KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 29, 2019
BIRMINGHAM, ALA. AT LEGACY ARENA
AIRS ON DELAY ON FOX
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-The Smackdown theme played, followed by pyro in the arena as the camera panned the audience. The virtual billboard noted they were in Birmingham, Ala. and Cole noted they were at Legacy Arena in Birmingham. Cole and Graves talked about the new Firefly Funhouse character being introduced, plus New Day would have an open challenge for their tag team titles.
-Roman Reigns made his ring entrance. There was an eruption of high-pitched cheers, then some boos, and then when he appeared mostly cheers. Cole said he was the “sole survivor from Friday Night Smackdown.” Cole said Reigns is the locker room leader and reestablished that on Sunday. Graves said Reigns turned on Baron Corbin at the end of the match. Cole said he’s revising history because Corbin declared himself captain, but put his personal issues ahead of himself during the match, which is why Reigns did what he did. Graves said Reigns is an egomaniac and the team delivered in spite of Reigns’s actions.
Reigns entered the ring. They cut to Cole and Graves at ringside. Reigns said to him Thanksgiving means happiness, family, and health, and one year ago he only had one of those. He said he has all three this year, and he thanked the fans for being part of his family. He said he has even more to be thankful for because Team Smackdown whooped some ass last Sunday. Some fans chanted “NXT!” Other booed back. Reigns said, “Hey, it’s all WWE. NXT, they’re badass too. They didn’t get the job done. Smackdown did, baby.” (Uh, no, NXT won the night.) He thanked his partners Ali, Shorty G, and Braun Strowman. He said they also had “one dummy on the team.” He said he’s not going to thank a dummy, and if anything that dummy should be thanking him. He asked if they should bring the dummy out to make him apologize.
Corbin walked out onto the stage and said Reigns must’ve lost his mind if he wants him to thank him. He said his fearless leadership is what helped Smackdown win. He said he eliminated two people before Reigns selfishly turned on his team and got him elimination. He said his ego couldn’t handle that he was going to win and be the sole survivor and get the job done. Reigns said he didn’t get the job done, though. He said he can get the job done tonight, though, “right here in Birmingham, Alabama.”
Corbin said he knew he’d say something like that, but he doesn’t have him fooled like he has the people fooled. He said he might have the people tricked into thinking he’s some kind of role model, but he’s not buying it. He bragged about the Thanksgiving dinner he had. He said Reigns ate dog food. He ripped on Birmingham because the food there is worse than the football. Corbin said he has a feeling Reigns will be wheeled out of there on a stretcher and it’ll be absolutely glorious. Then out came Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Roode was in his robe and ready to wrestle. Cole said he’s apparently facing Reigns. [c]
(1) ROBERT ROODE (w/Dolph Ziggler, Baron Corbin) vs. ROMAN REIGNS
Cole said all Corbin does is talk about himself, so how can anyone stand being around him. Corbin taunted fans at ringside as Roode controlled the early action. Reigns fought back with some punches and then knocked Roode to the floor. Ziggler distracted Reigns, giving Roode a chance to blindside him and knock him off the ring apron. He threw him into the announce desk and celebrated. Then he threw him into the barricade and they cut to a break with Reigns down and in jeopardy. [c]
Reigns made a comeback after the break, then had some words for Corbin at ringside. Reigns smiled and set up a Superman Punch. Ziggler distracted Roode, who then rolled up Reigns for a two count. Roode his a second rope blockbuster for another two count. Reigns blocked a Glorious DDT, then lifted and dropped Roode with a sitout powerbomb for a believable near fall that popped the high-pitched members of the crowd. Reigns gave Ziggler a Superman Punch at ringside, but Roode then shoved Reigns into the ringpost and then shoved him into the ringside steps. Reigns made a comeback a minute later and went for a spear, but Roode turned it into a spinebuster for a near fall. Graves said Roode was very close there to the biggest win of his singles career. Corbin slipped the scepter to Roode as the ref was checking on Reigns’s condition. Corbin distracted the ref on the ring apron as Roode wound up the scepter. Roode swung, but Reigns blocked it and landed a Superman Punch. He delivered a punch to Corbin, then speared and pinned Roode.
WINNER: Reigns in 17:00.
-Afterward, Ziggler jumped Reigns from behind. Ziggler stomped the mat to set up his superkick, but Reigns countered with a Samoan Drop. He threw Corbin shoulder-first into the ringpost. Roode then hit Reigns from behind with the scepter. Roode put Reigns face-down on a chair in the ring and yelled, “Say hello to your kids!” He then wound up with the scepter, but Reigns moved and then gave Roode a Superman Punch. Reigns then speared Roode through the barricade at ringside. Reigns took the top of the steps and swung them into Ziggler, knocking him into the front row. Reigns lifted the announce desk and tipped it onto Roode at ringside. His music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: Pretty much just paint-by-numbers stuff there, but it was certainly fine. Corbin is better with Ziggler and Roode around him, and having Roode compete well against Reigns before losing helped both to a certain degree. It’s good to hear Reigns on the mic speak from the heart and connect with fans the way he did there.)
