Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. The road to Survivor Series continues. We know most of the Survivor Series card on November 22, but some things need to be filled out.
From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1108. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s get to it.
The show began with Roman Reigns making his entrance with the Universal Title and he had Paul Heyman with him. The Smackdown announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show while noting Reigns will face Randy Orton or Drew McIntyre at Survivor Series. That’s because Orton defends the WWE Title against McIntyre on Raw on Monday.
Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns with Paul Heyman
Reigns spoke about how the numbers and analytics don’t lie. Reigns mentioned cousin Jey Uso noting that before he was the twin that you didn’t know which one was which, but now he’s Main Event Jey Uso. Two weeks ago he put out Daniel Bryan and last week he destroyed Kevin Owens. Reigns said at Survivor Series, Jey will lead Team Smackdown to victory. Reigns talked about how he would prove his dominance at Survivor Series as well while calling Randy Orton the secondary champion.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance as the big man from Raw showed up on Smackdown as a surprise. McIntyre got in the ring with him. McIntyre said it’s been a minute, then asked Paul if he missed him and Paul had this shocked look on his face. Drew said that Reigns won’t be facing Randy Orton at Survivor Series because Drew will win the WWE Title on Raw, so then it will be Drew and Roman.
Drew said that the last time they were in the ring together – a lot has changed since then. Drew said that was when he eliminated Roman to win the Royal Rumble. Drew said he made Paul’s client (Brock Lesnar) his bitch and beat him in five minutes at WrestleMania. Drew said Roman disappeared while Drew stepped up as the WWE Champion. Drew said it was a privilege and it will continue to be a privilege while telling Reigns that he (Drew) is the man now and Drew will prove it at Survivor Series.
Reigns told Drew he liked him and he respects him. Reigns said he’s back now and ever since he came back, nobody knows who Drew is. Reigns said he doesn’t watch Raw (Paul: “You’re not missing much”) and Reigns said that they’re all watching Smackdown because they are all watching him. Reigns wondered who Drew is. Drew got in Roman’s face and told Roman he’ll show Roman who the secondary champion is.
Jey Uso ran out to the ring to get in Drew’s face. Jey said that Drew was being disrespectful while noting that Daniel Bryan and Kevin Owens were disrespectful with Jey saying he took care of them. Jey challenged Drew to a match tonight. Jey dropped the microphone before he could answer, so then Drew shoved Jey down and Drew had a staredown with Reigns. The heels Reigns, Jey and Heyman left while McIntyre stood tall in the ring.
Analysis: The brand extension is supposed to matter, but whenever Survivor Series arrives, we see Raw guys on Smackdown and vice versa. There’s no explanation given. It’s not like I’m complaining about Drew McIntyre being there because I’m a fan of him. I’m just saying from a logical point of view, WWE should try to explain it. Anyway, the promos were all good with Drew standing up to Roman and Jey thinking of himself as a big deal as well.
Later on Raw: Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio.
There was a backstage scene with Roman Reigns yelling at Jey Uso about what he did. Reigns reminded him that Roman calls the shots here and he didn't want Jey acting like that.
Sami Zayn did a promo in the ring saying he was informed one hour ago that he had to defend the Intercontinental Title tonight against Apollo Crews. Zayn complained about how they only gave him one hour’s notice. Zayn said that it is clear that WWE management is trying to sabotage the champion of the people. Zayn said he’ll turn this into an opportunity to show the difference between the IC Champion and a US Champion (since Crews is a former champion). Zayn said he had to beat two future Hall of Famers just to be recognized as the champion of the title that he never lost.
Analysis: Great heel promo from Zayn, who does very well as a whiner that also makes smart points.
Apollo Crews made his entrance for a rare Smackdown match for him. Crews has not been featured on Smackdown much since being drafted there.
Intercontinental Championship: Sami Zayn vs. Apollo Crews
Crews was aggressive early as he gave Sami a press slam into the top turnbuckle. Zayn to the floor, back in the ring and Crews hit a delayed suplex followed by a standing moonsault. Zayn to the floor where he ripped off the apron and Zayn sent Crews into the edge of the ring. Zayn trapped Apollo’s left leg across the cables that connected the side of the ring and Crews couldn’t move. Zayn stomped on Crews to prevent him from going back in the ring, so Zayn won by countout in about two minutes.
