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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 12, 2021
NORFOLK, VA AT THE SCOPE ARENA
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-The show opened with a wide crowd shot. Michael Cole said the new era of Smackdown picks up steam tonight. Pat McAfee numbered the episode as they showed a graphic for the Roman Reigns and Xavier Woods match later. They showed a recap of last week’s happenings between the two. Cole said Kofi Kingston suffered an injury and is not present tonight.
-Sonya Deville was in the ring with the Smackdown Women’s Survivor Series team. Deville introduced them one by one. After introducing the four women in the ring, Deville introduced Sasha Banks who made her entrance to a great pop. Shotzi stared her down from the ring. McAfee said Shotzi and Banks will have to figure it out for the better of Smackdown. A fight almost broke out in the ring, but Deville stopped it. Naomi’s music hit and she made her entrance. Naomi ran to the ring and went after Shayna Baszler. All of the women started to brawl as they cut to break. [c]
(1) SASHA BANKS & NAOMI & ALIYAH vs. SHAYNA BASZLER & NATALYA & SHOTZI
Banks started with Natalya. Natalya slapped Banks. The two traded spots off the ropes until Banks hit a bulldog for a near fall. Baszler tagged in and took down Banks. She attacked Naomi and Aliyah in the corner. Aliyah tagged in, as did Shotzi. Aliyah got in some offense, but Shotzi took over. Aliyah was down in the corner and the heels took turns stomping her. Natalya tagged in and attacked Aliyah. Baszler tagged in and went for a Kirifuda Clutch, but Aliyah rolled through and tagged in Naomi. Naomi took out Baszler, but Natalya blind tagged and attacked Naomi. Natalya dragged Naomi to the apron and hit a suplex to the outside. Natalya picked up Naomi and hit another suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Natalya hit yet another suplex, this time for a near fall. Natalya went for another, but Naomi fought back. Natalya recovered and took down Naomi again for a near fall. Naomi was tossed to the outside and Baszler jumped down and tossed her into the barricade as they cut to break.
Back from break, Naomi was still down. Shotzi hit a running knee on Naomi draped over the ropes. Shotzi tossed Naomi into the corner and tagged in Baszler. Baszler kicked at Naomi’s elbow. Baszler choked Naomi with the top rope, the ref admonished her, but while his back was turned Natalya hit Naomi. Naomi fought back and started to mount offense, but Baszler got a sleeper. Naomi dropped down, but Baszler recovered and tossed Naomi back into the corner. Naomi knocked Baszler to the apron, but Baszler grabbed her. Naomi hit a kick and knocked Baszler to the floor. Finally, Naomi tagged in Aliyah who took down Natalya. Aliyah hit a crossbody for a near fall. Natalya recovered and hit a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Aliyah hit a nice northern lights suplex for a near fall. The action broke down as Banks hit a Meteora and Naomi hit a rear view, both on the outside. Natalya tried to use the ropes for leverage on Aliyah during a sharpshooter, but Naomi shoved her off and Aliyah got the rollup for the win.
WINNER: SASHA BANKS & NAOMI & ALIYAH in 12:00
-They showed the graphic for the Women’s Elimination match at Survivor Series. The announcers hyped Aliyah’s seven year journey.
(McDonald’s Analysis: A little predictable we were going to end up here when all the women were dressed in their gear. Aliyah is better than I thought she would be. This match was clearly used to showcase her as she was able to get a bunch of spots in. I’m surprised Banks didn’t do more. She didn’t cut a promo or anything. I want to know how she feels about Shotzi and how they are going to coexist. It seemed like a big missed opportunity. The match was fine for what it was. I’m glad Natalya took the fall instead of Shotzi or Baszler. Surprisingly, the heel women were well protected, while Naomi looked really weak here. For the most part, this was just here, they could have done a lot more with the time they had.)
-Sami Zayn was in the back. He called himself the leader of Team Smackdown. It was revealed Zayn was giving his speech to a mirror. Jeff Hardy appeared behind him. Hardy laughed. Zayn asked Hardy what he thought of the speech, and Hardy said “it sucked, it sucked real bad.”
(McDonald’s Analysis: Hardy has been on Smackdown for three weeks now and this is the only thing he’s done so far. You’d think they’d use him to help this now terrible mid-card.)
-Roman Reigns was shown walking in the back alongside Paul Heyman. Cole said we hear from the Tribal Chief, next. [c]
-They showed Aliyah in the back. She said she’s very excited that she won her first match and is happy to be on the Survivor Series team. Deville appeared and told Aliyah she was no longer on the Smackdown Women’s Survivor Series team. Deville said she was advised that way. Cole asked who advised it if Deville was the boss. McAfee said Deville stinks.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, so much for that. I assume that means Naomi is the one replacing her. McAfee’s line about Deville stinking was funny. I wonder if this will lead to something for Aliyah. Maybe she’ll have to beat Naomi to get back on the team with Deville involved somehow? I’m interested.)
-They showed a recap of the happenings between the New Day and the Bloodline over the past two weeks.
-Kayla stopped Reigns in the back. Reigns said Kayla can only be there for two reasons, to acknowledge him or flirt with the wise man. Reigns said no one cares what Kayla wants and walked off. Heyman told Kayla they’re going to up the ante against Xavier Woods later tonight. Heyman said the loser will have to take a bended knee tonight. Heyman said if Reigns doesn’t abide by the stipulation, he can be stripped of the Universal Championship and banished from Smackdown. Heyman said since they’re in Virginia this is a binding legal contract. Heyman said it will make Smackdown more interesting.
-Rick Boogs was in the arena. He did the Freddy Mercury routine with the crowd, then introduced Shinsuke Nakamura. McAfee freaked out. [c]
-They returned with a shot of Happy Corbin and Mad Cap Moss laughing in the back. Cole threw to a recap of Moss’ viking joke from last week. They cut back to Corbin and Moss. Moss cut another viking joke, this time with the punchline being Eric the Bread. Corbin and Moss laughed.
-Los Lotharios made their entrance. Cole said they’re cousins.
(2) LOS LOTHARIOS (Angel Garza & Humberto Carillo) vs. RICK BOOGS & SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Boogs started with Carillo. Boogs tossed Carillo with an overhead belly to belly. Cole said Boogs is more poweful when he wears denim. Boogs hit another suplex after toying with Carillo. Garza tagged in and they double teamed Boogs. Garza jumped on Boogs and the pair hit another double team move as Carillo tagged in. Carillo got a near fall. Cole ran down the list of tag teams on Smackdown. Carillo whipped Boogs back into the corner and Garza came in for another double team and a near fall. Garza ripped his pants off and hit a nice basement dropkick. Boogs recovered and launched Garza into the top turnbuckle. Boogs tagged in Nakamura as Garza tagged Carillo. Nakamura hit a series of kicks on Carillo followed by a neckbreaker. Nakamura hit a knee off the middle rope and went for a cover but Garza broke it up. Boogs came in to help but Garza took Boogs out. Back in the ring, Garza and Carillo hit a double team move on Nakamura and got the win.
WINNER: LOS LOTHARIOS (Angel Garza & Humberto Carillo) in 7:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, that’s interesting. They’re more invested in Garza and Carillo than I thought they would be. The match was nothing special. Boogs got in his usual nice spots and he was taken out so Nakamura could take the fall. Nakamura needs to drop the IC title to somebody who’s actually going to defend it.)
-Adam Pearce was in the back with Deville and an unnamed large blonde man. Deville said she took Aliyah off to make the team stronger. Zayn walked in and said he has problems with the members of Team Smackdown. He demanded Hardy be removed from the team. Pearce said Zayn will face Hardy tonight and the loser is off the team. The crowd chanted Hardy loudly. McAfee asked who the big guy was. McAfee said he’s ten feet tall.
(McDonald’s Analysis: That’s interesting. I assume whoever this big guy is would replace whoever loses, probably and unfortunately, Zayn.)
-Charlotte Flair made her entrance. Cole and McAfee hyped the match between Charlotte and Becky Lynch at Survivor Series. McAfee brought up the internet rumors after their last encounter. They showed a graphic for an interview with Charlotte, next. [c]
-Back from break, they showed a video package about a “party” they had in Dallas to announce Wrestlemania 38. They keep calling the event “the most stupendous” two night Wrestlemania. They then showed a graphic for the Reigns-Woods match later with cartoons of them both “bending the knee”. They showed the graphic for Charlotte vs. Lynch at Survivor Series.
-Charlotte ran down all of Lynch’s nicknames, then asked who the hell Becky is. Charlotte said there is nothing natural about Lynch. She said that Lynch is a fabricated champion. Charlotte said Lynch won at Wrestlemania 35 because of her. Charlotte said after Survivor Series Lynch will have a new nickname. Uh-Oh. Charlotte got the crowd to play along with her as she said a bunch of things about Lynch, followed by uh-oh. Charlotte said that by standing in the ring with her, you become a star. Charlotte said her nickname should be the star maker. Toni Storm’s music hit and she made her entrance. Storm said Charlotte is generous for offering title opportunities and helping the younger generation. Storm then said that Charlotte doesn’t really do any of that. Storm said Lynch defended her title last week, but Charlotte hasn’t defended hers on Smackdown yet. Storm challenged Charlotte to a title match tonight. The crowd chanted “yes”. Charlotte said absolutely not, then her music hit and she left.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I liked this segment. I’m surprised Charlotte had the crowd behind her and participating. That was very interesting. Storm coming out and mentioning the lack of title defenses was cool and made sense. Storm is the last person who kayfabe-wise, deserves a title match, but still. Hopefully, they can build her up a little and they can have a title match on Smackdown where Storm can regain some steam.)
-Kayla was in the back and she welcomed King Xavier Woods. Kayla told Woods about what Heyman and Reigns said earlier. Woods said Reigns is mistaken, because Woods won’t acknowledge him. Woods took off his crown and mentioned Kingston’s injury and Big E being taken out on Raw. He said it’s been a bad week for the new day. Woods got serious and called himself the “clotter of bloodlines” and said he’ll show Reigns a true king.
(McDonald’s Analysis: When Woods took the crown off and got serious, it showed that he does have it in him. Woods could be a serious addition to the mid-card on Smackdown if he acted like that more often. He could be a really solid IC champion if this is the direction they went with him.)
-Jeff Hardy made his entrance to a solid pop. They showed a graphic for Zayn-Hardy with the loser being removed from the team. Cole said one of them will be taken off the team, next. [c]
-Aliyah was in the back on the phone. She complained about being off the Survivor Series team. Mustafa Ali showed up and started to talk to Aliyah. Ricochet showed up and told Aliyah not to listen to Ali. Ricochet said Aliyah did great tonight. Aliyah was flattered, and the pair walked off together while Ali stared after them confused.
-They showed the graphic for the Men’s Survivor Series Elimination Match.
(3) JEFF HARDY vs. SAMI ZAYN – Loser Leaves Survivor Series Team
Zayn took Hardy’s arm and took Hardy down. Hardy recovered and hit a hip toss for a near fall. Hardy mounted Zayn in the corner and rained down punches. Zayn recovered with a knee for a near fall. Cole and McAfee talked up Hardy’s legacy. Cole said Zayn being knocked off the team would be devastating. The crowd chanted for Hardy. Hardy knocked Zayn into the announce table outside the ring. Hardy tossed Zayn into the barricade. Hardy ran at Zayn and leaped off the stairs, but Zayn moved and Hardy crashed into the barricade as they cut to break. [c]
Back from break, Zayn covered Hardy for a near fall. Zayn locked in a headlock as they showed footage from the commercial break. Cole ran down the Survivor Series teams. Hardy fought back and knocked Zayn down, then hit an atomic drop, the low leg drop, then a basement dropkick for a near fall. McAfee said he’s been trying to recruit Odell Beckham, Jr. to the Smackdown team. Hardy hit a whisper in the wind for a near fall. Hardy went for a Twist of Fate but Zayn countered with a backslide for a near fall. Zayn got another roll-up, but put his feet on the ropes. The ref caught him. Hardy hit a Twist of Fate, then a Swanton Bomb for the win.
WINNER: JEFF HARDY in 9:00 to stay on Smackdown Survivor Series Team
-They showed Zayn being removed from the graphic on the big screen as Zayn watched. Cole asked who would replace Zayn.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, Hardy is popular. I wish they would capitalize on that and do something with him. I’m not a Hardy fan by any stretch (I always preferred the Dudleys and E&C, who totally reek of awesomeness), but his popularity is undeniable. Not to mention the fact that he has a history. He could be easily built up over a couple of months and then inserted into a one-off PPV match with Reigns at a lower level show. WWE needs to start planning ahead for that. I like Zayn, and I assume this will play more into his conspiracy theories. Zayn is another person who could be a big player. At this point though, that’s never going to happen. I hope he can do something with Nakamura and take the IC title. That way, when Zayn doesn’t defend it, there will be a storyline reason for it.)
-They cut to Hit Row from “earlier today”. The members took turns rapping. They called themselves, the “culture”. They then showed Jinder Mahal and Shanky. Mahal called Shanky the “real slim Shanky”. Shanky rapped in Indian. Mahal then rapped horribly. Shanky and Mahal did a dance together, then Mahal said Hit Row is more like “cringe row”.
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was horrible. I hope Hit Row runs through them very quickly and moves on. I can’t believe there’s so much stock being put into the Smackdown Tag Team Division. I guess that’s what they’re going to do to make up for the fact that the mid-card of singles wrestlers is non-existent.)
-They showed the “bend the knee” cartoon graphics again as they hyped Reigns and Woods later on. [c]
-They showed a package for Xia Li. Kayla was in the back and welcomed Ridge Holland. Holland called Sheamus his hero and idol. Holland said he never knew he could make good money by hurting people, but Sheamus showed him the way, and he’s proud to follow in his footsteps. Cesaro showed up and mentioned his history with Sheamus. He told Holland to be careful what he wishes for. Holland said he’s taking Cesaro’s place and Sheamus and Holland will be a far better team than the Bar ever was. Holland said Sheamus will be here next week and Cesaro can talk to him himself.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Ok, so Holland and Sheamus have been talking already then. To my point above, that makes yet another team. This isn’t what I was hoping for for Sheamus upon his arrival on Smackdown. I hope Sheamus turns face and gets built up as a future opponent for Reigns. Sheamus’ work in 2021 has been fantastic and he deserves a PPV main event as a reward, even if it is a “B” show. With all of that said, Holland is a solid talker. If him and Sheamus aren’t necessarily a team, I’d like to see him feud with Cesaro so Cesaro can give him what small amount of rub he has left.)
-They showed the Raw Rebound report. Afterwards, Roman Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance, flanked by Paul Heyman. Reigns got a solid pop from the crowd after he was announced. Cole mentioned that only Brock Lesnar has held the Universal Championship longer than Reigns. Cole recapped the stipulations set forward by Heyman earlier in the night. McAfee said he can’t fathom a world where the GOAT, Roman Reigns, would lose to a newly crowned king. McAfee ran down some of the upsets in the NFL over the last few days. He said that when Reigns is doing his thing, he’s near impossible to beat. Cole said Lesnar is still lurking, even though he is suspended. They showed the graphic and the cartoons for Reigns and Woods one last time. Cole then threw to a video that recapped the last time Wrestlemania was in Dallas. [c]
-They showed a graphic for Sasha Banks against Shotzi next week. Cole said it’s payback time on the last stop before Survivor Series.
-King Xavier Woods made his entrance to his new music. The crowd chanted with him on his way to the ring.
(4) ROMAN REIGNS vs. KING XAVIER WOODS – Loser Must Bend the Knee
Reigns hit Woods immediately, then knocked him into the corner. Reigns mounted Woods and hit some punches, but Woods recovered and landed mounted punches of his own. Woods came off the ropes and hit a dropkick that knocked Reigns through the ropes and to the floor. Woods hit a dropkick through the ropes that rocked Reigns. Woods slammed Reigns’ head into the announce table then hit some chops. Woods tossed Reigns back in, but Reigns recovered with a big punch that took Woods down. Woods rolled to the outside and Reigns slammed him onto the announce table. Reigns raised his hand into the “one” gesture. McAfee said “we the ones”, as they cut to break. [c]
Woods was down as Reigns stalked him. Reigns dominated but Woods fought back. Reigns did the Ooo-Ahh and charged Woods but Woods hit a superkick. Woods went to the top and hit a springboard elbow drop. He went for the cover but the Usos came in and took out Woods as the ref called for the disqualification.
WINNER: DQ in 11:00
-The Usos dragged Woods out of the ring and threw him into the steps. Heyman grabbed Woods’ crown as the Usos got back in the ring. Reigns kneeled in mid-ring. The Usos grabbed the crown from Heyman and placed it on Reigns head. McAfee said the crown belongs there.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Yet again, I lost the end description there after I hit the wrong button and couldn’t restore. Ugh. Anyway, the match was solid. It was what you expect and it was a standard Reigns TV match. Woods looked solid, as he always does, because he is a good worker. I stand by what I said last week. Reigns is going to run through each member of the New Day in succession on PPV. Which is fine, there’s nothing else going on this time of the year.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: That was better than last week, but not by much. Reigns being in the main even definitely helped, but I would have liked to see a promo segment from him as well. With that said, the show revolves around the Bloodline-New Day feud, which is fine. It’s a step down from Reigns-Lesnar, but this is a slow time of the year for WWE, and this feud is fine for that. They continued to build the Women’s Division tonight with the debut of Aliyah and the resurfacing of Toni Storm. Based on the amount of shine and TV time Aliyah got, it seems like they really like her. I don’t know what that means going forward, but it shows that they are at least attempting to build depth. Storm doesn’t deserve a title match, but a few weeks of wins could help solve that problem. I don’t like that Banks and Shotzi is happening so quickly, but that’s the issue with the Survivor Series shoehorn matches format. We could have these matches on PPV but instead, we have brand versus brand for no reason, and a card that doesn’t have a lot of consequence. Because of that, and the fact that the next PPV is another six weeks away, we’re going to get a lot of matches like this on Raw and Smackdown in the coming weeks. The other interesting note is the build-up of the Smackdown Tag Team Division. Pretty much every mid-carder is in a team and it seems like Smackdown’s mid-card and undercard is going to be filled with tag team matches. Is this to hide the lack of star power in the mid-card? Or is there another reason? They’re trying new things, and that’s good. I want to see them make an effort. Until we see how it plays out, I’ll reserve judgment.