LECLAIR’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 11/15: Alt perspective, detailed coverage of Daniel Bryan on MizTV, New Day vs. Revival, Survivor Series hype, more

By Brandon LeClair, PWTorch contributor



KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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LECLAIR’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 15, 2019
PHILADELPHIA, PA AT WELLS FARGO CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON FOX NETWORK

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

-The show opened with a recap of last week’s show, specifically, Baron Corbin’s promo and victory over Roman Reigns.

-Smackdown’s montage opening aired, followed by a pyro display. Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia as the crane camera swept across the lower bowl.

-Baron Corbin’s music played, and he was carried out on a throne atop a platform. Corey Graves remarked that Corbin is now the leader of Smackdown. Cole asked him where he got his information. “King Corbin!” Corey exclaimed.

Corbin stepped in the ring, where Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode awaited him. The crowd booed loudly. Ziggler handled Corbin a microphone. The crowd pelted him with a “you suck” chant.

Corbin told the crowd to pay respect to their king. He said people need to be more like the “loyal” Superstars in the ring who have chosen to pledge their loyalty to his kingdom. Corbin said he wanted to talk about what it takes to be king and to be a great leader. He said it’s necessary that people hear the truth, even if they don’t want to hear it.

Corbin said Roman Reigns is a shell of who he once was, and people refuse to believe it. “I proved it,” Corbin said, “I proved that it’s no longer Roman’s yard, it’s my kingdom.” Corbin said he’s declaring by royal decree that he is Team Captain at Survivor Series. He pointed to a new graphic of Team Smackdown with him in the center.

Corbin said there were two especially weak links on the team, and they’d be replaced tonight by Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. Ziggler agreed. He said the only reason Shorty G and Ali made Team Smackdown is because they’ve been running in the same circle as Roman Reigns. “It should’ve been us,” Ziggler said.

Roode agreed. He said Shorty G and Ali have been getting participation trophies and free handouts. Ziggler said he and Roode were going to beat Shorty G and Ali and take their rightful spot on Team Smackdown. Roode said it would be glorious.

King Corbin invited Roman Reigns to ringside to watch it happen. He said if they’re to be teammates at Survivor Series, they should be able to coexist. Roman Reigns’ music played, with small dog barks and squeals layered over it. A man dressed in a dog costume, wearing a Roman Reigns vest, walked to the ring. Corbin, Ziggler, and Roode laughed uproariously.

Corbin told the dog to perform tricks. He had him kneel and then shake his hand. Cole said the tag team match to determine the members of Team Smackdown would happen after the break.

(LeClair’s Analysis: Eek. This was virtually the same promo Corbin cut last week, throwing in Ziggler and Roode for additional effect. I thought it came off poorly last week, and it was even worse tonight. The barking edit of Reigns’ theme music isn’t clever or entertaining, just downright grating. The crowd didn’t seem into this at all, beyond the initial booing of Corbin. Thankfully, they didn’t make a bigger deal out of the guy in the dog costume.)

-Michael Cole threw to a quick promo package for WWE Backstage and called it one of the funnest shows on TV. It concluded with the clip of CM Punk’s shocking return. Cole advertised Punk’s appearance on the show this coming Tuesday.

-Back in the arena, Shorty G and Ali were already in the ring as the referee prepared to ring the bell.

(1) DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE vs. SHORTY G & ALI – Winners are on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series

Shorty G and Robert Roode began the match. They locked up in the center of the ring. Roode shot G off the ropes and took him down with a shoulder tackle. Roode grabbed the arm and worked it over. Shorty G wrestled his way out and dropped Roode with a toe hold.

G took Roode down with a shoulder tackle of his own. He followed it up with a leaping arm drag, then slapped an arm lock on Roode. Roode broke free, punched Shorty G, and tagged in Ziggler. Dolph delivered an elbow to Shorty G’s chest for a quick two count.

