By Graham "GSM" Matthews
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus Interrupted Roman Reigns
Another long, draining talking segment to kick off the show? Ugh. Reigns wasn't half-bad here and Sheamus showed more enthusiasm than usual, but as I've said ad nauseam since he won the title last week, people won't care about him as champion until his booking changes. They didn't have anything more to say than what we already heard on Raw, so it was somewhat pointless even though the actual content of the respective promos weren't poorly delivered. Their TLC match should be entertaining, but how they get there is crucial depending on how the crowd reacts to both men going into the event.
The Dudley Boyz def. The Wyatt Family by Disqualification
I appreciated how this wasn't a rematch of Raw in that Braun Strowman and Erick Rowan represented The Wyatt Family on this show as opposed to Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper. Granted, they're the worse workers of the four men, but The Dudley Boyz were able to get a competent match out of them. It would have been questionable to have either tandem lose here, so the disqualification finish was acceptable. Could a six- or eight-man tag team match be in the works for TLC?
Paige def. Becky Lynch
Similar to Lynch's match with Sasha Banks on Raw, they produced a pretty good match, but the crowd interest just isn't there. I honestly don't even know what to suggest they do at this point. They've so much damage to the Divas division over the years that fans are automatically conditioned to not care, which disappointments me greatly considering how talented these women's wrestlers are. More character development might help, but it's going to take time. It's worth noting that Paige attempted to cheat to beat Lynch by putting her feet on the ropes, but she was too far away so she rolled her up instead, so I guess it turned into a clean win unless she did something the cameras or commentators didn't pick up on.
Jack Swagger def. United States Champion Alberto Del Rio by Disqualification (Non-title)
Del Rio and Swagger have always had enjoyable chemistry with each other, but their feud has been lackluster so far. The "hater" gimmick from Zeb Colter is falling flat with fans and it's not helping Del Rio garner genuine heat. The match was decent for what it was, but I can get only so excited about a rematch when the rivalry has no juice behind it and neither competitor has anything going for them at the moment.
The Lucha Dragons def. WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day (Non-title)
As soon as The Usos said they had a plan backstage, you knew exactly what they had in mind. That said, it didn't take away from the match as it was a fun bout with a clever "twist" despite it being seen coming from a mile away. The Lucha Dragons scored a major win that will likely earn them a title shot at TLC and if The Usos are included in the picture as well, the matches the three teams can contest have the potential to be awesome.
Dean Ambrose def. Tyler Breeze and Dolph Ziggler in a No. 1 Contender's Triple Threat Match for the Intercontinental Championship
I loved how the tag team match from Raw was made to mean something by including Ziggler, Ambrose and Breeze in a No. 1 Contender's match with Owens on commentary. Granted, Ambrose was the fan favorite to win after he scored the deciding fall on Monday night, but the in-ring action was excellent and there never seemed to be a dull moment. My only gripe would be that they didn't allow any of the spots to sink in before moving on, but at least it was very well-wrestled and the crowd cared about each of the nearfalls.
For a holiday show, this was a pretty solid show from start to finish. I was fully expecting them to phone it in, especially since they tend to neglect SmackDown more often than not, but the two hours were entertaining topped off by a newsworthy main event that confirmed a new match for the TLC card. The backstage segments with The New Day alone made this an above-average episode. Happy Thanksgiving, folks!
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