Live from Fayetteville, North Carolina, this is Smackdown for episode #1059. 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.
There was a video package recapping last week’s main event segment where Bray Wyatt as The Fiend pulled Daniel Bryan “to hell” under the ring and ripped out Bryan’s hair. Prior to that happening, Bryan said the fans brought the “Yes Movement” back to life, which means Bryan embraced the Yes Movement again.
The show began with The Miz making his entrance to host Miz TV. No pyro display to begin this week’s Smackdown. They didn’t say Fayetteville or put the city’s name on screen because there are some cities where Vince McMahon feels like they shouldn’t say if they are too small. It’s true. The announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves with Cole saying nobody has seen or heard from Bryan since last week’s Smackdown. Nobody saw him going backstage and at the airport then? Okay then. It’s pro wrestling. Don’t ask questions like that.
The Miz was in a suit saying that he was going to have Daniel Bryan as his guest, but nobody has seen Bryan. Miz said he has known Bryan since he started in WWE (almost ten years ago) and even though they will never be his friend, he knows Bryan as well as anybody. Miz said last week, The Fiend grabbed Daniel Bryan and Bryan is nowhere to be found. Miz said that everybody knows he’s not friends with Bryan, but he does care and he will find out what happened to Daniel Bryan.
Bray Wyatt was shown on the Firefly Fun House set where he added a photo of Daniel Bryan to his wall. Wyatt gave Miz credit for trying to solve the mystery and he said Miz doesn’t want to know what happened. Wyatt said that “he” may not be done with Daniel Bryan just yet. Wyatt said that Bryan was going to play with him at TLC, but he doesn’t think he’ll be there. Miz said this isn’t about him, it’s about Daniel, who is like family to the WWE Universe.
Wyatt said it is sad when people don’t want to play. Rambling Rabbit showed up to warn Miz to run. Wyatt talked about how he used to have a family and they showed an image of The Wyatt Family. Wyatt said now he’s about to have a new family and if you believe it, you can achieve it. Wyatt held up a photo of The Miz, Maryse and their two daughters including a baby girl that was born recently. Wyatt asked if he wants to play now. The Miz was angry in the ring after he saw the picture, so he went up the ramp to the back.
Analysis: I like how Wyatt’s Firefly Fun House appears to be friendly at times, but then he’s still a sinister dude that just held up a picture of Miz with his family. That made this story personal. It’s a way to pause the Fiend/Bryan story and maybe they’ll do Fiend/Miz because it was reported in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that WWE wanted to hold off on the next Fiend/Bryan match, so it makes sense to do that at the Royal Rumble. This was fine with Miz noting he’s not friends with Bryan, but he knows how valuable Bryan is and it’s a respect thing. Wyatt continues to excel in these promos.
The Miz was shown talking on his cell phone. He said he wants to play, then he told Maryse to calm down, he told her to lock the doors, set the alarm and he said he’ll have to do something about this because he has no choice. Miz said he is coming home right now, he told her he loved her and he left.
The announce team of Cole and Graves talked about how Bray Wyatt finds his way of becoming a nightmare to everybody in WWE.
Mandy Rose made her entrance with her buddy Sonya Deville. Mandy looks great as always. Alexa Bliss entered as the opponent along with Nikki Cross and it’s good to see Bliss back in action. Those shorts are short. Earlier in the year, Graves would be giddy about this match, but he cut that out because of Total Divas that showed Corey’s relationship with Carmella.
Alexa Bliss (w/Nikki Cross) vs. Mandy Rose (w/Sonya Deville)
The referee is Jessika Carr, who is the first woman referee to be on Smackdown. She’s not the first female referee in WWE history. She was in NXT. Good for her. Graves acknowledged her as the referee.
Bliss got in a few shots, Rose bailed to the floor and Rose hit a jumping knee on Bliss while they were outside the ring. Rose pulled back on the arm of Bliss and Rose ripped out some of Alexa’s eyelashes. Rose sent Bliss into the turnbuckle followed by dropkick and another kick. Bliss avoided a slam, she got a rollup and Bliss came back with a knee to the ribs. Rose: “You will never look like me!” It’s not like Bliss is hurting in the looks department. Bliss with a STO trip, a punch and a basement dropkick. Bliss did a knee drop that didn’t connect at all. Deville on the apron and Cross took down Deville on the floor with a crossbody block. Rose got a rollup for two. Bliss hit a tilt-a-whirl DDT to put Rose down. Bliss went up top and hit the Twisted Bliss splash on Rose for the pinfall win after five minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss
Post match, they showed the eyelashes in the ring. They even replayed Rose taking off the fake eyelashes.
Analysis: ** The action was decent with an obvious outcome since Bliss is pushed as a much bigger star than Rose. The eyelashes bit was different, but I guess it’s a way to tell a story in a match by having Bliss come back after losing her obviously fake eyelashes. If somebody has fake eyelashes in, do they really care if they lose them? She already has her real eyelashes. I'm not good at feeling sympathy for extra eyelashes, I guess. Rose has some good offensive moves. Some of Alexa’s offense doesn’t look good, but her selling is fine. They need face women on Smackdown, so it makes sense to push Alexa in that new face role for her.
Still to come: Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler.
There was a clip of Dana Brooke in the catering area when Drake Maverick showed up to try to hit on her. Maverick said that he saw on WWE’s The Bump that she is going on a date with Batista. She said yes, she is. Maverick said he thought they had something, and he asked what Batista had that Drake did not. Elias showed up with his guitar to sing a song saying Batista’s a millionaire, plus he’s tall, Drake has a better chance with a blowup doll, marriage problems and the only action he’s been getting is with lotion with tissues. Elias claimed “you’re the best I’ve ever had” is what Drake’s wife said when she was in Elias’ bed. Maverick slapped Elias. Dana asked Elias if that really happened, he said “no, but something is going to happen.”
Analysis: That was a continuation from last week. I’m not sure where it’s going other than using it to have Elias in a face role. Good luck to Brooke with Batista, who is 19 years older than her. Also, why are there so many WWE storylines where men are in bad marriages with their wives and they can’t seem to satisfy them? In the last few months it was Mike Kanellis (that angle got dropped when he asked for his release), Drake Maverick, Rusev and it just keeps going on. Somebody on WWE Creative must think it’s hilarious or something. I don’t get it.
A commercial aired showing that Rey Mysterio will defend the US Title against former champion AJ Styles. That will be great.
Drake Maverick was in the ring doing a promo asking if you think this is funny and if Elias thinks it is funny. The fans chanted “yes” when he asked those questions. Maverick said nobody makes a mockery of him, makes a mockery of his marriage, so Drake called out Elias for a fight right now.
Elias made his entrance with his guitar along with Dana Brooke by his side. Elias got in the ring, Maverick charged at him, Elias put his hand on Drake’s head and Drake fell down throwing a punch. Elias picked up Maverick by the pants and dropped him. Elias put Maverick over his knee and slapped him in the ass repeatedly to give him a spanking. Elias punted Maverick in the ass to kick him out of the ring. Maverick went back into the ring, then he went out the other side where Brooke tossed Maverick back in the ring. Elias hit his Drift Away finishing move on Maverick. Brooke went into the ring, she put her foot on maverick and Elias counted the pinfall win. Graves questioned Dana hanging out with Elias like this and if Batista would be happy about it. Dana’s music played to end it while Elias raised her hand as if she won a match. The fans cheered it.
Analysis: This was lame comedy although the fans didn’t seem to mind, so that’s okay. As I said earlier, I think the point of this over the last two weeks was to establish that Elias is a face now. I feel like Maverick could be doing a lot more as a manager for a wrestler or tag team that needs it. Brooke is very good looking, but they never seem to have a storyline for her. I don’t know if she’ll be paired with Elias or if this was just a two-week thing.
The Miz was shown walking backstage. He had his suitcase with him. The Miz saw a room with a door open and there was a red light in the room. There was a camera in the room. When Miz walked into the room, he saw a framed photo with Bray’s face edited in the family photo of Miz, Maryse and their daughters. Wyatt told Miz to “say cheese” and then Wyatt hit the Sister Abigail on Miz on the floor. Wyatt put the photo on Miz and said, “there’s no place like home for the holidays.” Wyatt left.
Analysis: It’s interesting that it was Wyatt that attacked Miz there. Normally it’s The Fiend while Wyatt is the Firefly Fun House and not attacking people, but now we’re seeing Wyatt taking out Miz. I like how Wyatt is this mysterious evil heel kind of character. It’s different and it works.
The show returned with The Miz getting helped by a referee Dan Engler. Miz asked where is he and where is that photo. The referee didn’t know, but he was going to get a doctor.
They showed photos and tweets from WWE superstars after they took part in the Tribute to the Troops taping from earlier on Friday. The show will air later this month.
The New Day duo of Kofi Kingston and Big E made their entrance with the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. They are not in their wrestling gear because they are on commentary for a tag team match. Cole put over their podcast being the #1 sports podcast this week. Kingston threw pancakes in the faces of Graves and Cole. Big E said it didn’t matter where Graves’ podcast was. That was funny.
It was announced that the winners of this 4-way tag team elimination match will face New Day at the TLC pay-per-view. The teams were Mustafa Ali and Shorty G, Lucha House Party, The Revival and Heavy Machinery, who got a good pop from the crowd.
Fatal 4-Way Elimination Match: The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. Mustafa Ali and Shorty G vs. Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) vs. Lucha House Party (Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado) w/Kalisto
It’s a match with two guys in the ring while the other six guys must wait on the apron waiting for tags. Shorty tripped up Metalik, armbar and Ali hit a double stomp to the arm of Metalik. Ali and Metalik did some nice work on the mat where they also avoided eachother, Metalik stood on his feet and Ali also stood on his feet. Tucker tagged in against Dorado, Tucker hit a dive and a double dropkick with Dorado. The Revival didn’t like that, so they got punched out of the ring. Tucker used Dorado’s feet to knock down Ali, Gable, Dawson and Wilder. Dorado with a springboard stunner on Tucker. Otis tagged in, Dorado kicked him out of the ring and LHP hit double moonsaults off the top onto guys on the floor. Dawson with a suplex on Dorado on the floor. Otis caught Metalik, Tucker tagged in and Heavy Machinery hit the Compactor on Metalik to pin him to eliminate LHP from the match.
Lucha House Party eliminated by Heavy Machinery
Shorty was working over Tucker with an armbar. It’s hilarious when Big E stares at Graves while they are on camera. Tucker with a body slam on Shorty. Wilder tagged in, tripped up Tucker and Shorty tagged back in leading to Tucker sending Shorty across the ring. Dawson tagged in and he was met with a back body drop by Tucker. Otis fired up, he got the hot tag and used his stomach to knock down Dawson twice followed by a body slam. Otis took off the tank top and the crowd popped while Big E said, “I love when he disrobes.” Otis did his hulking up routine where he thrusts the hips, then he hit an overhead throw on Dawson and a corner splash. Wilder tagged in, Otis punched him out of the ring and Otis hit the Caterpillar into an elbow drop on Dawson. That move is very popular. Wilder with a sunset flip, Dawson kicked Otis and Wilder pinned Otis to eliminate them.
Heavy Machinery eliminated by The Revival
That means it is down to The Revival and Shorty/Ali. Dawson and Wilder were in control outside the ring where they got into the face of the New Day guys. The Revival guys wanted to send Shorty and Ali into New Day, but then Shorty and Ali reversed it to where they sent The Revival into The New Day behind the announce table. The three teams argued about all of this, which led to a break.
