11/18t WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s recap and analysis of Sami Zayn vs. Butch, Ali vs. Ricochet, Shotzi vs. Baszler

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 18, 2022
HARTFORD, CONN.
AIRED ON FOX

Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett

Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin


[HOUR ONE]

-Michael Cole introduced the show as the camera panned the audience.

-Sheamus, Butch, and Ridge Holland walked out. Drew McIntyre then joined them as his music played. As they all entered the ring, Cole threw to a replay of what happened last week when the Brawling Brutes were joined by Drew. Cole said The Brawling Brutes & Drew will face The Bloodline at War Games. He said they’re eager to see who the fifth member of the Brutes team will be.

Sheamus joked about the mic actually working for him this week. Then he asked Hartford how they were doing. Sheamus addressed his 20 year rivalry with McIntyre. He said people question whether they can trust each other, but the 20 year rivalry has created mutual respect. Fans cheered. He said that bond is so strong that he asked Drew to be his best man when he got married in New York three weeks ago. Fans began an “Uce-y!” chant. Sheamus said they want a “Brute-y.” Drew said he can work with that. He said he’s feeling a little Brute-y himself.

Sheamus asked Drew to be an honorary Brute. Drew said if he’s going to war, he wants to go to war with his brother. They hugged. Holland said he wants to get serious and yelled, “Hartford, it’s Fight Night!” Butch yelled, “War Games!” Drew said there were only four of them, so who could the fifth member me. Sami Zayn interrupted from the stage.

Sami said he can speak on behalf of the entire Bloodline that they don’t care who fights them. He said they’re feeling pretty Uce-y about the whole thing. He said he’s the a/k/a master strategist and a/k/a “an honorary Uce” and a/k/a “Uce-y in the Sky with Diamonds.” He guaranteed The Bloodline would win War Games. He said he’ll give Butch a sample of what’s coming at War Games. Sheamus told Sami that when he finds out who their final partner is, “he’ll poop his Uce-y pants because it’s the last thing you’re going expect.” The Brutes music played, but they didn’t reveal the partner.

-They went to Cole and Barrett at ringside. Barrett speculated the partner could be Cole himself. They hyped the World Cup matches.

-Ricochet’s ring entrance took place. [c]

(1) MUSTAFA ALI vs. RICOCHET – Smackdown World Cup Tournament round one

Ali made his entrance. They aired on split screen clips of his loss against Bobby Lashley last week. Cole called it a mauling. Ali’s abdomen was wrapped in tape. They showed a clip of a trainer telling Ali he’s technically cleared, but he’s against it because it’s too risky. Ricochet walked in and questioned Ali’s decision to fight tonight. Ali said he can breath and he can move, so he can fight. He said he’d see him out there and he fist-bumped him. Cole said Ali said earlier on social media said that some might have given up on him, but they shouldn’t and he’ll keep getting back up. The bell rang 17 minutes into the show. Ali landed a backstabber off the top rope a few minutes in. Ricochet rolled to the floor, writhing in pain. [c]

Back from the break, Ali kicked Ricochet off the ring apron. He slingshot himself onto Ricochet, but Ricochet caught him and landed a Michinoku Driver on the ringside mat. Both were slow to get up. When Ricochet went for a top rope twisting moonsault, Ali moved and then applied a submission leglock around Ricochet’s neck. Ricochet forced a break with his leg on the bottom rope.

Ricochet made a comeback with a full nelson suplex, a lariat, and a springboard moonsault for a two count. Ali came back with a sunset flip for a near fall seconds later. Ricochet fired back with a sidekick to Ali’s rib cage. Ali came back with a tornado DDT off the middle rope. Then he climbed to the top rope to set up a 450 splash. Ricochet moved and Ali landed on the mat. Ricochet landed a shooting star press as soon as Ali stood, good for a three count. Cole and Barrett touted Ali’s guts. Ricochet offered a fist bump to Ali on the ring apron after the match and then helped him to the back. Ali was clutching his ribs. Ricochet called for cheers from the fans.

WINNER: Ricochet in 11:00 to advance.

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good match for this length. Although it was broken up with a commercial break in the middle, it had good flow and some nice near fall sequences at the end. Everything they did looked crisp.)

-Cole hyped Ricochet facing the Braun Strowman in the semi-finals.

-Back in the locker room, Jey Uso yelled at Sami for talking earlier and guaranteeing a win. Sami stood up and asked what he did that was so wrong, since they do intend to win. Jimmy told Sami to chill because they need to be on the same page. Jey told him to chill, too. Sami slinked away. Jimmy told Jey they need to figure out who the fifth man is. Sami walked back in and told  Jimmy he’d tell him all about something later. He tentatively patted Solo Sikoa on the arm before walking away again. [c]

-A video package aired on last week’s Usos vs. New Day match.

-Kayla Braxton interviewed New Day about their loss last week. She asked how they’re holding up considering how important that record was for them. Xavier Woods said they’re not in the best mood. Kofi Kingston backed up those comments. Imperium walked in and said they’re clowns and they are exactly what is wrong “with our beloved sport today.” Giovanni Vinci said for eight years, they’ve been making a mockery of it with their trombones and dancing. Ludwig Kaiser said they have to restore the honor of the mat that is so sacred to them. Xavier and Kofi mocked them. Kofi said Gunther looks like that goofy looking dude from “The Adam’s Family,” Lurch. New Day challenged them to a fight. Xavier told Gunther to go get the door because he heard someone rang.

-Madcap Moss was working out with stretch bands backstage when Emma approached him. Moss was hoarse and said he can barely talk because of the damn Cross Jacket. He said tonight is about revenge. He said he was humiliated. Emma said it’s a fresh start tonight. She said he’s more athletic and can take the fight to him. She flirtatiously said he’s got it. They smiled.

-Moss made his ring entrance. [c]

(2) KARRION KROSS (w/Scarlett) vs. MADCAP MOSS

Cole said Kross thrives on other’s misery and loves to torture his opponents. Moss jump-started the match. A few minutes in, Scarlett blocked Moss’s path to Kross. When Moss returned to the ring, Kross kicked him and rammed him into the ringpost. He then applied a sleeper. Moss backed him into the corner and then dropped backwards onto the mat to break the hold. Kross, though, re-applied his Kross Jacket sleeper and Moss went out. The ref called for the bell. Kross held it on as Scarlett entered the ring. Two referees ran out and Kross finally released the hold. Emma ran out to the ring to check on Moss afterward. Kross yelled from ringside that he’ll put Moss to sleep every time.

WINNER: Kross in 4:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: This was basic and mostly solid, with the goal being to give Kross a win and further the Emma-Moss budding relationship.)

-Cole hyped Bray Wyatt would be out next. [c]

-Bray made his ring entrance which lasted well over two minutes. The arena was darkened and he carried a lantern with him.

[HOUR TWO]

After his music stopped, he said his name is Bray Wyatt. He said lately he realized he has been conditioned in his entire life to be a certain way. He said after so long, it can feel like changing is impossible. He said he was conditioned to be strong and to take. He said he was taught that fear is respect. He said he began to look at the path he left behind him and wondered why he does the things he does and if he can change. He said he wants to apologize to L.A. Knight for what he did last week.

Knight came out to his music and said for seven days he’s run in his head over and over the cheapshot Bray took at him. He said he’s gotten more upset. He said he has mixed feelings about Bray saying he wants to apologize to him. He said when he looks in his eyes, he thinks the fact that last week he didn’t fear him, it might have garnered him respect. Knight said he values respect more than money. He said nobody’s ever gotten me. He entered the ring and said he’s not sure what to make of his apology. He said as he looks in his eyes, he thinks he respects him. “For that, I want to…” He then slapped Bray and left the ring. “Now we’re even, apology accepted,” he said. “We’re done. I can go my way, you can go yours.”

Bray said they’re even. He said there’s a lot he wants to do to him right now, but he’s not going to. He said the decision he’s going to make right now will change the rest of his life. He reached out for a handshake. Knight looked on suspiciously, then he slapped Bray. Knight said that’s how he does things. “How’s that taste?” he asked as he backed up the ramp. Bray kneeled and looked like he was fuming inside.

(Keller’s Analysis: I’m really enjoying the Bray character right now, acknowledging his past and taking fans on his journey trying to change his ways. His delivery is excellent. Knight played his part really well there.)

-They went to Cole and Barrett at ringside. Cole wondered what Knight was thinking. He threw to a clip of the verbal exchange between Shotzi and Shayna Baszler last week, leading to a Ronda Rousey distraction and Baszler putting Shotzi out with a sleeper.

-Baszler and Rousey made their ring entrance. [c]

-The Usos confronted Kross backstage and asked if he’s the fifth man. Kross said he’s not a follower. Jimmy asked if he’s trying to make a name off The Bloodline. Kross said when he takes Roman Reigns’s titles, he’ll do it on his terms all on his own.

(3) SHAYNA BASZLER (w/Ronda Rousey) vs. SHOTZI

Shotzi’s ring entrance took place. She rode out on her tank. Rousey teased entering the ring at the start. As Shotzi yelled at her, Baszler charged at her and punched her. Baszler controlled for a while. When Shotzi made a comeback, Rousey again distracted her at ringside. After more distractions by Rousey, Raquel Rodriguez came out. Baszler yelled down at Rodriguez and then tried to stomp on Shotzi’s arm, but Shotzi moved and then rolled up Baszler for the win.

WINNER: Shotzi in 5:00.

-Megan Morrant approached Knight as he was leaving. She asked if he was scared of Bray. Knight asked her if she hangs around after she’s done working. “I don’t think you do,” he said. He called her questions “trash” and said it’s not an insult, it’s just a fact of life. [c]

-Back from the break, Knight was crushed under piles of apparatus from backstage. Cole said some would say you shouldn’t poke the bear.

(4) THE NEW DAY (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) & BRAUN STROWMAN vs. IMPERIUM (Giovanni Vinci & Ludwig Kaiser & Gunther)

Imperium came out first. Then New Day. They revealed Braun as their partner. Kofi leaped onto Vinci and Kaiser at ringside. When he set up a dive, Gunther chopped him. Braun shoved Gunther and the bell rang to start the match. Gunther ducked to ringside. They cut to a break. [c]

When Braun took it to Vinci, Gunther blind-tagged in. He spun Braun around and chopped his chest. Braun winced a little, but then shook it off. Gunther dropped to ringside. Braun chased him around the ring and knocked out Vinci and Kaiser. Back in the ring, when he went for his Monster Slam. Gunther chopped him. Braun landed a spinebuster and then set up a Monster Bomb. Kaiser tagged in as did Kofi. Kofi leaped onto him. Kaiser ducked a Trouble in Paradise. Xavier tagged in and landed Midnight Hour for the win.

WINNERS: New Day & Strowman in 8:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Boy, I don’t know about having Gunther run scared from Braun twice like he did in that match. If they’re hoping he’s a credible heel threat to top tier wrestlers, they might not want Gunther to act scared and retreat like that.)

-Cole and Barrett talked about the Smackdown Cup brackets. Cole said he’s supposed to be objective, but he’d like to see Braun win the tournament so he can face Gunter one-on-one.

-Braxton interviewed Braun backstage. He said he’s looking forward to winning the tournament. Ricochet walked in and said if he looks past those he calls flippy-floppers, it might come back to bite him.

(5) SAMI ZAYN (w/Usos, Solo Sikoa) vs. BUTCH (w/Sheamus, Ridge Holland, Drew McIntyre) – World Cup Tournament first round

Cole and Barrett talked about the soccer World Cup. Cole said Roman was “apparently on his way to Smackdown.” Sami tossed Butch to ringside leading to the ringside wrestlers walking toward each other. Sami threw Butch back into the ring and had a few words with Sheamus, Drew, and Holland. Butch came back with a tornado DDT for a two count. Sami shoved Butch off the top rope a minute later and they cut to a break. [c]

Butch caught a leaping Sami with a punch in the face. Jey stood on the ring apron. Sami rolled up a distracted Butch for a two count. Jimmy kicked Butch as Jey distracted the referee. Sami landed a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Drew, Sheamus, and Holland charged over and brawled with The Bloodline. Butch, meanwhile, yanked on Sami’s fingers and then flipped off the top rope onto the Usos. Sami sent Butch into the corner turnbuckles with an exploder suplex. Jey inadvertently got in the way of Sami’s Helluva kick. Butch then caught Sami with his Bitter End for the win.

WINNER: Butch in 9:00 to advance.

-Solo Sikoa attacked Butch after the match. Drew attacked Sikoa in the corner. Roman’s music played and he walked out with Paul Heyman by his side. Reigns didn’t like what he saw. He gave Holland a Supoerman Punch and then speared Butch. Cole said it was ten years ago tonight that The Shield debuted in WWE. Drew called for Reigns to enter the ring. Drew turned to toss Solo out of the ring. Reigns then took the opportunity to spear Drew. Reigns and Sheamus went face-to face and then brawled. Sami attacked Sheamus. Reigns took Sheamus down with a Superman Punch that showed a lot of light. Reigns set up a spear, but then Kevin Owens’ music played. Cole said he thinks the Brawling Brutes have found their fifth man. KO superkicked Jimmy. When KO entered the ring to face Reigns, fans chanted “Holy sh–!” That got an extended mute button from the network. KO knocked Reigns into the corner and stomped away at him. KO turned to face off with Sami. Tension built and then fans chanted “Uce-y!” Reigns “hit” KO from behind with a Superman Punch. That one also missed badly. KO came back with a stunner on Reigns. Reigns rolled to the floor.

(Keller’s Analysis: Honestly, those Superman Punches were as bad as you’ll see and really detracted from the angle.)

1 Comment on 11/18t WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s recap and analysis of Sami Zayn vs. Butch, Ali vs. Ricochet, Shotzi vs. Baszler

  1. KO was super over, as was Zayn. I hope this is parlayed into top spots for both.
    Neither you nor the other columnist mentioned this – while Megan was trying to speak to Knight, Uncle Howdy (???) could be glimpsed outside.

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