Shorty G made it to his corner and tagged in Ali. Ali worked over Ziggler’s arm. Ziggler caught Ali with a shot to the gut. Ali caught Ziggler with a hurricanrana off the ropes. He followed with a kick to the head and a rolling face buster for a near fall.

Ziggler worked his way back into control and sent Ali into the corner. He tagged in Robert Roode. Roode downed Ali near the ropes and stomped on his neck. Ziggler gave Ali a cheap shot while the referee was temporarily distracted. Roode gave Ali chops in the corner. He shot Ali onto the apron. Corbin caught Ali’s attention. Roode shoved Ali off the apron, bouncing his head off the announcers desk.

Corbin celebrated with the dog man at ringside. Roman Reigns’ music hit. He marched to the ring. The dog left through the crowd. Corbin kept Reigns at bay with his scepter. Cole sent the show to commercial.

Ziggler had Ali in the corner when the show returned from break. Reigns and Corbin stood at ringside, jawing at each other. Ziggler tagged in Roode, who charged at Ali. Ali moved, sending Roode crashing into the turnbuckle. Ziggler tagged himself back in.

Ali tried to reach Shorty G for a tag, but Ziggler cut him off with a famouser. He knocked Shorty G off the apron. Ziggler set up for the super kick. Ali cut him off with one of his own. Both men were down for several seconds before crawling to their respective corners. Ziggler tagged in Roode, Ali tagged in Shorty G.

G hit Roode with a number of punches and chops. Ziggler ran in, but G gave him an overhead suplex. Roode came at Shorty G, but got taken out with a spinning neck breaker. G hit a moonsault on Roode for a near fall.

Shorty G grabbed a waist lock and forced Roode to the corner. Ziggler tagged himself in. Roode caught  G and he and Ziggler hit the Spinebuster/Zig-Zag combo. Ziggler hooked the leg, but Ali broke up the pin attempt just in time. Roode jumped in the ring and ate a kick from Ali. Ziggler hit Ali with a super kick.

Ziggler tried to kick Shorty G, but G rolled through into an ankle lock. Ziggler tried to wiggle free, but G kept it locked in. Roode attacked G from behind to break it up. Roode asked Corbin for his scepter. Corbin went to hand it over, but Reigns appeared and gave Corbin a drive-by.

Roode hopped out of the ring and slammed Reigns’ head into the announcers desk. Ali dove through the ropes and took down Roode. Corbin returned to his feet and charged at Ali. Ali ducked a clothesline and Corbin got caught with a spear by Reigns out of nowhere.

In the ring, Dolph Ziggler rolled up Shorty G and used the tights for leverage. G kicked out at two and tagged in Ali. G hit a rolling German suplex on Ziggler. Ali followed up with a 450 splash for the three count.

WINNERS: Shorty G & Ali in 12:00

Roman Reigns jumped in the ring to celebrate with Shorty G and Ali. Corey Graves said G and Ali’s teamwork gave him confidence in Team Smackdown.

(LeClair’s Analysis: Decent match. Ultimately, Gable and Ali are better choices for Team Smackdown so I’m glad the match was kept in tact. Ultimately, though, this stuff won’t matter in a week and so it, like nearly everything on these shows right now, feels largely inconsequential.)

-Michael Cole previewed Smackdown’s team at Survivor Series. He then teased the tag team title rematch scheduled for later in the night. Corey Graves talked up the match between Nikki Cross and Bayley. Cole teased MizTV, and an appearance by Bray Wyatt.

Cole threw to footage from last week’s Smackdown, showing Daniel Bryan being attacked by The Fiend. This led into a new episode of Firefly Fun House.

-Firefly Fun House opened with a close up shot of the Universal title. It pulled back, and Bray Wyatt said hello. He said something doesn’t seem right. He spun around, and a cartoon plume of smoke appeared. Suddenly, he had a cape and top hat. Wyatt cast “magic” on the Universal title, and suddenly the strap turned blue. “Yowie Wowie, much better!” Wyatt exclaimed.

Wyatt said that was a lot of fun, but his favorite show, MizTV, was still to come. He said Daniel Bryan will be the special guest. “I’ll be watching, and I think he’ll be watching too…” Wyatt said. The show went to commercial.

