Welcome to another WWE Friday Night Smackdown review right here on Rajah. This is the post-Thanksgiving Smackdown. They used to have so many food fights on this show during Thanksgiving, but not this year. It’s the last Smackdown episode in the month of November. The next WWE PPV is TLC on December 15. Let’s roll.
Live from Birmingham, Alabama, this is Smackdown for episode #1058. 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. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top.
The Smackdown intro video with the song “Are You Ready?” by AC/DC aired to begin the show.
The pyro went off in the arena and the crowd in Birmingham was ready to go. Michael Cole welcomed us to the show and he’s calling the action with Corey Graves as usual. This week on the show is a “new face” in the Firefly Fun House of Bray Wyatt. The New Day will also have an open challenge for their Smackdown Tag Team Titles.
Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns made his entrance with Cole screaming about the “Big Dog” while adding that Reigns was the sole survivor in the Smackdown men’s elimination match at Survivor Series. The announcers talked about what happened in the match when Reigns attacked “King” Baron Corbin and Corbin was eliminated soon after while Reigns went on to win the match.
Reigns said it’s a day late, but in his household, if you still have food left in the fridge, it’s still Thanksgiving and he wished everybody a Happy Thanksgiving. Reigns said that Thanksgiving means family, good health and happiness. Reigns said last year all he had is family and now to be in this ring surrounded by new family (the fans cheered because he talked about them) and he said thank you so much. Reigns said that at Survivor Series, Team Smackdown whipped some ass and he didn’t do it on his own. There were some “NXT” chants. Reigns said that NXT didn’t get the job done in his match, Smackdown Live did – he doesn’t have to say “live” anymore, but he did. Reigns thanked Mustafa Ali, Shorty G and Braun Strowman, but added that they had a dummy on the team too. Reigns said we should bring the dummy out there.
That led to the entrance of “King” Baron Corbin, who was wearing his robe, black crown and had a scepter in hand. Corbin did a promo from the stage, but the fans booed him before he could even begin.
Corbin claimed that his fearless leadership won it for Smackdown. Corbin said he eliminated two people before Reigns selfishly betrayed his team and got Corbin eliminated. Corbin said he knows that Roman’s ego wouldn’t let Corbin win, be the sole survivor and get the job done. Reigns said that he gave Corbin a Superman Punch and a Spear, so there’s no way you got the job done. Reigns said you can try to get the job done right here in Birmingham, Alabama (cheap pop led to cheers). Corbin said that Reigns is an egomaniac. Corbin said that Reigns was out there talking about Thanksgiving and family and it led to “Roman” chants. Corbin said Thanksgiving for him saw him have a delicious turkey, he had wine and claimed he had servants waiting on him. Heels lie, my friends. Corbin said that Reigns probably had a store-bought turkey that his wife bought, but he couldn’t tell because he is used to buying dog food like these people. Corbin trashed Alabama saying he’s glad he doesn’t live there where the food is worse than the football. Loud boos for that. (College football is a big deal in Alabama, so that drew a lot of heat.)
Corbin suggested that Reigns fights somebody else that was also victorious on Sunday…Robert Roode accompanied by Dolph Ziggler. Corbin said he has a feeling that Reigns will be wheeled out of here on a stretcher and it will be absolutely glorious.
Robert Roode shook hands with Corbin while Ziggler joined them for this match after a break. Ziggler was wearing a Smackdown hat.
Analysis: It was the usual promo exchange from these guys. Reigns did a good job as the babyface pandering to the fans and this crowd loved him, so it worked. Corbin got a lot of heat for his usual slow delivery while trashing the fans as well. The match after the break is typical for an opening segment where they either set up a match right away or later in the show. It’s been the formula for two decades. Old Man Vince McMahon is set in his ways.
A commercial aired for the WWE Network event called Starrcade on Sunday night that is just one-hour of content from a live event. I’ll review that on Sunday on TJRWrestling as well.
