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WWE SmackDown results, recap, reactions (Nov. 29, 2019): Change

Two quality shows in a row and a compelling cliffhanger? WWE, what’s gotten into you?

I’m quick to gush about everything Bray Wyatt these days. Everything he’s done with the Fiend and the Firefly Fun House clicks. It strikes a chord with fans that WWE hasn’t been able to hit in a long time. This show was no different; Wyatt told a very compelling story all throughout the episode.

He was also just so delightfully weird, too. And if you’ll allow me the opportunity to try to read between the lines, here’s what I got from him on this episode.

Wyatt asked for Daniel Bryan to play with him one more time. Such an innocent request on the surface...until you consider the context. Before Wyatt even addressed Bryan, he wished everyone a happy Thanksgiving and hoped that everyone enjoyed their time with family and friends. But there was a pause before he said “family and friends” where he clenched his fists and had to swallow down some sort of emotion.

Pretty easy to see why, right? Wyatt used to have a family. He doesn’t, anymore.

That led into his request to playyyyyyyy with me Bryan one more time, as well as a truly terrifying version of the Muscleman Dance. Just before that dance, Wyatt said that the real first Thanksgiving was between the Musclemen and the Reptilians where they tried to take over the world. I believe Bray’s talking about himself and Randy Orton back before Orton betrayed him. Another reference to all of the pain that Wyatt’s suffered.

That pain is extremely relevant, by the way. It was a talking point of Bryan’s leading up to their first match. Does the Fiend just not feel pain? I’d imagine it’s the opposite, Bryan. Wyatt’s felt so much pain that he’s locked it all up inside a Funhouse. And what’s left is something not human.

The Miz had a brief but incredible moment where he tried to talk Bryan out of fighting Wyatt again. Despite disliking Bryan, Miz doesn’t want to witness what the Fiend might do to Bryan. He cited how the Fiend has changed Finn Balor and Seth Rollins - and I LOVE that they brought that up! Both of them are loners now just like Wyatt, either by choice (Balor) or from rejection (Rollins) - before trying to use Bryan’s family to justify stepping out of the match. The look from Bryan to answer that appeal as well as the exasperated sigh from Miz were both top tier.

Bryan’s already said that he’s a bit mad as well, so no one could talk him off the ledge leading to whatever abyss the Fiend comes from. The show ended with Wyatt promising to change Bryan and to deliver on the promise of a new Fun House friend - capped with the Fiend ripping through the ring, dragging Bryan to the depths, and apparently ripping his hair out.

All in on this feud. All in on these two wrestlers. They are the absolute best of the WWE and anytime they feud, it’s brilliant.

What’s up with Bayley?

I wasn’t a huge fan of Sasha Banks and Bayley using the same excuses Seth Rollins used on Raw to justify their Survivor Series losses. I wasn’t a huge fan of Lacey Evans coming out and acting like a face to challenge them, either. But the one thing I did like about this segment was the way Bayley did so much in doing nothing at all.

To recap, Banks and Bayley basically blamed the SmackDown women’s team for the loss. Banks said they lost because she didn’t get to choose the team - so who exactly chose it, WWE? Bayley, however, really didn’t have a leg to stand on. There was no one else but her in her match; the blame for tapping out rests entirely on her shoulders.

Evans came out once Banks started to insult her and snapped back with some insults of her own. She said that neither Banks or Bayley were true leaders, and perhaps SmackDown needs someone who won’t tap under pressure. Banks was quick to get in Evans’ face on behalf of her friend, and ate a Woman’s Right for her troubles.

...And Bayley did nothing at all. Evans stared her down before walking away, leaving Bayley to kneel over Banks and look useless.

That’s actually intriguing! It looks like Bayley’s confidence is rattled in a major way from losing at Survivor Series. There’s potential here.

The Rest

Roman Reigns def. Robert Roode - If we could have swapped Baron Corbin into Roode’s place, this would have been excellent. That dude needs a serious beating so badly. Instead, it was still a fun opening match that had Reigns overcome adversity multiple times. He also destroyed a majority of the ringside area afterwards because these dudes just don’t know when to quit.

Nikki Cross def. Sonya Deville - The story to this was pretty lame, but that’s not a huge deal. They beefed on Twitter and then Mandy Rose called Cross cold Thanksgiving leftovers. The point is that Alexa Bliss is back and helped Cross run off Fire and Desire. Yay!

New Day def. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro - Hi yes, I’ll take super fun wrestling matches every week please. The New Day offered an open challenge for their titles and Sami Zayn’s team answered the call. Zayn got in some insults on Thanksgiving and the idiocy of Black Friday before the good guys rallied to make the crowd happy. Solid pro wrestling, there.

Mustafa Ali def. Drew Gulak - I really dig Ali as a performer, and I’m glad the crowds are catching on and cheering him. The funny thing is that on a bad show, matches like these suck. They’re just uninspiring. But on good shows, they provide time to let main stories breathe while also helping establish someone. Good show = good segment.

Elias is back! - Yay!

So is Sheamus! - Double yay! All the returns!

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Wyatt/Bryan feud in particular, Cageside. From my perspective, WWE did a really good job with this show, considering it was basically a holiday episode.

Grade: B+

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