By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox
Aired live on November 22, 2019 from Chicago, Illinois at Allstate Arena
[Hour One] The show opened with a shot of the Smackdown wrestlers gathered in a backstage area wearing their (stupid) Smackdown t-shirts. King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode stepped onto a stage. Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, and Shorty G joined them on the podium.
Reigns said everyone knows Raw and NXT are coming tonight. He said they wouldn’t act like cowards like Corbin would. Ali opened a garage door behind them. Reigns said they were opening the door, letting them all in, and said they would whoop everybody’s ass.
Sasha Banks interrupted bickering between Reigns and Corbin. She said The Boss waits for nobody. She said Smackdown was ready to take care of business and they would do so immediately… The Smackdown opening aired… Michael Cole and Corey Graves checked in on commentary…
Sasha Banks, Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Carmella, and Nikki Cross headed to the ring. Sasha had a “Legit Boss” CGI graphic above the ring. Sasha took the mic and said it was their ring and their show. She said nobody would jump them from behind. Banks said NXT doesn’t have the guts to come out after they dropped them last week and then went to their house on Wednesday and did the same thing.
Banks said she new Team Raw was in the house and called for them to come out for a Survivor Series preview. Charlotte Flair’s music played eventually and she headed to the ring along with Sarah Logan, Asuka, Kairi Sane, and Natalya. Flair mocked Team Smackdown by calling them the welcome wagon. She thanked them for opening the door for them and added that it’s not like Team Raw wouldn’t have kicked it down.
Team Raw climbed onto the apron. Flair challenged Banks to face her in a singles match for old time’s sake. Team NXT” Rhea Ripley, Mia Yim, Toni Storm, Candice LeRae, and Tegan Nox showed up and walked to ringside. Ripley took the mic and called for a captain vs. captain vs. captain match. Three referees stood between the bickering teams, then they eventually brawled going into the break… [C]
Powell’s POV: This is the first time we’ve seen Team NXT and it’s a pleasant surprise to see Storm on the team. It’s also nice to see that there are no conflicts when it comes to wrestlers who will compete against one another in WarGames matches awkwardly teaming together the next night at Survivor Series.
1. Rhea Ripley (w/Mia Yim, Toni Storm, Candice LeRae, Tegan Nox) vs. Sasha Banks (w/Lacey Evans, Dana Brooke, Carmella, Nikki Cross) vs. Charlotte Flair (w/Sarah Logan, Asuka, Kairi Sane, Natalya) in a Triple Threat. Banks ended up at ringside along with Ripley and was apparently held back from going after opposing teams by her own teammates. Flair performed a moonsault from the top rope onto Banks and Ripley going into a break. [C]
Late in the match, Flair avoided a Backstabber from Banks, then applied her Figure Eight finisher. Ripley snuck underneath an arching Flair and hooked her into a pin and got the three count…
Rhea Ripley defeated Charlotte Flair and Sasha Banks in a Triple Threat in 9:40.
After the match, the NXT headed to the ramp. Flair, who suffered a bloody nose or mouth during the match, shoved Banks. The Team Raw and Team Smackdown wrestlers fought while Team NXT stood on the stage and watched. Three referees eventually stopped the brawling…
Powell’s POV: It was cool to see Ripley get a pinfall victory over Flair. I could definitely see her being fast tracked to Raw or Smackdown, though the creative is so spotty that I wouldn’t really wish that on anyone from a creative standpoint. The live crowd was really flat during the post match brawl. It’s hard to blame them if they’ve been watching the shows lately and felt bored by yet another brawl between the brands.
Backstage, Corbin complained to Roode and Ziggler about Reigns’s decision to open the doors and how that worked out for Team Smackdown in the first match. Corbin said the plan was that if Raw and NXT showed up during their six-man tag match against Reigns, Ali, and G, they would roll out of the ring and let the other brands have their way with their opponents.
Sami Zayn showed up and had a bag with him. Corbin told Roode and Ziggler that Zayn is the most annoying person he’s ever met. Zayn told Corbin that if he thinks he’s tough then he should call him annoying in the ring…
The broadcast team hyped the six-man tag main event while Zayn made his entrance carrying the black bag. Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance… [C] A Survivor Series ad aired and focused on the Brock Lesnar vs. Rey Mysterio match for the WWE Championship…
Cole noted that the show was the first of four straight nights in Chicago while imagery of the city was shown…
Kayla Braxton interviewed Bayley on the backstage interview set about her Survivor Series Triple Threat match against Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler. Bayley complained about Baszler attacking her from behind. She said that if Baszler is done hiding in the shadows then she was there and ready…
Nakamura stood in the ring while Zayn delivered a promo. Zayn said Corbin wasn’t coming out because he was afraid of him and even more afraid of Nakamura. Zayn said everyone is afraid of Nakamura. Zayn took issue with being labeled annoying and said that if one word described him, it would be stud. Zayn said Nakamura is an even bigger stud.
