11/1 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on the reworked episode due almost all wrestlers still stranded in Saudi Arabia

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

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NOVEMBER 1, 2019

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Renee Young, Aiden English


-The Smackdown opening theme aired. They didn’t change the lyrics to “Are you ready to be stranded in Saudi Arabia?”

-They went to Phillips, Young, and English. Phillips said there were mechanical issues preventing the usual announce team from being there. No mention of every advertised match not taking place. He just said, “More on that later tonight.”

-Brock Lesnar’s entrance theme interrupted them. Out came Lesnar with Paul Heyman. Phillips said, “Some of the Smackdown roster in all likelihood will not be able to compete here tonight.” He said Lesnar is here. Heyman did his usual introduction. He said he wants to shine his brilliance on their ignorance. He said his client’s mood tonight is “really, really pissed off.” He said people might wonder why since he was on the victorious end of the biggest moment in sports combat history. Heyman threw to a replay of the match.  He said after nine years, almost to the day, Lesnar got revenge for the scar Velasquez gave him. He said he vanquished Velasquez. He called it “the most spiritually orgasmic moment of Brock Lesnar’s career,” but then Rey Mysterio walked out. They showed Rey hitting Lesnar with a chair multiple times.

Back live in the ring, Lesnar paced and looked angry. Heyman said they have a real problem around there. He said they went to Vince McMahon. “If you don’t know who he is, Google him, bitches.” Heyman said McMahon told him he can’t serve Rey to Lesnar because the various “Superstars” are exclusive property contractually to either Fox or USA. He said Lesnar is going to show up Monday. “My people invented litigation, my people perfected litigation,” so if Vince or the network execs sue him, they will sue back. Heyman said Lesnar “hereby quits Friday Night Smackdown on Fox.” He said he’s showing up this Monday on Raw and he’s going hunting for Rey Mysterio. He threw down the mic and walked out.

-Phillips called it a monumental announcement. He said he’s worried Lesnar is going to Raw and going to destroy Rey. English said it’s a huge loss for Smackdown. Renee said good riddance.

-They cut backstage to Heyman and Lesnar walking toward the exits. Then Triple H was shown standing next to Shawn Michaels. Shawn made stupid cartoon faces. (Stop that, Shawn.)

-Phillips hyped Bayley vs. Nikki Cross for the Smackdown Women’s Title.

(Keller’s Analysis: The bright side of Saudi Arabia’s backwards policy on women’s wrestling is that other than the two women on the show yesterday, everyone else is stateside and available.) [c]

(1) BAYLEY (w/Sasha Banks) vs. NIKKI CROSS

English said Bayley has a sour attitude now and “it’s like something rotted from the inside.” He said she should be happy for being champion, but she’s not. Renee said all she can muster is a smirk. Nikki got the better of Bayley, who bailed out to ringside. Nikki followed her out there and gave her a tornado DDT on the floor. Nikki quickly rolled Bayley into the ring and scored a two count. (How did that become a move people kick out of?) [c]

Bayley controlled after the break, but then Nikki made a comeback. She hit a crossbody block and scored a two count. Sasha blocked a spinning neckbreaker attempt. Nikki went after Sasha. Bayley kicked Nikki and then climbed to the top rope and leaped down with a flying elbow for a near fall. Nikki regrouped on the floor, then trapped Bayley between the ring apron and ring edge. She fended off Sasha and threw Bayley back into the ring. Then she climbed to the top, but Sasha shoved her off the top rope. Bayley then drove Nikki face-first into the canvas for the win.

WINNER: Bayley in 9:00 to retain the Smackdown Title.

-Shayna Baszler showed up and shoved Sasha into the ringpost, then delivered a high knee to Bayley, then kicked Nikki out of the ring. Phillips said who she is. Fans began chanting “NXT! NXT!” She shoved Bayley into the ringpost. Phillips said she is “one of the most dangerous women in sports entertainment.” She snarled as fans continued chanting “NXT!” Then she delivered another running knee to lay out Bayley. Baszler then walked out through the crowd with her NXT Title over her shoulder, blowing off offers for hand-slaps from fans. They showed Bayley and Sasha on the floor writhing in pain.

(Keller’s Analysis: So Bayley turns heel and now is attacked by another heel. Baszler is a heel, but attacks another heel in her debut. Fans seemed excited, but also totally confused on whether there was anyone worth cheering here.) [c]

-They showed postcard shots of Buffalo. Then the announcers commented on a replay of Baszler’s appearance. Then Paul McAfee replaced English on color commentary. Phillips said it’s a crazy night.

-They went to Kathy Kelley backstage who interviewed Sami Zayn. Sami said he’s seeing a pattern now with NXT people showing up – Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Shayna “Bass-ler.” He said it’ll be bad news for any of them if they step into his space. In walked Matt Riddle and Keith Lee. Riddle asked Sami to keep talking. Sami smiled and said they used to call him the heart and soul of NXT. He opened his jacket and it was a plain black shirt. He said earlier he was wearing an NXT shirt, but he spilled oil-based salad dressing on it. Sami walked away. He told them not to follow him. They followed. He looked nervous and kept telling him not to follow him. He started to run. They chased him onto the stage. Renee said this will not end well for Sami.

