The John Report: WWE SmackDown 11/24/23 Review

wwe smackdown november 24 review

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured Kevin Owens on the Grayson Waller Effect, The Judgment Day defending Tag Team Titles against The Street Profits and more.

It’s the last Smackdown event before Survivor Series: WarGames, which is also in Chicago. They have two huge crowds on back-to-back nights in Chicago. It’s one of the best wrestling cities in the world. This Smackdown aired on FS1 in the US so the TV audience will be down. However, there is a lot of anticipation for Survivor Series on Saturday night.

PLEASE NOTE: My in-depth WWE Survivor Series is posted right here, so please check that out as well.

From the Allstate Arena in Chicago, Illinois, this is Smackdown for episode #1266. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

A recap was shown of last week’s Smackdown when the Women’s WarGames match was set up. Becky Lynch joined the babyface team of Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair & Shotzi against the Damage CTRL heel group. It was a good show-long storyline.

Let’s Hear from Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Bianca Belair & Shotzi

The babyface foursome made their entrance to Becky Lynch’s theme song. There was a smaller entrance area because they wanted more seats in the building, so it was done for a good reason. The WarGames cage was above the ring.

The commentary team was Michael Cole, Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves, who is back after missing two weeks due to his wife Carmella giving birth to their son.

Becky Lynch started the promo by saying “The Man has come around to Friday Night Smackdown.” Lynch said that she knows people are wondering why she is teaming with this team and Lynch said she wanted to get her hands on Damage CTRL. Lynch talked about being excited about being in WarGames. Belair spoke about how they are going to war with Damage CTRL. Shotzi was excited about it and laughing about all the carnage. Shotzi said Damage CTRL thought they could break her, but they made her stronger, unpredictable and unbreakable. Shotzi said she can’t wait to unleash her frenzy of madness on them.

Charlotte Flair spoke up saying, “What Shotzi said…exactly.” Flair said that WarGames is a new beginning for all of us, but tomorrow WarGames is the end of Damage CTRL.

Damage CTRL made their entrance with Bayley alone in the aisle and the fans booing her. Bayley was wearing an Asuka shirt. Bayley laughed about Charlotte and Becky fighting the good fight the longest. Bayley said she’s known them for over ten years. Bayley spoke about how Becky and Charlotte always took shots at eachother. Bayley said that she gets it because two egos are clashing and fighting to the top. Bayley thinks that Lynch is soft now that she’s a mom. Bayley called Lynch a loser who was picked last. Bayley said the only real team walking out of WarGames is Damage CTRL. Flair asked where is Bayley’s team? Lynch said that she didn’t come to Chicago to talk, she came here looking for a fight. Lynch said she wants to team with Flair against two of Bayley’s teammates in the main event. Bayley said that’s exactly what she wanted. Bayley said she thought we would have to wait for this to implode, but it’s going to happen tonight.

Analysis: It was a good promo from the babyfaces looking confident going into WarGames. Bayley did a nice job of trying to push the buttons by talking about the past issues between Flair and Lynch. It also set up a main event tag team match, which means the women of Smackdown are the main focus of this show for the second week in a row.

There was a recap from Raw showing how the Men’s WarGames match was finalized at the end of the show. Cody Rhodes announced his team’s fifth partner…it’s Randy Orton. That’s going to be fun.

The Judgment Day’s Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Damian Priest & Finn Balor entered with Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley for their title match.


Bayley was backstage with Damage CTRL. The audio wasn’t working at least here in Canada, so I have no idea what they said. Our feed on Sportsnet 360 here in Canada went to more commercials. After a few minutes, the feed was back to the match.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor (w/Rhea Ripley) vs. The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins

Montez Ford knocked Balor out of the ring with a back fist. Ford dove onto Balor on the floor. Priest ran over Ford by knocking him over the commentary table. They went to a break there.