Winner by countout: Sami Zayn
Analysis: * That was a very unique finish with the crafty heel Zayn finding a way to win in an extremely cheap way. It fits Sami’s character especially after he complained about the match before it started. It sucks that it was so short, but I would imagine it leads to Crews getting another match with Zayn soon.
Drew McIntyre was backstage with WWE Official Adam Pearce telling him he can’t sanction that match, but they can still put the match on. Drew accepted it.
Rey Mysterio was with his family as Kayla Braxton interviewed Rey in the backstage area. Rey said that tonight’s match is not about him or Seth Rollins taking out his eye at Extreme Rules. Rey said that Seth tried to take apart his family, so now everything he has done will culminate in one final match. Rey said that Seth calls himself the Messiah, but to him, Seth is nothing but the devil. Rey said that tonight he will send Seth to that soul-crushing hell where he belongs and you can bet on that.
Analysis: Nice promo from Rey. I’m glad that this feud is coming to an end tonight.
Sasha Banks made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion and she was in street clothes. They showed an image of Sasha doing an Undertaker pose for a WWE.com photo shoot. Banks got some pyro for her entrance too. They went to break there.
It was announced that Drew McIntyre will face Jey Uso later in an Unsanctioned Match.
Let's Hear from Sasha Banks
A replay was shown from last week with Sasha Banks beating Bayley to retain the Smackdown Women’s Title. After the match, Banks was attacked on the stage by Carmella.
Sasha Banks said that the haters said that she could win, but she couldn’t retain it, yet here she is as the Smackdown Women’s Champion and it feels good. Banks said that she’s on top of her game while noting that she’s on top of the women’s division. Banks put on notice the entire women’s locker room. Banks mentioned Carmella, but here comes Bayley.
Bayley made her entrance walking down the aisle, so then Carmella showed up behind Banks and gave Carmella a superkick. Carmella hit her sitout facebuster to put Banks down in the ring. Carmella left the ring while Bayley already left. Carmella has a new theme song, which is not a surprise since a lot of wrestlers have had new songs of late.
Analysis: It’s the classic babyface booking with Banks being outsmarted and outnumbered. I liked her promo before that because she showed a lot of confidence. Carmella and Bayley used to be allies in the NXT days (known as “Baymella”) so I’m not sure if they’ll be an alliance or if they were just working together for this segment.
Otis was shown backstage eating three plates of food with Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode laughing about Otis eating alone while losing his best friend Tucker along with the Money in the Bank contract. Otis grunted, then flipped over his table and the heels left.
There was a plug for the WWE Tribute to the Troops special on Sunday, December 6 airing on Fox.
Dolph Ziggler (w/Robert Roode) vs. Otis
This is not a fresh matchup. They wrestled many times earlier in the year, including at WrestleMania. Otis tossed Ziggler across the ring, then some punches and a corner splash. Roode on the apron, Otis punched him down and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag because it’s not his finisher anymore. Otis with a front powerslam leading to the Caterpillar into an elbow drop. Roode on the apron, Otis scared him away and Otis hit a Vader Bomb (that’s not what WWE is calling it) splash on Ziggler for the pinfall after about two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Otis
Analysis: * An easy win for Otis. Ziggler got that one nearfall, but otherwise it was just a squash match to put over Otis.
Seth Rollins was shown backstage talking to Murphy, who was back on Seth’s side after last week or at least that’s what Seth thinks. Seth’s match is next.
This Monday on Raw: Randy Orton defends the WWE Title against Drew McIntyre and The New Day's Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods defend the Raw Tag Team Titles against Hurt Business members Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander. They should be good matches.
There was a backstage scene with Otis celebrating his win while Chad Gable walked up to him saying Otis can do that to anybody. Chad said that Otis needs discipline and a mentor, so Gable gave him an “Alpha Academy” flyer to work out with him. Otis said that this is all fine and dandy to him as Otis walked away. Gable stared forward.
Analysis: They are legitimately close friends that have known eachother for many years going back to their amateur wrestling days. If you follow either on Instagram, you'll see they train together as well. I’m sure they’ll enjoy working together on screen as well.
There was a long video package that set up Seth Rollins vs. Rey Mysterio that covered the eye injury angle along with Aalyah Mysterio kissing Seth’s disciple Murphy. Rollins beat Otis last week on Smackdown thanks to Murphy’s unexpected assist. Murphy told Aalyah that he knows what he is doing, so I guess we have to assume Seth didn’t see that. Anyway, this storyline that’s been going for over six months is coming to an end now…or so WWE says.
