Event: WWE SmackDown
Date: November 29, 2019
Location: Birmingham, AL
The post-Survivor Series episode of SmackDown opened with the Big Dog, Roman Reigns wishing the WWE Universe on the occasion of Thanksgiving. Reigns went on to talk about SmackDown’s performance at the Survivor Series. He said NXT is great but they couldn’t get the job done in the Men’s Match.
Reigns called out the ‘dummy’ in his team, Baron Corbin, and challenged him to a match, but Corbin brought out Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler instead.
Roman Reigns def. Robert Roode: The opening match of the night saw the two former United States Champions face off. The duo produced a decent encounter, before Reigns speared his way to victory, despite the influence of Corbin and Ziggler at ringside.
Ziggler and Roode attacked Reigns post-match, who snapped and laid a vicious beatdown to the former Tag Champs, as Corbin looked on from the ramp.
In the latest episode of Firefly Fun House, Bray Wyatt said he was thankful for the Universal Championship. He said he enjoyed playing with Daniel Bryan at Survivor Series and would like to do it again soon.
Sheamus teased a return, with a vignette. He talked about SmackDown and ran down the roster. He promised to return and make SmackDown his own.
Mustafa Ali def. Drew Gulak: The two former 205 Live superstars featured in a short matchup, with Ali taking the easy win with his signature 450 Splash.
Sasha Banks and Bayley made their way into the ring and talked about SmackDown’s loss at Survivor Series. They started running down their team-mates before Lacey Evans interrupted. Evans trash-talked the duo and hit a Women’s Right on Banks before exiting the ring.
Nikki Cross def. Sonya Deville: Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose tried to takedown the Scottish Superstar, but she braved the odds and rolled up Deville for a quick victory. An angry Deville and Rose tried to double-team Cross but a returning Alexa Bliss made the save! The former Tag Champs hit a suplex on Rose to end the segment.
Backstage: The Miz tried his best to talk Bryan out of a possible confrontation with The Fiend and told him about how Finn Balor and Seth Rollins changed after encountering the current Universal Champion. Bryan just stayed silent as Miz walked off.
Backstage: Drake Maverick approached te birthday girl, Dana Brooke, with mistletoe and tried to kiss her but Brooke stopped him and reminded him that he is married. Elias made a surprising return and played a song for Brooke.
Open Challenge for SmackDown Tag Team Championships | The New Day(c) def. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro: The New Day laid out an open challenge which was answered by the apparently new faction in WWE, Nakamura, Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Cesaro took a Trouble in Paradise from the former WWE Champion, Kofi Kingston, to lose the matchup and retain the titles.
Daniel Bryan addressed the WWE Universe and talked about the challenge laid down by Wyatt. Bryan asked the crowd whether he should accept it and a huge YES! chant broke out. Bryan officially turned face and brought back the YES! Movement.
Bray Wyatt interrupted with another segment from the Firefly Fun House. Wyatt then suddenly appeared from beneath the ring and applied the Mandible Claw on Bryan. Wyatt took him down with him and appeared to mercilessly rip out Bryan’s hair to end the show.
Takeaways from Friday Night SmackDown
The Bray Wyatt Show
Bray Wyatt was all over the show this week, and almost every alternate segment featured the Universal Champion. A new addition to the Firefly Fun House was promised for this week’s show, and the reveal was a custom Universal title for the Fiend.
It is great to see WWE actually book a champion like a champion, and not let him be an afterthought. Any champion not named Roman or Brock has suffered the wrath of horrible booking, which makes this a much welcome change.
The major problem with Wyatt remains the audience’s reaction to the Fiend. Audiences are still cheering for the masked monster, which is definitely not the intended reaction for a superstar who shoves down his hand in throats of other superstars.
The YES Movement Has Returned
Daniel Bryan officially restarted the YES Movement, with a fired-up promo in the main event of the evening. The widely popular gimmick initially started off as a means to get the attention of the top brass in WWE, but this time, it has returned in a very different role.
Bray Wyatt forcing individuals to go into their past is simply a masterstroke in storytelling. Finn Balor becoming the Prince again, Seth Rollins becoming the annoying, self-centered heel, and Bryan going back to the YES Movement is solid storytelling, which deserves all the praise it gets.
A Night of Returns
Three major names returned to WWE programming this week as Elias, Alexa Bliss and Sheamus appeared on this week’s episode. Sheamus is apparently going back to his 2011-2012 self, and a singles run for the Irish superstar will be perfect.
Bliss returns as a full-fledged babyface and should stand as the next challenger for Bayley and Sasha Banks’ evil personas. It is almost 2020 and Bayley is a heel while Bliss is a babyface, and it will take some time to get used to it.
Elias and his famed guitar will look to become a solid player in the upper mid-card of the division, and it will be exciting to see where his character heads to.
The Big Dog Roars, But Until When?
Roman Reigns overcoming improbable odds with the sheer display of his superhuman strength is a tale as old as time. Once again the Big Dog reigned supreme over the new trio of Corbin, Roode, and Ziggler, and is surely heading towards the rumored ‘Dog Collar’ match at TLC.
However, if he keeps overcoming these odds week-after-week, the crowd will eventually turn on him once again. WWE has booked him decently since his return earlier this year, but it could go downhill very fast if WWE doesn’t change up things soon.