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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review (11.20.20)

November 20, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Daniel Bryan WWE Smackdown 11-20-20
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review (11.20.20)  

Hello everyone and welcome to 411mania’s LIVE coverage of WWE Smackdown. I’m Robert Winfree and I’ll be letting you know what’s up as it pertains to the show. Tonight is the go home show for Survivor Series so expect the usual go home stuff. Smackdown’s men’s survivor series team still needs the final member so expect that to be resolved, plus we’re still two women short on the Smackdown side for that elimination match and with the legit injury to Chelsea Green last week Natalya might back into a PPV spot. Also Set Rolling will (finally) move on from the Mysterio feud and set his sights on Not-Your-Judas-Pal Murphy for a bout tonight. Jey Uso got a little uppity last week, and got a boot to the face courtesy of the visiting Drew McIntyre en route to McIntyre winning back his title on RAW, so there will probably be some kind of fallout from that. Big E will probably continue his lonely backstage shenanigans, I expect some kind of announcement regarding Carmella and Sahsa Banks as well given that Carmella has left Sahsa lying the last two weeks, and there’s the budding odd couple pairing of Chad Gable with Otis that might continue to play out.

We open in the back with the Street Profits by some popcorn. They show off their champions lounge, put over Survivor Series, and talk about saying goodbye to The Undertaker at Survivor Series. Big E shows up wearing a sombrero, which was all they had in props. They feel like they’re 2 days away from knocking Kofi’s Jamaican accent back into him. Big E puts over Kofi and Xavier, likens them to renaissance artists, Ford replies with rhymes and says they’ll end the New Day because all they do is win. They want the smoke apparently. Big E says they’ve got nothing to prove to him, but Kofi and Woods are here tonight and they can take it up with them.

That sends us to the ring where New Day show up. So that whole draft thing, really shook up the roster huh? Woods and Kingston are in the ring now with a mic. Woods says they don’t even go here anymore, but they’ve been invited and figured why not check back into the Smackdown hotel one more time. They express disgust for a twitter account, then move on to hyping their match with the Profits. Kingston says they want the smoke, but not the fire. Some Undertaker talk as well from these two, they re-enact his sit up but don’t do the Brock and Taker laughing segment. Sami Zayn shows up, God help us all. Zayn says the only reason Undertaker is calling this a final farewell is because he’s afraid of Zayn, management is protecting Taker from Zayn’s retribution. He says management would love to protect Lashley from him at Survivor Series, but no one will be there to protect him at the PPV. Zayn says he wont hurt them, and gives them a chance to talk about him and his title. Kofi struggles to come up with something nice to say, Woods chimes in and likens the outfit to a recently divorced dad who made a successful down payment on a condo. King Corbin shows up next, it’s like this show is trying to hurt me physically. Corbin runs down New Day a bit as people who shouldn’t be here and demands they leave. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode show up next. Ziggler says he doesn’t like Sami Zayn, then mocks New Day as well saying he and Roode were screwed when the tag team titles were just traded. Kofi says he and Woods can defend their RAW tag team titles, stir the pot a bit between the other four men. That kind of winds up with Ziggler and Roode taking on Corbin and Zayn with the winners getting a shot at some tag titles. The four men turn on New Day, but here come the Street Profits for the save, they run wild on the heels. Montez Ford hits a crazy dive and we go to break. I imagine an 8 man tag match will follow. That was, it wasn’t a good way to kick off a show.

Match #1 – 8 Man Tag Match: Street Profits & New Day vs. Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, King Corbin, and Sami Zany

Ford runs wild early, Dawkins tags in and they double team Ziggler for a bit. Ziggler lands a drop kick and tags in Roode. Dawkins with a drop kick, Kofi tags in. Roode attacks the body but runs into a back elbow and a drop kick. Woods tags in and they stomp on Roode while production channels their inner Michael Bay editing skills with cuts. Roode elbows Woods and tags in Corbin. Corbin does Corbin things, eventually catches Woods with a deep six. Woods counters a chokeslam into a sunset flip then tags Ford. Ford runs wild again and things break down when he tries a pin. Kingston accidentally takes our Ford with a crossbody and we get a commercial break. This thing really needs this much time?

