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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
DECEMBER 4, 2020
ORLANDO, FLA. AT AMWAY ARENA (“THUNDERDOME”)
AIRED ON FOX NETWORK
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Ring Announcers: Greg Hamilton
-They opened with an image of Pat Patterson on the big screen and then the roster gathered on the stage for a moment of silence, including Gerald Brisco. They went to Michael Cole and Corey Graves at ringside. Cole said he had an incredible mind, body, and spirit. They did a ten bell salute. A “Thank you, Pat!” chant aired.
-The Smackdown opening theme aired. Then the camera panned the screens in ThunderDome.
-Kayla Braxton introduced the show from mid-ring. She introduced Roman Reigns, noting he will team with his cousin Jey Uso against Kevin Owens & Otis later. She touted his accomplishments and then his music played and he walked out with Paul Heyman and Jey. Cole noted that Otis hasn’t forgotten that Jey attacked him before his scheduled match last week. Cole touted it as “a massive main event on Smackdown.”
Heyman gazed at Roman from the side as Roman stared straight ahead, still having yet to make obvious eye contact with Heyman since they became aligned. Uso did make eye contact with Heyman as Heyman welcomed him to walk up the steps to the ring before him. Reigns asked Kayla if she knows which accolade she missed. She didn’t know. Reigns ACTUALLY LOOKED AT HEYMAN and smiled. He said Reigns is the reigning, defending, undisputed best of the best. She apologized for missing that part.
Kayla said Reigns has become a commanding figure in WWE ThunderDome. She asked about last week. They threw to a clip of Reigns chewing out Jey last week about how his partners at Survivor Series don’t fear him. He said he’s making him look weak through his own failures. Then clips aired of Jey attacking Otis and then Owens smashing Jey with a chair over and over and saying he doesn’t fear anyone, including Reigns.
Back in the ring live, Jey looked nervous with trepidation. Reigns looked irked. Kayla asked if Owens is right that Reigns doesn’t fear him. Reigns chuckled at the insulting question, then hilariously said: “This is probably the biggest thing you’ve ever done on Smackdown, the most relevant you’ve ever been, the most viewed thing you’ve ever been part of, and you ask me stupid questions.” He said they could have had Cole do the interview, but they took a chance on her, “and you blew it with a stupid question.” (This is tremendous.)
Kayla asked Roman if he’s using Jey as a pawn and manipulating him. “Those are stupid words from stupid people,” he said. “I don’t mean any disrespect. Do I look like a man who manipulates? I am a protector, I am a provider. I am the head of the table.” He said Jey is one-half of the greatest tag team of their generation, and he takes nothing away from him. He asked Kayla if she has done any research and looked at any of the facts. He said they gave her a huge opportunity, and said Heyman went to bat for her, and Kayla blew it twice. Roman asked Heyman to “handle this amateur.”
Heyman said the last five weeks, Jey has headlined Smackdown and the ratings have been on the highest surge of the entire calendar year because of “Main Event Jey Uso.” He said that’s not a manipulation, but rather it’s a result of Reigns being a motivator. Owens’ music interrupted.
Owens walked out and said he made it clear last week he doesn’t fear Reigns. He said since Reigns says he doesn’t fear him, why not get this settled right then and there. As Heyman was about to talk, Jey yanked the mic from Heyman as he was about to hand it to Reigns. Jey said they run the show. Owens said he wasn’t talking to the bus boy, he was talking to the head of the table. He looked at Reigns and said, “What do you say? If not now, how about at TLC?” He suggested they make it a match with tables, ladders, and chairs with the title on the line. He suggested they settle things like men. “What do you say?” Owens said they could do it then and there too.
