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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 27, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY ARENA (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON FOX NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Ring Announcers: Greg Hamilton
-They opened with a wide shot of ThunderDome as Cole said Survivor Series is in the rear view mirror.
-Jey Uso made his entrance. Cole said no matter how you look at it, it’s been a rough week for Uso. He said he lost to Daniel Bryan on Sunday, and then his Team Smackdown was swept at Survivor Series. Graves said he ended Survivor Series in a big way, though, so “all’s well that ends well.” Jey said everyone is talking about Undertaker’s farewell, but what people should be talking about is how Roman Reigns represented. He said Drew McIntyre beat Brock Lesnar and Randy Orton, but he couldn’t beat his cousin. He excitedly called Roman the Head of the Table and the Best of the Best. He was interrupted mid-sentence by Roman’s music.
Reigns walked out with Paul Heyman. Reigns stared straight ahead at Uso. Heyman adjusted his tie and looked over at Reigns. Reigns, as usual, made no eye contact with Heyman. Cole said Reigns and Drew battled in a physical hard-hitting match, “and in the end, the Universal Champion Roman Reigns survived at Survivor Series.” He added, “You have to give the assist to Jey Uso.” Graves said Roman could have won on his own, but Jey just helped guarantee it.
(Keller’s Analysis: Why isn’t Cole instructed to show some level of disappointment if not condemnation at the tactics Reigns used to win. He cheated – blatantly – and Cole as the lead announcer should be advocating for Smackdown to have a champion they can be proud of. When the lead announcer seems okay with the ends justifying the means, it takes away the heel heat Reigns is going for when he cheats to win, plus it makes Cole seem like he’s more loyal to the brand than he is to the spirit of fair play and actually finding out who the best wrestler is.)
Reigns took his time getting to the ring, then held his belt in the air as Heyman stood behind him looking proud. He turned to Uso. Uso looked eagerly at Reigns for approval with a big smile. Reigns didn’t give it to him. Instead, he said under his breath into the mic, “Play.” They aired a video package of Reigns condemning Uso for losing because he couldn’t control his team and earn the respect of his teammates, then telling him he doesn’t have time for losers. Then they aired a recap of the Reigns-McIntyre battle. They showed Reigns and Uso watching the video screen of Reigns’s low-blow and Uso’s run-in.
Reigns told him after his Survivor Series match, that he told him to leave, but he didn’t. He asked if he told him he needed help. He said the answer is no. “Why do you think you and my team, Team Smackdown, lost at Survivor Series?” Reigns said. Jey said they wouldn’t listen to him. Reigns asked why they wouldn’t listen. He answered his own question again: “They didn’t listen because they don’t fear you. They don’t fear you because they don’t respect you. If they don’t respect you, they don’t respect us. If they don’t respect us, then who are we?” He said if he doesn’t think he’s the Head of the Table, he must see him as a whiny bitch begging for leftovers at the Thanksgiving table. He asked what that makes Jey, then. He asked Jey if that’s how he looks at him. Jey hung his head. Reigns was seething and said he doesn’t like the way his failures are making him feel. He dropped the mic, glared at Jey from behind, and then left him in the ring to absorb his condemnation. Graves said that wasn’t what Jey was expecting after he assisted in Reigns’s victory at Survivor Series. Cole said it might be deemed “tough love.”
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s so strange how they won’t let Cole condemn or judge anything about Reigns. Everything is neutral. And Cole and Graves talk about illegal interference with the euphemism of it being “an assist,” which is a benign characterization if not a virtual endorsement, like giving credit to a point guard for an assist to a power forward’s slam dunk. It’s so strange, and I think counterproductive to the purpose of a heel in wrestling who cheats to win. As for Reigns here, he was tremendous in his demeanor, but I don’t quite understand his pleasure with Jey on Sunday after he gave him his approval for helping him win on Sunday, only to on this night brow-beat him for losing earlier in the night last Sunday and disobeying his order to leave the arena before his match.)
