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Join 411’s Live WWE Smackdown Coverage

December 1, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
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Well everyone, it’s Friday and so we’ve got another episode of WWE Smackdown. Survivor Series is in the books, thanks by the way to everyone who followed my live coverage, and we’ve got quite a ways before the next PPV since the Royal Rumble isn’t set until mid January. That didn’t stop Cody Rhodes from declaring himself in the Rumble, and I imagine we’ll get more of that from bigger names going forward. We don’t actually have any matches advertised for tonight so we’ll be on the lookout for changes to that throughout the night. Actually advertised are the Smackdown returns of Randy Orton and US champion Logan Paul. Randy could make a move to the blue brand after returning from injury at Survivor Series, he’s one of the few top stars who hasn’t worked a singles program with Roman so that could easily be on the horizon. As for Logan, if he’s going to defend that title he’ll need a challenger so let’s see who emerges from the pack to work with him. Coming out of Survivor Series the big Smackdown angle will revolve around Bayley eating the pin on WarGames, and the countdown continues to her getting the boot from Damage Control. LA Knight and Kevin Owens are both sort of half wasting time with Grayson Waller and Austin Theory, the Street Profits are in danger of floundering, the Brawling Brutes are in the midst of breaking up, still no news on AJ Styles returning after Solo Sikoa put him on the shelf, speaking of Solo he’s likely to be on the prowl for his next victim while Bloodline clown Jannetty Uso continues to do clown things. Smackdown can hopefully use the next few weeks of downtime to reset itself creatively and get moving in a good direction, because I think we’re all a little tired of knowing that if Roman’s not present nothing really happens. Anyway that’s the preamble, let’s get to the action.

Kevin Patrick, Michael Cole, and Corey Graves welcome us to the Barclay Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Bianca Belair heads to the ring first, and as she skips to the ring we get our first recap of the evening with a recap of the women’s WarGames match. Back to live and Belair has a mic, she brags about her team winning at Survivor Series but this isn’t over as she still wants her title back from Iyo Sky. This does bring out Iyo and everyone from Damage Control except Bayley. Dakota Kai has a mic and talks as they walk, she tries to rile up the crowd with mixed results doing the cheapest of cheap heat. Kairi Sane, Asuka, and Iyo enter the ring and if Belair wants another shot at the belt she needs to go through Damage Control. Belair is down but for some reason here’s Poochie. Charlotte and Shotzi are both here with mics, Charlotte would love to go through all of Damage Control, and Shotzi thinks there’s enough to go around and that prompts the brawl. Everyone fights and the three faces stand tall at the end of it. Dakota is a less effective mouthpiece for this group than Bayley.

We’ll get a recap of CM Punk’s return, plus Kevin Owens vs. Grayson Waller. Logan Paul will be here as well.

Brawling Brutes music hits and here’s Butch by his lonesome, he’ll get squashed by Bobby Lashley after this break.

Post break it’s announced that we’ll get Bianca Belair vs. Kairi Sane, poor Kairi.

In the back Damage Control walk and find Bayley, Bayley complains that no one told her about that and if she’d been there she could have helped. Dakota offers Bayley to coach up Kairi for her match against Belair.

To the ring, here comes Bobby Lashley. Bobby gets a mic as he gets in the ring, and enjoys the crowd chanting for him before warning Butch about trying to make a name on Bobby. Butch slaps him.

Match #1: Butch vs. Bobby Lashley w/ Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Butch attacks with kicks right away but Bobby easily tosses him away. Corner attacks from Bobby then he slings Butch into the corner and continues abusing him. The crowd is definitely with Bobby, no sympathy for Butch. Butch with a few kicks to fight back then a diving attack from the apron to the floor and a moonsault. Another moonsault from Butch to the floor and we head to break.

Bobby is back in control when we come back and he slams Butch down. Well at least Bobby’s had to break a sweat this match. Delayed vertical suplex from Bobby, but Butch knees his way free only to run into a one armed spinebuster. Bobby tosses Butch out of the ring then rams him head first into the ring post. Back into the ring Bobby misses a Spear and posts himself. Butch then goes for the fingers of Bobby and stomps on his arm. Standing Shiranui from Butch gets the barest of 2 counts. Bobby fights back with a running powerslam and a near fall. Butch tries to fight back with a chop but then runs into a clothesline. Enizguri from Butch but Bobby then Spears the crap out of Butch and pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bobby Lashley won in 7:59

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Butch is a darn good hand, but I don’t quite think these two clicked. Solid enough overall match and not quite the squash I was fearing, but just a showcase for Bobby.

Next, a recap of the men’s WarGames match.

Nick Aldis is in the back, and here’s Paul Heyman. Heyman asks why Aldis invited Randy Orton to Smackdown, and Aldis wants to sign Randy to a Smackdown contract. Heyman asks if Roman knew about this, and Aldis says all communication to Roman has to go through Heyman so consider this communication to Roman. Aldis is going to sign Roman, and if he has to offer up the whole Bloodline to make that happen he will. So what is Heyman going to do about it? Heyman says he’ll do anything it takes and calls Roman. That sends us to break.

Kayla finds Butch in the back and asks about Ridge leaving him last week, Butch doesn’t care and will fight anyone. Pretty Deadly show up and make fun of him for a bit so Butch attacks both of them but the numbers aren’t in his favor and they launch him into some equipment and mock him for being alone.

Next, a recap of Santos Escobar turning heel, injuring Rey Mysterio and Carlito then beating Dragon Lee and Survivor Series.

Escobar is at gorilla getting an interview, he will finish what Rey started and destroy the LWO. Tonight Joaquin Wilde will suffer since Cruz del Toro is still recovering from the last beating.

Escobar heads to the ring, his match will be up after this break.

Post break Wilde gets half an entrance.

Match #2: Santos Escobar vs. Joaquin Wilde

Wilde attacks right away with dropkicks and some punches then a back elbow. Escobar takes a powder but Wilde dives onto him. Back into the ring but Escobar rolls out again, only for Wilde to hit a big springboard dive to wipe him out. Back in the ring Wilde heads up top but Escobar crotches him to take over. Escobar sets Wilde in a tree of woe and hits a dropkick to the body. Knees from Escobar then he goes for the arm of Wilde, but Wilde fights back with knees and strikes then a dropkick to the knee. Rolling jumping DDT from Wilde gets a 2 count. Superkick from Escobar then he yells at Wilde and kills him with a Phantom Driver to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Santos Escobar won, stopwatch issues with time

Rating: 2.5 stars
Thoughts: Escobar was quite giving here, probably more than he should have been in all honesty, but his heel run is up and running pretty solidly now.

Post match Escobar continues the beating but Dragon Lee makes the save.

In the back we see the Logan Paul has arrived and we head to break.

Nick Aldis is in the back, and here’s Adam Pearce. Pearce asks if Aldis is going to try and sign Randy Orton, Aldis reminds him that Randy is a free agent and yes he wants to sign him. Pearce plans on making his own offer tonight alongside Aldis.

Here’s Logan Paul, less of a heel reaction than I expected. Naturally we get another recap of how Logan pinned Rey Mysterio to win the title. Logan says to everyone who stabbed him in the back, every hater praying for his downfall, he wants to know where they are now. Don’t we get it by now that he works harder the more we want him to fail. The “What” chants come in now. To everyone mad that he’s better at this than them despite them doing this their whole lives, he says this title has been on his junk just like everyone else since he got here. Awkward sentence structure. Anyway with Rey injured and not able to get a rematch, he and Nick Aldis have created a tournament to start next week. Santos Escobar, Dragon Lee, Karrion Kross, Bobby Lashley, Grayson Waller, Austin Theory, someone from NXT, and Kevin Owens. Whoever wins that gets a title shot. To spoil that whole thing here comes Kevin Owens. Owens gets a mic and says Logan in his ring is a nightmare. The first time he ever saw Logan was 10 years ago on Vine, and it only took Owens six seconds to figure out that Logan is an unbearable jackass. The only junk around here is the crappy drink Logan peddles, and he’s going to end Logan’s time as US champion. Logan says Owens can call himself a prize fighter but Logan’s been in the ring with the greatest boxer ever and could end Owens in less than six seconds. Owens says Logan is clever, but this ring is another world, it’s his world. They go face to face but here’s Grayson Waller to interrupt. Waller’s lesser copy is in tow while Waller has a mic and says Logan shouldn’t even engage with Owens. All Owens wants is attention, he’s not a forward thinking disruptor. Theory is handed the mic, and calls Logan Paul the man who knocks people out, clearly mistaking Logan for his brother who’s actually knocked someone out, and Owens just punches Theory to shut him up. Owens and Logan stare down to end this moderately painful segment. After this break Owens vs. Waller will happen.

Logan has joined commentary.

Match #3: Kevin Owens vs. Grayson Waller w/ Austin Theory

Waller immediately runs away, Owens follows him and starts abusing him around the ringside area. Back in the ring Waller lands some stomps then an uppercut. Chop from Owens but Waller ties him up in the ropes. Back elbow from Owens then a senton to crush Waller. Owens tries a corner cannonball but Waller lands a kick then a side kick to take over. Some strikes on the mat from Waller but Owens fights back. Owens blocks a suplex and drops Waller with one. Chops again from Owens, then an eye poke and a seriously delayed sell from Waller, botchamania quality sell there. They wind up on the floor and Waller bounces Owens on the announce table then he tries a sliding clothesline but Owens avoids him and drops him on the floor with a clothesline. Waller fights back but shoving Owens into the ring steps and distracting the ref so Waller can stomp the hand of Owens. That does allow Waller to fight take over, he slams the hand of Owens into the ring post and sends us to break.

