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SmackDown Recap 11/12: Roman Reigns Vs. King Woods Main Event

Hey gang!  With just over a week left until one of WWE's longest-tenured and supposedly biggest events of the year, Survivor Series, the company has put in a frankly shockingly low amount of build for the annual show.  We have one more Raw and two more episodes of SmackDown (including tonight) until the event, so I guess there's still some time to get fans invested.  Well, as invested as they ever get these days I suppose.  Anyway, let's see how they plan to accomplish this by taking a look at SmackDown tonight!

SmackDown Recap 11/12:
Will Roman Reigns continue his dominance over King Woods tonight on SmackDown? Courtesy of WWE.

We kick things off with SmackDown Official Sonya Deville in the ring with Shotzi BlackheartNatalyaShayna Baszler, and Aliyah.  This is announced as the SmackDown Women's team for the Survivor Series match against Raw.  She then brings out Sasha Banks as the team Captain.  As soon as she enters the ring, Banks and Blackheart have to be held apart.

Then Naomi makes her way to the ring and starts brawling with Baszler, leading all of the women to start brawling with one another and we've got a Donnybrook to open up SmackDown tonight!

After we come back from the commercial, an impromptu six-woman tag match with the brawlers has been established and is about to get underway.  If I may, I really dislike this trope in modern wrestling where every time a brawl breaks out, it gives way to a match right then and there.  Just let the brawl be the brawl and let that be the tease to a match to come later.  Don't just lump it all together.

Naomi, Sasha Banks, Aliyah vs Natalya, Shayna Baszler, Shotzi Blackheart

A kind of nothing, forgettable match here where it feels like everyone in it is just getting it over with… with one exception.  Shotzi Blackheart is the only woman with a pulse here and is trying to tell a story.  Everyone else is just doing what they would at a house show (especially Shayna Baszler, who looks like she couldn't be giving less of an effort).

Eventually, Natalya locks the Sharpshooter on Aliyah and holds the ropes for leverage, but Naomi jumps to the apron and hotshots her onto the rope, allowing Aliyah to roll her up for the pinfall.

Winners: Naomi, Sasha Banks, Aliyah

The team celebrates in the ring after, as this was Aliyah's first match on SmackDown and she got the win.

We now head backstage, where Sami Zayn appears to be giving a speech to his Survivor Series team, but we pull back to see he's just speaking to himself in the mirror.  Jeff Hardy appears and tells Zayn his speech sucked.

We now go to Aliyah excited backstage after her big win, but this is short-lived, as Sonya Deville approaches her and informs her that she's pulled from the SmackDown Survivor Series team.

The Universal Champion Roman Reigns is now almost interviewed backstage by his locker room, but he shuts it down (and does a play/tease (?) on The Rock's famous "It doesn't matter…" catchphrase.

He walks away and Paul Heyman takes over, where he promises that King Woods will take a knee to Reigns tonight after he loses, and Reigns guarantees he will take a knee to Woods if he loses and if he doesn't, he will be stripped of the Universal title and banished from SmackDown.

Rick Boogs is shredding on the guitar (how is this guy not getting a bigger push?  He's built like a brick wall and has insane charisma) and that brings out the Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura, and of course, has Pat McAfee (taking a break from making national headlines to commentate little old SmackDown) leap on top of the announce table to dance.  They're taking on Los Lotharios next.

But first, we have to cram in the single worst thing in wrestling today, Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss, who are backstage giggling and making Viking jokes.  Everyone, literally everyone, hates this shit. You can actually hear the live audience groan every time they appear. There is no dissension on this.  It's obnoxious, stupid, and a complete waste of time.  If anything is proof that Vince McMahon puts certain things on his programming specifically to aggravate his audience, this is it!

Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs vs Los Lotharios

Boogs gets to start the match and here he gets a really nice showcase of his power and wrestling abilities.  He mixes highly technical wrestling lifts and slams (there's a terrific sequence with him doing numerous gut wrenches) with great showmanship of his taunts and performance.  This guy needs a singles run!

As for the match overall, it's a pretty good tag team bout that brings the crowd back to life after a lengthy layover between in-ring action.  There's some really fun action in this one and it appears Los Lotharios are really finding themselves as a team and developing their identities as a vain heel team well.

Eventually, Boogs is wiped out at ringside and Los Lotharios are able to double team Nakamura to get the victory.

Winners: Los Lotharios

We head to Adam Pearce's office backstage and hey look!  It's Von Wagner from NXT!  He's standing next to Pearce and not being addressed really as Pearce lectures Sonya Deville about pulling Aliyah from the Survivor Series team.  Sami Zayn then comes in and complains about his team's chemistry and Jeff Hardy specifically, so Pearce says Zayn will face Hardy tonight and the loser will be removed from the team.

So I guess Von Wagner is Pearce's bodyguard now or something?  Both Pat McAfee and Michael Cole appear in the dark as to who he is and refer to him as "that guy".  He's on a WWE show every week.  I thought the idea of NXT 2.0 was more synergy so that they can just take the wrestlers from there, already made into Vince's image, and bring them to the main roster as is now.  Right?  Didn't they literally say that?  Hey, why answer silly questions like that?!

The SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair hits the ring now and immediately tears into Becky Lynch.  She criticizes her character's evolution and her catchphrases imply she's had plastic surgery (pot, meet kettle), and calls her a "fabricated Champion".

She then says after she beats Lynch at Survivor Series, she will have a new nickname: Becky Uh-Oh.  Flair then goes on a tear naming everything wrong with Lynch and following it with "uh-oh!" and to her credit, the crowd is all-in on this and is chanting "uh-oh!" really loud with her.  Flair even makes fun of Lynch for coming back too soon from having a baby and the crowd still chants it.

Flair then doubles down and says not only can she beat Lynch, but she can beat any woman in WWE and says anyone who loses to her becomes a star, so she crowns herself "The Starmaker".  This brings out Toni Storm, who says Flair doesn't do any of that and calls her out for not defending her title since coming to SmackDown.  She then challenges her for her title tonight, but Flair says absolutely not and exits the ring.

We now go to a backstage interview with King Woods, who acknowledges that The New Day has had a rough week, but promises to change that tonight by defeating Roman Reigns.

We go backstage to a distraught Aliyah, who is confronted by Mustafa Ali.  Ali tries telling her something, but Ricochet interrupts and tells her to avoid Ali and tries to cheer her up.

Jeff Hardy vs Sami Zayn

A very solid match from two veterans with nothing to prove.  The crowd is super into this one (see what happens when you put wrestlers out there that fans actually want to see?) and get louder as the match goes on.  Lots of nice kick-outs and near-falls in this one and not the obnoxious kind that defies common sense.

Zayn gets a near-fall with his feet on the ropes and argues with the ref, allowing Hardy to hit the Twist of Fate and then the Swanton Bomb for the win.  Sami Zayn is eliminated from the SmackDown Survivor Series team.

Winner: Jeff Hardy

After the match, Zayn has a meltdown in the ring as he watches his face wiped away from the team graphic.

We now go to a promo from earlier in the day by Hit Row, who speak about how excited they are to be on SmackDown now.  From there, we go to Jinder Mahal and Shanky (how did these guys not get released?) and they do their own stupid as hell rap.  This was genuinely awful.

We get another Xia Li promo, still promising us she's coming soon.  How soon?  Well, don't worry about it.

From there, we get another interview with recent call-up Ridge Holland, who doubles down on his praise of Sheamus from last week.  He's interrupted by Cesaro, who reminisces about his time with Sheamus as The Bar, but says his friend's attitude lately has changed, so he warns Holland about him.  Holland takes offense to this and says he's taking Cesaro's place and he & Sheamus will be a far better team than The Bar ever was.  He then promises Sheamus will return next week and they will show him what he's talking about.

Roman Reigns vs King Woods

SmackDown Recap 11/12:
King Woods vs Roman Reigns in the main event of SmackDown, courtesy of WWE.

An ok, but pretty short match here.  Woods starts strong and fast, but Reigns overpowers him soon enough and plants him with a Ura Nage onto the announce table.

They get back into the ring eventually and exchange fists, but Reigns sits Woods down with a big boot for two.  Reigns taunted Woods as he punishes him in the turnbuckle, but Woods finds a second wind and hits the Champ with a DDT from the ropes.  Woods now uses his speed and agility against Reigns to take advantage and hits a heel kick for two.

He goes to the top rope for a diving attack, but Reigns catches him with another Ura Nage for a near two count.  Reigns went for the Spear, but Woods catches him with a Superkick and goes to the top rope for a coast-to-coast diving elbow drop.  He goes for the pin, but The Usos pull him out of the ring and beat the hell out of him.

Winner by Disqualification: King Woods

The Usos smash Woods with the steel ring steps on the announce table.  They then grab Woods' crown and place it on Reigns' head as SmackDown ends.

And that's that for an overall ok episode of SmackDown.  Obviously, there were some negatives and stupid garbage (you know where and who to look at…), but the matches were solid enough overall and they moved some stories along and actually attempted to set up the big pay-per-view event that's happening next week.  That's an effort and I appreciate it.

Till next time friends!

11/12 SmackDown

SmackDown Recap 11/12:
Review by Ryan Fassett

While far from perfect, it was decent and accomplished a couple of very necessary things, ie moving stories along and setting up Survivor Series a bit. There was plenty of fat to be trimmed, but the matches for the most part were solid and it didn't feel like everyone was taking the night off again. I always respond well when I see an effort put forth and compared to recent weeks, this episode was noticeably more well-done. Not a classic or even a really good night of wrestling, but better.

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Ryan FassettAbout Ryan Fassett

As a lifelong fan of movies, comics, wrestling, and collectibles, Ryan is excited to share his thoughts on all of it with you. He is also an active filmmaker and published comic book writer, along with being a connoisseur of soda.
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