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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 26, 2021
AIRED LIVE ON FOX
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-They went live to the arena as Michael Cole thanked viewers for making WWE Smackdown part of their holiday weekend. Pat McAfee plugged the battle royal by saying wrestlers will fight for the right to get their asses kicked by Roman Reigns.
-Kayla Braxton stood mid-ring and said rumors are heating up that “Brock Lesnar’s indefinite suspension…” at which point she was interrupted by Reigns’s music. Cole said he wanted to hear what she had to say. Reigns and Paul Heyman made their way to the ring. They cut away to highlights of Big E vs. Roman at Survivor Series last Sunday. Then Heyman told Braxton, “We don’t do rumors on the Island of Relevancy.” He said she parades around like she’s a journalist with breaking news. He said she is trying to get a spotlight for spreading rumors. When fans booed, Heyman said none of them are worthy of passing judgment on them. He turned back to Braxton and told her to dig for sources and get a confirmation or denial and then return with facts. He said he used to like her because other people thought she was pretty, but now she’s living her life through an Instagram filter, and there is no Instagram filter to be a legit journalist. He said until she is a legit journalist, she should leave the ring. “Thank you for your time, good night,” he said. Braxton shook her head at Heyman, but then did turn and leave.
Fans chanted, “We want Brock!” After a pause, Heyman handed Reigns the mic. Reigns said rumors give losers false hope. He said compared to him, everyone is a loser around there. Fans booed. “Because I’ve beaten them all,” he said. He said Brock is the no. 1 loser around there. “I flew all the way around the world and I smashed his ass,” he said. “Brock Lesnar is a loser. I don’t care about the rumors. That’s the facts.” He said Big E is also a loser because he smashed him last week. He said “those fools” are part of a long list of losers.
He said management is getting desperate, so they have booked a battle royal tonight to determine the new challenger. He said they should let three or four of them win because he’ll smash them all. “And when my days are done around here, which could be sooner than later, the whole world will acknowledge me.”
(Keller’s Analysis: Hmmm. What did he mean by “which could be sooner than later”? Is he hinting at leaving WWE for other opportunities as part of an angle or real life? They’re doing a nice, slow build to Lesnar showing up again. Reigns, Braxton, and Heyman were all really good here.)
-They went to Cole and McAfee at ringside who reacted to Reigns and Heyman. Then they shifted to plugging the opening tag match.
-Jeff Hardy made his ring entrance. Then Drew McIntyre came out. [c]
(1) JEFF HARDY & DREW MCINTYRE vs. MADCAP MOSS & HAPPY CORBIN
Cole said Hardy was excited to be wrestling in an arena where he watched wrestling growing up as a kid. McAfee noted he’s 44 years old. McAfee said, “Drew McIntyre, your mother’s favorite Superstar.” (I’m not sure that helps Drew to put that phrase out there.) Hardy and Moss battled at ringside. Moss clotheslined Hardy into the time keeper’s area. He laughed as they cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Drew got a got a hot tag and went after Corbin with a neckbreaker and a kip up. “How the hell can a man that big do what he does!?” asked McAfee. Drew then signaled for a Claymore kick, but Moss distracted him by leaping onto the ring apron. Drew turned and punched him, then charged at Corbin, but Corbin countered into a Deep Six for a two count. After all four were in the ring, Drew hit Moss with the Glasgow Kiss and a Claymore. Drew tagged in Hardy rather than go for the pin. Hardy yanked off his t-shirt and landed a Swanton for the win.
WINNERS: Hardy & McIntyre in 8:00.
-Backstage Braxton was chatting with Aliyah. Heyman walked up behind them and asked Braxton if she was able to get a confirmation or denials on those rumors. Heyman said Lesnar has been hiding behind a suspension that he intentionally got by putting his hands on Pearce in order to avoid Reigns. Heyman told Braxton to call Lesnar, but then said she doesn’t have his new number and neither does he. He said he’s pushing for her to be gone if she doesn’t get a confirmation or denial. “That’s what I’m pushing for, or maybe that’s just a rumor,” he said.
-Ridge Holland made his ring entrance with Sheamus. [c]
(2) RIDGE HOLLAND (w/Sheamus) vs. CESARO
Sheamus joined the announcers at ringside to talk up Holland. Cesaro got an early advantage, so Sheamus stood and distracted him. Holland took over and dominated until Cesaro surprised a boasting Holland with a small package. Sheamus yanked off his headset in a tantrum as Cesaro celebrated at ringside.
WINNER: Cesaro in 5:00.
-Drew approached Pearce and Sonya Deville backstage and asked about the battle royal. Deville said they don’t have the final approved list of participants yet. Drew said he expects an invite and it was a good talk.
-Rick Boogs played electric guitar on the stage and introduced Shinsuke Nakamura. [c]
(3) RICK BOOGS (w/Shinsuke Nakamura) vs. ANGEL GARZA (w/Humberto Carrillo)
They had a table with a buffet of Thanksgiving food at ringside. Humberto leaped onto the ring apron as a distraction, but Boogs countered Garza’s attack and gave him a powerbomb. He applied an abdominal stretch. Carrillo played Boogs’s electric guitar at ringside. Nakamura swept his legs out from under him and he crashed through the table of food at ringside. Garza kicked a DISTRACTED Boogs and landed the Wing Clipper for the win.
WINNER: Garza in 3:00.
-A video package aired on Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch. Then Charlotte made her ring entrance. [c]
-Braxton asked Pearce backstage if he’s heard about Lesnar’s indefinite suspension being lifted. A clip aired of Lesnar’s attack on Pearce. Pearce said Lesnar is a nuisance. He said with all of his resulting therapy sessions and medical bills and damage, he would be shocked if Lesnar’s suspension is lifted anytime soon. He excused himself.
-Cole stood mid-ring with Charlotte. He asked if she’s disappointed in her loss to Becky on Sunday. She said she’s not disappointed in herself, she’s disappointed in bad refereeing. She said Greensboro saw it. She said Becky could win only by cheating. Charlotte said Becky got a hollow victory. She said the match proved Becky is everything she ever said she was, and that she is the better woman. She said Becky’s success is because of her. Cole asked what is in her near future. Charlotte said Becky can pretend to be Big Time Becks on Raw, which she called “fantasyland,” but she is still the most dominant woman in sports entertainment. Suddenly Toni Storm’s music played and she came out.
Toni said she called it last week when she said Charlotte’s obsession with her made her vulnerable. She said next, Charlotte is going to come after her because she was daring enough to go after her. She entered the ring and said she figured she’d make it easy for her. “I’m right here,” she said. Charlotte smiled and said, “Oh, that’s so cute. Toni, you thought I was coming after you. I barely know you exist.” She said there’s a reason she wipes her boot on the apron every time she steps into the ring. She said there are different levels and she’s on a different level. She took a swing at Storm, but Storm ducked and threw Charlotte to ringside. Charlotte threw a pie in Toni’s face. Toni stood up and walked toward Charlotte. Charlotte shoved another pie in Storm’s face. Toni stood, fuming, but did nothing else. Cole said she was just humiliated.
(Keller’s Analysis: That didn’t make Storm look good at all. They made Storm look like a pushover and a coward so they could incorporate a Thanksgiving pie into the angle? Why did she just stand there and let Charlotte throw a second pie in her face and then not doing anything after that, either?)
-Backstage, Sasha accused Deville of sabotaging her by giving her a “team full of traitors” at Survivor Series. She said her teammates screwed her over, and Sonya picked the team, so it’s her fault. She said as captain she should have picked her own teammates. She asked Deville what her problem is with Naomi. Deville told her to watch her tone with her. She said she doesn’t have an issue with Naomi. She asked if she’s jealous of her and a two-time Smackdown Champion while she’s been “downgraded to a suit.” Deville said that makes her the boss, and she booked Sasha in a tag match with Naomi against Natalya & Shayna Baszler. Sasha mouthed, “It’s on.”
-Naomi’s ring entrance took place. [c]
-A vignette aired for Xia Li with comic book style graphics. She said she still remembers a bully in school whose mouth was scrunched into a growl, picking on her older brother for weeks with a relentless assault. She said her quiet, kind, passivist brother was too good for this violent world. “I hate vultures,” she said. “Their confidence grows like mold on dirty dishes. If you let it, they will suffocate your spirit.” Then she appeared in person and said she is the protector and defender of those who are wronged. “I don’t fear the wicked, I fight them.” It said she is arriving soon.
(Keller’s Analysis: These comic book style vignettes are really well done and effective at establishing her personality and approach.)
(3) SASHA BANKS & NAOMI vs. NATALYA & SHAYNA BASZLER
Sonya joined in on commentary. When Cole and McAfee questioned her integrity, she said she signs their checks. McAfee said he thought the man with the $100 million egg signed their checks. She said she was in his office last week, which wasn’t quite a definitive rebuttal. Deville asked Cole how he endures McAfee every week. Cole said he’s learned to tune it out. Deville said it’s a skill she must acquire. Natalya rolled to ringside after a Naomi dropkick. Natalya slammed her at ringside, then tagged in Baszler. Baszler kicked Naomi and rolled her into the ring. Sasha gave Baszler an illegal Back Stabber. When Cole rhetorically asked, “Can Naomi climb back into this match?” as they were cutting to a break, Deville added dryly, “I don’t know.” Funny. [c]
Deville complimented Naomi’s talent and heart, and she said she doesn’t understand why people think she is biased against her. Cole explained why. Deville said, “It’s so sensitive, this generation. It’s just business, guys.” Cole said he’s obviously not part of the generation she’s griping about. Naomi fought back with a double neckbreaker on Natalya and Baszler and then went for a tag. Baszler yanked Banks off the ring apron twice, preventing Naomi from tagging out twice. Sasha hit a meteora at ringside. Naomi and Natlaya exchanged roll-ups and two counts. Natalya hit a discus clothesline for a two count. Cole marveled that Naomi was still in the match. Naomi got the three count a minute later with a sunset flip.
WINNERS: Naomi & Banks in 10:00.
-After the match, Deville stood and clapped for Naomi, who walked up to her and glared at her.
-They went backstage where Smackdown wrestlers were looking at a sheet of paper with a list of wrestlers in the battle royal. They were celebrating excitedly if they saw their name. When McIntyre walked up to them, Sheamus told him he didn’t make the cut. He then snickered.
-As Sami Zayn made his ring entrance, Cole said it can’t be true that Drew didn’t make the list, can it? McAfee said he couldn’t imagine. Cole said the winner will face Reigns for the Universal Title in San Antonio, Tex. next Friday on Smackdown. The Viking Raiders entrance also aired. [c]
-A Raw recap aired.
-As ring entrances for the battle royal continued, Cole confirmed that McIntyre was not included in the battle royal. McIntyre came out to the ring to his music and swung his sword as everyone bailed out. Pearce came out and asked Drew what he was doing. They cut to another break. [c]
-A commercial advertised that Edge is returning to Raw on Monday.
(4) BATTLE ROYAL
Participants included Sami, Sheamus, Jinder, Drew Gulak, Angel Garza, Humberto Carrillo, Cesaro, Ridge Holland, Mansoor, The Viking Raiders, Moss, Corbin, Boogs, Ricochet, Shanky, Hardy, and Mace. Cole said they could speculate for days about why McIntyre was left out of the match. They showed Reigns, Heyman, and the Usos watching the battle royal on a monitor backstage. Corbin tossed out Moss, who at first was hurt but then broke into laughter and said, “You got me!” [c]
They showed Braxton was sitting at ringside; Cole said she’d interview the winner. It came down to the Raiders, Sami, Corbin, Ricochet, Sheamus, and Hardy in the ring. Sheamus backdropped both Raiders over the top rope. It came down to Sheamus, Corbin, and Hardy battling in the ring. Hardy hit Corbin with a Twist of Fate. Corbin and Sheamus began shoving each other. Corbin eliminated Sheamus. Hardy tossed Corbin over a second later to “win.” As Hardy’s music played, Sami ran back into the ring and tossed him over the top rope. “How did we forget about Sami Zayn?” asked Cole.
WINNER: Sami in 15:00.
-Braxton congratulated Sami. She said she was just given breaking news. She said the suspension has been lifted and Brock would appear on Smackdown next week. Sami didn’t like his moment being overshadowed. They cut to Pearce taking a deep breath. Then they cut to Reigns, Heyman, and the Usos reacting. The camera zoomed in on Heyman and Reigns looking at each other.