It's one of those special weeks where Friday Night SmackDown comes to us from Manchester, England.
This week's show looks to be a solid one, particularly due to its exciting main event. It feels like this episode of SmackDown is the first in forever that is headlined by a match involving Daniel Bryan that does not include The Shield.
Speaking of The Hounds of Justice, the last time we saw the trio, we almost had a faction war between The Shield and The Wyatts. That war didn't carry over to SmackDown, of course, but The Wyatts were in action and do make an impact.
The following are full spoilers for the November 15 edition of Friday Night SmackDown, courtesy WrestlingInc.com.
- A graphic shows tonight’s main event: CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Curtis Axel and Ryback.
- SmackDown opens with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan getting a win over The Usos. After the match, Bray Wyatt enters the ring and hits one of The Usos with Sister Abigail.
- We see a backstage segment with R-Truth rapping with The Prime Time Players. Joy.
- Another backstage segment with Ryback and Curtis Axel. They talk about how they’re no longer Paul Heyman Guys, and say they’re going to take out their frustrations with Heyman on Punk and Bryan tonight.
- Natalya gets a submission victory over Tamina Snuka.
- R-Truth and The Prime Time Players defeat 3MB in a rematch from this week’s Main Event.
- John Cena vs. Alberto Del Rio in an arm wrestling contest is up next. Urgh. The two stars talk about their rematch at Survivor Series, and then Cena wins two falls from the arm wrestling contest before Del Rio attacks and slams him through the table.
- CM Punk and Daniel Bryan are backstage discussing their recently announced tag team match with Luke Harper and Erick Rowan at Survivor Series.
- The Funkadactyls beat the The Bella Twins.
- The Great Khali defeats Hunico and Comacho in a handicap match.
- CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Ryback and Curtis Axel ends in a no-contest. Bryan puts the "Yes!" Lock on Ryback, but the Wyatt’s music plays and the lights go out. When they come back on, Bryan and Punk have disappeared, leaving The Wyatts to beat down Axel and Ryback. Punk and Bryan come out from under the ring and take out Harper and Rowan.
Paul Heyman Guys No More
Paul Heyman renounced Ryback as a Paul Heyman Guy on this week’s episode of Raw, and it appears as though Curtis Axel has now too dropped from Heyman’s ranks.
It may look like Axel is abandoning the deceitful and very injured Heyman, but there’s no doubt this is bad news for the third-generation star. He got a big win over Dolph Ziggler on Raw, but it’ll be significantly more difficult for him to get and maintain momentum without Paul E. by his side.
It’s also unclear how this will affect Ryback; he felt like a last-minute, haphazard add-on to the Heyman-Punk feud, so it’s no big deal for him to go back and do his own thing, though his being chum for the Wyatt predators after the main event of this week's SmackDown isn’t a good sign. His loss to R-Truth on Raw is really not a good sign.
After almost losing to Punk and Bryan in the main event, Ryback lost his cool and pushed Axel into the Wyatt Family, which led to their beatdown.
It appears that the former trio of Curtis Axel, Ryback and Paul Heyman is now completely broken up.
An Arm Wrestling Contest. Seriously?
I know I should be less offended by the idea of this segment—because it’s far from the first arm wrestling contest on WWE television—but it’s just so infuriating. Who thought this would be a good idea?
Why would anyone be interested in: A) seeing an arm wrestling match to begin with, and B) seeing one between Alberto Del Rio and John Cena, a man who we know could probably overpower a mutant gorilla?
It sort of made sense when WWE put on a arm wrestling contest between Cena and Mark Henry, but it serves no purpose here. The goal of pro wrestling is to be booked in such a way that the audience can temporarily suspend their disbelief, and all this segment does is remind the audience that they’re watching a very scripted television program.
We can always hope that the British crowd will chant something fun to make this less embarrassing to watch and explain to friends.
A Slow Burner
At the end of Raw, WWE teased us with two different matches. It teased The Wyatts vs. The Shield, a match that surely won't happen for a while, and a six-man tag match between The Wyatts, The Shield and Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, The Usos and The Rhodes Brothers.
The latter match seemed like a sure thing for Survivor Series elimination tag treatment, but it was not to be. WWE.com has announced that CM Punk and Daniel Bryan will face Erick Rowan and Luke Harper at Survivor Series.
It seems that this will be a slow-burning feud, as Bray Wyatt isn't even involved in the match (at least, not in any official way). Does the match at Survivor Series even mean anything if Bray isn't in it?
Probably not, but we get to see CM Punk team up with Daniel Bryan, so I'm not complaining.
Follow Daniel on Twitter: @dvanboom.