This week’s WWE Smackdown featured more Smackdown World Cup matches while the road to Survivor Series: WarGames continued.
We are just eight days away from Survivor Series on November 26th in Boston. It will be interesting to see what is added before that and how many matches will be on the card. Obviously, the Men’s WarGames will be a big part of that show, as well as likely the main event.
It’s Fight Night! The Brawling Brutes trio of Sheamus, Ridge Holland and Butch made their entrance. They were followed by Drew McIntyre, who have become allies again. Highlights were shown of Smackdown last week with Drew and The Brawling Brutes fighting together against The Bloodline.
A graphic made it official with Drew, Sheamus, Ridge & Butch plus one more partner against all five members of The Bloodline (Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso & Solo Sikoa).
Let’s Hear from The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre
Sheamus talked about how he has had a 20-year rivalry with Drew McIntyre, but it has led to respect. Sheamus talked about how Drew was the best man at his wedding three weeks ago. There was a bit of an “ucey” chant from the crowd. Sheamus said when it comes right down to it, there is nobody he would rather be in the trenches with more than Drew McIntyre. Sheamus asked Drew if he would be their honorary Brute, there was even a “Brutey” chant and they laughed about it.
Drew said nobody knows what it’s like to be outnumbered by The Bloodline because those muppets multiply like rabbits. Drew said if he’s going to war then he wants to go to war with his brother. Sheamus and Drew shook hands and hugged. Ridge reminded us that it’s Fight Night. Butch shouted that at Survivor Series it’s WarGames. Drew said that they had four men on the team, but who can be that fifth man? Sheamus said he knew it would be.
Sami Zayn interrupted: “My dogs My dogs?” The fans chanted “Ucey” at Zayn. Sami said that they don’t care who the fifth guy is. Sami said they are feeling good, they feel great and they are feeling…pretty ucey about the whole thing. The fans cheered that. Sami said that he is the master strategist, the Honorary Uce, Sami Uso and “Ucey in the sky with diamonds.” Sami said that he personally guarantees us that The Bloodline will win WarGames. Sami told Butch they have a one on one match tonight, so he’s going to run right through Butch in the SD World Cup and give them all a taste of what to expect at Survivor Series.
Sheamus said when Sami finds out who the fifth member of their team is, you’re going to crap your pants because it’s the last thing you’re going to expect. No reveal yet as the music played to end it.
Analysis: I liked that opening with Sheamus and Drew McIntyre talking about their long history while Sheamus also mentioned Drew was best man at his wedding, as most people knew. They are close like brothers, so it’s cool to see them on the same side. Sami Zayn interrupting with confidence was a nice way to set up what’s coming later with Kevin Owens likely as the fifth man on the Sheamus/Drew team. It’s smart to give it away yet.
The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett were on camera to welcome us to the show.
Ricochet made his entrance for his SD World Cup match.
A graphic let us know that Bray Wyatt is on Smackdown to make amends.
Mustafa Ali made his entrance. Ali was wearing tape around his ribs after getting destroyed by Bobby Lashley this past Monday on Raw. There was a clip of a trainer checking Ali earlier in the day saying he is cleared, but he advised against Ali competing. Ricochet went up to Ali and Ali talked about how he’s breathing so he would be fine.
Smackdown World Cup Quarterfinals: Ricochet vs. Mustafa Ali
Ricochet is from the US while Ali is representing Pakistan although he is American also. The winner faces Braun Strowman in the semifinals.
The match started with Ricochet doing multiple pin attempts early while Ali was selling the rib injury and Ricochet was asking Ali why he was doing this. After Ricochet attacked Ali in the corner, the referee made him go back and Ali hit a forearm to the back. Ali hit a running clothesline for two. Ricochet sent Ali to the apron, they battled on the turnbuckle and Ali hit a backstabber off the top rope. Ali was selling his back injury when he landed on his back while Ricochet bumped to the floor. That led to a break.
