By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,109)
Live from in Orlando, Florida at Amway Center
Aired November 20, 2020 on Fox
[Hour One] The Street Profits were backstage with popcorn and champagne. They said they were two days away from Survivor Series, where they said they would bid their final farewell to the Undertaker. The room went thunder and lightning, and Big E rose up wearing a sombrero. He said it was all they had in props. E said they were to days away from….and Dawkins said they would defeat New Day.
Big E called Kofi one of the greatest WWE Champions of all time, and said Woods was the most underrated wrestler in the world. Ford and Dawkins spoke about how they would show the world that they were the new greatest Tag Team and WWE, and would prove that to the world by beating New Day on Sunday. Big E said they didn’t need to prove it to him, because they were here. Woods and Kofi made their entrance in the Thunderdome.
Woods had the mic and said they knew they didn’t even go here anymore, but they were invited and wanted to see if they could check if there were any Giant Fists, and to check into the Smackdown hotel one more day. They both said they wanted to say a few words about the Street Profits. Kofi said they had spoken about passing the torch, but they only want the smoke because they can’t handle the fire. Woods said that’s because they would be dead, and Kofi said he didn’t actually want to kill them.
Woods said it was his awkward transition to talking about the Undertaker, and then they did a sit up tribute. Sami Zayn interrupted, and said the only reason The Undertaker is calling it his final farewell is because he knows Sami Zayn is looking for revenge. He said Taker gave him a chokeslam, and now WWE Management is protecting him from Sami Zayn. He then said company boy Bobby Lashley is getting the same treatment, and he would show him who the superior champion was on Sunday.
Zayn said he wasn’t there to hurt them, but he wanted to know why they weren’t talking about the man of the people Sami Zayn. They then said they would say a few words, and said he looked like a recently divorced Dad who just put a down payment on a studio apartment. Baron Corbin interrupted, and asked why Zayn was allowing them to talk about him like that. He said they don’t belong on Smackdown, because they had a farewell match a month ago.
They said they were visiting, but Corbin insisted they had to go. Ziggler and Roode walked out, and objected to the tag team title trade. Roode said if they had gotten the chance they deserve, then they would be Tag Team Champions. Woods and Kofi said they could have a match, with a twist, and tried to pit Roode and Ziggler against Sami and Dolph. An argument started, and Kofi and Woods said they would defend their titles against the team that won between the four of them.
Roode and Ziggler stepped up into the face of Zayn and Corbin, but then quickly turned around and attacked New Day. The Street Profits ran down and helped even the odds and clear the heels from the ring…[c]
My Take: That was a long segment that felt like it went nowhere. A bunch of guys flailing around trying to fill TV Time and the writing just wasn’t there to make it interesting.
1. Street Profits and New Day vs. Ziggler, Corbin, Roode, and Zayn: The match was joined in progress. Montez Ford and Dolph Ziggler were in the ring. God help us, Michael Cole is talking about Twitter Fleets. After some quick tags, Roode and Kofi entered and traded control. Kofi landed a dropkick and the babyface teams did a series of stomps in the corner. Woods tagged in and landed a basement dropkick for a two count. Roode landed a back elbow and tagged in Corbin.
Woods went for an Honor Roll, but Corbin caught him for a Deep Six and a two count. Corbin cut off the ring on Woods and landed some 12-6 elbows to his shoulder. He then set up for a chokeslam, but Woods rolled through for a sunset flip and a two count. Woods quickly tagged in Montez Ford, who landed a standing moonsault on Corbin for a two count. The match broke down a bit, and Kofi ended up landing a splash out of the corner onto Ford, which pissed off Dawkins…[c]
The Heels dominated the break, and isolated Montez Ford in their corner. Corbin tagged in Ziggler, and Ford immediately clocked him with a right hand. He then landed an Enziguri. Kingston and Roode were tagged in, and Kofi cleaned house on the heels. He knocked Ziggler off the apron and landed a Boom Drop on Roode. He then set up for Trouble in Paradise, but Roode ducked. Woods got a blind tag and landed a swinging DDT for a near fall.
Dawkins made an aggressive tag, and that caused Woods to get distracted and thrown from the ring. Roode landed a spinebuster on Dawkins and tagged in Zayn, who protested. Roode got thrown from the ring by Dawkins. He then landed a spinebuster on Zayn, and Ford landed the Cash Out for the win.
New Day and Street Profits won by pinfall at 12:10
After the match, there was a tense celebration. There will be a contract signing between Reigns and McIntyre contract signing later, as well as Murphy vs Rollins. Daniel Bryan will return to face Jey Uso with a chance for revenge. Daniel Bryan was shown backstage as Sami Zayn walked to the back. Bryan put up his mask as Zayn got in his face and asked him if he thought was better than him. Bryan shoved him down, and Zayn loudly retreated.
Bryan told Kayla Braxton he believed in social distancing as much as possible…[c]
My Take: A very paint by numbers opening match, but it served its purpose. They keep finding ways to put Zayn and Bryan together, so perhaps Bryan isn’t headed for a World Championship feud after all. I guess it’s possible it’s just part of a bit that will play out over time.
Kayla got her interview with Daniel Bryan. She complemented Bryan on his haircut, and then aired a video package of Jey Uso putting him out for a couple of weeks. Bryan looked angry while watching the package, and said he actually believes Jey when he said it wasn’t personal. He said everyone has an angel and a devil on their shoulder, even him, and asked Kayla who is talking to him right now. He said he’s not concerned about coming back too soon, and told Jey what happens later isn’t personal.
Elsewhere backstage, Adam Pearce told someone off screen that his tenacity was the reason he chose them as the final member of the Men’s Team for Survivor Series, and then Otis came into view. Otis and Chad Gable celebrated, and Gable said he would get him ready by tapping into his inner alpha. Natalya then stormed up and demanded one of the final slots on the Women’s Team, and wanted to know why she needed to face Tamina to earn a spot. Pearce said he could only choose one, and he picked Bayley. He said her match with Tamina is next.
My Take: Bryan had an undercut with long hair on top. It definitely looks like something his wife picked out for him. Natalya continues to be a good worker that is just utterly boring as a character.
Seth Rollins was shown backstage by himself. He spoke to Murphy and told him he gave him a new life, and that he was nothing before they met. He called himself his creator, and said he have given up his bright future by siding with Mysterio. Rollins said he never would have met Aalyah if it weren’t for the greater good, and all he got in return was betrayal. He told Murphy that he will no longer suffer for Murphy’s mistakes, and he will go back to being nothing after he teached him his final lesson.
Tamina and Natalya were in the ring. Bianca Belair was on commentary, and Bayley her entrance to join as well.
2. Tamina vs. Natalya: Tamina landed a superkick and Natalya bailed to ringside. Tamina followed and sent her into the ring steps. Bayley named herself the captain, and Bianca warned her not to ruin the vibe of the team. Natalya avoided a charge in the corner and Tamina hit the corner post. Natalya landed a discus clothesline, and applied the Sharpshooter for the win.
Natalya defeated Tamina by submission at 2:31
After the match, Natalya acted like she won an Olympic Medal. Bayley got in the ring, and The Riott Squad walked down to the ring. Bayley and Natalya hugged each other, and everyone eventually got in the ring. Bayley raised everyone’s arms, and then yelled that it was her team. Cole then tossed to a video package that showed Drew McIntyre’s WWE Championship win from Monday’s Raw. After the video, McIntyre made his entrance for the contract signing…[c]
My Take: Third time’s a charm for Natalya, I guess. Bayley getting added to the match helps the star power a bit, but there’s just no reason to be excited for the Women’s Survivor Series match unless you’re hoping for a stand out performance from one of your personal favorites.
[Hour Two] Roman Reigns took his sweet ass time to make his ring entrance, and stared down McIntyre from the top of the ramp. He then smirked at McIntyre as he sat next to him in the chair, and they never took their eyes off each other. Pearce started talking, but Reigns told him to sit down.
He told McIntyre he believed he could do it. Roman said he already learned all these lessons. He said he was the right guy in the right place at the wrong time. McIntyre said he knows he’s trying to get in his head and get him to flip the table and punch him, but he won’t. He could rant about Roman and how he does business, but he already got his match. He won the title for himself, like Roman, and said he’s here like he was asked to sign the contract.
He signed it, and told Roman that it was his show. Drew asked Roman to please underestimate him, and to take his last two days of peace to prepare for war. Roman took umbrage to Drew offering him advice, and said Paul is the one who advises the tribal chief. He said WWE is his, and he’s the one that gives lessons.
He told Drew that he wasn’t going to like it on Sunday, because he would have to learn that he was a secondary champion and a stand in. Drew is the guy they send in when Roman is busy. He called himself world famous, and years from now when Drew has a chance to be face of the company, he will look back at this lesson and thank him. He would look in the mirror and see the man that he always wanted to be, and he would love him for the lessons he taught him. Roman said he will love him right back, because he will always be his favorite number two. Heyman picked up Reigns title and presented it to him, and Drew stared a hole into Roman while he walked away and smiled.
We then got a video package that recapped the Rollins and Mysterio feud that led to Rollins vs. Murphy. Rollins made his entrance after the video…[c]
My Take: Excellent work from both Drew and Roman. Drew sat down at the side of the table, and Roman was quick to sit down at the head of the table when he walked up. Little things like that make a big difference in establishing just how prideful he’s become. It’s a crime we only got a one week build for this match, as it’s been excellent from start to finish. Makes you wonder why they took the title off of McIntyre in the first place.
Murphy made his ring entrance with Rey, Dominick, and Rey Mysterio. Rollins knocked Murpy off the apron as he got to the ring.
3. Murphy vs. Seth Rollins: Rollins rolled to the outside, and tossed Murphy into the barricade from the apron as he tried to follow. He then tossed Murphy into the ring post and back into the ring. He tried Muphy up into the ropes and grabbed a Kendo Stick. He taunted the Mysterio family with it. Rey tried to pull it away from him, but Rollins quickly tossed Rey aside and onto the announce table. Dominick also got involved, but got tossed into the barricade.
Murphy intervened and tried to climb to the top rope, but Murphy got shoved off the ropes and into the barricade. He approached Aalyah, and cackled while Murphy was helpless…[c]
Murphy kicked Rollins in the corner, and then landed a suicide dive onto him on the outside. Rollins met Murphy on the top rope and landed a superplex into a falcon arrow for a near fall. Murphy then caught him with a knee on the apron after the Mysterio’s caused a distraction by pounding on the mat in support. Murphy got caught with a stomp as Murphy climbed back into the ring, but Murphy got his leg on the rope to break up the pinfall.
He then landed another stomp, followed by a buckle bomb. Rollins went for another stomp, but Murphy landed a knee to the head. He then landed a second one followed by Murphy’s law for the win.
Murphy defeated Seth Rollins at 11:26
After the match, Murphy celebrated with The Mysterio family as Sasha Banks made her entrance…[c]
My Take: They managed to mix together a decent amount of story elements and high spots in this match, but the selling was all over the place and inconsistent. Both Rollins and Murphy can go and they showed it with some great athleticism, but this felt very AEW in the sense that it was very quick to move from spot to spot without much selling in between.
Asuka and Banks were in the ring. Cole made introductions and spoke about their rivalry. Banks talked trash about beating Asuka earlier in the Summer, and Cole mentioned that she took the title back at Summerslam. They traded off interrupting each other, until Banks said they could take care of their business right now. Banks said Asuka doesn’t know to handle not being the blueprint and the leader of the division. Asuka said she wasn’t ready for her.
Carmella attacked Sasha from behind and tied her upside down in the corner. She then delivered a superkick while Banks was in the tree of woe. Asuka didn’t intervene. Banks celebrated up the ramp. Jey Uso was interviewed backstage about Daniel Bryan. Jey said he had the green light to finish the job he started on Daniel Bryan. He insisted everything he did to Daniel Bryan was his decision, and that tonight he was told to go get him.
Bryan made his entrance in the arena…[c]
My Take: I am still baffled why they can’t put some captions on the screen when Asuka speaks in Japanese. Is it really that hard? As for Sasha, it’s nice to see her maintain her confidence as a babyface. That said, I can’t say I’m sold yet on Carmella as a heel challenger for this character. Hopefully they can put together some compelling promos for her.
Jey Uso made his entrance for the main event.
4. Jey Uso vs. Daniel Bryan: Uso attacked early, but Bryan turned him away and took control. He took Jey down and dropped a knee. Jey replied with a back elbow, and then sent Bryan to the floor. Jey tossed Bryan into the steps and cleared the announce table. Bryan climbed to the top and gave Jey a dropkick. Bryan started selling his lower back, but pushed through and landed punches and kicks to Uso in the corner. Bryan followed up with a european uppercut. Uso charged at Bryan on the ropes, but got sent to the floor. Bryan then followed up with a dive. They fought near the announce table, and Bryan got put through with a back body drop…[c]
Uso remained in control and aggressive as he landed mounted punches on Bryan. He shouted at him that it was nothing personal. He landed a body slam as Bryan sold his lower back and kidneys from the previous attack. Uso then lined up and landed a soccer kick. Uso told Bryan he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and gave Bryan a backbreaker. Bryan fought back briefly and climbed to the top, but Uso pulled him down with a Superplex.
Jey went for a Samoan Drop, but Bryan pulled him into a crucifix for a near fall. Bryan then went for a Lebell Lock, but Jey broke free and landed elbows and knees to the kidneys. Jey climbed to the top, but Bryan crotched him on the top rope, Bryan then climbed up top and landed a back suplex. Bryan fired up and landed some big kicks to the chest and head for a near fall.
Bryan set up for a running knee, but Uso caught him twin a trio of superkicks. He then climbed up top for a big splash, but Bryan got the knees up and rolled up Uso for the win.
Daniel Bryan defeated Jey Uso at 13:36
Bryan celebrated as the show went off the air. Jey Uso looked upset with himself.
My Take: A fun finish to the show, but ultimately irrelevant to the Survivor Series show. I guess this probably sets up Bryan to make a challenge once the dust clears after Sunday, but it also reiterates how little is at stake for a PPV. Bryan getting back on strong footing is good for the Smackdown Brand, in any case. This was an up and down episode of Smackdown. There were some quality matches, including the main event, but only one segment that you could really say had any electricity. Roman is on absolute fire right now, and Drew is probably the best babyface in the company, so it’s no surprise that their moment felt big.