Reigns smiled and said he’d like to fight him right now because it’d make him relevant. He said he and his cousin don’t fear any man. He said the Head of the Table accepts. He said if he was the man he used to be, he’d whip his ass right then, but there’s a time and a place for everything, but the time is not right. Reigns said: “What do I look like? A savage? I’m a gentleman. There’s a lady in the ring. Grow up.” Jey laughed. They left Owens in the ring. Owens told them to cut Reigns’s music. He said he’ll grow up when Reigns grows some balls, but right now he’s just a bitch. Reigns laughed, but it turned to anger as he marched up the ramp.
(Keller’s Analysis: These are segments worth watching two or three times to pick up on all the interplay and subtleties. It can’t be stressed enough how outstanding Reigns is in this role.)
-The announcers hyped a sit-down War of Words with Sasha Banks and Carmella later.
-Bayley made her ring entrance. [c]
-Backstage Jey was emphatically making his case why he grabbed the mic like he did. He broke down as he said he probably overstepped his bounds. Reigns put his arm around him and told him to remember that there are consequences for everything he does. He said he loves him and walked away. Jey looked near a nervous breakdown.
-They went to Cole and Graves at the announce desk reacting to the news of a Reigns vs. Owens TLC match. Graves said he should be careful what he wishes for because he just might get it.
-Natalya made her ring entrance. They cut to a clip of the Natalya-Belair match last week, with Belair shoving Natalya into Bayley on the ring apron before rolling up Natalya.
(1) NATALYA vs. BAYLEY
Belair joined Cole and Graves on commentary. Graves said he loves Belair’s glasses. Bayley knocked Natalya to the floor and eyed Belair at ringside. Natalya yanked Bayley into the ringside steps as they cut to an early break. [c]
Cole asked Belair if Bayley is jealous of her. Belair said Bayley is a face of the company, but she’s not better than her. Graves said she might be going too far saying Bayley is jealous of her because she’s so new. Natalya avoided a charging Bayley in the corner, then applied a Sharpshooter. Bayley tapped out.
WINNER: Natalya via tapout in 6:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Wow, even with Bayley being preoccupied by Belair, that’s surprising loss for Bayley given her long title reign and how protected she’s been. Belair is still not projecting her voice enough on color commentary.)
-Graves plugged the main event tag match. [c]
-A Pat Patterson tribute video montage aired.
-Daniel Bryan made his ring entrance. Then Rey Mysterio made his ring entrance. It was introduced as a “Pat Patterson tribute match” filled with former IC Champions. Big E then made his ring entrance. On the stage, he rubbed his hands in a bowl of talcum powder. [c]
They showed the original Intercontinental Title belt at ringside. Graves said Patterson won it originally in Rio De Janeiro in 1979. Dolph Ziggler came out next. Then Shinsuke Nakamura. (He lives.) And finally Sami Zayn.
(2) SAMI ZAYN & DOLPH ZIGGLER & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA vs. DANIEL BRYAN & REY MYSTERIO & BIG E
Lots of action early. Bryan flew through the ropes into Sami at ringside. Ziggler dropkicked Bryan off of the top rope, knocking him hard to the floor. They cut to a break at 3:00. [c]
Back from the break, Bryan tagged in Big E just as Ziggler tagged in Nakamura. Big E gave Nakamura a running big splash. Nakamura came back with a spin wheel kick. Big E came back with a uranage for a two count. Sami blind-tagged himself in and snuck in against Big E. When Big E charged, Sami moved and Big E went shoulder-first into the ringpost. Rey, though, tagged himself in and went to work on Sami. Bryan tagged in against Ziggler a minute later and landed a running dropkick in the ring. They engaged in a series of moves and countermoves and near falls. Ziggler landed a Fameasser. Big E made the save, although the ref didn’t need to stop the count since Ziggler’s arm was still draped over Bryan’s chest, and Bryan’s shoulders were still down. More chaos led to Sami sneaking up behind Bryan for a near fall. Bryan countered immediately into a Yes Lock. Sami teased tapping, then scooted over to the ropes to force a break. Sami landed a brainbuster. Bryan countered with an inside cradle for the three count. “Oh, the old Pat Patterson quick one!” exclaimed Cole. Bryan celebrated at ringside with Big E and Rey. Cole said he can’t wait to hear Sami Zayn’s excuse.
WINNER: Bryan & Rey & Big E in 12:00.
-The heels protested afterward, so the babyfaces returned to the ring and cornered Ziggler after Sami and Nakamura flew out of the ring and didn’t return. Ziggler begged off, then tried to get a Yes chant going. He said their buddies and offered a high five. When he went for a cheap shot, Bryan ducked and gave him an atomic drop. Rey then gave him a 619 when Ziggler conveniently fell right into position for it. (That was too cute by half.) Big E then gave him a Big Ending.
(Keller’s Analysis: That looked like the type of post-match beatdown someone gets before being fired or sent over to Raw. I think it was a “rib” on Ziggler being widely known to be a favorite of Pat Patterson, although I’m not sure I get the joke.)
-Kayla interviewed KO and asked what bothers him about Reigns. Owens said he used to respect him so much and he looked up to him. He said he was never the kind of guy, no matter how much success he had, to have his own locker room and look down at others. He said he was always “one of the boys.” He said he’s not sure if Heyman got in his head or he talked himself into being that way. He said he’s been despicable. He said he himself has a checkered past, but he tries to be nice to everyone and make up for his past as best he can by being a better person. He said now Reigns has become arrogant jackass. He said there’s a great word he can’t use on Fox. He hummed “asshole.” Otis walked up and said he likes that song. Otis told KO he’s right about Reigns and said he doesn’t respect people like them. He’s ready to bulldoze right through them.
-They showed Bayley and Carmella getting ready for a split-screen exchange of words. [c]
-They aired a slideshow of tweets from wrestlers paying tribute to Patterson. Triple H’s was the final one shown (of course).
-Cole was about to start with Carmella, but Sasha interrupted and said Carmella got to run her mouth last week. Carmella mocked Sasha’s go-to catchphrases. Sasha looked and sounded like a computer-generated person. Cole asked Sasha if it’s possible she and Carmella are more alike than she’d admit. Sasha let out an awkward guttural laugh and said no. Sasha said Carmella has never defeated her one-on-one because she’s not in her league. Carmella asked if she wants to get personal. Carmella said she thinks Sasha is jealous because Sasha poured her heart and soul into being the very best, whereas she on a whim waltzed into the WWE Performance Center and skyrocketed to the top overnight. “Without the work, I’m better than you,” she said. She said she held the Smackdown Title longer than all of her title reigns combined. She said she’s superior to her in every way. She told Sasha she is every man’s desire, and she’s the hot chick who is going to embarrass her and take her title. Sasha said she has no chance against her. Sasha said she’ll face her one-on-one at TLC. Sasha said she’s never been in the ring with “a badder bitch than me.” Carmella snapped her fingers and said “bye.” Her half of the screen went black.
(Keller’s Analysis: Another rough segment for Sasha. Carmella was her usual good self here, carrying the segment. For the first two-thirds, it was tough to tell who was less likable. Then Carmella bragged about having everything come easy to her, and it made Sasha seem more sympathetic.)
-Murphy walked out with the Mysterio family. [c]
-The announcers hyped Talking Smack with Riott Squad, Carmella, and Sami as the guests of Paul Heyman and Kayla Braxton.
(3) MURPHY (w/Dominik, Rey, Aalyah Mysterio) vs. KING CORBIN (w/two guys)
Cole called Corbin’s new henchman “two strange individuals.” They wore dark navy blue outfits and matching hoods so only their faces showed. When Murphy at ringside became preoccupied with the two new Corbin henchman, Corbin attacked him and threw him into the barricade. [c]
Graves said he got a close look at Corbin’s new henchman and they are actually Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake. He said they are formerly with the Forgotten Sons, but now they’re clean-cut and look a bit different. He noted that Murphy and Blake were once tag team champions together in NXT. Murphy eventually caught Corbin with a running high knee to the jaw. Corbin rolled to the floor. Blake and Murphy attacked Rey and Dominik at ringside. Murphy ran to the floor to save them. When he chased them into the ring, Corbin hit an End of Days for the win.