Ricochet was in control with an uppercut as a highlight was shown during the break with Ricochet hitting a superplex off the top. Ali came back with a hurricanrana followed by a kick knocking Ricochet out of the ring. Ali jumped over the top on Ricochet, but Ricochet caught him on the floor and Ricochet hit a Michinoku Driver on the floor. They went back into the ring, Ricochet took a long time setting up on the top, Ricochet went for a corkscrew splash, Ali moved and Ali applied a submission on the head/arm of Ricochet, but Ricochet managed to get to the bottom rope. Ali to the middle rope, Ricochet brought him down and hit a Dragon Suplex followed by a hard clothesline. Ricochet with a moonsault off the middle rope (Lionsault) for a two count. Ali told the referee Jessika Carr “don’t stop it.” Ali caught Ricochet leading to a flipping slam for two. Ricochet with a kick to the ribs, Ali jumped off the apron and hit a Tornado DDT. Ali went up top, he jumped off with a 450 Splash and Ricochet moved, so Ali hit the mat hard. Ricochet went up top and hit a Shooting Star Press as a cross body block onto Ali for the pinfall win after about 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Ricochet
Analysis: ***1/4 A very good match by two talented guys that worked well together. I liked the story of the match with Ali selling the rib injury the whole way, he showed a lot of guts by fighting as much as he did and it took a great move by Ricochet to get the win. You don’t see moves like an SSP onto a standing opponent for a pinfall very often, but they are so talented and trust eachother. They did it perfectly.
The win by Ricochet means he’s facing Braun Strowman next week in the semifinals of the Smackdown World Cup.
Post match, Ali was selling the rib injury. Ricochet touched fists with him and they left together while the fans cheered.
The Bloodline’s Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa were shown in the locker room. Jey Uso said he didn’t like Sami running his mouth out there and guaranteeing a victory. Sami tried to reply back to Jey about it. Jimmy said they need to be on the same page before Roman gets there. Jimmy told them all to chill. Solo said nothing. Sami left on his own while Jimmy told Jey he didn’t need to worry about Sami. Jimmy said they need to figure out who the fifth member is. Sami did his handshake with Jimmy and he’ll talk to him later about that thing he talked about. Sami left.
Analysis: They are doing such a nice job of developing character traits for The Usos with Jey as the guy that’s always fired up while Jimmy is much more laid back and chill. Sami’s involvement is always great while Solo remains silent, but I’ve been so happy about the growth of The Usos in this storyline.
The Progressive Match Flo replay showed highlights of the awesome Usos/New Day match from Smackdown last week. The Usos won to break The New Day’s record as the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions of all time. Roman Reigns hugged The Usos after the match.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods were interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Woods talked about how they are not in the best mood and Kofi said that losing the record was incredibly disappointing. Imperium interrupted with Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci mocked them while GUNTHER was there with the IC Title. Kaiser mocked New Day for doing things like playing a trombone during matches. Kaiser talked about how they are going to restore the honor of the mat that is so sacred. Kofi and Woods mocked the accents. Kofi said that GUNTHER looked like Lurch from The Addams Family. Woods said they’ll find a partner and have a six-man tag team match with them. GUNTHER said thanks to New Day for proving our point about themselves and they accepted the match. New Day made more Lurch jokes towards GUNTHER as the scene ended.
Analysis: A fresh match for later. Fine with me. I like both teams there.
Madcap Moss was shown working out with Emma going up to him asking him how his voice is. Moss said that it’s been three weeks and he can barely talk after the Kross Jacket. Emma told Moss that tonight is a fresh start, she told him to use his speed and take the fight to him. Emma told Moss that he’s got it. Moss gave her a favorable look.
Analysis: Moss and Emma are dating, so WWE decided to put them on screen together there.
Madcap Moss made his entrance for a match against Karrion Kross after the break.
Karrion Kross made his entrance with his wife Scarlett for their “fall and pray” entrance. It’s one of my favorite entrances in WWE because it’s cool, but also because Scarlett is great to look at.