Owens hits a Frog Splash as we come back from break. Waller fights back with a Divorce Court and tries to continue working the arm of Owens. Waller next snaps the arm of Owens over the rope but his rolling Stunner is countered with a Manhattan Drop then a DDT. Owens fights back with his left hand then a superkick. Cannonball senton from Owens then a Swanton Bomb but only a 2 count. Waller blocks a Stunner and stomps the hand of Owens then grabs a Fujiwara armbar. Owens scoots towards the ropes, and gets there. Owens avoids a kick to the hand and grabs a School Boy on Waller to get the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Kevin Owens won in 10:49

Rating: 3 stars
Thoughts: Pretty good match, Owens is still a very good worker and Waller might finally be finding himself on the main roster. Logan on commentary was pretty good, certainly better than Road Dogg a couple of weeks back.

Next, a recap of CM Punk’s return and his return promo which was basically a rehash of his AEW debut promo. Punk will be on Smackdown next week. Joy.

Bianca Belair heads to the ring next, she’s got Charlotte with her. Oh, Shotzi is there as well. Anyway after this break poor Kairi gets murdered.

At gorilla everyone hypes up Kairi while Bayley stands off to one side and pretends to be OK with this. Iyo tells her to stay at gorilla. Kairi does not have her own entrance music yet for those who keep track of such things.

Match #4: Bianca Belair w/ Charlotte Flair and Shotzi vs. Kairi Sane w/ Asuka, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky

Kairi gets tossed around by Belair then lands a kick but can’t get much going before Belair tells her to let go and then shoulder blocks her down. Another shoulder block from Belair. Kairi slips trying a headscissors, Belair flips out of it anyway and then hits a dropkick. Scoop slam from Belair, but Kairi slips free and pulls the hair of Belair but Belair yanks her into an elbow. Asuka is able to trip up Belair and stop the squash match, but Poochie trips Kairi in full view of the ref so the ref ejects Shotzi and Charlotte. The ref then sees Asuka in the ring and ejects Damage control as well. Belair shoves Kairi, because she hasn’t just run her over enough yet, and that sends us to break.

Kairi is working a cross legged Boston Crab but Belair kicks her away, then misses a charge and posts herself. Belair fights away from another hold, these two are just not fully on the same page. Scoop slam from Belair, then another one. Belair tosses Kairi into the corner again and hits a 10 punch then flips away and hits a spinebuster. Handspring moonsault from Belair gets a near fall. Kairi gets caught and Belair kind of drops her, man this is awkward and Belair audibly talks with Kairi to try and reset things. Spinning back fist from Kairi, then a Sliding D in the corner to no reaction. Kairi up top and hits a diving elbow strike and a 2 count. Belair blocks a back fist, tries a Glam Slam but Kairi counters and sends her to the outside, but Belair avoids a dive and hits a Glam Slam across the barricade. Back in the ring, but Bayley from behind yanks the hair of Belair to stop the onslaught. Kairi high fives Bayley then climbs to the top rope, but Belair stops the InSane Elbow, picks Kairi up and hits the Kiss of Death to end this.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bianca Belair won in 10:26

Rating: 1.5 stars
Thoughts: This was basically a prolonged squash, and these two never seemed to get on the same page as there were a lot of issues with timing and execution.

Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis both walk in the back as we head to break.

Next week we’ll get Santos Escobar vs. Dragon Lee, that should be fun, and Karrion Kross vs. Bobby Lashley which I think will be less fun. Also another Charlotte vs. Asuka match, and CM Punk talking.

Both Pearce and Aldis are in the ring as we come back, and they bring out Randy Orton. Randy soaks in the reaction from the crowd and interacts with them a little bit. Pearce and Aldis bicker before each making their pitch for which brand Randy should be on. Pearce offers a world title shot, and Aldis counters by offering him a chance to get revenge on the people who took him out of action. Paul Heyman interrupts this and introduces himself. Well look who’s back? After 18 months thanks to Roman and the Bloodline Randy Orton comes home looking for vengeance. There will be no RKO tonight, and no decision made by Randy because the Bloodline is going to make the choice for him. That brings out Solo Sikoa and the lesser Uso. Randy stomps out Jimmy right away, then fights Solo, the numbers catch up to Randy eventually, but here’s LA Knight for the save. Knight fights off Jimmy then low bridges Solo. Solo and Knight fight on the ramp for a bit, leaving Randy to drop the Bloodline joke with a hanging DDT. Randy thinks about it, and sets for the RKO then hammers Jimmy with it. Randy stares down Heyman, and gets both contracts then gets a mic. Heyman tells him to go to RAW where he’ll be safe. Randy tosses the RAW contract, signs with Smackdown, then takes his mic and tells Heyman to call Roman and tell him that “Daddy’s back”. Aldis poses with Randy in the ring, but because he’s Randy he can’t help but RKO the Smackdown GM. Randy seems surprised with himself but shrugs it off and celebrates with the fans. Heyman does in fact call Roman as commentary reminds us again what’s coming next week and the show ends.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree