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LECLAIR’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 8, 2019
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND AT MANCHESTER ARENA
AIRED LIVE ON FOX NETWORK
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-The show opened with a video package recapping the NXT invasion during last week’s show, concluding with Triple H’s show closing battle cry. Smackdown’s opening video montage followed.
Pyro shot from the modified international entrance stage as Michael Cole touted that the “big guns” had returned toe Friday Night Smackdown.
King Corbin’s music played and he stepped onto the stage He was sporting new gear, namely, actual wrestling tights. Corbin grabbed a microphone.
Corbin said Survivor Series is two weeks away, and mentioned NXT’s inclusion in this year’s “battle for brand supremacy.” The crowd broke into a loud “NXT” chant. Corbin said it’s embarrassing, and that the embarrassment falls on the shoulder the supposed “locker room leader,” Roman Reigns. Corbin talked up Reigns’ major accomplishments, including his triumphant return from leukemia. He called Reigns a role model, but said the audience only cares about what someone has done lately.
“What have you done for me lately?” Corbin asked of Reigns. “Nothing,” he answered. Corbin said Reigns doesn’t want to responsibilities that come along with being a leader, and especially a king. Corbin said he’s a half a step behind where he used to be, and everyone sees through him. Corbin said Reigns still calls himself the “Big Dog,” but that his testicles have “shrunken into tiny little marbles.”
“Your bark is starting to sound like a little chihuahua,” Corbin declared. A chihuahua bark played over the speakers. Corbin laughed and called Reigns an ankle-biter. He said Reigns isn’t man enough to stand face to face with him. The crowd began a “we want Roman” chant.
Corbin continued to challenge Reigns to come to the ring, then said he isn’t there yet because he’s granting a wish to a child. Corbin promised Reigns would be there for the main event. He pulled out a doggy bag and said that the crowd could use it to scrape up the Big Dog’s excrements at the end of the night. “You will all bend your knee to the king,” Corbin said before throwing down the microphone.
(LeClair’s Analysis: Okay…? I’m all for promoting your main event, but this went too long and offered to little in the way of intrigue. Corbin had the crowd at the beginning of the promo, but they slowly fell off as he took the dog joke further and further. The concept behind the promo, that Reigns is too busy to be considered a locker room leader, is a novel approach, but the message got lost in Corbin’s execution.)
-Backstage, Big E and Kofi Kingston were shown jogging down a hallway, singing in unison. Kayla Braxton cut them off. She said they were moments away from their tag team title match. She said she heard they had a special message for Xavier Woods. “Yes, don’t drop the soap,” Big E said confidently. Kofi corrected Big E, telling him he’s not in jail. Kofi talked up the Revival, but said New Day needs their seventh title reign. “If we don’t get it, how will we ever catch up to Charlotte Flair?” Big E questioned. Kofi said they’re going to win the titles for Xavier Woods. Big E hugged Kayla enthusiastically while Kofi hopped around. The show went to commercial.
-Big E’s voice filled the arena as the camera panned across the crowd when the show returned from commercial. Kofi Kingston and Big E danced onto the stage. Kofi tossed pancakes out while Big E performed his usual dance moves.
The Revival headed to the ring next. Cole and Graves talked about The Revival’s claims that they are the cause of Woods’ injury. The previewed the triple threat tag team match at Survivor Series. Greg Hamilton provided standard championship introductions.
(1) THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Big E) vs. THE REVIVAL (c, Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) – WWE Smackdown Tag Team title match
Kofi Kingston and Scott Dawson began the match. They circled the ring, then Kofi caught Dawson in a quick roll up for a two count. Dawson quickly recovered and dropped Kofi to the mat, then made a tag into Dash Wilder.
Wilder and Kingston traded chops. Kofi knocked Dawson off the apron and dragged Wilder back to his corner, tagging in Big E. Big E dropped Wilder for a quick two count. Big E went for a back drop, but Wilder flipped through it. Dash shot off the ropes, leap frogged Big E, then collapsed to the mat, clutching his knee. The referee backed Big E away to check on Dash. Wilder dragged himself to his corner as Dawson leaned in to check on him. Cole sent the show to commercial.
Dash Wilder, fully recovered, had Big E in a headlock when the show returned from break. Big E quickly broke free and took Dash down with a belly to belly suplex. Cole threw to a clip that occurred during the break, showing that Wilder faked the injury to gain an upper hand.
Big E made a tag into Kofi Kingston and Wilder tagged in Scott Dawson. Kofi dropped Dawson with a number of suplexes. Dawson regrouped with Wilder on the outside. Kofi launched his body over the top rope to the floor, taking out the Revival.
Kofi threw Dawson back in the ring and headed to the top turnbuckle. He connected with a cross body. Kofi set up for the Trouble in Paradise, but Wilder tagged himself in and cut off the attempt. Dawson hoisted Kofi onto the top rop while Wilder ascended the adjacent turnbuckle. Dawson hit the superplex and Wilder hit a big splash onto Kofi. Big E broke up the pin attempt just in time.
Big E gave Dawson an overhead belly to belly. Wilder grabbed Big E and hit a tornado DDT. Wilder went for a tornado DDT on Kingston, but Kofi shoved him away and landed the SOS for a near fall. Kofi made a tag into Big E, who had recovered on the apron.
Big E set up for the Midnight Hour, but Dawson returned to the ring to break it up. Wilder made a quick tag into Dawson. The Revival hit Big E with a double team DDT off the ropes. Dawson tagged Wilder back in and hit a quick German suplex with a bridge for the pin. Wilder used his weight to add leverage, but Big E kicked out at two.
The Revival went for the Shatter Machine, but Big E blocked it and tagged in Kofi. Big E lifted Wilder in a bear hug and Kofi hit him with Trouble in Paradise for a quick three count.
WINNERS: The New Day in 9:00
(LeClair’s Analysis: Decent match, but on the lower end of the bouts these two teams have had over the course of the last year. The commercial break early in the match didn’t help. I understand wanting to give the Manchester crowd a title change to bring some importance to these international shows, but I really disliked this move. They play hot potato with the Smackdown tag titles far too much, as evidenced by the sheer number of runs New Day have had. Not to mention, while I’m sure Kofi and Big E’s inclusion in the Survivor Series match will be plenty entertaining, I think The Revival fit the bill far better.)
-Roman Reigns was shown arriving backstage. Shorty G approached him and gave him a fist bump. They had a brief conversation while Cole and Graves talked about the main event before the show went to break.
-Daniel Bryan was shown backstage when the show returned from commercial. He was approached by Sami Zayn. Zayn said he gave Bryan an invitation to join he and Nakamura two weeks ago, and he holds no ill will toward Bryan for not responding right away. Zayn pointed out that, had he joined them then, though, he’d be NXT Champion right now. “There’s no way Adam Cole would’ve beat you, I wouldn’t have let it happen,” Zayn said.
He told Bryan to asked Nakamura how he’s feeling and took credit for his recent success. Zayn took credit for getting Cesaro in a recent main event match as well. He said they’d be teaming tonight against Ali and Shorty G. Zayn invited Bryan to come out to ringside to see what’s possible when they all work together. The camera zoomed in on Bryan as he contemplated Zayn’s offer.
(LeClair’s Analysis: Interesting way to introduce Cesaro as Zayn’s newest “client.” I actually really like that move, if they intend on making it a regular thing. Cesaro is supremely talented and could use some direction and purpose, and Zayn seems to get plenty of TV time.)
-Back in the arena, Heavy Machinery headed to the ring for action. Suddenly, they were bombarded by four meant in track suits. It took a moment, but the announcers eventually identified them as Imperium from NXT, led by Walter. They beat down Heavy Machinery briefly, but were chased away by a cavalcade of Smackdown roster members, including New Day, Ali, Shorty G, and Apollo Crews.
(LeClair’s Analysis: I’m not a huge fan of these segments that are disguised as matches, but I thought this one mostly worked. I’d rather this happen over a two or three minute match that then gets tossed out due to interference. Imperium’s involvement is a little puzzling, given their limited exposure on NXT TV outside of the UK brand. This felt like more a treat for the local crowd than anything.)
-The camera cut to Kayla Braxton backstage. She welcomed Sasha Banks and Bayley. Kayla recounted Bayley’s victory over Nikki Cross, and the subsequent attack by Shayna Baszler. Kayla asked if it was a sign of things to come. “No,” Bayley responded confidently.
