11/25 WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS: Keller’s recap and analysis of final Survivor Series hype, Drew & Sheamus vs. Usos, Butch vs. Santos, Braun vs. Ricochet

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
NOVEMBER 25, 2022
PROVIDENCE, R.I.
AIRED LIVE ON FOX

Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett

Ring Announcer: Samantha Irvin


[HOUR ONE]

-The college football game preceding Smackdown ran 9 minutes into Smackdown’s timeslot. They cut to a full commercial break before getting to the start of Smackdown. (14 year old me would have been irate about this injustice!)

-The WWE brand stamp aired followed by a shot inside the arena of pyro blasting. Michael Cole introduced the show.

-Bayley, Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai, Nikki Cross, and Rhea Ripley stood mid-ring. Bayley complained about Bianca Belair dragging out the reveal of their final partner. She took a cheap dig at the city. (Yawn.) Belair walked out with Alexa Bliss, Asuka, and Mia Yim. Belair said they didn’t come to Smackdown alone. Becky Lynch’s music played and she walked out. Everyone entered the ring and brawled. The ring cleared of everyone but Becky and Bayley. Becky hit an exploder suplex. Bayley rolled to ringside. Becky then invited Ripley into the ring. Ripley entered. Fans loudly chanted “Becky! Becky!” Ripley backed out of the ring at the encouragement of her teammates.

(Keller’s Analysis: This felt truncated due to football running long, which is good if Bayley was just going to get cheap heat that’s irrelevant to the national TV audience taking digs at the local city. I’d prefer to have heard from Becky and establish a little dynamic between her and her teammates here.)

-They went to Cole and Wade Barrett at ringside to react. They hyped the upcoming matches.

-Butch made his ring entrance. [c]

-Cole and Barrett commented on a replay of Becky’s return. Cole said they would hear from Becky later. (Well, there you go!)

(1) BUTCH (w/Sheamus, Ridge Holland) vs. SANTOS ESCOBAR (w/Zelina Vega, Joaquin Wilde, Cruz Del Toro) – Smackdown World Cup Tournament semi-final

Escobar made his entrance. A soundbite aired with him. Zelina joined in on commentary. She said she knows the Bloodline have the top spot, but they’ll eventually come for them. When Escobar took a breather at ringside, Butch went after him and chopped him. Back in the ring, Escobar knocked Butch off the to rope, sending him tumbling to the floor after hitting the ringpost on his way down. They cut to an early break. [c]

As Wilde and Del Toro approached Holland and Sheamus at ringside, Butch springboard flipped onto them. Escobar dove through the ropes and knocked Butch onto the announce desk. Back in the ring, Escobar charged with double-knees at Butch. They stood on the top rope where Butch yanked on Escobar’s fingers to snap them apart. Escobar dropped to the floor. Butch then leaped onto Wilde and Del Toro.

Back in the ring, Butch landed a leaping tornado DDT for a two count. The big screen showed a brawl going on with Drew McIntyre and Kevin Owens in a fight with The Bloodline. Butch told Sheamus and Holland to go help. Escobar and Butch collided mid-ring. Escobar landed on top and got a two count. They cut to the backstage brawl where referees and officials were trying to separate everyone. Zelina distracted the ref as Butch had Santos in a submission hold on the mat. Wilde yanked Butch off of Escobar and then kicked him. Escobar landed a Phantom Driver next for the win. Barrett made a comment about what an awful day it’s been for England and the World Cups in general.

WINNER: Escobar in 10:00 to advance in the tournament.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match.)

-A video package aired on Bray Wyatt’s segment with L.A. Knight last week. [c]

-The announcers hyped the main event tag for the advantage in the men’s WarGames match.

-Bray made his full ring entrance. He said he thinks he has a good sense of what people think he is. He said his entire life, people have looked at him like he’s a rabid animal. He said he knows people want to see the monster, The Fiend. Fans cheered. “So come one, come all and see the human tornado destroy himself and everything around him,” he said. “That’s all good and fine, but that’s not the man I want to be anymore.” Fans booed. (Harsh.) He said it’s difficult for him to explain the burdens he’s been through. He said violence is the only language he has shown them he can speak, so he has to be truthful. “I am not the one that attacked L.A. Knight,” he said. The video screen played a bunch of images of Bray’s past with the voice saying the world is built on lies.

-Megan Morant interviewed L.A. Knight. He was in a lousy mood, his arm in a sling. He said he didn’t get to enjoy his Thanksgiving. He said last week he was minding his own business when he was attacked. He said if he wasn’t on crutches with his arm in a sling, he’d deliver consequences. He said he’d ask Bray whose game it was, and then Wyatt would say it was L.A. Knight’s game, and then he’d kick his ass. As Knight limped away, the Bray logo flashed on the screen.

-Hit Row made their ring entrance. [c]

(2) THE VIKING RAIDERS (Eric & Ivan) vs. HIT ROW (Ashante “Thee” Adonis & Top Dolla)

WINNERS: Raiders.

-They went to Cole and Barrett. Cole got worked up as he threw to a video of what Dominik Mysterio and Ripley did to Rey yesterday for Thanksgiving. They knocked on his door. Rey answered and then told him to leave. Rey’s right foot was in a boot. Rey told him not to play games and tried to close the door. Dom then barged in and attacked Rey. Then he smashed a framed family picture on Rey’s boot and smashed a broom on his boot.

-Ricochet made his ring entrance. [c]

-Back from the break, Knight was crushed against the wall by a rolling crate. He was crying out in pain as people came to help him.

(3) RICOCHET vs. BRAUN STROWMAN – Smackdown World Cup semi-final

Barrett said Ricochet will have to score an upset similar to several upsets in the soccer World Cup so far. Cole brought up that some gave the Braun Strowman vs. Omos match five stars, Braun went online and insulted “floppy-floppers” and said people only care about giants and monsters. Cole quoted Braun saying “floppy floppers” bag your groceries.

When they started with a mid-ring faceoff, Braun patted Ricochet on his head. Ricochet slapped him. Ricochet springboarded into Braun, but Braun caught him. Ricochet escaped and landed a dropkick. Cole said Ricochet laughed off the floppy flopper comment when he asked him about it. Strowman checked Ricochet onto and over the announce desk at ringside. Cole said Braun is done playing games. Braun dragged Ricochet’s limp body toward the ring and then tossed him back into the ring. He landed an elbowdrop for a near fall.

Braun tossed Ricochet across the ring and then played to the crowd. Cole said Ricochet gives up 128 pounds to Braun. Braun lifted Ricochet and signaled for a forearm to his chest. Gunther walked out. Braun turned to yell at him. Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser charged onto the ring apron. Ricochet then landed a Magistral cradle for the three count on Braun. Cole called it a massive upset.

WINNER: Ricochet in 4:00.

-Afterward, Imperium attacked Braun. Ricochet had made his way up the ramp, but he turned and charged back to help Braun. Cole said he’s doing what he believes is right. Barrett said it’s remarkable given what Braun said about him. Vinci and Kaiser held up Richochet so Gunter could chop his chest. Strowman recovered and cleared the ring. Braun offered to help Ricochet up. Ricochet accepted. Once standing, Ricochet offered a fist bump. Braun raised his arm and turned to the fans who cheered.

(Keller’s Analysis: Interesting that they’re delaying the Gunther-Strowman match, but also hinting strongly at it. It’s interesting they’re using Braun’s comments on social media as part of the build for the match. I got a kick out of Cole’s subtle dig at the star rating system when he sarcastically said Braun-Omos was rated five stars by some.)

-A clip aired of Kevin Owens getting into a fight with the Bloodline last week.

-They went backstage to Sami Zayn. Owens walked up to Sami. Sami told him he can’t be there and he had to leave. “Please go,” he said. KO asked what happens when he does something or says something that pisses one of them off. Jey Uso opened the locker room door a crack and covertly listened in. KO asked what he thinks will happen when he pisses Roman off. He told him to think about it. KO told Sami that he wouldn’t wait for them to turn on him. “If I were you, I would strike first,” he said. He patted him on the chest and said he’d see him tomorrow. Sami seemed to ponder KO’s words before turning to enter the Bloodline locker room. Jey left the room and asked Sami where he’s been. Sami said he just got there. Jey asked if he’s talked to anyone since he got there. Sami said no. (He’s on live TV, so that lie won’t hold up.) Jey pretended to accept his answer and let him in the locker room.

(Keller’s Analysis: Not a fan of the “invisible camera.” I’d have liked Sami to look sheepishly at the camera when he denied he talked to anyone. That said, nice seed planted for the Survivor Series that Jey is going to be suspicious that Sami will turn on them during WarGames.) [c]

-A clip aired of Becky returning earlier in the show and the brawl that followed.

-Kayla Braxton interviewed Becky backstage. Becky said she sat at home for four months thinking of how she can tear apart Damage CTRL limb from limb. She said everyone wants to go to war until The Man comes around.

-They went to Cole and Barrett at ringside, who threw to a video on the WarGames match. It ended with a graphic on the screen with a list of the rules.

-Morant was going to interview Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi when Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler jumped them from behind. They slammed the lid of a rolling crate on Rodriguez’s arm, then fled the scene. [c]

-Rousey and Baszler made their ring entrance. They said “accidents happen” and snickered. They said they’re the only ones there. Then Shotzi came out. Cole said there’s a reason she’s called “the ballsy badass.”

(4) SHOTZI & RAQUEL RODRIGUEZ vs. RONDA ROUSEY & SHAYNA BASZLER

Cole said Shotzhi has never backed down from a fight and is “driven by emotion.” He said with Rodriguez injured, she’s apparently going to have to fight against two opponents alone. Shotzi was taking a beating from Baszler when Rodriguez came out to her music, although she was favoring her left arm. She tagged in quickly and went at Baszler with one arm. Rousey blind-tagged in and broke up Rodriguez’s chokeslam attempt. Baszler then stomped on Rodriguez’s elbow. Rousey then finished her with an armbar.

WINNERS: Rousey & Baszler in 4:00. [c]

-Braxton interviewed Shotzi backstage. She said Rodriguez suffered a broken arm even before she came out to help her in the match. She said it’s not the first time she was bullied, but it is the first time someone’s had her back. She said she’ll never forget that Rodriguez was there for her when she needed her the most. She told Baszler she’ll have a front row seat when she shocks the world and beats Rousey senseless.

(Keller’s Analysis: Really good concise interview from Shotzi. It adds significant juice to her otherwise rather flat match with Rousey at Survivor Series.)

(5) SHEAMUS & DREW MCINTYRE (w/Ridge Holland, Butch, Kevin Owens) vs. THE USOS (w/Sami Zayn, Solo Sikoa) – WarGames Advantage at stake

Drew took control against Jey early as Cole talked about how long Drew and Sheamus have been rivals. Barrett said they make a tight unit when their backs are against the wall. Drew and Sheamus clotheslined Jey over the top rope. They cut to a break as everyone at ringside had a staredown. [c]

Sheamus tagged out to Drew after the break. Drew went on the attack against Jimmy. Drew waited for Jimmy to stand before going for a Claymore, but Jey grabbed his boot. Jimmy superkicked Drew to the floor. The Usos each dove onto Drew at ringside, then threw him into the ringside steps. They cut to another break. [c]

After several more minutes of back and forth action, Solo distracted the ref as Sami shoved Sheamus off the top rope. Jey landed a top rope splash for a believable near fall. Sami yelled at the ref on the ring apron. Holland yanked Sami to the floor. A brawl broke out with everyone at ringside. Drew leaped over the top rope and flipped onto a crowd below. Sami grabbed a tag title belt. KO blocked him and asked what he was doing, then yanked the belt out of Sami’s hand. “I’m not letting you do this,” KO said. He told him grow some balls. Sami yanked back the belt and shoved KO. KO shoved Sami into the ring with the belt. The ref booted Sami to the back. KO then gave Jey a Stunner. Sheamus landed a Brogue Kick and scored the three count. Cole said for the first time in two years, the Bloodline’s dominance is at risk because they lost the advantage.

WINNERS: Sheamus & McIntyre in 18:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: Good match. The show went the full two hours, by the way, despite starting late due to college football.)

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