Seth Rollins made his entrance with Murphy by his side. The ring announcer mentioned it’s a No Holds Barred Match. Rey Mysterio made his entrance with wife Angie, son Dominik and daughter Aalyah.
Analysis: This was only promoted an hour before Smackdown began because WWE was still figuring out the lineup. They should have promoted this several days in advance since it’s the end of a long term storyline.
No Holds Barred Match: Seth Rollins (w/Murphy) vs. Rey Mysterio (w/Dominik, Angie, Aalyah)
I missed the first minute as Rollins grabbed a chair and Rey got out of the way. They were on the apron with Rollins teasing a slam to the floor, but Rey countered with a Tornado DDT on the apron. Rey sent Rollins into the barricade two times. Rollins whipped Rey into the steel steps with Rey’s right side hitting the steps. Rey countered a Rollins move with a sunset flip into the barricade. With Rollins on the floor, Rey went for a sliding attack, but Rollins caught him and slammed Rey onto the announce table kind of like a Falcon Arrow slam. They were in the ring with Rollins hitting a backbreaker. Rollins with a hard whip into the turnbuckle with Rey taking a sternum bump into the turnbuckle. Rollins wedged a steel chair between the top/middle turnbuckle as Rollins worked over Rey with punches to the ribs. Rey countered a slam into the chair, Rollins missed a corner splash and Rey came back with a senton off the turnbuckle. Rey with a spinning headscissors along with the bulldog counter that Rey has done so many times and this time it got a two count. Rollins avoided a corner attack and then sent Rey under the bottom rope to the floor for a stomach bump by Rey. Rollins with the steel steps that he used to hit Rey in the head. Rollins set up the bottom half of the steel steps on the floor. Rollins teased going for The Stomp on the steel steps, Rollins taunted Rey’s family and Rey moved leading to a kick to the leg. Rey sent Rollins face first into the steel steps. Rey with a sliding attack under the bottom rope onto Rollins, so it was like a sliding splash onto Rollins on the steps. That led to a break about nine minutes into the match.
The match continued with Rollins remaining in control as he set up a table in the ring. Rey hit a vertical suplex, then a second vertical suplex and Rollins went for the third, but Rey fought out of it. This is the anniversary of Eddie Guerrero’s death 15 years ago, which Graves mentioned without saying it. Rey avoided an attack against the table by sliding under it and Rollins stomped on Rey. Rollins was sitting on the top rope with Rey kicking him in the head and Rey went for a hurricanrana off the top, but Rollins blocked it! Rollins gave Rey a Powerbomb through the table leading to a two count with Rollins shocked that it wasn’t enough. Rollins took the protective stopper off the base off the chair and it was exposed steel as he tried to go after Rey’s eye, but Dominik pulled Seth out of the ring. Rollins hit Dominik with a superkick. Back in the ring, Rey hit a dropkick into the chair in Seth’s face. Murphy went into the ring, he handed Rollins the chair, then Murphy grabbed Rey and then Murphy turned on Rollins with a jumping knee to the face. Murphy left the ring, Rollins said that trusted him. Rey went for a 619, he missed a bit, so a dropkick sent Rollins into the ropes and Rey hit a 619 kick again. Rey hit a Frog Splash tribute to Eddie Guerrero, who passed away 15 years ago and Cole mentioned it. Rey covered for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Rey Mysterio
Analysis: ***1/2 That was very good with Rey getting the win to put an end to the rivalry with Rollins. Normally the younger guy should win, but I think it makes more sense to have the babyface Rey to win as payback for all the harm that Rollins caused. They used a few weapons although I wouldn’t call it an overly violent match at all. I thought the moves they did on the steps and apron were creative. Rollins got several nearfalls where it looked like he might win, but Rey getting the assist from Murphy was the difference in the match. I liked how it was booked with the obvious result. I'm still amazed at how well Rey moves in the ring after 30 years in the business and he's 46 years old next month, but he moves around like a much younger man.
Post match, Rey went over to Murphy and told him to face him like a man. Rey said if you are looking for his approval, here it is. Rey shook Murphy’s hand. Aalyah hugged Murphy after that. Murphy also shook Dominik’s hand and Angie hugged Murphy, so the Mysterio family accepted Murphy there. They were all happy.