(LeClair’s Analysis: I guess I’m not sure why it would be in Bray’s interest to change the color of the strap on the title? Why should he care? It’s a little thing, but it’s just kind of silly. The title is on Smackdown now, so just quietly change it and move on. In any case, I’d like to see Wyatt appear in this form live in front of the crowd on occasion. There’s a predictability about this character now and it would be interesting to see them mix it up a little.)

-Backstage, Ziggler and Roode were complaining to Corbin. Corbin said he’s the king and he’ll fix it. He and his dog man walked off as Ziggler and Roode continued to sulk.

-After a Progressive “Match Flo” recapping the Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury segment last week, Braun Strowman headed to the ring. The B-Team were already in the ring with Drew Gulak. Gulak had a microphone.

“Relax, big man,” Gulak said. He said B-Team joined him in the ring because they wanted to learn. Gulak said he wanted to find out what would happen if he were to replace Strowman on Team Smackdown. He threw to a still image of him, with his arms raised, with text proclaiming that he’d saved Team Smackdown. Gulak put a finger in Braun’s face and said he has a lot of lessons to learn.

Strowman grabbed Gulak’s finger and bent it back, dropping Gulak to his knees. Dallas and Axel attacked Strowman. Gulak joined in. Strowman quickly fought them off. Gulak left the ring in a hurry. Strowman gave Bo Dallas a big boot, then dropped Curtis Axel with a running power slam. Strowman played to the crowd as his music played.

(LeClair’s Analysis: Yawn. We’ve seen the Strowman and Gulak angle a number of times. This served no real purpose other than to get Strowman on the show. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the segment, but it was just there to fill time.)

-Backstage, Kofi Kingston and Big E stood in gorilla with a plate of pancakes. Kayla Braxton approached and asked them about defending the tag titles against the Revival, wondering if they could continue their run of success without Xavier Woods. Big E brought up the Eagles defeating Kofi’s Patriots. “I can’t believe you went there,” Kofi said.

Kofi said even though Xavier isn’t with them in physical form, he’s always with them. He said they won the titles in honor of Woods, and they’ll defend him in his honor and remain tag team champions. Big E delivered his signature New Day introduction.

New Day headed to the ring as Michael Cole touted the tag team title match coming up after the break.

-Daniel Bryan was shown walking down a backstage hallway when the show returned from commercial. He was approached by Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn said they needed to talk. He said he’s been extending his offer to join them for weeks and Bryan remains silent. He said, given the fact that The Fiend is keeping a close eye on Bryan, he thinks Bryan needs to make a decision tonight. He reiterated that he, Nakamura, and Cesaro all want him to join them. “Are you with us?” Sami asked.

Bryan said he’d been thinking about it all week. He asked, if Zayn is a man of his word, why he ran away when The Fiend attacked last week. Zayn said he thought Bryan was running with him. He said he went to get Nakamura for help. Bryan interrupted him. “I don’t need your help, and I’m not joining your group,” Bryan declared.

Bryan said he does think Zayn needs someone else. He recommended Braun Strowman. “He’s your guy!” Bryan said as he walked away. Zayn protested, saying that they’re poets and intellectuals and Braun is just big and strong.

Zayn turned around to find Braun Strowman approaching. Zayn squirmed. He changed his tune and said it was a great idea. He told Braun they’d find him later. “Don’t find us!” Zayn said as he and Nakamura backed away slowly.

(LeClair’s Analysis: This was great. Zayn played the perfect, smarmy heel who got backed into a corner by Bryan and had no way out. Bryan wasn’t fooled by Zayn or his antics for a second, and then set up Zayn to be trapped in another corner with Braun Strowman. This played out masterfully. I’m a little surprised that they ended the saga of Bryan’s decision in a little backstage segment, but it seems they need to do a full pivot into the Fiend angle.)

-Back in the arena, New Day bounced around to their music. Big E, quite literally sat in the ropes bouncing. The Revival headed to the ring next.

(2) THE NEW DAY (c, Kofi Kingston & Big E) vs. THE REVIVAL (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) – Smackdown Tag Team title match

Kofi Kingston and Dash Wilder began the match. They locked up in the center of the ring. Wilder quickly put Kofi in a side headlock. Kofi broke free and leap frogged Wilder. Wilder tagged in Scott Dawson.

Dawson took Kofi down with a northern lights suplex bridge for a two count. He hoisted Kofi onto the top turnbuckle. Dawson went for a suplerplex, but Kofi fought him off. Kingston hit a diving dropkick. Dawson rolled into a quick tag to Dash Wilder.

Wilder quickly cut off the ring to prevent Kofi from making a tag. He hit him with a power slam for a two count. Cole sent the show to commercial.

Dash Wilder had Kofi Kingston on the mat when the show returned from break. Kofi fought to his feet and gave Wilder a backdrop. Wilder made a tag into Scott Dawson. Dawson cut off the ring again, preventing Kofi from making a tag.

Dawson climbed to the top rope and went for a diving headbutt, but Kofi rolled out of the way. He crawled and made the tag to Big E. Dawson tagged in Wilder. Big E hit Wilder with a pair of overhead belly to belly suplexes. He shot Wilder off the ropes, caught him, and executed a third belly to belly. He followed up with a running splash, but Wilder got his knees up.

Wilder made a tag into Dawson. Dawson backed Big E into the corner and charged, but Big E caught him and slammed him to the mat. Big E tried for the Big Ending, but Dawson slid down his back. Wilder tagged himself in. Big E knocked Wilder off the apron before he could get in the ring. Big E tossed Dawson to the apron. Wilder returned to the ring and hit Big E with a tornado DDT for a near fall.

Wilder pounded the mat in frustration. He picked up Big in an electric chair position. Big E slid down his back and shoved Wilder away. The two charged at each other and hit concurrent clotheslines. Both men crawled to their corners and tagged in their partners.

Kofi hit Dawson with a dropkick from the top rope. Dawson rolled to the outside to regroup with Wilder. Kofi launched himself over the top rope, taking out The Revival. He tossed Dawson back in the ring and tagged in Big E. E scooped up Dawson and Kofi climbed to the top rope, setting up for the Midnight Hour. Dash Wilder returned to the ring. Kofi dove off the ropes and gave him a shoulder tackle. Big E dropped Dawson and clotheslined Wilder to the outside.

Dawson caught Big E with a DDT for a two count. Dash Wilder returned to his corner and Dawson tagged him in. They set up for their homage to Randy Orton, the hanging DDT. Big E dumped both of them to the floor. Kofi returned to the ring and Big E launched him up and over the top onto The Revival.

The Revival caught Kingston in mid air and threw him face first into the ring post. Big E left the ring to make the save. The Revival dumped him face first on the announcers desk. They rolled him back in the ring and hit the Shatter Machine. Scott Dawson covered Big E. Wilder stood on the look out for Kofi Kingston.

Kingston flew off the top rope and took Wilder down with a cross body, causing them to fall onto Dawson and Big E and break up the pin.All four men were down on the mat. Kofi dragged himself to his feet. Suddenly, Adam Cole and Roderick Strong ripped Kofi Kingston from the ring and began beating him down. The referee called for the bell.

WINNERS: The New Day by disqualification in 10:00

Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish quickly attacked The Revival. Cole and Strong joined them. The Undisputed Era cleared the ring, but the Smackdown locker room emptied, chasing them into the crowd. Undisputed Era escaped untouched. “NXT strikes again!” Cole exclaimed. The show went to commercial.

(LeClair’s Analysis: Good match, but like I said last week, and on Monday on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post Show, everything on these shows feels like a vehicle to promote the brand warfare that means nothing and looks silly. It’s a fun moment to see Undisputed Era show up unannounced, and it gets a good reaction from a lively crowd, but it’s a hollow move that ruined what had been a really strong match. I thought for sure that the Shatter Machine had set up another title change. Ultimately, I’m glad it didn’t, but I would’ve liked to have seen the match go to a finish before the interference occurred.)