Madcap Moss vs. Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett)
Moss was aggressive with punches followed by a suplex. Kross with a kick to the body, Kross ran the ropes and Moss hit a back elbow. Moss with a clothesline that sent Kross over the top to the floor. Moss brought Kross back in the ring, but Kross hooked the arms for a suplex. Kross choked Moss over the middle rope leading to Scarlett slapping Moss in the face while the referee Jason Ayers didn’t see it. Moss with a clothesline, a forearm and a shoulder tackle. Moss with three shoulder tackles in the corner followed by Moss hitting a fallaway slam with Kross bumping out of the ring. Scarlett stepped in front of Moss, so Kross took advantage with a kick on the apron and Kross sent Moss into the ring post. Kross went for the Kross Jacket, but Moss dropped backward to get out of it. Kross got a better grip with the Kross Jacket and Moss tapped out in the submission. The referee Jason Ayers called for referees to come and Kross let go. The match went about four minutes.
Winner by submission: Karrion Kross
Analysis: *3/4 It was okay for a shorter match. Moss got plenty of offense and I liked how aggressive he was, but the fans really don’t get behind him much. Kross getting the win was the obvious result as they try to build him back up after losing to Drew McIntyre at Crown Jewel two weeks ago.
After the match, Emma went into the ring and checked on Moss in the ring. Kross: “Nice try.”
Analysis: At least they can use this story to put Moss together with Emma so if Moss faces Kross again, maybe they can have Emma ringside to try to stop Scarlett from interfering.
Bray Wyatt was up next.
This Monday on Raw: Asuka vs. Rhea Ripley in a WarGames Advantage Match.
Let’s Hear From Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt made his entrance in the dark while carrying his lamp. The crowd lit up the arena with cell phone light as usual. Wyatt entered the ring and blew out the lantern.
Wyatt started telling us his name as if he was Paul Heyman. Wyatt said that he has been conditioned to be a certain way and you start to feel like changing is impossible. Wyatt said he was taught that fear is respect. Wyatt talked about how lately, he is looking at the path he left behind him, he sees ashes and blood, so he wonders why he does the things that he does. Wyatt wondered if he can change. Wyatt talked about how if he was LA Knight he knows how he would act in this situation. Wyatt said he wanted to apologize to LA Knight for what he did to him…the fans booed. Wyatt said he had a moment of weakness and he strayed from his path.
LA Knight’s music hit as the lights came up with Knight talking about Wyatt giving him a headbutt to the chin last week. Knight said now Wyatt is out there apologizing and it got Knight a little conflicted. Knight said he doesn’t know what it is, but as he looks at Bray’s eyes, maybe he earned some respect because Knight didn’t fear him. Knight got into the ring saying nobody has ever understood him. Knight said he thinks Wyatt does respect him, so for that…Knight slapped him in the face. Knight said now they are even and Knight went to the apron. Knight said that apology accepted, they can go their separate ways and he wanted to leave.
Bray: “Alright. We’re even…right? Even.” Wyatt said there’s a lot he wants to do because he is going to fight all these urges. Wyatt told Knight that the decision he’s about to make will change the rest of his life. Wyatt said they are even while extending a hand for a shake while Knight was on the apron. Knight slapped Wyatt in the head. Knight walked away saying it was a “two for one special” while Wyatt had an intense look on his face. The camera was zoomed in close on Wyatt’s face. That was it.
Analysis: That was some good story advancement with the Wyatt/Knight story starting last week and it continued with Knight getting in the cheap shot slaps to the face. Wyatt not getting physical is a clever way to tease it as something that will be a big deal whenever he beats the shit out of Knight in the future. Don’t rush it. Keep building to it. I like that. Knight is a great talker while Wyatt has the crowd in the palm of their hands, so I like this pairing as a rivalry. Wyatt will win they wrestle, but it will be good for Knight to be in a story with Wyatt like this.
A video aired from last week showing Shotzi getting attacked by Shayna Baszler backstage while Shotzi was looking at Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey. Baszler choked out Shotzi.
Shayna Baszler made her entrance joined by Ronda Rousey, who had the Smackdown Women’s Title on her shoulder.
Karrion Kross was shown walking backstage with Scarlett. The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) asked Kross if he was the fifth member in WarGames. Kross said he’s not a follower. Kross said when he takes Roman’s titles and he will, he’ll do it on his own. Kross left. I should also add that Bray Wyatt was seen in the background talking to himself unless there was somebody else he was talking to that we couldn’t see.
Shotzi made her entrance on the TCB (Taking Care of Business) tank as Baszler’s opponent.
Shayna Baszler (w/Ronda Rousey) vs. Shotzi
Baszler with punches to start, Shotzi got a clothesline and when Shotzi ran the ropes, Rousey tried to trip her. Baszler took over with a snapmare followed by a kick to the back. After a submission attempt by Baszler, Shotzi broke free and hit a kick to the head. Rousey pulled Baszler out of the ring to save her friend. Shotzi got in Ronda’s face at ringside. Shotzi was back in the ring, Rousey was on the apron, Shotzi avoided a charging Baszler and Shotzi hit an enziguri kick to the head. Shotzi was yelling at Rousey at ringside, so Baszler hit a German Suplex. Baszler sent Shotzi out of the ring where Rousey was on the floor. Back in the ring, Shotzi hit a dropkick, then a corner splash and Shotzi hit a facebuster into the mat. Shotzi hit a running splash onto Baszler’s back. Rousey was on the apron again, Shotzi was distracted and Baszler sent Shotzi into the turnbuckle. Raquel Rodriguez’s music hit and she walked down to ringside to support Shotzi. Baszler tried stomping on Baszler’s arm, Shotzi got out of the way and Shotzi got a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! for the pinfall win. It went about five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shotzi
Analysis: *1/2 A flat match with Baszler on offense for a lot of it. The crowd barely reacted to anything except the finish. The dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~! was applied by Shotzi to get the win. I don’t like that finish. I get why they did it because Shotzi is getting the title shot against Rousey at Survivor Series, so I understand Shotzi winning. Plus, they always want Baszler to look strong. I just thought it was a lame ending to the match.
LA Knight was shown walking backstage where Megan Morant asked if Knight was leaving because he’s afraid of Bray Wyatt. Knight denied it, opened the door and there was somebody in a mask in the background. Knight left.
There was a backstage scene where LA Knight was shown backstage under a pile of equipment while some referees and others tried to help Knight. They had Knight lay on the floor to sell it like he was knocked out.
Analysis: The idea is that Bray Wyatt did it, but we never actually saw it happen.
Imperium made their entrance led by the Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. The New Day’s Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods were next. Imperium left the ring to meet them on the floor. The New Day’s partner was Braun Strowman.
Braun Strowman, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods vs. Imperium – GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci
Woods and Kofi fought with Kaiser & Vinci in the ring while GUNTHER tried to back away from Strowman. Kofi and Woods knocked Kaiser & Vinci out of the ring. Kofi tried a dive, but Kaiser/Vinci caught Kofi and sent him into the apron. Gunther chopped Woods. Strowman went into the ring to start the match (the bell rang) against Gunther, but Gunther regrouped on the floor. That means they went to break 10 seconds after the bell rang.
Vinci hit a spinebuster on Woods leading to Kaiser tagging with a kick to Woods. Kaiser prevented Woods from tagging out briefly, but Woods kicked him away and Strowman tagged in against Vinci. Strowman with a shoulder tackle on Vinci, who tagged out to Kiser and Strowman hit a shoulder tackle on Kaiser. Gunther tagged in with a hard chop on Braun, who no sold it and Strowman did his run around the ring spot where he knocked down Vinci & Kaiser. Back in the ring, Gunther avoided a powerslam, Gunther hit a chop and Strowman hit a spinebuster for two. Gunther got a kick to the leg, Kaiser tagged in against Strowman and Kofi hit a cross body block on Kaiser. Kofi with a boot to Kaiser, Woods tagged in and jumped off the top with a double foot stomp for the Midnight Hour and Woods pinned Kaiser. Strowman ran into the ring to chase Gunther away, so Gunther left rather than making the save. This went about eight minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Braun Strowman, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods
Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent match where we only got to see about five minutes due to the commercial at the start. I think this was all about pushing the potential Strowman-Gunther match with Strowman no selling the chops while Gunther ran away as much as he could. It’s not a surprise that Gunther avoided getting pinned and it was Kaiser taking the fall while New Day gets a win back after losing last week.
