I know, I know, another late SmackDown; Thursday is my one day off a week, so I tend to go out and then be too tired to watch wrestling. It’s a terrible thing.
So, we open with a special ‘fall-themed’ opening, because Thanksgiving, which is something we don’t do in the UK, so I’m just sort of baffled about it. Roman starts us off, to huge crowd pop, smiling as he comes down to a ring with a table, a ladder, and a chair in it – because we need TLC matches explained to us now, apparently. And we have a recap of what happened with the match on the PPV, because apparently we need to see Roman’s sad little face over and over, until it’s etched into our minds and we spend the next few months quietly weeping in a corner.
They decide to let Roman talk, which isn’t normally a good plan, bless him, because he’s still getting booed sometimes. He talks about how he and the Usos would wrestle all over the house, then the yard and the pool and the beach, and that this was all so he could win the Heavyweight title. He recaps Survivor Series for us, AGAIN, that Sheamus broke his face, and that Roman only held the title for five minutes and fifteen seconds. Sheamus comes out and mocks him for being a ‘walking, talking Adele song’, and mocks him for the small amount of time he was champion – but then says he wouldn’t have finished the first page of a book if he started reading it when Roman became champion, which makes him a pretty slow reader. There’s a good boo from the crowd for Sheamus, which gives him the heat he needs.
Sheamus says he’s not out there to bust Roman’s chops, and starts giving him a weird little pep talk about how awesome the moment was when Roman won – but says it then became HIS moment. When he kicked Roman in the face, it felt so good, it felt so good to get the belt. He gets resoundingly booed from the crowd. Roman says Sheamus can stand up there and look stupid, or he can come down to the ring and show Sheamus what he can do to him in five minutes. Quick blowwie? Sheamus looks like he’s going to, but then obviously changes his mind, says Roman doesn’t think things through, that he doesn’t plan, isn’t smart, and doesn’t take his opportunities. He says this is why he has the title, and all Roman has are broken dreams.
Roman gives him a sneak peek of TLC – breaking his jaw with a superman punch, trying to break his back with a chair, powerbomb him through a table, and then climb the ladder and take the title. It’s like the most polite way to talk about murder ever, and probably means that Roman will lose at TLC, because otherwise all this talking with be for naught.
Our first match is Dudley Boyz vs. Wyatts. Starting with Rowan and D-Von in the ring, Rowan looks like he’s taking it out on D-Von pretty hard until he gets a good clothesline to the face. Double team suplex when Bubba is tagged in, and Rowan makes the tag to Strowman. Bubba tries to use speed against him, getting Strowman in a headlock, keeping him close, but Strowman can power out of it pretty well. He manages to throw Bubba, and then walk him back into a punch and a suplex, but Bubba still have time for an elbow to Rowan in the corner before Strowman takes him down to the ground and pins his head in the corner. While Strowman tangles with the ref, Rowan and Harper stamp on Bubba’s arm.
After the break, we come back to an arm stretch from Strowman, that Bubba powers out of, but Strowman is really dragging Bubba around right now, concentrating on the left arm. He tags Rowan in, but he walks into a kick from Bubba to the gut, and a slam that takes both men down, Bubba trying to make the tag, which he does. D-Von up against Rowan, body slamming him into the ground, the going for a big splash, letting Rowan get himself into trouble. He gets the pin for two, but Strowman comes in to break it up, so Bubba jumps in to counter that move. The two Dudleys go against the Wyatts, throwing Strowman out of the ring and making him bounce off the announce table. Rowan gets taken down by both Dudleys as the ref tries to take control of the situation. Bubba yells to D-Von to get the tables, and so out they come, setting Rowan up for a powerbomb through it, but it takes a kick from Harper to Bubba, and then Strowman grabs D-Von. The rest of the Wyatts swarm the ring, and D-Von is out and down after a bear hug from Strowman. Bubba gets sent through the table by Strowman and Rowan, and Bray Wyatt cackles madly over the body.
