WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 13

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistNovember 14, 2018

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 13

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Time has run out. WWE Survivor Series 2018 should be one of the biggest nights of the year, but the company barely gave it three weeks of build after Crown Jewel on Nov. 2. This has stunted the momentum of this Big Four pay-per-view.

    The November 13 edition of SmackDown Live had to do a lot in just two hours, finishing the build for Survivor Series while answering some important questions. Becky Lynch led an attack on Raw on Monday that ended the show with SmackDown on top, setting up the expectation that the red brand would have to respond.

    However, a bigger question loomed over the show as Sunday's biggest match was in jeopardy with The Irish Lass Kicker suffering a broken nose and a potential concussion at the hands of Nia Jax. As confirmed by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Dave Meltzer, Lynch's clash with Ronda Rousey has been postponed.

    That disappointment set up a question of how WWE would choose to refocus. This go-home show did not need to just hype up Survivor Series but also completely sell it with members of Raw and SmackDown certain to fight.

    SmackDown could either be a statement from the company that Survivor Series is more than just one match even with limited build or a grim reminder that both shows are sorely lacking for real stories at the moment.

Paul Heyman Pushes AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan into Brawl

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    AJ Styles opened the show to address Brock Lesnar, with Paul Heyman appearing to respond. The two traded barbs with The Advocate declaring that The Phenomenal One is the second-best in the world behind Daniel Bryan.

    Styles was not interested in discussing Bryan, though, as he was sure he could make The Beast Incarnate tap out. The "Yes" Man did not take the barbs from both men directed at him lightly as he appeared and got into a fight with the WWE champion until officials broke them up.

    Backstage, the two kept arguing in Paige and Shane McMahon's office until the SmackDown commissioner announced Styles vs. Bryan in Tuesday's main event for the WWE Championship.






    This was a fantastic way to subvert expectations and make SmackDown come off as a big show from the start. This looked to be just a back-and-forth promo between the champion and Heyman, but Bryan's involvement added some unexpected conflict to the story.

    By announcing right off the bat that the main event would be such a huge championship clash, expectations were built for this show as well as Survivor Series, teasing that the men's world championship clash could change just a few days before Sunday.

Jeff Hardy vs. Andrade 'Cien' Almas

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    Andrade "Cien" Almas used his speed and technical prowess to keep Jeff Hardy off balance in this match, but nothing he did could keep The Charismatic Enigma down.

    Eventually, El Idolo walked right into a Twist of Fate and then a Swanton Bomb, with Hardy picking up the win.



    Hardy def. Almas by pinfall






    This was a perfectly fine TV match, but it could have been so much better. The two men did not show great chemistry in a contest that never went anywhere.

    The finish came out of nowhere after Almas mostly dominated the action.

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Backstage, The Miz reveled in taking sole control of Team SmackDown with Bryan off the team, announcing Hardy as the new fifth member before kicking Rey Mysterio off.

    General manager Paige disagreed, forcing The A-Lister to fight the luchador next, with Mysterio off the team if he lost.

    The Miz used his power and size to dominate most of this match, but The Master of the 619 refused to lose.

    Mysterio tripped his opponent and hit a 619, but Miz got his knees up on the following frog splash. However, the veteran then caught The A-Lister with a roll-up for three.

    Randy Orton tried to attack Mysterio afterward, but the luchador escaped and Miz took the RKO instead.



    Mysterio def. Miz by pinfall






    The captain of Team SmackDown and Mysterio continue to be a great pair as opponents. Their matches work well for TV, as they are fast-paced and unpredictable. It was odd to waste the pairing again so soon, but this differed enough from their past clashes to stand alone.

    Orton vs. Mysterio comes off as an unnecessary retread as a feud much like The Viper vs. Hardy, but it should at least lead to some solid matches that will help reintroduce The Master of the 619 fully to WWE.

Becky Lynch Chooses Charlotte Flair to Represent Her at Survivor Series

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    Paige introduced the entire women's division of SmackDown for Lynch to address directly.

    The Irish Lass Kicker voiced her frustration at not being medically cleared to compete at Survivor Series, and she would handpick her replacement.

    Despite her issues with Charlotte Flair, there was only one choice she could make, and she told her former best friend to go make Ronda Rousey tap out on Sunday.

    Backstage, Charlotte declared she would fight for her friend and make clear SmackDown is the superior brand.






    There was just one match that could replace Rousey/Lynch at Survivor Series, but it was still a shock that WWE chose to go in this direction.

    Rousey/Charlotte had the potential to be a WrestleMania main eventand it may still be, but not as a first-ever clash.

    The quick turnaround in the relationship between Lynch and The Queen is classic WWE, forgoing long-term storytelling for short-term satisfaction, but it was a great moment nonetheless.

    Hopefully, this is a sign the company is fully embracing The Irish Lass Kicker as a top face going forward once she has recovered from injury.

The New Day vs. The Bar and Big Show

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The Bar tried to isolate Xavier Woods early in this match, but Kofi Kingston got the hot tag and turned the momentum.

    Cesaro and Kofi traded near-falls before Big Show got the tag and knocked out Kofi with a KO punch to take the win.



    The Bar and Show def. New Day by pinfall






    While this was far from the quality expected from these two teams, the match worked to keep the story going. It also continued to show that The World's Largest Athlete's inclusion with The Bar has bogged this feud down rather than adding a new layer.

    Big Show works as an enforcer and a wall for smaller opponents to try to push throughbut only if he cares enough to come off as menacing. The future Hall of Famer does not even need to be in this story, and he looks like he feels the same way.

AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan (WWE Championship)

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Styles once again went after the right leg of Bryan to set up the Calf Crusher, with The Beard answering in kind by damaging the left arm of the WWE champion.

    As the match progressed, The "Yes" Man went for high impact with a series of huge moves to wear down the champ.

    Styles barely escaped one Yes Lock, before Bryan reversed the Calf Crusher into another only for The Phenomenal One to emerge from that, too.

    Styles went for a Phenomenal Forearm, but Bryan ducked and launched his opponent into the referee to set up a low blow behind the official's back and a running knee.

    After the knee, the three-count was academic, with the new champion then jumping Styles with boots in an unprovoked post-match assault.



    Bryan def. Styles by pinfall to become the new WWE champion






    Styles has been facing some of the best wrestlers in the world over the past year, but not all of those clashes have lived up to expectations.

    However, both Styles vs. Bryan matches have delivered, and they clearly have more they can do on a bigger stage, especially given the couple of miscommunications this time.

    This match was defined by its ending more than anything, as Bryan shockingly turned heel to capture the WWE Championship. While it was inevitable he would recapture the title soon, it was surprising to have it happen now alongside a full heel turn.

    How will fans react to this turn? It's hard to imagine anyone outright booing The "Yes" Man, but it was Bryan's heel work that got him over in the first place.

    He has always been good in the role, and the first test will be to see how he works off Brock Lesnar on Sunday.