-When the show returned from commercial, Heavy Machinery remained in the ring from the previous segment. They’d been joined by two opponents, Kevin Tibbs and Kip Stevens.

(3) HEAVY MACHINERY (Tucker Knight & Otis Dozovic) vs. KEVIN TIBBS & KIP STEVENS

Kip Stevens began the match with Otis. Otis quickly took Kip down. Stevens retreated to his corner and tagged in Kevin Tibbs. Tibbs tried to give Otis a sunset flip pin, but Otis stood stoically. Kip Stevens charged at Otis, who scooped him up and slammed him onto his partner.

Otis tagged in Tucker. They hit double vertical suplexes on Stevens and Tibbs. Tucker sent Tibbs off the ropes, but Tibbs caught him with a kick. Tibbs tagged in Stevens. Tucker took them both down with a cross body. Tucker tossed Stevens to the outside and dropped Tibbs.

Tucker pointed to Otis and tagged him in. Otis executed the caterpillar and followed up with a jumping elbow. Stevens returned to the ring and the duo gave him the Compactor. Otis covered Stevens for the three count.

WINNERS: Heavy Machinery in 2:00

(LeClair’s Analysis: They switched up the Heavy Machinery squash formula a little bit, which is appreciated, as someone who covers all of their matches. The crowd really likes these guys, and they seem to really be enjoying themselves.)

-At the announcers desk, Michael Cole threw to recap of the Survivor Series chaos in the women’s division, with orchestrated attacks from NXT involving Shayna Baszler. They also showed Bayley showing up on NXT to seek revenge.

-Backstage, Kayla Braxton stood with Bayley and Sasha Banks. She said Bayley’s attacks on Raw and NXT felt personal. Bayley agreed, and said she’s a force to be reckoned with. Bayley said it’s finally about her, and it’ll make her happy to crush Nikki Cross’ dreams of joining Team Smackdown.

Sasha Banks laughed. She said Nikki doesn’t deserve to be on Team Smackdown. She said Nikki plays the victim and blames others for her losses. Bayley said after she beats Nikki again, maybe she’ll decide to join Team Smackdown too.

-Back in the arena, Nikki Cross headed to the ring. Cole said Nikki must beat Bayley to become part of Team Smackdown. Cole and Graves said the match would be after the break.

-Back from commercial, they aired footage of the tag team match that started the show. Cole announced that Roman Reigns will team with Shorty G and Ali to face King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode on next week’s show.

-Nikki Cross paced around the ring as her music continued to play. Bayley entered. Cole and Graves talked about Bayley’s new mindset.

(3) NIKKI CROSS vs. BAYLEY – If Nikki wins, she joins Team Smackdown

Bayley charged at Nikki as soon as the bell rang. Nikki side stepped her and tossed her to the floor. Nikki jumped outside, but Bayley tossed her into the ringside steps. Shayna Baszler jumped the ringside barrier. Bayley jumped in the ring. Baszler followed her. Bayley scooted under the bottom rope and escaped through the crowd.

Rhea Ripley, Dakota Kai, Mia Yim, and Tegan Nox appeared behind Bayley. Ripley punched Bayley and threw her over the barrier In the ring, Sasha jumped Shayna Baszler from behind. The NXT women slid in the ring to attack Banks, but the rest of the Smackdown women’s locker room showed up in Sasha’s defense.

A huge brawl ensued between the NXT and Smackdown women. The Smackdown women cleared the ring. NXT retreated through the crowd. Sasha grabbed a microphone. She suggest an eight woman tag team match. The show went to commercial.

WINNER: No contest in 2:00

(4) SASHA BANKS & NIKKI CROSS & DANA BROOKE & CARMELLA vs. RHEA RIPLEY & DAKOTA KAI & MIA YIM & TEGAN NOX

The bell rang as soon as the show returned from commercial. Nikki Cross and Dakota Kai kicked things off. Kai gave Cross a boot to take her down. Cross battled back with a running cross body and flurry of punches.

Kai quickly tagged in Mia Yim. Cross took her down with an arm drag. Carmella tagged herself in. Mia rolled through Carmella’s arm hold into one of her own. Mia chopped out of it. Yim threw Carmella into the corner. She went for a running big boot, but Carmella side stepped. Carmella caught Yim with a kick to the stomach. Mia retreated to her corner and tagged in Tegan Nox.

Nox kicked away at Carmella then tagged in Dakota Kai. Kai and Nox took turns hitting Carmella with elbows. Kai tagged Nox back in. Nox continued to work over Carmella. She hung her up in the ropes, then hit a snapmare. She followed up with an elbow to the spine. Nox taunted Carmella.

Carmella fought back with an elbow and jumped to her corner, tagging in Sasha Banks. Sasha dropped Nox and taunted the crowd. Nox rolled Sasha up for a two count. Sasha rolled to her feet and caught Nox with a knee to the face. Nox tagged in Rhea Ripley.

Ripley and Banks stood face to face. Banks slapped Ripley. Ripley countered an attempt by Sasha into a deadlift suplex. She went for a backdrop, but Sasha rolled through into the Bank Statement. Rhea rolled through it and shoved Banks into the corner. Sasha knocked the other members of NXT off the apron.

This move emptied the aprons. All eight women jawed at each other in the ring as the referee tried to keep them separated. The show conveniently went to commercial.

Rhea Ripley and Nikki Cross were the legal women when the show returned from break. Ripley knocked Sasha off the apron and threw Cross into the corner. Nikki hopped to the top rope and hit Ripley with a cross body, followed by a running bulldog. Dakota Kai tagged herself in before the move.

Cross hit Kai with a backdrop. She went for a cover, but Tegan Nox caught her with the Shining Wizard. Carmella hit Nox with a super kick. Mia Yim hit Carmella with Seoul Food. Dana Brooke hit Rhea Ripley with a handspring back elbow. Dana tossed Yim out of the ring.

Ripley took down Brooke with a big dropkick. Sasha Banks hit Rhea with double running knees. Dakota Kai hit Sasha with a big boot. Nikki Cross dove off the top rope to take out Kai, but Kai ducked and hit her with a scorpion kick. Kai tried to suplex Cross, but Nikki blocked it and hit the spinning neck breaker for a three count.

WINNERS: Sasha Banks, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, & Carmella in 10:00

The rest of team NXT immediately attacked Nikki. The Smackdown women returned to continue the brawl. Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose and Tamina rushed to the ring to help clear the NXT women. They escaped through the crowd.

(LeClair’s Analysis: This whole thing was dumbfounding. The original match between Cross and Bayley hardly even begins, but it’s never officially tossed out by the official. No bell sounds, no announcement is made. Suddenly the match is just over. There’s no rhyme or reason as to why those four Smackdown women in particular were gathered to face the NXT crew. Nikki, who didn’t earn her spot on Team Smackdown, now appears to have one. Sasha Banks is now more than willing to team with Cross despite bad mouthing her mere minutes before this match began. The eight women tag was perfectly fine, albeit a bit chaotic. It devolved into the usual finisher spam in the closing minute. Look, I get that some people enjoy seeing the NXT talent on main roster TV. I was even a big fan of the emergency show two weeks ago. This, though, is what I dislike so much about Survivor Series season. All logic goes right out the window in favor of video game fantasy camp.)

-Daniel Bryan was shown walking down a hallway toward the ring for MizTV, coming up after the break.

-After the break, Cole and Graves ran down the Survivor Series card.

-The Miz’s music played and he headed to the ring for MizTV. Cole and Graves wondered what Daniel Bryan may be thinking after being attacked by The Fiend on last week’s show.

The Miz welcomed the audience to MizTV. He said he was looking forward to this guest. He introduced Daniel Bryan. Bryan headed to the ring. Cole threw to a clip of last week’s attack.

