Rich Swann def. Noam Dar
Of course, these two have had their fair share of matches against each other in the past (remember when they had that rivalry earlier this year that would just never end?), so this was a good enough match between them. The outcome was never in doubt, but it was a nice way to plant the seeds for a potential Swann vs. Enzo Amore feud and to give Swann an additional momentum boost coming off his big Raw win.
Kalisto def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher by Disqualification
These two had a halfway decent match a few weeks ago on 205 Live, but when the crowd in England that night couldn't have cared less about it (and Gallagher is English, obviously), what made you think the fans in attendance for this show would be any better? They sat on their hands for it despite being the bout being well-wrestled, and it looks like they're headed for a full-fledged program based off how the heels ambushed Kalisto afterward. Could Sin Cara return to the Cruiserweight division and reunite with Kalisto? I might not actually mind seeing that, to be honest.
SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon Called Out SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan
What I enjoyed about SmackDown Live compared to Raw for the first year of the second Brand Split was that they never teased tension with the authority figures, but now it looks like Bryan and Shane are taking center stage on SmackDown. Sure, the storyline is compelling to an extent, but I don't think either one of them need to turn heel. There was quite a bit of bickering between them here, and most of it was stuff we have heard before. If nothing else, it did establish the Randy Orton vs. Kevin Owens main event as a No Disqualification match.
The New Day def. Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin
What a weird match this was. They apparently had beef on social media before the bout that I was completely unaware of, and I'm somewhat surprised New Day is already back in SmackDown Tag Team Championship contention. The in-ring action was entertaining and I understood that New Day needed a win coming off their recent losses, but Gable and Benjamin haven't lost many matchups (if any at all) since partnering up, so this seemed to be a step in the wrong direction for them. Perhaps a multi-team title match is in the works for Clash of Champions?
Apollo Crews def. Curt Hawkins
Needless to say, we've seen this match countless times in the past, so this was nothing new. Both men are good athletes, but you can watch them fight only so many times before you become bored. It doesn't help that Hawkins hasn't won in a match in close to a year, so him losing here was guaranteed. If nothing else, Hawkins mocking Titus O'Neil signature bark at ringside was pretty funny.
Gran Metalik and Kalisto def. Gentleman Jack Gallagher and The Brian Kendrick
I suggested in my 205 Live review on Tuesday that Sin Cara should return to the Cruiserweight division to reunite with Kalisto and even the odds against Gallagher and Kendrick, but it appears Kalisto already has an ally in Metalik, and I like this idea even better. Granted, Metalik was nowhere to be seen on 205 Live this week and this might have been just a test run to see how well they would gel as partners, but I hope this duo eventually makes it to TV because they'd make for a great tandem. This was a very fun tag team affair for as long as it lasted and the babyfaces picking up the victory was a nice change of pace.
Elias Accepted Intercontinental Champion Roman Reigns' Open Challenge
I don't know how wise it was to announce from the get-go that The Shield wasn't going to be a part of the show due to Dean Ambrose being on his honeymoon, but at least they weren't falsely advertised. I can't say I was surprised by the relatively positive reaction Reigns received because he was cheered more than he was booed last week as well. This was a solid segment establishing his open challenge gimmick as Intercontinental Champion and setting up Elias as his first challenger.
Seth Rollins def. Raw Tag Team Champion Cesaro
I questioned WWE's decision regarding The Shield not appearing in full on this show in the previous paragraph, but I will give them credit where it's due because it was smart to position this as the opener to the episode. There was nothing on the line (why not say ahead of time that the tag team title rematch was happening next week and the winner of this bout would be able to choose the stipulation?), but they were given a ton of time and it was a quality contest that gave the challengers another momentum boost before they invoke their rematch clause next Monday night.
Team Eddie Edwards (Edwards, Fallah Bahh, Garza Jr., Richard Justice And Allie) def. Team Chris Adonis (Adonis, Caleb Konley, El Hijo del Fantasma, KM and Laurel Van Ness) in Impact Global Champion Eli Drake's Gravy Train Turkey Trot
The entire episode was built around who would join each team and the wrestlers talking about the opportunity to wrestle in the main event. The match itself was fine for what it was and enjoyable at points, but it was obviously designed for comedy because not even the commentators took it seriously. In fact, there was a point down the stretch where Josh Mathews burst out in laughter (at something that wasn't all that funny) for literally a minute or two non-stop. Nonetheless, everyone involved put forth a decent effort. Because the babyfaces won, Adonis was forced to wear the "legendary" turkey suit afterward, and if he didn't, Drake would have had to. It was far from must-see, but it's been an IMPACT! Thanksgiving tradition over the years and the holiday-themed show wouldn't have been the same without it.
Needless to say, this was basically a filler edition of IMPACT! Wrestling since nothing of note happened whatsoever. As noted, the whole show consisted of backstage promos hyping up the main event, and other than that, turkey suit matches from years past aired in their entirety. I would not suggest taking time out of your holiday to watch this because you'd be wasting your time. By the way, how weird must it have been for the fans in attendance watching this considering the show emanated from Canada and their Thanksgiving was in October? If nothing else, at least they advertised several matches for next week's show, which will be headlined by Johnny Impact vs. Alberto El Patron in a Grudge match. Happy Thanksgiving, folks!
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