Date: November 28, 2017
Location: Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY
The Big Takeaway --
Kevin Owens pinned Randy Orton in a no disqualification match thanks to some help from Sami Zayn, even though Zayn was banned from ringside.
Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan are now the “Riott Squad” and they defeated Charlotte, Naomi and Natalya in a 6-woman tag match. It was more of an angle, as Natalya bailed on her team early on, and the heels took out Naomi at ringside before Riott pinned Charlotte.
Jinder Mahal laid out the Singh Brothers after they lost to AJ Styles, and Mojo Rawley laid out Zack Ryder after the Hype Bros lost to the Bludgeon Brothers.
Show Recap --
After a lengthy video package, Shane McMahon came out to start the show. He explained why he intended on firing Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn and also recapped what Daniel Bryan did instead. Shane introduced Bryan so he could explain his actions himself.
Bryan understands why Shane and others think Owens and Zayn should be fired, which the crowd booed, but Bryan knows what it’s like to be fired and believes in second chances. He wasn’t forgiving their actions, but also mentioned that Shane’s temperament gets the best of him sometimes.
Shane agreed, but reminded Bryan that Owens beat up his father, Sami Zayn interfered in his Hell in a Cell match, and both men turned their backs on the roster. Bryan said they were just trying to grab the brass ring, and if they were fired, they would just end up on Raw. Shane didn’t care, because they would end up being Stephanie’s problem.
Bryan said if Shane just wanted someone to do what he said, he wasn’t the guy for Shane. But Bryan wanted to bring out the best in their talent. Shane did like Bryan’s announcement of Owens vs. Randy Orton but wanted to add to it. He banned Zayn from ringside and made the match no disqualifications. Shane and Bryan shook hands. They couldn’t have done this backstage or on the phone?
This was the fifth straight week that Smackdown opened with Shane McMahon. One of those weeks was the backstage segment where he rallied the roster against Raw. The last time he didn’t open the show was in Seattle, where Bryan opened the show instead.
Backstage, Owens and Zayn tried to reason with Bryan. Zayn said Bryan needed to sort this out. Bryan told Zayn he was in no position to make demands, and they weren’t only ones trying to keep their jobs. He refused to help them.
Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods (w/Big E) defeated Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin (8:39)
The Usos were on commentary and Big E brought them pancakes and maple syrup--which he kept in his singlet. The Usos were excited by the offer but weren’t sure they should eat it, so Byron Saxton offered to eat it instead. The Usos also danced to New Day’s music.
New Day won clean. Woods hit a diving footstomp with Benjamin draped over Kingston’s knee for the pinfall win. Not the result I expected but I guess they’re building to a threeway with the Usos.
Backstage, Naomi and Charlotte spoke about taking out Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan. Natalya jumped in and let them know she was ready to help. Charlotte resisted at first, but the segment ended with them all on the same page. This was your typical, phony backstage segment that was impossible to take seriously.
Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Hype Bros (0:43)
The announcers said the Hype Bros demanded this rematch. Harper and Rowan won quickly with a double chokeslam, this time on Zack Ryder.
Dasha Fuentes asked the Hype Bros about their struggles. Ryder said they were top contenders a year ago but that felt like a lifetime ago. He said the landscape has changed and they need to change too. Before Ryder could finish, Mojo Rawley decked him from behind. Rawley hesitated for a moment before attacking Ryder again, yelling “the Hype Bros are dead,” until officials pulled him off.
After a break, Kayla Braxton caught up to Rawley backstage and asked why he attacked Ryder. Rawley responded, “Like Zack said, the landscape has changed.”
Elsewhere, Fuentes asked Bobby Roode about Baron Corbin accidentally attacking him last week. Roode wasn’t sure that was an accident, but knew for sure that Corbin calling him absent-minded was not an accident. Roode said Corbin felt threatened and that he would take away his US Title. Roode was about to yell “Glorious” but Corbin interrupted to call him delirious. Roode challenged him to a title match tonight, but Corbin said no. They made sure to frame this so Corbin would appear 10-feet tall.
2-on-1 handicap match: WWE Champion AJ Styles defeated The Singh Brothers (w/Jinder Mahal) (3:57)
Mahal attacked Styles before the match and they laid him out. After a break, the referee started the match after checking with Styles. The Singhs got the heat on Styles as the fans chanted “USA” at the heel Canadians.
Styles managed to fight them all off, including kicking Mahal off the apron, and gave Samir a Styles Clash off the ropes onto Sunil for the pinfall win.
Mahal attacked the Singhs after the match, giving them both the Khallas as the crowd chanted “You still suck.” Mahal messed up his own finish on Sunil. Corey Graves predicted that Mahal would become champion again.
Backstage, Fuentes interviewed Riot, Morgan and Logan. Riot introduced themselves again and called them the “Riot Squad.” Riot said they were here to turn the division upside down and called Morgan and Logan two of the most dangerous women in the world.
Riot called Morgan her “little firecracker” and Morgan said she was about to “pop off like it’s the fourth of July.” The crowd laughed. Logan said she came from a family of hunters and they were bagging three trophies tonight. Riot’s delivery was good but the verbiage here was terrible.
The New Day did an ad for WWE Shop. Front and centre was a Chris Jericho Funko Pop.
They showed some pictures from Starrcade on the weekend, including Charlotte and Ric Flair, Shinsuke Nakamura getting endorsed by Ricky Steamboat, and Arn Anderson giving Dolph Ziggler a spinebuster.
6-Woman Tag Match: Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan defeated Women’s champion Charlotte Flair, Naomi & Natalya
They are spelling Ruby’s last name “Riott” now. Natalya bailed on the match after 50 seconds.
Logan and Morgan took out Naomi during the match, tossing her into the steel steps (twice). The referee did not call for a DQ for some reason, but did call for help so Naomi could be escorted to the back, leaving Charlotte on her own. Charlotte made a brief comeback but Riot pinned her after a Riot Kick. It’s good the new women won, but the match layout was stupid.
Braxton was waiting outside of Randy Orton’s locker room for an interview, but he just blew past her and marched away.
They did a Fashion Files segment, which was a Saw parody. There wasn’t much to this. Breezango and Ascension were trapped in a room and could only escape if they destroyed the thing they love most. Ascension figured out they must beat the dead horse, Tully. They ripped the horse’s head apart until they discovered a key, which Fandango and Breeze used to escape. Ascension told them to save themselves, even though they had enough time to do both. Breezango just left them there to die as poisonous gas filled the room.
No Disqualification Match: Kevin Owens defeated Randy Orton (16:40)
After about 13 minutes, Orton got ready for an RKO but Owens scampered off. Orton followed after and attacked him on the stage. Zayn ran out and attacked Orton with a chair, hitting him in the left leg. Zayn hit him two more times in the leg with the lightest chair shots ever. (Zayn was banned from ringside, but Graves explained that they were technically on the stage, not at ringside.)
Zayn ran off as Owens tossed Orton in the ring, but Orton came back with a draping DDT. Owens avoided an RKO, chop-blocked him in the injured left leg, then followed with a Frog Splash for the win.