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WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Nov. 22, 2019): Ultimo Chaos

What’s a Survivor Series go home show without the biggest brawl possible? It’s been done before and it’s certainly the sort of thing that has mitigating returns, but hey - who can hate on NXT rolling up in the damn DX tank?

The show opened with Baron Corbin (...of course) addressing the SmackDown locker room with a pep talk. Roman Reigns showed up to cut him off by saying the doors were open to the other brands and that SmackDown would take them all on. To that end, Roman got his wish.

But let’s talk about the 6-man tag match before that though: Reigns, Chad Gable, and Mustafa Ali vs. Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode. It was a quality match on a night with some seriously good wrestling...and one glaring problem.

This match took place in Chicago. Mustafa Ali is from Chicago...and Mustafa Ali lost to a freaking Deep Six in Chicago. Not the End of Days - a Deep Six.

Why does every nice thing have to be sacrificed to the altar of Corbin, WWE? Corbin’s a talented guy, but stuff like this just makes me want to see the dude disappear. I have no interest in booing him; I just want him and the troll segments he’s part of permanently removed. yeah, we got the final brawl before Survivor Series. It started with Seth Rollins leading the Raw roster through the crowd and into a confrontation with Reigns. The crowd chanted CM Punk at Rollins because of course Chicago would chant CM Punk at Rollins. I’d imagine Rollns is pleased with that outcome, too. Me? I’m rolling my eyes.

The most intriguing thing about the brawl, however, might have been the absence of Kevin Owens. Unless I’m mistaken, he was not out there helping Raw fight off the other brands. That doesn’t mean he’s joined NXT either, but it seems like he’s taking a page from his buddy Finn Balor’s book and sowing some intrigue.

That’s a thing to keep an eye on this weekend.

We’re spoiled for good wrestling

Last week, I expressed my eagerness to see a match between Rhea Ripley and Sasha Banks. And this week... oh hey! A match between Ripley and Banks, with Charlotte Flair thrown in for good measure!

WWE has been struggling in a lot of ways recently, but the fact that they can just throw a match this absurdly fun together at any time shows how spoiled we are with good wrestling these days. It’s not even just WWE, anymore.

This was a fun, physical match. The teams on each brand were at ringside and largely stayed out of the way until the match was over. I really liked the finish to the match. Charlotte caught Ripley with a Natural Selection and shortly thereafter locked the Figure Eight onto Banks. But just as Charlotte raised her upper body off the mat to bridge for the submission finisher, Ripley slithered underneath her back and pinned her shoulders. What a hell of a victory for Ripley.

The other point of interest to this one was Toni Storm being the fifth woman on the NXT team this week. Whether that’s Ripley’s final choice for the team or a way to mess with the other brands, we’ll have to wait and see.

NXT stayed out of the brawl after the match, a decision that Michael Cole and Corey Graves both noted as a way to stay fresh for Sunday. I like that they pointed this out, but I feel like their framing was a bit off. You know, because they’ll be in freaking WAR GAMES tomorrow night, but at least you can make the connection that they really can’t afford more bumps and bruises before they even get to that match.

The Rest

Don’t call out Bray Wyatt - Daniel Bryan wanted to talk with Wyatt or the Fiend before their fight at Survivor Series. Instead of getting his wish, however, The Miz came down for revenge for how Bryan clowned him on MizTV last week. They had a match, but just as Bryan had Miz slumped in the corner and started to make his “Yes!” hand gesture, the lights cut out before the Fiend appeared in the Miz’s place.

The red light was interesting the first time, but I feel like it’s getting old at this point. Other than that, I loved the framing of this. The Yes chant is clearly what haunts Wyatt, and the Fiend showed up at the moment he could put an end to the chant before it ever began. Really excited for this match.

Sami Zayn introduces a new Intercontinental Championship - The old Intercontinental Championship was perhaps the title in least need of a makeover in WWE. But with that said, I quite like the new design as well. It still has a unique look when compared to the main titles with their monstrously large WWE logos, and black and gold always work well together.

The artist duo stuck around for the match that happened below after mocking Roderick Strong a bit.

Undisputed Era def. The New Day, Heavy Machinery - This served as a way to get Strong introduced to the crowd before his match with Nakamura and AJ Styles. Again, I liked the framing to this one. New Day and Heavy Machinery had issues getting along and the Undisputed Era were only too happy to pick the bones. Strong surprised Tucker with a knee strike to get the victory.

Strong got in Nakamura’s face after the match, and Styles showed up for a miniature brawl of their own.

Bayley is (justifiably) terrified of Shayna Baszler - Another good little angle! I mentioned that Bayley’s been overshadowed by Becky Lynch and Baszler in the build to Survivor Series, but this actually helps her, in my opinion. The truth is that Bayley isn’t the same kind of personality as Lynch and Baszler. She can’t play their game. And when she tried to by saying that she’d call Baszler out, Baszler beat her to the punch.

It makes me think that Bayley’s going to have to find a clever way to win during this match; I’m actually pretty interested to see if they can make that happen.

These brawls on shows are getting repetitive, so I’m glad we’re finally at the go-home show for Survivor Series. Baron Corbin’s cockroach-like ability to always appear when you least want him is tiring as well. But with that said, this was a really fun episode with a lot of things that I quite liked.

Characters are being given motivations and foibles that make them unique. The Bayley/Baszler thing is a really good example. If WWE can keep that up and make it consistent, these grades will finally get better.

Grade: B+

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