Back and Ziggler is holding a modified crossface on Ford. Ford remains isolated, and Corbin is tagged in. Zayn assiduously avoiding being tagged in. Ford caught trying a crossbody and Corbin plants him with a falling powerslam. Ziggler tagged back in, Ford clocks him with a right. Ford shoved back into the enemy corner, he avoids a back suplex and hits a jumping enziguri so both men are down. The hot tag goes to Kofi and he runs wild for a bit. Boom drop to Roode, Kofi sets for the Trouble in Paradise, Roode avoids it, Kingston avoids the DDT, Woods blind tags and attacks Roode. Swinging DDT from Woods for a near fall. Dawkins tags in, Corbin blind sides Woods, but Dawkins runs wild for a bit. Roode hits a spinebuster and tags Zayn. Zayn objects to being tagged, Dawkins brings him into the right and plants him with a spinebuster then Ford with the heavenly splash for the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Good Guys beat the bad guys when Ford pinned Ziggler

Rating: 2 stars

That felt like a time filler, just a way to kill half an hour of air time. Generic multi man match.

New Day and Street Profits pose with their respective titles.

Commentary runs down the rest of the card still to come.

In the back Daniel Bryan is ready to be interviewed, Samy Zayn comes by complaining to the ref about the loss. He asks if Bryan thinks he’s the better man, and demands respect. Bryan shoves him down when he gets close and Zayn says if he didn’t have a match with Lashley coming up he’d make him pay and then expresses his familial elephant relations by promising not to forget as he slinks off. Bryan explains he believes in social distancing. That leads us to a break.

Bryan gets his interview as we come back from break. We get a video recap of Jey Uso beating and then mauling him. That landing on the splash from Jey is still rough. Bryan says he’s seen Jey’s interviews and how Jey doesn’t think it was personal, and he believes him. He says Jey is being influenced by the devil on his shoulder, everyone has an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other and right now Bryan is listening to his own devil after that attack. Tonight Jey needs to be concerned, and it still wont be personal after tonight. Pretty decent promo from Bryan.

Adam Pearce gives Otis the final spot on the Survivor Series team. Gable shows up to bask in reflected glory, and wants to continue getting Otis ready. Natalya shows up and lobbies for an appointment to the Survivor Series team, Pearce says he appointed Bayley and if Natalya wants on the team her match with Tamina starts next to determine the final member. We get a break after that.

Rollins promo to come back to. He reminds Murphy that he saved him, gave him a new life and purpose. Every good thing in Murphy’s life is because of Rollins, even his new girlfriend who he only met because of the Greater Good TM. Despite all that Murphy stabbed him in the back, but Rollins will no longer suffer for Murphy’s mistakes and tonight Murphy will go back to being a nothing after Rollins beats him. Pretty good stuff from Rollins.

Bianca Belair is on commentary for this match. She goes into her schtick, but Bayley’s music cuts her off and she’ll join on commentary.

Match #2 – Survivor Series Qualify Match: Natalya vs. Tamina

Natalya lays into Tamina but runs into a super kick. Natalya heads out of the ring, Tamina waits long enough for Bayley’s headset to be set up, then comes out and throws Natalya into the steel steps. Back into the ring, Tamina gets a near fall. Bianca and Bayley bicker about who’s the captain of the team. Tamina posts herself between the ropes, Natalya with a discus clothesline, gets the sharpshooter and Tamina taps

OFFICIAL RESULT: Natalya defeated Tamina via submission

Rating: Dud

Can’t call it a squash with how much offense Tamina got, but it was a dud.

Bayley heads into the ring with Natalya, the Riott Squad heads down as well. Ultimately everyone gets into the ring to show brand solidarity and pose.

