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WWE Smackdown! - November 18, 2022
Live from Hartford, Connecticut. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Wade Barrett.
The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre come to the ring for a happy conversation. They'll be facing Bloodline in a War Games match at Survivor Series, but are in need of a fifth member. Sheamus brings up his complicated history with Drew, but their rivalry created mutual respect, and 3 weeks ago Drew was his best man at his wedding. Fans chant "Ucey" and Sheamus tries to save face with a dad joke and welcomes Drew to the group as an Honorary Brutie. Feel free to groan at this all you like. Sami Zayn interrupts to claim that Bloodline doesn't care who the Brutes' 5th guy is, they're feeling pretty Ucey about the whole thing. Sami makes an "Ucey in the sky with diamonds" joke and suddenly I'm feeling very self-conscious for having endorsed Smackdown so strongly in recent reviews. Like, what if there's someone out there tuning in because of me, and they're getting THIS stupidity. Sheamus says Sami will crap his Ucey pants when the fifth man is revealed, and I'm usually not this grateful to see a segment end.
Later tonight, "Bray Wyatt makes amends."
Smackdown World Cup
The Highlight of The Night Ricochet vs. Mustafa Ali
Ali is sporting bandaged ribs after getting hurt on Raw. Ali sells pain in the early going and Ricochet makes sure we all know he takes no pleasure in this. Ali thanks Ricochet with a cheap shot to the head. Ali hits a top rope backstabber but is too injured for a cover. Back from commercials, we learn that Ricochet hit a superplex. Gutsy injured heel Ali sends Ricochet outside with a rana and then nails a slingshot plancha, but Ricochet holds on to answer with a Michinoku Driver! Ricochet misses the corkscrew splash and Ali nearly makes him tap. Ricochet pops up for a German suplex, clothesline, and Lionsault for only 2! Ali hits a powerbomb for 2, then hits a tornado DDT. Ali misses a 450 splash, and Ricochet gets an ovation for climbing the ropes and hitting a mean standing Shooting Star Press to win at 11:03! Lots of great action, and the outside-the-box psychology of having the heel work as an injured underdog worked strangey well, ***½.
Ricochet and Ali make nice afterwards, Ali's heel days might be numbered.
Sami Zayn bickers with Jey Uso in the Bloodline locker room. Jimmy Uso tells Sami to chill out, they all need to be on the same page by the time Roman gets here. They need to find out who the Brutes' fifth guy is.
Video package highlighting the Usos defeating The New Day to become the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history.
Kayla Braxton is standing by The New Day. They're not having their "best day" because their previous record meant everything to them. Imperium show up to comfort them because they still hold the record for biggest clowns in WWE. The writing is really bad tonight, did Mr. McMahon quietly return or something? New Day imitate Imperium's goofy European mannerisms and compare Gunther to Lurch from the Addams Family. They'll settle things in a six man tag, so the New Day are off to find a third teammate.
Emma checks on ”, who can still barely talk after suffering the Kross Jacket. Emma knows that Moss is more athletic than Kross, so he should just take the fight to him.
Madcap Moss vs. Karrion Kross (with Scarlett)
Why can't Moss shave his head? He looks so vanilla with hair. For a company that is so obsessed with their stars looking larger than life, they have sure made a huge exception for this alleged monster. Moss gets a hot start, since he's gunning for revenge and all. Vertical suplex by Moss, he then dumps Kross outside for a throw into the rails. Kross answers with a double underhook suplex and then stomps Moss into the ropes. Scarlett slaps Moss for good measure. This backfires as Moss finds his second wind and rallies with a series of shoulder tackles. Fallaway slam by Moss, but he lets Scarlett distract him with her womanly features. Kross capitalizes with the Kross Jacket, but Moss frees himself with a slam. Kross immediately grabs the Kross Jacket again to win at 3:45! Really lively TV match. No joke, I'm begging for moe of this type of booking for wrestling TV, I truly think THIS is what attracts the mythical casual fans, *½.
Winner: Karrion Kross
Emma checks on poor Moss while Kross and Scarlett gloat. I smell a future mixed tag.
Bray Wyatt is here and the fans sure do love him. Bray realizes that he's always been conditioned to be a certain way, such as believing that fear meant respect. He started questioning the motives behind his actions. Bray apologizes to LA Knight for a recent attack (the crowd boos this) because it means he's strayed from his recent path. LA Knight interrupts and speculates that since he doesn't fear Bray, that means he respects him. Knight slaps Bray and sarcastically accepts his apology. Bray calmly accepts that they're even and offers a handshake, despite his urges. Knight slaps Bray again and backs up the aisle. Bray stares at him in a way that suggests they are no longer even and that we should expect a clash at Survivor Series.
The Usos want to know if Karrion Kross is the Brutes' fifth member, which seems like a ridiculous question to anyone paying attention. Kross will take Roman's titles eventually, all on his own.
Shayna Baszler (with Ronda Rousey) vs. Shotzi Blackheart
If you don't think Shotzi riding to the ring on a tank is hella cool, what are you even doing here? Shotzi stupidly lets Ronda distract her so Shayna can gain an early advantage with a cheapshot. Shotzi hits a clothesline, but Ronda grabs her boot to give Shayna another opening. Shayna missesa running kick, and Shotzi hits a sequence of strikes. Ronda pulls Shayna to ringside, and lures Shotzi into getting distracted again. Shotzi manages an enziguri for 2. Raquel Rodriguez shows up to even the odds. Shayna tries an armbreaking stomp, but Shotzi rolls her up to win out of nowhere at 4:54. This wasn't particularly good, but still, I think these one segment matches helps the flow of the show, ¾*.
Winner: Shotzi Blackheart
LA Knight tries to leave but first has to answer if he's afraid of Bray. Knight boasts he's got the upper hand against Bray, but still looks pretty eager to get out of town.
After a break, referees find LA Knight buried under a pile of rubble.
Imperium (IC Champion Gunther, Ludvig Kaiser, and Giovanni Vinci) vs. The New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods) and Braun Strowman
Strowman is the mystery partner and I'm really not in the mood for him. I wonder if it kills him to team up with a "floppy" guy like Kofi. New Day clear out the ring while Gunther ducks away from Braun. Kofi tries a Trust Dive, but Imperium counter with a slam onto the apron. Gunther intercepts Xavier's dive, but Braun finds him for the official bell. Gunther flees, so let's take a break. They return with Xavier fighting out of Imperium's corner, but getting trapped again with a spinebuster. Woods crawls through Kaiser's legs to give Braun the hot tag. Vinci springboards into Braun's standing shoulder tackle. Braun chases Gunther around the ring and wipes out the Imperium underlings along the way. Gunther blocks the Monster Slam, but Braun hits a spinebuster for 2! Gunther slips away for a tag, and Kofi meets Kaiser with a high crossbody. New Day hit Kaiser with the Midnight Hour to win at 7:22. Crowd-pleasing outing, I might actually like Braun if he didn't keep exposing himself as a meathead schmuck on social media, **½.
Winners: The New Day and Braun Strowman
Kayla Braxton asks Braun Strowman about the strong message he just sent Gunther. Braun is looking forward to winning the World Cup and taking the IC title away from Gunther. Ricochet interrupts to warn him that if he keeps looking past "flippy flippers" then his words might come back to bite him. I know this is a work, but I love Ricochet so much for saying that on TV.
Smackdown World Cup:
Butch (with The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre) vs. Sami Zayn (with Bloodline)
I have to admit, it's cool to see Pete Dunne in a Smackdown main event, even if he has to do it under "Butch." He and Sami can both go, and they show off their workrate chops with a quick opening exchange. Sami hits a sitout powerbomb for an early 2 count! Sami tosses Butch outside in front of Bloodline, but the Brutes are there to stop any shenanigans. Butch recovers with a tornado DDT for 2. Butch climbs the ropes but Sami shoves him off into the barricade. Back from commercials, Sami flies into Butches forearm shot for a 2 count. Butch knocks an Uso fro the apron, and Sami rolls him up. Butch gets ambushed by another Uso, and Sami hits the Blue Thunder Bomb! The Brutes and Drew finally attack Bloodline, but it doesn't go well for them. Butch helps his friends with a moonsault onto the Usos! Sami welcomes Butch back with an Exploder Suplex into the buckles. Sami gets distracted by the ringside brawl, and Butch hits the Bitter End to win at 7:50! Nonstop action in this one, plus a big upset ***.
Solo Sikoa hits the ring to give Butch an uranage, and the ring fills up for another brawl. WWE Undisputed Champion Roman Reigns (with Paul Heyman) arrives to lay waste to the Brutes with Superman Punches and spears, etc. Drew is ready for Roman, but Solo's interference lets Roman drop him with a spear. Sheamus steps up to Roman for a brawl, but Sami's interference lets Roman hit another Superman Punch. Raw's Kevin Owens shows up to reveal himself as the fifth man. Owens stomps Reigns into the corner, then turns around to lock eyes with Sami. Once again, the distraction allows Roman to hit a Superman Punch. Owens blocks the Spear and drops Roman with a Stunner! The show ends with a grand standoff.
Final Thoughts: Well, this show made me feel like a dork for watching at times, thanks to some incredibly lame dad jokes, but they pulled it together for a hot angle to close the show. I think this episode of Smackdown will be incredibly beneficial to WWE's business, it was easy to watch and made Survivor Series feel important.
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