WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 25

Erik BeastonNovember 26, 2022

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 25

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    Sheamus and Drew McIntyre look to win the WarGames advantage for their team Friday night.
    Credit: WWE.com

    On the eve of Survivor Series: WarGames, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre battled The Usos in order to secure a one-man advantage for the premium live event's titular match.

    Would the pair of former WWE champions be able to overcome the best tag team of their generation, or would Jimmy and Jey continue The Bloodline's unparalleled success here in 2022 and set their team up for victory Saturday night in Boston?

    Find out now with this recap of a broadcast that also featured the semifinals of the SmackDown World Cup tournament and a tag team bout featuring SmackDown women's champion Ronda Rousey and No. 1 contender Shotzi.

Match Card

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    • WarGames Advantage on the Line: Sheamus and Drew McIntyre vs. The Usos
    • SmackDown World Cup Semifinal: Ricochet vs. Braun Strowman
    • SmackDown World Cup Semifinal: Butch vs. Santos Escobar
    • Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi vs. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler
    • The revelation of the fifth member of Team Belair

Becky Lynch Returns, Joins Team Belair

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Damage CTRL's Bayley, Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky were joined by Rhea Ripley and Nikki Cross to kick off the show in the ring, annoyed that they were there and had to travel on Thanksgiving night.

    Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, Mia Yim and Asuka interrupted before quickly revealing Becky Lynch as the fifth member of the team. The crowd erupted for the former women's champion, who flattened Bayley with a Bexploder suplex and did not flinch when staring down Judgment Day's Ripley.

    The heels bailed, the babyfaces stood tall and the segment wrapped up in short order.

    WWE @WWE

    .<a href="https://twitter.com/BeckyLynchWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BeckyLynchWWE</a> IS BACK!!!<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/0mxmSuYXwu">pic.twitter.com/0mxmSuYXwu</a>

    Can all opening promo segments be this quick?

    The crowd never grew tireless because the pace was frenetic, we had the huge return of Lynch and the brawl was nice and compact before the faces stood tall to put a nice bow on things.

    Lynch's return is a game-changer and gives Raw's women's division yet another name to build around. She kicked this show off with a ton of hype and created genuine excitement about tomorrow's women's WarGames match.

    You cannot ask for more than that in one of these segments. WWE, Triple H and the creative team hit this one out of the proverbial park and may have stumbled upon a way to make future promo segments more effective in the process.


    Grade

    A+


    Top Moments

    • The pop for Lynch was enormous and proved that, despite her months-long absence, her star power has not dwindled in the slightest.
    • The Lynch-Ripley tease was great stuff and should pay itself off in Saturday's match.

SmackDown World Cup Semifinal: Butch vs. Santos Escobar

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The semifinals of the SmackDown World Cup kicked off with Butch battling Legado del Fantasma's Santos Escobar.

    A hard-fought match saw Butch pull out aerial assaults to keep Escobar's associates, Cruz del Toro and Joaquin Wilde, out of the picture.

    Unfortunately for Butch, The Bloodline's attack on Drew McIntyre backstage drew the attention of Sheamus and Ridge Holland, who then went to the locker room area.

    Without his backup to keep the heels at bay, Wilde, Del Toro and Zelina Vega all inserted themselves in the match, providing a distraction. Escobar capitalized and delivered the Phantom Driver for the win.

    WWE @WWE

    We're getting a preview of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SurvivorSeries?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SurvivorSeries</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WarGames?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WarGames</a> tonight on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a>! <a href="https://t.co/YTKqZq4KFC">pic.twitter.com/YTKqZq4KFC</a>

    This was a good match that would have been better had it not been bogged down in all of the extracurricular activities.

    It made sense to have The Bloodline try to jump McIntyre and get an early advantage ahead of WarGames, and management clearly wanted to protect Butch ahead of Saturday's Survivor Series main event, so the overbooking is more forgivable than it would have been in nearly any other scenario.

    Escobar winning is huge for him and Legado del Fantasma in that it further builds their credibility, even if WWE Creative is likely to feed him to Braun Strowman in the final.


    Result

    Escobar defeated Butch


    Grade

    B-


    Top Moments

    • The commentary team rightly questioned whether Butch might have been looking past Escobar and to Saturday's WarGames match against The Bloodline.
    • Butch took Del Toro and Wilde out with a moonsault to the floor.
    • Without Sheamus and Holland to watch Butch's back, Del Toro and Wilde interfered while Vega had the official distracted, setting up the finish.

Bray Wyatt Promo

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A week after LA Knight was mysteriously attacked following two disrespectful slaps to the face of Bray Wyatt, The Eater of Worlds made his way to the ring to address the WWE Universe.

    Wyatt claimed he was not the man who attacked Knight and denounced the fans' desire to see the monstrous side of him again.