-They showed the Firefly Funhouse logo and jingle and said that was “up next.” [c]
-They went to Cole and Graves standing at ringside. They said Reigns was in “an altered state” tonight. Then they threw to clips of the Universal Title match at Survivor Series last Sunday.
-Firefly Funhouse: Bray waved and said hello to the Fireflies. He said “sharing is caring,” so if he has a Universal Title belt, it’s only fair “he has one too.” They flashed to images of The Fiend with a custom Fiend belt. Bray’s belt has the Fiend plates with an image of The Fiend engraved, but The Fiend’s belt was very different. He said he loves his new toy and had an absolute blast playing with Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series. He said he’d like to do it again. He asked if they’d like to see him play with Bryan again. The kids cheered. Bray said he can make his wish come true and make it all change for the better because all he has to do is let him in. His voice got sinister. He then said goodbye. There was no new character introduced!
-Ali made his entrance. [c]
-Sheamus, in a shadowy lighting, said the current state of Smackdown is pathetic. He said he just sees misfits and corwards – a Fiend, a King, a Shorty G, “whatever the hell that is.” He said he doesn’t see anyone hungry or with a backbone. That’s why this is the perfect time for him to return. He said Smackdown has gone soft and he will ravage everyone who stands in his way. “Smackdown will be mine,” he said in a whisper-like voice.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sheamus can add some needed depth to the Smackdown roster, and he’s been gone long enough, he’ll feel somewhat fresh. I’m not blown away by this promo. It sounds too similar to Drew McIntyre’s character on Raw.)
(2) MUSTAFA ALI vs. DREW GULAK
Cole talked about how this rivalry revved up when Gulak did a powerpoint presentation questioning Ali’s performance at Survivor Series. Gulak dominated early, but Ali came back with a 450 splash for the win.
WINNER: Ali in 4:00.
-They showed Bayley and Sasha Banks walking backstage. Cole said they’re going to address the entire women’s division next.
-A Black Friday spot aired with Heavy Machinery touting various items including a waffle iron and slow cooker. [c]
-They showed Bryan pacing backstage. Graves wondered if Bryan was contemplating Bray’s offer. Then they threw to highlights from the women’s Survivor Series elimination tag match
-Sasha and Bayley made their ring entrance. Sasha said they didn’t choose their teammates because, had they, they would’ve easily won. Bayley said she didn’t lose because Shayna Baszler is better than her. She said Smackdown lost because the entire locker room let her down. Sasha said a strong leader is only as strong as the weakest link, and the weakest link on their team was everyone else. She took shots at everyone, noting Dana Brooke couldn’t flex her way out of a paper bag, Nikki Cross got on the team through a fluke, and Carmella is messy, not money, and will never be as rich as her. Bayley said Lacey Evans was too busy sipping sweet tea on her porch to be any help. Sasha said the entire women’s division makes her sick. Lacey’s entrance music played. She walked out to zero pop.
Lacey entered the ring and said she just spent the entire night preparing a Thanksgiving dinner for 36 people including her in-laws, so she’s in n0 mood to listen to two women who aren’t fit for the kiddie table lipping off to her. She said she wouldn’t trust those two nasties to lead a chicken dance at a garden party. She said if they’re going to hide behind lame excuses and blame everyone but themselves for their failures, it’s time for the Smackdown Women’s Division gets a real woman to be the locker room leader, a woman with style, class, confidence, and sophistication. A “Lacey Evans!” chant started. Bayley and Sasha were upset. When Bayley got in her face, Lacey gave her a Women’s Right and then left.
-They went backstage to Kayla Braxton asking Bryan if he’s ready to answer Bray’s challenge. Suddenly the Firefly Funhouse jingle played. They went back to the Funhouse where the pig character Huskus was burping over a table of Thanksgiving leftovers. Huskus said the only way he’d feel better is if Bryan played with them again. Bray said everything about Thanksgiving he’s heard is a lie. He said it was between the musclemen and the reptilians. He said he can change, just as Bryan can change, as long as he follows a few simple rulesThey went to Bray Wyatt teaching Huskus to do the Muscleman Dance. They did a rap with images of junk food. “Erase your mind to the Muscleman Dance,” said Bray in a sinister voice. He then told everyone to let him in, and don’t let the reptilians in. Then they went back to Bray saying, “Let me in.” Back with Bryan and Braxton, Braxton said, “Well?” Fans chanted “Yes!” Bryan pondered the possibility as the camera zoomed in close, and then they cut to a break without an answer. [c]
(3) NIKKI CROSS vs. SONYA DEVILLE (w/Mandy Rose)
Before the match, Mandy Rose made fun of Cross. She said she looks like a cold plate of Thanksgiving leftovers. Cole said, “Well, that was mature.” Deville attacked Nikki at the bell. Graves said she was trying to grind the features off of her face, “and it’d probably be an upgrade.” Nikki made a comeback and gave Sonya a running bulldog. She pounded her chest and then climbed to the top rope. Rose distracted Nikki, then Sonya yanked Nikki off the top rope to the floor. Nikki surprised Sonya with a small package for the win.
WINNER: Cross in 2:00.
-Afterward, Rose and Sonya attacked Nikki. Alexa Bliss ran out for the save. Bliss slapped Rose and then gave her a stereo DDT with Sonya. They celebrated with a big hug. Cole said the friends were reunited tonight.
-Backstage Miz approached Bryan. He said he’s not his friend and certainly is not his mentor. He told him to look at what happened to people when The Fiend is done with them. He said he did survive The Fiend once, and it’s tempting to go after the Universal Championship again, but he asked him to consider whether it’s worthy. Miz asked Bryan if he realizes how important he is to Smackdown and his locker room. “We can’t afford to lose you,” he said. “You’re family can’t.” Bryan shot him a look. Miz raised his arms and backed away. [c]
-Backstage Drake Maverick approached Dana Brooke who was laughing at something on her phone. He asked her if she knows his favorite Christmas tradition. He held up mistletoe and said, “Merry Christmas.” She said not this holiday or any holiday ever. She asked if he’s married. He said, “It’s complicated.” In walked Elias with his guitar. Dana asked where he’s been. He said he’s been on a journey inwards and outwards and he’s changed. Drake asked what that even means. Elias asked everyone to silence their cell phones and told Drake to shut his mouth. He played guitar and Dana danced. Drake walked away.
-New Day made their ring entrance. Big E said they had quite a Thanksgiving. He said they had to fill up on all the fixings. Big E then said today is Black Friday. He said it’s a day near and dear to their hearts because he debuted on that day, plus it’s a deal of their wildest treasure hunt fantasies can come true. Kofi said they’ve decided to open their doors for business. He said it’s a match for their tag team titles and it’s an open challenge. The crowd chanted, “Who?” Out came Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn. Sami told everyone to shut their mouths. He said it makes him sick to his stomach hearing the two of them come out and romanticize a holiday like Thanksgiving. He said it’s a holiday where the glutinous masses celebrates imperialistic evil. He said then they tout Black Friday deals, which is a corporate scan of a holiday that promotes rampant consumerism and epitomizes all the evils of capitalism with people so selfish, they’d step over their own mothers to put an extra dollar or two in their pockets. “Shame on you! Every single one of you who continue to perpetuate and partake in this bogus holiday every year,” he said. He said it’s time for the tag titles to be held by a team smart enough to see through the nonsense. [c]
(4) THE NEW DAY vs. CESARO & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Sami Zayn) – Smackdown Tag Team Title match
After a few minutes of action, they cut to an early break. [c]
Back from the break, Sami eventually tried to interfere with the tray the pancakes were on. The ref ordered him to the locker room. Sami threw a fit. Kofi gave Cesaro a Trouble in Paradise to win.
WINNERS: New Day in 12:00 to retain the tag titles.
(Keller’s Analysis: Every time Sami is called “a liberator,” it strikes me as something Saudi Arabia would suggest WWE attach to a heel to make “liberating” people seem like a bad thing.)
-They went to Cole and Graves on camera who threw to clips of the Roode-Reigns angle earlier.
-They showed Bryan backstage. [c]
-Bryan made his way to the ring and talked about The Fiend’s invite and what Miz warned him. Bryan said maybe he does need to be changed. He said he walked into the match against The Fiend as nervous as he has in years because he knew The Fiend had the potential to change him the way he did Finn Balor and Seth Rollins. He said in the middle of the match, he suddenly felt changed. He said he wasn’t changed because of The Fiend, but rather because of the fans. He said it was their passion, voice, and energy showed him the person he should’ve been this whole time. Bryan said Fiend has said on numerous occasions the Yes Movement is dead, but maybe just maybe the fans brought it back to life. He said he has one question for them. He said Bryan challenged him to a Universal Title match. He asked the fans if they accept. They chanted “Yes! Yes!” Bryan said it doesn’t feel complete unless he’s doing it with them. He joined in.
The Firefly Funhouse jingle played. Bryan turned to the big screen where Bray was all smiles and said this new energy is so exciting. He said he has to say something. He said Miz is right because if he goes through with this, he will change because he will remove his mask and show everyone his true form. “It’s only fair, because you helped me change, Daniel,” he said. “You helped build this place.” He got sinister and said “he” certain remembers. Then he snapped out of it and said he almost forgot the best part. He said he promised all of his Fireflies a new face tonight. He said he is many things, including a man of his word. He gave off a sinister laugh. Then the lights went dark and Bryan began to brace himself. Suddenly The Fiend showed up from a hole in the canvas. He grabbed his legs and pulled him into his grip. He applied a Mandible Claw. He pulled Bryan under the ring with him. Then he yanked upward and revealed two wads of what appeared to Bryan’s hair. Then he yanked some more under the canvas and came up with even more wads of hair. Cole wondered what was going on. And then Fiend reached down and pulled up more hair as the show ended with Fiend’s sinister laughter.
(Keller’s Analysis: Does this mean Bryan is tired of long hair, so they’re doing this to give him an excuse to get a clean-cut look again?)