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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 11.25.22

November 25, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown Drew McIntyre 11-25-22 Image Credit: WWE
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 11.25.22  

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Hello everyone, welcome to Smackdown. Tonight is the go home show for Survivor Series, boy that came up fast didn’t it? As such the babyface side of things for the women’s WarGames match will be here to announce their fifth member. Bianca Belain has been trying to hype this up and all I can say is. . . please please please not Poochie, uh, I mean Charlotte Flair. Becky Lynch would make sense but there are quite a few possibilities out there so we’ll have to wait and see. With the confirmation of Kevin Owens joining our babyface men’s team I’m sure the Bloodline will have something to say about that upcoming WarGames match, and the Usos will be taking on Drew McIntyre and Sheamus to further that goal. Last week Raquel Rodriguez tried to help Shotzi out and this week will team with her against Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler as they try to heat up the match between Ronda and Shotzi for the Survivor Series. The Smackdown World Cup continues tonight with two semi-final matches, Butch vs. Santos Escobar and Ricochet vs. Braun Strowman, after some of the interactions last week Braun is the heavy favorite to win and I’m curious to see if Gunther could drag a good match out of the big guy. Bray Wyatt and LA Knight have crossed paths and that should see some continuation this week, The Viking Raiders returned two weeks ago and might show up again here. Well that’s the preamble, so let’s get to the action.

There’s a college football game running long, I’m checking to see if Smackdown will start earlier on a different channel or if we’ll just be missing the first few minutes. Alright, here it is. We open with the Damage Control WarGames team in the ring. Bayley insults the host city, and demands that Bianca Belair reveal her final teammate. That does bring out Belair and her team. Belair has a mic and waits at the base of the entrance ramp before bringing up that there’s only four of her team. But she’s not here alone, and here does come Becky Lynch. Becky joins ranks with her team and everyone charges the ring for a big brawl. Eventually Becky hits Bayley with a Bexploder before going face to face with Rhea Ripley. Becky calls on Ripley, but Ripley decides against fighting right now and the faces stand tall.

Commentary reminds us that the main event tonight between the Usos and Sheamus and Drew McIntyre will determine the advantage for WarGames, then run down the rest of the card tonight.

After that here come the Brawling Brutes, Butch vs. Escobar will be up after this break.

Post break Santos Escobar and the rest of Legado Del Fantasma make their way to the ring.

Match #1 – Smackdown World Cup Semifinal Match: Butch w/ Sheamus and Ridge Holland vs. Santos Escobar w/ Cruz Del Toro, Joaquin Wilde, and Zelina Vega

They tie up and both pull the hair before they break. Santos plays off in the ropes as Zelina Vega joins commentary. Stomps from Santos then a side headlock takeover. Butch fights out of the headlock and grabs the fingers of Santos then stomps on the arm. Santos lands a drop kick then starts working the arm of Butch. Side headlock from Santos then they hit the ropes for a bit before Butch lands a knee strike and Santos takes a powder. Butch follows him out and lands a chop before they head back into the ring. Butch looks to climb the ropes but Santos shoves him off the ropes and to the floor to send us to break.

Butch lands a double knee drop to the arm, then stomps the fingers to send Santos out of the ring. Now Butch hits a moonsault onto Wilde and Cruz, but Santos evades then hits a suicide dive onto Butch. Double knee strike in the ring from Santos then a kick to the head on the top rope. They start fighting on the top rope but Butch lands a chop, then they balance a bit as they stand before Butch yanks the fingers of Santos which sends him crashing to the apron and the floor. Butch now with another moonsault onto Cruz and Wilde. Back in the ring Butch hits a diving DDT for a 2 count. We see video from the backstage area where the Bloodline is taking out Kevin Owens and Drew McIntyre, Butch sends Sheamus and Ridge to go help out in the back. Double down from Santos and Butch as the brawl in the back worsens while officials try to separate the factions. Zelina distracts the ref to set up Butch for a couple of cheap shots, Phantom Driver from Santos and he gets the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Santos Escobar won

Rating: 2.5 stars

Decent match, but Butch had to play it relatively safe as he’s got a much bigger match coming up in a few days. That said Santos winning matches is helping him and his presentation a lot.