Ford with punches on Priest, who came back with punches and Priest hit a jumping kick to the jaw. Priest missed a corner charge when Ford moved and Priest hit the turnbuckle. Balor tagged in, Ford got out of there and brought in Dawkins with clothesline. Dawkins hit a running back elbow, corner splash and a jumping kick to the head. Dawkins hit the double underhook slam on Priest. Dawkins put Balor on his shoulders, Ford tagged in and Ford hit a top rope Blockbuster on Balor off of Dawkins’ shoulders for a two count. Ford with a jumping kick to Balor (his arm at least) and Balor avoided a leaping Ford leading to a Slingblade neckbreaker. Priest tagged in with a running leg drop/backbreaker combo for two. Dawkins sent Balor out of the ring. Dawkins was still in the ring illegally as the Profits hit the Revelation spinebuster/neckbreaker on Priest for two because Balor made the save. Ford kicked Balor out of the ring. Ford hit a superkick on Priest. Ford went up top, Ripley distracted the referee and Balor tripped up Ford on the top rope. Priest slammed Ford down while Balor jumped off the top with a Coup de Grace double foot stomp on Ford for the pinfall win. It went about 11 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day – Damian Priest & Finn Balor

Bobby Lashley was shown watching backstage with B-Fab there watching with him. Lashley looked angry about what he saw.

Analysis: *** I was hoping for a title change because I think a full-time tag team should be champions, but I get why WWE wants to keep The Judgment Day strong going into Survivor Series. Ripley was a factor in the finish because when Ford looked like he was going to win, Ripley got on the apron, Balor took advantage and the match was done right there. It’s not the most creative finish since we see it all the time, but it’s a way to have the champions retain in a cheap way.

Charlotte Flair walked into the women’s locker room talking to her team Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch & Shotzi. Flair said she talked to Smackdown GM Nick Aldis about the tag team match leading to Flair saying she’ll team with Lynch against Bayley & Asuka. Lynch didn’t like that Flair talked to the GM about her and Flair said she was just making sure the match was official. Lynch bickered with Flair some more. Belair said she was the one that told Flair to call Lynch, so then Lynch was angry about that and Lynch left to focus on her match.

Analysis: It continues the story of Lynch and Flair not getting along, which leads into the two of them tagging later in the show.


A video aired about Dragon Lee talking about how lucha libre is his life. Dragon said that if you are not strong mentally and in your heart, you will never find success. Dragon said that failure was never an option and he never stays down. Lee said that he honors his family before him. Lee said he’s the evolution of Lucha Libre…Dragon Lee.

Analysis: A nice video about a talented rising star.

Grayson Waller Effect with Kevin Owens

Grayson Waller was in the ring hosting his Grayson Waller Effect talk show with the set featuring a desk and trees. Waller was in a ridiculous jacket his wrestling gear so you know what’s coming.

Waller introduced Kevin Owens and it was Austin Theory dressed in the Kevin Owns attire including a “KO” tank top.

Kevin Owens walked out saying that he thought he was the guest on the show. Waller said he thought Owens was suspended. Owens said he was, but his suspension ended. Owens pointed at Theory saying he has never looked better. Owens said that Theory went through his bag and took KO’s shorts. Owens threatened to punch Waller and Theory in the face. Waller claimed if not for Owens two weeks ago, he would have beaten LA Knight. Owens said you know what happens when you keep saying somebody’s name. Theory mentioned that he’s talking about LA Knight… and here comes LA Knight. Amazing how that works. That was funny.

LA Knight got a huge ovation from the crowd. Knight recapped what happened in the promo with the fans chanting “YEAH” after the sentences Knight used. Knight informed Waller that losing to him is a fact of life. Waller said he can beat Knight easily. Owens said he agreed with Knight. Waller and Theory suggested they punch both of them in the face. Owens and Knight punched the heels first. Owens and Knight cleared the ring of the set. It looks like an obvious tag team match.

Analysis: A simple promo exchange to set up a tag team match. We already saw one of those types of promos in the opening segment. That means this was twice in the same hour. Anyway, I liked that line by Owens about how if you keep mentioning somebody’s name they will show up and that led to Knight showing up right on cue. Well played.


A recap aired of last week’s Smackdown when LA Knight beat Jimmy Uso. After the match, Solo Sikoa and Jimmy attacked Knight, but Cody Rhodes from Raw ran out for the save.

Kevin Owens & LA Knight vs. Austin Theory & Grayson Waller

Owens worked over Waller with punches. Knight tagged in with shoulder tackles to Knight followed by a clothesline. Knight hit a suplex. Waller sent Knight out of the ring, he tried to do more but Knight knocked Waller down. Knight got both opponents and slammed their heads (more like hands) into the commentary table repeatedly. Theory tripped up Knight by the apron, so Waller left the ring and hit Knight with a clothesline on the floor.


The match continued with Knight as the face in peril, but then Knight broke free and brought in KO. Owens stomped on Waller to knock him out of the ring. Owens clotheslined both opponents on the floor. Owens hit superkicks on both opponents. Owens hit a rolling senton off the apron onto Theory on the floor. Owens jumped off the top with a Swanton Bomb for two. Theory tagged in with a leaping dropkick on Owens. Theory with a backbreaker while Waller tagged in and hit an elbow drop off the top. Theory and Waller each got in strikes on Owens leading to Theory leaping into a Blockbuster on Owens for a two count. Waller went for the elbow drop off the middle ropes, but Owens moved and Knight got the tag. Knight was in control of both heels with a powerslam and Knight stomped on both guys on the turnbuckle. Knight hit the powerslam and the running elbow drop for two because Waller broke up the pin attempt. Theory lifted Knight, Owens saved his partner and Owens hit a Stunner on Skinner. Knight hit BFT on Theory for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Kevin Owens & LA Knight

Analysis: *** A good match with the faces getting the obvious win. The Theory/Waller team is fun to watch, but at this point, they lose more matches than they win especially against big name teams. Owens and Knight really worked well as a team. The fans were into them quite a bit, so that helped too.

Bianca Belair was shown talking to Becky Lynch saying she needs to put Lynch everything aside. Belair said that nobody thought they would put their differences aside but they did it. Belair told Lynch to be on the same page tonight. Lynch said she’s Becky Lynch and she’s going to stay cool. Belair left.

Carlito made his entrance to a pretty good pop. Carlito has some promo time after a break.


Let’s Hear from Carlito

Carlito was scheduled for a Survivor Series match with Santos Escobar. Carlito said it’s been a long time. Carlito said that tomorrow at Survivor Series will be his first match at a Premium Live Event in three years and that’s cool. Carlito said all he thinks about Rey Mysterio getting hurt so Carlito wants to get some revenge against the man that caused the injury – Santos Escobar. Carlito spoke in Spanish looking into the camera. Carlito said that Santos made a very big mistake.

Santos Escobar walked out wearing a dress shirt. Escobar shouted about how Rey was always his family and the LWO was his family. Escobar said if it wasn’t for an outsider like Carlito then the family would still be together. Escobar claimed that Rey can’t walk and his career is over because of Escobar. Carlito attacked Escobar by tackling him from the apron to the floor.

Carlito beat up Escobar with punches and threw him into the barricade. Carlito pounded on Escobar with more punches. The fight was broken up by WWE Officials. Ended up running around in the crowd, jumping on the barricade and jumping off the barricade with a knee to the back of Carlito’s shoulder. Carlito was down grabbing his right shoulder. The fans were booing Escobar a lot.

Analysis: There’s an injury angle for Carlito to put over Escobar as a crafty heel that is all about the cheap attacks these days. The fans are getting on Escobar a lot with the booing, so the heel actions of Escobar are working in terms of getting heat.


There was a replay of Santos Escobar hitting his right knee against the right arm/shoulder of Carlito.

Carlito was shown backstage getting helped by referees. Santos Escobar arrived for a cheap attack on Carlito. Escobar tried to break his arm, but Dragon Lee was there to stop it. Lee gave Escobar a hurricanrana into an equipment case backstage.

Analysis: It looks like a change to the Survivor Series match with Lee replacing Carlito.