WINNER: Corbin in 8:00.
-Backstage, The Street Profits talked about Corbin “having friends.” Montez Ford that shows anything can happen. They wondered if Otis can trust KO in the main event. Angelo Dawkins said he can never tell if Roman is still mad at Jey. He said Roman’s a different guy now, acting like he’s Michael Jordan and having his own locker room. Robert Roode walked up to them and said they’re talking about everyone else’s business, but he and Ziggler beat them last week. Cesaro walked up and said they’re number one.
-Otis’s ring entrance took place. He is now “The Blue Collar Brawler.” [c]
-They showed more tweets from wrestlers paying tribute to Patterson.
-Jey made his ring entrance alone first. He stood on the stage and seemed nervous that his music kept playing and it didn’t switch to Roman’s. He walked to the ring and it began to sink that maybe Reigns was leaving him to fend for himself. Cole speculated those could be the consequences that Reigns speaks of.
(4) JEY USO & ROMAN REIGNS vs. OTIS & KEVIN OWENS
The bell rang without Reigns having shown up. Otis beat up Jey at the start. Graves said this appears to be Jey’s penance. Otis clotheslined Jey hard to the mat and exclaimed, “Oh yeah!” KO tagged in. Jey reversed him into the corner and gave him a quick Samoan Drop. Then Reigns’s music played. “Speaking of the devil,” said Cole. Reigns marched to the ring with Heyman. Graves said Reigns operates on Roman Reigns Time alone. KO gave Jey a step-up enzuigiri as Reigns stood on the ring apron. Reigns entered without a tag and gave Otis a Superman Punch, knocking him off the ring apron. He went after Otis at ringside and rammed him head-first into the ring apron, and then onto the announce table and into the ringpost. Then he bashed Otis with the steep steps five times before tossing it aside. KO attacked Reigns from behind. He threw him into the announce table. Jey dove onto KO. The cut to a break as everyone regrouped. [c]
Cole said at first it was Jey taking on two opponents, but now Otis is out on the floor, so KO has to fend for himself against two opponents. KO dominated Jey for a while. KO told Reigns to stop talking at him and get in the ring and take care of his own business. Jey recovered and went after KO, but KO countered with a Samaon Drop. Graves said that’s like a slap in the face to Reigns. Reigns entered the ring, looking upset. Uso went after KO from behind. Reigns then punched KO. Jey superkicked him in the jaw and followed up by climbing to the top rope. Reigns told him to get down and tag out. “This is my show,” he said. “I finish the show.” He insisted Jey tag him. Jey dropped down and went for the tag, but KO recovered during that time and knocked Reigns off the ring apron. Jey went for a superkick, but KO blocked it and hit a Stunner. Reigns broke up the cover and applied a guillotine. The ref DQ’d Reigns.
WINNERS: Owens & Otis via DQ in 10:00.
-After the match, they took turns bashing KO with chairs mid-ring. Reigns told Jey to finish him. Jey put a chair on Owens and then leaped of the top rope and splashed KO on the chair. He was hurt, too, though. Reigns then smashed Jey with a chair and asked, “Why do I have to tell you all the time? Why do I have to keep repeating myself.” He smashed and jabbed Jey with the chair. Reigns then bent down and asked KO if he’s trying to break his family up. He asked if he wanted his attention, then he assured him he has his attention. “Are you trying to take our position?” he said. He asked if he’s trying to make him a monster in front of the whole world.
(Keller’s Analysis: Yikes! Reigns’s heel character is a spectacularly despicable mind-f—. He’s like an abusive husband who justifies treating his wife terribly because he’s the breadwinner and finds ways to make it seem like it’s always her fault, and ends up keeps the woman completely at his mercy and off-balance with mental games.)