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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Dec. 2, 2022): Feeling Ucey

WWE started the first episode of Friday Night SmackDown following “the most watched Survivor Series in history” with Sami Zayn and the rest of The Bloodline doing their thing. That “thing” has become Sami Zayn and The Usos rocking special handshakes, hugging it out, and generally letting the good times roll.

All while Solo Sikoa hangs out in the ring, stoic, a part of the crew but unwilling to engage in such cheery displays of affection.

Lord how I love him.

It’s worth noting that Jey outright said Sami was the reason The Bloodline won their War Games match. They’re really doing a great job of showcasing a unified front and bringing across the idea that these guys are genuinely close now. It’s what they need to do to make the turn hit that much harder. It has to be all sunshine and roses now.

It will make the darkness later that much more worse.

In a good way.

Then, Sheamus came out to wrestle Zayn, tired of all of it, and The Bloodline further showed just how together they are when Jey made sure Sami won the match with a big assist. Solo and Jimmy helped too, of course, but Jey being the guy to pull the trigger is worth quite a bit.

The emotional investment will only get more intense from here.

Another damn good story beat.

I want to make sure I put a separate section for this here match, not because I have a ton to say about it, because I don’t, but because it’s worth emphasizing the fact that they headlined with a Ricochet vs. Santos Escobar match and it was an outstanding tournament final.

It’s unfortunate it happened on an FS1 show, and maybe that played a part in this, I don’t know, but if nothing else they should see that they absolutely can put a match like this in a spot like this.

Take that, Braun Strowman.

All the rest
  • Kofi Kingston became the first wrestler to declare for the Royal Rumble in 2023, and that just reminded me that we’re so close to the Royal Rumble! This is truly a great time of year, folks. Let us rejoice! Sadly, he ended up getting into it with GUNTHER and lost a match against him, even despite Braun Strowman interfering in it.
  • Bray Wyatt was back with another backstage promo where he said a lot but didn’t say that much. But I’ll be damned if he didn’t make it sound good. It was related to the fact that nature sees death as a way to sustain life so why is it different for humans? It’s not. LA Knight was food for a predator. Sustenance. You can’t run from it. Or Bray can’t. Later: “Revel in what you are.”
  • Shayna Baszler beat Emma in a singles match, one that was preceded by Madcap Moss hyping the latter up. She kissed him on the cheek and their romance is growing by the week. I think she even called him Riddick! Baszler was sent off by Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez, for what it’s worth.
  • Tegan Nox made her return to WWE on this show to what felt, at least to me, like a tepid response. I’m a big fan of her work, and tend to think she’ll make the women’s division on the blue brand a whole hell of a lot better than it has been, but I’m a bit surprised at the response she received here. Never mind all that, she’ll be doing the kind of work that gets a much bigger response soon enough.
  • Karrion Kross is so very good in vignette form. It now seems he’s going after Rey Mysterio. Tick tock.

This was a pretty good show, though I always wonder about how they book when they know they aren’t on the main channel.

Grade: B-

Your turn.

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