-Otis’s music played and he walked out for his match against King Corbin. Jey Uso hadn’t made it to the back yet. Jey viciously attacked Otis from behind with a chair, and bashed him over and over again at ringside. A referee ran out as Uso let off some steam and got out his frustration and anger with how things went with Reigns. [c]
(1) THE STREET PROFITS vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & ROBERT ROODE – Non-Title match
Roode and Ziggler came out first and took some digs at Otis for biting off more than he can chew, just like his Thanksgiving plate. Roode said they want the tag team titles. The Profits came out next. Montez Ford said they’re apparently taking on Roode and HBK. Dawkins corrected him and said he’s just a big fan of HBK. Then he made fun of Roode only being able to grow hair on his upper lip. Cole and Graves wondered how the Profits couldn’t see Roode’s full beard. (Yeah, that was dumb. That was some of the Profits absolute worst material yet on the mic. Zero redeeming qualities.) Ford went for an early Frog Splash on Ziggler, but Ziggler moved after a brief delay caused by Roode. They cut to an early break. [c]
Ford made a comeback and tagged in Dawkins, who threw a barrage of rapid-fire offense against both Roode and Ziggler. Cole called Dawkins “a young man” (he’s 30, by the way) and said his agility is amazing. Ford landed a frog splash off the top rope on Roode, but Ziggler broke up the cover. Ford gave Ziggler an enzuigiri, but Roode then suddenly rolled up Ford for a three count. Ford sat up wide-eyed. Roode and Ziggler signaled they want a shot at the belts.
WINNERS: Roode & Ziggler in 8:00.
-Cole pivoted to introducing a video package on Daniel Bryan and Sami Zayn. They showed Bryan’s return to Smackdown last month, Bryan saying he wants to win the IC Title and defend it every week, and finally their altercation last week.
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Bryan backstage about his strategy. Bryan said his strategy is “acceptance and zen.” He said he’s had to accept that Jey Uso has a devil on his shoulder and he is more vicious and dangerous than ever, and he’s had to accept Sami whom he’s known for over 15 years is more delusional than ever. He said Sami sees himself as a master strategist and an incredible wrestler and the best IC Champ ever, but that’s delusional. He said what he actually does is exploit every loop hole he can. He said he’s there to break his delusions. He said not everybody is out to get Sami. He said, rather, he’s out to get his IC Championship. He said when he beats him tonight, he’ll be one step closer.
(Keller’s Analysis: Pro wrestling TV shows would be so much easier to write and book if everyone was as good as Bryan at a basic babyface promo like that.)
-Graves hyped that they’d relive the Final Farewell of Undertaker next. [c]
-Kayla interviewed Rey Mysterio, Dominic, Aalyah, and Murphy. Rey said he’s proud that Aalyah has grown into a proud, outspoken women. He said he’s proud that Murphy realized what a piece of garbage Seth really is. “You are no one’s disciple,” he said. King Corbin walked up and said it’s a joke that one win over Seth has led to them thinking they’re all one big happy family. He told Rey he didn’t pass along any of his wrestling skill to his son. He said that Dominic is just riding the coattails of Rey’s name while it still means something.
-Cole decried Corbin as having “absolutely no class.” (Why can’t Cole frame Reigns that way? Serious question. It’s strange how neutral Cole is in characterizing actions just as bad or worse than Corbin’s.) Cole threw to a video package on Taker’s career and his “Final Farewell” on Sunday. It closed with a “Thank You, Taker!” chant dubbed in.
-Cole said millions of people have had their connections with Taker. Graves said he was six years old watching Taker’s debut, and he watched in awe the whole time. He said when they’re all gone, the Undertaker will live forever. Cole said Taker changed their lives forever.
-Sami Zayn began his ring entrance. [c]
-Back live, Sami was mid-complaint about how he doesn’t respect Thanksgiving, which celebrates the atrocities against the Native American people and glutinous masses stuffing their faces with poor defenseless factory-farmed turkeys. He said that’s not for him. He said Bryan is the only one who should be thankful – Daniel Bryan. He said Mr. Nice Guy, after months of scheming, is getting the match he wants. He mocked Bryan saying if he were IC Champ, he’d defend the title more often. He said he beat Bryan at WrestleMania, and since then he’s done nothing to deserve the championship. He said WWE management is trying to sabotage him. Bryan’s music interrupted.
(2) SAMI ZAYN vs. DANIEL BRYAN – Non-Title match
A few minutes in Bryan dropkicked Sami off the top rope to the floor. Bryan then leaped off the top rope toward Sami, but Sami side-stepped him and threw him hard into the barricade. [c]
Back from the break, Sami had Bryan in a chinlock mid-ring. Bryan took Sami off the top rope with a rana and scored a two count.
