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SmackDown recap & reactions (Nov. 24, 2023): Survive

The babyface women’s team in the War Games match at Survivor Series opened this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, entering as a unit but coming out to Becky Lynch’s theme song. The Man has come around to the blue brand.

Right away, they got around to the big question — why would she agree to team with Charlotte Flair again? It’s simple, really.

She just wants to take any chance she can get to put the boots to Damage CTRL.

When it came time for Flair to speak, she mentioned War Games being a new beginning for “us … well, all of us.” I don’t know if there’s anything more to read into that but it’s at least noteworthy they went so hard on that aspect of this story.

They went deeper into that when Bayley hit the scene to drive a wedge between the babyface team, calling attention to their prior issues and hoping to create another one. Instead, Lynch offered to team with Flair against any two members of Damage CTRL in the night’s main event, something Bayley quickly agreed to, hoping the implosion could happen an evening earlier than anticipated.

Throughout the night, we were given backstage scenes showcasing Iyo Sky insisting Bayley be the one to work the match and that she team up with Asuka. Meanwhile, Lynch and Flair were indeed at each other’s throats before even making it to the ring.

You already know where this is going.

Flair and Lynch managed to get along until Flair speared Asuka onto Becky, she took it wrong, they argued, and Bayley knocked Becky into Charlotte, giving her the chance to roll her up for the pinfall. The show ended with the heels celebrating while the babyface team argued and Lynch walked out upset.


Your LA Knight segment of the week:

Grayson Waller and Austin Theory were trying to make fun of Kevin Owens by … uh … having Theory dress up as him. KO’s response was solid — “joke’s on you, I’ve never looked better.”


They talked about LA Knight enough that the man himself got the biggest pop of the night when his music hit and hot damn you really feel how over The Megastar is when he’s in front of a hot crowd like this. They absolutely blew the roof off for every word that came out of his mouth.

He trash talked Waller and Theory alongside Owens, and it led to a tag team match between the two sides. It was a fun piece of business, with the babyfaces going over clean after both got to hit their finish.

Our man LA may not have a match at Survivor Series but this was fun.

Also, on a side note, that whole bit about KO basically saying “if you say someone’s name enough, they show up” is a hilarious thing to say in Chicago with the rumors swirling around a certain Second City Saint.

Hot damn!

Man, I don’t know about you but Santos Escobar screaming at Carlito about how it’s all his fault that Rey Mysterio got hurt and is never coming back really got over with me. I’m a big fan of any kind of passionate promo but you really believed this man. He was downright fanatical, and got me good and pumped for the match with Carlito.

And then Escobar took him out with a cheap shot from behind.

He followed that up with another backstage attack aimed at breaking his arm, but Dragon Lee hopped in to make the save. It’s only natural, then, that it was Lee who was right there when Nick Aldis announced that Carlito is injured enough that he won’t be cleared and the match would have to be postponed. Lee has been tearing the house down lately, and eager for more, so Aldis gave him the match.

I would have enjoyed seeing Carlito in his first premium live event match in WWE in over a decade but Lee really has been tearing it up lately. There’s no reason to think he won’t do the same with Escobar.

And it’s ripe for a big angle along the way.

All the rest
  • The Judgment Day successfully defended the Undisputed tag team titles against The Street Profits by doing what they always do — calling on Rhea Ripley to interfere as necessary. Granted, Dawkins & Ford looked good along the way but it’s becoming a real drag to see these matches where there is no logical response to the most obvious course of action. OF COURSE Ripley got involved. Why the hell wouldn’t Bobby Lashley — who was shown pissed off backstage watching this play out — be there to get involved himself to even things up? Or even B-Fab, who has been shown getting cozy with Lashley? Perhaps I just need to wait and see but it feels goofy to see stuff like this play out.
  • The Brawling Brutes and Pretty Deadly were back at it again this week, and Ridge Holland is apparently fully fed up with BUTCH and their repeated failures as a team. He outright walked out on their match and left BUTCH to fend for himself, resulting in his defeat. It looks like it’s finally over for these two. I wonder how Sheamus will react to this?

The blue brand always delivers.

Grade: B+

Your turn.

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