The announcers talked about the Strowman-GUNTHER story with Cole saying he wanted to see that as a match if Strowman wins the Smackdown World Cup for a title shot.
Analysis: That potential GUNTHER-Strowman match was certainly teased a lot, so I think it will probably happen,
Braun Strowman was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Strowman said that he looks forward to winning this World Cup tournament and taking that Intercontinental Championship off GUNTHER’s hands. Ricochet walked up saying if Braun looks past these “flippy flippers” referring to himself saying they were Braun’s words and Ricochet said those words might come back to bite you.
Butch made his entrance joined by his buddies Sheamus, Ridge Holland & Drew McIntyre. That match was next.
A commercial aired plugging all of the WrestleMania Week events with tickets on sale now. It will be expensive if you are making that trip.
Next week on Smackdown:
* Smackdown World Cup Semifinals: Braun Strowman vs. Ricochet.
* Smackdown World Cup Semifinals: Santos Escobar vs. Butch or Sami Zayn.
* Shotzi & Raquel Rodriguez vs. Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler.
* Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. The Usos in a WarGames Advantage Match.
Sami Zayn made his entrance joined by Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso and Solo Sikoa.
Smackdown World Cup Quarterfinals: Butch (w/Drew McIntyre, Sheamus & Ridge Holland) vs. Sami Zayn (w/Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso & Solo Sikoa)
It’s Sami Zayn of Canada against Butch of England. As a Canadian, I must root for Sami in this instance.
Butch got a clothesline. Zayn ran the ropes, Butch went for a leapfrog and Zayn hit a Powerbomb for a two count. Zayn sent Butch over the top to the floor. Sheamus was distracted by Butch’s friends at ringside, then Sami went back into the ring and Butch hit a Tornado DDT off the middle turnbuckle. Butch climbed up top, but Sami was back up to shove Butch off the top and into the barricade at ringside.
The match continued with Zayn jumping off the top with nothing as Butch hit a punch tot the face for a two count. Butch punched Jey off the apron, Zayn got a rollup for two and Butch hit a step up enziguri. Jimmy with a referee distraction, Jey with an enziguri kick on Butch and Zayn hit the Blue Thunder Bomb for two, which is the usual for a two count. The guys on the floor started brawling after that with Drew and Solo going over the commentary table. The Usos sent Sheamus into the commentary table. Butch snapped one of Zayn’s fingers and Butch hit a moonsault onto The Usos on the floor. Back in the ring, Zayn hit an Exploder Suplex. Jey tried getting into the ring to avoid Sheamus, but Jey also got in the way of Sami hitting a Helluva Kick, so Sami stopped himself. Sheamus grabbed Jey out of the ring. Butch hit the Bitter End on Zayn for the pinfall win. It went about 11 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Butch
Analysis: *** A pretty good match between two talented guys. The story about Jey and Sami’s problems was a big factor in the finish because Zayn was going for his finisher Helluva Kick, but Jey got in the way because he was trying to get away from Sheamus. That allowed Butch to recover and hit his finish to win. That meant that Jey accidentally cost Sami the match. I liked it for the most part, even with all the chaos on the floor.
The win by Butch means he’ll face Santos Escobar in the Smackdown World Cup semifinals next week.
After the match, Solo hit Butch with the Spinning Solo slam. That led to a brawl by the Brutes & Drew going against The Bloodline guys. Roman Reigns made his entrance joined by Paul Heyman. Reigns with a Superman Punch on Holland and a Spear on Butch on the floor.
