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    Monday, November 15, 2021

    SmackDown BreakDown (11/12/21): Acknowledge The Tribal King

    Technically, Roman Reigns should be bending his knee for King Xavier Woods since he lost the match. But it's not like anyone can point that out to the Tribal Chief, right? I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    No Big E this week, but we did get King Woods's third consecutive main event match and it was good right until The Usos unsurprisingly interfered. I like how they tried to drum up some intrigue for this week's King vs. Chief main event by adding these extra stipulations, but Roman Reigns promising to relinquish his title and leave SmackDown has become so meaningless, it has become a spoiler for what's going to happen in that match. So yeah, that took away points from this seemingly great matchup.

    I'm not even sure if this match had a Bend the Knee stipulation. It was certainly implied and they had the graphic that showed Roman Reigns kneeling to King Woods, but nothing felt final. I hope that photo was edited because seeing the main bad of WWE bowing to anyone is already weird enough. Aside from the predictable ending, the match wasn't actually that bad. A hungry and aggressive King Woods is ten times more fun to watch than the regular Woods. Also, that closing shot looked pretty dope.

    But I'm actually more interested in Paul Heyman's actions and the implications these tiny little gestures have. Did you notice how he's slowly distancing himself from the Tribal Chief? We really didn't need to see the two of them walking backstage, but for some reason, they made it perfectly clear that this scene was as important as any other. Heyman still walked behind Roman, but didn't he look more defiant than subservient? It's almost as if he's going to murder him at a moment's notice.

    And during the closing moments of the episode, he didn't even enter the ring to pose with The Bloodline. He just stood at the apron and raised the title, almost blatantly foreshadowing the crime he's about to commit without being too on the nose. I smell a betrayal from a mile away and I'm really curious to see how it plays out. And Brock Lesnar will be on SmackDown on December 10? Something's about to go down and I truly believe Heyman is the mastermind behind it all.

    I can see it now: Paul Heyman will convince Roman Reigns to put his Universal Championship on the line at next year's Royal Rumble match. After all, Roman loves to put unnecessary stipulations to all his matches for seemingly no reason at all. He'll survive the match with the help of The Usos but when #30 enters, lo and behold, it will be Brock Lesnar. It's going to be brutal, shocking, and entirely Roman Reigns's fault. But hey, that could totally launch the Roman Reigns face turn they've always wanted.

    I'm starting to believe that the whole backstage drama surrounding Charlotte Flair is a work. Of course, I'm probably wrong, but if this is just a ploy to make Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair more exciting than it actually is, then I wouldn't be mad about it. After all, they only had a short amount of time to build up a storyline on-air and with them not being on the same tour, it will get boring to cut a promo every single week. And it's not like Becky has stablemates Charlotte can beat up on a weekly basis.

    But my unreliable predictions aside, we actually got Charlotte Flair this week to cut her first promo about her Survivor Series opponent and it was okay. Nothing special, really, although leave it to Pat McAfee to make a seemingly boring promo a fun one by just participating like he's part of the crowd. And hey, this segment also reintroduced us to Toni Storm! Yey, they didn't forget about her after all! Plus, she got more lines that didn't involve who she's going to support in an upcoming match. Hooray!

    And while this confrontation didn't end up being a match, it did position Toni Storm as the next possible contender now that Sasha Banks will be busy with Shotzi for a while. Again, that's just great for the women's division of SmackDown. The more fresh faces we see every episode, the better it is for everyone. Of course Toni Storm won't be touching the SmackDown Women's Championship anytime soon, but they just need to establish her as the secondary babyface figure behind Sasha Banks.

    In fact, let's commend SmackDown for fitting in as many fresh faces as they can in one episode, either by booking them in a match or by giving them backstage promos. Probably the most notable debut this week was rookie of the month Aliyah who actually puked in the ring after winning her first match in the main roster. But that's probably fine since it fits her newcomer gimmick perfectly. The bad news? She'll probably be referred to as a rookie for the next two years until they inevitably release her. Too grim?

    And to make things worse, she was removed from the SmackDown Team and that's just nonsense. Sure, I would love to see Toni Storm added to the team instead, but at this point, if they really want to establish Aliyah as the Blue Brand's plucky new girl, just keep her in the team. She doesn't have to be the sole survivor, you know. Also, this is pretty much how they're going to build up the Traditional 5-on-5 Match—by removing one member of the team and replacing them with another. Compelling. /s

    Sami Zayn also got booted from the Men's Team this week after losing to Jeff Hardy. Yes, that Jeff Hardy. The Charismatic Enigma finally debuted on SmackDown and he legit received the loudest ovation this week. I know he's far from the dynamite he was back in the day, but Jeff receiving all the love in the world will never get old. Also, I'm not sure who will replace Sami Zayn at this point. Maybe Ricochet? We gotta have a flippy guy on the team now that Rey Mysterio is on RAW. Also, it's weird to see him not representing SmackDown at Survivor Series. It just looks wrong, you know?

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: If I only have one word to describe this week's episode, then it's going to be "fresh" and if I'm being cheeky about it, I'll use "freshly-booked." It's like SmackDown forgot that they have a lot more people in their roster the past few weeks and hours before the episode aired, they suddenly remembered Toni Storm, Jeff Hardy, DJ Shankenstein, and a bunch of other fresh faces. I'm glad to see them utilizing the entire roster and I really hope they continue this trend in the coming weeks. And hey, there's also Roman Reigns wearing a freaking crown. He looked awesome in it.

    Show Grade: C

    BreakDown Thoughts That Also Stood Behind Adam Pearce with No Explanation

    • Why is everyone suddenly clamoring to be part of the tag team division? I'm not saying I hate it, I'm just saying it's weird to see Jinder Mahal and Shanky randomly mocking Hit Row. Also, isn't Happy Corbin in line for an Intercontinental Title shot? Why is he picking a fight with the Viking Raiders? And it looks like superfan Ridge Holland wants to team up with Sheamus and is willing to fight Cesaro for it. Speaking of which, should we also count Cesaro and Mansoor as a team? SmackDown's tag team division is basically the wild wild west right now. 
    •  If Los Lotharios doesn't come up with a new finisher next week, I'd be pissed. Can they just beat random tag teams with acrobatic double-team finishers they cooked up on-the-fly just because they can? That's how you establish a new tag team.  
    • So are we going to acknowledge Von Wagner's main roster callup or nah? He was just standing there! Adam Pearce didn't even have the decency to introduce his new muscle. How incompetent can you get? At least Sami Zayn flinched at the sight of Big Von. I just find it weird how there's no effort to at least point out his towering presence. Now that's one way to debut the next Edge. /s


    Image taken from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident SmackDown reviewer. He's a sucker for well-written promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He's anxious about the future, now more than ever. His potential haunts him.

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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown BreakDown (11/12/21): Acknowledge The Tribal King Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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