    Another video package from Uncle Howdy aired, this time calling Wyatt a liar and warning fans not to throw their trust behind him.

    WWE @WWE

    Speechless.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/pAcBleCX2u">pic.twitter.com/pAcBleCX2u</a>

    This was an interesting promo in that it was the first time we saw Wyatt conflict with fans. They want to see the monster, he does not want to be that person. He claimed to be innocent in the Knight attack, but Howdy says he is lying.

    Is it possible that the "aw shucks" version of Wyatt that we have seen since his return at Extreme Rules is a facade? That it is not really who he is? Could he be luring fans and opponents into a false sense of security?

    The answer to all three appears to be a resounding "yes," but it appears we will have to wait for it to officially play out before we know for sure.


    Grade

    B+


    Top Moments

    • "I like to think I have a good grip on what people think I am," Wyatt uttered, the sentence likely carefully constructed in terms of word choice.
    • "Come one, come all, come see the human tornado destroy everything around him! And that's all good, but that's not the man I want to be anymore," Wyatt said of the crowd's desire to see the monster and The Fiend.
    • "Violence is the only language I've ever shown you that I could speak."
    • "Never forget, a snake in a cage is still a snake," Uncle Howdy said in an interrupting video package.
    • "That human trash bag gets to vomit his lies to the entire world!" an angry Knight said of Wyatt in a backstage promo with Megan Morant.

Hit Row vs. The Viking Raiders

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Two weeks ago, The Viking Raiders returned alongside Sarah Logan, laying out Hit Row and sending an emphatic message to the rest of the tag team division. Logan, renamed Valhalla, accompanied Erik and Ivar to the squared circle for a showdown with Top Dolla and Ashante Thee Adonis, themselves seconded by B-Fab.

    The massive tandem overwhelmed their opponents, brutalizing Ashantee early. Despite a hot tag to Top Dolla and a momentary offense by the babyfaces, the heels deposited the larger opponent to the floor and put Ashantee away with Ragnarok for the dominant victory.

    WWE @WWE

    Welcome to Ragnarok.<a href="https://twitter.com/Erik_WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Erik_WWE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/Ivar_WWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Ivar_WWE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/4THO6SrmbC">pic.twitter.com/4THO6SrmbC</a>

    This was a great showcase for the Raiders, who look more imposing than ever before. It bodes well for Erik and Ivar, who have undergone so many reboots that this might be the last opportunity they have to make an impact in the tag division before fans grow tired of watching what feels like semiannual repackaging.

    That they appear to be sold on this incarnation only helps. Throw in Valhalla's unique appearance and this feels like a duo finally ready to succeed in the way they have struggled to this point.


    Result

    The Viking Raiders defeated Hit Row


    Grade

    B


    Top Moments

    • The Raiders' entrance alone screams "stars" and greatly adds to the overall presentation.

SmackDown World Cup Semifinal Match: Ricochet vs. Braun Strowman

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    Credit: WWE.com

    With Santos Escobar already slated for the finals of the SmackDown World Cup tournament, Ricochet battled Braun Strowman for the opportunity to battle the Legado del Fantasma leader.

    Strowman predictably manhandled his opponent, while The One and Only used his speed and agility advantage when necessary. The match never really got started, though, as Intercontinental champion Gunther and Imperium teammates Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci interfered and provided a distraction.

    Ricochet capitalized and scored an upset win over The Monster Of All Monsters.

    Imperium attacked Strowman after the match, and Ricochet made the save, helping to drive the heels away before shaking hands with Strowman in a sign of respect.

    WWE @WWE

    Word of advice: don't mess with Imperium.<a href="https://twitter.com/Gunther_AUT?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Gunther_AUT</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/VinciWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@VinciWWE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/wwe_kaiser?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@wwe_kaiser</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/XMc6lsKiVl">pic.twitter.com/XMc6lsKiVl</a>

    This was less a match and more Triple H and Co. setting up two potential storylines: the unlikely alliance of Ricochet and Strowman and the latter's impending feud with The Ring General.

    That is not necessarily bad, but this marks the second match in this tournament that was decided by ample amounts of interference from outside influences. Imagine what it would have meant for Ricochet to catch Strowman with a surprise rollup for the win.

    Instead, he wins in a fluke manner while the focus remains on his opponent and the real Intercontinental Championship match fans want to see.

    With that said, Ricochet vs. Escobar will be a Sheamus-approved banger.


    Result

    Ricochet pinned Strowman


    Grade

    C+


    Top Moments

    • Gunther's fear of Strowman was not as annoyingly obvious this week but still evident late when he bailed rather than confront his eventual top contender.
    • Backstage, Sami Zayn stopped Kevin Owens from entering The Bloodline's locker room. Owens claimed to have come to his friend's aid whenever he puts his foot in his mouth and says something stupid, but he will not be there to protect him the next time. 
    WWE @WWE

    Well this was...interesting.<a href="https://twitter.com/SamiZayn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SamiZayn</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/FightOwensFight?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FightOwensFight</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/WWEUsos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWEUsos</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/RFfNUPKnzs">pic.twitter.com/RFfNUPKnzs</a>

    • Jey Uso, who had poked his head out of the locker room and heard the entire exchange, asked Zayn if he had talked to anyone since arriving. The Honorary Uce lied and claimed he had not.

Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez vs. Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Shotzi will challenge Ronda Rousey for the SmackDown Women's Championship Saturday night at Survivor Series: WarGames, but first, she would partner with Raquel Rodriguez to battle The Baddest Woman on the Planet and her partner, "The Submission Magician," Shayna Baszler.

    That is until a backstage assault on Rodriguez left her with a broken arm.

    WWE @WWE

    .<a href="https://twitter.com/RondaRousey?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RondaRousey</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/QoSBaszler?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@QoSBaszler</a> just took out <a href="https://twitter.com/ShotziWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ShotziWWE</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/RaquelWWE?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@RaquelWWE</a> 😱<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/tZMnfxcdxh">pic.twitter.com/tZMnfxcdxh</a>

    Instead, Shotzi embodied her "Ballsy Badass" nickname by taking the fight to her rivals in a two-on-one handicap match. The heels seized control thanks to the numbers advantage until Rodriguez made her way to the ring, clearly nursing her injury.

    It proved to be an unwise decision as Baszler targeted the elbow and Rousey tapped her out with the armbar to score the win.

    There is really no other way to put it: this was an asinine booking decision.

    Shotzi was overshadowed the moment Rodriguez walked through the curtain in what felt like an angle designed to highlight the latter as a badass. Except, she was beaten down and tapped out in short order, raising the question: why was it necessary?

    Why not let the actual No. 1 contender build fan sympathy by really taking the fight to her opponents before succumbing to the numbers advantage and giving her an out for what is likely to be a loss Saturday in Boston?

    This was so completely backward but far from the first time that could be said about the blue brand's women's division. It has been the one glaring weak spot of Triple H's creative efforts since taking over the direction of the show in August.


    Result

    Rousey and Baszler defeated Shotzi and Rodriguez


    Grade

    D


    Top Moments

    • Rousey laughed off Rodriguez's injury, stating that sometimes, accidents happen "accidentally on purpose."
    • Shotzi credited Rodriguez for having her back in the face of bullies during a backstage promo segment and vowed to beat Rousey senseless at Survivor Series. 

Sheamus and Drew McIntyre vs. The Usos

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The man advantage in Saturday's WarGames was at stake in Friday's match as Drew McIntyre and Sheamus sought to buck the trend and defeat The Usos, ensuring their team would have one-man up on The Bloodline throughout the course of the hotly anticipated encounter.

    The best match of the night was a physical encounter that saw chests reddened and bodies battered before the action broke down late. Ringside brawls gave way to Kevin Owens stopping Sami Zayn from interfering on behalf of the heels.

    Moments after the referee ejected Zayn from ringside, Owens dropped Jey Uso with a stunner and Sheamus picked up the pinfall victory.

    WWE @WWE

    Well this backfired on <a href="https://twitter.com/SamiZayn?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SamiZayn</a>...<a href="https://twitter.com/WWEUsos?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWEUsos</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/FightOwensFight?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@FightOwensFight</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/WWESheamus?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWESheamus</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SmackDown?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SmackDown</a> <a href="https://t.co/LTt3EJxukH">pic.twitter.com/LTt3EJxukH</a>

    This match was predictably good given the talent involved, but the action was almost secondary to what occurred late between Owens and Zayn. KO is going to be the match that sparks the split between Zayn and The Bloodline, and you can see it coming—particularly after his botched interference cost The Usos the victory.

    Jey already hates him and will relish the opportunity to tell his brother that they can no longer trust The Honorary Uce.

    It is only fitting, too, that Owens brings about the much-anticipated Zayn babyface turn that will result from all of this. The two have been joined at the hip since day one, and Owens deserves to be there when Zayn has his big moment.

    Otherwise, the booking of the babyfaces to hold the man advantage in WarGames is always a terrible choice, but Reigns is the star and will get a huge pop for his entry into the match, so one can at least see where the thought process was there.


    Result

    McIntyre and Sheamus defeated The Usos


    Grade

    B


    Top Moments

    • Sheamus battered Jey's chest to the tune of 17 beats of the Bodhran. 
    • Jey delivered a splash that resulted in a great near-fall. 
    • The Brawling Brutes brawled with Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn at ringside, only for McIntyre to wipe them out with a plancha.
    • Zayn teased using the SmackDown tag title, but Owens prevented it. Their back-and-forth led to The Honorary Uce dropping the title and being ejected from ringside. Owens delivered a stunner to Jey and Sheamus scored the win for his team.
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