We get a recap of the Bray Wyatt and LA Knight issue to this point, then we get the visual of Bray Wyatt’s door to send us to break.

Post break here comes Bray Wyatt. Bray introduces himself, I actually like that as it feels like he’s starting this as an almost AA kind of meeting. He likes the cheers from the crowd, then says he knows what people think about him. He knows people stare and whisper, but it’s never really bothered him. If there’s anything he’s got his finger on the pulse of it’s what people think of him. His entire life people have viewed him as a rabid animal, and he knows people want to see the monster. They just want The Fiend. And that’s it right? You just want the monster. The crowd cheers. Some come one and all see the human tornado destroy himself and everything around him. Well that’s fine, but it’s not who he wants to be anymore. It’s hard for him to explain his burdens, he’s given us violence and that’s the only language he’s used for us. So he’s got to be truthful, he’s not the one who attacked LA Knight. This is interrupted by Uncle Howdy video. The world is built on lies, and he’s lying right now. Open your eyes, because he can make you believe anything, make you feel wanted, but it’s just another lie. You should be careful, he’ll make fools of us all. The snake in a cage is still just a snake. Wake up.

In the back LA Knight in a sling gets interviewed by Megan. He wants to talk to us. He says he didn’t get to enjoy Thanksgiving because he got jumped while leaving the arena. Now that human trash bag gets to vomit his lies to the world without consequences. Well if not for this sling and these crutches he’d be out there making sure Bray faced the consequences. He’d beat the crap out of Bray and that’s not an insult, it’s just a fact of life. . . yeah. I’m a little shocked at how well these two are gelling, and am digging this.

To the ring, and here comes Hit Row, they’ll take on the Viking Raiders after this break.

Post break here come the Raiders, Sarah Logan is now going by Valhalla.

Match #2 – Tag Team Match: Hit Row (Top Dollah and Ashante the Adonis) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) w/ Valhalla

Ashante and Ivar start us off, Ashante tries to flurry and lands a drop kick but Ivar just runs him over. Erik tags in and Ashante takes a beating from both men. Elbow from Erik then he slings Ashante into the ropes and wipes him out with another elbow. Ashante tries body shots, Ivar just floors him with another elbow. Ivar tags in and Ashante takes some tag team knees. Erik back in and Ashante avoids a suplex then tags in Dollah. Dollah with a lukewarm reaction as he lands a few blows then tags out but Ivar tosses Dollah out of the ring. Ashante dives but misses and Ivar wipes him out with a wheel kick. Erik tags in, crushes Dollah with a knee strike then Ragnarok follows and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Viking Raiders won

Rating: 2 stars

This bordered on squash territory, and Ashante is still being shown as the weak link of the team.

Post match the trio pose in the ring.

Commentary talk about giving thanks then we get a recap of Dominick Mysterio and Rhea Ripley crashing Rey’s Thanksgiving. Seems like no matter how hard they try, Dominick just isn’t any good at this.

Back to the ring, here comes Ricochet and he’ll be in action against Braun Strowman after this break.

Post match, here comes Braun.

Match #3 – Smackdown World Cup Semifinal Match: Braun Strowman vs. Ricochet

Ricochet circles, then ties up but Braun tosses him off. Cole with his tongue firmly in his cheek talking about Braun vs. Omos being 5 stars. Ricochet slaps Braun, Braun backs Ricochet into the corner then misses an attack but catches a jumping Ricochet. Ricochet slips free and lands leg kicks. Braun catches a kick, Ricochet flips free and lands a drop kick, then another one. Ricochet low bridges Braun then boots him from the apron and hits a flying drop kick to send him into the barricade. Braun then charges from out of frame and Pounces Ricochet over the announce table. Back in the ring Braun is in control now and tosses Ricochet around for a bit. Avalanche in the corner then Braun launches Ricochet across the ring. The match is interrupted by Gunther walking to the ring. Gunther stares down Braun as Giovanni Vinci and Ludwig Kaiser distract Braun, then Ricochet jumps up for a crucifix to get the pin.


