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WWE SmackDown Live recap & reactions (Nov. 28, 2017): Squad Goals

SmackDown Live waltzed back into our lives last night (Nov. 28) from the Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. You can find all the results at the live blog here.

Simmering Tensions

This tension between Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon sure is interesting.

Shane McMahon opened SmackDown this week by asking that his General Manager join him in the ring and then asked Bryan why he didn’t fire Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn last week like the commissioner wanted. Bryan explained that he believes in second chances and he knows good in-ring talent like Sami and Kevin, who still have value. He also knows that Shane has been known to let his anger get the better of him.

Shane agreed, but made it known it was a righteous anger. After all, it was Kevin Owens who headbutted his father. It was Sami Zayn who cost Shane at Hell in a Cell. And it was both Sami and Kevin who cost team blue at Survivor Series.

Daniel understood but countered with the point that he was in charge last week since Shane wasn’t there and his decisions were final. He’s not a yes man (ironically enough). He’s someone who’s going to stand up for his visions for the brand. Shane seemed content with that and the men shook hands, but something tells me this isn’t over.

During their discussion, Shane altered the match Bryan made last week of Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens, turning it into a no DQ match. He also banned Sami Zayn from ring side.

The match was the main event, and much of it was spent with Orton and Owens brutalizing each other with kendo sticks. That’s a good thing, given both these men do vicious very well. The fight spilled through the crowd and ended up at the entrance. There, Sami Zayn ran out and attacked Orton’s leg with a chair, taking advantage of the fact he wasn’t technically at ringside.

The targeted leg failed Randy later when the Viper tried for an RKO and KO immediately delivered a chop block. This set up a big frog splash from Owens for the win.

Surely, Shane will not be happy with how this all went down. The commissioner isn’t likely to want to hear arguments of semantics from Zayn nor Owens. And I can’t imagine the issues between him and Bryan are over since Daniel seems to be defending them.

This story is at a slow simmer right now, but it’s intriguing enough to keep me curious for what they’re going to do next. Eventually this simmer is going to turn into a boil and when it does, it could be a big deal.

Squad Goals

Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan revealed their team name and had their first main roster match last night.

Collectively known as the Riott Squad, the trio used their scheduled match against Charlotte, Natalya, and Naomi to show how deadly they can be.

Nattie bailed early, leaving her partners to the wrath of the Squad. Liv and Logan went to work on Naomi outside the ring while Ruby occupied Charlotte inside the ring. Morgan and Logan tossed the Master of the Glow into the steel steps and then slingshotted her into the steps which were positioned over her, resulting in a stretcher job.

Now facing a 3 on 1 handicap match, the Women’s champ tried to battle, but she couldn’t overcome the numbers of the Riottt Squad.

I still have some reservations about this new team, mainly the fact that the three components of the Riotttt Squad are so random. Ruby is punk rock, Liv is Jersey, and Logan is the southern huntress. It is a rather ragtag pairing and doesn’t yet feel like a cohesive trio. However, watching Morgan and Logan effectively double team Naomi to where she had to be taken out on a stretcher went a long way to making this team feel like a big time threat.

In two weeks, they’ve taken out former champions Becky Lynch and Naomi. That’s significant.


After another loss to the Bludgeon Brothers, the Hype Bros have finally broken up. This was the longest break up ever. They were that couple you’d see out at a party and say “Wait, they’re STILL together?” Well finally, they had that blow up fight in front of everyone we all saw coming. After their very quick loss, Zack Ryder was being interviewed about their issues when Mojo attacked him from behind and beat the crap out of him.

Finally, they can move on to what they want to do with these men individually. It’ll be interesting to see Mojo as a heel, but I’m looking forward to it. While they haven’t been on TV often, he’s been doing really well these last six months with his promos now that he’s less HYPED and more focused. Now we get to see how he focuses his intensity as a heel. It has potential to be really good.

As for the Bludgeon Brothers, I’m glad Harper and Rowan are back and they work really well as a team, but I have a big issue with their new bit. And that’s the fact that Harper and Rowan have been around way too long to give them this gimmick and not explain why. We’ve seen them as part of the Wyatt Family. We’ve seen them as singles acts. We know them too well not to get a reason they’d suddenly walk around with huge hammers in the woods. A repackage like this deserves an explanation. Why are they back together, especially since last we saw they were feuding? Why the hammers? Are they really cosplaying as Kane? We wouldn’t accept it if Cesaro and Sheamus disappeared for a bit and came back as airline pilots. Why should we accept the backwoods swamp dudes are suddenly medieval hammer dudes?

Handicapped match

AJ Styles was booked in a handicap match against both Singh Brothers. Despite they being the ones fighting, they still had to introduce Jinder Mahal before the bout.

Mahal attacked AJ prior to the match, but Styles insisted he go on. He won the match with a spectacular Styles Clash to Samir Singh from the second rope which he delivered onto Sunil Singh. Hot damn!

Jinder wasn’t happy with this result and delivered a Khallas to both brothers. Poor Singhs.

While I’m not super into this feud, I appreciate how unhinged Jinder is getting every time AJ gets the step on him.

New Day Still Rocks

New Day earned a win over Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable this week. While it’s odd to see a team cleanly defeat the duo who are owed a title match, it was the absolute correct call here. New Day aren’t a team who should serve as a tune up for title contenders. They’re too big for that. This year, they’ve been framed as a big time tag team after their feud with the Usos. Beating them should always be a big deal.

It was a fun match, where Woods played face in peril most of the time, a role he’s been great in. These teams have some good chemistry so I look forward to getting to see them battle again.

Oh and Big E carried pancakes, syrup, and napkins to the ring in his singlet to give to the Usos, who were on commentary. Peak Big E.

Fashion Files

The Files returned last night, following up from last time when the Ascension and Breezango were kidnapped. This week they found themselves in a Saw style trap. They made an apropos “beating a dead horse” joke and continued to remind us that Breeze and Fandango don’t consider the Ascension friends. Pretty funny stuff.

Oh and the Ascension were killed by poison gas. So RIP, I guess.

This week was another solid offering from the blue brand.

Grade: B

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