Zayn said Nakamura has been so studly that he had a gift for him. Zayn pulled a black Intercontinental Title belt out of the bag he brought to the ring. Zayn presented the title to Nakamura and swapped it out with the white belt he was holding. Zayn and Nakamura acted like they didn’t know who Roderick Strong was.
The Undisputed Era theme played. Strong, Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly made their entrance to a mediocre reaction. The crowd fired up once they entered the ring with an “Undisputed” chant.
Zayn and Nakamura simply left the ring and stood at ringside. Cole introduced himself and then Strong. Cole said once they take care of business at WarGames, they will wipe the floor with Raw and Smackdown. Cole said that was undisputed.
Smackdown Tag Champions Big E and Kofi Kingston made their entrance. Kingston said Undisputed Era took off so fast last week that they didn’t get to say a proper goodbye. Kingston called for a match against Undisputed Era. Strong was all four a handicap match. The New Day duo ended up being joined by Heavy Machinery, who walked past Nakamura and Zayn on the ramp… [C]
Powell’s POV: I didn’t think there was anything wrong with the white IC Title belt, but the new black version looks good too. The belt is irrelevant. The real problem is that the title has been treated like a throwaway title, so hopefully that changes along with the new look belt.
2. “Undisputed Era” Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly vs. Big E, Kofi Kingston, Otis, and Tucker in an eight-man tag match. Nakamura and Zayn watched the match from the stage. Strong dropkicked Kingston off the ropes and he fell onto Tucker. Otis ran over and pulled Kingston off his partner, then Big E took exception. Otis shoved Big E, then Tucker separated them heading into a break. [C]
Otis took a well received hot tag and worked over all four opponents. Tucker tagged in and hit a double team move with Otis on O’Reilly that led to a near fall. Strong tagged in and took a side slam that led to a two count for Tucker, who followed up with a moonsault a short time later.
[Hour Two] Fish and O’Reilly hit Total Elimination on Big E at ringside. In the ring, Otis hit a twisting slam on O’Reilly and then performed the Caterpillar. Cole superkicked Tucker while the ref was distracted, then Strong hit Tucker with a knee to the head and pinned him.
“Undisputed Era” Adam Cole, Roderick Strong, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly beat Big E, Kofi Kingston, Otis, and Tucker in 15:00.
After the match, Strong went to the stage and went face to face with Nakamura. AJ Styles dove into the picture and took out Nakamura. Zayn hit Styles with a chair, then struck Strong with it until the rest of Undisputed Era ran him off…
Powell’s POV: No matter what happens at Survivor Series, it’s good for NXT to have Undisputed Era and Ripley win these Smackdown matches that will be seen by more people than the pay-per-view will be.
The broadcast team ran through the Survivor Series card. The men’s NXT team was still left blank… Daniel Bryan was shown walking backstage… [C]
AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson stood on the side the stage and asked the Chicago fans if they enjoyed what they just saw. Styles said of course they did because Chicago is the most depressing city. Styles said he’s the best thing going in Chicago. The live crowd chanted for CM Punk.
Styles told the fans he would mop the floor with Punk. Styles said The OC is the original and the only club the matters. Styles grumbled about Nakamura and Zayn, and told Strong to enjoy his 15 seconds of fame.
Powell’s POV: I think I’ve been so caught up in how fun the Styles vs. Nakamura vs. Strong match looks on paper that I’m just now thinking about the awkward heel vs. heel vs. heel dynamic.
Daniel Bryan made his entrance and headed right to the ring. Bryan said people want to know why he wants to summon Bray Wyatt. He directed them to the big screen where a video package recapped their recent interactions.
Bryan said he didn’t come out to chant yes or to lecture the fans about climate change or to play with puppets. Bryan said he was there to summon Wyatt. He said he wouldn’t pretend to know what goes on in Wyatt’s mind. He added that Wyatt doesn’t know what goes on in his mind either.
Bryan said they could talk about the past and any issues that Wyatt had with him and it will be fun. Bryan said if that didn’t sound like fun then they could fight and that would be fun. The lights went out and then turned back on. Bryan mocked the idea of Wyatt playing mind games and then challenged Wyatt to come out and fight.
The Miz made his entrance. Bryan said if there’s one thing worse than The Fiend, it’s The Miz. “What they hell are you doing out here?” Bryan asked. Miz said he’s a professional and that’s why he held back last week while Bryan disrespected him on his own show. Miz said he can’t wait for The Fiend to tear Bryan apart at Survivor Series.
Miz said he thought he could help Bryan by pointing out his flaws and he did so when Bryan first came to WWE. Miz said he thought he could slap sense into Bryan. He said he realized that wasn’t going to work, so he decided to do part of that. The Miz slapped Bryan across the face and the show went to break. [C]
3. Daniel Bryan vs. The Miz. The match was joined in progress. Bryan had Miz down in the corner and started to do the Yes! bit when the lights went out. The Fiend appeared in the ring and put Bryan in the Mandible Claw for the apparent no-contest. The Fiend laughed maniacally while applying the hold and they cut to break… [C]
Daniel Bryan fought The Miz to an apparent no-contest.
Powell’s POV: I was actually hoping to see Bryan and the Firefly Funhouse version of Wyatt meeting in the ring for a verbal segment, but they went in a different direction. I may be misreading this, but my guess is that The Miz plays some part in The Fiend vs. Bryan on Sunday. Perhaps they all meet in a Triple Threat at the TLC pay-per-view?
More Chicago imagery was shown and then the broadcast team hyped The Fiend vs. Daniel Bryan for Survivor Series. Graves said that if anyone could beat The Fiend it would be Bryan, but he added that it’s highly unlikely…
NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler made her entrance. She recalled what Bayley said earlier and said she was standing in the ring and calling her out. Bayley attacked Baszler from behind. Cole said Bayley was doing the same thing that she accused Baszler of doing earlier.
Baszler quickly took offensive control. Bayley went to ringside. Baszler applied the Kirafuda Clutch, but Bayley backed into the barricade to break the hold. Bayley shoved Baszler into the ring post and then backed up the stage. Baszler got pissed and glared at Bayley intensely. Bayley showed fear and then rushed backstage…
Cole and Graves set up a sponsored video package that recapped the past segments that set up the six-man tag main event…
Mustafa Ali made his entrance and was followed by Shorty G. Graves noted that Shorty G and his wife welcomed their first child earlier this week. Graves said he heard their son is already the same size as Shorty G. Roman Reigns made his entrance and had the bad CGI logo above the ring. Reigns did the fist thing on the stage and didn’t get any pyro. Hometown hero Ali carried a Chicago flag to the ring… [C]
4. Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, and Shorty G vs. King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode. Corbin was the only member of his team to receive a fully televised entrance (they only played a portion of Ziggler’s shitty entrance theme and it was still too much). Corbin and Roode tossed G from the apron and onto the broadcast table going into a break. [C]
Ziggler performed a DDT on Reigns that led to a two count coming out of the break. Late in the match, Ali went to the ropes and was shoved off by Ziggler. Corbin hit his finisher on Ali and scored the clean pin.
King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode defeated Roman Reigns, Mustafa Ali, and Shorty G in 8:50.
After the match, Corbin grabbed his scepter and set up to use it on Ali, but Reigns entered the ring and speared Corbin. Seth Rollins entrance music played. Rollins, The Viking Raiders, The Street Profits, Ricochet, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, and The OC appeared at the top of the first level of seating wearing Raw t-shirts. They all headed to ringside. Rollins entered the ring and went face to face with Reigns and then punched him. The other wrestlers brawled.
Braun Strowman’s entrance music played and he headed to the ring with New Day, The Revival, Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party, Drake Maverick, and others all dressed in Smackdown t-shirts. A big brawl broke out.
They cut backstage where Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Keith Lee, and Tommaso Ciampa were driving the DX jeep into the building while a huge group of NXT wrestlers walked alongside them. The NXT crew headed to the ring and the brand brawl fired up again. Strowman and Lee squared off. Strowman punched Lee, who backed him into the ropes. Other wrestlers got involved and the brawl continued as the show concluded…
Powell’s POV: The creative forces are doing what they should do by giving a heel repeated wins while trying to build him up. Unfortunately, that heel is stuck in an awful king gimmick and there’s only so much good heat he’ll develop while playing this cheese role. Meanwhile, the big brand brawls are good for a live crowd pop, but as someone watching at home these big brawls have become repetitive and tiresome. Despite that, I am looking forward to Survivor Series and even more so the NXT Takeover: WarGames event. Make ProWrestling.net your home for our live reviews of both shows this weekend.
What did you think of Smackdown? Let me know by giving it a letter grade in our usual post show poll available on the main page.
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...