WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER 12/4: Build Towards TLC, Reigns Responds to Owens, Corbin vs. Murphy Part II

BY FRANK PETEANI, PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
DECEMBER 4, 2020
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE THUNDERDOME IN THE AMWAY CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR

Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves

Match Results and Segments from Last Week

  • Universal Champion Roman Reigns lambasted his cousin Jey Uso for helping him during his match with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre at Survivor Series, as well as losing to team Raw in a clean sweep. Jey then attacked Otis, who was scheduled to have a match with King Corbin.
  • Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defeated Smackdown Tag Team Champions the Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) in a non-title match. Here’s Ziggler & Roode in a WWE exclusive:

  • Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn defeated Daniel Bryan via count out in non-title match. Jey Uso later attacked Bryan, who was saved by Kevin Owens. Here’s Sami in a WWE exclusive:

  • Bianca Belair defeated Natalya.
  • Murphy defeated King Corbin with assistance from the Mysterio family.
  • Big E squeezed Sami Zayn’s hand hard for 10 Mississippi’s.
  • Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks attacked Carmella after she cut a generic, store-brand heel promo. (You know not all store-brands are bad, so maybe I shouldn’t use that term. Her promo was freakin’ boring, how’s that?)
  • Kevin Owens defeated Jey Uso via DQ. After the match he attacked Jey and said he fears no one, including Roman Reigns. He dared Roman to say it to his face if he had a problem with him.

Items Advertised by WWE

We’re on our way towards TLC, which will close out the 2020 WWE PPV/Network Special calendar. As of this writing, WWE does not have their preview up, but we can look at the two items we know about currently:

  • Murphy vs. King Corbin
  • Roman Reigns responds to Kevin Owens

Murphy vs. King Corbin

Prior to the match where Murphy defeated King Corbin, and after Corbin’s original opponent Otis was attacked, the Mysterio family (Rey, Dominik, and Aalyah) and Murphy were being interviewed by Kayla Braxton. They were talking about moving on from Seth Rollins when Corbin walked in. He mocked their thinking they were one big happy family after Murphy defeating Rollins, and also said Rey never passed his wrestling skills to his son Dominik.

Rey and Dominik got involved in the match. At one point, Rey jumped on the apron after Corbin hit a Deep Six on Murphy. Later, Dominik grabbed Corbin’s leg as he was running into the ropes. After Murphy delivered a high knee, and when Corbin put his leg on the rope during a pin attempt, Dominik pushed Corbin’s leg off allowing Murphy to get the win. Corey Graves expressed outrage from the announce booth.

After the match, Corbin expressed outrage of his own, saying it was four-on-one. He demanded a rematch and said he would “be prepared.” That rematch takes place tonight.

Frank’s Analysis: It’s pretty bad when you feel sympathy for Corbin. It was talked about enough on Torch podcasts, so I won’t pile on. It’ll be interesting to see how Corbin will be “prepared.” I’ve seen the idea of the Forgotten Sons (Jaxson Ryker, Wesley Blake, and Steven Sutler) being brought back. There were issues with social media posts Ryker put up, and thus they were removed from television over the summer. They could bring Cutler and Blake back without Ryker as heavies. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura could align with Corbin as well. We haven’t seen Aleister Black lately neither, who has history with Murphy and Rey.

Roman Reigns Responds to Kevin Owens

WWE has been showing a video hyping tonight’s show, highlighting Roman Reigns’ response to Kevin Owens regarding his words and actions following his match with Roman’s cousin Jey Uso. As I talked about in the recap, Jey was weaved in throughout the show attacking Otis and Daniel Bryan until Kevin stepped in. That led to their match, which was their second in the past month. Jey defeated Kevin about a month ago with the help of Roman. All that said, here’s the video hyping tonight:

Roman and Kevin do have history going back to 2016, when Kevin was the Universal Champion. They had several matches including one inside a steel cage on Raw in September of that year. Things are much different now with Kevin as the babyface and Roman the strong heel, with Roman being the Universal Champion. We’ll see what that response is tonight.

Frank’s Analysis: Without knowing what they’re going to do, it’s hard to predict what this response will be outside of a face-to-face in the ring. I like a program with Kevin and Roman, but I worry it’ll be put into a TLC match. Their feud is not at that level. Even if they tag Kevin with Daniel Bryan to face Roman and Jey in such a match, that feels forced. The upside is that the talent will deliver as they always do.

Other Expectations and Final Thoughts

The Roman Reigns story is what’s making Smackdown very enjoyable at the moment outside of what else is going on throughout the show. Sami Zayn is also a delight. Isn’t it crazy how the heels are what makes the show great? I’m not optimistic about Sasha Banks vs. Carmella but hope to be pleasantly surprised. The Mysterio family dynamic with Murphy is weird and I’m curious if we haven’t seen the last wrinkle in that situation. The tag team division is a big zero, but it hasn’t been good for a while. That said, I look forward to the show.

Allow me to use this platform to announce that I will be launching a new show for the PWTorch VIP library called WWE Then and Now. I’m thrilled to have Pro Wrestling Torch columnist Greg Parks join me for the first edition. We’ll take the currently scheduled PPV for the month and do a round table review of a previous edition. This month we’ll be looking at the first TLC event from 2009. We’ll then head to last year’s show, list the results, and talk about the major stories and where the characters are now. We’ll be recording on Thursday night, and I anticipate the episode will drop the next day. I am excited to be doing this and I hope the show becomes part of your rotation!

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!

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