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WWE Smackdown! - December 2, 2022
Live from Buffalo, New York. They're airing on FS1 due to college football, in case you needed to know. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Wade Barrett.
The Bloodline come to the ring for a Sami match, but first we need a "War Pigs" music video recapping Survivor Series. Sami proved his loyalty to Bloodline by saving Roman from getting pinned by Kevin Owens. Jey Uso begrudgingly admits that Sami has earned his respect. Sami is feeling pretty freakin' Ucey tonight, and this shtick is getting big babyface reactions from the fans. The Brawling Brutes interrupt. Sheamus feels bad about beating up a fellow ginger, but it's fight night, so what do you want him to do?
Sami Zayn (with Bloodline) vs. Sheamus (with The Brawling Brutes)
Hot start by Sheamus, who always seems to find himself stuck working babyface against popular heels. Sheamus sends Sami into the barricade, and Bloodline and the Brutes have a standoff before commercials. They return with Zayn still on the receiving end of an @ss kicking. He counters with a DDT for 2, thanks to the Usos providing a light distraction. Sheamus breaks a chinlock by smashing Sami against the buckles, but Zayn retains control with another DDT. Sami tries to steal Sheamus' chest smashing spot, but it lights a fire in Sheamus for a comeback. Sami counters with a neckbreaker on the ropes but then flies into Sheamus' backbreaker. Zayn survives the Cloverleaf and lands a soaring plancha onto Sheamus. Back from MORE commercials, the fans are behind Sami as he climbs the ropes and groans when Sheamus counters with a knee lift. Sheamus looks for an avalanche White Noise, but Sami reverses into a sunset flip powerbomb! Sheamus blocks the Helluva Kick and hits a normal White Noise for 2. Sheamus gets a mixed reaction for smashing Sami's chest. The Usos distract Sheamus from hitting a Brogue Kick, and Sami hits the Blue Thunder Bomb for a hot nearfall. The Brutes attack the Bloodline for their latest transgression, but Solo Sikoa slams Butch onto the rails. Jey Uso superkicks Sheamus into Sami's rollup to win at 18:28. This match didn't have the story or heat to warrant three segments, and it only picked up steam in the final stretch, **½.
Winner: Sami Zayn
Legado del Fantasma video package. They enjoy cold drinks and a game of pool in a dramatically lit lounge. Santos Escobar wants to win the Smackdown World Cup on Fox for Mexico. Zelina Vega is pretty confident that Escobar will become Intercontinental Champion and establish his grip of power on Smackdown.
Backstage interview with Kofi Kingston, who is in a cartoonishly good mood. He announces himself for the Royal Rumble, and then starts speculating about the Smackdown World Cup finals. He's interrupted by Imperium, and Kofi would be happy to have a singles match with any of them. GUNTHER steps in and accepts.
Emo Bray Wyatt lurks in the shadows. He rambles on about society and technology, and longs for the days when people were animals. He denies being the culprit of last week's attack on LA Knight, because had it been him, there'd be nothing left of him. The thick plottens.
Video highlights of Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler terrorizing the Women's division together.
Shayna Baszler vs. Emma
The fake crowd noise hates Shayna during her entrance. Madcap Moss inspires Emma with a pep talk beforehand and is rewarded with a kiss on the cheek. They lock up, Shayna scores a quick takedown. Emma answers with a snapmare into a pin attempt. Russian leg sweep by Emma, but Shayna gains control with an armbar. Emma fights back with forearm strikes and hits a draping neckbreaker for 2. Shayna misses a knee strike and gets caught in the Tarantula. Emma climbs the ropes but gets taken down with an armdrag. Shayna finishes with a rear naked choke at 4:14. Decent short match, but sadly lacked any engagement from the fans, *. The fake crowd noise sure does hate Shayna though.
Winner: Shayna Baszler
Shayna resumes her attack on Emma's arm, but Shotzi Blackheart runs in for a brawl. Shayna knees Shotzi in the face and gets ready to break her elbow, but now Raquel Rodriguez is here for a rescue. Shayna backs off to live another day.
Lacey Evans video package. She's returned to the Marines to get back to her basics. She was due for a character overhaul.
Ricochet video promo. He's ready to represent the USA against Santos Escobar in the Smackdown World Cup on Fox. This means everything to him, and he's got his eyes on a rematch against IC Champion GUNTHER.