The heels were in control with Dawson stretching Shorty across his back and Shorty hit a belly to back suplex. Wilder tagged in and Shorty hit a double German Suplex on both Revival guys. Shorty with another German Suplex on Wilder, then Ali with a superkick on Wilder into a German Suplex again for a two count with Dawson making the save. Shorty took out Dawson with a clothesline out of the ring. Wilder with a clothesline on Ali, but then Ali jumped off the ropes and Wilder hit a powerslam for a two count. Ali got a rollup for two, then Ali to the ropes and he hit a Tornado DDT. Ali went up top, he went for the 450, but Dawson saved his partner. Revival caught Ali out of the ring and sent him over the barricade into the timekeeper's area. Shorty made the tag moments before that, he hit a dive on The Revival on the floor. Shorty with a moonsault attempt, Wilder moved, Shorty with an ankle lock, Dawson with a forearm to Shorty to free Wilder and The Revival hit the Shatter Machine double team move for the pinfall win on Shorty after 18 minutes.
Mustafa Ali and Shorty G eliminated by The Revival
Winners: The Revival
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good match by the end with The Revival working well against Shorty/Ali, who are a natural babyface team together. If the match was just Revival vs. Ali/Shorty it would have been even better because they're awesome teams. I think the spots with Heavy Machinery were booked really well and that’s a team that could be tag team champions in the future because the fans love them. The finish was booked well with Ali getting tossed over the barricade leading to the 2-on-1 scenario where Revival got the double team offense on Shorty to get the win. It made sense.
Post match, Dawson and Wilder had microphones in their hands. Dawson said they take this seriously, so no more pancakes, unicorns or silly little gimmicks. Wilder said it was a new day no more. Wilder said that they are going to beat them by doing what they do best – old school, old fashioned tag team wrestling. Dawson said they can be on their podcast doing complaining and they can tell the world what it feels like to get beat by the best tag team in this company – The Revival. Kingston and Big E stared at them with confident looks on their faces.
Analysis: Since TLC is a show with stipulation matches, I think they should add something to make this more interesting because we have seen New Day/Revival a few times recently.
There was a “Progressive Match Flo” replay of last week’s Smackdown with Roman Reigns beating Robert Roode in a singles match and then he beat up Roode and Dolph Ziggler after the match.
Roman Reigns was interviewed by shorty Kayla Braxton. Reigns said he goes about his business every single night and if they can’t handle the big fight, that’s on them. Braxton mentioned that King Corbin vowed to humiliate him. Reigns wondered why Corbin needs those guys when he’s 6’6” and 300 pounds, but Corbin can’t handle Reigns. Roman said at TLC whether it’s a table, a ladder or a chair – he’s going to embarrass him. Reigns left.
There was a plug for WWE Backstage on FS1 on Tuesday night. CM Punk is back on this week after missing the last to weeks because he’s not going to be there every week.
Sheamus was shown backstage talking about how the titans he used to face have become shadows of their former selves. Sheamus said in his absence, they haven’t faced real competition. Sheamus said they say you can’t go home again, but he disagrees because he has come home and he’s ready to take out everyone who gets in his way.
Analysis: Sheamus was on the Corey Graves podcast earlier in the week and he said he was in the best shape in his life. Sheamus has been out of action since WrestleMania eight months ago, but he’s ready to go now.
Lacey Evans made her entrance for a match where she stood up to heel SD Women’s Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks. Evans decked Banks with a Woman’s Right punch. That was Lacey’s face turn.
Lacey Evans vs. Haley Jones
Jones is a local competitor. Evans took down Jones with an armbar and she tripped up Jones. Evans hit the Woman’s Right punch shortly after that for the pinfall win in about one minute.
Winner by pinfall: Lacey Evans
Analysis: 1/4* A squash win by Evans to give her some momentum now that she’s a face.
Sasha Banks made her entrance with a microphone in hand. Banks told Evans to leave her country butt in there because they had business that “we” need to take care of. They went to commercial.
There was a commercial telling us that this week on Raw it’s the divorce of Lana and Rusev. That was quick. That’s what they advertised.
Sasha Banks was on the apron talking trash. Banks said she is the blueprint, the standard, the Legit Boss and the leader of this women’s division. Banks called Evans pathetic and a Mary Poppins wannabe, which drew no reaction. Banks said that Evans was a terrible role model to her ratty little six-year-old and it doesn’t mean you can interrupt you. Evans spoke directly saying that you should never talk about her daughter again and not only is she a mother, but she is a United States Marine. Get ready to hear that in every Lacey promo. The fans popped for that. Evans told Banks you don’t want her to put those boots back on. Evans said she was tired of hearing Bayley and Banks blaming everybody else for their failures. Evans said something the US Marine Corps has instilled in her is leadership. Evans said she was also taught about fighting, so she is going to drop Banks where she stands. Banks got in Evans, then Evans wound up for a punch and Banks went to the mat to avoid.
Evans left the ring. Evans walked up the ramp, she was all confident and then Bayley showed up with a forearm to the back. Banks came back with a kick to the ribs to put Evans down again. Bayley and Banks stood tall over a fallen Evans as the fans booed them. Nobody helped Evans.
Analysis: The heels outsmarted the face. It happens often. Plus, Evans got the upper hand last week when she decked Banks with one punch, so of course, Bayley and Banks would get the advantage this week. Evans is going to mention she’s a former US Marine all the time now that she’s a face because it’s an easy way to get support from the fans. I’m not sure if Evans is going to have a good match with Banks or Bayley because frankly Evans still has a long way to go in the ring from what I have seen. However, WWE is going to try to get Evans over as much as they can. A two-on-one attack like this does work in terms of getting sympathy heat.
They showed replays of the Bray Wyatt story with The Miz from earlier in the night.
It was announced that Bray Wyatt will face The Miz at TLC on December 15. They showed Wyatt, not The Fiend, so it’s Wyatt in the match. They did not specify if it is a Universal Title match. Since the graphic didn’t say it, I assume it’s non-title. Also at TLC is Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin in a TLC match. Plus, the Smackdown Tag Team Title match that we covered earlier.
Dolph Ziggler and King Corbin were shown talking backstage.
There was a plug for Shane McMahon on the TV show NCIS: Los Angeles. Hey, remember when he got fired? I figure he’ll be back for a match at WrestleMania.
A video aired about WWE doing the Tribute to the Troops show earlier in the day. They showed the superstars hanging out with the troops for various activities.
Roman Reigns made his entrance for the main event match. Dolph Ziggler entered as the opponent alone. They showed highlights of Roman Reigns destroying Robert Roode last week on Smackdown and Roode was off this week’s show because he was selling the attack of Reigns dumping the announce table on him.
Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler
Ziggler kicked at the knees of Reigns followed by a headlock and a hair whip to put Reigns down. Ziggler charged at Reigns, who came back with an uppercut punch. Ziggler bailed to the floor, Reigns tried the Drive By kick, Ziggler avoided it and Ziggler shoved Reigns into steel steps at ringside. Reigns always sells that bump well.
The match returned with Ziggler trash talking Reigns, which led to an uppercut by Reigns and Ziggler sent Roman into the turnbuckle. They left the ring with Ziggler sending Reigns into the barricade. Ziggler slapped on a chinlock for about a minute, Reigns powered back up with two clotheslines followed by a clothesline that sent Ziggler over the top to the floor. Reigns went for a jumping Superman Punch off the steel steps, but Ziggler stopped him with a superkick. Both guys were down on the floor. King Corbin made his entrance as several guys carried him down to the ring on his “throne” or whatever you want to call it. Cole called it a “sedan” so I guess that’s the name to use.
The final portion of the match began with Ziggler hitting a DDT for a two count. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch for a two count, which always shocks Reigns even though he almost never wins with that move. The fans were fired up as Reigns did his yell, but Ziggler sent Reigns into the turnbuckle and hit a Zig Zag for a two count. Ziggler never wins with that move anymore. Corbin went on the apron to argue with the referee, so Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch for two. Ziggler with a rollup for two. Reigns came back with a Spear on Ziggler for the pinfall win after 18 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns
Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay, but it went too long at nearly 20 minutes. They would have had a more interesting match if it was five minutes shorter. The problem is that fans don’t really buy Ziggler as a guy that was going to win. Reigns did a great job on his comebacks because he knows what he is doing out there in that situation. I just think it dragged on too much. There must have been a directive to keep Reigns out there longer and that’s why it went as long as it did.
There were still seven minutes in the show for a post match angle. Reigns with a Drive By dropkick on Corbin. The guys that carried Reigns to the ring attacked him, so Reigns beat them all up with punches and kicks. Corbin went into the ring with a forearm to the head. They left the ring, Reigns continued to fight guys off, some guy had Roman’s leg and Corbin sent Reigns into the ring post. Reigns came back by sending Corbin over the announce table. Reigns wanted to put Corbin through the announce table, but Ziggler came back with a superkick to put down Reigns. Ziggler had handcuffs, the Corbin security guys got involved and Corbin attacked Reigns along with Ziggler. They handcuffed both arms of Reigns and hooked it against the turnbuckle. There were referees at ringside trying to stop this, but no wrestlers cared to help Reigns.
Corbin and Reigns grabbed some dog food from under the ring. The cans were open already, so they dumped the dog food on the “Big Dog” against the ring. They rubbed the dog food in Reigns’ face while the crowd booed this. They rubbed a lot of the dog food on Reigns against the ring post. Corbin and Ziggler left after a few minutes of that. Reigns was yelling about it and freaking out. That was the end of Smackdown.
Analysis: The humiliation that Corbin promised was delivered, but I have a hard time saying this was great wrestling television. The visual of guys putting dog food in a man’s face just because his nickname is the “Big Dog” is weak, to be honest. The fans were booing this although it’s hard to know if this was booed because they were mad that Reigns was attacked in this manner or if they booed because they thought this angle was lame. I thought it was lame, but I don’t know what the fans thought. Why does nobody help Reigns either? It's not like that will get addressed. It's just weird that they have Braun Strowman back there doing nothing every week or a number of different, but here's Reigns with no allies. Reigns got the advantage last week, so of course he got his ass kicked this week. From a performance standpoint, Reigns sold it as well as he could. I just don’t think it was a great angle.
Three Stars of the Show
- Bray Wyatt
- Roman Reigns
- The Revival
4.75 out of 10
Last week: 5.25
2019 Average: 6.59 (Raw is 5.89)
Last 5 Weeks: 5.25, 6.5, 6.25, 4.75, 9
2019 High: 9 (November 1)
2019 Low: 4.5 (October 25)
I give this week’s Smackdown a 4.75 out of 10.
This was a poor episode of Smackdown. I think it was one of the worst episodes of the year. There was some stuff that got heat for the heels a week after the babyfaces were standing tall in several storylines, but it wasn’t that interesting. The match quality wasn’t very good. I think in terms of storylines, they did well to make us care about Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz although I doubt there’s anybody that thinks The Miz has any chance of winning that match. I thought Reigns vs. Ziggler was fine, but it was too long. The dog food attack on Reigns was silly.
I hate being negative about the show. I don’t want to trash the product. There’s no joy in that for me and it’s not the type of fan that I am. It’s just hard to be that positive about a show like this. It wasn’t that interesting and I’m frustrated with the quality of Smackdown in the last few months. You would think the move to Fox in October would mean a better show, but I think this period has been worse aside from the November 1 episode that featured NXT wrestlers facing off with Smackdown superstars. I guess it's not that surprising since the last few months of the year usually less interesting. I just figured this year might be different. Hopefully January is better, but we still have to finish off this year.
I was hoping to see the “new look” Daniel Bryan this week. Nope. He wasn’t there. Maybe next week.
The next WWE PPV is Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) on Sunday, December 15. Here’s what we know so far.
Tables, Ladders and Chairs (TLC) Match: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin
Bray Wyatt vs. The Miz
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Big E (c) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)
Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, reigning NBA Champions Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.
Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook