This Week In The WWE: 11/29-12/5

RIP Pat Patterson.

The WWE and the entire wrestling world lost a legend this week with the passing of Pat Patterson at the age of 79. The original Intercontinental Champion was also the creator of one of the WWE’s signature events, the Royal Rumble.

I’ll remember him for his infamous feud with Sgt. Slaughter that led to a classic Boot Camp Match and Alley Match in Madison Square Garden. After an accomplished in-ring career that started out in the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco, continued through the AWA and ultimately the WWE, Patterson moved into the announcer’s chair alongside Gorilla Monsoon and Vince McMahon.

The WWE Hall of Famer actually won the 24/7 Championship, becoming the oldest champion in WWE history at 78. He’s been a trusted ally and producer behind the scenes for McMahon. What’s funny about him being the first I-C Champion is the fact that he “won” it in a tournament that never took place back in 1979 in Mexico City. It was a title created to be the second biggest championship in the company behind the then WWF Heavyweight Championship. The tribute to Patterson on SmackDown was very well done, including him singing “My Way,” a Patterson favorite along with Frank Sinatra. If you missed it, watch it here.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, friends and the entire wrestling community.


RAW

RESULTS

  • Symphony of Destruction Match: Jeff Hardy defeated Elias
  • Slapjack defeated Ricochet
  • Non-Title WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Match: Asuka & Lana defeated Shayna Baszler & Nia Jax
  • Cedric Alexander defeated Xavier Woods
  • Sudden Death #1 Contenders Match for WWE Championship: AJ Styles defeated Keith Lee & Riddle
  • Drew McIntyre & Sheamus defeated The Miz & John Morrison by DQ

Interesting to see both the WWE and RAW Women’s Champions both in tag team action this week.

As I’ve said in previous weeks, I really like Drew McIntyre and Sheamus together. The friendship and backstory is real. Both want to kick the *&$( out of The Miz and John Morrison and it just works. You have the built-in story of the WWE Champion vs. the Money In the Bank holder too. Sheamus as a tweener good guy will work for a bit until he ultimately turns on Drew next year.

The opening A Moment of Bliss with Alexa Bliss and Randy Orton was really good to start the night. Orton was spot on with his mic work defining Bray Wyatt and The Fiend. Plus, Orton didn’t back down when The Fiend appears, instead handing Bliss, who was in Orton’s arms as the lights came on, back to The Fiend while asking “who’s laughing now.” Good stuff as expected.

How the heck did Jeff Hardy not break his neck on the steel steps with that swanton off the top ring post? Damn that was scary! BTW: Didn’t we get a Symphony of Destruction match before with Elias and Braun Strowman back in March of 2018? The RAW announce crew made it seem like it was a first-time thing. Tough night for Elias. Shocked and swantoned!

Dana Brooke joins Ricochet against RETRIBUTION. First Brooke slaps Ali, then accidently knocks off RECKONING’s (Mia Yim) mask before pinning Yim. How the hell the RAW announce team wasn’t screaming “that’s Mia Yim” is beyond me! Should’ve capitalized on it and make it part of the angle. 

I smell a tag team title match coming for Asuka and Lana in the near future! For the second week in the row, Asuka and Lana get the win over Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler. It’s nice not to see Lana roughed up for a second straight week. Jax & Baszler’s act is getting old and I can see the belts changing hands at TLC. Maybe Asuka can ask Sasha Banks & Bayley for two-belt advice!

Cedric Alexander got the pin over Xavier Woods, but it looks like there could be a little dissention in the ranks of The Hurt Business. MVP and Shelton Benjamin didn’t seem to enjoy Alexander walking up the ramp celebrating his victory without them. Something to watch.

The triple threat number one contender’s match went as expected. Styles pins Riddle after a decent match. So, now we get McIntyre vs. Styles for the first time ever at TLC. Looks like this was the backup plan after Braun Strowman got injured and now suspended for the storyline.

Let’s just say there was a lot to the main event. Would Sheamus turn on Drew? Would AJ Styles help The Miz to cash in his MITB contract? Would the WWE Champ maintain his dominance over The Miz and John Morrison? Well, let’s just suffice it to see that Sheamus stayed true. AJ tried. The Miz tried and didn’t quite cash in. Now, it’s on between The Phenomenal One and McIntyre at TLC! Awesome line by Drew to close the night – “Jackass and the Beanstalk” – when talking about AJ and his bodyguard. FAS!

BTW: The thought of a Reigns vs. McIntyre sequel? Yes, please!


NXT

RESULTS

  • Damien Priest & Leon Ruff defeated Legado Del Fantasma
  • Cameron Grimes defeated Austin Grey
  • Jake Atlas defeated Tony Nese
  • Ever-Rise vs. Grizzled Young Veterans went to a no-contest
  • Imperium defeated Grizzled Young Veterans by DQ
  • WarGames Advantage Ladder Match: Shotzi Blackheart defeated Raquel Gonzalez

I’ll be honest, heading into WarGames this Sunday, I expected a little bit more from NXT. The main event was amazing, especially with the surprise of NXT Women’s Champion Io Shirai joining Team Shotzi! Anytime you can add a talent like Shirai to a match like WarGames, it’s a win-win. I will say though that the use of the ladder match is getting a bit overused in NXT these days. There are other ways to do an advantage match.

