11/25 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus in a WarGames advantage match, Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler vs. Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi, Braun Strowman vs. Ricochet and Butch vs. Santos Escobar in Smackdown World Cup tournament matches, final WarGames teammate announcement

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,214)
Live from Providences, Rhode Island at Amica Mutual Pavilion
Aired November 25, 2022 on Fox

Powell’s POV: Smackdown was delayed in the United States due to Fox’s college football game running long. There was no mention of Smackdown by the game’s broadcast team, nor was there a crawler letting viewers know that Smackdown would be delayed at the top of the hour. They cut to a long commercial break after the game concluded, then went back to the game coverage and Smackdown was finally mentioned as coming up next eight minutes after the top of the hour. They went to another batch of commercials and then Smackdown started from the beginning ten minutes after the top of the hour.

[Hour One] Pyro shot off on the stage and then Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and plugged the sponsor. Cole was joined by Wade Barrett on commentary, and Samantha Irvin was the ring announcer…

Bayley, Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai, Rhea Ripley, and Nikki Cross stood in the ring. Bayley said it was time to get it over with because they are going to war on Saturday night.

Bianca Belair made her entrance along with Alexa Bliss, Asuka, and Mia Yim (she’s back to using that name after a brief run as Michin). Belair said Bayley’s team had five wrestlers and her team had four. She recalled saying that they weren’t coming alone.

Becky Lynch’s music played and she walked onto the stage. Lynch headed right to the ring and threw a punch at Bayley. A brawl broke out between the two teams. Lynch and Bayley remained in the ring while everyone else fought to ringside. Lynch performed an exploder suplex.

Ripley climbed onto the ring apron and smiled at Lynch, who motioned for her to enter the ring. Ripley complied. The rest of Lynch’s team climbed onto the ring apron behind her. Ripley walked talked out of fighting Lynch by her own teammates. Cole reminded viewers that the heel team has the numbers advantage due to Ripley beating Asuka in a WarGames advantage match that was held on Monday’s Raw…

Cole and Barrett hyped The Usos vs. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus in the WarGames advantage match as the show’s main event. They also hyped the women’s tag match. Cole also wondered if Bray Wyatt attacked LA Knight last week. A graphic listed Wyatt as being accused. Lynch remained on the stage and was shown playing to the crowd before she headed to the back…

The Brawling Brutes made their entrance for Butch’s Smackdown World Cup match heading into a commercial break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A nice and simple return for Lynch. She ditched the David Bowie attire and instead wore a black t-shirt and black leather pants.

The broadcast team recapped Lynch’s return in the previous segment. Cole said Lynch would speak later in the show… Legadao Del Fantasma made their entrance. A pre-tape aired with comments from Santos Escobar speaking while his allies stood by…

1. Santos Escobar (w/Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde) vs. Butch (w/Sheamus, Ridge Holland) in Smackdown World Cup tournament semifinal match. Cole noted that the winner of the match would face the winner of tonight’s other semifinal match on next week’s Smackdown. Zelina Vega sat in on commentary. Zelina Vega sat in on commentary. Butch was in offensive control early on. Butch ran up the ropes, but Escobar shoved him to the floor. [C]

Escobar ended up at ringside and his sidekicks ran over to check on him. Butch performed a moonsault dive onto Del Toro and Wilde. Meanwhile, Escobar returned to the ring and then hit Butch with a suicide dive. Escobar and Butch returned to the ring and ended up fighting for position on the ropes. Butch did the finger snap spot and then fell to the floor.

A short time later, Butch performed a tornado DDT on Escobar. Footage aired on the big screen of Drew McIntyre and Kevin Owens fighting members of The Bloodline, which caused Sheamus and Holland to run backstage. Vega climbed onto the ring apron and distracted the referee while Del Toro pulled Butch off of Escobar. Wilde kicked Butch, and then Escobar hit the Phantom Driver and scored the pin…

Santos Escobar defeated Butch in 9:55 to advance to the finals of the Smackdown World Cup tournament.

The updated brackets showed that Escobar will face Braun Strowman or Ricochet in the finals of the tournament…

Powell’s POV: A decent match. Escobar and Butch seemed to be confused when they were standing on the ropes. They looked at each other for a couple seconds before Butch did the finger break spot. I like that Escobar has advanced to the finals of the tournament, but both of his wins were aided by outside interference, so it’s not like he’s gained a lot of credibility with these tournament victories.

Cole set up a video package that recapped last week’s Bray Wyatt and LA Knight segment, which was followed by Knight being left lying in the backstage area… Cole said Wyatt would appear next… [C]

Bray Wyatt made his entrance for an in-ring promo. The lights were kept low while Wyatt spoke. He said he likes to think he has a good grip on what people think he is. He said he knows that people will stare at him and whisper behind his back when he goes places. He said he pretends that it doesn’t bother him.

Wyatt said he’s been looked at like he’s a rabid animal even though he’s not. He said he knows people want to see the monster or The Fiend. The crowd cheered as Wyatt asked them if they wanted to see the show. Wyatt said that’s not the man he wants to be anymore.

Wyatt said it’s hard for him to explain the struggles that he’s had to go through. He said violence is the only language he’s shown the fans that he can speak. He said he has to be truthful. “I am not the one that attacked LA Knight,” Wyatt said. Wyatt started to say more, but he was interrupted.

A video aired on the screen with Uncle Howdy and other imagery. A voice said the world is built on lies and added “open your eyes.” It added that a snake in a cage is still a snake in a cage. It closed with the voice saying “Wake Up” and then the segment concluded…

Backstage, LA Knight had his left arm in a sling and a crutch under his right arm while he was interviewed by Megan Morant. He confirmed that Morant had a nice Thanksgiving and then said he didn’t get to. He accused Wyatt of lying to the world.

Knight said if it wasn’t for the sling and the crutch, the consequences would be severe. He claimed he would ask Wyatt whose game it was, and said Wyatt would say it’s LA Knight’s game and then Knight would kick his ass in front of everyone. Knight hobbled away and then the Wyatt logo graphic flashed…

Powell’s POV: I was hoping that they would add Wyatt vs. Knight to the Survivor Series WarGames lineup, but it doesn’t look like that’s the plan unless Knight’s storyline injuries turn out to be a ruse.

Hit Row made their entrance for a match against the Viking Raiders… [C] The Viking Raiders made their entrance. Cole said they have always been formidable, but there’s something different about them now…

2. “The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar (w/Valhalla) vs. “Hit Row” Top Dolla and Ashante Thee Adonis (w/B-Fab). Sarah Logan is now going by the name of Valhalla. Erik and Ivar got the better of Adonis and isolated him. Adonis escaped and sold knee pain after tagging in Top Dolla, who hit Erik with a boot to the face before tagging out again. Adonis sold his knee after diving over Ivar. The Viking Raiders hit their Ragnarok finisher on Adonis and then Erik scored the pin.

“The Viking Raiders” Erik and Ivar defeated “Hit Row” Top Dolla and Ashante Thee Adonis in 2:45.

Powell’s POV: I guess they gave Adonis a bit of an out via the knee injury, but it’s no surprise that the Viking Raiders went over strong. Hit Row just hasn’t clicked since returning, and the Raiders are getting the monster heel push.

Michael Cole and Wade Barrett checked in from ringside. Cole extended Thanksgiving wishes to the viewers and then set up footage of Dominik Mysterio and Rhea Ripley showing up at Rey and Angie Mysterio’s Thanksgiving dinner. Dom ended up slamming a broomstick over Rey’s walking boot while Ripley held Rey down…

Ricochet made his entrance for the Smackdown World Cup match… [C]

Powell’s POV: That would be the exact scene at my Thanksgiving if my relatives ever surprised me with something other than the traditional turkey and dressing dinner. I loved that Mysterio family Thanksgiving clip, which was released on social media yesterday. Here’s hoping they have something planned for Christmas too.

LA Knight was shown pinned behind a production crate in the backstage area while workers attempted to free him… Braun Strowman made his entrance. Cole hyped the finals for next week and noted that the winner would face Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship “down the road.”

3. Braun Strowman vs. Ricochet in Smackdown World Cup tournament semifinal match. The broadcast team spoke about upsets that have taken place in the World Cup soccer tournament.

[Hour Two] Cole also recapped Strowman’s latest social media controversy with his comments on “floppy floppers.” Ricochet slapped Strowman. Ricochet got a run of offense on Strowman and dropkicked him from the apron and drove Strowman into the barricade. Ricochet played to the crowd and when he turned around, Strowman shoved him into the barricade.

Strowman remained in offensive control back inside the ring. Gunther walked out and distracted Strowman. Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci climbed onto the apron to continue the distraction and then Ricochet hooked Strowman into a crucifix pin for the three count.

Ricochet defeated Braun Strowman in 3:45 to advance to the Smackdown World Cup finals.

After the match, Kaiser and Vinci entered the ring and distracted Strowman while Gunther ran in and blasted him with a boot to the head. The Imperium trio attacked Strowman. Ricochet spotted it from the stage and ran back to the ring to help Strowman. Ricochet fell victim to the numbers game. Kaiser and Vinci held Ricochet while Gunther chopped him. Gunther sent Kaiser and Vinci after Strowman, who quickly fought them off, causing Imperium to leave the ring. Strowman offered a hand to Ricochet and helped him to his feet. Strowman held up Ricochet’s arm and pointed at him while the fans cheered…

Powell’s POV: This felt like it was more about an attempt to undo whatever damage Strowman did with his latest social media stupidity than it was about putting over Ricochet. It’s hard to be excited about Ricochet or Escobar winning the tournament and challenging Gunther when they seem to be setting up Gunther vs. Strowman as a bigger title match.

Footage aired of Kevin Owens returning last week and being named the fifth man of his WarGames team…

Sami Zayn was shown walking backstage and he was about to enter The Bloodline’s dressing room when Kevin Owens showed up. Zayn told Owens he needed to leave because The Bloodline members were all inside the room. Owens asked Zayn what will happen when Zayn says or does something that ticks them off. Owens asked Zayn how many times he’s had to bail out Zayn because he’s said or done something that pissed someone off. Owens told Zayn to think about it.

Owens said that if he were Zayn, he wouldn’t wait for them to turn on him, he’d strike first. Jey Uso had the door cracked open and heard the last line. Owens told Zayn he would see him Saturday and then made his exit. Jey exited the room and asked Zayn if he’d spoken to anyone since he arrived at the building. Zayn said no. Zayn said he was talking to Jey and asked if that was okay. Jey told him it was cool and then let him enter The Bloodline’s dressing room… [C]

Powell’s POV: An interesting development heading into WarGames that could lead to the end of Zayn with The Bloodline. Zayn lying to Jey even though the cameras were present was silly, but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next.

Becky Lynch was interviewed by Kayla Braxton backstage. She implied that Damage CTRL were responsible for the injury that sidelined her. She said everyone is tough and everybody wants to go to war until The Man comes around…

A lengthy WarGames video package set to Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” aired… Cole read through the rules of the match while a rules graphic was shown on the screen…

Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi were about to be interviewed in a backstage area by Megan Morant, but they were attacked by Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler. The heel duo dominated. Baszler held Rodriguez’s arm while Rousey slammed the top of a production create onto it. Rousey and Baszler left and then referees ran in to check on Rodriguez… [C]

Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler made their entrance. Cole said Rodriguez was being taken to a local hospital and may have suffered a broken arm. Rousey got a mic and said, “We’re here.” The fans booed loudly. Rousey said it looked like there wouldn’t be a match. Baszler said accidents happen. Rousey said sometimes accidents are on purpose and they both laughed. Baszler told Shotzi to stay at the kiddie table because she’s not ready. Shotzi made her entrance…

4. Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler vs. Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi. Barrett pleaded on commentary for Shotzi to think about her title match and not do something stupid. Cole said Shotzi never backs down from a fight. Rousey and Baszler targeted the left arm of Shotzi. Barrett said someone needs to save Shotzi from herself sometimes.

Raquel Rodriguez’s entrance music played and she came out selling her left arm. Cole said Rodriguez apparently opted against going to the hospital. Rodriguez tagged into the match and continued to sell the bad arm. Rousey made a blind tag and stopped Rodriguez from chokeslamming Baszler. Rousey wrenched on the bad arm. Baszler stopped Shotzi from running in. Rousey applied an armbar and got the submission win while Baszler forced Shotzi to watch…

Smackdown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler beat Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi in 3:30.

Jey Uso was shown getting worked up as he spoke with Jimmy Uso in the backstage area, presumably about the Zayn situation…

Powell’s POV: A good heat generating sequence for Rousey and Baszler. None of this gave Shotzi a boost going into her title match with Rousey, but it’s not like there’s anything they realistically could have done to convince viewers that Shotzi is a threat to beat Rousey.

Cole hyped Ricochet vs. Santos Escobar in the finals of the Smackdown World Cup tournament for next week’s show…

Backstage, Kayla Braxton caught Shotzi coming out of the trainer’s room. Shotzi said Rodriguez’s arm was broken before she entered the ring, and now her elbow is dislocated. Shotzi said she’s always known that Rousey and Baszler are bullies and she was ready to face them alone. Shotzi said it’s not the first time she’s been bullied, but it is the first time that someone’s had her back. Shotzi said she would shock the world by beating Rousey senseless…

Powell’s POV: A nice promo from Shotzi. She spoke calmly while showing the right about of frustration as she addressed Rousey and Baszler. There’s still no reason to expect a Shotzi win, but they did give the match a little more juice by establishing that Shotzi is out for revenge.

Kevin Owens made his entrance, and then Sheamus and Drew McIntyre made their entrances along with Ridge Holland and Butch. The Usos made their entrance with Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa. Cole tried to explain that the WarGames match doesn’t start until everyone is in the ring and said the match could almost be over with before it actually begins. Barrett turned that into talking about how important having the advantage is in the WarGames match…

Powell’s POV: I get what Cole is going for, but I also felt like his speech was more trouble than it was worth and may have been confusing to viewers who are not familiar with the match.

5. Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso (w/Sami Zayn, Solo Sikoa) vs. Drew McIntyre and Sheamus (w/Kevin Owens, Ridge Holland, Butch) in a non-title WarGames advantage match. McIntyre and Sheamus threw Jey over the top rope. The wrestlers from both sides had a staredown on the floor heading into a break. [C]

Jey hit Sheamus at ringside. Zayn celebrated Jey told Zayn not to worry about it and had him back off. Cole said Jey had good reason to be upset because Zayn lied to Jey’s face, which caused friction in The Bloodline. Later, McIntyre set up for a Claymore on Jimmy, but Jey grabbed McIntyre’s foot and distracted him. Jimmy recovered and superkicked McIntyre, who ended up at ringside. The Usos ran McIntyre into the ring steps. [C]

Late in the match, Sheamus was setting up for a move on Jey on the ropes. Jimmy distracted the referee and then Zayn shoved Sheamus off the ropes, which led to Jey getting a near fall. A fight broke out at ringside with the wrestlers who were not in the match. McIntyre performed a flip dive onto a pile of wrestlers on the floor.

Jey and Sheamus were down inside the ring. Zayn grabbed a tag title belt and wanted to slip it to Jey, but Owens got in front of him and asked him what he was doing. Owens took the belt away from Zayn and told him to grow some balls. Zayn took the belt back and rolled inside the ring with it. Referee Charles Robinson spotted Zayn and ejected him. Jey picked up the belt, but Owens dropped him with a Stunner. Sheamus hit Jey with a Brogue Kick and then pinned him…

Drew McIntyre and Sheamus defeated Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso in 17:40 in a WarGames advantage match.

After the match, the broadcast team said Zayn’s efforts backfired. Jey glared at Zayn as The Bloodline members stood on the floor and the babyfaces stood tall inside the ring…

Powell’s POV: A good finish that added to the possibility that Zayn’s days with The Bloodline are numbered. I’m surprised to see the babyface team get the WarGames advantage, but it will be interesting to see what they do with this on Saturday.

Overall, this was a good go-home show for Survivor Series WarGames despite the absence of Roman Reigns. Is anyone else surprised that we never heard a Paul Heyman promo building up WarGames? Even so, the Zayn story is intriguing, Becky Lynch’s return gives the women’s WarGames match a needed boost, and they even added a little juice to the Rousey vs. Shotzi match. I will return shortly with my weekly same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons).

Join me on Saturday night for my live review of WWE Survivor Series WarGames.

WWE Friday Night Smackdown Poll: Grade the November 25 edition

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Readers Comments (3)

  1. Bottom Draw, Dime Store Swerve, and B-Flat need to go back to NXT and be completely rebranded or released.

  2. The foremost authority on wrestling is here. The greatestturd ladies and gentlemen. A 50 year old chronically unemployed virgin knows how to run a million dollar company

  3. “This felt like it was more about an attempt to undo whatever damage Strowman did with his latest social media stupidity than it was about putting over Ricochet.”

    There was nothing to undo. He’s not wrong about the interchangeable trampoline midgets being a massive part of what’s wrong with pro wrestling in 2022.

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