I am going to go out on a short line and say that for the second year in a row, Velveteen Dream participated in the match of the year. The challenge of Tommasso Ciampa can’t be justified with words but was a complete showcase from the entrance to the final bell. Dream paid tribute to a couple of acts from the past, including the dreaded Hollywood Hogan. I don’t know what is left for Dream if he’s not getting another title shot in the next few months. It seems that the time has come for him to graduate to the main roster.
The War Games match took me back to the days of old when Dusty Rhodes and three other men just had to take care of the Horsemen in a match that needed a special structure. Alone, Ricochet, Pete Dunne, and the War Raiders had all they could handle from the Undisputed Era. Ricochet stood for the entire match since he entered first for his team. That also meant he was the first unfortunate soul to catch a beatdown with his team having the disadvantage. Ricochet kept flying about the ring which led to a couple of key spots. My favorites were the double springboard into the superkick and moonsault from the top of the cage.
Ring of Honor
The Tag Team titles were defended in the wildest way possible via a six-man triple threat tag. The bad blood between the SCU and the Briscoes already boiled high, but the Young Bucks were added to sweeten that pot. Scorpio Sky filled in for Christopher Daniels and brought his brand of debauchery. He also brought a mean second-floor dropkick that looked easy even though he had to get up high enough to catch a man almost six feet in the air. Don’t sleep on a cutter-to-dragon sleeper combo he sprung mid-match also. The SCU would claim the tag titles after a series of chair shots and a downed ref lifted them over the Briscoes.
The Usos may have been the SmackDown team captains for the 10-on-10 match, but the New Day is too hot not to let them have a moment to shine. As I recall, Big E and Xavier got way more ring time than the three other teams all while neither Uso entered the match until the final moments.
There was a pre-show announcement of Naomi taking up Charlotte’s role as captain of Team SmackDown, but then she jumped in the contest first and was eliminated quickly. Next, there was Tamina; I would figure that her new union with Nia Jax would lead to some destruction. She was unceremoniously eliminated as well. The star with all the heat was Sasha Banks. She and Bayley were teamed with the women who had jumped them less than a week ago. Banks took Sonya Deville then Asuka to task until Nia Jax showed her intentions to win the match as a sole survivor after pushing Sasha into the awaiting arms of an Asuka Lock.
Bobby Lashley was the only Black wrestla’ on either men’s team, and he didn’t do much more than work the contrast between his size and that of Rey Mysterio.
The persona of Bobby Lashley is money right now. After being selected by Baron Corbin to challenge Braun Strowman, Lashley and Lio Rush hit the ramp looking like and smelling like money. It didn’t hurt that all of Braun’s help would be eliminated to make the match as handicapped as it was supposed to be originally; add to that fact that Lashley gave Elias that work before dropping several spears on Strowman. The prizefighting dominator lives on for another week.
They’re keeping Sasha Banks as busy as they can to keep her away from headlining the women’s division. The cross by Nia Jax at Survivor Series put just enough in the water to book the match between the Boss Huggers and Jax with Tamina. Banks and Bayley did just enough to convince us that they could put the new team way, but this new look Jax has a moon to get to and cannot be stopped. A Samoan drop put Bayley away while Sasha was nowhere to be seen.
WWE is gonna put some respect on these pre-show matches. They want to sell the “clean sweep” of SmackDown, but the New Day is here to remind you that the tag team match went to Team Blue. Their opponents for the night can’t say the same. The Pilgrims of Positivity served up a Thanksgiving thrashing to the Bar and Big Show. Show and Sheamus at a table each while Cesaro ate all the other dishes. The New Day made off like bands celebrating their second-holiday gimmick win.
The break up of Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville may have continued through the efforts of Naomi and friend Asuka. The duo worked in tandem to cause confusion between Rose and Deville. While Rose was saving Deville from a kick from Asuka, Naomi was taking her out with her own patented attack that would lead to a submission win and the focus going back to the struggles of the former Absolution members.