Roman Reigns def. Robert Roode
Reigns called out King Corbin beforehand, and their back-and-forth on the mic was once again terrible. Reigns came across as genuine while addressing the audience beforehand and wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving, but the dog-themed material from Corbin was trash. The matchup that followed between Reigns and Roode, while nothing worth writing home about, was solid. Reigns was able to fend off Roode, Corbin and Dolph Ziggler afterward. It looks like it's full steam ahead for Reigns vs. Corbin at the TLC pay-per-view. I just hope it ends up being either a Chairs match or a Tables match instead of the rumored Dog Collar match.
Mustafa Ali def. Drew Gulak
These two had a fun feud a few years ago on 205 Live as well as a series of strong matches, but this was clearly designed to serve as a showcase for Ali and nothing more. On one hand, I'm happy Ali is winning more matches and appears to be on the ascent at long last, but on the other hand, I can't help but think Gulak has been criminally underutilized since being drafted to SmackDown. The Braun Strowman stuff was garbage and now he seems to have settled into an enhancement role. What a shame.
Lacey Evans Confronted SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks
Bayley acknowledged SmackDown's failures at Survivor Series and Banks blamed her teammates for not getting the job done. That brought out Evans, who took exception to what they had to say and proceeded to lay out Banks. This was a fine segment that set up Evans as next in line for a shot at the SmackDown Women's Championship. I guess this means she's a babyface now, which is weird, but at least she's getting another chance to shine after her failed feud with Becky Lynch.
Nikki Cross def. Sonya Deville
I can't believe WWE has done nothing with Deville and Mandy Rose since their feud with Asuka over the SmackDown Women's Championship back in February. They've been spinning their wheels and never win when it matters most. Like she did a few months ago, Rose made fun of Cross' looks before the bout and then Cross beat Deville in under two minutes. Alexa Bliss, who has been injured for the past two months, made her anticipated return afterward. I would be surprised if Cross and Bliss didn't go back after the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship at some point.
SmackDown Tag Team Champions The New Day def. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro
It's amazing to think New Day have been around for five years this week. That's an incredible testament to their longevity and their ability to constantly reinvent themselves and remain relevant. I never once thought their titles were ever truly in jeopardy here, but it was easily the best bout on the entire show. The action was enjoyable and the crowd was into it. I like the mini stable of Nakamura, Cesaro and Sami Zayn. Of course, Cesaro's only really there to take the pinfall loss, but at least he's on television unlike others (Luke Harper comes to mind...).
Universal Champion "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt Attacked Daniel Bryan
Wyatt challenged Bryan to a rematch for the Universal Championship during an edition of Firefly Fun House earlier in the evening and Bryan accepted the offer here. I almost want The Miz to be involved in some form or fashion, but we also just saw multiple Triple Threat matches at Survivor Series, so maybe not. The segment was going well until The Fiend emerged and dragged Bryan through the hole in the ring before apparently ripping his hair out. Unless Bryan is shaving his head or something, that made no sense. By the way, anyone who pays almost $6,500 on that Fiend replica title belt is an absolute idiot.
I honestly expected this to be a hotter episode coming off Survivor Series (similar to how Raw was) and I'm disappointed it wasn't. I was happy to see Bliss, Elias (in a backstage segment) and Sheamus (also in a backstage segment) return, but everything else felt phoned in. Wyatt vs. Bryan and Reigns vs. Corbin continued while Evans vs. Bayley and Banks kicked off. Thus, stuff happened and the build to TLC is off to a decent start, but I can't say this show left me overly excited for the future of the blue brand.
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