the pretense that Shane didn’t want a yes-man or a puppet. He said if he wants that, he’s not his guy. He said he can recognize in-ring talent and give them opportunities and utilize them the best way possible, “then I’m your guy.” He said he needs him to trust him so when he leaves, he can make the decisions.
Shane said he applauds him for one thing – making the match-up of KO vs. Orton. He said he was going to add to the idea. He said the paper boy Sami Zayn is barred from ringside. He said tonight’s match will now be a no-DQ match. The crowd cheered, not realizing that almost always means KO can cheat at will.
(Keller’s Analysis: Bryan’s argument in favor of KO and Sami is pretty flimsy, but he stood up for himself and seemed firm in his position in the face of Shane, which was nice rather than having him just cower in the presence of a McMahon. I liked that after they were done talking on mic and Shane’s music played, they kept talking through things off-mic, giving things a sense of being more real and less of a tightly scripted performance.)
-They showed New Day and then Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable backstage. New Day were eating a turkey out of a big foil pan. Gable was pointing at the ingredients on the side of the Booty O’s box and cringing and then threw it over his shoulder. [c]
-Sami told KO backstage that every week they find a new way to stack the deck against them. They bumped into Bryan. Sami said he’s the reasonable one. He said it’s not fair to ban Sami from ringside. KO said he’s basically sending him to the gallows. Bryan asked Sami, “Who are you to make demands of me? Huh?” Bryan said they’re not the only ones trying to keep their jobs. He said the answer is no, “make that, hell no!”
(Keller’s Analysis: I was pleased to see Bryan wasn’t on his cell phone when Sami and KO walked up to him, but rather the camera followed Sami and KO chatting when they crossed paths with Bryan.)
(1) SHELTON BENJAMIN & CHAD GABLE vs. THE NEW DAY (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston w/Big E)
The Usos joined the announcers at ringside. Big E presented them with pancakes that he pulled out of his singlet. The Usos wondered if the syrup was supposed to be warm. Phillips and Graves were grossed out, but Saxton happily took the pancakes. They cut to a commercial a minute in. [c]
They stayed with the action, with Shelton getting the advantage on Xavier and grounding him with a face lock. Back live, Gable ran over and took a cheap shot at Kofi, which Phillips pointed out, cementing that Gable & Shelton are the heels even though they never really turned. The Usos were charming and gregarious on color. Xavier leaped off the top rope with a double stomp onto Shelton who was in backbreaker position on Kofi’s knee and that was good for the three count. The Usos said “those boys is really, really good.”
WINNER: The New Day in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I liked the heel Usos better than clowning Usos doing weird Southern accents and acting a little much like the Hype Bros.)
-As New Day celebrated, Phillips told Byron if he eats the pancakes, he has to leave ringside. Phillips then threw to the angle last week when Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan showed up and then attacked Naomi. They also showed them attacking Charlotte later.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s pretty clear neither Raw nor Smackdown announcers are addressing how similar the dual debuts of trios last week were. I suppose that means it was lazy creative decisions rather than some coordinated two-front attack by a six woman faction.)
-Charlotte was backstage all dressed up. Naomi walked in and asked if she was ready for a payback. Charlotte recited some scripted lines. Naomi said they can’t stop the glow, especially when she’s standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the Queen. Natalya walked in and said Charlotte should be thanking them from interrupting their match so she could keep her title one more week. Natalya said she’s willing set aside their unfinished business to teach those three you don’t make a name for yourself at the expense of the women of Smackdown Live. She said they may be big fish in a small pond, but tonight they’re going to remind them why they’re at the bottom of the food chain. Charlotte said she hopes they enjoyed their five minutes of fame, but after tonight no one is going to remember their names.
(Keller’s Analysis: There wasn’t one line there that felt authentic, like actual human being talk. They might as well have been animatronic beings programed to recite those lines. The way they stood, the way they emoted, the way they took turns talking like that, nothing at all felt real. I suppose WWE isn’t going for authentic. Go back and watch old Saturday Night’s Main Events from the mid-1980s and it was happening then, but those were the first tightly scripted promos on a Vince McMahon show. It really stood out at the time, but now it largely blends in as normal and par for the course. But that doesn’t make it good?)
(2) THE HYPE BROS. vs. THE BLUDGEON BROTHERS
WINNERS: The Bludgeon Brothers when Erik Rowan pinned Ryder in 1:00.
-Charlie Caruso interviewed The Hype Bros afterward. She asked Zack Ryder how it feels to have another setback. She said they’ve been trying to get on track for a while. Ryder said a year ago they were top contenders to the tag team titles, but that feels like a lifetime ago. He said they’ve hit rock bottom and something has to change. Mojo Rawley gave him a forearm to the back. As Ryder looked up at him, Mojo stomped on him. He mounted him and punched away and yelled “The Hype Bros. are dead! You hear me?” Graves said he can’t believe he’s saying this, but something needed to change and he respects Mojo for this. Two referees tried to pull Mojo off of Ryder. Mojo eventually left.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’ve long thought there was more potential with Mojo than being in a lower level tag team. I think he has something more in him to have more of an edge and more credibility. So this is good. I’m not sure anyone wants to see Mojo vs. Ryder in a feud, though.) [c]
-Some lady asked Mojo why he attacked Ryder. “Like he said, the landscape has changed,” he said.
-They went to the announcers. Bryon said he’s not surprised Mojo snapped, but the degree to which he attacked Ryder surprised him. Phillips then commented on highlights of last week’s lumberjack match main event.
-Caruso interviewed Bobby Roode backstage and asked him for his reaction to Baron Corbin accidentally striking him last week during the lumberjack match. Roode didn’t buy that it was an accident. He said when Corbin called him absent-minded, that was definitely not an accident. He said Corbin likes to call himself a lone wolf and the alpha male in WWE, but deep down Corbin knows someone is out there smarter and better than him who will take away his WWE Championship. He said Corbin gets scared and holds onto his U.S. Title “EVER SO TIGHT” (he began yelling for no reason). He said that threat is “ABSOLUTELY…” Before he could say – yell – GLORIOUS, in walked Corbin who said he can’t seriously believe he’s scared of him. Roode said he should prove it against him tonight. Corbin nodded but then leaned in and said, “No.”
-The Singh Brothers walked onto the stage and introduced Jinder Mahal as the soon-to-be WWE Champion again. Then Styles made his ring entrance for his match against the Singh Brothers. Jinder attacked Styles from behind. The ref scolded him. Mahal shoved Styles ribs-first into the ringpost. Graves said there might not even be a match tonight. They cut to a break with Styles writhing in pain on the floor. [c]
(3) A.J. STYLES vs. THE SINGH BROTHERS (w/Jinder Mahal)
Phillips said the Singh Brothers can just pick apart Styles now. Graves said it’d be embarrassing for Styles to lose here. Byron asked how it would be embarrassing after he was beat up by three guys. (I’m not sure you’re allowed to call “Superstars” just “guys” in WWE on commentary. Come on, Byron, sound more unnatural and less official.) When Styles teased a comeback, the Singh brothers took out his leg. Styles ended up knocking Sunil down and then gave a Styles Clash off the second rope to Samir onto Sunil. The announcers popped big for the move. It was good for the pin. Styles avoided a post-match attack by Jinder, who was fuming mad inside the ring afterward. Byron said his plan backfired. Graves agreed.
WINNER: Styles in 3:00.
-Jinder was upset with the Singh Brothers and gave his Khallas to them afterward. The fans chanted “You still suck!” Graves said there’s emotional unrest in that man’s mind and he wants his WWE Championship back and will stop at nothing to get it back.
Got comments or questions about Smackdown? Be sure to send them to email@example.com during the show and we might read them on tonight’s taping of the Post-Smackdown edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast on Podcast One.
-Dasha Fuentes interviewed Ruby, Liv, and Sarah. She brought up Charlotte saying no one will remember their names. Ruby reminded everyone of each of their names. Liv said her brain might be foggy from the beating they gave her. Ruby said Becky is in traction in Houston somewhere. Ruby said they’re not there to audition for “Total Divas” or make friends, they’re there to turn the Smackdown Live Women’s Division upside down. She said she has two of the most dangerous women on her side. She said Liv is her firecracker who can go off at any moment. Live said he could pop off like a firecracker on the Fourth of July. (I don’t think that was meant to be played for comedy, but Liv couldn’t get through it without seeming to laugh at the stupid line.) Sarah said she is the grittiest Southern belle she has ever met. She said she comes from a family of hunters and this week they’ve set a trap and are about to bag three big game trophies. Ruby said they’re about to experience a riot.
(Keller’s Analysis: I was expecting Lance Russell to show up and say he’d handle this interview, because that was Memphis circus 1983 in terms of green rookies trying to get through a promo with awkward verbiage as someone held the mic for them. Lance would have made that watchable.)
-New Day pitched WWE Shop merchandise. [c]
(4) CHARLOTTE & NATALYA & NAOMI vs. RIOTT SQUAD (Ruby Riot & Liv Morgan & Sarah Morgan)
As Charlotte made her ring entrance, Phillips talked about Starrcade and they showed an Instagram pic of Ric Flair and Charlotte strutting together. They also showed Ricky Steamboat greeting Shinsuke Nakamura and endorsing him. Also, they showed Arn Anderson giving a spinebuster to Dolph Ziggler. Whatever happened to that Ziggler guy, anyway? (The ring entrances for those three took four minutes! My God.) And here come Riot Squad all together. (Thank God.) After Natalya got beat up early, she tagged in Charlotte and then left. She said she doesn’t want to have anything to do with any of them. That made it three-on-two (#HardMath). They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on a split screen.
Charlotte took control against Ruby during the break. Sarah and Liv interfered to break Charlotte’s momentum. As Riot had Charlotte grounded on the mat, Liv and Sarah double-teamed Naomi. They threw Naomi into the barricade. They threw the top of the stairs aside so hard it practically bounced up into the front row. Then they set up the base on edge and whipped Naomi into it. Medical staff checked on Naomi as the three heels then isolated Charlotte in their corner. Morgan headbutted Charlotte in the chest. Graves said she’s “a raw-boned country girl who beats you up and enjoys every minute of it.” Charlotte made a comeback and rallied with a spear of Morgan. Riot charged and shoved Charlotte into Liv’s knee, then Riot kicked her and scored the pin. They showed Naomi being take away with her head immobilized on a gurney.
WINNERS: Riot Squad in 9:00.
-Some woman stood outside of Randy Orton’s locker room. He brushed right past her rudely when she tried to ask him a question. Nice. [c]
-They went to the announcers who plugged “Total Divas.” Then Bryon excitedly threw to “Fashion Files.”
“Fashion Files – Sawed” then aired with a green tint to the filter. Tyler Breeze and Fandango were chained in a shower stall. Ascension were with them, also chained up. An iPod showed a clown character saying they need to learn a lesson for mocking the tag team division. He said they have to escape within one minute or a poisonous gas will fill the room. Breeze began pounding on Fandango’s abs for some reason. They found the key in the stuffing to the head of Fandango’s hobby horse. Then Breezango unlocked their chains and left without helping Ascension. The gas began filling the shower as they coughed and apparently died.
(Keller’s Analysis: I have no idea what to say. In 20 years people will talk about these like people today reflect on Fuji Vice.)
-Kevin Owens walked to the ring to his music. [c]
(5) RANDY ORTON vs. KEVIN OWENS
Orton went for an immediate RKO, but Owens bailed out to ringside. Orton charged at him with a clothesline. He threw him into the ringside steps. Then he threw him over the announce desk. Orton nailed Owen’s back with a kendo stick. Owens yelled, “F—!” He was bleeped. He grabbed his arm. The kendo stick shattered and splintered, so Orton grabbed a fresh one. Graves said this is what happens when you tick off Shane McMahon. Bryon said, “And the entire Smackdown roster.” Owens dropped to ringside and surprised Orton with a shot with a kendo stick of his own. Then he gave Orton a fallaway slam into the barricade. They cut to a break. [c]
Owens continued to dominate after the break until Orton avoided his cannonball in the corner. Fans chanted “RKO!” Orton gave Owens a superplex for a two count. “We Want Tables!” chanted the fans. Then came a snap powerslam for another two count. Orton snapped Owens’ neck over the top rope and then threw him into the ringside barrier. Phillips noted there were no countouts. Graves said everything is absolutely legal. Orton then suplexed Owens onto the announce table. It didn’t break. He threw Owens back into the ring and then pounded the mat to signal for the RKO. Owens, who has ears, decided to roll out of the ring instead of get RKO’d. He fled into the crowd where a camera was conveniently stationed. Orton pursued him and they fought onto the stage. Sami then attacked Orton with a chair. Byron said Sami was barred from ringside. Graves said he’s not technically at ringside. Good point. Phillips said it’s a no DQ match. Owens then dragged Orton back to the ring. Orton surprised Owen with a DDT off the middle rope. Orton stood and then pounded the mat again. Owens blocked an RKO and clipped Orton’s injured leg. He then superkicked Orton and landed the frog splash for the win. Graves wondered what the ramifications would be for Sami.
WINNER: Owens in 17:00.