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SmackDown Live Recap & Review – Episode 952

WWE SmackDown Live
Episode 952

Original Air Date: November 14, 2017
Event Date: November 14, 2017(aired live)

City: Charlotte, NC
Venue: Spectrum Center

Commentary: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton


Shane McMahon gives the SmackDown roster a pep talk about Survivor Series. He says that RAW might retaliate tonight, so everyone needs to work together to make sure they’re ready. He singles out Becky Lynch and Baron Corbin, asking them if they’re ready for Sunday. They say that they are. Also, New Day isn’t worried about The Shield.

** The blind SmackDown patriotism still feels strange to me. Baron Corbin getting along with everyone? Or Anyone? And Sin Cara cheering when Corbin basically says he’s going to beat him tonight and go on to face The Miz at Survivor Series? Things like that are strange to see. But whatever, I guess. **

Ring Area
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring. He’s happy to be back on SmackDown. Like everyone on his show, he might get knocked down, but he doesn’t stay down. He says that RAW is afraid and embarrassed. That’s why they added Triple H to the team. Bryan isn’t afraid though. Neither is SmackDown. Bryan then introduces the new WWE Champ, AJ Styles. Styles heads to the ring.

Bryan points out that RAW’s “Champion of the Universe” has his own personal advocate, so Bryan offers his services as an advocate to Styles. Styles accepts. Bryan re-introduces Styles and says that he agrees with all of Heyman’s reasons for watching Survivor Series except for reason F5. He says that Lesnar is big and strong, but he’s also thick-headed. He’s also a quitter. Styles will push Lesnar until he mentally quits. Lesnar can’t keep up with “The Phenomenal One.”

Styles agrees that fatigue makes quitters of us all. He also agrees with Heyman that he is the underdog. Styles wouldn’t have it any other way. On Sunday, he’ll prove why SmackDown is the show that AJ Styles built.

Jinder Mahal approaches Styles in the back and tells him that he’s going to take the WWE Title back after Lesnar destroys him. Styles says nothing and walks away.


Match 1
US Title Match
Sin Cara vs Baron Corbin (US Champ)
(referee: Charles Robinson)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Baron Corbin wins via pinfall after End of Days and retains the US Title
Time: 7:14

Match Thoughts
Not a bad match. Not a great one either. Sin Cara started strong, then Corbin came back, then Cara tried to mount a comeback of his own before the end. Both guys have been quicker in matches, but the pace here was kept fairly high. It wasn’t terribly exciting, but it did it’s job of getting the US Champ ready for Survivor Series. At least physically. Neither Corbin nor Cara can compete with The Miz on the mic.


Last night on RAW, Triple H joined Team RAW.

Shane McMahon thanks Daniel Bryan for his support. Bryan will support Shane through the end of Sunday, but after that they need to have a talk.


Match 2
SmackDown Women’s Title Match
Charlotte Flair vs Natalya (SD Women’s Champ)
(referee: Mike Chioda)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Charlotte wins via submission with a Figure Eight and becomes the new SmackDown Women’s Champ
Time: 7:28 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. Charlotte started the match with a lot of aggression, but Natalya fought back with some dirty moves on the outside. Charlotte used her strength to fight through it all though, and the final segments of the match were quite entertaining. The finish wasn’t very surprising given the title juggling that’s been going on in both shows, but they still managed to make the moment somewhat special.


Ring Area
Renee Young enters the ring and asks Charlotte how she feels. Charlotte says she’s been working towards this moment ever since she joined SmackDown, and she’s going to prove to Alexa Bliss why she is The Queen. She then dedicates her win to her father.

As Charlotte is heading up the ramp, Ric Flair’s music begins to play. Charlotte’s father comes out, and the two embrace on the stage.

Luke Harper can’t hear or feel anything. Erick Rowan explains what the purpose of the Bludgeon Brothers is. It involves hammers.

Ring Area
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin are in the ring, but The Usos come out talking about Cesaro and Sheamus. Gable and Benjamin don’t seem impressed.


Match 3
Chad Gable w/ Shelton Benjamin vs Jimmy Uso w/ Jey Uso (SD Tag Champs)
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jimmy Uso wins via pinfall after a superkick
Time: 6:22

Match Thoughts
Good match, though surprisingly one-sided. Gable was extremely aggressive, attacking Jimmy’s leg almost exclusively. He looked really good in this match, and I like his attitude over the last few weeks. As far as building up towards Survivor Series, this match did make Jimmy’s kick look like a devastating strike. Otherwise, he got beat up a lot, which I suppose shows that you can never count The Usos out of a match. Not that I would, they’re arguably the best in the WWE right now. Sunday should be interesting, and the feud waiting for The Usos when they get back SmackDown next week is getting interesting as well.


Sami Zayn is still upset about not being on Survivor Series. He and Kevin also complain about New Day facing The Shield instead of them. Owens doesn’t care about RAW or SmackDown, he only cares about The Kevin and Sami Show.

Ring Area
New Day heads to the ring. They talk about facing The Shield at Survivor Series. The unicorns versus the poop-eating hounds. New Day trusts each other. The Shield doesn’t. The Shield won’t last as a team, but New Day will. They will survive.


Match 4
New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E w/ Kofi Kingston) vs Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: the match ends in a No Contest when The Shield invades SmackDown
Time: 7:50 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
This was good, even if it was cut short. Zayn and Woods has some really nice exchanges early on, then Owens unleashed violence on Woods on the floor. That changed the momentum of the match, but Big E changed it again a little later. Everyone’s momentum stopped, however, when The Shield made their presence known.


Ring Area
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens excuse themselves from the ring as The Shield enters from the crowd. The Shield and New Day brawl, eventually being joined by The Usos, then Cesaro and Sheamus, then wave after wave of RAW and SmackDown superstars. Simultaneously the back, the RAW women dominate the SmackDown women in their locker room. Eventually Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring with Braun Strowman. RAW beats up every SmackDown superstar that joins the fight, and the show ends with Shane McMahon taking two triple powerbombs from The Shield and an Angle Slam.


Show Impressions
I liked the show, but the surprises weren’t very surprising. For RAW not to make an appearance would have been a mistake, and having the main event match start so early made it obvious that something was going to happen. Also, not having one of the title matches as the main event made it even more obvious that chaos was coming to SmackDown. I thought the big brawl was fine though. I liked the wave after wave strategy, and the fact that they all came from different directions. It made sense even though SmackDown was supposedly prepared for an attack.

Some people were curiously absent though. Like AJ Styles. I think John Cena should have been there too, though it would have made the ending of the show slightly different. And there were a lot of people who were there for Shane’s opening pep talk but not there defending SmackDown during the brawl. Offenders include: The Ascension, Breezango, Primo, Epico, James Ellsworth, Tye Dillinger, Mike Kanellis, and Aiden English. I it would be interesting if all of the people who were there but didn’t help were punished next week, or if we find out later on that they were all taken out in some kind of stealth attack prior to The Shield’s interruption of the main event. Either story would work, but I’d like some closure there.

The Women’s Title change wasn’t very surprising. I understand the appeal of Charlotte versus Bliss, but I wish all of these title changes hadn’t happened at the same time. It makes it feel like the writers weren’t planning ahead with their story lines, so they had to juggle everything at the last minute.

Still though, these are kind of nitpicks. This was an entertaining show, and even if it wasn’t surprising, I still enjoyed the brawl well enough.

Match of the Night
Charlotte vs Natalya
This was the most solid match of the night, and easily the most important. It made for some memorable moments as well.



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