Riddle and Lee chased down Sami and threw him into the ring. Sami took a swing at Riddle after playing nice and calling him “Bro.” Riddle gave him his kneelift and the Bro Derek. Keith Lee then hit a moonsualt on Sami.

(Keller’s Analysis: The premise of Heyman’s promo earlier is that the wrestlers on Raw are contractually committed to USA Network, and now NXT wrestlers can show up on Smackdown on Fox without repercussions?)

-The announcers recapped the Tyson Fury-Braun Strowman match. [c]

-Miz TV: Miz threw to a video package on the Seth Rollins-Bray Wyatt match. Miz said Wyatt could not be there tonight. Boos. He said, “But let’s talk about the elephant in the room – NXT.” He talked about Baszler dropping Sasha and Bayley, and Lee and Riddle brutalizing Sami. He said he kind of liked it and he can’t wait to see what happens next. He said that’s what WWE is all about. Then suddenly Tomasso Ciampa made his ring entrance. (Nothing says “unplanned invasion” from another roster than an entrance song and video signifying his entrance.) Ciampa walked out and said it’s time someone gives him a reality check and tells him where he sits in the food chain. He said Miz is everything that is wrong with Raw and Smackdown. “While I’m out there breaking my damn neck in NXT to prove exactly how good I am, you are out here doing what, exactly? Playing actor, playing talk show host. While you are playing the part, I, Tomasso Ciampa, am the part.”

Miz said he’s heard the same thing told to him for a long time. He said he knows who Ciampa is and said when people talk NXT, they talk about him. He said for 15 years people have told him he just wanted to be an actor, but if he acted like he wanted to be a pro wrestler this long, he deserves an Oscar. He told Ciampa if he’s there to make a statement, then make one. “Those sound like fighting words to me,” said Ciampa. Miz: “You, me, right here, right now.” They cut to a break mid-staredown. [c]



Renee said it’s garbage that people don’t respect The Miz. McAfee said there’s a real buzz in the building. He said with travel issues, there are those seeing an opening and being opportunists. Ciampa took it to Miz at ringside a minute in. Ciampa applied a wrenching chinlock mid-ring. He applied it in a way that felt like anything other than a stall tactic or rest hold. Miz came back with some punches and a neckbreaker. Miz eventually climbed to the top rope, but Ciampa caught him with a knee and then hit his Fairy Tale Ending for the win. Ciampa clutched his left knee afterward in pain before standing to celebrate.

WINNER: Ciampa in 8:00.

-Backstage Daniel Bryan asked Triple H and Michaels what they were doing there. Hunter said he and Michaels were watching Crown Jewel when they saw an ad about Survivor Series featuring NXT. Hunter said it seemed someone was looking for a fight. Bryan challenged him to a fight right now. Bryan got in Hunter’s face. Fans chanted “Yes!” Hunter broke from the stare. Fans booed. Hunter said he didn’t bring his gear and he doesn’t like to fight in a suit. He said he knows someone else who is. They briefly teased Michaels, but he said he’s cold and put his jacket on. Then Adam Cole stepped up. Bryan said he wants the NXT Title put up. Triple H said he likes it. The camera angle made it look like Bryan and Cole were the same height as Hunter. [c]

-Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were in the ring waiting for Carmella and Dana Brooke, but Bianca Belair was attacking them. McAfee said, “Sometimes you’ve got to make a statement.” Rhea Ripley then made her way to the ring to her music alongside Tegan Nox. The ref had a chat with Rose and Deville. Ripley said it appears they don’t have any opponents tonight, but they do now. She dropped the mic. The ref shrugged his shoulders.


They brawled at ringside where Nox threw Sonya onto the announce desk. Renee said she got a boot to the face and ended up with a bloody nose. Shortly thereafter Ripley tapped out Rose with her finisher.

WINNERS: Ripley & Nox in 2:00.

-They plugged Bryan vs. Cole. [c]

-Triple H and Michaels made their way to ringside. They slapped hands with fans. Stephanie McMahon’s music then played. She walked onto the stage. Hunter waved and smiled. Stephanie said the WWE Universe started a movement that created change all over the world called Women’s Evolution. She coopted the #GiveDivasAChance hashtag again and then touted the first-ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia. Little response, but scattered boos. They showed Natalya saying it’s life-changing and doesn’t get any bigger than this. Then they showed clips of the match with Cole’s flowery language about what a historic moment it was.

