WKPWP - Mailbag - Keller & Fann talk WrestleMania line-up
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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
NOVEMBER 22, 2019
CHICAGO, ILL. AT THE ALLSTATE ARENA
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Arena, Top 10 Moments of Last Week’s Show, and Items Advertised by WWE
WWE begins a four-night stay in the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Ill. tonight as we get ready for Survivor Series weekend. Deep dish pizza and loaded Chicago dogs will be a-flowing as the “windy city” plays host to tonight’s Smackdown, tomorrow’s NXT: Takeover, Sunday’s Survivor Series, and Monday’s Raw. The arena opened in 1980 as the Rosemont Horizon and is chock full of WWF/E history. The Chicago portion of WrestleMania 2 took place here and 30 years later, WrestleMania returned which featured John Cena defending the WWE Championship against Triple H in the main event. Also, on that night, Rey Mysterio captured his first World Heavyweight Championship defeating Kurt Angle and Randy Orton. Who could forget CM Punk, who recently returned to WWE, defeating Cena for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank in 2011 and then “leaving the company” with the title. This was also the arena where Tommaso Ciampa turned on his #DIY partner Johnny Gargano after failing to capture the NXT Tag Team Championship from the Authors of Pain. Numerous other PPVs, Raws, Smackdowns, house shows, and even a WCW Nitro in 1995 have emanated from this historic arena.
Here is the WWE YouTube clip of the top 10 moments of last week’s show:
Due to my work schedule I am submitting this prior to WWE actually posting their official preview. For the most part, we can expect the final build for Survivor Series after multiple run-ins by all brands on every show. Everything points towards this weekend. Here’s what’s on tap thus far:
- Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, and Shorty G battle King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode
- Daniel Bryan summons Bray Wyatt to the Smackdown ring
Matches & Segments
Roman Reigns & Mustafa Ali & Shorty G vs. King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler & Bobby Roode
Last week on Raw, King Corbin & Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler opened the show and bored us for about 10 minutes talking about how Corbin should be team Smackdown Survivor Series captain, Roode verified it, and Ziggler said it should have been us (they at least did that). Ziggler is of course referring to he and a Roode being on the team instead of Ali and Shorty G. Oh yeah and Corbin was carried to the ring on a throne by a bunch of bald guys (he should have at least had George Costanza from Seinfeld). Anyway, Corbin then had a mascot dressed like a dog come out to Roman Reigns’ music with the sound of (I assume) a chihuahua barking.
Ziggler and Roode went on to face Ali & Shorty G for their Survivor Series spots. Reigns eventually came out and gave Corbin a Drive By as he was about to hand Roode his scepter and later on a spear. Ali and Shorty G won the match and retained their spots on the team when Ali hit his 450 Splash on Ziggler. Here’s Ali and Shorty G in an exclusive WWE.com interview:
Tonight, in advance of Survivor Series, team Smackdown breaks up in a matter of speaking as Roman Reigns pairs with Ali and Shorty G to take on Corbin, Ziggler, and Roode.
Frank’s Analysis: It’s a shame that a 74-year old man who finds things funny that nobody else does, wants Raw and Smackdown to be for his entertainment. That tag match last week on paper, without all the bulls**t, was one I looked forward to and enjoyed. It’s too bad it was marred with the Corbin nonsense. With us heading into Survivor Series and seeing all the chaos on Monday night, I expect more of the same here.
Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt Confrontation Before Survivor Series
For the second straight Survivor Series, Daniel Bryan has a date with the Universal Champion. Last year as the WWE Champion, he faced Brock Lesnar in a non-title match. This year, the Universal Championship is on the line as “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defends against Bryan.
Last week on Miz TV, after telling Miz that his show sucked and pretty much admitting he was mentally unstable, Bryan challenged Wyatt for the Universal Championship. Wyatt, while in the Firefly Funhouse, accepted by saying Yes! Yes! Yes! Bryan explained to Miz that Wyatt gets him because he’s mentally unstable as well.
Tonight, ahead of their match at Survivor Series, Bryan has summoned Wyatt to the ring.
Frank’s Analysis: I walked away from Smackdown last week not necessarily thrilled with what they did with Bryan but intrigued. You don’t want to run him right back to the Yes movement, but rather build towards that if in fact that’s the plan. Having Wyatt say Yes! Yes! Yes! worked for me. It will be interesting to see if they put the title on Bryan. I doubt it, but don’t rule it out. More interesting to me will be to see the fan reaction. Like it or not, people like Wyatt even though he’s positioned as a heel.
Final Build for Survivor Series
This past week on Smackdown, Raw, and NXT, there were multiple run-ins, brawls, and inter-brand matches. Let’s run down the list of what happened.
- NXT’s Undisputed Era interrupted the Smackdown Tag Team Championship match between champs the Revival and New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston). Other Smackdown wrestlers got involved.
- NXT’s Rhea Ripley & Tegan Nox & Dakota Kai & Mia Yim interrupted a match between Nikki Cross and Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley which would have earned Nikki a spot on the Smackdown women’s Survivor Series team. That mushroomed into Sasha Banks, Nikki, Carmella, and Dana Brooke of Smackdown taking on the NXT women mentioned. Team Smackdown won. Later in the week, Nikki was named to team Smackdown.
Here she is in a WWE exclusive:
- NXT’s Marina Shafir, Jessamyn Duke, and Champ Shayna Baszler got involved with Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair. Here’s Shayna after the run-in and Becky on WWE brands:
- Smackdown’s Lucha House Party got involved between Seth Rollins and Andrade. Here’s Andrade in a WWE exclusive:
- NXT’s The Forgotten Sons, Dominic Dijakovic, and Damien Priest brawled with multiple Raw wrestlers while NXT’s Undisputed Era and Raw’s O.C. went at it after Kevin Owens and Drew McIntyre’s match ended as a result of Triple H’s appearance. Triple H proposed that Owens return to NXT in long but interesting promo. Here’s Owens in a WWE exclusive after that promo:
- Multiple Smackdown wrestlers interrupted the Raw Tag Team Championship between the Viking Raiders and Randy Orton & Ricochet. Several NXT wrestlers got involved including Keith Lee (woop woop). This closed the show.
- Becky Lynch opened the show, making her first appearance since being called up in 2015. She then took on Rhea Ripley. The match was interrupted by Baszler, Duke, and Shafir who were fought off by Becky and Rhea.
- Raw’s Ricochet attacked Kona Reeves as he was headed to the ring to take on Matt Riddle. Ricochet took on Riddle instead. During the match, Smackdown’s Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro came out. Nakamura was attacked by NXT North American Champion Roderick Strong.
NXT Tag Team Champions Undisputed Era (Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly) defeated former NXT champs and stalwarts the Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder).
- NXT UK Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray defeated Dakota Kai in a non-title match. Afterwards, multiple women from both brands came out and brawled. It ended with Smackdown’s Nikki Cross celebrating with the fans. Nikki was quite a favorite in her time at NXT.
- Raw Tag Team Champions and former NXT champs the Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar) defeated the Forgotten Sons (Steven Cutler & Wesley Blake).
- After the ladder match between NXT Champion Adam Cole and Dominic Dijakovic to determine the WarGames advantage, multiple Smackdown and Raw wrestlers got involved again. Most notably, former NXT Champion Drew McIntyre gave Dijakovic the Claymore Kick. Keith Lee hit his Spirit Bomb on Drew. Raw’s Seth Rollins, the first NXT Champion, went after Adam Cole. Tommaso Ciampa came out and brawled with Rollins.
As of this writing, there are a few things we don’t know for this weekend:
- Any member of the men’s NXT team for the triple threat Survivor Series match
- Any member of the women’s NXT team for their triple threat match
- The fourth member of Team Ciampa in the WarGames match for Takeover. Ciampa is paired with Keith Lee and Dominic Dijakovic so far to take on all four members of Undisputed Era.
We can expect much of what we’ve gotten in the past two shows in terms of run-ins and appearances as we button up the build towards Survivor Series.
Frank’s Analysis: There were so many run-ins and brawls that to be honest, it did nothing for me. To me, the NXT show was proof that there is zero to brand loyalty. The fans DO NOT CARE. They cheer for the wrestlers they like. Raw’s Becky Lynch got a big pop from the NXT crowd, as did Nikki Cross. The Viking Raiders were cheered as well. Wrestlers that had nothing to do with the Survivor Series matches got involved. It’s just a mess. I don’t care who’s on team NXT for either the men or the women. About the only intriguing thing for me is what will happen with Kevin Owens. After the conversation Triple H had with him in the ring on Raw, I wonder if he lands in NXT. He could very possibly be the fourth member of Team Ciampa at WarGames. The problem with that though, is why does Owens get to change brands? We saw Brock Lesnar do it, but at least Paul Heyman explained why he could … sort of. This is why this whole Survivor Series month is Motrin or Tylenol inducing, and I can’t wait until it’s over.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- Braun Strowman beat up Drew Gulak and the B-Team.
- Heavy Machinery won a squash match.
I don’t have a lot more to say other than what I and others have said about this battle for brand supremacy. Fortunately, things end this weekend and we get back to some level of normalcy. I understand why the NXT people were involved this time around, but I just wish this past week’s episode didn’t resemble Raw or Smackdown. NXT is different and special for a reason, and I hope they get back to that. As for tonight, we just wait and see if we learn anything about what we don’t know yet of the weekend.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!