Pretty Deadly – Elton Prince & Kit Wilson vs. The Brawling Brutes – Butch & Ridge Holland

During the entrance, Ridge walked angrily without Butch based on last week when Butch accidentally kicked Ridge. Holland hit a suplex on Wilson. Ridge ran over both opponents with double shoulder tackles. Butch & Ridge hit the forearms to the chest of their opponents briefly. Wilson dropkicked Ridge off the apron to the floor. Butch hit an enziguri kick to the head. Butch walked out of the match instead of going on the apron to tag with Butch. The fans booed. Prince knocked down Butch. Prince launched Butch into the air for double knees by Prince. Ridge walked to the back. Butch fought back with German Suplexes for both opponents. Butch hit two running kicks, a double foot stomp and a kick to the head. Butch hit a Brogue Kick on Prince for a two count. Wilson made a blind tag that Butch never saw. Butch hit the Bitter End on Prince and legal man Wilson went into the ring with a crucifix pin on Butch for the pinfall win after five minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Pretty Deadly – Elton Prince & Kit Wilson

Analysis: **1/4 It was the next step in the Brawling Brutes team falling apart with Ridge walking out on his partner Butch during a match. That was a nice win for Pretty Deadly capitalizing on the situation. I’m not sure if Butch or Ridge will get much of a singles push, but clearly, their team and alliance with Sheamus is falling apart.

Shotzi talked to Charlotte Flair in the locker room. Shotzi said it changed her when Damage CTRL shaved her head. Shotzi recalled what Flair said when she first saw her and Flair said that Shotzi was beautiful. Flair hugged Shotzi. Shotzi said it meant the world to her. Shotzi said that you shouldn’t forget what happened with Becky, but maybe a few words could really change things just like it did for Shotzi. Shotzi left as Flair was left to ponder that.

Analysis: That was good booking to have Belair and Shotzi talking to Lynch and Flair separately to try to get Lynch & Flair on the same page again.


Nick Aldis, the Smackdown General Manager, was interviewed by Kayla Braxton backstage. Aldis said that Carlito can’t compete at Survivor Series because he’s injured. Dragon Lee walked in saying he wanted the match to teach Santos Escobar a lesson. Aldis gave him the match. They shook hands.

Analysis: There’s the official match change. I don’t know for sure yet why they did the lineup change, but obviously WWE wants to feature Dragon Lee a lot. Taking Carlito out should set him up for a grudge match with Escobar soon.

The announcers went over the Survivor Series lineup.

* Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar

* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark

* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. The Miz

* Women’s WarGames Match: Damage CTRL – IYO SKY, Bayley, Kairi Sane & Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair & Shotzi

* Men’s WarGames Match: Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Randy Orton vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, JD McDonagh & Drew McIntyre

The Judgment Day was shown in their dressing room area. Rhea Ripley talked about how they run all of WWE. They mocked that Randy Orton was on their opponent’s team after Jey Uso took him out. Everybody spoke briefly. Damian Priest said that The Judgment Day will make sure that Orton doesn’t have another comeback.

Charlotte Flair was backstage when Becky Lynch walked up to her. They asked eachother “you good?” and they both agreed they are “good” going into the match. They walked toward the ring.

Analysis: A quick talk. There wasn’t much to it.

Bayley and Asuka made their entrance for tag team action joined by WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY, Kairi Sane & Dakota Kai. Bayley and Asuka were both wearing Asuka shirts. That match is next.


Charlotte Flair was up first for her team joined by Bianca Belair and Shotzi. They were joined by Becky Lynch separately. Graves trashed Lynch for not making her entrance with her team while Cole pointed out that Flair entered to Lynch’s music earlier in the night.

Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch (w/Bianca Belair & Shotzi) vs. Bayley & Asuka (w/Kairi Sane, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai)

They are four of the best and most decorated women’s wrestlers in the history of WWE. Lynch sent Bayley’s face into the turnbuckles a few times. Lynch hit a Bexploder to Bayley, who bailed to the floor. Lynch kicked both women down. Flair hit a moonsault off the top onto both opponents on the floor with Flair knocking them down with her arms.