(Keller’s Analysis: WWE shouldn’t have taken the Saudi deal, period. But if they did, they should have insisted women wrestlers were part of the export that the Saudi regime was buying and put them on the first show, not participated in telling some phony story about what progress WWE is helping to make happen with women. All Saudi Arabia had to do was say “yes” at the start. This isn’t a story of inspiration and progress to be celebrated, it’s a story about “shame for how long it took” and “it’s about damn time.” WWE is telling the women’s wrestling story to try to justify taking the money for these paid shows from the controversial regime by “showing progress” and it’s all just manufactured propaganda.) [c]

(3) ADAM COLE vs. DANIEL BRYAN – NXT Title match

They did formal ring introductions before cutting to another break. [c]

Bryan took control early. They both tumbled over the top rope to the floor when Bryan went for a suplex. They cut to another break. [c]

Cole scored a two count shortly after coming back from the break. Bryan came back with a top rope missile dropkick. They kept cutting away to reaction shots from Triple H and Michaels. Bryan landed a running boot, but Cole turned a top rope huracanrana into a sunset flip for a two count. Bryan sent Cole to the floor and then dove through the ropes at him. Hunter and Michaels moved out of the way. Cole then caught Bryan with a boot to knock him out of mid-air and they cut to another break. [c]

Back from the break Bryan knocked Cole down and went for a top rope diving headbutt, but Cole moved out of the way. Cole then dropped Bryan on his knee for a two count. A minute later Bryan applied a sharpshooter and then twisted him into a leglock mid-ring. Cole yelled out in pain. Cole rolled to the bottom rope to force a break. Bryan lifted Cole onto his shoulders, but Cole countered and scored a two count. Bryan then applied the LeBell Lock. Bryan then stomped on Cole a few times and set up another submission mid-ring. Cole powered toward the bottom rope, but Bryan grabbed his arm. Cole put his foot on the bottom rope instead. The ref forced the break. Cole ducked a Yes Kick and then rolled up Bryan. Bryan rolled through. Cole pushed out. Bryan then landed a Yes Kick. When Bryan charged for a knee, Cole superkicked him. Cole then landed Panama Sunrise and his Last Shot for the win.

WINNER: Cole in 20:00 to retain the NXT Title.

(Keller’s Analysis: A hell of a match. Wish it had more build up, but as a way to try to make up for missing almost the entire active Smackdown roster, a special surprise that will be remembered.)

-Around a dozen NXT wrestlers made their way into the ring to celebrate with Cole (because NXT wrestlers all love each other and are part of a team, of course). Triple H entered the ring and said if Raw and Smackdown want a fight, he needs an army. He said he looks to his blood and family and built an army for a fight. Hunter said, “This is our army, this is our fight, this is our ring, and at Survivor Series, know what you’re getting into.” He said they have fired the first shot. “Raw, Smackdown, let’s see what you’ve got,” he said. “Just remember one thing. We are NXT.” He dropped the mic. End of show.

16 Comments on 11/1 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on the reworked episode due almost all wrestlers still stranded in Saudi Arabia

    • Because losing one match – to a champion – makes you a jobber?
      People need to stop being so stupid and condescending about NXT. 80 percent of the main roster came through NXT, including The Fiend, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns.

      • Bryan was once the top guy in the company. Now he loses probably half of the time. He did a clean job to Rowan a few weeks ago too.

  1. Does this mean the two world titles are changing brands? Lesnar to Raw and Wyatt to SD? So will Lesnar feud with Seth again after he’s done with Rey?

  2. I respect the (^&& outa Bryan and Miz for doing the job for their NXT opponents. You’re right about Saudia Arabia – did you see the sign in the audience – the words “here comes the money” with a picture of a man wearing a ghutrah?

    • Miz has been doing jobs for everyone for years now. Why not for an NXT guy?
      What’s he gonna do? Refuse? He’s not exactly Lesnar, Cena or Roman Reigns.

    • There is nothing historic about it. Women will go on being oppressed in Saudi Arabia like always. Only fools would believe a WRESTLING show would change cultural misogyny that has lasted for well over a 1000 years.
      Tune in tomorrow to find out what happens to a Saudi woman who is accused of infidelity. But hey, two American women were allowed to have a wrestling match in full body covering outfits. I’m sure the history books will write about it for years to come.

  3. I can understand the criticisms with Saudi Arabia, but I can’t understand the point of truly nitpicking a fun night of wrestling for the purpose of shitting for shit’s sake.

  4. “Shitting for shit’s sake” should probably be the tag line for the PW Torch site. A great match between Cole and Bryan, sure but let’s bitch about no build. Ciampa makes a noteworthy appearance which was awesome, why not whine that he has his music. Honestly Keller is a caricature of an analyst now

  5. Always love Triggered Keller. FYI. This is a business. The purpose of a business is about making money. Taking the Saudi deal makes them money. Get it? Got it? Cool!

  6. Wow, lotsa comments… lotsa Wade bashing. That’s ok, he’s tough.

    I thought it was an interesting show. Obviously they had to rewrite on the go all day and using the ‘invasion’ angle with NXT was a good quick idea. The NXT wrestlers did their stuff well… although Shayna clearly did not like HHH touching her shoulders like that.

    I always think back to an wrestler I can’t remember that used to publicly ridicule barefoot wrestlers. He simply said that worked or not, if you came in his ring barefoot you would get your feet stomped on. Seems logical to me.

    Vince does like the lesbian angle doesn’t he? IIconics, Mandy and Sonia, every now and then a hint of Alissa with someone. It’s ok Vince, we ALL like hot lesbians. lol

    It’s only one night Wade [Crown Jewel] and its puts 10 mil or so in Vince’s pocket, I can live with it as a toss away show. And the women’s match was huge, another baby step to the kingdom joining the real world.

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