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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
NOVEMBER 19, 2021
HARTFORD, CT AT XL CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-The show opened with a recap of the Roman Reigns and King Xavier Woods segment from last week. As they cut to the arena the Usos’ music was playing and they were standing in the ring with the throne behind them. Jimmy took the mic first. He said Reigns will be out in a minute, but they have a surprise for him. Jimmy said they showed up on Raw and sent a message to Big E. Jey then took the mic and said they have something for RK-Bro on Sunday. Jey said they hear voices too, and they say “we the ones”. The Usos then introduced Reigns. Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance flanked by Paul Heyman. McAfee called Reigns the backbone of the number one show in sports entertainment, bar none. Cole recapped Reigns’ number of days as champion. Heyman handed Reigns the title and he held it high overhead as pyro went off. They showed a graphic for Big E and Reigns at Survivor Series. Cole and McAfee hyped the match. They did the same for the RK-Bro and Usos match. The Bloodline posed mid-ring with their championships as pyro went off again. Reigns stared at the crown and throne in mid-ring.
-Heyman took the mic and said he’s overwhelmed with emotion. Heyman said there is no one that deserves the crown more than Reigns. Heyman referred to Reigns as the Tribal King. Heyman said he knows that everyone in the crowd will agree that Xavier Woods doesn’t deserve to be king. Heyman then said that it will never belong to Brock Lesnar. He also said it won’t belong to Big E, who will be smashed on Sunday by Reigns. Reigns held out his hand for the mic and Heyman stopped talking and gave him the mic. Reigns asked who’s idea this was. Reigns said he doesn’t need this to be acknowledged. Reigns asked Hartford to acknowledge him. The crowd cheered loudly. Woods’ music hit and he made his entrance. Woods said the items in the ring are his, but they don’t make him king. Woods said the universe makes you king. Woods asked Reigns to meet him face to face without the Usos so he can show him what a king is made of. Reigns asked if the throne and crown really didn’t mean anything to him. Reigns beckoned Jey over. Jey sneezed in the cape and threw it down. Woods said that clothes don’t make the man. Reigns beckoned Jey over again and Jey broke the scepter. Woods still didn’t flinch. Reigns beckoned the Usos again and they destroyed the throne. Reigns said it looks like Woods is upset. Jey picked up the crown. Reigns took the crown and asked Woods if it really didn’t mean anything to him. Reigns set the crown down and motioned to step on it. Woods stormed the ring and the Usos beat him down. The Usos held Woods. Reigns leaned in and told Woods he’s the only king around here, and he doesn’t need crowns. Reigns then stomped on the crown and ripped it apart. Woods looked upset and the Bloodline left the ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This was very effective. I’m glad Reigns was offended by the ceremony and viewed King of the Ring as a joke. He should, because it’s portrayed by the company that way. Woods’ angst as Reigns crushed the crown was awesome and well acted. This segment showed how effective Woods can be when he’s not being a complete goofball. I’m guessing we get a match with them on the New Year’s PPV. Everyone was on point here, great way to start the show and further the feud.)
-McAfee and Cole recapped the segment. Cole said Woods knew it was three on one but he had too much pride to back down. Cole threw to a video recap of the Sami Zayn and Jeff Hardy segment from last week. Cole then said Smackdown needs one more member for their Survivor Series team. They showed a graphic for the Men’s Survivor Series Elimination match. Cole said we will find out who will be the final member of the team, next. Sheamus’ music hit and he made his entrance. Cole said we were told he was on his way and called Sheamus one of the biggest draft picks of the year for Smackdown. They showed a graphic for a Fatal Four Way featuring Sheamus, Ricochet, Cesaro, and Jinder Mahal. [c]
-Back from break, Woods was in the back doubled over. Kayla Braxton asked him where he goes from here. Woods said he goes to the ring to meet Reigns face to face tonight. Woods said the Roman Empire wasn’t built in a day but it will only take a day to topple it.
-Ricochet was in the ring finishing his entrance. Jinder Mahal with Shanky and Cesaro were already there.
(1) SHEAMUS vs. RICOCHET vs. JINDER MAHAL (w/ Shanky) vs. CESARO – Winner advances to Smackdown Survivor Series team
There was a flurry of action early. Sheamus and Cesaro met in mid-ring. Sheamus took Cesaro down. Ricochet surprised Sheamus and rolled him up for a near fall. Mahal and Sheamus double-teamed Cesaro, then Ricochet. Mahal set Ricochet up for Sheamus’ Ten Beats, then Mahal rolled up Sheamus for a near fall. Sheamus and Mahal then paired off. Sheamus tossed Mahal to the apron, then hit the Ten Beats on him. Cesaro recovered and went for a Swing on Sheamus. Sheamus fought him off, then Ricochet knocked Sheamus out of the ring with a springboard dropkick. Ricochet sent Cesaro to the floor, then dove over the top and took out all three men as they cut to break. [c]
Back from break all four men battled it out. Cesaro set up Ricochet for a superplex, but Ricochet fought him off. Sheamus went for a superplex on Mahal and got it. Ricochet then hit a hurricanrana off the top on Cesaro. Sheamus attacked Ricochet in the corner and went for a powerslam but Ricochet countered with a DDT, then a standing shooting star. Mahal broke up the pin. Cesaro took out Mahal then used the Swing on him. Cesaro then locked Mahal in the Sharpshooter. Mahal got to the ropes, but there are no breaks. Ricochet hit Cesaro with kicks to get him off Mahal. Mahal attacked Ricochet, but Ricochet reversed. Ricochet hit Mahal from the top, but walked into a Brogue Kick. Cesaro broke up the count. Cesaro and Sheamus paired off. Sheamus came off the top rope, but Cesaro caught him with an uppercut. Cesaro went for a Neutralizer, but Ridge Holland ran down and distracted Cesaro. Sheamus recovered and hit the Brogue Kick for the win.
WINNER: SHEAMUS in 12:00 to join the Smackdown Survivor Series team
(McDonald’s Analysis: This was fun, but predictable. Sheamus was the right choice. The finish was awful with Holland getting involved. It made sense given the altercation with Cesaro last week, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t lame. I would have rather Sheamus beat Ricochet with the earlier Brogue Kick spot. It would have accomplished the same thing, and Holland could have easily gotten involved later backstage. There’s so many ways away from these horrible finishes, and they just don’t do it.)
-Kayla was in the back and she welcomed Jeff Hardy. Kayla said this is Hardy’s sixth Survivor Series match. Hardy said he’s never had a team like this, and he ran down the nicknames of his past partners. Hardy took a shot at Happy Baron Corbin, who then showed up with Mad Cap Moss. Moss told a joke about Hardy’s facepaint. Adam Pearce arrived and said he wants them to be a team. He made a match between Moss and Hardy for tonight.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This was just silly. Hardy is a shell of himself and he doesn’t even seem like he wants to be there. Also, it’s so sad that this is the mid-card now. Moss and Hardy? Yawn.)
-They showed a graphic for a video package to hype the Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch match at Survivor Series. Cole called them the top two women in WWE today. [c]
-Back from break, Sheamus was in the back with Holland. Megan tried to ask Sheamus a question but Sheamus cut her off and gushed over Holland. Sheamus said he was Sheamus’ inspiration. Sheamus teased a tear coming to his eye, then laughed. Holland said if it wasn’t for Sheamus, he’d still be on the streets. Holland said if anyone has a problem with what happened, they know where to find Holland and Sheamus. Sheamus asked Holland to go to the bar. They walked off.
-McAfee said Holland is from England, and if you have a brain, you know that. Cole said Sheamus is now on Team Smackdown. Cole hyped Lynch and Charlotte and said it’s been the talk of the media the past couple of weeks. They then cut to a video package to hype the match at Survivor Series. They wrapped up the video and Cole called it one of the biggest matches of the year. McAfee said that personal issues will be settled.
