WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 11/19: The big ending, big time Banks, minor miss of mid-card, more

BY NICK BARBATI, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR

PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

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Hits

The Big Ending

Yes, Smackdown this week had a big ending with a face off between Big E and Roman Reigns, but really this was a big ending for the Survivor Series build up, which has been one of the most understated promo efforts in ages. Yet, it has also been one of the most impactful. There is so much intrigue heading into Sunday’s big show due to WWE really holding back on the champions sharing too much screen time, and the result is the imaginations of the viewers taking hold. I especially loved leaning into the Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair video package to do the hard sell for the real main event. Between that match and Reigns/Big E, there is so much history there. That is enough.

There Will Be Blood-line

Speaking of the world of Roman Reigns, this was another brilliant week for all things Bloodline. From the magnificent opening segment with the entire cartoonish king gimmicky being demolished – hopefully leading to a more impassioned, stronger Xavier Woods- to the big showdown with Big E to close the show, everything felt important. That is the usual for Reigns, but cannot be taken for granted. Is there anything more signature to any WWE brand than the epic entrance of Roman Reigns is to Smackdown? Is there anything more tangible than the chemistry between Reigns and Paul Heyman? Is there anyone that captures a viewers attention so instantly and fully than Roman Reigns? No. No. No.

Big Time Banks

Sasha Banks is once again on the rise with a clear wind to her sails heading into Survivor Series. Banks really outclassed Shotzi, and seemed to quickly move on from that brief program to head onto a bigger stage with Charlotte Flair. That match itself was fine, but the takeaway here was a confident, sharp Banks who now is commanding the same level of main-event feel that Flair and Lynch command at all times. Shotzi won in losing by just being there for the ride.

The Best in the World at What They Do

Not enough can be said about just how good that video package for Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch was in establishing the history and stakes heading into Sunday. There has not been a Survivor Series match with the level of intrigue that this match has since Survivor Series 1997, and there are indeed many parallels here between those encounters. The credit this week, though, goes to WWE production for the package telling the story of Lynch/Flair in the most dramatic fashion possible and proving once again they are the best in the world at what they do.

Misses

Hartford Screwjob

I hated the screwjob finish for the women’s tag match. A heel referee should be a MAJOR happening, and this was treated so commonplace that it was infuriating. There were nuances to the Sonya Deville character that somehow weren’t insulting to the viewer, but those are all gone. In there place is a nonsensical storyline with Naomi that seems to be leading to nowhere fast other than leaving a lot of collateral damage of Shayna Baszler and Natalya in its wake.

Minor Miss of a Mid-card

The mid-card of Smackdown is fine enough, but there is a spark missing. Look no further than the four-way or the increasingly-odd Nakamura/Boogs/Los Lotharios program to see that the matches are good but there is a lot to be desired when it comes to story. Here’s hoping that the post-Survivor Series focus can be placed on the mid-card establishing stakes and storylines that actually make sense.


CATCH-UP: 11/12 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s report on Reigns vs Xavier, Sami Zayn vs. Jeff Hardy, more Survivor Series developments

1 Comment on WWE SMACKDOWN HITS & MISSES 11/19: The big ending, big time Banks, minor miss of mid-card, more

  1. Wow you have to be the biggest WWE mark walking the planet what is so intriquing about the same old tired RAW vs SD crap they do every year?? Charlotte and Becky are great workers always have great matches but this champion vs champion crap is so played out nothing excited me about the build to the SS because it’s so repetitive take off the rose colored glasses

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