By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,160)
Hartford, Connecticut at XL Center
Aired November 19, 2021 on Fox
[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of last week’s main event involving Roman Reigns and King Woods… The broadcast team was Michael Cole and Pat McAfee…
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso stood in the ring and delivered a promo in front of a throne, scepter, and cloak. They spoke about Survivor Series and then introduced WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who made his entrance with Paul Heyman. Cole noted that Reigns’ title reign had reached 446 days.
Heyman spoke of Reigns as The Tribal King. He also said Reigns would smash Big E at Survivor Series. Reigns stuck his hand out and Heyman stopped speaking in mid-sentence to pass him the microphone.
“Whose idea was this?” Reigns asked. Heyman and the Usos pointed at one another. Reigns said it must be a joke and then asked if they think he really needs all of this. Reigns said he’s put in the work and told Hartford to acknowledge him. “The only reason I took the crown last week is because I can,” he said.
Xavier Woods made his entrance and spoke from the stage. Woods said all of the king garb that was in the ring belongs to him, but they do not make a king. Woods challenged Reigns to meet him face to face without any of his sidekicks and said he would show him what a real king is made of.
Reigns questioned if Woods really didn’t care about the king garb. Reigns called for Jey Uso, who wiped his nose with the cloak and threw it on the ground. Reigns stepped on it. “Clothes don’t make the man,” Woods said. Reigns had Jey break the scepter and asked Woods if he was sure. The Usos slammed the throne on the mat and it broke.
Reigns laughed at Woods, who didn’t look pleased. Jey picked up the King of the Ring crown and was going to slam it down, but Reigns stuck his hand out. Jey handed Reigns the crown and then Reigns asked if Woods was sure that the crown didn’t mean anything to him.
Reigns teased stomping the crown, causing Woods to charge the ring. The Usos cut off Woods and roughed him up, then held him in place while Reigns told him that he is the only king and he doesn’t need props. Reigns stomped on the crown and broke it.
Powell’s POV: Long live The Tribal King! I despise it when the KOTR winners become cliche wrestling royalty characters. I would wish for him to stop by Raw to destroy Zelina Vega’s queen garb, but at least she’s received some semblance of a push since she won the Queen’s Crown tournament and I fear it would stop if they dropped the silly gimmick.
The broadcast team spoke at ringside and then Sheamus made his entrance for the four-way match to determine the final member of Team Smackdown at Survivor Series… [C]
Xavier Woods was wincing in pain backstage when Kayla Braxton asked him where he goes from here. He said he would go to the ring in hopes that Reigns would accept his challenge. Woods said the Roman Empire wasn’t built in a day, but it will fall tonight…
1. Sheamus vs. Ricochet vs. Jinder Mahal (w/Shanky) vs. Cesaro in a four-way match to determine the final entrant on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series. Ricochet’s entrance was televised, but the entrances Mahal and Cesaro were not shown. Ricochet performed a dive from the ring onto all three opponents heading into an early break. [C]
Ricochet hit a 450 splash on Mahal, but Sheamus put him down with a Brogue Kick and tried to steal the pin. Cesaro broke up the pin and then setup Sheamus for The Neutralizer. Ridge Holland ran to ringside, which distracted Cesaro. Moments later, Cesaro chased Holland off the apron, then turned into a Brogue Kick and was pinned by Sheamus.
Sheamus defeated Cesaro, Jinder Mahal, and Ricochet in 11:00 in a four-way to earn the final spot on Team Smackdown at Survivor Series.
After the match, Sheamus and Holland headed toward the back together…
Powell’s POV: This means Holland and Sheamus are aligned. Holland’s gushing over Sheamus on past shows left me wondering if he was more of a stalker who would actually turn Sheamus babyface, but that doesn’t seem to be where this is going.
Jeff Hardy was interviewed by Braxton in the backstage area. Hardy put over Drew McIntyre while talking about Team Smackdown. Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss showed up. Moss asked how Hardy decides what face paint to wear. The supposed punchline was that he asked himself what goes well with a redneck.
Adam Pearce showed up and told Corbin that he’d like him to start acting like a member of the team, then said since everything is a joke to Moss, he would face Hardy in a singles match. Hardy laughed at Moss…
Powell’s POV: Didn’t Pearce’s character already say that he hoped Raw would win? Anyway, this was a babyface move by Pearce, so the creative forces have either changed their minds about turning him heel or, more likely, he’s going to do something heelish to stack the deck against Hardy.
Backstage, Sheamus gushed to Megan Morant about how he inspired Holland to become a wrestler. Sheamus acted like he was crying, then laughed. Holland told Sheamus that he would still be broke in England and fighting bums in the street if it wasn’t for him. Holland told Sheamus that he’s his idol…
Powell’s POV: Then again, maybe Holland’s hero worship of Sheamus actually will take a creepy turn somewhere down the road.
The broadcast team set up a video package on Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair…
Aliyah and Naomi made their entrance for a tag team match against Shayna Baszler and Natalya… [C] A sponsored video recapped Aliyah beating Natalya last week only to have Sonya Deville remove her from Team Smackdown…
2. Aliyah and Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler and Natalya. The entrances of Baszler and Natalya were not televised. Naomi put Baszler down with the Rearview. Naomi went after Natalya, but Baszler recovered and pulled her down to the mat. Natalya covered Naomi and the referee made a fast count, which the broadcast team acknowledge.
Shayna Baszler and Natalya defeated Aliyah and Naomi in 1:00.
Powell’s POV: I assume the story will be that Deville somehow forced the referee to make the fast count. Heel authority figures are more than enough. We really don’t need heel referees too. On the bright side, we got through this match without finding out what Aliyah had for lunch.
Jeff Hardy was shown warming up backstage… Cole set up a video package on Bruno Sammartino to promote the limited edition shirts they are selling at Survivor Series… Hardy made his entrance… [C]
[Hour Two] Cole recapped the fast count finish of the women’s tag team match…
Sami Zayn was freaking out about something to Sonya Deville, who blamed Adam Pearce for it. She said she would be holding a 25-man battle royal in honor of The Rock’s anniversary and Zayn could be in it. The referee from the women’s tag match showed up and asked Deville if she did a good job. Deville said she doesn’t associate with crooked referees and then dismissed her…
Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin made their entrance. Hardy took the mic and said the odds weren’t in his favor, so he might as well have someone in his corner. Drew McIntyre made his entrance and brought his big ass sword with him…
3. Jeff Hardy (w/Drew McIntyre) vs. Madcap Moss (w/Happy Corbin). McIntyre handed his sword to McAfee, who said he had no idea what he was holding a sword all of a sudden. Hardy put Moss down with a Twist of Fate and then went up top. Corbin climbed onto the apron, but McIntyre pulled him back down. Moss cut off Hardy on the ropes and pulled him back into the ring. Moss went for a suplex, but Hardy countered into an inside cradle for the win.
Jeff Hardy beat Madcap Moss in 1:30.
After the match, Corbin went after McIntyre, who put him down with a Claymore Kick. Moss went after McIntyre, only be dropped with a headbutt. Hardy performed a Swanton on Moss and then celebrated with McIntyre…
Powell’s POV: Corbin and Moss are like a bad Saturday Night live skit. Only bad SNL skits are only a few minutes long, whereas this Corbin and Moss laughing schtick is likely to go on for months.
Cole recapped footage of The Bloodline destroying Xavier Woods’s silly king garb…
Backstage, Heyman was shown walking while talking on the phone. Braxton popped up with a mic and scared him. She asked if Reigns would accept the challenge of Woods. Heyman said Reigns would face Woods just 48 hours before he will smash Big E…
Rick Boogs played his guitar on the stage and then fired up the live crowd before introducing Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Cole hyped Nakamura vs. Angel (Garza) for after the break… [C]
4. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Rick Boogs) vs. Angel (w/Humberto) in a non-title match. Yes, Angel and Humberto lost their last names. Humberto grabbed the leg of Nakamura. Boogs grabbed Humberto and held him up side down, then tossed him to the ground. In the ring, Nakamura put Angel down with a Kinshasa and pinned him.
Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura beat Angel in 1:45 in a non-title match.
After the match, Boogs tried to celebrate with Nakamura, but Humberto hit Boogs with a cheap shot and then fled to ringside…
Powell’s POV: I can live with Angel losing a singles match as long as Los Lotharios beat Nakamura and Boogs in what I assume will be a tag team match on next week’s show.
Highlights aired of Shotzi attacking Sasha Banks on a recent Smackdown…
Backstage, Deville stood between Banks and Shotzi. Shotzi called Banks a vindictive little brat and said she doesn’t forget when she get screwed over. Banks held up her hand and said she’d be rich of she had a nickel for every time a rookie tried to make a name at her expense. Banks said payback is a bitch and so is she. Deville told them that they could take things out on one another during their match, but she expected them to shake hand once it was over (because they are Survivor Series teammates). Neither woman looked keen on that idea. Banks made her entrance… [C]
5. Sasha Banks vs. Shotzi. Shotzi’s entrance was not televised. A dated graphic was shown for the women’s elimination match that still showed a fifth spot open on the Smackdown side. Cole acknowledged the graphic and said that the spot had been filled by Toni Storm. The match spilled over to ringside. Shotzi shoved Banks’s left arm inside a hole in the ring steps and kicked it a few times. Banks eventually came back and performed a metora off the apron onto Shotzi on the floor. [C]
Shotzi dominated the offense coming out of the break and targeted Banks’s bad arm. Banks eventually came back and used her good arm and then her leg while applying a crossface and got the submission win.
Sasha Banks beat Shotzi in 11:05.
After the match, Sonya Deville walked out and nodded to Banks regarding the handshake she requested. Banks pulled Shotzi to her feet and then extended her hand. Shotzi looked back at Deville and then accepted the handshake. Banks turned Shotzi around and put her down with a Backstabber. Banks left the ring and told Deville that she did what she said by shaking Shotzi’s hand. Deville was not pleased…
Backstage, Reigns asked Heyman if it was time. Heyman confirmed that it was. The Usos stood up, but Reigns told them that he was going to do this by himself. The graphic listed a Reigns and Woods confrontation… [C]
Powell’s POV: I’m not crazy about Shotzi losing the way she did. Sure, she got a lot of offense and Cole really put her over, but she ultimately lost to a one-armed Banks via submission. The post match angle was fine with Banks technically honoring the request of Deville, yet still taking a cheap shot at Shotzi. I assume that Deville will be out for revenge.
A video package on Xia Li was shown. It was done comic book style. She spoke about her father being her protector, but then their protector was gone. She said their landlord was on them like a bloodhound and he eventually threw their belongings into the street. She said someone had to wield her father’s protective shield and that person was her. Comic imagery showed her beating up the landlord. “I am my father’s daughter, I am Xia Li,” Li said before dubbing herself “The Protector”…
Toni Storm was interviewed by Braxton in the backstage area. Footage aired of Storm’s segment with Charlotte Flair from last week’s show. Back live, Storm said she wants to see Flair face Becky Lynch on Sunday. She said Flair is obsessed and that makes her vulnerable, and she won’t be able to handle losing to Lynch. Storm said Flair will want to take out all of her frustrations on her.
Charlotte Flair arrived on the set and said she would beat the crap out of Lynch, and then Storm is next on the list. She said Storm didn’t deserve a shot at the title, but she would give her a match…
Powell’s POV: Is it just my TV or is there a lot of echo in some of these backstage interviews?
Xavier Woods made his entrance for the final segment, which was once again listed as a confrontation… [C]
Woods stood in the ring and said he was there to find out if Reigns was a man. He recalled hitting an elbow drop on Reigns and then the Usos interfered. Woods said that meant that Reigns couldn’t beat him on his own. Woods called for Reigns come out and prove him wrong.
Reigns and Heyman made their entrance. Heyman turned back and called for the Usos while Reigns smiled. The Usos didn’t come out, so Heyman called for them again. The Usos were tossed onto the stage.
Big E made his entrance and roughed up Reigns at ringside and then threw him in the ring. Big E and Woods put the boots to Reigns. The Usos ran in. Big E hit one Uso with the Big Ending while Woods superkicked the other. Woods shoved his Uso to Big E, who hit another Big Ending. The Usos fled to ringside. Woods performed a flip dive onto them.
Reigns entered the ring behind Big E and dropped him with a Superman Punch. Reigns let out a war cry and went for a spear, but Big E caught him and hoisted him up for his finisher, but Reigns slipped away. Reigns sold rib pain at ringside while Big E and Woods celebrated inside the ring…
Powell’s POV: A angle to set up the Survivor Series main event of Reigns vs. Big E, while also keeping the Reigns feud with Xavier Woods going. The build for Survivor Series was really weak this year, but they did a passable job with Reigns and Big E. Granted, they could have done a lot more, but it helps that the matchup feels fresh. I will be back with with my audio review of this episode for Dot Net Members momentarily. Let know what you thought of the show by grading it below.
Join me for my live review of WWE Survivor Series on Sunday night.
“ I can live with Angel losing a singles match as long as Los Lotharios beat Nakamura and Boogs in what I assume will be a tag team match on next week’s show”
Didn’t that happen last week?
Yes? These shows all start to run together if you watch as many as I do. But WWE is the land of a million rematches, so I still assume they’ll work their way back to another tag match.
Oh Jason they DO all run together! I swear every WWE show is series of rematches and every AEW show is rematches of WWE matches from 3 years ago!
I for one am sad ROH looks to be no-more. Because although their shows since covid weren’t very good they always offered a great alternative!!
Wanna grab 20/30 of the free agents and starts a promotion with 1/2 dozen of your loyal readers???
Yes, if one of those six readers is a billionaire who is willing to spend a good chunk of it on the promotion. Otherwise, I think we’re screwed.
I know he won,but still..POOR NAKAMURA!!
Oh yeah..SNL has been pretty good lately.lol
Jason, I agree with you about the build – and in the past that has usually led to a poor show. The issue this time around is that the build period has been over a short period (three weeks at the most). They should have started the build immediately after Crown Jewel. Likewise they have to build Day One at the most the week after Survivor Series – especially as there are only four weeks between Day One and the Royal Rumble.