Roman Reigns vs. Robert Roode (w/King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler)
Roode with a shoulder tackle early, then a headlock and Reigns came back with a shoulder tackle leading to Roode bailing to the floor with his buddies. Reigns was distracted, so Roode stomped away on him. Reigns came back with punches, Roode to the middle turnbuckle and Reigns hit an uppercut punch to send Roode over the top to the floor. Reigns hit the Drive By dropkick on the ring apron. Reigns to the apron, Ziggler grabbed the foot and Roode knocked Reigns off the apron into the side of the announce table. Roode gave Corbin a spinebuster onto the top of the announce table, but it wasn’t strong enough to break the table. Roode whipped Reigns into the barricade two times in a row leading to a break.
The match returned with Reigns making his comeback with two clotheslines followed up by the ten corner clotheslines and a big boot to the face. Ziggler on the apron, Reigns looked at him, Roode avoided the Superman Punch and got a rollup for two. Roode came back with a Blockbuster neckbreaker for a two count. Reigns avoided the DDT, he got a rollup and hit a sitout Powerbomb for two as Roode got his left shoulder up at the last moment. The fans bought that as a nearfall and then they chanted “let’s go Roman” for Reigns. Ziggler pulled Roode out of the ring, the fans booed and Reigns left the ring to give Ziggler a Superman Punch on the floor. Roode sent Reigns into the ring post and the steel steps. They went back in the ring, Roode jumped off the top and Reigns nailed him with a Superman Punch for two. If the Superman Punch were to ever win a match, it could have happened there when Roode jumped right into the punch. Reigns charged, but Roode caught him with a spinebuster for two count. Corbin slid his scepter to Roode, Corbin on the apron to distract the referee, Reigns punched Roode, Reigns with a punch for Corbin and Reigns hit the Spear on Roode for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: *** A good match technically with a result that was obvious as soon as the match was made. It was either going to be a clean win for Reigns or a DQ finish. Roode’s a veteran that knows what he’s doing out there while Reigns is consistently pretty good too. A match like this is hurt by the predictability. Maybe they should have had the heels cheat even more to make it look like Roode had a shot. The last few minutes were booked well.
Post match, Reigns had his hand raised as the winner, so Ziggler went back in the ring with a forearm to the back of Reigns to knock him down with a cheap shot. Reigns got back up and gave Ziggler a Samoan Drop. Reigns whipped Corbin into the ring post. Roode went back in the ring with a scepter shot to the back of Reigns. Roode brought a chair into the ring. Roode teased attacking Reigns in the head with the scepter (while trashing Reigns about his family), but Reigns moved and Reigns hit a Superman Punch to Roode. Corbin had already left up the ramp. Reigns ran around the ring and gave Roode a huge Spear through the barricade. Reigns tossed two leather chairs onto Roode under the barricade. The fans chanted for Reigns. Reigns picked up the top half of the steel steps at ringside and hit Ziggler to knock him over the barricade. Reigns slid the announce desk over and tipped it over so that it covered Roode. It was an impressive visual. The referee called for help to check on Roode. Reigns was prominently featured in the first 35 minutes of this show.
Analysis: This made Reigns look very strong. It goes back and forth in a storyline like this where Reigns will get beat up by Corbin one week, then he gets revenge this week and so on. I thought the way Reigns beat up Ziggler and Roode was pretty impressive. The fans loved it too. It’s likely leading to Reigns vs. Corbin at TLC. There were rumors of it being a Dog Collar Match, but I don’t think that’s interesting. I think a TLC match or something would be fine for it. With all of that said, am I clamoring for more Reigns vs. Corbin matches? Nope. It’s okay television, but it’s not that interesting or compelling to the average wrestling fan.
A new face of the Firefly Fun House is next.
The announce team was standing up near where their announce table used to be.
A video aired showing highlights from Survivor Series when The Fiend beat Daniel Bryan clean to retain the Universal Championship.
Firefly Fun House
Bray Wyatt welcomed us to the Fun House while saying he hoped we enjoyed Thanksgiving and he’s got a lot to be thankful for – he held up the Universal Title. Wyatt said as long as he has one (a title) it’s only fair that “he” has one too. The Fiend was shown with his own Universal Title of sorts. Wyatt said he loved his new toy. Wyatt said he had a blast playing with Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series and he may want to do it again. Wyatt asked the “fireflies” if they want to see him play with Daniel again and the kids cheered. Wyatt said he can make Daniel’s wish come true. Wyatt said all Bryan has to do is let him in. That was it. Here’s the title.
The creator of the title also tweeted about it.
#TheFiend #BrayWyatt has his own new toy! @wwe superstar @WWEBrayWyatt new championship title created by me, @bakingjason , @ellysianfx1 , and @SandyMimpson. #SmackDown #FireflyFunHouse pic.twitter.com/mzGaUBMxXj
— Tom Savini (@THETomSavini) November 30, 2019
Analysis: That title looks creepy, but it should sell well. It was noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week that Bray Wyatt is the top merchandise seller in WWE these days, so that’s more merch for people to buy.
Mustafa Ali entered for a match.
There was a video with Sheamus walking down a hallway that was darkened. He talked about how Smackdown used to be the land of opportunity for fierce competitors. Sheamus said he’s had time to see the lay of the land and the current state of Smackdown is pathetic. Sheamus said all he sees are misfits and cowards. Sheamus mentioned a fiend, a king, a Shorty G – whatever the hell that is and no one hungry, no one with a backbone and no one like him. Sheamus said that Smackdown has gone soft, which is why it’s the perfect time for him to come back. Sheamus said that Smackdown will be his.
Analysis: Sheamus has been out of action since April due to spinal stenosis, which is something to be concerned about for sure. Sheamus is in amazing shape, though, so hopefully he can have a successful run. Based on the promo, it sounds like he’s going to be a heel as he has been most of his career and he’ll probably get a decent push as well. Sheamus’ former tag team partner Cesaro is also on Smackdown, so maybe “The Bar” will return at some point as well.
Mustafa Ali vs. Drew Gulak
Ali connected with a dropkick, Gulak grabbed the hair and whipped Ali into the turnbuckle. Ali with a kick to the chest, Ali to the turnbuckle and Gulak slammed Ali off the turnbuckle. Ali countered a suplex attempt into a pin attempt. Gulak slapped on a single leg half crab submission, Ali broke free and hit a superkick for two. Ali sent Gulak into the turnbuckle followed by a Tornado DDT. Ali went up top and hit the 450 Splash for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Mustafa Ali
Analysis: * A quick match to put over Ali. Gulak is there to put people over. I hope Ali has a meaningful feud soon because he hasn’t had anything interesting to do for many months now.
Bayley and Sasha Banks were shown walking backstage for a promo up next.
The Heavy Machinery duo of Tucker and Otis were shilling WWE Shop items.
There were replays shown from Survivor Series when the Sasha Banks-led Smackdown Women’s team lost and Bayley also lost a triple threat match.
Let’s Hear from Bayley and Sasha Banks
Bayley made her entrance with the Smackdown Women’s Championship and her best friend Sasha Banks by her side. Banks had on these shiny silver boots as part of her outfit. Both women were in street clothes and they did not look happy.
Banks said that they didn’t come out there for a rah-rah speech and mentioned Raw trying to do that. Banks said she didn’t get to pick her team at Survivor Series because if she did, they would have won. Bayley said what happened to the Smackdown women at Survivor Series was an embarrassment. Fans chanted “you tapped out” at Bayley. Bayley said they didn’t lose because NXT is better than them or because Shayna Baszler is better than her – they lost because the entire locker room let them down. Banks said that the truth hurts. Banks said that a strong leader is led by the weakest link and she said the weakest link on her team was the whole damn team. Banks ripped on Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke, said Carmella will never be as rich as her and Bayley mentioned Lacey Evans. Bayley said if Lacey stopped sipping sweet tea on her porch and spent more time in the ring, they wouldn’t be standing there right now. Banks said the women’s division makes her sick and here comes Evans.
Lacey Evans made her entrance in one of her old school outfits although she had on pants instead of shorts that she usually has.
Evans got into the ring saying don’t test her patience. Evans said that she prepared a Thanksgiving dinner for 36 people including her in-laws while saying Bayley and Banks can’t sit at the kiddie table. Evans said she couldn’t trust these two nasties to lead the chicken dance at a garden party. I guess that’s trash talk? Evans said if that’s what they want to do then the Smackdown Women’s Champion can get a new woman to be a leader. The fans chanted “Lacey Evans” for her. Evans said they need a woman that wouldn’t tap out under pressure as Evans tapped her fingers on Bayley's title. Banks got in Evans’ face, so Evans decked her with a Woman’s Right punch. Evans left to cheers while Bayley checked on Banks.
Analysis: There’s the face turn for Lacey Evans. Some of the dialogue here was so lame. Chicken dance at a garden party? That's not a good line. I’m not sure if it’s going to be that successful, but it was obvious WWE has wanted her in that role for a while. They will probably use her time in the military to help her get fan support, which means they will mention it all the time. If Evans is going to be a face, they need to make the character more fun, more engaging and more interesting because right now she’s too one-dimensional. Anyway, as a segment it was okay, but it was nothing special.
Daniel Bryan was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton, but before he could say anything, Bray Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House was on the TV again. Huskus the Pig ate too much at Thanksgiving, Wyatt asked him what was wrong and Huskus said the only thing to make him feel better is if Bryan plays with them again. Wyatt claimed that Thanksgiving was between the muscle men and reptilians right before they tried to overthrow humanity. Wyatt said that Daniel Bryan can change and so can you. Wyatt did some Muscle Man Dance video with Huskus while Bryan watched it. Wyatt said “let me in” to end it. When Braxton asked Bryan his thoughts, he said nothing and just looked off in the distance as the fans in the arena chanted “yes” at him.
Analysis: That was a bizarre video. We have seen the “Muscle Man Dance” stuff before. This one just kept going and going for too long. It was silly. I think the point was that it was supposed to piss Bryan off because of how ridiculous Wyatt was acting, so it’s supposed to anger Bryan enough to accept the challenge. I don’t think it was that interesting to watch, but that’s how I interpreted it.
Sonya Deville was in the ring with Mandy Rose. Nikki Cross made her entrance as the opponent. This was set up via dreaded Twitter trash talk.
Mandy Rose did a promo saying she usually doesn’t like to make fun of how somebody looks and claimed that Cross looks like a cold plate of Thanksgiving leftovers. The crowd didn't react at all. The trash talk on this show needs to be better. At least she’s pretty.
Nikki Cross vs. Sonya Deville (w/Mandy Rose)
Deville kicked Cross in the chest followed by a running knee for a two count. Cross came back with a jawbreaker followed by a bulldog out of the corner. Cross to the ropes, Rose distraction and Deville slammed Cross down. Cross managed to get an inside cradle for the pinfall win after two minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Nikki Cross
Analysis: * A short match to put over Cross and build to the post-match moment.
After the match, Rose and Deville attacked Cross from behind. Rose with a running knee to the face. Alexa Bliss’ music hit and she ran down to the ring to save Cross. Bliss with clotheslines on Deville and Rose. Bliss with a low dropkick on Deville. Bliss did a hard slap to the face of Rose. A double DDT by Bliss and Cross ended it. Bliss and Cross hugged to celebrate. The fans liked that.
Analysis: Welcome back to Alexa Bliss, who missed several weeks due to injury. I don’t know how long it has been, but she sure likes watching Disney movies and posting about it on Instagram. Bliss will be in a face role now. I assume we’ll get Bliss/Cross vs. Rose/Deville next week.
Daniel Bryan was in the locker room when The Miz showed up for a chat. Miz said he’s not his friend or mentor, but he is concerned. Miz said look at what happens to people after they have a match with The Fiend, look at Finn Balor and Seth Rollins, they have changed (both turned heel although Miz didn’t say that part). Miz said that Bryan survived The Fiend once and he knows it is tempting to get a Universal Title match, but is it worth it? Miz told Bryan he’s important to Smackdown and his locker room. Miz said we can’t afford to lose him and his family can’t afford to…Bryan just stared at Miz without saying a word. Miz left.
Analysis: It’s a way to get Miz on the show as the voice of reason who doesn’t like Bryan, but because he knows him so well, Miz feels like he should try to talk some sense into Bryan. I can see the logic in that.
The New Day defends the Smackdown Tag Team Titles up next.
Dana Brooke was shown looking at her smile with a smile on her face when Drake Maverick showed up saying Thanksgiving is over and it’s officially Christmas season. Maverick hit on Brooke by holding a mistletoe over her head, he tried a kiss, she said not this holiday or any holiday ever and then mentioned that he is married. Maverick said it’s complicated. Elias walked down the hallway with his guitar. Brooke asked where he’s been. Elias said he’s been on a journey and he’s changed. Elias told Maverick to shut his mouth as Elias played his guitar with a song asking how it’s going to be when Drake’s wife finds out. Graves made a reference to “Big Dave” when that scene ended.
Analysis: Welcome back Elias. He had an ankle injury and now he’s back again. Since he said he changed maybe they are going to try him as a babyface again, but I think he was much better as a heel. The “Big Dave” reference was Batista, who has publicly been flirting with Dana Brooke a lot on Twitter of late. Batista is 19 years older than her and has a daughter older than her, but hey good for Batista shooting his shot with a fine-looking woman like Dana Brooke.
The New Day duo of Kofi Kingston and Big E made their entrance with the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. Their official podcast launches on Monday.
Big E and Kofi did a promo with Big E talking about what a Thanksgiving they had. Big E said they had to fill up on all the fixings while mentioning a bunch of different foods. Big E said today is Black Friday and it’s a day that is near and dear to their hearts because it’s a day where your wildest treasure hunt fantasies can come true. Kingston said they were opening their doors for business because they are going to have a match for the tag team championships. Kingston said that they are going to have an “open challenge…baby.” Big E said the question is and fans chanted “who” before he could say it…it’s Nakamura.
Shinsuke Nakamura, the Intercontinental Champion, made his entrance with Cesaro and they were led by their buddy Sami Zayn. Zayn said it made him sick to his stomach to hear New Day celebrate Thanksgiving and said it’s about celebrating imperialistic evil. Zayn complained about Black Friday that epitomizes all the evils of capitalism. Zayn said you have people so selfish where they would step on their own mothers to put an extra dollar in their pocket. Zayn said shame on you if you partake in this holiday every year. Zayn said those tag team titles should be held by men that can look past this nonsense. Zayn said that Nakamura and Cesaro are here to be the next Tag Team Champions tonight.
Analysis: It was a fine way to set up a match. Zayn’s promo got a lot of heat. A lot of what he said are things he has said in the past and Daniel Bryan said similar things during his heel run too. It’s a fresh matchup too, so that’s a good thing.
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Big E vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn)
Kingston with a jumping back elbow on Cesaro. Nakamura tagged in, monkey flip, Kingston landed on his feet and Kingston hit a dropkick. A distraction from Cesaro sent Kingston into the turnbuckle and Nakamura with a running knee lift to the ribs of Kingston. Cesaro with a gutwrench suplex on Kingston for two. Nakamura sent Kingston to the apron, Zayn pulled Kingston off the apron and Cesaro hit Kingston with an uppercut to send Kofi over the table onto the floor.
The match returned with Kingston and Cesaro down, Big E got the hot tag and cleaned house. They should time that better so at least we see one move from Kingston before the tag. Big E did his usual hot tag offense with two belly to belly overhead suplexes for Nakamura, a side belly to belly slam and the running splash, but Nakamura moved to avoid that. Nakamura charged at Big E in the corner, but Big E hit a uranage slam for two. Nakamura with a boot the head, then a jumping kick and Cesaro jumped off the top with a headbutt for two. Big E with a back body drop, Kingston sent Cesaro out of the ring and to the floor. Kingston with a kick to Nakamura and Kingston jumped off the top with a double foot stomp to the chest of Nakamura into a Powerbomb by Big E for a two count because Cesaro made the save. The heels were both on the floor, Big E launched Kofi over the top and Cesaro blocked with an uppercut for Kingston. Kofi avoided the Kinshasa and got a rollup for two. Nakamura with a spinning kick to the face. Nakamura with Kinshasa although it didn’t look great and Big E broke up the pin. Cesaro whipped Big E into the ring post. Cesaro tagged back in, Kingston greeted him with two boots to the face and Cesaro caught Kingston during a Trouble in Paradise attempt. Zayn tried to use the pancake tray as a weapon, but the referee turned around to see it. The referee sent Zayn to the back, which the crowd loved. Kingston got back up, he hit Trouble in Paradise on Cesaro and covered for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New (Kofi Kingston and Big E)
Analysis: ***1/4 A pretty good tag team match with an experienced team beating two quality opponents. The Zayn ejection spot setting up the finish makes sense as an ending. The crowd was into the match for the most part. It’s always amazing how much the crowd pops when a guy is sent to the back because the referee caught them cheating. That spot always works. I enjoyed some of the Big E spots with Cesaro. That would be a fun singles feud. Nakamura and Kingston were awesome as usual.
A replay aired of Roman Reigns attacking Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin earlier in the night. Roode was taken away on a stretcher.
Daniel Bryan was shown walking backstage for the main event promo.
Let’s Hear from Daniel Bryan
Daniel Bryan walked into the arena in street clothes. The fans greeted him with “YES” chants, but Bryan has not embraced those chants yet.
Bryan said that earlier tonight, Bray Wyatt said if Bryan wants a Universal Title shot, all he has to do is “let him in.” Bryan said people gave him unsolicited advice like The Miz because Miz said that The Fiend changes people and Bryan said maybe he is right. Bryan mentioned The Fiend changing Finn Balor and Seth Rollins with Bryan adding that he felt change during his match with The Fiend too. Bryan said he wasn’t changed because of The Fiend, he was changed “because of you” meaning the fans.
Bryan said that it was your passion, your voice and your energy that made him realize the person he should have been this whole time. The fans chanted “YES” at him. Bryan said he has said on numerous occasions that the “Yes Movement” is dead, but maybe just maybe “you guys” (the fans) brought it back to life. Bryan asked should he accept the Universal Title match challenge? The fans chanted “yes” for that. Bryan joined in as he chanted “YES” along with the fans.
A Firefly Fun House video aired. Bray Wyatt talked about how this new energy is so exciting. Wyatt said that Miz is right because if Bryan goes through this again, he will change. Wyatt said that Bryan helped him change and he helped him build this place. Wyatt said that he promised all of his fireflies a new face tonight and he is many things including a man of his word.
The lights went out in the arena and then the red light of death appeared in the arena. The Fiend was under the ring and he opened a hole in the ring to get a hold of Bryan.
The Fiend grabbed a hold of Bryan, he took him down and slapped on the Mandible Claw submission. The Fiend grabbed Bryan and took him underneath the ring or as Cole called it “the depths of hell.” The Fiend was reaching down and pulled up two clumps of hair. The Fiend reached down and grabbed more handfuls of hair. The Fiend went underneath the ring two more times and pulled more hair out. The Fiend just stared straight ahead, laughter filled the arena and that was the end of the show.
Analysis: The hair stuff likely means that Bryan is going to shave his head and maybe shave the beard off too. Bryan has had that look a long time, so he’ll look very different, but I guess that’s the point since when people feud with The Fiend, they are changed. They also ended it like that because they said Bray Wyatt would introduce a “new face” and now that face is Daniel Bryan with a new look. The concept of taking somebody under the ring means that they are taken to the “depths of hell” is ridiculous, but that’s pro wrestling. We saw The Undertaker and Kane do it in the past. Wyatt is like them. I’m not defending it or saying it’s great television. I’m just saying what Wyatt is as a different kind of character. At least the "Yes Movement" is back. That's good.
Three Stars of the Show
- The New Day
- Shinsuke Nakamura/Cesaro
- Roman Reigns
5.25 out of 10
Last week: 6.5
2019 Average: 6.63 (Raw is 5.89)
Last 5 Weeks: 6.5, 6.25, 4.75, 9, 4.5
2019 High: 9 (November 1)
2019 Low: 4.5 (October 25)
I give this week’s Smackdown a 5.25 out of 10.
It was just an average show that was poor during some parts. I thought the two long matches were pretty good. That prevents it from being a bad show. It’s the same story with Smackdown over the last few months. There’s a bit of a cliffhanger with Daniel Bryan likely changing up his look, so that’s something to look forward to next week.
There were three returns on the show with Elias, Sheamus and Alexa Bliss making appearances after being gone due to injury reasons. Lacey Evans is one of the most boring characters on Smackdown, yet now she’s a face and are we supposed to get excited about that? Good luck. I like Roman Reigns as much as the next guy, but that 35 minutes for his promo and match really dragged on. They need to develop more characters and people that are a lot more interesting too. It’s just a dull show right now.
I’m not sure if Fox is happy with WWE considering how much Fox paid for Smackdown (over $200 million per year for the next five years), but I think they would prefer shows that are more exciting and eventful. It can be so much better.
I've had some people comment on my reviews recently saying I'm biased towards AEW because I have given their shows higher scores since they started in early October. It's been two full months now. The reason AEW shows have higher scores than Raw and Smackdown in that period is because I feel like they have been better shows over the last two months. My ratings for Smackdown in February and March of this year were at around the same level as AEW because that's when Daniel Bryan/Kofi Kingston were carrying the shows and it was a lot of fun to watch. I'm not biased towards any company. I have no reason to be. I don't even know anybody affiliated with AEW. I know several people that work for WWE on-screen and behind the scenes, but I'm not biased there. The fact is the highest-rated TV show I have rated in the last two months is Smackdown on November 1 because it was a fun, unpredictable show. That was a 9 out of 10. I think Raw and Smackdown have had good shows in the last two months too (I rated this week's Raw higher than Dynamite or Smackdown), but they haven't been consistent. The one thing I pride myself on is that I try to explain every match rating or review of the show in the final thoughts. If you have an issue with it, so be it. This is all personal opinion. I think of it like a movie. I don't really care for the Star Wars movies, but obviously a lot of people love it and that's good for them. I'm not going to rip on somebody for liking somebody I have little interest in. When I watched the Avengers Endgame movie I thought it was fine. I know some people that think it's the greatest movie ever or in many years. I don't think that, but it's okay. Like what you like and I'll like what I like. Most of my family probably thinks I'm a dumbass for liking wrestling for over 30 years and writing about it. So what? Do what you want and have fun with it. I'm a wrestling fan just like you and all I want are better shows. I would love a week where every show is an 8 out of 10, but it doesn't happen that often. I don't write NXT reviews because we have another writer at TJRWrestling that does it. Part of it is because NXT isn't on in Canada on Wednesdays. I could download or wait a day on WWE Network to write about it, but life gets busy. If I did review it then it would be a 7 or 8 out of 10 show every week. I can only write so much about wrestling in a given week (an average week is 25,000 words, Survivor Series week was over 40,000 words and that doesn't count a long-term project I started a few weeks ago). Some weeks I do write about NXT, but most weeks I do not. It's nothing against NXT, which I have enjoyed since day one. It's more about time and figuring out what content is the best to help TJRWrestling grow. All you need to know is I try to be a positive fan because that's the kind of person I am and all I want is the best for every wrestling company out there. Anyway, I'll leave it at that for now.
The next WWE PPV is Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) on Sunday, December 15. No matches have been announced yet.
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