A new look opening and plenty of cool animation style graphics give this episode of SmackDown the feel of a fresh start. We’ll see if this turns out to be true in the long run, but for now at least it just amounts to new wrapping on the same product.
In the ring to kick things off is Sonya Deville along with most of the SmackDown women’s Survivor Series team: Shotzi, Natalya, Shayna Baszler, and Aliyah. Sasha Banks gets her own introduction, but before Deville can achieve whatever it is she plans on achieving, Naomi’s music hits and she skips quickly to the ring, getting in Deville’s face.
It doesn’t take long for all the women to lock up and start scrapping with each other, with Deville trying to retain order as we go to the break. During the commercials, Deville must have counted how many people were in the ring, because she came up with a nifty solution…
Natalya, Shayna Baszler, and Shotzi VS. Naomi, Aliyah, and Sasha Banks
Banks takes on Natalya and then Baszler to open the match, but quick tags see Shotzi and Aliyah get in the ring together. Shotzi gets a near pinfall before the heel team starts quick-tagging and stomping on Aliyah in their corner. Baszler nearly gets a Kirifuda clutch on before Aliyah seemingly easily rolls out of it and brings in Naomi to big cheers.
A blind tag to Natalya allows her to suplex Naomi off the apron to the floor, followed by another suplex on the ground, then one more in the ring. Back from another break, the heels are again keeping their opponent, this time Naomi, in their own corner for rotating punishment.
Naomi sends Baszler to the floor from the apron with a kick to the head, but as she crawls for a tag, Natalya tags in and tries to disrupt it. Aliyah gets the hot tag and enters coolly with a top-rope cross body and a couple of Lou Thesz presses. Things break down as people hit finishers on one another in and out of the ring, including Natalya locking in the Sharpshooter on Aliyah near the ropes. Naomi helps her out, though, dropping Natalya’s neck across the rope and allowing the newcomer to roll up the veteran for the win.
Winners via pinfall: Naomi, Sasha Banks, Aliyah
Backstage, Sami Zayn is talking to himself and pumping himself up, only later becoming aware that Jeff Hardy was listening the whole time. I guess that was supposed to be embarrassing. Elsewhere, after commercials, Deville has to tell the super-happy Aliyah that she’s no longer on the Survivor Series, with no reason given. And yet, elsewhere again, Kayla Braxton tries to get a word from Roman Reigns, but he brushes her off. Paul Heyman, though, gives her the news that the match now has a “Bend the knee” stipulation.
Los Lotharios (Angel Garza & Humberto Carrillo) VS. Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs
This will be interesting to see if Nakamura and Boogs do the job. Boogs begins by manhandling Carrillo, but the cousins use quick tags to take advantage, with Garza bringing powerful punches and forearms onto Boogs. Rick uses a Snake Eyes on Garza to make it for a tag, and Nakamura kicks his way into the match. Soon afterwards, as Shinsuke enters the ring after fighting with Carrillo on the ground, Humberto grabs his ankle and allows for Garza to hit him with a low dropkick to the head, allowing Los Lotharios to get the pin.
Winners via pinfall: Los Lotharios
Backstage again, Zayn is back and talking to Adam Pearce, asking him to take Jeff Hardy off the Survivor Series team. Instead, Pearce says he and Hardy will fight tonight to keep their spot on the team.
In the ring, Charlotte Flair starts off her promo, aimed at Becky Lynch for their Survivor Series match, with a presumably unintentional joke when she calls Lynch a manufactured champion. Yes, that sounds like she has that right — it’s definitely Lynch and not Flair who has been manufactured to be champion. Flair tries to attach a new nickname to Lynch (“Becky Uh-Oh”) and says she’s ready to fight anyone. Out comes Toni Storm with a challenge, which Flair refuses. That’s it for the segment.
Backstage, Kayla Braxton now speaks with King Xavier, who is determined to turn the New Day’s recent run of bad luck around tonight. Meanwhile, in another part of the arena, Ricochet interrupts Mustafa Ali giving Aliyah a depressing summation of her evening to put on a more positive spin, which Aliyah much prefers.
Jeff Hardy VS. Sami Zayn
The crowd is hot for Hardy, loving his hip-tosses and ten punches to Zayn in the corner. Sami fights back, mostly with punches of his own, and when we come back from commercial it’s Hardy in an extended headlock before he fights back with a barely connecting Whisper in the Wind. Zayn tries a pin in the corner with his feet on the ropes, but the ref calls off the pin. As Zayn argues, Hardy attacks with a Twist of Fate and a Swanton to make the Survivor Series team.
Winner via pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Hit Row shows up in a pre-taped promo, basically expressing their excitement about being on SmackDown. It seems that Jinder Mahal and Shanky were watching and respond with their own pretty awful rap, mocking Hit Row.
Kayla Braxton is busy tonight, now talking to Ridge Holland, who once again expresses his admiration for Sheamus. He’s interrupted by Cesaro, who suggests that Sheamus might not be the best role model.
Roman Reigns (w/ Paul Heyman) VS. King Xavier Woods – Loser must bend the knee
Woods opens with a mounted punches on the champ in the corner, then ducks a clothesline and lands a dropkick that sends Reigns to the floor. Woods delivers another dropkick through the ropes, but once back in the ring one uppercut right hand from Reigns is sold as enough to turn the tide of the match. A uranage onto the announcer’s table by Reigns leads to a break.
Woods takes a big boot and is forced to kick out, but responds with a jumping punch (that looked awfully similar to a Superman’s Punch) and a tornado DDT that lays them both out for a moment. Once back on their feet, Woods hits a side kick to Reigns’ head as McAfee calls the champ the most dominating of all time. Woods leaps off the top rope and brings an elbow down on Reigns and looks like he was going to get the three-count, but The Usos pull Woods out of the ring and beat him up with the steel steps.
Winner via disqualification: Xavier Woods
With Woods taken out on the floor, Jimmy and Jey take his crown and place it on their cousin’s head, which Reigns wears with a big smile.
SmackDown: November 12th, 2021
Nothing to write home about here; the show didn’t do much to drum up enthusiasm for Survivor Series, which should always be the base level for success.