Bayley was in control of Asuka by tackling her into the turnbuckle. Asuka worked over Lynch with an armbar. Asuka did a hair pull takedown on Lynch. I think I heard “CM Punk” chants and then some fans started booing that. Lynch came back with punches, but Asuka kicked Lynch in the stomach. Lynch fought back with a jawbreaker and Lynch kicked Asuka to knock her down. Flair got the tag with a cross body block off the top onto both women. Flair chopped both opponents repeatedly followed by a fallaway slam on Bayley. Flair did the cartwheel into the clothesline for two. Flair kicked Asuka off the apron to the floor. Flair to the apron where she hit Bayley with a boot and Flair got a rollup for two. Flair hit a jumping kick to the head. Flair with a big boot to the head of Bayley for two. Asuka got the blind tag and hit a Codebreaker on Flair for two. Bayley tagged back in with an elbow drop for two. Flair tried to fight back, but Bayley did a chop block to the knee. Lynch tagged in with clotheslines along with a dropkick. Lynch hit a running forearm along with leaping kicks. Lynch hit a double DDT on both opponents for two on Bayley. Lynch to the apron, she punched Bayley down and Lynch hit a missile dropkick for a two count. Lynch applied the Disarm-her submission, but Asuka broke it up. Lynch hit a belly-to-back suplex on Bayley. Lynch hit a Manhandle Slam on Bayley and Flair went into the ring to Spear Asuka onto the pin attempt to break it up. Lynch argued with Flair about it, Bayley hit Lynch with a forearm to the back to knock Flair down and Bayley did a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Lynch for the pinfall win after 14 minutes. Lynch had a busted lip.

Winners by pinfall: Bayley & Asuka

Analysis: ***1/4 This was pretty good because it was a regular tag team match that had an interesting ending due to the Flair/Lynch problems at the end. Lynch had the match won with a Manhandle Slam, but Flair stopped the pin when she hit Asuka with a Spear and Lynch didn’t like that. Bayley capitalized with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! and that move is so deadly that you know it had to end the match. I thought they all worked well together minus the ending, which furthers the storyline surrounding the match.

After the match, a frustrated Becky Lynch argued with Charlotte Flair about what happened. Bianca Belair and Shotzi went into the ring as well. Lynch was frustrated by the situation, so Lynch left the ring. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It’s a smart ending because it leaves the viewer wondering if Flair & Lynch can get along. To find out, watch Survivor Series on Saturday. That’s how you sell the show by doing a good angle at the end of the show.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. Bayley & Asuka
  2. Charlotte Flair & Becky Lynch
  3. LA Knight & Kevin Owens, Finn Balor & Damian Priest


The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7.25

2023 Average: 7.23


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

There was a heavy focus on the Women’s WarGames match just like last week. They got to be in the opening segment as well as the main event and several backstage segments too. I like that because there are only five matches at Survivor Series, so pushing the story about whether Becky Lynch & Charlotte Flair will get along builds up the anticipation for the WarGames match. I liked the main event tag even with the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! ending. Lynch getting mad at Flair adds to the drama. Breaking news: Some women don’t get along. Shocking, I know.

The Tag Team Title match with The Judgment Day beating The Street Profits was a typical distraction finish leading to a win for The Judgment Day. It’s really not that creative when we have seen it so many times. Poor Butch lost to Pretty Deadly when Ridge Holland walked out on him in their match. The other tag was simple booking with the popular team of LA Knight & Kevin Owens beating Grayson Waller & Austin Theory as expected.

Carlito being taken out of the Survivor Series match by Santos Escobar does put over Santos as a dastardly heel. I don’t mind it, but I do feel bad for Carlito being taken off the PPV. Dragon Lee and Santos should have a very good match. Bring on Survivor Series.

The next WWE PLE is Survivor Series on November 25th from Chicago. Here’s the lineup:

* Men’s WarGames Match: Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn & Randy Orton vs. The Judgment Day – Damian Priest, Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio, JD McDonagh & Drew McIntyre

* Women’s WarGames Match: Damage CTRL – IYO SKY, Bayley, Kairi Sane & Asuka vs. Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair & Shotzi

* Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. The Miz

* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Zoey Stark

* Dragon Lee vs. Santos Escobar

WWE Survivor Series airs on Saturday, November 25th, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, streaming live exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.


Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport