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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
DECEMBER 3, 2021
SAN ANTONIO, TEX. AT AT&T CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON FOX
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-A video recap aired of Sami Zayn stealing a win over Jeff Hardy in the battle royal last week as Roman Reigns & Co. watched from the back, followed by Kayla Braxton interrupting Sami’s celebration to announce that Brock Lesnar’s suspension had been lifted and he’d be back this week.
-They cut to a wide shot of the AT&T Center as Michael Cole said a capacity crowd was still filing in to the arena. The crowd looked big from the camera angles they showed, including upper deck shots spotlighted.
-Brock Lesnar made his ring entrance. Cole said Lesnar paid his million dollar fine and his suspension has been lifted. Brock looked kinda pissed off. Pat McAfee asked if he was even bigger than before. Brock then broke into a smile and laughed a bit after his music stopped and peopled chanted “Suplex City!” “So you’ve caught on that my suspension’s been lifted,” he said. “I’m here tonight for one reason and one reason only – the Universal Championship.” He was about to address how he got his suspension lifted, but then Sami Zayn interrupted. Sami walked to the ring and said it’s so great that their paths are finally crossing. He said he thinks their careers share a lot in common “other than a couple of UFC Championships and a couple of WrestleMania main events,” he said. He said they are two Canadian alpha males doing their thing. He said no disrespect or funny business, he’s just there to tell him man to man that he’s a fan. He said regarding his new hairstyle, “This look you’ve got going on, you should’ve done it years ago.” Lesnar snapped, “Shut up.”
Lesnar told Sami he was confused. “I don’t have the slightest idea of who the hell you are,” he said. Fans laughed. “Pardon my ignorance, you’re a fan? You’re a fan of me?” Sami said he’s the Master Strategist. Lesnar said Sami has a lot of balls interrupting him. He said he is from Canada and he hunts things and kills things and he eats thing in Saskatchewan. “Now tell me who the hell you think you are and why I haven’t ripped your head off.” Sami said that’s a valid question that deserves an answer. He said he’s the elder statesman of Smackdown and the locker room leader, but also the no. 1 contender for the Universal Title. He said, against all odds, he won the battle royal and he’s next in line to face Roman Reigns at Day One. Lesnar asked if it’s true that he got suspended and then Sami became no. 1 contender. Sami said it’s funny, but probably not a knee slapper.
Sami said after he beats Reigns at Day One, then Lesnar can have the first title shot, no questions asked. Lesnar said, “Silly me, my apologies, it’s all coming together now,” he said. He asked Sami who is playing him. Lesnar asked why he’d wait until Day One when he could face Reigns tonight in San Antonio instead. Lesnar put his arm around Sami and said it’ll be great. Sami said it’s a good idea, but he needs more preparation time. Lesnar told him to shut up and said he should fight Reigns tonight. Sami told Lesnar that he was crowding him and they have creative differences. Lesnar said, intensely, while in Sami’s space, “Tonight. Tonight.” Sami backed to the ropes and thanked him for the advice, but said no thank you. He put his hand on Lesnar’s shoulder. Lesnar was upset. Sami apologized. Lesnar twisted his arm and then Sami said he would have the match tonight. Lesnar said he’d be by his side to witness it first hand. He told Sami he has his back. Sami said he’d see a new Universal Champion tonight. Sami shook his sore hand as he walked to the back. [c]
-Backstage Sami told Sonya Deville he wanted to talk to Adam Pearce. She said he was having travel issues, but she can help him. Sami said he put his foot in his mouth earlier and might have agreed to face Reigns tonight. He said it’s not actually a good idea. Lesnar walked in. Sami told Lesnar that because Pearce isn’t there, maybe they should wait. Deville said she can make it official, and she did. Lesnar then asked if he faces the winner at Day One. She said yes. Lesnar smiled. Sami appeared to be distressed.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sami is thoroughly convincing and entertaining in his role. Lesnar is a little rusty on the mic, but that’s actually part of the charm because it feels more authentic. He’s not known to be a slick bombastic talker, but his acting here was good. The intimidation and contempt for Sami was well-conveyed.)
(1) SASHA BANKS vs. SHAYNA BASZLER
Sasha Banks came out first. Then as Baszler came out, Cole touted her submissions. They showed a brief vignette of Baszler injuring Nia Jax and Eva Marie. McAfee called them “Future Endeavored Kicks.” Banks ducked a charging Baszler and took early control. Baszler attempted to stomp on Banks’s arm, but Banks avoided it. Banks went for a slidekick, but Baszler moved and applied an anklelock. Banks escaped and drove Baszler into the ring apron and then hit a Meteora at ringside. When Cole asked if Baszler can get back in, McAfee said, “I hope not!” Banks scored a two count. They cut to a break. [c]
Back from the break, Baszler took over with a flying knee to Sasha in the corner followed by a gut-wrench suplex for a two count. Sasha made a comeback as a “Let’s Go Sasha” chant rang out. Baszler surprised Banks with a Kirafuda Clutch. Sasha rolled over and leveraged Baszler into a two count and then she shifted Baszler into a Bank Statement. Baszler powered out and then swept Sasha and gave her a knee, knocking Sasha onto her back. Baszler gave her a gut-wrench, but Banks rolled through and scored a leverage three count.
WINNER: Banks in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match.)
-Deville was on a video chat with Pearce. When she told him about Sami and Lesnar, Pearce said it’d probably be best if he didn’t show up at all. Deville encouraged him to arrive. He said she has it under control and he hung up. Drew McIntyre walked in and asked who exactly was responsible for him not being in the battle royal last week. Deville said Pearce made the list. McIntyre held up his sword and told Deville to let Pearce know he’s looking for her.
-Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their way to the ring. Corbin was wearing a crazy loud orange and black shirt and shorts and hat. [c]
-Corbin and Moss were sitting in chairs mid-ring and talked about the battle royal last week. Moss laughed at the memories. Corbin said Jeff Hardy fried so many brain cells, he forgot Sami hadn’t been eliminated. Corbin asked for Moss’s joke about Hardy. “What would you call Jeff Hardy if he were a woman with a child? A swanton mom.” Corbin and Moss laughed uproariously. Corbin, breathlessly, said it’s incredible. Corbin then talked about McIntyre being a big crybaby. He said Drew has to stop being so worried and instead be happy. Moss said, “What do you call Drew McIntyre checking a battle royal list? A Scottish worrier.” More cackling. McIntyre’s music played. Corbin and Moss leaped out of their chairs in worry.
Moss approached McIntyre on the ramp and tried to make peace. Hardy entered the ring and surprised Corbin with a Twist of Fate. Moss ran into the ring, so Hardy fended him off and gave him a Twist of Fate. McIntyre then gave Moss a Claymore. McAfee said, “The adults have entered the ring.” Hardy and McIntyre wore the hats Corbin and Moss wore into the ring. Hardy then did the Floss dance briefly.
-They went to Cole and McAfee at ringside. Cole said they’re in Los Angeles next week where they’ll see the debut of Xia Li. Another graphic novel style video package aired on her. She talked about deep breaths of anticipation. She fended off muggers. She said she hates vultures who see life through foggy lenses. She said she fights for the dis-empowered. Then they showed her doing martial arts moves.
-The Viking Raiders made their ring entrance. A graphic hyped their match against Los Lotharios next. [c]
(2) THE VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar) vs. LOS LOTHARIOS (Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo)
With Garza and Humberto in control, Rick Boogs began playing guitar on the announce desk as Shinsuke Nakamura danced at ringside. Erik knocked a DISTRACTED Garza out of the ring, but then Humberto rolled up Erik for the three count.
WINNERS: Los Lotharios in 2:00.
-After the match, the Raiders confronted Boogs and Nakamura. Boogs said they were just trying to help. Boogs played guitar and the Raiders joined Nakamura in pounding their chests to the beat of the music. So it appeared all was forgiven.
-Cole threw to a sponsored video package on Toni Storm confronting Charlotte last week.
-Kyla Braxton interviewed Storm in the wrestling ring interview set backstage. Storm said she’s now known as the woman who had two pies thrown in her face. She said Charlotte can try to embarrass her all she wants, but that won’t stop her from going after what she wants, which is the Smackdown Title. She said Charlotte may have more experience than her, but she will prove she is better than her. She said she might be “Two Pie Toni” now, but she’s going to change that and be known as “Toni Storm, Smackdown Women’s Champion.”
-The Usos made their ring entrance. [c]
-McAfee hyped Sami challenging Reigns later, with an animated graphic showing the two potential resulting scenarios at Day One.
-The Usos stood mid-ring. They asked what’s wrong with Sami. They made fun of him for acting scared. They said there’s only one man to fear on Smackdown, and that’s the man who will smack around Lesnar at Day One. They said they’re “the ones.” The fans were chanting for the Usos. Xavier Woods’ entrance music played and he walked out in a robe. He said his crown is smashed for now, but he always brings a gift to the party. He paused “dramatically” and then revealed it was Kofi Kingston. Cole said Kofi was back. Kofi danced to the ring.
(3) KING WOODS (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. JEY USO (w/Jimmy Uso)
Cole and McAfee talked about the great series of matches the Usos and New Day have had. A couple minutes in, Xavier downed Jey with a somersault into a clothesline followed by a spinning elbow to the side of his head. He climbed the ropes, but Jimmy yanked him off. The ref called for the bell.
WINNER: Woods via DQ in 3:00.
-After the match, Kofi made the save and landed a Trouble in Paradise on Jey. Then they beat up Jimmy two-on-one, sending him to ringside. The Usos retreated.
-Backstage, Reigns told a nervous Paul Heyman, “So Brock is back and Adam Pearce isn’t here.” He said there’s a lot going on that he didn’t get warning about. Heyman said he was as surprised as Reigns was last week. Reigns asked if he knew Lesnar would be in Sami’s corner. Heyman said that caught him by surprise. Reigns said he’s going to go out there and smash Sami. He said if Brock comes anywhere near him, he’s going to smash him too.
-Charlotte Flair made her ring entrance. [c]
-Backstage New Day were celebrating their win alongside Aliya. Braxton approached for an interview. Kingston said the Bloodline tried to end his career, but they failed. He said he was forced to watch from afar as his sprained MCL healed as the Bloodline attacked Xavier. He said they will employ eye-for-an-eye and get revenge by winning the Smackdown Tag Team Titles at Day One.
-Charlotte was spinning in the ring with her arms extended as her music played. She called Storm “feisty” and had a lot to say. She said apparently the only way to get noticed on Smackdown is to challenge her or bring up her name every five seconds in an interview. She said she knows what Storm is doing. She said she feels she is giving Toni too much credit by just acknowledging her. She said Toni was the talk of the town because she smashed two pies in her face. She said everyone at home was laughing because it was funny. She said Toni can shower off the pie, but she can’t rinse the stink off of her. She said Toni demanding a title opportunity doesn’t add up, so she came all the way to the ring to show her respect to her and let her know she considered her challenge. She said her answer is no. She extended her arms as boos rang out. Her music then played again. Cole said Charlotte should defend it against Toni. McAfee said that’s not how it works in the NFL or WWE. Toni then snuck up on Charlotte on the stage and threw a pie in her face. Charlotte yelled in anger as Storm laughed uproariously.
(Keller’s Analysis: That seems like what Charlotte would say in real life in response to a challenge from Storm. That worked to build up toward Toni finding a way to secure a title match after all.)
-A video package aired on the Ridge Holland vs. Cesaro match last week. [c]
-A vignette aired on Ricochet.
(4) CESARO vs. SHEAMUS
They showed Holland watching backstage. A few minutes in, Cesaro took it to Sheamus at ringside. He landed a running European elbow, sending Sheamus into the time keeper’s area. Then he rammed his head into the commentary table before throwing him back into the ring. Cesaro told Sheamus he was like a brother to him before he short-arm clotheslined him. Next, he set up a Neutralizer, but Sheamus avoided it and then landed a Brogue Kick for the win.
WINNER: Sheamus in 5:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good, hard-hitting match that you’d expect from these two, although quite short.)
-Sami made his ring entrance. [c]
-Naomi approached Deville backstage and asked for a match against her. She asked if she’s scared. Deville said, “Sure, I’ll give you a match. That is, when I decide to take off the suit.” She said if she has her ring gear on, that’s one thing, but as long as she’s wearing a suit, she’s her boss. She said if she touches her when she’s in her suit, she’ll make sure she doesn’t get a paycheck. Naomi asked if she’s accepting her challenge. Deville slapped her. Naomi was going to fire back, but she stopped short. Deville laughed and said, “Yes, I am.”
-They went to Cole and McAfee at ringside. Cole said at least Deville finally accepted Naomi’s challenge. [c]
-Cole and McAfee said it’s official, Naomi will face Deville next week on Smackdown.
-Sami was in the ring and he said Texas is his least favorite state. He vowed to upset Reigns and walk out as the new Universal Champion. “And when I do, I don’t have any one of you to thank. You have never supported me.” He said the only person he has to thank is Brock Lesnar. Lesnar’s music played and he walked out. Sami told Brock he knows he isn’t out there to help him win and he’s not saying he shouldn’t help him win, but his track record against Reigns lately hasn’t been great, so he’d have a better chance at Day One against him. He said he isn’t trying to disrespect him, because he knows he can beat Reigns. He just is saying he’d have a better chance against him. Lesnar heard enough and gave Sami three German suplexes. He looked down at him and smiled, then lifted him and gave him an F5. He looked around, then gave Sami another F5. [c]
(5) ROMAN REIGNS (w/Paul Heyman, the Usos) vs. SAMI ZAYN – Universal Title match
Cole said Lesnar propped Sami in the corner. The ref signaled for the bell when Sami showed at least a little sign of life. The bell rang and Sami stumbled out of the corner only to be speared. Sami tapped out instantly to a guillotine.
WINNER: Reigns in 15 seconds to retain the Universal Title.
-The show ended with the Bloodline celebrating as their music played and Reigns trash-talking Sami who was still out on his back.
(Keller’s Analysis: A bit anti-climactic, but also appropriate given how Sami is typically portrayed.)