SmackDown airs tonight (Nov. 26) live from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is the first SmackDown episode during the six week build towards Day One on January 1, 2022.
SmackDown is nothing without Roman Reigns
If Roman Reigns’ lengthy run as Universal champion wasn’t enough to hammer the point home, WWE wanted to make sure you knew at Survivor Series that the blue brand is nothing without the Tribal Chief.
Every brand warfare match on the main card of the pay-per-view was won by the Raw wrestler(s), except for Roman Reigns vs. Big E, where Roman was once again victorious. The point is that Roman Reigns is the Head of the Table, and the SmackDown brand is completely reliant on him to carry the load.
This is one reason why it’s hard to believe that anybody on this SmackDown roster can stand toe-to-toe against the Tribal Chief, and that a part-timer like The Rock or Brock Lesnar will be needed to finally vanquish Roman. But WWE does need to find Reigns’ next challenger in the short-term, so let’s run through the options:
King Woods picked up a disqualification win over Reigns recently, which is more success than anybody has had against him in over a year.
Shinsuke Nakamura was the only other SmackDown wrestler to win at Survivor Series, though it came on the pre-show after Damian Priest got himself disqualified.
Drew McIntyre and Jeff Hardy are teaming up tonight to take on Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss. If one of these babyfaces is next in line for a shot at Reigns, that man will probably score the pin fall over Moss tonight.
The rest of the title scene
SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair lost against Becky Lynch in a non-title match at Survivor Series. That’s exactly what Toni Storm predicted would happen, which probably doesn’t sit well with The Queen. Flair has promised to give Storm a match against her, but it’s not clear when that match will happen.
SmackDown tag team champions Jimmy and Jey Uso failed to pick up the win at Survivor Series in a non-title match against RK-Bro. The Tribal Chief likely won’t be happy with their latest failure. As far as the belts are concerned, with Kofi Kingston on the sidelines and Hit Row fired, it’s a bit of a free-for-fall. The Viking Raiders, Los Lotharios, Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs, Jinder Mahal & Shanky, and perhaps Sheamus & Ridge Holland could all be looking for a piece of The Usos.
Speaking of Nakamura, the Intercontinental champion has found a great strategy for retaining the gold, and that’s to not defend it. He’s only had one title match since winning the belt from Apollo Crews in mid August.
Carmella and Zelina Vega are the new Women’s tag team champions, which means they are allowed to show up on SmackDown tonight. I’m not sure why they would bother, though, since there are zero women’s tag teams on the SmackDown roster for them to face.
Dana Brooke is the new 24/7 champion, so she could also potentially appear tonight and run away from a bunch of jobbers.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Ridge Holland is set to make his in-ring debut on Black Friday SmackDown tonight, where he intends to smash Cesaro and prove his worthiness to his new buddy, Sheamus.
- Sasha Banks was counted out at Survivor Series when her teammates were stupid enough to repeatedly keep her from getting back in the ring. Banks defeated and humiliated Shotzi last week on SmackDown, and their issues are likely far from over.
- Naomi is made to look like a fool nearly every week opposite Sonya Deville and Shayna Baszler. There’s no reason to expect this pattern will suddenly change, and Aliyah might be caught up in this angle too.
- WWE has been telling the story of how Xia Li became The Protector. Her debut for SmackDown appears to be imminent.
- Even though Sami Zayn helped solve the mystery of Vince McMahon’s golden egg, he wasn’t granted the promised title match against Big E because McMahon hates snitches. It’s no wonder Sami has gone off the deep end into conspiracy theories about how everyone is out to screw him.
- One of the commentators at Survivor Series actually said that Ricochet has been making a name for himself on Friday nights since the draft. I would like to point out that Ricochet has won zero televised matches since being drafted to SmackDown.
What will you be looking for on SmackDown tonight?