Bayley said she and Sasha made the NXT Women’s division relevant. Sasha said today’s women’s roster in NXT may think they’re good, but they’ll always live in she and Bayley’s shadow. She said Nikki Cross would live in her shadow tonight.
Bayley brought up Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler’s comments from Raw, saying they’d “keep an eye on Bayley.” Bayley said she’s the only person in the match to have held all three women’s titles. She said Lynch and Baszler should watch their back because she and Sasha can “play takeover games too.”
-Shinsuke Nakamura headed to the ring with Sami Zayn at his side. Zayn moshed aggressively to Shinsuke’s music as he headed to the ring. Cole said Nakamura would team with Cesaro after the break.
Cesaro was in the ring, discussing strategy with Nakamura and Zayn when the show returned from commercial. Ali and Shorty G headed to the ring next. Daniel Bryan wandered out to the top of the entrance way just before the bell rang.
(2) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & CESARO (w/ Sami Zayn) vs. ALI & SHORTY G
Shorty G and Cesaro began the match. Cesaro charged at Shorty G and dropped him with a huge uppercut. He dragged G to the center of the ring and then tagged in Nakamura, who began stomping away at Shorty G.
Nakamura sent Gable into the corner, but Shorty G broke free with an arm hold in the ropes. This sent Nakamura back to his own corner to tag in Cesaro. Shorty G tried to make a tag, but Cesaro cut him off and threw him into the corner.
Gable battled out and into a victory roll, which sprung him into a tag to Ali. Ali caught Cesaro with a quick head kick, followed by a rolling face buster. He followed it up with a spinning tornado DDT. Ali covered Cesaro, but Nakamura broke up the count.
Nakamura shot Shorty G toward the ropes, but G caught himself. Nakamura charged, but Shorty G gave him a suplex over the top and onto the floor. Cesaro hit G with an uppercut. Ali kicked Cesaro to the outside, then hit a suicide dive, sending Cesaro into the front row.
Ali retrieved Cesaro and threw him into the ring. He climbed to the top turnbuckle and went for a diving cross body, but Cesaro caught him out of mid air and planted him with a spinning back breaker for a near fall. The camera cut to Daniel Bryan, watching carefully. Cesaro tagged in Nakamura.
Cesaro lifted Ali onto his shoulders, but Shorty G returned to the ring and cut Cesaro’s legs out from underneath him. He quickly applied the ankle lock. Cesaro kicked him away. Ali dumped Cesaro over the top rope. Shinsuke caught Ali with a reverse exploding suplex. He set up for the Kinshasa. Nakamura charged, but Ali caught him with a super kick.
Ali headed to the top rope. Sami Zayn jumped up on the apron to cut him off. Shorty G intercepted Zayn. With the referee distracted by this interference, Cesaro dumped Ali off the top rope, then ripped Shorty G off the apron. In the ring, Nakamura caught Ali with the Kinshasa for a three count.
WINNERS: Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro in 6:00
Sami Zayn looked toward the entrance way, inviting Daniel Bryan to join them. Bryan stroked his bear, but turned around and returned to the back.
(LeClair’s Analysis: Chaotic, but fun match. It’s hard taking Chad Gable seriously, having now fully embraced the “Shorty G” character, and he really stands out in matches like this where the rest of the wrestlers have relatively grounded and serious gimmicks. It’s a shame. I do like the pairing of Cesaro with Nakamura, and, as expected, Zayn managing Cesaro seems to be off to a good start.)
-Nikki Cross was shown walking down a hallway backstage, smiling widely. Corey Graves said she’d face Sasha Banks after the break.
-Bayley was approaching the announcers desk to join the team on commentary when the show returned from break. Sasha Banks music played and she headed to the ring with a new remix of her theme music. Michael Cole threw to the Progressive “Match Flo”, recapping Bayley’s match with Nikki Cross on last week’s Smackdown.
Nikki Cross headed to the ring.. Cole said Cross may be Women’s champion right now if not for Sasha Banks’ interference. Cole brought up Bayley’s refusal to speak to Corey Graves, which she claimed is a result of him crying foul after she did exactly the things he’d been calling for her to do for years.
(3) SASHA BANKS vs. NIKKI CROSS
The bell rang as the second hour of the show began. Sasha Banks and Nikki Cross locked up in the center of the ring, but Sasha quickly broke the collar and elbow and planted her elbow into the back of Bross. Banks tossed Cross into the corner, then dragged her out by the hair and hit a snap suplex with a float over cover for a quick two count.
Sasha draped Nikki’s neck over the middle rope and drove her knee into Cross’ spine. Sasha shot off the ropes and hit the double knees to the face of Cross for a two count. The audience began singing to Bayley. “These stupid fans need to shut up,” Bayley said.
Cross took Banks down with a head scissor takeover. She dropped Sasha again for a quick two count. Both women shot to their feet. Sasha ran at Nikki, but Nikki side stepped her and sent her flying to the outside. Nikki dove through the ropes onto Sasha, hopped up, and attacked Bayley. Sasha rolled back in the ring. Nikki went to join her. Sasha distracted the referee long enough for Bayley to recover and rip Cross off the apron.
Sasha retrieved Cross on the outside. She tried for a roll up, but Cross countered it into one of her own for a two count. Nikki hit a cross body for another two count. Sasha left the ring to regroup with Bayley. Cole sent the show to commercial.
Banks flew off the middle rope with knees to the sternum when the show returned from commercial. She covered Cross for a two count. Bayley rejoined the commentary team at ringside. In the ring, Sasha kicked Nikki into the corner and began delivering forearms to the chest.
Nikki blocked Sasha’s final shot and propped herself onto the top turnbuckle. Cross hit a spinning tornado DDT from the top. Both women returned to their feet slowly. Cross took Sasha down with a pair of clotheslines. Sasha retreated to the corner. Cross hit her with a running bulldog.
Nikki Cross climbed to the top rope. Sasha returned to her feet. Nikki dove, but Sasha rolled it into a Bank Statement. Cross rolled through it into a cover, forcing Banks to break the hold. Nikki caught Sasha with a quick dropkick. Banks rolled up Cross into a jackknife cover for a two count.
The two women traded punches. Cross set up for the swinging neckbreaker, but Sasha spun out of it and hit the backcracker. She transitioned into the Bank Statement. Cross reached desperately for the ropes, but eventually tapped out.
WINNER: Sasha Banks in 10:00
Bayley hopped into the ring and attacked Nikki Cross from behind, pounding on her neck and head. Shayna Baszler slid into the ring and attacked Bayley. She scooped her up and hit her with a spinning gut wrench slam. Sasha darted back to the ring, but Shayna escaped.
(LeClair’s Analysis: Not a bad match. Sasha seemed like she may have been a little rusty, or perhaps these two don’t have great chemistry. Still, though, it was solid enough for TV. Banks needed a win here, though I’m not sure it’s wise to have Cross keep coming up short in these valiantly fought matches. It’s defining her down pretty quickly, but perhaps they feel like it won’t matter once Alexa Bliss returns to the fold. Bayley was mostly effective on commentary, and Shayna’s post match attack was met with a strong reaction from the crowd. She’s coming off like a big star.)
-Backstage, Sami Zayn was shown talking to Daniel Bryan in a locker room. He told Bryan he should’ve celebrated with them, and that Nakamura and Cesaro are a little upset that he didn’t. “I don’t think you need more time, ” Zayn said. He said Bryan’s mind is already made up, and that he wants to move forward. “Just say so.” The lights flickered. Bryan and Zayn looked around, then the lights cut out entirely.
When they returned, it was under an eerie red glow. The Fiend stood behind Daniel Bryan. Zayn saw him first, and darted. Bryan spun around and The Fiend latched on the mandible claw. The screeching played as The Fiend laughed maniacally. The lights cut out, Wyatt continued to laugh as the show went to break.
(LeClair’s Analysis: Bryan vs. The Fiend eh? This could be interesting, I suppose, though it doesn’t really feel like a main event program right now. The Fiend’s antics are already feeling way too similar to the old Bray Wyatt to me, and it’s already starting to lose its appeal.)
-A recap of The Fiend’s attack on Bryan was shown when the show returned from break. The announcers contemplated what this meant for Bryan, and for the Fiend, saying that Bryan may be perfect prey for The Fiend in his current, conflicted emotional state. Michael Cole turned his attention to Tyson Fury and his match with Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel. He threw to a video package recapping the match.
-Tyson Fury headed to the ring to address the crowd. He greeted the audience. He said he’s traveled all over the world, but there’s no place like home, and that’s Manchester. He promoted his next fight in February and said he’s got unfinished business, both in the boxing world, and in WWE. He called out Braun Strowman.
Strowman’s music hit and he walked to the ring. Graves said Strowman has lost sleep over his TKO loss to Tyson Fury. Fury stood in the corner of the ring, relaxed. “You wanted me, here I am,” Strowman said.
Fury thanked him for the fight at Crown Jewel. He said it was one of the toughest he’s ever had. He offered his hand to Braun. Strowman accepted. Fury suggested that the two team together in the future. Strowman seemed intrigued. He asked if the crowd was interested, and they cheered.
Strowman said there’s no team stupid enough to fight the two of them. The B-Team’s music hit. “Hey, morons!” said Curtis Axel. He said he and Bo Dallas were stupid enough to fight them. Dallas said the “B” in “B-Team” stands for “fearless.” He put on a southern accent, “we ain’t scared of them hands!” Axel and Dallas laughed.
Strowman handed Fury his mic and shoved B-Team off the apron. He threw up his arm, left the ring, and ran full speed into B-Team. He threw Dallas into the ring. Bo stood up and walked into a grazing KO from Tyson Fury.
Strowman tossed Axel into the ring and slid in with him. He dropped Axel with a running power slam. He and Fury celebrated.
(LeClair’s Analysis: Well, that was something. Fury seemed relatively natural on the microphone and the audience seemed rather receptive, it being his hometown and all. I don’t get the sense that their match at Crown Jewel really worked in any capacity, so pivoting to a more friendly tone between the two of them is probably the way to go. Even still, I didn’t get the sense that this would carry much interest outside of a novelty appearance here and there. Not for me, but perhaps some got a kick out of it.)
-Michael Cole teased the main event, then threw to a clip of King Corbin’s attack on Roman Reigns during an episode of WWE Backstage two weeks ago.
-After a commercial break, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville were in the ring awaiting their opponents. Cole announced the winner of the match would join Sasha Banks as part of Team Smackdown in the women’s Survivor Series elimination tag team match. Dana Brooke and Carmella headed to the ring. Cole mentioned that this match was originally scheduled for last week’s show, but was postponed due to NXT’s attack.
(4) MANDY ROSE & SONYA DEVILLE vs. DANA BROOKE & CARMELLA
Sonya Deville and Carmella began the match with a lock up. Sonya took down Carmella with a serious of waist lock takeovers. Carmella rolled up Deville for a quick two count. Deville threw Carmella into the corner and tagged in Mandy Rose.
Rose and Deville kicked at Carmella in the corner. Rose made a quick tag back into Deville. They continued to isolate Carmella, trading tags back and forth. Rose dropped Carmella to her knees and talked trash. ‘Mella tried to fight back, but Rose scooped her up and hit a fallaway slam for a two count.
Rose grabbed Sonya and tagged in Sonya. Deville and Rose went for a double team suplex, but Carmella slid down the back and caught Rose with a kick to the head. Carmella turned around and got hit with a quick kick from Sonya for a two count.
Sonya dropped the mat and wrapped her legs around Carmella’s waist, cutting off oxygen flow. Carmella fought out of the hold and tried to make a tag. Deville cut her off with a kick to the stomach. Deville jawed at Dana Brooke. Carmella shot past her and tagged in Dana.
Dana hit a springing back elbow onto Deville in the corner. She dropped her for a quick cover, but Rose broke it up with a knee to Brooke’s face. Carmella returned to the ring and took down Rose. She tossed Deville to the outside. Dana flipped to the outside of the ring and dropkicked Sonya into the ring steps. Brooke tossed Deville back in the ring and climbed to the top turnbuckle. Brooke hit a flipping senton from the top rope for a three count.
WINNERS: Dana Brooke & Carmella in 4:00
(LeClair’s Analysis: Not much to this one, though I’m slightly surprised at the babyfaces going over. Dana Brooke’s athleticism is impressive, but it doesn’t always translate to the confines of a wrestling match. At the very least, I’m intrigued to see how Brooke and Carmella interact with their teammate, Sasha Banks, going forward.)
-Back at the announcers desk, Cole played back a clip of Corbin’s promo earlier in the evening, setting the scene for the main event.
Roman Reigns’ music hit and he walked onto the stage. “The feeling just changes in the room when Roman Reigns comes to the ring,” Cole said just before Reigns’ new, signature pyro shot from the stage. Reigns posed on the turnbuckle as Cole sent the show to commercial.
Reigns paced the ring slowly when the show returned from break. King Corbin’s music played and he headed to the ring for the main event.
Reigns charged at Corbin and clotheslined him over the top rope to the floor before the match began. Reigns followed him to the outside and dropped Corbin again with an uppercut. He slammed Corbin’s head off the announcers desk. Corbin stumbled to his feet and Reigns tossed him into the barricade.
Reigns lifted Corbin to his feet and threw him into the barricade again before finally sliding him into the ring.
(5) ROMAN REIGNS vs. KING CORBIN
The referee rang the bell as Corbin retreated to the corner. Reigns quickly mounted him and fired off a serious of punches, but Corbin fought him off hastily. King Corbin fired his own series of shots, but Reigns too battled free.
Reigns hit Corbin with a series of corner clotheslines. Corbin wandered out of the corner and Roman dropped him with a big boot. Corbin retreated to the outside. Reigns followed him. He slammed Corbin’s head off the apron and rolled him back inside. Something caught Reigns’ eye. It was Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, rushing to ringside.
Reigns caught Roode with a Superman punch. He grabbed Ziggler and dropped him with a Samoan drop. Graves said this is happening because Reigns has lost the locker room. Corbin recovered and grabbed Reigns, throwing him back into the ring. Corbin hit Roman with Deep Six for a two count. The show quickly went to commercial.
Corbin was taunting the crowd when the show the returned from break. Cole said Corbin had gained an advantage over Reigns thanks to Ziggler and Roode. King Corbin stomped at Roman’s back. He backed Reigns into the corner and fired shots to Reigns’ midsection. Corbin tossed Reigns to the outside and distracted the referee, allowing Roode and Ziggler to attack.
Corbin retrieved Reigns on the outside and tossed him into the barricade. He jawed with Reigns before tossing him back in the ring. Reigns tired to battle back with a pair of uppercuts. Corbin cut him off with a big clothesline for a two count.
Corbin dropped his elbow into the shoulder of Reigns repeatedly, then slapped on a rest hold. Ziggler and Roode cheered on Corbin from ringside. Reigns slowly returned to his feet and punched his way out of the hold. Corbin and Reigns traded right hands.
Corbin tossed Reigns into the corner, but Reigns countered out with a pair of clotheslines. He went for a jumping clothesline, but Corbin caught him in mid air with a choke slam. He covered Reigns for a two count. Corbin yelled for Reigns to stand. He drove his knee into Reigns’ midsection, then dropped him with a right hand.
Corbin celebrated as the crowd booed. Reigns pushed himself to his feet. Corbin went for a shot, but Reigns caught him with an uppercut. He backed Corbin into the corner. Reigns charged, but Corbin caught him with a boot. King Corbin hopped to the middle rope and dove at Roman for a double axe handle, but Reigns side stepped him and hung Corbin’s head on the top rope. Reigns hit a jumping clothesline for a two count.
Reigns pounded the mat. Ziggler and Roode hopped up onto the apron. Reigns quickly knocked Ziggler down, then hit Roode with a Superman punch. Ziggler jumped in the ring and Reigns hit him with a spear. Corbin grabbed Reigns and hit the End of Days for a three count.
WINNER: King Corbin in 11:00
Corbin celebrated as Reigns recovered as the show faded to black, three minutes before the top of the hour.
(LeClair’s Analysis: Eek. This wasn’t pretty. Reigns and Corbin have never shown much chemistry with one another, and this was no exception. Mostly stalling and brawling. Ziggler and Roode’s interference seemed out of left field, and even Michael Cole couldn’t really account for it. Corbin is not a guy I would be investing in to the point of beating Reigns in a one on one match on TV, but more than anything, it’s an indication of how thin the rosters are on both brands.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: International TV tapings have a propensity for being by-the-numbers, maintenance shows and I’d wager that this ranks barely above that threshold. The tag team title change, as well as the start of a Daniel Bryan vs. The Fiend feud, saved this from being an entirely forgettable episode of Smackdown. This was a massive step down from last week’s show and an indicator of the company’s lack of urgency heading into what has become a senseless Pay-Per-View.