This Week In The WWE: 11/22-11/28

When all is said and done for Survivor Series 2020, we’ll remember it for two things.  One, the Final Farewell of The Undertaker. Two, the solidification of Roman Reigns as the #1 force and face of the WWE.

When it comes down the Deadman, the final image of The Undertaker and Paul Bearer on the same screen was a fitting goodbye to the best character in the business. After 30 years, I don’t think we’ll hear another word from him as The Undertaker. Now, will we see him from time to time as Mark Calaway? Sure. That only makes sense. But the man, the myth and legend known as The Undertaker has finally been laid to rest. It was well done I thought. Having Vince McMahon come out to introduce him after a cast of friends came out to the ring before him was a nice touch too. You could argue on who should’ve been out there. Where was The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and others? Why was Jeff Hardy there? For the most part, it was respected friends in the ring. But also, let’s be honest, in this 2020 pandemic era, it’s not perfect. In an ideal setting, the farewell would’ve been done in front of a huge stadium of fans. But you only get one shot at a 30-year anniversary and this was it. It was time. Time to say goodbye.

Now, when it comes to Reigns, that main event vs. Drew McIntyre was awesome. Physical to the hill, continuing a storyline that could even have more legs moving forward and extending the saga with Jey Uso all in a tidy match to cap the night. The Universal Champion made the WWE Champion pass out, with Uso’s help, leaving us with a rightful reason to make Reigns the most dominant force in the WWE.

As for the lowlight – the women’s 5-on-5 elimination match. No more needs to be said.


Survivor Series results

  • The Miz wins Battle Royale (kick-off show)
  • Men’s 5-on-5 elimination match: Team RAW defeated Team SmackDown: AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, Keith Lee, Sheamus and Riddle sole survivors
  • SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits defeated RAW Tag Team Champions The New Day
  • United States Champion Bobby Lashley defeated Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn
  • RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks defeated SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka
  • Women’s 5-on-5- elimination match: Team RAW defeated Team SmackDown – Lana sole survivor
  • Universal Champion Roman Reigns defeated WWE Champion Drew McIntyre

Star of the Week:

AJ Styles – Styles leads Team RAW to a 5-0 clean sweep Sunday night at Survivor Series in the 5-on-5 elimination match. Then, just 24 hours later, Orton, with a bit of distraction from The Fiend, pins Randy Orton to keep himself alive as the #1 contender to Drew McIntyre’s WWE Championship. He’ll have to beat Keith Lee and Riddle to get that title match, but don’t think for a second that AJ’s doesn’t have another phenomenal night in him to do it.


RAW

RESULTS

  • RAW Tag Team Championship Match: The New Day defeated Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin
  • WWE Title #1 Contender’s Qualifying Match: Riddle defeated Sheamus
  • RAW Women’s Championship Match: Asuka vs. Lana went to a no-contest
  • WWE Women’s Tag Team Non-Title Match: Asuka & Lana defeated Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler
  • WWE Title #1 Contender’s Qualifying Match: Keith Lee defeated Bobby Lashley by DQ
  • Alexa Bliss defeated Nikki Cross
  • WWE Title #1 Contender’s Qualifying Match: AJ Styles defeated Randy Orton

For those of you who are faithful readers of this trusty weekly column, you’ll know that I’ve not been a fan of the way Monday nights have been going the past few months. So, if I’m going to hit them when they’re not good, I have to them a whole lot of credit when they do well. And this past Monday night, they did a whole lot of things well my friends. It was the best RAW I’ve seen top-to-bottom in months.

Now, I’m not a big fan of starting the show with six people talking in the ring, but having Team RAW making their cases each as the next challenger to Drew McIntyre’s WWE Championship worked. It worked well, with a bit of comedic moments too – I’m talking to you Bro and Firecrotch. Plus, when Braun Strowman puts his hands – and head – on WWE official Adam Pearce, you knew a suspension was coming. Pearce quickly made three qualifying matches to see Randy Orton, AJ Styles, Riddle, Sheamus, Bobby Lashley and Keith Lee face off with the winners moving on to a triple threat match next week. Well played! Settle it in the ring!

Riddle vs. Sheamus, even though we’ve seen it before, was one helluva match. Love Riddle going over too. It’ll keep Sheamus angry before eventually turning on his friend, Drew McIntyre. Lee vs. Lashley was physical and even the DQ worked with MVP protecting his US Champion. As for Styles vs. Orton, how could it not be good? Styles goes over and Orton gets another round with The Fiend. We all win there!

To start the night in the ring, we get a rematch for the tag team titles. Now, I was super thrilled to see it again since we just saw it last week, but it delivered. First, by throwing out the count out and continuing forward with a New Day victorious finish that keeps them strong after a Survivor Series loss to The Street Profits.

As for the women, it’s a winning night all around for Lana. She didn’t get beat up by Asuka. She didn’t get put through a table by Nia Jax or Shayna Baszler. She was part of the winning team with Asuka against the tag champs. The only downside was giving her a title shot in the first place against Asuka, but they made the storyline fit, so I won’t be picky there. In the end, it worked.

Alexa Bliss vs. Nikki Cross did exactly what it needed to do – frustrate the heck out of Cross. Bliss is playing her character perfectly as The Fiend’s sidekick. Funny and diabolical in the Firefly Fun House segments and still getting wins in the ring. So sad to see Friendship Frog gone so soon though. RIP Friendship Frog.