We get an infomercial about what’s going on with Black Friday merch, with the wonder of New Day, being glorious and funny and cute, and I love them so much. They’re behind a huge table of merch, including a Seth Rollins ugly Christmas sweater, and I want all of it. All of it.
Next match is a Diva’s match, Paige vs. Becky Lynch. Becky’s hair matches the fallen leaves, which is nice. The women start straight off, grappling, Becky rolling Paige up, getting very physical straight away. Paige is flying all over the ring, and hiding behind the ring post again, because that’s a good way to get heel heat. Becky’s not happy about this, but when Paige is back in she gets some good boots in and some slams, a quick roll up before Paige crawls away. Paige gets Becky by the hair, dragging her around, slamming her into the turnbuckles, and slapping her around in the corner. Paige throws Becky hard.
When we come back, Paige has Becky through the ropes, knees to the face, rolling her up for z cover for one. She gets Becky into a arm stretch, pulling her backwards, stretching those shoulder joints, but Becky powers out, the chants for her rising. Paige pulls her hair and takes her down backwards, and we see Charlotte watching from that weird angle all wrestlers watch tv from. More knees to Becky in the corner, before she drags her backwards, and again a cover and kick out for Becky. Once more, Paige is back to holding the shoulders, before rolling her back into the corner. Becky manages to get a roll up to Paige for two, then takes her over in a suplex and gets Paige down for the two count, a blow to the ribs from Paige breaking it. Another roll up, and Becky goes for the disarmer, but Paige gets hold of the ropes. There’s a messy roll up spot where Paige somehow gets the cover for three on Becky, but it felt very one-sided – that match was more a show for Charlotte than it was an actual match.
New day are hanging out for Thanksgiving pot luck dinner with Team Bad, their tag team championships on the table. They have a little dance with the girls before Heath Slater shows up with slaw with a band aid in it. Adam Rose, who we haven’t seen on screen for ages, shows up with rabbit stew (poor Bunny), and the most miserable expression, clearly because they told him to show up for this but haven’t let him wrestle for months. The Ascension are next to arrive, saying they brought desolation and destruction, not any dishes to eat, so they get asked to leave. They realise they have no turkey, and Xavier shows up in the Gobbledygooker costume, which has clearly been in Vince’s sex chest for the last 25 years. The power of poultry is discussed, as Xavier jiggles his turkey tail at the camera.
Alberto Del Rio shows up with Zeb Colter for some more thinly disguised racism, because Vince loves hearing a crowd shout ‘USA’ when half of his active roster aren’t even from there anymore. Colter says he taught Swagger everything that Swagger knows, but not everything that he, Colter knows. He calls Swagger an ignorant, insecure, American SOB, and says loyalty has to be channelled in the right direction, and calls everyone a hater. Del Rio talks about Thanksgiving, and says Swagger will be thankful that Del Rio lets him walk out of the ring. Swagger comes out and gets a good ‘we, the people’ chant as he gets into the ring.
The USA chants start early, and these two start with a good grapple of strength, before a boot from Del Rio hits Swagger in the mid-section. They’re both very aggressive wrestlers, so there’s a lot of punches, and Swagger takes Del Rio down for a quick count of two. Del Rio gets a cover for two, and then goes for a chokehold, the USA chants getting louder and louder as we expose the xenophobia America likes to remember on Thanksgiving. Del Rio gets a stomp of the second rope for two, a kick out at two, and then pins Swagger in the corner, Swagger taking him down with a big plant for the two count. Del Rio tries to go into the crowed, but Swagger’s having none of it, taking him into the timekeeper’s area with a huge lariat. Swagger approaches Colter, but Del Rio takes him out with a chair from behind, ending the match with a disqualification.
He keeps going, however, and hit Swagger with the chair once more, Colter telling him to finish Swagger off. As Del Rio argues with the ref, Swagger gets up, and gets the chair, taking it to Del Rio time after time, sending Del Rio out of the ring with Colter, and Swagger getting another ‘we, the people’ chant off the crowd. Del Rio holds the title aloft.