McIntyre called for Reigns to come get him in the ring. Solo tried an attack, but Drew tossed Solo out of the ring. Reigns capitalized on that with a Spear on Drew. Sheamus got into the ring to face off with Reigns as Cole mentioned Sheamus cashing in Money in the Bank on Drew in the past. Sheamus exchanged punches with Reigns, Zayn went after Sheamus a bit and that allowed Reigns to capitalized with a Superman Punch on Sheamus.
Kevin Owens made his entrance as the fifth man on the Brutes & McIntyre team. Owens looked like he was moving well as he took out both Usos on the floor including a superkick. Owens slowly got into the ring with Reigns with the fans chanting “holy shit” for that confrontation. Owens went after Reigns punches followed by repeated stomps in the corner. Owens faced off with his best friend Zayn in the ring while fans were chanting “Ucey.” As Owens looked at Zayn, Reigns hit Owens with a Superman Punch. I don’t know if Reigns hit it well, but Owens sold it. Holland pulled Zayn out of the ring and then Zayn tossed barricade. Reigns went for a Spear, Owens with a kick and Owens hit a Stunner on Reigns. Roman rolled out of the ring after it.
Owens was standing tall in the ring with McIntyre, Sheamus, Holland & Butch while The Bloodline was on the floor. That was the end of the show.
Analysis: That was great. This storyline is awesome and Owens is absolutely the right guy in this spot as a babyface that isn’t going down from Reigns while also having a complicated history with Zayn. I thought booking wise they also did a really nice job of having Reigns have individual face offs first with Drew McIntyre, then with Sheamus and then with Kevin Owens (the fans chanted “holy shit” for it). Future title matchups for Roman right there. Really well done.
We have been covering the Owens story all week on TJRWrestling with reports of an MCL (knee) sprain during a match last weekend and it left us wondering if he was going to be able to be in this spot. I kept writing about how if he showed up on Smackdown then he’s in, but if not they would have to get somebody else. I’m glad it’s Owens because he’s the perfect guy to be in a match like this. I love it. I’m excited to see what happens in the WarGames match.
— WWE (@WWE) November 19, 2022
Three Stars of the Show
- Sami Zayn
- Mustafa Ali/Kevin Owens/Butch
7 out of 10
Last week: 7.25
I liked the show for the most part. I’ll go with calling it good, but not great. I think the main event post match angle with Kevin Owens up to join the Drew/Brutes team for WarGames was done brilliantly. The fight that ensued after with Owens facing off with Roman Reigns while the fans chanted “holy shit” was such a cool moment. Plus, you had the Owens/Sami Zayn staredown between the best friends as we wonder what might happen there. I just think there are so many elements to like about the WarGames match at Survivor Series. That opening promo and main event post-match fight was the best part of this week’s SD.
The match quality throughout the show was okay, but not great. I liked Ricochet-Ali the most while Butch-Zayn was good too. The other matches with Kross beating Moss and Shotzi using the dreaded ROLLUP OF DEATH~ to beat Baszler were not that interesting. The crowd was really quiet for those matches. The six-man tag team match was fun with Braun Strowman and GUNTHER on opposite sides to tease their future IC Title match.
It was good to see the Bray Wyatt-LA Knight storyline furthered a bit as well. Knight got in two cheap shot slaps to the face, then Wyatt was so angry about it, then Wyatt was in the background of another scene and we saw Knight buried under a pile of objects backstage. When Wyatt does fight somebody in a match, the fans are going to be behind him so much.
The next WWE Premium Live Event is Survivor Series in Boston on Saturday, November 26th. Here’s the lineup so far.
* Men’s WarGames Match: The Bloodline – Roman Reigns, Jimmy Uso, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Solo Sikoa vs. Drew McIntyre, Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland & Kevin Owens
* Women’s WarGames Match: Bayley, IYO SKY, Dakota Kai, Nikki Cross & Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair, Asuka, Alexa Bliss, Mia Yim & one more partner.
* AJ Styles vs. Finn Balor
* Smackdown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Shotzi
You can watch WWE Survivor Series streaming live on Peacock in the U.S. and on WWE Network everywhere else at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT on Saturday, November 26th.
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