(McDonald’s Analysis: This video package was great. This match feels huge. I would say this should go on last, but the name Roman Reigns is on the card, so it can’t. With that said, because the outcome is in doubt, this is what I’m the most excited for on Sunday.)
-Aliyah made her entrance, followed by Naomi. McAfee said Sonya Deville ruined Aliyah’s moment last week. Cole said Deville punished Aliyah because she helped Naomi. They showed a graphic for Naomi and Aliyah against Natalya and Shayna Baszler, next. [c]
-Baszler and Natalya were in the ring and they cut to a recap of the women’s tag match from last week. The package finished with the aftermath involving Aliyah and Deville.
(2) ALIYAH & NAOMI vs. SHAYNA BASZLER & NATALYA
Aliyah began with Natalya. Aliyah held her own, then used an acrobatic version of the hurricanrana that sent Natalya into the corner to tag Baszler. Aliyah tagged in Naomi. Baszler went for a choke, but Naomi tagged herself in. Natalya took Naomi down and pinned her with what appeared to be a fast count, for the win.
WINNER: SHAYNA BASZLER & NATALYA in 1:30
(McDonald’s Analysis: Wow, that was super lame. I guess the new female referee will be a character soon. This feud needs to have a pay off. All of this is getting ridiculous. This has to be the explanation for Adam Pearce’s new behavior. He has to be portrayed as corrupt to explain why he wouldn’t stop this.)
-Jeff Hardy was shown warming up in the back. Cole then transitioned to talking up Bruno Sammartino. They ran an ad for Sammartino merchandise debuting soon on WWE Shop.
-Jeff Hardy made his entrance to a solid response. Cole talked up Hardy’s involvement in the Survivor Series match. They showed a graphic for Hardy vs. Moss. Cole called it Moss’ singles debut. [c]
-They returned with a recap of the women’s match last segment. Deville was in the back with Sami Zayn. Zayn was upset about his documentary. Deville mentioned this Sunday being the 25 year anniversary of the Rock’s debut. Deville announced a 25 man battle royal for Survivor Series. Zayn and Deville did the millions and millions of Rock’s fans bit. The referee that was involved in the fast count arrived and asked Deville if she did a good job. Deville asked if she was an NXT ref trying to make it on the main roster. Deville said she doesn’t associate with crooked referees. The ref stormed off.
-Mad Cap Moss made his entrance with Happy Corbin at his side. McAfee said it was shocking that they had pyro. Hardy said he needed someone in his corner. Drew McIntyre’s music hit and he made his entrance to a great pop.
(3) JEFF HARDY (w/ Drew McIntyre) vs. MAD CAP MOSS (w/ Happy Baron Corbin)
Hardy pumped up the crowd, but Moss took him down. McAfee held the sword and questioned why he had it. Moss took down Hardy and Corbin yelled at the crowd. Hardy hit the inverted atomic drop into the basement dropkick. Hardy hit a swinging neckbreaker, then went to the top. McIntyre attacked Corbin and tossed him over the announce table. Moss reversed an attempted Swanton, but Hardy rolled up Moss for the win.
WINNER: JEFF HARDY in 2:00
-McIntyre entered the ring after Corbin and hit the Claymore on Corbin, then a headbutt on Moss. Hardy hit the Swanton on Moss. Hardy and McIntyre celebrated. They showed a video replay. McAfee asked “why clay less when you can claymore?”.
(McDonald’s Analysis: What was the point of that? I get that Moss is a joke, but unless it’s an actual jobber, no one should be losing in two minutes. Especially to Jeff Hardy who has been defined down so much in the past year. McIntyre was super over here. I think featuring him less and just having him kick ass when he is on TV is working very well. The less he says, the more ass he kicks, the better the response. I hope they notice that.)