The Usos are accosted by the Xavier-gooker, and say they’ve got a plan. Ooooh. Also it’s nice to see them not in motion for once, to appreciate them a little more.
The Lucha Dragons come out to an awesome crowd pop, to be joined by the New Day – Xavier-gooker still going strong, and Big E in his apron and chef’s hat from the previous spot. We start with Kofi and Kalisto in the ring, Kofi going for an arm stretch, but getting pulled into a double team spot which tags Sin Cara in. Kofi raises the unicorn horn before getting rolled up easily by Sin Cara, so Kofi tags in Big E, who takes down Sin Cara, and the New Day have a dance. A drop kick from Sin Cara takes Big E to the outside, then a run over the second rope to send him into the announce table. Sin Cara throws Big E back into the ring, and catches Kofi with a boot as he goes in, too, for good measure. Big E hip checks him off the apron for that, leaving Sin Cara on the floor outside the ring as they bring the New Day Rocks chants.
After an ad break for the wonder that is the black Friday deals for WWE, we have Sin Cara in the corner having the unicorn stomp from Kofi and Big E over and over, setting him up for a splash from Big E. Sin Cara dodges out of the way, so Big E tangles himself in the ropes, and while the tags are made, it’s Kofi and Kalisto, he gets a beautiful corkscrew off the ropes and a springboard kick to Big E on ringside. Kalisto gets the salida del sol and pins Kofi for the win after the Xavier-gooker pulled Kofi’s feet off the ropes.
Xavier woods comes out with Jimmy Uso, and it’s revealed it’s Jey in the costume. The Dragons come back for more, with help from Jimmy, to take out their aggression on the New Day. Xavier Woods is rolled into the ring by Sin Cara and Kalisto, in comedy boxers, with his hands and feet bound. The ropes on his wrists break pretty easily when the Lucha Dragons set him up to take a heel kick from Jimmy Uso. Jey then climbs the ropes, still dressed as the Gobbledygooker, which I commend him for, after just having months out in injury time, and Jimmy puts the head back on him (oh god, oh god, oh god) and does a huge splash off the top rope onto the bound Xavier. The Dragons and the Usos have a little celebration in the ring over the prone body of Xavier Woods.
Tyler has a little smartphone video for ‘Dean Ug-Brose’ and Dolph Ziggler, saying he has more style than substance, and that style always wins. He says it’s time to get gorgeous, and Summer Rae pouts in the background, clearly upset that the Intercontinental Title is the best accessory Tyler could have, and not her. Poor Summer, I keep telling you, you deserve better.
There’s another 25 year Undertaker video package, which suggests he’ll be back for Wrestlemania, which is awesome.
Dean talks to Renee Young about becoming the number one contender for the IC title. Dean says luck had nothing to do with Sunday, that it’s all skill, and how he’ll be in the ring with the show-off and ‘fuzzy boot mcgee’ which is absolutely Tyler’s new nickname, and possibly what Summer calls him in bed. Renee makes heart eyes after Dean leaves, which is always lovely to see, and then we’re seeing KO come down to ringside with the IC title, to join commentary. He refers to Rich as ‘Milhouse’, which is perfect.
Tyler and Summer are out first, with Tyler looking fuzzier than usual, and KO says he couldn’t care less about Breeze. Dolph comes out next, talking about his four IC title reigns. Dean’s last out, and KO said he did get lucky on Sunday when he beat him, and also says he’s keeping the hoodie Dean threw at him. Aww, boyfriends.
We start off with Tyler trying to get out of the ring, running back in to a punch from Dean, after being chased by Dolph. Dolph sends Tyler over the ropes with a lariat, and then Dean grabs Dolph by the waistband to pull him back down for a roll up for two. Dolph and Dean keep trying to get each other down, Tyler staying out of it for now. Dolph goes for the superkick, but gets caught by Dean, and ends up outside the ring. Tyler takes his shot, then Ambrose comes over the top rope, and gets punched in the face by Dolph. Dolph takes a moment to stare down KO, who offers him his new Dean Ambrose hoody, no doubt because Dolph looks cold with no shit on. Put your nipples away, Dolph, they’re distracting Kevin. KO throws it at him and tells Dolph to concentrate on the match.