Analysis: This extremely long story is nearly over, I guess. Murphy is officially a face now after being accepted by Rey’s family.
Natalya was backstage talking to WWE Official Adam Pearce. That led to Pearce saying he knows she wants a shot to be on Team Smackdown, so he put her in a triple threat match again. Natalya said she should just be named to the team. Pearce told her that the match is next, so Natalya left angrily. Chelsea Green showed up and smiled at Pearce.
Analysis: This will be the third straight week where Natalya is in a match to try to be on the Smackdown team at Survivor Series.
This week on Talking Smack on WWE Network on Saturday. The guests are Rey Mysterio with family plus Murphy, Sasha Banks and Otis.
Seth Rollins was shown walking down a hallway as he banged on the door of Adam Pearce’s office. Pearce appeared, so Rollins yelled about how Murphy betrayed him. Rollins told Pearce to give him an opportunity to destroy Murphy.
It was originally a triple threat women’s match that was announced as a fatal fourway match with Chelsea Green joining the match.
Chelsea Green vs. Tamina vs. Liv Morgan vs. Natalya
The winner of this match gets to join Team Smackdown at Survivor Series.
Morgan jumped on Tamina’s back, then Tamina kicked Natalya and Green. Morgan took down Tamina with a move where she attacked the knee and hit a missile dropkick. Green and Natalya sent Tamina into the turnbuckle. Morgan kicked Green out of the ring. Natalya sent Morgan into the ring, Liv avoided an atomic drop and Morgan countered a clothesline attempt with a DDT for two. Natalya went for a Sharpshooter, but Morgan kicked her way out of it as Natalya slapped on a chinlock. Morgan got out of it with a clothesline for two. Morgan hit the jumping double knees to the face for a two count. Tamina back in with Liv hitting the double knees to Tamina’s face for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Liv Morgan
The win by Morgan means she is on the Smackdown women’s team at Survivor Series.
Analysis: * This was pretty bad. It fell apart after Chelsea was taken out of the match, which was not the plan. After Green was kicked out of the ring, she was never shown again. Morgan winning makes sense because best friend Ruby Riott is already on the team. This is the third straight week where Natalya lost a multi-woman match without being beaten, so I guess she'll lose another match like that next week too.
INJURY UPDATE: Chelsea Green suffered a broken left wrist as reported by WWE here. Chelsea also posted about it on Instagram here. Chelsea was going to win, so then they had to improvise and that's why Liv got the win.
Drew McIntyre was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton, who asked if it’s wise to face Jey Uso. Drew said he was happy for Jey for beating former World Champions. Drew said he’ll send a message to Randy Orton while telling Jey that he’s got a lot of pent up anger. Drew said it’s a lot more humiliating to get your ass kicked in your own backyard.
There was a backstage scene with Big E winning some money from a guy that couldn’t do 100 jumping jacks. It was a random guy in a suit. The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins), who are the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, showed up with food. They unveiled different foods including a cake with Big E wondering why everything looked like an L. The Street Profits said that they serve up L’s like they will do against New Day at Survivor Series. Big E told them that the best they will be is “New Day Light” or “Great Value New Day” and so on. Big E said that at Survivor Series, the whole world will be clear as day…the New Day. Big E laughed at them and left.
Analysis: There is still a fifth spot on the men’s Smackdown team at Survivor Series. I thought it might be Big E, but WWE hasn't had a qualifying match for that spot yet.
Drew McIntyre made his entrance as we got another plug for Drew challenging Randy Orton for the WWE Title on Monday. Jey Uso made his entrance alone looking a bit nervous about the match. That main event match is next.
Next week on Smackdown: Murphy vs. Seth Rollins.
Analysis: Rollins won the last time they had a singles match, so maybe Murphy gets the win here. Rollins is expected to be off for several weeks after Survivor Series since fiancee Becky Lynch is due to have their baby in December, so I can see Seth doing the job here.
Unsanctioned Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Jey Uso
Drew was dominant early as he used his power with hard chops to Jey’s chest leading to a suplex for two. Drew sent Jey into the ropes leading to a forearm to the face leading to another hard chop. Jey was able to get some offense going with a jawbreaker, but Drew came back with a kick to the ribs. Jey sent a charging McIntyre over the top to the floor. While Drew was trying to get back in the ring, Jey kicked the middle rope to crotch him a bit and Jey kicked Drew out of the ring. That led to a break.
Jey was in control with punches followed by a Samoan Drop for a two count. Drew blocked a charging Jey with a clothesline then two belly to belly suplexes across the ring and Drew hit a neckbreaker. Jey countered a DDT into a jackknife cover for two. Drew with a headbutt, Jey into the ropes and Drew hit a sitout spinebuster for a two count. Great spot there. Jey managed to get out of a slam attempt leading to Jey hitting a superkick. Jey went up top slow, Drew met him there with punches and Jey blocked a superplex attempt. Jey with a headbutt, Drew was upside down and Drew popped up with a toss across the ring. That’s a spot he loves to do. Drew charged, but Jey backed out of the way and left the ring. Drew sent Jey into the barricade a few times. Roman Reigns made his entrance as his music played. Drew stared at Roman, so Jey shoved Jey into the ring post two times. Jey sent Drew into the steel steps. Jey told Roman he was going to beat him, so Roman told Jey he had to “make him understand” and he said it twice for impact. Jey attacked Drew with repeated punches, the camera cuts were annoying and Drew got back up with a Claymore Kick for the pinfall win after about 12 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: *** Good match, but nothing that special. I’m surprised Jey got as much as offense as he did. The finish was a bit strange with Jey doing all those punches, Drew was able to block some of them and that’s why he hit the Claymore Kick to win. I just think it made Jey look weak since his punches had no effect on Drew even though Jey was in the dominant position. Drew is one of the best booked wrestlers in WWE because he has won nearly every match this year and it’s not a shock that he was able to pick up another win here.
After the match, Drew got in Roman’s face at ringside and he asked him if he understands him now. Roman pointed at the Universal Title, told Drew to get one of these titles and then they’ll talk on Sunday (two Sundays from now). Reigns left with Heyman while Drew stared at Roman and that was the end of Smackdown.
Analysis: While a McIntyre match with Reigns intrigues me more than Reigns vs. Orton, I think Orton is going to keep his WWE Title on Raw, so we’ll get Reigns vs. Orton while McIntyre vs. Reigns is something that WWE can do down the line. Whenever McIntyre faces Reigns again, it will be a much bigger match than the last they met in a big singles match at WrestleMania. McIntyre is a bigger star now.
Three Stars of the Show
- Rey Mysterio
- Seth Rollins
- Drew McIntyre/Roman Reigns/Jey Uso
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 7
2020 Average: 6.49
This episode was a bit of a step back from the streak of great Smackdown shows. The first hour only had about five minutes of in-ring action, which was disappointing, but things did pick up in the second hour. I really liked the Rey/Seth match with Murphy playing a factor in the finish, which led to Rey trusting Murphy. That’s a feud ender for Rey and Seth although Seth will face Murphy in a match next week. I appreciated the craftiness of Sami Zayn in his match with Apollo Crews, but it was only a two-minute match. It's tough to get into matches that short.
The appearance of Drew McIntyre led to a fresh match against Jey Uso with Drew winning clean while teasing a showdown with Roman Reigns. That match may not happen any time soon. However, it’s a smart idea to at least tease it to get fans talking about it. I think the first hour was poor. You could skip it if you didn’t watch the show. There is still a fifth and final spot on the men’s Survivor Series team. Liv Morgan won a boring match to make it on the women’s team. The other women’s segment with Banks getting attacked by Carmella again was okay, but not really that interesting.
Check out the two big matches in the second hour because that was the best part. Other than that, it was mostly an average show.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Survivor Series on Sunday, November 22 with a Raw vs. Smackdown theme to the show. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. WWE Champion Randy Orton
Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks vs. Raw Women’s Champion Asuka
5-on-5 Men’s Elimination Tag Team Match: Team Smackdown (Kevin Owens, Jey Uso, King Corbin, Seth Rollins and one more superstar) vs. Team Raw (AJ Styles, Keith Lee, Sheamus, Braun Strowman and Riddle)
Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Raw Tag Team Champions The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods)
Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn vs. United States Champion Bobby Lashley
5-on-5 Women’s Elimination Tag Team Match: Team Smackdown (Bianca Belair, Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan and two others) vs. Team Raw (Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Dana Brooke, Mandy Rose and Lana)
Plus, The Undertaker will make a “Final Farewell” special appearance.