-They showed a recap of the opening segment featuring the Bloodline and Woods. Heyman was in the back on the phone. Kayla stopped him. She asked if Heyman heard Woods’ challenge earlier. Heyman said Reigns doesn’t need the Usos or him, but he loves both of them. Heyman said Kayla loves him too. Heyman accepted Woods’ challenge on Reigns’ behalf. Cole said Woods and Reigns will be face to face later tonight.
-Back in the arena, Rick Boogs played guitar and did the Freddy Mercury routine with the crowd. He then introduced Shinsuke Nakamura who made his entrance. McAfee called Boogs the best guitarist on earth. They showed a graphic Nakamura against Angel Garza, next. [c]
(4) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/ Rick Boogs) vs. ANGEL GARZA (w/ Humberto Carrillo)
Garza took down Nakamura with a dropkick right away. Garza hit a couple of loud chops. Nakamura recovered and hit some kicks of his own. Cole showed a photoshopped cover of Garza and Carrillo as the sexiest men alive on the cover of People magazine. Nakamura and Garza battled on the outside. Carrillo grabbed Nakamura as he tried to re-enter the ring. Boogs saved Nakamura and took out Carrillo. Nakamura hit a Kinshasa on Garza for the win.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA in 2:00
(McDonald’s Analysis: That’s what I get for saying no one should be losing in two minutes. This could have been good if they had given it some time. Garza has potential, and the character could be better if fleshed out. Nakamura is what he is at this point, but he can still work. I just wish he would defend the title at some point. This quick loss doesn’t help the push that Garza and Carrillo have been getting. I’m not saying they should never lose, I’m just saying it shouldn’t be in two minutes. This could be to make up for the fact that Nakamura is going to get steam-rolled by Damien Priest on Sunday.)
-They showed a recap of Shotzi and Sasha Banks. The two were then shown in the back with Deville. Deville said they have to get along on Sunday. Shotzi called Banks entitled and selfish. Shotzi said payback is a, and Banks cut her off. Banks said rookies always try to get over by taking her out. Banks said that Shotzi is right, payback is a bitch. Deville broke them up. Deville said they can get their aggression out in their match, but they need to shake hands afterwards.
-Banks made her entrance in the arena to a solid pop. Cole hyped the match coming up next. [c]
(5) SHOTZI vs. SASHA BANKS
Shotzi backed Banks into the corner. Banks battled out and locked in a headlock. Cole called Banks the captain of Team Smackdown. Cole mentioned that Toni Storm has been added to the Smackdown Women’s team. Shotzi and Banks had a hold of each other’s hair. Shotzi hit a good kick on Banks. Banks recovered into the Three Amigos. The crowd chanted “Eddie”. Banks went to the top rope, but Shotzi moved, and Banks landed on her feet. Shotzi hit a big knee on Banks that knocked her to the apron. Shotzi fell threw the ropes and hit her head. Weird botch. Shotzi stuck Banks’ arm in the handles on the steps and kicked at it. Shotzi rolled Banks back in for a near fall. Shotzi went for a punch but Banks rolled her up for a near fall. Shotzi pushed Banks to the outside. Shotzi followed, but Banks recovered and hit a Meteora as they cut to break. [c]
Shotzi was in control. She picked up Banks and hit a modified fireman’s carry cutter. Shotzi went for Sliced Bread, but Banks pushed her off then hit running knees in the corner. Banks went to the top and hit a Meteora for a near fall. Banks stalked Shotzi, but Shotzi grabbed the arm of Banks. Shotzi then hit Sliced Bread for a close near fall. Shotzi freaked out. She screamed that Banks is trash and worthless. Banks recovered with a jawbreaker. Shotzi snapped Banks’ arm on the top rope then slammed it into the post. Shotzi tossed Banks back into the ring then went to the top. Shotzi hit the Ball Pit, but Banks rolled out of the ring. Shotzi followed. Shotzi tossed Banks back into the ring. Shotzi went for the modified fireman’s carry again, but Banks reversed. Banks locked in a Bank Statement, but used her leg for the crossface because her arm is injured.
WINNER: SASHA BANKS in 12:00
-Deville was shown watching from the entryway. Banks helped Shotzi up. The two shook hands, then Banks laid Shotzi out with a Backstabber.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Ok, if the other matches were short so that this match could have the amount of time it did, I’m a little more understanding. Besides the botch, I thought this was very well done. The story was good and the finish was super creative and even better, clean. Shotzi looked really good here, even in the loss. After Shotzi’s matches with Charlotte and Banks, she feels like a football team that plays the best teams really close, but barely loses, and then finally, one player gets them over the top. I think Shotzi will get there. Matches like this will help her.)
-They showed Reigns in the back with the Bloodline. Reigns asked Heyman if it was time. Heyman said it was. They all got up and began to leave the locker room, but Reigns stopped the Usos and told them “he’s got this.” Cole hyped the Woods-Reigns face to face segment, next. [c]
-They returned with a cartoon/comic book style promo for Xia Li.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I really want to hear Hazelwood’s opinion on this piece. For, reasons.)
-Toni Storm was in the back with Kayla. She said she’s excited to be on the Smackdown Women’s team. They showed a recap of her altercation with Charlotte last week. Storm said Charlotte is obsessed with Lynch and vulnerable. Storm said when Charlotte loses, she’s going to come for her guns blazing. Storm Charlotte can take out her frustration on her, as long as she gets her championship match. Charlotte appeared. She said she’ll beat Lynch on Sunday, then Storm is next. Charlotte said Storm can have a title match, even though she doesn’t deserve it. Storm said that’s what she thought.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Storm didn’t seem 100% confident in her promo abilities here. Otherwise, the content was good, the delivery just needs work. Charlotte is right, Storm doesn’t deserve a shot, but she’ll get one anyway. This segment was solid, showing that there is something for Charlotte after Survivor Series. Storm needs to step her game up to avoid being swallowed by the storm that is Charlotte Flair.)
-King Xavier Woods made his entrance to a solid pop. They showed the graphic for the face to face with Reigns. McAfee said Woods might regret everything he’s ever done, next. [c]
-Woods stood mid-ring. He said that he’s here to find out if Reigns is a man. He said that last week he hit his elbow drop and the Usos attacked and caused a no contest. Woods said that that means Reigns cannot beat him on his own. Woods said if that isn’t the case, Reigns needs to come down and prove him wrong. After a brief pause, Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance to another pop. Reigns came down the ramp angry. He stared down Woods the whole way. Heyman stood behind Reigns and smiled. He pointed to the entrance way and yelled Usos. Both Usos were then tossed in succession onto the entry way. Big E’s music hit and he made his entrance to a good pop. Big E stared down Reigns. Big E ran down the ramp then the two exchanged blows. Big E threw Reigns into the steps, then tossed him into the ring. Woods and Big E stomped on Reigns in the ring. The Usos recovered and hit the ring. Big E hit both Usos with the Big Ending in succession. Woods flew over the top rope and took out both Usos. Reigns reovered and hit a Superman Punch on Big E. Reigns stalked Big E and went for a spear but Big E caught him and picked him up for a Big Ending. Reigns escaped and slunk up the ramp. They showed the graphic for Reigns and Big E at Survivor Series. Cole asked who’s at the top of the mountain in WWE.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Good way to end the show to build to Survivor Series. This match has gotten a lot of help this week and feels like a bigger deal then it should.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: Well, this was an episode with highs and lows. The bookend segments with Reigns and the New Day were great. Shotzi and Banks put on a hell of a match as well. The four way was fun and had the right winner. Otherwise, this show was not pretty. Too many short matches. They would have been better off cutting one of the matches and dividing the time between the other two. The mid-card is a huge mess, and doesn’t seem to be getting better. I’m interested to see where the focus shifts after this Survivor Series “brand warfare” nonsense is over.