When we come back from the ad break, Dean has Dolph sitting on the top rope, and Tyler comes to get in the way, knocking Dolph out of the ring and Dean into it, where he gets some vicious stops from Breeze’s fuzzy boots, before some punches. Breeze gets up and shoves Dean into the ropes, before Dean works himself back into the middle of the ring. Dean goes for a rebound and doesn’t get it, caught by Tyler, then tries to hit his rebound lariat spot that we all love, and Tyler grabs him by the legs, tilting him backwards, straight into a heel kick from Dolph on the outside. Dolph tries to get back in the ring to face Tyler, who grabs him by the hair, though Dolph jumps off the apron, shoving Tyler’s face into the top rope.
Dolph gives a beautiful lariat to Tyler’s face, knocking him to the mat, following it up with another, before shoving Tyler into the corner and taking him into a neckbreaker. He roars at the crowd and then goes for a vicious elbow drop, getting a cover for two, before Tyler kicks out. Dolph goes for a clothesline, Tyler dodges, but the Show-Off manages to turn it into a rebound dropkick from the other side of the ring, taking Tyler back down again. Dean tries to come off the top rope, but Dolph catches him with a foot to the knee. Dolph plants Dean and manages to pin him for the two count, before Dean kicks out. Dolph winds up for the superkick, but Dean catches him, sends him down and then springs him up and into the turnbuckles. Dean gets Dolph into position for a takedown, but Tyler interrupts, both of them sending Dolph down to the mat, after Dean does his rebound, and Tyler taking Dean over the second rope, pinning Ziggler for what looks like the win, Dolph kicking out at two and a half. Dean hits an elbow drop on Breeze from the top rope and gets a cover for two, Breeze kicking out, Ziggler still flat out in the middle of the ring. Dean realises he’s the only man still standing, and does a little grandstanding for the crowd, before prepping Tyler for a takedown, interrupted by Ziggler this time.
Both Ziggler and Ambrose go for a running senton on Breeze at the same time, sandwiching him between their bodies, all three down and writhing in pain. KO is very confident none of these men are going to beat him. Ziggler is first up, and goes for a superkick on Dean, but he hasn’t learnt that Dean always catches him, so he gets pushed back in a flurry of jabs and chops. Dean hits Ziggler with a dropkick, then Breeze is up and taking the jabs and chops instead, but as Dean goes for the same spot, Breeze catches him with a foot to the jaw. Dean goes down hard, and Ziggler takes on Breeze with a knee, pinning him for two and a half, Breeze just getting out of it. Dolph is clearly frustrated, and KO points out that they don’t need to keep telling us that the first man to get a pin is the winner, because that’s ‘kinda how these matches work’. KO for commentary, 2k16.
Breeze rolls out of the ring, and Ziggler goes for Ambrose in the corner, Dean pushing him back and going for a top rope spot, but Ziggler’s up faster than he expected, bringing him down of the ropes and into a slam, looking like he’ll get the win, but Breeze breaks it up, going for a suplex, but Dolph flips out of it, taking Breeze down with the zig zag. He pins him, but Breeze reverses it, and when Dolph kicks out, he takes him down will a well-placed beauty shot, trying to take him down in another move – but Dean comes in with dirty deeds and pins Tyler – 1, 2, 3 – for the win. Dean is now the IC title number one contender. KO doesn’t look too happy about it, despite his hoodie-stealing, and when Dean comes out of the ring to meet him, he holds up the IC title in a taunt.
Dean shoves Owens back into his commentary chair, but KO back up and trash talking in seconds. He goes to leave, IC title draped over his shoulder, Dean following him at a slow, leisurely pace – so KO turns to face him, waling backwards so the trash talk can continue, before he deems himself far enough away to risk turning his back on Dean, and leaves. SmackDown ends with a close up of Dean’s grinning face, and we know we’re in for one hell of a fight when Dean and KO face off for the IC title.