So, we’ve already got a Braun Strowman suspension and a terrific triple threat match of Riddle vs. AJ Styles vs. Keith Lee for next week. That’s a good start.

Things may be looking up on Monday nights after all.


NXT

RESULTS

  • Candice LeRae defeated Ember Moon
  • KUSHIDA defeated Timothy Thatcher
  • Cameron Grimes defeated Jake Atlas
  • Ladder Match for WarGames advantage: Pete Dunne defeated Kyle O’Reilly

I’ll admit, that was one mighty swerve with Toni Storm joining Candice LeRae’s WarGames team. I never saw it coming! Neither did Ember Moon, especially after losing to LeRae and then the beatdown by LeRae, Raquel Gonzalez and Dakota Kai. Who will Moon gets as partners?

Well, it looks like Rhea Ripley’s not going anywhere…but WarGames! And you can bet that Shotzi Blackheart will be there too after she was dragged to the ramp by LeRae’s team before beating up Ripley in the ring. So, it’s Moon, Ripley, Blackheart and ?????

https://twitter.com/WWENXT/status/1331778130831347712

KUSHIDA continues his ascent up the NXT ranks. This week, he takes down Timothy Thatcher, with a bit of help from Tommaso Ciampa sitting at ringside. KUSHIDA is a stud folks! It’s only a matter of time before he nets NXT gold!

What in the holy heck is Xia Li caught up in? It’s got me intrigued!

Welcome back Grizzled Young Veterans!

Welcome back to NXT Kevin Owens. We still like Wade Barrett on commentary, but the KO Show with Leon Ruff was spot on to set up the North American Championship match at WarGames.

The Feud between DexteWarr Lumis and Cameron Grimes is not done yet, of course. Next up: it’s a strap match between the two at WarGames.

I’ll give Vic Joseph an “A” for effort, but come on, how does he not know that the guy under the hoodie was Pat McAfee? How does he not speculate on that? Otherwise, Pete Dunne beating Kyle O’Reilly in the main event ladder match to gain the WarGame advantage was everything you’d expect it to be: brutally physical. Now, how will The Undisputed ERA counter now that they’re behind the eight ball?


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Non-Title SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits
  • Non-Title Intercontinental Championship Match: Sami Zayn defeated Daniel Bryan by count out
  • Bianca Belair defeated Natalya
  • Murphy defeated King Corbin
  • Kevin Owens defeated Jey Uso by DQ

Roman Reigns is so bad he’s so good. Just when you thought he might give cousin Jey Uso some love for helping him beat Drew McIntyre at Survivor Series, the Puppet Master makes Uso feel even lower for being the leader of the losing Team SmackDown team Sunday night. But in true head of the table leadership, he makes Uso feel so bad, he takes out the anger and frustration out on that SmackDown team. First, chair shots on Otis. Then Daniel Bryan in the back. Finally, trying to take out Kevin Owens in the main event. Only an absent Seth Rollins didn’t feel Uso’s wrath.

As for Owens, he says he fears no one. Classic lines from KO too, telling Reigns he treats his family like trash and while standing on the RAW announce table, proclaiming he’s the head of the table. Reigns vs. Owens looks like our next big-ticket item on Friday nights. Now that’s good for business!

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode are worthy challenges to The Street Profits and the SmackDown Tag Team titles. Now, with a non-title victory over the champs, they’re next in line for a championship, presumably at TLC. BTW: someone’s gotta change those red solo cups to blue when they reign down now on SmackDown. Montez Ford changed his cup; the rest must follow! It’s the details folks.

Put Sami Zayn and Daniel Bryan in the same ring and good things are going to happen. Another really good chapter Friday night leaves Bryan on the outside looking in as Zayn outsmarts him for a count out win as Uso beats up Bryan in the back. Looks like Big E might have the next shot at the Intercontinental Champ as Bryan might have bigger fish to fry at the head of the table. It’ll be good to get Big E back in the ring after a month of backstage antics.

Bianca Belair vs. Bayley? Sign me up! Their story has just begun at Survivor Series and will give both a nice launching pad to big things as we end 2020 and begin 2021. Natalya’s just a pawn along the way which I’m sure we’ll be hearing the B.O.A.T. complain about very soon.

Does Murphy really need the entire Mysterio family’s help to beat King Corbin? I guess we get round 2 again next Friday night. I’m not sure we need it.

Billie Kay. Why?  

Cheers Carmella, courtesy of your SmackDown Women’s Champion, Sasha Banks!


Parting Shots:

For the first time in quite some time, every show on WWE was a very good show this week with some good set-up for things to come. Now, can they make two weeks in a row?

NXT: TakeOver WarGames – Updated Card

  • WarGames: The Undisputed Era vs. The Kings of NXT
  • WarGames: Candice LeRae, Toni Storm, Raquel Gonzalez, Dakota Kai vs. Ember Moon, Shotzi Blackheart, Rhea Ripley
  • NXT North American Championship Triple Threat Match: Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest
  • Strap Match: Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes

Coming up this week:

RAW:
Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match for WWE Championship: Keith Lee vs. Riddle vs. AJ Styles
A Moment of Bliss with Randy Orton

NXT:
WarGames advantage match: Raquel Gonzalez vs. Shotzi Blackheart

SMACKDOWN:
Murphy vs. King Corbin


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