SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)…
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
NOVEMBER 13, 2020
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE AWARD WINNING & CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED THUNDERDOME IN THE AMWAY CENTER CREATED JUST FOR THE WWE UNIVERSE!
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves
Top Three Developments from Last Week
- Sasha Banks defeated Bayley to retain the Smackdown Women’s Championship. It was the first time she successfully retained a championship in her first title defense. She is in her sixth reign overall as a champion on the main roster (five Raw titles, one Smackdown). After the match she was attacked by Carmella, sporting new ring gear that looked … eh, never mind.
- King Corbin and Seth Rollins qualified for the Smackdown men’s team at Survivor Series. Corbin defeated Rey Mysterio while Rollins defeated Otis. Murphy was involved with both finishes and most notably helped Rollins, of whom he was recently a disciple. Aalyah Mysterio confronted Murphy, but he assured her he knew what he was doing, and it was for the greater good. Here’s King Corbin in a WWE exclusive on the heels of qualifying for team Smackdown, as well as Ruby Riott who qualified for the women’s team:
- Smackdown Survivor Series teammates Jey Uso and Kevin Owens wrestled a singles match after a confrontation earlier in the evening. Jey defeated Kevin when his cousin, Universal Champion Roman Reigns, distracted him allowing Jey to hit a headbutt to the crotch. He followed with a super kick and Uso splash for the win.
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We have two more Smackdowns, including tonight, before Survivor Series as the teams are just about filled out. This past Monday, Riddle joined team Raw as the fifth member. As has been the case with Raw and now Smackdown, WWE does not have their preview up. I’ll expand on the developments from last week to give you something to look for as we head towards tonight. Breaking from normal format, you won’t see “Frank’s Analysis” today as what I write encompasses my analysis. Here’s the hype video WWE put out on Raw and is on their website:
Roman’s Reign: What’s Next for the Universal Champ and his Cousin Jey Uso
WWE has emphasized they will focus on Universal Champion Roman Reigns tonight as he continues his reign as the tribal chief. I mentioned earlier how he distracted Kevin Owens in his match against his cousin, Jey Uso, helping Jey win the match. He told Jey that if he was to be interviewed, there was a “chain of command,” suggesting he should check with him first. If he couldn’t find him, check with Paul Heyman. He also suggested how Kevin disrespected their bloodline when they their interaction earlier in the evening. Roman asked Heyman if he knew about it, and he nervously said he found out “as it was happening.”
Jey is involved with the Survivor Series team, which also features Kevin Owens. Roman is set to take on WWE Champion Randy Orton, at least for the moment, as Randy is set to defend the title this Monday against former champion Drew McIntyre. With King Corbin involved with team Smackdown, it’s possible to get something involving him and Jey and Kevin. Seth Rollins is involved as well, but I see him staying out of matters until Survivor Series given a few things. He’s a former Shield member with Roman, and I expect them to stay apart for a while. In addition, he’s involved with the Mysterios, which I’ll talk about next.
Seth Rollins, Murphy, and the Mysterios Continues
The saga between “The Messiah” Seth Rollins, “The Disciple” Murphy, and the Mysterio family continued last week as I mentioned in the top three developments. During the Survivor Series qualifying match between King Corbin and Rey Mysterio, Murphy came down with Rey’s daughter Aalyah to apparently help Rey. Rey wanted Aalyah to get him out of there and proceeded to lose the match because of the distraction. Later in the qualifier between Rollins and Otis, Murphy distracted Otis and helped Rollins win to join team Smackdown. After the match, Rollins caught up with Murphy and appeared to have his “disciple” back since Murphy acknowledged him as the messiah. Aaylah then confronted Murphy, which I talked about earlier as well.
This will certainly move forward tonight, as we are to believe Murphy is aligned with Rollins again but likely to take him down. I would be curious if he gets a match with Dominik to qualify for team Smackdown, as it just feels like the next step. This has gone on for so long, so it’s hard to know what’s next for sure.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks and What’s Next
I mentioned earlier that Sasha Banks retained her Smackdown Women’s Championship, which was her first successful title defense after never retaining in her first five reigns (all on Raw). After the match she was attacked by Carmella, who had been cutting cryptic vignettes before revealing herself several weeks ago with a new “Untouchable” gimmick.
This is not Carmella’s first dance with the Smackdown title. She won Money in the Bank in 2017 and cashed in on Charlotte Flair the following year on the Smackdown episode after WrestleMania. She held the title until SummerSlam when she lost it back to Charlotte in a triple threat match involving Becky Lynch, which started Becky towards her immense popularity as “The Man.” She’s mostly been involved with R-Truth but appears to be in a more serious gimmick now. I suspect they’ll put her on path towards a title match with Sasha, which could happen in December if not sooner. Sasha is set to face Raw Women’s Champion Asuka at Survivor Series. They had many matches over the summer including at SummerSlam.
More Survivor Series Hype
There’s not much more to say other than what I’ve mentioned in terms of the Survivor Series build. One spot remains for the men’s team while three spots are open on the women’s side. As I said earlier, I could see Dominik and Murphy competing for the final spot on the men’s side. For the women it’s hard to say. The roster is thin, so that’s probably why Natalya got another “chance” last week. There’s Bayley, Tamina, Billie Kay, Liv Morgan, Natalya, and Carmella remaining. To be truthful, it really doesn’t matter who ends up being on the team, and it’s not worth utilizing your thought process. I say that with no offense meant to the women. If I’m making a guess though I’d say Morgan, Tamina, and Natalya fill out the team. Natalya will probably get two more chances.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- Lars Sullivan was interviewed by Michael Cole in a pre-taped segment. He talked about being bullied as a kid, and how it made him become a bully himself.
Despite my frustration with WWE I’m still looking forward to Smackdown. The Roman Reigns story is the best wrestling story today. While I’m not overly enthusiastic, I’m curious how Carmella is presented. Listen, the more the depth the roster has the better. What’s next for Bayley? It’ll be interesting if Carmella is the December opponent for Sasha and then they circle back to Bayley. Personally, I think there’s more juice in that feud, but it needs a break for now. As far as the Survivor Series build, I could care less, but I get a kick out of them trying to make it into a thing. Seth Rollins and the Mysterios have been feuding since the Obama administration it feels, but Murphy and Aalyah’s involvement shakes it up. There are a lot of good points that should make for a good show, and it’s only two hours folks. Less is more WWE, less is more.
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Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!