Charlotte Flair def. Billie Kay; Flair def. Peyton Royce by Disqualification
Charlotte's brutal assault of Ronda Rousey at Survivor Series sure looked like a heel turn to me, and she certainly came off like a deranged heel to start off the show, but I was confused as to why The IIconics of all people interrupted her. Neither of the two matches were memorable in the slightest, but on the bright side, Charlotte was dominant while laying out both women. I have no clue what WWE is going for with Flair at this point, but I figure Flair vs. Rousey II is a lock for January's Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
The Miz Hosted Miz TV with SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon; The Bryant Brothers def. Miz and McMahon
I was looking forward to this segment, if only to see how Shane would respond to his brand losing (almost) all of their matches at Survivor Series. Unfortunately, it offered nothing of substance. No real reboot for SmackDown or anything. Miz just asked Shane to be his tag team partner, which Shane is obviously skeptical of. And no, The Bryant Brothers aren't some new tag team from NXT; they were merely a pair of enhancement wrestlers who were there to score the upset victory and establish how an alliance between Miz and McMahon wouldn't work. I can't say I particularly care where this is going (Miz vs. McMahon at TLC, perhaps?).
The New Day def. SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar and Big Show in a Thanksgiving Feast Fight
Considering we've seen almost every combination of these two trios over the past month and a half or so, this was nothing new. That said, I liked the Thanksgiving twist they put on it, because New Day is usually good for that type of stuff. It was well-wrestled and enjoyable for what it was, but New Day winning and the heels attacking them afterward all but confirmed that this feud will continue and I'm not too thrilled about that. Are there really no other tag teams The Bar can face on SmackDown Live right now? What about The Usos?
Asuka and Naomi def. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose
If it wasn't already apparent, women's tag team titles are clearly being introduced soon. Otherwise, I have no clue what the point of these meaningless tag team matches are. I realize Deville and Rose have been teasing tension lately, but that's a story I can't invest in at all. As for this outing, it was perfectly fine for the time it was given, but Deville and Rose are still on the same page despite their loss here because Deville seemed to sacrifice herself for Rose at the end.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan Addressed AJ STyles
That nut shot Styles endured at the hand (er, feet) of Bryan last week must have hurt him pretty badly given he was nowhere to be seen at Survivor Series or on this show. Anyway, Bryan's explanation for his actions was excellent and I love how he's completely moving away from what made him such a likable babyface. He referred to himself in the first person and even said "the old Daniel Bryan is dead." He's shown in the past (both in WWE and outside of WWE) that he has what it takes to be a strong heel, so I have no doubt he'll make this new persona of his work.
Randy Orton def. Rey Mysterio
Mysterio and Orton have always had great chemistry together (even dating back to their 2006 rivalry), so needless to say, this was an entertaining encounter and the crowd was into the action. My only criticism of it was that it didn't last long due to being held so late in the show and the commercial break eating up most of the television time. Orton winning in clean fashion was a slight surprise, but we'll see if this rivalry resumes in the weeks ahead or if both guys will move on in different directions. I would not be opposed to more matches between these two. If I had to guess, the rivalry isn't over based off Orton's post-match attack on Mysterio.
I don't care if Thursday is Thanksgiving or not. Following that abysmal episode of Raw on Monday night, WWE desperately need some sort of significant follow-up to the events that transpired at Survivor Series, especially on the SmackDown side considering they were squashed on Sunday. However, there wasn't a ton of compelling content on this show aside from Bryan's promo and Mysterio vs. Orton in the main event. In other words, check out the last half hour of this edition of SmackDown Live, but everything else can easily be skipped.
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