Bryan went for a Yes kick, but Sami rolled to the floor. When Bryan went after him, Sami threw him into the ringpost. Then he gave him a brainbuster suplex on the edge of the ring apron. Graves said that was brutal. Both were slow to get up. Sami beat the countout first. Bryan did second. Sami then gave Bryan a quick Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Bryan countered Sami’s back suplex into a cross arm-breaker attempt. He transitioned into a Yes Lock. Sami rolled to the floor. Bryan dove through the ropes and tackled Sami into the announce desk. Bryan swiftly threw Sami into the ring. Sami rolled out to the other side of the ring. Bryan dove onto him there. Sami tried to run up the ramp. Bryan caught up with him, but Sami broke free and ran to the back. Bryan pursued him. Graves said it’s brilliant because if it’s a double countout, it’s as if the match never happened. Suddenly Sami ran back to the ring and beat the count and was declared the victor.
WINNER: Sami via countout in 13:00.
-They cut backstage where Jey Uso was attacking Bryan. Kevin Owens made the save. Jey left and yelled, “You know where I’ll be, KO!” Owens told the ref to be sure Bryan is okay, then said he’s going where Jey is going. [c]
-Backstage, Jey was telling Reigns about what he did. He told him to trust him on this. Owens walked up to them and told Reigns he’s had it with his family issues affecting everyone else. He said he’s getting into Jey’s head. He said or someone who claims family is so important, he sure treats his family like trash. He turned and left. Reigns turned to Jey and told him to understand that he takes pride in how his sons look at him. He said KO doesn’t look at him with fear. “Fix that,” he said.
(3) NATALYA vs. BIANCA BELAIR
Belair skipped to the ring while twirling her braids. She blew kisses, spanked her own ass, and then danced some more in the ring and twirled her pony tail some more. Just as Cole said it would be a one-on-one match. Bayley’s music then played and she joined Cole and Graves on commentary. When Cole noted that Peyton Royce beat her at Survivor Series, Bayley offered to wrestle Cole. Cole said he had no interest. Belair went after Natalya at ringside. Bayley stood and told her to be careful she doesn’t get counted out again. Belair punched Bayley. Natalya hit Belair from behind. When Bayley climbed onto the ring apron, Belair just happened to power out of the sharpshooter and send Natalya into Bayley. Belair then rolled up Natalya for the three count. Bayley trash-talked Belair from ringside. Belair celebrated her win and said she’s the E-S-T.
WINNER: Belair in 3:00.
-They went to the announcers at ringside who reacted to the match. Then they showed Heyman chatting with Adam Pearce backstage. Cole wondered what they are talking about. Graves said Heyman can be very persuasive.
-Murphy came out with Rey, Dominik, and Aalyah. Cole said he’d be facing Corbin next.
(Keller’s Analysis: I have no idea where they’re ultimately going with Murphy and the Mysterio Family. Murphy doesn’t really talk. It’s strange to have the family accompany him to the ring for his matches. I just don’t see what the end game is here. That’s neither good nor bad. It’s just pointing out that it doesn’t seem obvious what’s up.) [c]
(4) KING CORBIN vs. MURPHY (w/Rey Mysterio, Dominik, Aalyah)
Corbin grew frustrated early when the Mysterio family kept pestering him from ringside. Murphy sent Corbin head-first into the ringside steps. Back in the ring, Corbin ducked a top rope move by Murphy, then delivered a Deep Six. Rey entered the ring. The ref told him to get out. Corbin yelled in frustration for Rey to stay out of the ring. Graves said Rey might’ve pinned Murphy there. Graves said Corbin has every justification to complain to the ref. Cole said he’d have to agree with him at this point. Dominick grabbed at Corbin’s leg as he ran the ropes. Corbin turned to yell at him. Murphy then gave Corbin a high knee and covered him. Corbin put his leg on the bottom rope. Dominick shoved it off. The ref counted to three. Graves exclaimed, “On what planet was that legal?”
WINNER: Murphy in 4:00.
-Corbin yelled on the mic how outrageous that was. He said it was four-on-one and they’re all a bunch of spineless cowards. He demanded a rematch against Murphy next week, and he said he’d be prepared.
(Keller’s Analysis: What was that? Shouldn’t Cole have at least pointed that Corbin was so disrespectful of the Mysterio family earlier that they decided to torment him in this match, and note how Corbin can’t be too critical consider what he’s done in the past. Or something like that to try to frame Corbin as not being deserving of sympathy.) [c]
-They went backstage to Big E and Apollo Crews trying to toss wads of paper into a trash can backstage. Sami walked up and said he’s about to talk to Braxton about his win over “future Hall of Famer Daniel Bryan.” He said he beat Bryan in ten seconds instead of the usual three. He taunted Crews that he beat him in ten seconds recently, too. Big E told Sami that he has no foundation to the house’s built. He said his margin for error is razor thin. He said Sami knows it’s true. He said one flick or one gust of wind will knock down his house of cards. Sami said he’s disappointed in Big E because he’s trying to diminish him just like everybody else. He said it comes across as sour grapes. He said he’s in the midst of a historic IC Title reign, whereas Big E’s last reign was many years ago and was forgettable. He told Big E that he should be applauding him. Big E mock-applauded him. Sami asked if that was so hard. Big E shook his hand and squeezed it for a count of ten as Sami winced in pain. Big E left. Braxton called Sami over for an interview. He yelled for her to leave him alone.
-Billie Kaye presented Cole and Graves with her head shots. She said she’d be more than happy to take over the announcing from here.
-Carmella sat backstage and talked about taking out Sasha Banks so easily. She said everyone is about to find out who the most dominant woman on Smackdown is. She said she used to be like Banks, doing things for the fans and bending to their will and losing herself. She said now she’s calling her shots and giving the orders, and everyone else jumps for her. She snapped her fingers twice. Sasha showed up with a glass of wine and threw it in her face, then attacked her. Pat Buck and Pearce pried Sasha off of Carmella.
-Kevin Owens came out. Cole said Heyman was talking with Pearce earlier about this match. [c]
-They advertised that Belair, Owens, Ziggler, and Roode would join Braxton and Heyman on “Talking Smack” available on WWE Network.
(5) KEVIN OWENS vs. JEY USO
As Jey came out to the ring, they showed Heyman and Reigns watching on a monitor backstage. KO took control at the bell and aggressively went at Uso. In a cool touch, Heyman didn’t actually watch the monitor with the match on it, but rather he watched Reigns to see what his reaction was to what he was watching on the monitor. KO tossed Uso around ringside, including catapulting him into the ringpost, then landing two superkicks, the second one sending Uso over the barricade. [c]
Back from the break, KO landed (or overshot) a flip senton onto Jey at ringside, then scored a near fall in the ring. They went back to Reigns watching the monitor and Heyman watching Reigns. Uso made a comeback by yanking KO’s arm over the top rope, then controlling the action for a while. Cole said Jey is confused over how he should act. Graves said Reigns’s orders are clear and Jey just needs to do what Reigns tells him to do. Uso charged at KO in the corner, but KO moved. KO continued to favor his arm. KO chopped Uso’s chest. He went for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, but his arm gave out. Jey then delivered a superkick to the chin for a two count.
Jey headbutted KO’s injured arm and went for a top rope splash, but KO lifted his knees and then dropped his head over his knee for a two count. Graves said KO might be the only wrestler in WWE who’s not afraid of Reigns right now. Jey reached under the ring and pulled out a chair. He bashed KO with it and was DQ’d.
WINNER: Owens in 12:00 via DQ.
-When Jey swung a chair at KO after the match, KO blocked it and delivered a stunner instead. Jey rolled to the floor and winced in pain. KO threw him onto and over the announce table. KO bashed Uso with a chair across the back. KO called out Reigns. He looked into the camera and said Reigns wants people to fear him, but he fears no one. He bashed Jey several more times with the chair. He turned back to the camera and added: “Including you!” Reigns snarled as Heyman put his hand up to his face. “Roman, you got a problem with me, come say it to my face.” He stood on the announce desk and told Roman to come get him. “I’m the head of this table!” he shouted. He re-entered the ring and gave Jey another Stunner. Reigns didn’t move from in front of the monitor backstage. KO sat at the announce desk at the “head of the table” spot and asked Roman where he is. The show ended with Reigns drawing a deep breath and staring down as KO said he’d be waiting for him.