In the ring, Bryan was seated next Miz. Miz asked Bryan why he thought The Fiend attacked him. Bryan didn’t answer. Miz said it was a fair and simple question. Bryan stroked his beard. Miz said he’d tell Bryan what he thinks.

Miz said he thinks The Fiend sees that Bryan isn’t the Superstar he used to be. He said Bryan is conflicted and confused. He said no one has any idea who Daniel Bryan is anymore. He asked if Bryan is the old, ultimate underdog, or the new environmentally friendly version.

“The truth is, I think the Fiend sees that you’re washed up,” Miz concluded. Miz said he thinks The Fiend wants to be the one to end Daniel Bryan Bryan stood up. He said he’d about Bray in a second.

“The reason why I was quiet is because MizTV sucks, and MizTV has always sucked,” Bryan said. He said Miz is right, though. Bryan said he’s not who he was ten years ago, and he may be washed up and mentally unstable. Bryan said he still has passion.

Miz rolled his eyes, “we’ve gone through this a hundred times,” he said. Bryan interrupted, “SHUT YOUR MOUTH!” he screamed. Bryan said no one understands passion combined with mental instability. Bryan said he could have rode the Yes movement out for the rest of his career, but he couldn’t because of his instability.

He blamed the mental instability for kicking A.J. Styles below the belt to win the WWE title. “You don’t understand it,” Bryan said. He said Bray Wyatt does understand. He said no one knows who is controlling who. “He’s mentally unstable,” Bryan said. “So am I.”

The Firefly Fun House music interrupted Bryan. Bray appeared on the tron. He said it’s very rude to speak about someone when they’re not present. He said being confused is a very scary feeling. He said maybe The Fiend attacked Bryan to scare him. “Or maybe he did it to remind you of what you did,” Bray turned sinister. “I really think he does.”

Bray snapped out of it. “Or maybe he just wants to play with you!” He laughed. Bray opened up a large toy box next to him and began throwing things out. He pulled out the Universal Championship and said it was his favorite new toy. He asked Bryan if he wanted to come play. He said Bryan needs to say the magic word.

The crowd broke into a “yes” chant. “No,” Bryan said. “Yes,” said Abby the Witch. “No,” declared Bryan. “Yes,” replied Mercy the Buzzard. Bryan refused again. “Yes,” burped Huskus the Pig. “No,” Bryan said again. “Yes!” exclaimed Ramblin’ Rabbit.

Bryan said he wouldn’t go play with Bray’s puppets. He said Bray is trying to manipulate him and the people. Bryan said he isn’t a puppet. He challenged The Fiend, or Bray Wyatt, to a match for the Universal title. “What do you say?” Bryan asked.

Bray smiled and said “yes.” He began doing the “yes” chant, growing increasingly more excited. The crowd followed along. The Fun House music played Bray out as he continued to scream.

“There you have it,” Miz said. He announced that Daniel Bryan would face The Fiend for the Universal title at Survivor Series. Bryan’s music and he left the ring. as the show faded to black.

(LeClair’s Analysis: Weird segment. Bryan seemed to be embracing a full on babyface turn at the beginning of the night, and by the end of it, things aren’t all that clear. Bryan cut down The Miz and seemed to disassociate himself from the audience at first, but then later accused Bray Wyatt of trying to manipulate the people. I’m not entirely sure what they’re going for here, unless the plan is to just let the audience cheer them both and decide later. In any case, it’s an interesting match-up and one of the better uses of both guys I could come up with for the time being.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Mixed bag of a show. The Survivor Series hype requires that you really just turn your brain off for a month. I try hard to judge the shows in a vacuum and how enjoyable of a two hours it is to spend my time watching them, but it’s hard to do that when there’s always the next week, next month, and so on, to consider. I enjoyed pieces of this show, namely the stuff involving Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn, but I really disliked the entire women’s segment and the non-finish to the tag team title match. I’ll be happy when we can move on from Survivor Series season.

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