Kofi Kingston vs. Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER (with Imperium)
Poor Kofi was out there before the Ricochet video package and commercials, so he's been dancing in the ring awkwardly for something like 6 minutes in real time before the bell rings. Kofi uses his speed advantage for a quick start, but GUNTHER takes him down with a vicious backbreaker. GUNTHER chops Kofi down and then snapmares him into a neck twist. Kofi uses a low bridge to dropkick GUNTHER to ringside, but Ludvig Kaiser trips him before he can dive. GUNTHER prepares a powerbomb, but Braun Strowman arrives to attack the Imperium henchmen. GUNTHER is spooked and suffers SOS for 2. Back from commercials, Kofi escapes a chinlock and makes a plucky comeback. Boom Drop by Kingston, then a series of counters results in a messy Frog Splash to the back for 2. Kofi springboards into GUNTHER's chop and then eats a German suplex for 2. GUNTHER locks in a Boston Crab, then switches to a crossface. Kofi escapes, they trade counters until GUNTHER hits a shotgun dropkick. GUNTHER nails a powerbomb but Kofi kicks out! GUNTHER muscles into a running power slam to win at 11:31. Really good back and forth TV match, ***.
Bloodline hang out backstage. Sami and Solo take off for catering, leaving the Usos to talk about Sami behind his back on live TV. Sheamus ambushes them with a shillelagh, and sarcastically wishes them luck in their upcoming title defense on Raw.
Damage CTRL come to the ring for a chat. They lost at Survivor Series, but Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky are still Women Tag Team Champions, so who cares? Bayley thinks that their appearance in War Games alone is reason enough to feel superior. She argues that the three of them were in War Games for a combined 90-ish minutes, and winner Becky Lynch was only in the match for a cup of coffee, so their loss doesn't mean all that much. They're interrupted by Liv Morgan, who is here on behalf of the locker room. Liv runs in and manages to send Kai and Sky into ringside furniture before falling to greater numbers. Tegan Nox returns for the rescue and cleans house for a short while before Liv bails her out with a kendo stick attack on Damage CTRL. Morgan and Nox stand tall after the World's Shiniest Wizard.
Karrion Kross video promo. Scarlett plays with some tarot cards while Kross muses about the tough lessons he's been teaching his enemies. Scarlett reveals a Rey Mysterio card and it looks like Kross has a new target, just because.
Evil Bray Wyatt video package. This appears to be the imposter sending a message to Emo Bray. He's feuding with himself, remember?
Smackdown World Cup on FS1 Finals:
Santos Escobar (with Legado del Fantasma) vs. Ricochet
No joke, this has the potential to be really good. Escobar is stuck in the ring killing time for about 10 minutes in real time while they air the Kross and Bray videos. This is an aggravating way to format TV, but does anyone care about what I think? The bell finally rings, and they trade holds with a real sense of urgency. Ricochet gets distracted by LDF, and Escobar dumps him outside. Ricochet recovers with a springboard missile dropkick and then a slick tope suicida! LDF interfere again to shove Ricochet off the top rope, but the referee wisely ejects them. Back from commercials, Ricochet is in trouble when Escobar pushes him off the ropes and hits a tope onto the announce table! Santos gets a late 2 count, so he locks on a Liontamer. Ricochet escapes, so Escobar puts him into a Romero special. Ricochet survives again, and brings Escobar to the apron for a pump kick. Ricochet hits a SSP off the apron! Back from MORE commercials, they battle on the top rope until Ricochet hits a sprinting superplex! They duke it out until colliding in stereo crossbody attempts. Ricochet misses a shotgun dropkick on the floor but lands on the barricade. Santos leaps up next to him and nails a rana! They cut off the sound so we can't hear the "holy sh!t" chants. Santos' late cover gets 2. Escobar hits an elbow drop to the spine, but Ricochet then knocks him off the buckles. Escobar rolls out of harm's way and hits a SUPER RANA, but RICOCHET LANDS ON HIS FEET! Knee lift by Ricochet, suplex, and vertical suplex! Lionsault by Ricochet but Escobar kicks out! Shotgun dropkick by Ricochet sets up the SSP, but Escobar blocks with his knees! Escobar looks for the Phantom Driver, Ricochet counters, but Santos hits a poison rana for 2! Santos carries Ricochet to the top rope, but Ricochet reverses into an AVALANCHE POISON RANA! Ricochet hits a series of stiff kicks and then hits a 630 Splash to win at 21:54! This was AWESOME! The fact that they could put this match on in the main event segment, have the crowd totally into it, and deliver such a high level of action is a testament to the Triple H era of WWE. Totally must see, ****¼.
Winner and Smackdown World Cup Champion: Ricochet
Ricochet celebrates with his shiny, new trophy, but IC Champion GUNTHER shows up to remind him what's in store for him next.
Final Thoughts: Kind of a lackluster TV show until that killer main event, which makes me forget any and all gripes I had with this program beforehand.
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