Rating: 2 stars

Slow stuff when Braun was in charge, but bless Ricochet for bumping like he does.

Post match Imperium attack Braun and Gunther lays him out with a boot. Ricochet debates coming back to help Braun, eventually he does and lays out Kaiser and Vinci briefly. Kaiser with a choke to Ricochet as Gunther keeps stomping on Braun. Gunther gets Ricochet to be held up and chops him into the mat. Braun starts fighting back and Imperium make a tactical withdrawal. Braun then helps Ricochet to his feet and raises his hand.

We get a recap of Kevin Owens showing up for the brawl last week.

In the back Sami Zayn walks to the Bloodline locker room but here’s Kevin Owens. Owens wants to fight, and then asks Sami what happens when he does something to piss off the Bloodline. Jey is listening into this. Owens brings up how many times he’s had to bail out Sami when Sami pissed someone off, even unintentionally. He asks what Roman will do to Sami when Sami pisses him off, because Sami’s seen what Roman will do to his own blood. Owens would turn first, not giving anyone a chance to double cross him. Very in character advice. Sami seems a little disturbed by this. Jey walks out of the locker room and asks what’s up with Sami. He wants to know where Sami was earlier, Sami claim she just got here. Jey asks if Sami’s talked to anyone since he got here, Sami says now. Jey lets him continue hanging himself by denying what just happened, then says it’s cool and lets him into the locker room and that sends us to break.

Post break we get another recap of Becky Lynch returning. I know you got preempted by college football but that’s a lot. In the back Becky is found by Kayla. Becky says she’s spent four months imagining dismantling Damage Control, and there’s no better place than WarGames for the Man to come around.

We get a video hype package for the WarGames matches. Lots of filler material this week I guess.

In the back Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler jump Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez, then they slam a crate onto Raquel’s arm and walk away to send us to break.

Post break here come Ronda and Shayna Baszler, and we’re told that Raquel is being taken to a hospital. Ronda and Baszler have mics in the ring. They bring up being present, for some reason. Ronda thinks there wont be a match tonight and Baszler says accidents happen. Well enjoy nursing the wing Raquel, and Baszler tells Shotzi to stay sitting at the kiddy table because she’s not ready. This does prompt Shotzi to come out, no tank though. Shotzi wants the match to start.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler

Shotzi cheap shots Baszler and tries to flurry on Ronda in the corner. Ronda shoves her off and tags in Baszler. Shotzi with strikes to both women then sets up a double attack on the ropes but Baszler avoids it and crushes Shotzi with a knee strike. Ronda tags back in and lands a knee then tags out. Ronda with an armbar over the ropes for a bit then Baszler hits a kimura throw and starts looking to attack the arm. Now Baszler lands some mounted strikes, and here comes Raquel Rodriguez bad arm and all. Shotzi gets free and tags in Raquel, who kind of runs wild for a bit. Baszler goes after the arm of Raquel, but Raquel powers free. Ronda tags in and yanks on the arm of Raquel to set up Baszler stomping on the bad arm. More arm work from Ronda then Baszler ties up Shotzi so Ronda can lock in the armbar and get the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler won

Rating: 1.5 stars

This bordered on DUD territory.

In the back Jey and Jimmy talk to each other, they’ll be in action after this break.

Post break Kayla waits outside the trainer’s office and Shotzi is here to give an interview. She says Raquel’s arm was broken before the match and now her elbow is dislocated. She always knew Ronda and Baszler were bullies, and Shotzi’s been bullied before but this was the first time anyone had her back. Now this is personal, and she’s going to beat Ronda senseless at Survivor Series.

Back to the ring, here comes Kevin Owens and the rest of the good guys.

The Bloodline, minus Roman Reigns, come out after that as commentary explains how important the advantage in WarGames is.

Match #5 – Tag Team Match: Sheamus and Drew McIntyre w/ Kevin Owens, Butch, and Ridge Holland vs. The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) w/ Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa

Jimmy and Sheamus start things off, Sheamus grabs a side headlock then they both try hip tosses but Sheamus lands a clothesline. Drew tags in and starts in with strikes. Sheamus tags back in and they hit a double hip toss. Jey tries to save Jimmy but he’s ejected by Drew and Sheamus. All parties square up outside the ring as we head to break.

We come back as Jey makes a blind tag then low bridges Sheamus. Diving forearm from Jey to Sheamus as the other participants stalk around the action. Jey objects to Sami being in close proximity then shoves Sheamus back into the ring. More punches from Jey in the corner, Owens tells Sami that Solo will turn on him in a heartbeat. Jimmy tags in and he and Jey hit a wishbone splitter on Sheamus (Happy Thanksgiving). Jimmy runs into a tilt a whirl powerslam and both men are down. Drew gets the hot tag and runs wild on Jimmy with clotheslines. Neckbreaker for Jey, then one for Jimmy but Jimmy counters into an enziguri. Drew avoids a Samoan drop then hits a spinebuster into a jackknife for a 2 count. Neckbreaker from Drew then he sets for the Claymore, but Jey trips him up allowing Jimmy to hit a super kick and send Drew out of the ring. Jey tags in, and we get a couple of suicide dives onto Drew, then Jimmy and Jey toss Drew into the ring steps as we get another break.

Drew runs into a corner boot from Jimmy as we come back to action. Jimmy wants a hip attack, and hits it. Jimmy decides to try another one, this time Drew intercepts him with a headbutt. Both men tag out and Sheamus starts running wild. Irish Curse to Jey, then the Bodhran beats for Jey, he gets to about 17 before breaking off. Jimmy tries to help Jey, everyone winds up on the apron and here’s Drew but both Drew and Sheamus are snapped over the top rope. Jey tosses Sheamus into the barricade but back in the ring Drew lays out Jimmy with a Claymore but Jey clocks him with a super kick. Jey gets Sheamus back in the ring, Sheamus with a knee strike for a near fall. Sheamus takes time posing, then sets for the Brogue kick but Sami distracts him and Jey can land a super kick for a near fall. Sheamus gets Jey on the top rope, Solo distracts the ref allowing Sami to shove Sheamus down. Splash from Jey gets a near fall. On the floor everyone else starts brawling then Drew hits a dive onto a big pile of bodies. Owens is just standing around and sees Sami try to send in a title belt to Jey, then stops him. Owens takes the belt from Sami, he wont let him do this and tells him to hit him if he wants to be in the Bloodline. Sami takes the belt back, and Owens tosses him into the ring, where the ref sees him with the belt and the ref ejects Sami. Owens then hits a Stunner to Jey and Sheamus lands a Brogue Kick to give the good guys the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Drew McIntyre and Sheamus won

Rating: 3.5 stars

That was very well booked, and you’ve got four talented guys so the work was quality. I’m more than a little surprised that the good guys won, the faces having the man advantage in WarGames style matches is always a dicey proposition but there’s enough intrigue with certain characters here that I’m curious to see what they’ll do.

Post match everyone stares down as the episode ends.

The final score: review Average
The 411
This show had some rough parts, like Ronda Rousey with a mic, and a fair bit of filler in terms of video packages and recaps. That said I understand why, you've got a big PPV right around the corner so no one's going to really go balls out. The stuff with Bray Wyatt and LA Knight is actually becoming interesting and compelling, I'm very curious to see where they go with it. Butch vs. Santos was fine enough but again felt like it never really kicked into gear. Braun vs. Ricochet existed, though Ricochet winning was something of a surprise. The main event was a solid match, and frankly the intrigue around Sami Zayn in the Bloodline, his relationship with Kevin Owens, it's carrying a fair bit of the investment for that WarGames match. This show ultimately did its job setting up Survivor Series but had a few too many hiccups to get out of Average.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree