WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 18
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With Survivor Series: War Games just eight days away and a united team of The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre bearing down on them, The Bloodline found themselves reeling for the first time in what felt like an eternity to close out last week’s show.
Friday night, the most dominant faction in professional wrestling sought to turn the tide back in its favor as Sami Zayn battled Butch in a SmackDown World Cup quarterfinal match.
Was The Honorary Uce able to send a message to the Brutes on behalf of The Bloodline and remind them who they are dealing with, or did the artist formerly known as Pete Dunne score a win that only further put Roman Reigns and his family on the defensive?
Find out with this recap of the November 18 episode of SmackDown.
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The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre kicked off the night’s show, still riding high from their message-sending beatdown of The Bloodline on last week’s show.
Sheamus called out the long, two-decade history between him and The Scottish Warrior but revealed that their issues have created mutual respect among them. So much so that McIntyre was his best man three weeks ago in New York.
Sami Zayn interrupted the proceedings, arrogantly dismissed the idea of a mystery fifth opponent and built hype for his match with Butch later in the night.
This was perfectly fine promo work from all involved, with some nice continuity from the babyfaces.
Yes, Sheamus and McIntyre have a long history that includes an Old-Fashioned Donnybrook match on the pre-SummerSlam edition of SmackDown, so it was a welcome addition to this show for the two of them to explain why they are suddenly close enough to go into battle together.
Zayn remained as great, and over, as ever and helped elevate the segment with his presence alone.
- “Is this thing on this time?” Sheamus said, motioning toward the microphone in response to last week’s technical gaff.
- The babyfaces momentarily got a “brutey” chant going in response to the “ucey” chant that The Bloodline created as a result of Zayn’s antics a few weeks back.
- “We don’t really care who the fifth member is,” Zayn said, interrupting the babyfaces and preventing the revelation of their Survivor Series: War Games team.
- “Ucey in the Sky with Diamonds,” Zayn called himself in a great line.
- “It will be the last thing you expect,” Sheamus forewarned Zayn, suggesting he be less arrogant about the identity of The Bloodline’s fifth opponent.
SmackDown World Cup Quarterfinal: Ricochet vs. Mustafa Ali
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On the heels of Monday’s Raw, where he suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of Bobby Lashley, Mustafa Ali sought to shake off the effects of the one-sided physicality and defeat Ricochet in the first round of the SmackDown World Cup.
Ali proved resilient, shaking off the crippling injuries to test his opponent. A late 450 splash, though, failed to hit its target as Ali crashed into the mat and drove the air out of himself. Ricochet capitalized and delivered a Shooting Star Press for the win.
This was a strong match with some superb storytelling by way of selling on the part of Ali. The entire thing was built around the idea that he had injured ribs that would adversely affect his ability to compete.
He threw everything he had at his opponent, but one miscalculation further injured him and set him up for the finish. It was simple, effective storytelling elevated by Ali understanding the assignment and delivering a grade-A performance.
Ricochet winning sets him up to battle Braun Strowman in the semifinals, and given The Monster Among Monster’s recent comments about “flippy” wrestlers, that one is certainly all the more interesting than its babyface vs. babyface status.
Ricochet pinned Ali
- During a backstage confrontation, Ali insisted that if he was breathing, he was fighting and told Ricochet he would see him in the ring.
- Ali delivered a second-rope backstabber to Ricochet to seize control entering the break. In doing so, though, he further injured his ribs.
- Ricochet rolled through a plancha and countered into a Blue Thunder Drive on the arena floor.
- Ricochet delivered a Full Nelson suplex, followed with a lariat and standing moonsault for a great near-fall.
Madcap Moss vs. Karrion Kross
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Three weeks after suffering a humiliating loss to Karrion Kross in which he was put to sleep in the Kross Jacket, Madcap Moss sought revenge against the former NXT world champion one-on-one.
For the second time in as many showdowns, he suffered the same fate.
Despite a strong showing from an intense Moss, Kross was able to lock in the Kross Jacket and force the submission win. After the match, Emma rushed to the ring to check on the fallen babyface while Kross taunted from the floor.
This is a potentially beneficial program for both men.
Kross was thrown into an upper-card feud with Drew McIntyre before fans had the opportunity to really invest in him. Moss has fallen by the wayside but now has the opportunity to benefit from feuding with a performer in Kross who management clearly sees a lot in.
Letting Kross develop his character on the main roster and allowing Moss to rebuild momentum and credibility is the perfect way to help both guys establish themselves. Adding Emma and Scarlett to the mix for a potential tag team feud is an intriguing possibility, too.
Kross defeated Moss via submission
- Prior to the match, Emma gave Moss a pep talk, adding to their budding romance storyline.
- Scarlett cut off a charging Moss, bringing a halt to his momentum.
- Emma hit the ring to check on Moss after the match, and a staredown with Kross and Scarlett teased a potential mixed tag team match in the future.
Bray Wyatt Promo
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Bray Wyatt made his way to the ring and, once again, waxed poetically about his personal journey to being a better man.
LA Knight interrupted his in-ring promo and claimed to accept Wyatt’s apology before smacking him. A second smack unleashed a stoic stare on the face of the intensely angry Wyatt, who did not act on his desires to unleash pain and suffering on Knight. His Uncle Howdy persona flashed on the screen behind the NXT export to close out the segment.
The Wyatt-Knight feud may be the most unexpected pairing on WWE television, but there are few choices better to torment, taunt and prod at Wyatt, thus unleashing his dark side and giving fans a look at the Eater of Worlds they knew before.
The match will be interesting, if only because of the difference in styles, but what fans are really interested in is the next chapter of the Wyatt story. Hopefully, it presents itself sooner rather than later.
- “Why do I do the things that I do and can I actually change?” Wyatt asked.
- “The rarest commodity around here is respect,” LA Knight said, insinuating that he earned Wyatt’s respect a week ago.
- “Now we’re even. Apology accepted. I can go my way, you can go yours,” Knight said after slapping Wyatt in the face.
- “The decision you’re about to make right now is going to change the rest of your life,” Wyatt said before extending his hand to Knight, who slapped him again.
Shotzi vs. Shayna Baszler (with Ronda Rousey)
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On the heels of a No. 1 Contender’s Match win a week ago, and a backstage attack that left her unconscious, Shotzi sought a measure of revenge against Shayna Baszler.
Accompanying The Submission Magician? SmackDown women’s champion Ronda Rousey, whom The Ballsy Badass will challenge in Boston at Survivor Series: War Games.
The match was interrupted frequently by outside interference, first from Rousey, then Raquel Rodriguez, who looked to prevent further interjections. The distractions caused by them allowed Shotzi to roll Baszler up for the win.
On the surface, Shotzi picking up a win is a big deal and furthers her momentum entering Survivor Series, but she was, at any given point, the third or fourth most focused-on star in this segment.
That does not help her or the creative efforts to build her into a star and legitimate threat to Rousey. Unfortunately, this was a creative misfire, especially since Rodriguez ended up being the real deciding factor in this one.
Shotzi defeated Baszler
- A mid-match confrontation between Shotzi and Rousey almost provided just the distraction the former needed as Baszler nearly collided with her friend on the apron.
- Raquel Rodriguez appeared, providing another distraction, this one aiding her tag team partner.
Braun Strowman and New Day vs. Imperium
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After a backstage confrontation earlier in the show between New Day and Imperium led to the making of a six-man tag team match for tonight, Braun Strowman joined Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods in the battle against GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci.
The heels isolated Woods until a hot tag from Strowman sparked a comeback for the babyfaces. He steamrolled Vinci and Kaiser and manhandled GUNTHER in a way that no one has since his arrival in WWE.
A brief tease of a showdown between those two competitors gave way to New Day putting Kaiser away with the Midnight Hour for the win.
The match was fine, but the idea that GUNTHER is afraid of Strowman is ridiculous. He is the Ring General, capable of matching power, intensity and ferocity with anyone. If you want to tell the story of him being caught off-guard by the involvement of The Monster Among Monsters, fine, but to book him to look like a coward is asinine and only takes away from his aura.
So much was put on the potential showdown between them if Strowman manages to win the SmackDown World Cup that one has to wonder if the big man suddenly is a red herring, opening up the potential for someone else to emerge from the field victoriously.
Strowman and New Day defeated Imperium
- GUNTHER is every bit as tall as Strowman, and the commentary team did not make enough of a deal about this.
- GUNTHER chopped the hell out of Strowman, then took off running around the squared circle in fear of the charging monster.
- As Woods pinned Kaiser, Strowman entered the ring, causing GUNTHER to retreat from the ring.
SmackDown World Cup Quarterfinal: Butch vs. Sami Zayn
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The Brawling Brutes earned more momentum at the expense of The Bloodline in Friday’s main event as Butch defeated Sami Zayn to advance to the semifinals of the SmackDown World Cup tournament.
A distraction caused by Jey Uso and his brawl with Sheamus allowed Butch to catch Zayn with the Bitter End and score the pinfall victory.
After the match, Roman Reigns made his presence felt, entering the arena to a thunderous ovation before laying waste to The Brawling Brutes and Drew McIntyre.
Then came the reveal of the fifth member of the babyface team at Survivor Series: War Games as Kevin Owens entered to an enormous pop.
He uncorked a series of superkicks and left Reigns reeling to end the show.
This was great stuff all around.
The match itself was fun, and everything else that followed was even better. The reaction for Reigns was incredible, and Owens matched it, the crowd overwhelmingly enthusiastic about his involvement in the feud and the upcoming War Games match.
It remains to be seen how healthy Owens will be by November 26, but if he is even a fraction of 100 percent, one should probably expect another intense performance from the Prizefighter.
Butch pinned Zayn
- Butch wiped out Jimmy Uso on the floor.
- The brawl between Sheamus and Jey Uso spilled into the ring, then out of it.
- Solo Sikoa wiped out Butch before engaging McIntyre in a brawl.
- Reigns made a STAR entrance, the likes of which are reserved for the absolute tippy-top guys in one’s industry. The pop, the energy…unrivaled in the business today. Bar none for full-time competitors.
- Then Owens went and matched that pop.