A video recap of Drew’s interaction with Reigns last week, which is so much better cut down. My only gripe about that last week was how drawn out the exchange was. We also recap Drew winning the title on RAW to set up the contract signing we’ll get between Roman and Drew tonight.

That leads to the new WWE champion Drew McIntyre heading to the ring. His contract signing with Roman Reigns will be next, right after this break.

McIntyre sits at the highly official signing table as we come back. Pearce will be officiating. Roman Reigns’ music hits, it plays for a bit before he and Paul Heyman show up. They take their sweet time getting to the ring, but eventually do get there. When they get there Roman makes Pearce get up so he can sit at the head of the table instead of across from McIntyre as is more traditional. Nice character touch. Pearce gets things going for the signing. Roman says he knew Drew could beat Randy Orton, Heyman not so much. He’s been in Drew’s shoes and he’s already learned all those lessons. He calls Drew the right guy, in the right place, at the wrong time. Drew says Roman wont get into his head and make him mad, he’s already got the match and he could talk about a lot of things but he’d rather get to the point. He won the title, not for Roman but for himself and tonight he’s making the match official as he signs the contract. Now it’s Roman’s turn on Roman’s show, but if he could give him some advice please underestimate him. Roman takes umbrage with advice from Drew, the special counsel advises the Tribal Chief, this is his show and his universe, so he’ll teach Drew one last lesson on Sunday. Drew wont like or understand the brutal truth coming his way, the reality that he’s a secondary title holder, a prop, a stand in who’s holding the belt they give people when Roman is busy. Everyone knows who Roman is, but he’ll remind Drew one more time anyway. . . he’s THE champion, face of the company, and head of the table. One day, years from now, Drew will have the chance to be the man and face of the company, and he’ll look back and thank Roman at that point. He’ll look into the mirror and see the man he wanted to be, and he’ll think about moments like this and thank Roman for the lessons learned along the way. Roman signs the contract, and tells Drew he’ll always be his favorite number 2. OK, that was pretty darn awesome from all parties. These two have found some pretty insane chemistry on the mic.

Video recap of Murphy and Rollins, leading to Rollins making his way to the ring where he’ll meet Murphy right after the break.

Rollins is in the ring as we come back. Murphy’s music is the most generic WWE music possible.

Match #3: Seth Rollins vs. Murphy w/ Rey, Dominick, and Aalyah

Rollins jumps Murphy as Murphy tries to enter the ring, he wants the Mysterio’s gone. Murphy into the ring and we get some brawling from both men. They roll and brawl while production misses stuff with cuts. Murphy misses a knee, Rollins out of the ring and drags Murphy out then throws him into the barricade. Rollins posts Murphy then tosses him back into the ring. He talks trash to the Mysterio’s then resumes beating down Murphy. Murphy gets tied up in the ropes and Rollins gets a kendo stick. Rey takes it from him but eats a punch, Dominick tries to get involved and Rollins beats him down before Murphy gets free. Back into the ring and Murphy gets shoved off of the top rope all the way to the barricade. Nasty bump. Aalyah tries to motivate Murphy, Rollins menaces her as we head to break.

Back and Rollins is choking Murphy in the corner. Back elbow from Rollins, but Murphy catches him on the ropes, nearly super kicks him but Rollins with a back kick then a sling blade for a near fall. Rollins gets a ten punch in the corner, trash talking to the Mysterio’s costs him though as Murphy slips free and super kicks the knee. Murphy avoids a charge, sends Rollins out of the ring then hits a dive. Kick from Murphy on the apron, but Rollins catches him on the top rope and hits a top rope superplex, floats through and hits a Falcon Arrow for a near fall. Back to the apron, Rollins wants a suplex but they just trade blows when he can’t get it. Knee from Murphy, then another that drops Rollins. Rollins with a stomp as Murphy was getting back into the ring, but a rope break saves Murphy. Trash talk now from Rollins, he wants the buckle bomb, gets it. Another stomp attempt but Murphy intercepts him with a knee, avoids another stomp and hits another knee. Murphy’s Law to Rollins, and that’s it.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Murphy pinned Rollins

Rating: 2.5 stars

Rollins worked hard and Murphy didn’t look out of place but the finishing sequence was really rushed and underwhelming. As the Mystrio clan celebrates with Murphy the music for Sasha Banks hits as she’s going to talk (and probably get super kicked by Carmella again) next.

Asuka has made her way to the ring as we come back with Michael Cole trying to justify his existence in the ring. He asks about the bitter rivalry between these two, they trade barbs. Cole asks Bayley about being beaten by Asuka, she reminds Cole that it’s Boss time then puts over Asuka a bit but gets interrupted by Japanese. Banks says she’s the best of the best, Asuka laughs and says you can’t see me. Banks kicks off her shoes and says they can handle things right now instead of Sunday. Asuka defers for the moment, reminding Banks that she’s not ready for Asuka. Carmella chop blocks Banks, Asuka watches her eat offense. Banks gets set in the tree of woe position, mocks her and says Boss time is over before hitting one more super kick. Asuka seems totally unimpressed by all of this. Not a great segment.

To the back, Jey gets an interview. He says he can speak tonight, he’s gonna finish what he started with Daniel Bryan. He objects to the notion he’s being controlled, he did everything he did because he wanted to and the only devil he hears is the one in his head telling him to go do it again. Jey can’t do long form talking, but in short bursts he can get the correct emotion across.

Bryan makes his way to the ring, that match will be next.

Back with Bryan in the ring, and here comes Jey Uso.

Match #4: Daniel Bryan vs. Jey Uso

They start brawling immediately, Bryan takes over with kicks then locks in a modified Regal stretch. Knee from Bryan then chops on the feet. Jey lands a right to the throat to take over. Both men head out of the ring, Bryan slammed into the ring steps. Jey starts dismantling the announcers table again, but that lets Bryan recover and get back on offense. Back to the ring, Bryan hits a drop kick from the top rope. Bryan with more strikes as Jey hangs out on the corner. Jey counters a back body drop attempt but gets tossed out of the ring, then Bryan with the suicide dive. Bryan, you don’t need to do that man, we all know how good you are. More strikes from Bryan on the outside, but Jey hits him with a back body drop through the table as we head to break.

Back now and Jey is stomping on Bryan’s lower back in the ring. He shouts about how impersonal this all is and hits a scoop slam. Methinks the Uso dost protest too much. Chops from Jey in the corner. Backbreaker to Bryan. Bryan fights up to his feet using the ropes, he lays into Jey with rights, heads up to the top rope but Jey cuts him off. Both men on the top now and Jey hits a superplex for a near fall. Samoan drop attempt but Bryan counters into a crucifix for a near fall. Bryan catches the Yes Lock, Jey escapes by rolling through and lands elbows and knees to the lower back. Jey to the top rope now, Bryan crotches him and heads up for the super belly to back suplex. Bryan fires up, the Yes kicks follow but the buzzsaw kick only gets 2. Stomps now from Bryan, he sets for the knee plus but runs into a super kick. Another super kick from Jey. Another super kick from Jey, Uso splash is countered by knees then an inside cradle to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Daniel Bryan pinned Jey Uso

Rating: 2 stars

I appreciate the work from both men, if they’re going to build towards Bryan and Roman down the line this makes sense as Bryan took a bit of a beating but was the superior wrestler technically.

Bryan celebrates as the episode ends.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Another middle of the road episode, but the highlights here were quite good. Roman and Drew have some seriously good chemistry on the mic and Roman's character work continues to be the best thing in going. Rollins and Murphy had a good match, Jey and Bryan had a good match, so few complaints there. The opening segment was pretty bad, and the follow up match felt like it was just killing air time. The women's match was a total dud and the face off between Banks and Asuka wasn't good. My rating might be a tad generous, but the highs of this show elevate it despite the bad stretches.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree