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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Dec. 3, 2021): Here comes the brains

I’ll be damned if Brock Lesnar doesn’t just keep getting better and better. I will no longer accept anyone telling me he is anything other than an all time great.

He returned on Friday Night SmackDown this week, sans Paul Heyman by his side, and got some time with a live microphone. He was even going to cut a promo!

Before he got the chance, Sami Zayn hit the scene, and a fantastic segment ensued:

Normally, a much bigger star should never tell a star underneath them that they don’t know who the hell they are, for obvious promotional reasons, but it works here because Lesnar really is just a big, scary dude out in the middle of nowhere in Canada hunting and killing and feeding his family. He is singularly focused on himself and nothing else, and therefore has no reason to know Zayn, this fan of his who dared interrupt him.

But he’s also an opportunist, a shrewd businessman who has outmaneuvered many in the pursuit of his best interests. It’s a big part of how he got to this position, after all. He’s out here using his brains just as much as his brawn, and doing so in the most hilariously entertaining way.

He made you laugh, admit it. Or at least he made you smile. Come on. It’s okay. You can admit it now. He’s one of the best ever.

I’d also like to make sure to give Zayn plenty of credit, because this probably wouldn’t have worked nearly as well as it did with anyone else. He was also perfect later in the show, when he had fully bought in to Lesnar’s comically see through plan and then just couldn’t stop talking and blabbered himself into a beating mere seconds before his title match against Roman Reigns.

He lost. Of course he did. He was always going to. I quite enjoyed the way they went about getting to that, with Zayn heating up both guys en route to their next title match while giving himself a new issue to shout “conspiracy” over.

There is a narrative disconnect worth mentioning, however. I’m not quite sure how Lesnar can get suspended, come back, manipulate the top contender, and then just say he’s getting a match for the title at the next pay-per-view without ever actually doing anything for it. Hell, they were promoting it like he was the grand prize, what with the “who will challenge Brock at Day 1” promos before Reigns vs. Zayn. My fandom isn’t deep enough to completely overlook all that.

But it is deep enough not to care all that much about it.

This ruled.

All the rest

  • Sasha Banks beat Shayna Baszler in a match they kinda/sorta set up last week when they crossed paths in the name of Sonya Deville’s weird feud with Naomi. It was a solid match, one that showed they could do a whole hell of a lot more if there was more on the line in a bigger program. Maybe someday.
  • If I like the jokes Madcap Moss tells Happy Corbin, does that make me a dad?
  • Arguably better than the jokes? How utterly eager Drew McIntyre and Jeff Hardy were to take their shirts off after attacking them.
  • Rick BOOGS and Shinsuke Nakamura tried to distract Los Lotharios to give The Viking Raiders a free win, and then Los Lotharios won anyway. BOOGS kept the peace by playing the Raiders music, leading to everyone beating their chests and generally carrying on.
  • I couldn’t be any less of a fan of the way WWE has written this Charlotte Flair vs. Toni Storm program. The latter has looked utterly ridiculous all throughout, claiming she’s in Flair’s head even after she was embarrassed by her, then responding to that embarrassment by still claiming she was in Flair’s head, all while Charlotte was nothing but dismissive of her. Then, in the big angle to give a bit back to Storm, they had her sneak up on Charlotte and pie face her back. Flair sold the hell out of it, but we’re really out here building title programs off throwing pies in people’s faces. This sucks.
  • Kofi Kingston returned after some time away for the birth of his child, so instead of letting King Woods and Jey Uso work a straight singles match, they had it break down into a DQ so Kofi could get some licks in. The crowd cheered briefly and then it sounded like they booed. Maybe they figured why not just do a tag match? Seemed strange.
  • Sheamus pinned Cesaro.
  • Pat McAfee Moment of the Week: When they played a highlight of Shayna Baszler taking out Nia Jax and Eva Marie with the stomp into the steps, he called it a “future endeavors kick.” You decide how to feel about that.

I greatly enjoyed what they did with the top angle on this show. The rest was just sort of there.

Grade: B-

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