11/27 WWE Smackdown Results: Keller’s report on Becky Lynch’s return to TV, A.J. Styles replies to New Daniel Bryan, more TLC developments

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

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NOVEMBER 27, 2018

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves

Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Jason Solomon of the Solomonster Sounds Off podcast to break down the show with live callers, an on-site correspondent, and the mailbag.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com


-They opened with a shot of the lower bowl opposite of the hard camera and then cut to the ring where Smackdown G.M. Paige stood and introduced Becky Lynch. Phillips said Becky suffered a severe concussion from a broken face caused by Nia Jax when she invaded Raw two weeks ago. Graves said before her injury, Becky had Ronda Rousey locked in an armbar backstage and showed dominance Ronda hadn’t experienced. Becky began: “When you’re the hottest thing in this entire industry, any time away is too much time away.” She said she bled, fought, and won “and I showed up the next night to fight, and I showed up at Survivor Series to fight, but I was stopped.” Boos. “Not no mo’, baby girl,” Becky said, imitating Paige. She said she’s putting herself back in the game. She said she had to watch someone else step into her shadow and fight Rousey at Survivor Series, so she wanted to address that right away. She called Charlotte to the ring. Saxton said, “Boy, is this going to be interesting.” Phillips addressed the “long, difficult history” between them.

(Keller’s Analysis: It’s so smart of Becky to refer to herself as the hottest act in the industry. She has to talk about herself like that to cement what fans believe to be the case already, but aren’t used to seeing in a woman wrestler in WWE.)

As Charlotte walked out, they showed freeze-frames of Charlotte attacking Rousey with a kendo stick last week. There were some “woos” amidst the “Becky!” chants. She reacted a bit to that with a quizzical look. She told Charlotte she came pretty close, but if it had been her, Rousey wouldn’t have been standing the next night. Becky said it took Charlotte channelling her to take it to Rousey. Charlotte told Becky she wasn’t trying to be Becky, she was being herself, the seven-time women’s champion and the only wrestler on the WWE roster capable of giving Rousey the beating she deserved. She said it’s “because I’m genetically superior.” She said she has the mindset to get the job done. She let out a “woo’s!”

Becky said she went from copying her old man to copying The Man. She accused Charlotte of being a “bootleg Becky.” She said she is happy she beat the phoniness out of her the last few months. Charlotte said Nia must’ve hit her harder than she thought. “Oooohs” from the crowd. “You went from quirky to delusional,” Charlotte said. “You’re the one copying my old man and still managing to ride my coattails.” She said she stands out in a crowd, she’ll be at TLC, and she was born ready. She turned to Becky and said she fought her herself, not Becky,  because Becky couldn’t. She offered to fight Becky again right now. They began yelling at each other, and Paige stepped between them and told them to be quiet. She said she hasn’t seen that much fire from Charlotte before. She said Charlotte will get her Smackdown Title match against Becky at TLC in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match.

(Keller’s Analysis: If this happens, it’s presumably good news that Becky’s concussion isn’t that bad.)

The IIconics, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, and Zelina Vega walked out. Rose said any of them could have done the exact same thing to Ronda that Charlotte did. She complained that Paige doesn’t give them the time of day. She complained that Paige gives opportunities to her old PCB buddies instead of her Absolution teammates. Naomi walked out with Asuka, Lana, and Carmella. Fans chanted for “Asuka.” Naomi said they agree with what Mandy just said. She said Smackdown’s Women’s Division is loaded with talent and any of them can become champion. Becky told them to bring it on. Paige said she loves this passion. She said everyone woman will be in a battle royal, and the winner will be added to the match making it a Triple Threat.

(Keller’s Analysis: They have a red-hot singles match with Charlotte and Becky, and they add Tables, Ladders, Chairs steps because “it’s December” and now they’re going to add a third person? Yuck. I get that they are probably “saving” Charlotte or Becky doing a job until a blow off on a bigger stage than December’s TLC. With the copout finish to Charlotte-Rousey at Survivor Series, they have to start doing some finishes eventually. A third person in the match will be seen as a likely “designated jobber” in this match. Charlotte seemed heelish and more on her game and confident than she’s seemed in a while. Becky was just Becky, and showing the type of unflinching bravado that helped make Conor McGregor a mega-star in MMA. It’s telling, despite terrible booking, that fans are still clearly behind Asuka like they are.)

-The announcers hyped upcoming segments on Smackdown including A.J. Styles speaking and Jeff Hardy’s celebration.

-They showed the Usos backstage cutting a promo. [c]

(1) THE USOS vs. THE BAR (Cesaro & Sheamus)

They cut away to a commercial early in the match. [c]

They stayed with the acton on split screen. Sheamus settled into a headlock on Jey Uso and then fended off a comeback attempt and tagged out to Cesaro as they returned to full screen action. A comeback attempt by the Usos was thwarted when Cesaro caught Jey with an uppercut as he flew off the top rope and then Sheamus raised his knees to catch Jimmy. He then rolled up Jimmy for a near fall. During some chaos, Jimmy rolled up Cesaro for a near fall. Jey tagged in and the Usos finished Cesaro after a double-roundkick, super kick, and frog splash series.

WINNERS: The Usos in 10:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: What you’d expect from these two teams. Good action, hard-hitting and athletic.)

-Backstage The New Day were laughing at something on their phone. Miz asked what they were watching. Xavier said it’s Miz’s best work. Miz assumed it was “Marine 6” and said he didn’t know they were “Mariners,” his name for fans of the Marine movie series. Xavier said, “We’re not watching Marine 6 starring Becky Lynch.” Big E said they were watching him lose last week. When New Day said they were the only Smackdown wrestlers to win at Survivor Series, Miz said their match “didn’t even count” and they weren’t standing at the end of the match they’re bragging about winning. Miz said he’s going to go to his “co-bestie” Shane McMahon to set up a tag match tonight. Miz left. Big E went into a spiel about Marine’s lead character. Xavier and Kofi said they knew that Big E was a “closet Mariner.”

-Saxton plugged the Jeff Hardy celebration later.

-A producer told A.J. Styles backstage, “It’s time.” Styles got up and headed toward the stage. [c]

-Styles walked out to cheers. He said for 14 days he’s been without the WWE Title, and it’s felt longer than the 371 days he did have the championship. He said nobody likes to lose, and he hates losing, but it’s the way he lost that bothers him most. They showed a clip of Styles knocking down the ref, and then Bryan kicking Styles in the crotch followed by the running knee. Graves said it shook Smackdown to the very core. Then they showed Bryan’s stomps to Styles’s head afterward. Saxton said he was displaying “a whole new attitude.” Styles said he knew there’d be a target on his back when he became champion, but who knew the target would move somewhere else. He looked down at his crotch. He said he knows what it’s like to want something so bad, you’ll do anything to get it. He said the beating was so severe he wasn’t medically cleared to be at Survivor Series or Smackdown last week. He said he watched Bryan explain his actions last week from home. They aired a clip of Bryan’s promo last week.

Styles said it’s a bunch of a b.s. and trash. He said he doesn’t care if it’s the new Daniel Bryan or old Daniel Bryan, it looks like the same face to him and he looks forward to smashing it in. He said, “We don’t have to wait until TLC; we can do this right here, right now!” Fans chanted “Yes!” Styles said Bryan is not there, though. Boos. He said he wasn’t at the live events this past weekend, either. He said Bryan has been watching Raw and getting ideas how they do things over there. He said this isn’t Raw, it’s Smackdown Live, the house A.J. Styles built. He said for 371 days, he never missed a live event or a PPV or Smackdown Live. “I was the champ, and this is where I belong.” He told Bryan to roll out of his hyperbaric chamber and be ready at TLC, and be sure to bring the WWE Championship with him because it belongs to him.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good fiery promo from Styles. He made the championship the key issue. I wish there was a little more about personally being puzzled by Bryan’s change in personality, and perhaps make that case that what disappoints him most about Bryan tactics is that it seemed to be a result of not having any faith in himself to win on the up-and-up, and how that disappointed him because he, too, was a Bryan fan.)

-WWE bragged that Smackdown Live last week was the most socially active show on all of TV. (That and $5 buys you a $5 latte from Starbucks.)

-They went to the announcers at ringside who talked about the pending arrival of Lars Sullivan. Graves said he’s “The Freak.” They showed the same vignette that aired on Raw.

(Keller’s Analysis: When Smackdown goes to Fox next fall, the true indicator of which show is the A-show is which show gets to show vignettes first. Raw is first now because it’s Monday and it’s the A-show, but when Smackdown is on Friday’s, there’s no logical reason Smackdown shouldn’t air most of these vignettes first around half the time.)


Graves said the Mall of America is going to be changed to “Mall of Nakamerica.” He said it’ll send the economy through the roof in Minneapolis. Nakamura attacked Rusev from behind as soon as he entered the ring. He attacked him at ringside with a running knee. Saxton said Nakamura is fearful of Rusev and had no plan to actually compete tonight. Nakamura’s music played and held up his U.S. Title as he walked to the back.

WINNER: No contest.

(Keller’s Analysis: Nakamura and Rusev flew to Minneapolis for that? I get that it builds anticipation for Rusev to get his hands on him, but that’s a night off for both guys.)

-Phillips plugged the women’s battle royal. Saxton hyped Hardy’s celebration. [c]

-They showed the exterior of Target Center in Downtown Minneapolis.


-Michael Cole stood mid-ring for this special segment. He introduced Jeff Hardy, who is celebrating 20 years in WWE. They had posters on easels in the ring. They aired a video package of Hardy highlights. Lots of Jim Ross calling the big spots. Back live, the stage filled with wrestlers applauding Hardy. Hardy looked emotional. Fans chanted “Hardy! Hardy!” He said he doesn’t know what to say after watching that other than “Thank you all!” He said he can’t believe he did half of that stuff. “What’s wrong with me?” he said. “Oh my gosh.” He said this business has given him a creative outlet to express himself. He said his face-paint is so much better than ten years ago. He said through it all he’s lived the highest of nights and lived the lowest of lows, and no matter what he got himself into over the years, they have stuck by his side. He said he’s grateful for that. Fans chanted “Thank you, Hardy!” Then came a “Delete!” chant. He laughed and said, “Delete that.” He said he wouldn’t be there without his wife and daughters. He thanked them for making this night possible. He said it’s far from a retirement speech, and they can find out together what his future is going to be. As he wrapped up, Samoa Joe’s music played.

Joe asked Hardy to forgive his tardiness. He said Hardy’s highlights were amazing, but he probably wasn’t coherent enough to remember any of it. “I do not celebrate weakness and I do not believe in second chances, especially when there are men like me who are yet to get their first.” He said despite all of the mistakes Jeff has made over and over, he allows himself to stand in the ring on a pedestal, and that makes him sick. He said as many times Jeff has made fans get off their seats, there are just as many times he let the fans down. He said people like him never change and the demons never go away because they’re always lurking in the background waiting to take control. He said the next time he feels powerless, he is offering him his hand. He said it’s a one-step program and it’s quick but not painless.

Hardy said no matter what Joe says, he can’t rain on their parade. He said he has walked the tight rope for twenty years and almost ended his career twenty times. He said he’s ready to live for another moment, so how about they make one together right now. Cheers. Joe set the mic down, and appeared headed toward the ring, but then he turned and left, walking past Shane McMahon and R-Truth and a rare Smackdown sighting of Mike Kanellis.

(Keller’s Analysis: That worked. I’m not sure how I feel about tempting fate like that with Joe’s promo crossing into real life, but it’s a story Jeff’s been very open about over the years. It gives Joe something new to do after that oddly early elimination from the Survivor Series tag match. That promo got Joe trending high on Twitter.) [c]

-The Usos and Naomi hosted a WWE merchandise plug for their post-Cyber Monday sale.

(3) KOFI KINGSTON (w/Xavier Woods, Big E) vs. THE MIZ

After ringside antics by Big E (with a hip thrust) and Xavier (with a trombone), Kofi leaped through the ropes and tackled Miz a minute into the match. [c]

They stayed with the action on split screen during the break. Miz took over. Back to full screen, Kofi caught Miz leaping off the top rope with a dropkick. Kofi went for Trouble in Paradise, but Miz caught his leg and went for a figure-four. Kofi countered and went for an SOS, but Miz countered with a Skull Crushing Finale attempt, and then Kofi countered with a victory roll for a near fall. Kofi hit the SOS for a near fall seconds later. Miz came back with a DDT for a near fall. Big E stood on the ring apron with a stack of pancakes to pad Miz slamming Kofi’s head in the top turnbuckle. Kofi then rolled up a distracted Miz for a near fall. Miz wrecking ball kicked Xavier for playing the trombone at ringside. Miz brought a chair into the ring as the ref was checking on Big E. Xavier took it away. Kofi then connected with Trouble in Paradise for the win.

WINNER: Kingston in 8:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Whatever last week was for Miz, he’s back to being a foil for New Day’s slapstick antics. With the shortage of credible popular babyface depth right now, wouldn’t it make sense to put New Day in singles feuds, if not turn one of them and break them up? This zany fluff slapstick routine is so tired. Casual fans get a kick out of it, but it’s so superfluous it’s underutilizing the talents of all three at this point.)

-Randy Orton stood with his back turned to the camera. He slowly turned to face the camera. Graves said he would address last week’s attack on Rey Mysterio next. [c]

-Phillips said Orton has made it his mission to knock WWE’s heroes off of their pedestals. He said Orton has moved from Joe to Rey. Graves said Orton has vowed to erase them, and what better way than to take the identity from Rey. Orton said people say he is disgusting and disturbing for what he did to Rey last week. He said if he had to choose a word, he’d choose “euphoric.” He said he never really understood what the big deal was about the piece of trash mask he ripped off of Rey’s face. He said he never bothered to learn the history because he didn’t care. He said what he did last week wasn’t meant to disrespect Rey’s culture; he said what he did was meant to embarrass him and humiliate him and take him down off the pedestal the fans have put him up on. He said at this stage of his career Rey is nothing more than another one of his victims “of the R…” He was interrupted before he could finish saying RKO with Rey’s music. Rey had another mask on and walked out in a neck brace. Orton went right after him at ringside, but Rey got the better of him.

They fought into the ring where Rey gave Orton a 619 and a roundkick to the head. Orton fell onto the middle rope and then Rey hit another 619, although Orton did lift his hands to protect his face before he bumped backwards. Rey held a chair in the air at ringside and brought it into the ring. Orton recovered enough to kick Rey and then DDT’d him off the middle rope. He put Rey’s head in the chair and kicked it as producers ran out to push Orton aside. [c]

-Backstage Shane was awkwardly texting while he was on live national television standing next to his Best in the World trophy. In walked Miz who asked Shane to meet him one-third of the way. He said he could have beat Kofi if he had his partner with him. Shane said he’s flattered, but they’re not partners. Miz said they are forever bonded, whether he likes it or not, by the symbol of their collective greatness. He said they are great parents, which makes them family, “so start acting like it!” He shoved the trophy into Shane’s arms and walked away. Shane mouthed, “Wow.”

(Keller’s Analysis: So what was this last month with Shane all about if this is his landing place – essentially rolling his eyes at Miz’s antics. He inserted himself into the World Cup and everyone thought it had to be a heel turn because WWE, and the McMahons specifically, couldn’t be so un-self-aware as to think that would be cheered outside of the easy Saudi Arabia crowd. Sure enough, Shane was booed the next time he appeared on TV in the U.S. Going into the event, he was dickish in vowing to fire anyone who made it to the finals of the World Cup but lost. Then at Survivor Series he was cajoled into participating, but came up short in his match. And then after vowing on social media to make big changes because Smackdown was swept on the PPV, he ignored it and tagged with Miz in what appeared to be the beginning of a babyface turn for Miz, or maybe not, it was hard to tell, but Shane was back to being Shane. And this week, it seems he’s just back to good ol’ Shane. What a confusing waste of time. Did fans booing Shane initially derail things? Did Vince just change his mind? Did Becky’s injury tip over a series of Dominoes falling that led to a change of plans with Shane?)


Carmella made her ring entrance with R-Truth doing R-Truth’s song first. Others made their ring entrance before the battle royal began. Becky and Charlotte sat at ringside to watch. They cut away to a commercial a minute into the battle royal after Zelina was yanked to the floor by Lana after she stepped over the top rope, so she was eliminated. [c]

Carmella took Asuka down. Eventually, though, it came down to Deville and Asuka. Deville threw Asuka over the top rope, but Asuka stayed on the ring apron. Mandy tried to yank Asuka to the floor. Asuka gave her a running knee. Deville charged, but Asuka sidestepped her and kicked her head. Then she tried to suplex Deville over the top rope. She leveraged her to the ring apron. They battled on the ring apron and kicked each other in the head at the same time. Both went down, but stayed on the apron without dropping to the floor. Asuka eventually kneed a charging Deville to the floor to win.

WINNER: Asuka to earn a slot against Becky and Charlotte.

-Asuka celebrated and looked down at Charlotte and Becky at ringside as the show ended.

(Keller’s Analysis: Asuka was the clear-cut fan favorite and biggest star in this match. I think Becky and Asuka are popular enough where fans will cheer for both and not choose sides. This is awkward, though, in that Charlotte as the presumed heel is facing two babyface. which can lead to the heel getting sympathy. But is it too early to be messing with Becky’s popularity by manufacturing tension between Becky and Asuka? I think Becky is teflon, but what do they do to create tension so it doesn’t seem like Charlotte is outnumbered by two people working together against her without hurting Asuka or Becky in the process?)

Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Jason Solomon of the Solomonster Sounds Off podcast to break down the show with live callers, an on-site correspondent, and the mailbag.

•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com

3 Comments on 11/27 WWE Smackdown Results: Keller’s report on Becky Lynch’s return to TV, A.J. Styles replies to New Daniel Bryan, more TLC developments

  1. Weren’t there rumours that the last two big events were aberrations and not part of the “storyline continuity” going forward? Well, rumours have been confirmed it seems.

  2. What do I expect from the Usos? NOt much. Not much to expect there almost as bad of a tag team as the New Day. A poor man’s version of the New Japan Tongans. Good enough for “Sports Entertainment” perhaps, but not for wrestling.

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