WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from November 20
The fight for brand supremacy did not last long as WWE Raw stomped SmackDown in a resounding sweep at Survivor Series. It was an embarrassing defeat. This left the November 20 edition of the blue brand to pick up the pieces.
The Miz set the date for a State of SmackDown address with Shane McMahon to attempt to reconcile the devastating defeat. No one knew how either leading figure for the men's team would respond.
Beyond that response, many were expecting clear answers after two shocking heel turns. Daniel Bryan showed a new side to his personality last week on SmackDown that carried through to a vicious match against Brock Lesnar, and he promised to finally explain his actions.
Charlotte Flair also embraced her darker side in a brutal assault of Ronda Rousey that ended their match in a disqualification. It was a moment far removed from what fans of The Queen have been watching for the past few years and left a quiet tension in the air for this week's SmackDown.
There were not many matches promised for the show, but The New Day and The Bar were set to compete in the first-ever Thanksgiving Feast Fight.
With so much hanging over the blue brand going into the night, it was hard to imagine this show being anything less than electric.
Charlotte Flair vs. Billie Kay; Charlotte vs. Peyton Royce
Charlotte Flair bragged about the damage she did to Ronda Rousey before SmackDown Live general manager Paige interrupted to fine The Queen $100,000 for assaulting referees during her attack of The Baddest Woman on the Planet. The IIconics then arrived to mock Charlotte and set up a match.
Billie Kay took on the challenge and was dominated by a newly motivated Charlotte. Peyton Royce tried to keep her teammate in the match, but The Queen still hit the Natural Selection to win. She then challenged the other member of The IIconics to a match as well.
While Royce was cautious at first, she managed to take advantage of a tired Nature Girl to seemingly have a chance early in this contest.
Kay eventually realized the momentum was turning and caused a disqualification to save her friend with an angry Queen laying out both women.
Charlotte def. Kay by pinfall; Charlotte def. Royce by disqualification
While it was great to hear Charlotte confident on the mic for the first time in a while, this whole segment was far too long with too many commercial breaks. This also awkwardly showcased how undefined Charlotte's role is in WWE right now.
She worked as a heel on the mic but as a babyface in the ring. Her focus was to embarrass The IIconics, but they were clearly working as heels themselves here, cheating to try to emerge victorious.
The crowd treated The Queen as the face for now, but it's hard to say if that will continue.
The Miz and Shane McMahon vs. The Bryant Brothers
The Miz hosted Shane McMahon on Miz TV, sucking up to the SmackDown commissioner.
While it seemed like this would be a setup for The A-Lister to address the blue brand's failings, the multiple-time intercontinental champion instead offered to team up with the brand commissioner in a true alliance of the "best in the world."
However, Miz did not impress as a tag team partner in his match against local competitors The Bryant Brothers as he was rolled up for three after spending too much time talking to McMahon.
The Bryant Brothers def. Miz and McMahon by pinfall
The whole Miz and McMahon storyline has gotten weird fast. The A-Lister has gone from confidently demanding title shots to begging the commissioner for attention in a relationship reminiscent of a father and young son. It is hard to say what the point of it all is.
For now, it is a silly use of one of SmackDown's best. Perhaps it will all lead to bigger and better things on the Road to WrestleMania, but The A-Lister was in WWE Championship contention not long ago.
The New Day vs. The Bar and Big Show (Thanksgiving Feast Fight)
The New Day celebrated Thanksgiving early in full pilgrim attire with turkey and pumpkin pie before The Bar and Big Show interrupted and called out the silliness of what was happening.
The match that followed went normally until The World's Largest Athlete was sent off the apron into a table by Big E.
Kofi Kingston sent Sheamus through another table before E caught The Celtic Warrior with a turkey to the face to take the win. Cesaro did not miss out as New Day leveled him after the match with pie.
New Day def. Sheamus, Cesaro and Big Show by pinfall
The SmackDown tag team division continues to be dominated by awkward comedy, with New Day winning every inconsequential holiday match but losing when it matters. Big Show was made into a joke here again alongside The Bar.
This whole feud seems to be going on forever without purpose, leaving no room for the rest of the talented tag team division.
Neither team will leave this title feud looking overly credible, which is a shame because everyone involved can be so much more than this.
Naomi and Asuka vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville
Despite working together far longer than Naomi and Asuka, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville seemed completely unable to actually work together.
The former members of Absolution got in each other's way until Deville had to push Rose out of the way of an Asuka kick. Taking the shot for her friend, the former MMA fighter was left vulnerable, quickly trapped in the Asuka Lock for the tapout.
Asuka and Naomi def. Rose and Deville by submission
This was not all that exciting a match as it was clear from the outset who was winning. The heels stumbled through this before The Empress of Tomorrow put it away.
Still, Rose has shown some steady improvement lately, with Deville already displaying real potential. It will be interesting to see how their story develops from here as both could thrive once they break up.
Daniel Bryan Declares the 'Yes Movement' Dead
Daniel Bryan finally explained exactly why he did what he did to AJ Styles, but he never seemed to be speaking to the fans.
Instead, his explanation was directed at himself. He declared that all his time recovering had helped him realize what mattered most—achieving his dream.
He made clear the "Yes Movement" was dead with the help of the beating he took from Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series, and he was now a new man. He even demanded the announcer call him The New Daniel Bryan.
Bryan looks to be reinventing himself in the same way Chris Jericho often has. Rather than just turning heel, The Beard has adopted a new persona. He seems to be speaking about himself in the third person and sounding out of touch with reality.
This was an unexpected promo that Bryan had to deliver in a completely unique style. It will be fun to see how the former "Yes" Man continues to push his own limits from here on out.
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton
Randy Orton went after the mask of Rey Mysterio early in this match to hopefully frustrate his experienced rival. He ended up ripping part of it open, but the luchador refused to slow down.
The Viper avoided two 619 attempts and then rolled outside after Mysterio connected on the third. Outside the ring, The Apex Predator planted The Master of the 619 with an RKO and added a second in the ring for a definitive pinfall win.
Afterward, Orton grabbed a chair and wrapped it around the neck of his opponent before launching him into the steel post. The Viper then took Mysterio's mask as a memento.
Orton def. Mysterio by pinfall
This match was not among the best Orton and Mysterio have had, but it maximized its minutes: Neither man wasted a second. This was physical and intense with a clear, emphatic declaration of how dangerous The Viper can be.
Most of the time, Orton's placement in the main event of SmackDown has felt contrived, but this was absolutely the right spot for this match and added a new layer to a fledgling feud.