11/26 WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT: McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Black Friday Battle Royal, McIntyre/Hardy vs. Corbin/Moss, Holland-Cesaro

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


NOVEMBER 26, 2021

Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee


-The show opened with a crowd shot as Michael Cole welcomed everyone to the show. They showed a graphic for the Black Friday Battle Royal. The winner will get a Universal Championship match with Roman Reigns. Kayla Braxton was in the ring. She welcomed everyone to the post Thanksgiving episode of Smackdown. Kayla mentioned the rumors surrounding Brock Lesnar’s suspension. Roman Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance flanked by Paul Heyman. He got a loud mixed reaction. Cole spouted the number of days Reigns has been champion. Cole threw to a video package that recapped the Reigns-Big E match from Survivor Series.

-Back from the package, Reigns entered the ring. McAfee said Survivor Series sucked for Smackdown, but Reigns was still dominant. Heyman gestured to Kayla for the mic. Heyman took it and asked if rumors about Lesnar was the best Kayla had. He said they don’t do rumors on the Island of Relevancy. He said Kayla parades around like a journalist and talks about Lesnar because she knows it bothers Reigns. The crowd booed. Heyman told the crowd not to boo Kayla, as the crowd shouldn’t pass judgment on any of them. Heyman told Kayla to do research and come with facts instead of rumors. Heyman said Kayla is living her life thru an Instagram filter, and there is no Instagram filter for a legit journalist. He told her to leave the ring. Kayla obliged. The crowd chanted “we want Brock”. Heyman handed the mic to Reigns. Reigns asked Heyman if he would like to know the problem with rumors. Reigns said that rumors give losers false hope. He said compared to him, everyone is a loser. Reigns said he’s beaten them all. Reigns said Lesnar is the number one loser around here. Reigns said he beat Lesnar in less than ideal conditions. He said he flew all the way around the world and smashed Lesnar. Reigns then called Big E a loser, since he smashed him at Survivor Series. Reigns said he’s running laps around the roster. He said management is getting desperate. Reigns mentioned the battle royal later in the evening. Reigns said three or four competitors could win tonight, and he’ll smash them all. Reigns ran down his various monikers, then called himself the greatest of all time. Reigns said when his days are done in WWE, which could be sooner, rather than later, the whole world will acknowledge him. Reigns music hit and he posed with the one finger in the air. Cole hyped the battle royal again.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I love the interactions between Kayla and Heyman. Heyman really tore her down here, which seemed to be way more than usual. I wonder if Kayla is going to get some comeuppance for this. Reigns’ promo was gold. One of the reasons that Reigns is so effective as a heel is because there is truth to his claims. He has beaten everyone, and most of them he has beaten convincingly. I’m interested to see who wins the battle royal. I think it’s going to end up being Xavier Woods, but we’ll see.)

-They cut to the announce desk. McAfee said it doesn’t matter who wins the battle royal because the winner will get his ass kicked by Reigns. Cole hyped the Jeff Hardy and Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin and Mad Cap Moss tag team match. They cut to a video package of the match between Hardy and Moss from last week. Back in the arena, Hardy’s music hit and he made his entrance to a solid pop. McIntyre then made his entrance, also to a good pop. McAfee called McIntyre a “massive creature”. They then showed a graphic for the tag match, coming up next. McIntyre posed with the sword as they cut to break. [c]

-Back from break, Happy Corbin and Mad Cap Moss made their entrance.


Corbin attacked Hardy from behind. Hardy recovered and hit an inverted atomic drop into a basement dropkick. Corbin recovered and kneed Hardy in the gut before he tagged in Moss. Moss went on the attack, but Hardy recovered and took down Moss with a hiptoss. Hardy tagged in McIntyre and they hit a double team move on Moss for a near fall. McIntyre took Moss down with a big clothesline out of the corner. He tagged Hardy back in. Hardy tossed Moss to the outside and hit a dropkick through the ropes. Corbin tried to attack Hardy, but Hardy knocked him off the apron to the floor. Hardy jumped off the apron and took out Corbin. Moss ran into the picture and smashed Hardy against the barricade as they cut to break. [c]

After the break, Corbin was in control of Hardy. Corbin did his run under the ropes thing, but hit McIntyre on the apron. Corbin tagged in Moss. Hardy battled back against Moss. He went for a Twist of Fate but Moss reversed. Hardy took him down and tagged in McIntyre. McIntyre went on a tear and took out Moss and Corbin. He finally his Corbin with a neckbreaker then the kip-up. He set up for a Claymore, the crowd chanted the “three, two, one” loudly. Moss intercepted McIntyre and Corbin and Moss took over. Hardy came in for the save. McIntyre recovered and knocked Corbin out of the ring. McIntyre hit a Glasgow’s Kiss, then a Claymore on Moss. He tagged in Hardy who hit a Swanton Bomb for the win.


(McDonald’s Analysis: Solid action, but super predictable. It’s a shame that Corbin and Moss, who are a comedy act, are basically the number two heels on Smackdown since the draft. Corbin has a cool move-set and is good enough in the ring that he could be credible, but any hope of that is completely dead at this point. McIntyre is clearly killing time until his eventual showdown with Reigns. If they had evened out the rosters better, he could be having a fresh feud with someone like Rollins. Since they chose not to do that, McIntyre will tread water until they decide to pull the trigger on his turn against Reigns.)

-They cut to Kayla in the back talking to Aliyah. Heyman appeared and Aliyah left. Heyman asked if Kayla had gotten any confirmations or denials regarding the rumor about Lesnar. Heyman said Lesnar got himself intentionally suspended because he fears Reigns. Heyman held out his phone and asked Kayla to call Lesnar. Heyman then said she can’t because he doesn’t have Lesnar’s new number and neither does she. Heyman said if Kayla doesn’t figure it out she’s gone because that’s what he’s pushing for.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Interesting twist there. They’re really leaning into this, which is good because Heyman and Kayla have such good chemistry. As much as I love Heyman, I’m rooting for Kayla to get back at him somehow. That’s how WWE wants me to feel, so it’s working.)

-Back in the arena, Sheamus’ music hit and he made his entrance with Ridge Holland. They showed a recap of Holland helping Sheamus in the fatal four way last week. Cole said that Holland will make his Smackdown debut next against Cesaro.

-Sheamus joined Cole and McAfee on commentary. He said Holland recognizes greatness which is why he chose Sheamus as his mentor. Sheamus said Cesaro has fallen since they broke up.

(2) RIDGE HOLLAND (w/Sheamus) vs. CESARO

Cesaro pushed Holland into the corner. Cesaro hit a running uppercut and mounted Holland in the corner. Sheamus got up and distracted Cesaro. Holland recovered and took over. He took Cesaro down with a short-arm clothesline for a near fall. Cole said that Holland was so reckless he was kicked out of the rugby league. Holland hit a big underhook suplex on Cesaro for a near fall. Holland locked on a face headlock. Cesaro fought out, but Holland hit a tilt-a-whirl slam for a near fall. Sheamus cheered Holland on. Holland toyed with Cesaro, who rolled him up for the win.


(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, we saw some of what Holland can do. I didn’t like that he went to rest holds a couple times in a four minute match. His moves look good for the most part. Cesaro getting a surprise win is right out of the WWE playbook. In a way, I’m glad that Holland lost so that Cesaro didn’t look like a complete joke, but he was utterly dominated and got a fluke win. Cesaro is a somewhat accomplished veteran who shouldn’t be defined down this much.)

-Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were shown in the back watching the monitor. McIntyre approached them and asked for a spot in the battle royal later. Pearce and Deville said they don’t have the approved list of competitors yet, but they will let McIntyre know. He said fair enough and walked off.

-In the arena, Rick Boogs did his usual Freddy Mercury routine and played guitar to introduce Shinsuke Nakamura. McAfee danced on the desk. They showed a graphic for Rick Boogs and Angel Garza in a “Thanksgiving leftovers throwdown”, next. McAfee said there’s a mess in his pants as they cut to break. [c]

-Angel Garza was in the ring with Humberto Carillo in his corner. They showed a table with Thanksgiving food on it at the top of the ramp and at ringside.

(3) RICK BOOGS (w/ Shinsuke Nakamura) vs. ANGEL GARZA (w/ Humberto Carrillo) – Thanksgiving Leftovers Throwdown Match

Boogs and Garza battled to the outside and Boogs teased throwing Garza into the food on the table. McAfee said the winner gets to eat the pie afterwards. The crowd chanted “we want tables”. Boogs caught Garza and hit a spinning slam. Boogs picked up Garza and tossed him around with the side slam. Carrillo hopped on the apron and Boogs knocked him off. Boogs hit another side suplex on Garza for a near fall. Carrillo picked up Boogs guitar at ringside and began to play. Nakamura attacked him and threw him through the table. Garza hit a superkick and the Wing Clipper for the win.


(McDonald’s Analysis: More comedy garbage. Another set of guys that are talented, but are defined down by this silliness. Smackdown needs guys for a credible mid-card. Matches like this DON’T HELP with credibility and helping to build mid-card stars. This is the constant problem WWE has. They kept these guys over the horde of talent they released, they should use them appropriately and give us a credible Smackdown mid-card. All of the guys that used to occupy this mid-card are in the main event on Raw now. Why can’t they build these guys to a similar level? Or ya know, at least try. Another week without a Nakamura title defense. Shouldn’t Jack Tunney show up and strip him of the title since he hasn’t defended it in like three months?)

-They cut to a recap of Charlotte Flair and Becky Lynch from Survivor Series. In the arena, Charlotte made her entrance. Cole hyped an exclusive interview with Charlotte, next. [c]


-They showed a graphic hyping the battle royal. Pearce was in the back. Kayla approached him and asked about the competitors in the battle royal. Kayla asked about the rumors surrounding Lesnar. They showed a recap of Lesnar’s attack on Pearce. After the package, Pearce said that he doesn’t expect Lesnar’s suspension to be lifted any time soon. He called Lesnar a menace. He told Kayla that he has a battle royal to attend to, and walked off.

-Cole was in the ring with Charlotte. He said that Charlotte must be disappointed with her loss to Becky Lynch. Charlotte blamed the poor officiating. Charlotte said Lynch’s victory was hollow and she just got lucky. Charlotte said the match proved that Lynch is everything Charlotte said she was. Charlotte said that deep down, Lynch knows that Charlotte is better. Cole asked Charlotte what’s in the near future for Charlotte. Charlotte called herself the most dominant woman in sports entertainment. Toni Storm’s music hit and she made her entrance. Storm said that Charlotte’s obsession with Lynch made her vulnerable, and she lost. Storm said Charlotte is going to go after her because she stood up to Charlotte. Storm said she’s going to make it easy, since she’s right here. Charlotte said she barely knows Storm exists. Charlotte said she’s on a different level than Storm. Charlotte asked Storm if she wants to be embarrassed tonight. Charlotte went to attack Storm, but Storm moved. The women rolled to the outside, where Charlotte smashed a pie in Storm’s face. Charlotte beckoned Storm to come after her. Charlotte smashed another pie in Storm’s face. Cole said Storm was humiliated.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Charlotte did a good job here. Nothing fancy, but she made her point. Storm looked like a joke. It seemed like they were going in a solid direction, but she got completely punked by Charlotte and did absolutely nothing about it. She has to get comeuppance somehow. If this continues and Charlotte beats her relatively quickly, then Storm is pretty much done as far as being a credible challenger.)

-They cut to a video recap of the Women’s Survivor Series Elimination match. Afterwards, they showed Deville in the back on the phone. The screen noted that this was “earlier today”. Sasha Banks appeared and said her team screwed her over. She said as the captain, she should have been allowed to choose her own team. Banks said she wanted Naomi on her team. She asked Deville what her problem with Naomi was. Deville said she doesn’t have a problem with Naomi. Banks accused Deville of lying. Deville made a tag match that will pit Naomi and Banks against Shayna Baszler and Natalya.

-In the arena, Naomi made her entrance. They showed Deville at commentary. McAfee was dancing at the announce table to Naomi’s entrance. They showed a graphic for the tag match, next. [c]

-They showed another cartoon style promo for Xia Li.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I don’t know how I feel about these new Xia Li promos. I preferred the old ones. Regardless, I want her to debut already.)

-Banks made entrance to a solid response. Natalya and Baszler were already in the ring.


McAfee asked Deville about her fast count and her fast counting referee. Deville stated that she made a normal count, she does everything fast because she’s from the northeast. Baszler started with Banks. Baszler got an ankle lock but Banks fought out. Baszler went for the choke, but Banks backed her into the corner and tagged in Naomi. Naomi got a roll-up for a quick near fall. Baszler tagged in Natalya. Deville asked how Cole puts up with McAfee every week. Cole said he tunes him out. Natalya went on the attack on Naomi, but Naomi recovered and hit a series of dropkicks. Naomi hit Baszler on the apron. Naomi went to the outside but Natalya recovered and took Naomi down. Baszler tagged in and went after Naomi on the floor. Baszler rolled Naomi in the ring and went for the Kirifuda Clutch. Banks ran around the ring and took out Natalya on the outside. Banks then entered the ring and hit the Backstabber on Baszler as they cut to break. [c]

Naomi and Natalya were both down. Natalya tagged in Baszler. Baszler ran across the ring and knocked Banks off the apron. Baszler put a leg lock on Naomi. McAfee accused Deville of paying the referee to screw over Naomi. Baszler tagged in Natalya. They hit a double suplex on Naomi and Natalya made the cover for a near fall. Deville said that Naomi has heart and she doesn’t understand why people thinks she has a bias. Cole ran down the reasons why. Baszler and Natalya hit a double leg pull on Naomi. Baszler put a leg lock on Naomi. Naomi fought up and hit a double spring board stunner on Natalya and Baszler. Baszler pulled Banks off the apron when Naomi went to make a tag. Baszler and Banks brawled on the outside, Banks hit a Meteora on Baszler into the barricade. Natalya hit a discus clothesline for a near fall. Natalya then hit a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. McAfee said it’s amazing that Naomi can kick out when it’s not a fast count. Naomi got the roll-up for the win.


-Deville clapped at ringside. Naomi got out of the ring and walked over to Deville. Deville said Naomi did a good job. Naomi stared her down.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Is Banks hurt? She did next to nothing in this match. I get having Naomi take the beat down, but jeez. The ending was fine. It makes sense that Naomi would get the win on Natalya while Baszler was taken out by Banks. McAfee and Deville going back and forth was really good. I like when McAfee says the things fans are thinking. He was perfect here. This is exactly how this storyline should be approached. It doesn’t make sense, so the announcers should question it. Even after a solid nine minute match, nothing was really furthered here. The clapping and staredown at the end was a little awkward. I’m ready for the conclusion of this.)

-They cut to the back with the Smackdown locker room. There was a sheet on the wall with the participants for the battle royal. Sheamus laughed and was approached by McIntyre. Sheamus told McIntyre that he didn’t make the cut. Sheamus walked away and McIntyre stared after him angrily.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, I think that makes it pretty obvious that Woods is going to win. If not Woods, I think Hardy is a distinct possibility. Regardless, it will be someone who will be crushed by Reigns, probably in short order.)

-Sami Zayn made his entrance in the arena. Cole hyped the battle royal. He said next week at Smackdown we will have a new number one contender. The Viking Raiders made their entrance. They showed a graphic for the battle royal as they cut to break.

-They showed the Raw Rebound.

-Ricochet made his entrance to a surprisingly good pop. The announcer introduced the match, then Drew McIntyre made his entrance. He ran down the ramp and swung his sword around in the ring as all the wrestlers scattered. Adam Pearce ran down the ramp and argued with McIntyre as they cut to break.

(5) BLACK FRIDAY BATTLE ROYAL – Winner receives a Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns

Everyone battled in the ring. They showed Reigns and the Usos watching the match on a monitor in the back. Zayn and Drew Gulak worked together to attempt to eliminate Cesaro.

Drew Gulak eliminated by Sami Zayn

Mansoor eliminated by Ridge Holland and Sheamus

Mace eliminated by Mad Cap Moss

Moss battled against Shanky. Shanky recovered but Moss ran over and eliminated him.

Shanky eliminated by Mad Cap Moss

Ridge Holland eliminated by Cesaro

Cesaro eliminated by Mad Cap Moss

Moss teased eliminating Corbin. They laughed together. Then Corbin turned on Moss.

Mad Cap Moss eliminated by Happy Corbin

Corbin laughed as they cut to break. [c]

Back from break, there was chaos in the ring. Cole pointed out Kayla Braxton sitting at ringside. She will interview the winner. The Viking Raiders attempted to eliminate Ricochet but he fought back. Sheamus tried to eliminate Zayn but Zayn hooked the ropes to hang on. Los Lotharios double teamed Rick Boogs. The announcers mentioned that Zayn went under the bottom rope and was not eliminated.

Rick Boogs eliminated by Los Lotharios

Angel Garza eliminated by the Viking Raiders

Humberto Carrillo eliminated by the Viking Raiders

The Viking Raiders double teamed Sheamus. They picked him up and tried to eliminate him but Sheamus recovered.

Erik eliminated by Sheamus

Ivar eliminated by Sheamus

Ricochet took over and the match was down to four. Corbin, Hardy, Sheamus, and Ricochet. Corbin went after Ricochet. The two exchanged punches in mid ring. Corbin then hit a chokeslam backbreaker on Ricochet. Corbin tried to eliminate Ricochet but he landed on the apron then hit a missile dropkick. Sheamus recovered and took out Ricochet with a Brogue Kick.

Ricochet eliminated by Sheamus

Sheamus and Corbin traded punches. Sheamus got the upper hand and worked to eliminate Corbin. Corbin fought Sheamus off and Hardy appeared with jumping splashes on both Sheamus and Corbin. Sheamus recovered and took Hardy down. Hardy fought back and hit Whisper in the Wind on Sheamus. Corbin attacked Hardy but Hardy recovered and caught Corbin with a Twist of Fate. Sheamus and Corbin decided to eliminate Hardy together. Corbin turned on Sheamus.

Sheamus eliminated by Happy Corbin

Happy Corbin eliminated by Jeff Hardy

Sami Zayn appeared out of nowhere as Hardy’s music began to play. He was never eliminated. Zayn dumped Hardy over the top rope.

Jeff Hardy eliminated by Sami Zayn


-They showed Reigns in the back with the Bloodline. He laughed at Zayn winning. Kayla Braxton entered the ring and introduced Zayn. She then said she had breaking news. Kayla announced that Lesnar’s suspension has been lifted and he will be on Smackdown next week. They cut back to Reigns and the Bloodline. Reigns looked angry and looked at Heyman sideways as they went off the air.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I’ll admit it, they got me. I had totally forgotten that Zayn hadn’t been eliminated. Even though I didn’t type his name as being eliminated. I really like that the winner was completely unexpected. I thought for sure it would be Woods or Hardy. As soon as I noticed that Woods wasn’t in the match, I thought Hardy was a foregone conclusion. This was a nice surprise. The ending was great too. Kayla got her breaking news story and the fans get their wish of Brock Lesnar next week. I’m interested to see where that goes as it relates to Zayn. Reigns’ angry reaction and Heyman’s look of disbelief was a great way to close the show. Well done there.)

FINAL THOUGHTS: Overall, a Smackdown that had excellent high points with Reigns and some really low points with the comedic stuff. Tonight’s show is the perfect example of what I have been saying about the complete and utter lack of depth in the mid-card on Smackdown now. Everyone credible was shipped to Raw and other than Sheamus, no one came over to replace them. The battle royal was fine for what it was, but the Viking Raiders and Mad Cap Moss had zero chance of winning, despite some of their dominance. Shanky and Mace were both treated as afterthoughts here. You would think WWE would attempt to make one of them look good by eliminating a few people, given their size. Instead, they’re jokes who were dumped quickly. The developments in the Women’s Division were fine, but they really need to wrap up the Deville-Naomi storyline, or at least get closer to what feels like a payoff. Storm really needs a big show next week so she doesn’t come off as a complete joke. A good idea would be for her to get one over on Charlotte somehow, then win a match, regardless of the opponent. Natalya would be fine. Speaking of jokes, what was that with Boogs and Garza? Why do they insist on doing the holiday themed matches? Listen, the show is worth watching for Reigns and everything that surrounds the Reigns universe. Beyond that, the Women’s Division is solid and should get better. Otherwise, this show is not good at all. If Reigns wasn’t on it, it wouldn’t be watchable. That’s a problem that WWE caused with the choices they made in the draft. They need to spend time to build the mid-card now in order to solve this problem. I won’t hold my breath.

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