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SmackDown Live Recap & Review – Episode 954

WWE SmackDown Live
Episode 954

Original Air Date: November 28, 2017
Event Date: November 28, 2017 (aired live)

City: Lexington, KY
Venue: Rupp Arena

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


Last Tuesday, Daniel Bryan saved Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn from getting fired, but he put them in punishment matches instead.

Ring Area
Shane McMahon heads to the ring. He seems perturbed that Daniel Bryan didn’t fire Owens and Zayn at the end of last week’s show, so he calls Bryan to the ring. Bryan says that, as someone who has been fired, be believes in second chances. He also thinks that Shane can let his temper get in the way of rational decisions. Shane agrees. He also lists all of the things Owens and Zayn have done to him recently. Bryan says it was all in the name of trying to rise in the ranks.

Bryan also says Shane hired him to be his equal and make his own decisions. Shane agrees. He then goes on to make some adjustments to the match between Owens and Orton that Daniel set up for tonight. It will no be No DQ with Zayn banned from ringside. Bryan doesn’t seem to mind.

Zayn and Owens approach Bryan and tell him that he needs to sort out Shane McMahon and his decisions. Bryan says “hell no.”


Match 1
New Day (Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston w/ Big E) vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
(referee: Mike Chioda; guest commentary: The Usos)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Xavier Woods pins Shelton Benjamin after an UpUpDownDown
Time: 8:40

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Benjamin and Gable dominated a lot of the early part of the match with some good teamwork, but it seemed like their tandem offense ran out after a while. New Day started taking over with rapid tags and multiple tandem moves. Woods in particular with a lot of very solid and hard strikes, including a missile dropkick that shot Gable down to the mat in rough-looking fashion. I was actually a little surprised by this outcome because of the stories going on right now, but I quite enjoyed it.


Naomi asks Charlotte if she’s ready for Ruby Riott and her friends tonight. She is. So is Naomi. Natalya is still a little bitter about her title rematch getting interrupted, but she’s willing to set that aside to put the newest members of the SmackDown women’s division in their place tonight.


Match 2
Hype Bros vs Bludgeon Brothers
(referee: Charles Robinson)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Erick Rowan pins Zack Ryder after a tandem chokeslam
Time: 0:45

Match Thoughts
Squash. It was good for both teams though. They’ve been teasing the Hype Bros breakup for months. It’s been long enough.


Ring Area
After the match, Dasha Fuentes asks Ryder what’s been going wrong for the Hype Bros. Ryder begins to say that they need to change to meet the changing tag division, but Mojo attacks him from behind. Mojo continues his assault until he decides to walk away.

Kayla Braxton asks Mojo why he attacked Ryder. Mojo calmly says that the landscape has changed.

Dasha Fuentes welcomes Bobby Roode and asks him about Baron Corbin attacking him during the lumberjack match last week. Roode says Corbin is scared, but Corbin walks up and says he isn’t. Roode tells Corbin to put his US Title on the line tonight if he isn’t scared, but Corbin refuses.

Ring Area
The Singh Brothers with Jinder Mahal head to the ring for a match. AJ Styles comes out next, and when he enters the ring, Mahal attacks. Styles is beaten up by Mahal as the show heads to a commercial break.


Match 3
Handicap Match
The Singh Brothers w/ Jinder Mahal vs AJ Styles (WWE Champ)
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: AJ Styles pins Samir Singh after a second-rope Styles Clash on Samir onto Sunil
Time: 3:57

Match Thoughts
This was fun and about the only way to build intrigue in a match between Styles and the Singhs.


Ring Area
After the match, Mahal attempts to attack Styles again, but he misses as Styles rolls out of the ring. Mahal then takes out his frustration on the Singh Brothers.

Dasha Fuentes welcomes Ruby Riott, Liv Morgan, and Sarah Logan. Riott reveals their name as “The Riott Squad,” and she gloats about injuring Becky Lynch. She talks about Morgan and Logan, and says they are about to start a riot.

New Day advertises for WWEShop.com.


Match 4
Natalya & Charlotte Flair (SD Women’s Champ) & Naomi vs The Riott Squad
(referee: Jason Ayers)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ruby Riott pins Charlotte after a Riot Kick
Time: 9:11

Match Thoughts
This was a good match for the Riott Squad, but not much of a wrestling match. Natalya left early, not wanting to have anything to do with anyone in the match. Later on, Logan and Morgan attacked Naomi on the floor, throwing her messily into the corner of the barricade before using the ringsteps on her. It really should have been a DQ. Then it was pretty much three on one with Charlotte being the only member of her team left. I liked how the Riott Squad divided and conquered (well, except for Natalya), but this isn’t a match I’ll go back and watch again.


Kalya Braxton tries to get a word with Randy Orton. She fails.

Fashion Files presents “Sawed.” Breezango are chained to a wall, and so are The Ascension. They have one minute to destroy what they love most: Tully the stick horse. Breezango manage to escape, but they leave The Ascension behind to die. To be continued…


Match 5
No DQ Match
Kevin Owens vs Randy Orton
(referee: Mike Chioda)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kevin Owens wins via pinfall after a Bullfrog Splash
Time: 13:49 (1 break)

Match Thoughts
Good match. It was fairly violent at times, though after a while it turned into a bit of a brawl out through the crowd with lots of chasing and rolling on the ramp. I liked the match though. The technicality that Sami Zayn apparently used to get involved is pretty silly, but like in the women’s match earlier tonight, you kind of have to forgive some illogical (or barley logical) stuff for the match to work the way it needs to.


Show Impressions
I liked the show. I wasn’t looking forward to a Randy Orton main event at all, but it was an entertaining match. The opening match tonight was very good as well, and the rest of the show kept my interest. The women’s stuff felt necessary yet good, the Hype Bros breakup was long overdue, Styles beating the Singh Brothers felt like a logical progression of the story, and the Breezango bit was okay. Not the best Fashion Files, but it was alright.

Match of the Night
New Day vs Shelton Benjamin & Chad Gable
I liked that the finish surprised me a little, though it probably shouldn’t have. I also liked how aggressive New Day was in a lot of what they did.



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