The rest of the show, however, wasn’t really something to remember. Pat McAfee’s promo in the ring, which is usually on spot, went a bit too long and kind of just rambled along. The Undisputed ERA vignette didn’t do much for me to help build the WarGames match. Don’t get me wrong, the match will be amazing, but the lack of build-up Wednesday night was a bit of a letdown.

Outside of the main event, the opening tag team match was fun and a good spot to showcase Leon Ruff and Damien Priest’s NXT North American Championship match with Johnny Gargano doing commentary. It was also different to see them in there in a tag team match with NXT Cruiserweight Champion Santos Escobar leading Legado Del Fantasma. You have to wonder if we see more of the Scream guys too. They’re a hoot!

Dexter Lumis and Cameron Grimes trading strap barbs was predictable as was Tommaso Ciampa showing up in Timothy Thatcher’s Thatch-As-Thatch-Can distraction session. In both cases, the matches Sunday will be fine, but the road to get there was a bit disappointing.

Giving Ever-Rise a bit of a rub with the Grizzled Young Veterans and Imperium was interesting. I can get into a GYV vs. Imperium feud. That was a pretty good match with an unsatisfying ending with Ever-Rise coming back for the DQ to get back at Imperium for chucking them out of their match with the GYV.

I have no idea what’s going on with Xia Li and Big Boa! I’m interested but I haven’t a clue as to where it’s going.


SMACKDOWN

RESULTS

  • Natalya defeated Bayley
  • Pat Patterson Tribute 6-Man Tag Team Match: Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Big E defeated Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, Shinsuke Nakamura
  • King Corbin defeated Murphy
  • Kevin Owens & Otis defeated Roman Reigns & Jey Uso by DQ

If it’s Friday night, it must be time for Roman Reigns to deliver! Simply put, Reigns is the most dynamic performer right now in the business.

First, trying to belittle Kayla Braxton to open the night for some “shoddy” questions, even when they weren’t. Talk about trying to exude your dominance! Then, accepting Kevin Owens TLC match challenge for two weeks. It’s amazing how good Reigns is in his current role as the Tribal Chief and Head of the Table. Now, with Owens, he’s got a worthy challenger as well. I’m hoping it’s not just a one-off PPV feud. As for the main event tag team match, Reigns of course let Uso start the match by himself before coming in mid-match and destroying Otis. leaving Owens by himself. Nothing starts without the Head of the Table right? Reigns’ utter contempt for Uso’s lack of success in trying to beat Owens was beautiful, but ultimately put a DQ loss on his own team. Just seconds later though, it’s a double-chair beatdown on KO for the knockout to the TLC challenger. What puts it over the top is the attack on his own cousin too! Roman has all of our attention now! Look out Owens family.

Natalya beating Bayley? Well, that was surprising.

Kudos to Sami Zayn, Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura and Rey Mysterio for putting on an entertaining 6-man match to honor Pat Patterson. The current and former Intercontinental Champions surely did the first I-C Champion proud with their efforts. Fitting to Mysterious see Bryan pin Zayn with the small package, a Patterson favorite and then Ziggler selling the atomic knee drop after the match too. Well done and it looks like we may get Zayn vs. Bryan again, this time with the title on the line.

Carmella vs. Sasha, the War of Words got my attention. Carmella makes every point on how she should be on Sasha’s level. She’s more than just the hot chick who walked into the Performance Center on a whim while Sasha worked her whole life to get there. Fightin’ words my friends! I’d love to see Corey Graves get involved in this one too to take this one to the next level!

We didn’t enjoy part one of King Corbin vs. Murphy. What made the WWE think we wanted a part 2?  Looks like The Forgotten Sons got a makeover to be part of the KC Court and quickly help the King out to a victory in the rematch. There’s no End of Days to this feud apparently.


Parting Shots:

A very interesting week outside the WWE! Former WWE Champion Jon Moxley lost his AEW Championship to Kenny Omega while kicking off a new partnership with Impact Wrestling as Don Callis helped Omega win the title and take the title presumably to Tuesday nights. Plus, Sting debuted in AEW with a shiny new multi-year contract to help out Cody Rhodes and Darby Allin. Are we getting a scenario reminiscent of the old territory days where companies will actually work together to compete with the WWE? If they can get along, it’s a good strategy with lots of possibilities.

It’s a busy Sunday for the WWE with the Tribute to the Troops airing on FOX Sunday afternoon either before or after the NFL game in your market (3pm or 4:30pm) and then NXT TakeOver: WarGames Sunday night at 7pm on the WWE Network.


Tribute to the Troops

  • WWE Championship Match: Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz
  • Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair vs. Bayley & Natalya
  • Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio, Jeff Hardy & SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Street Profits vs. King Corbin, Elias, Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode

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 & Io Shirai
  • NXT North American Championship Triple Threat Match: Leon Ruff vs. Johnny Gargano vs. Damian Priest
  • Strap Match: Dexter Lumis vs. Cameron Grimes
  • (Timothy Thatcher vs. Tommaso Ciampa

TLC PPV – Updated Card

  • WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles
  • Universal Championship TLC Match: Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens
  • SmackDown Women’s Championship Match: Sasha Banks vs. Carmella
  • The Fiend vs. Randy Orton

Coming up this week:

RAW
Randy Orton visits The Firefly Fun House
3-on-2 Handicap Match: AJ Styles, The Miz & John Morrison vs. Drew McIntyre & Sheamus
Riddle vs. Bobby Lashley (?)

NXT:
WarGames fallout

SMACKDOWN:
TBD


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