7 Ups & 7 Downs From Last Night's WWE SmackDown (Nov 20)

Randy Orton's brutal brilliance highlights a rough week for Team Blue.

Randy Orton Rey Mysterio Mask

A sloppy episode of Monday Night Raw meant it wouldn't take much effort for SmackDown to trump the flagship show's quality this week. They succeeded in doing so, but last night was a clear step down for Team Blue's standards, with WWE taking their feet off the gas ahead of Thursday's Thanksgiving holiday.

Though it would've been great to see SmackDown go all-out with an awesome episode after going 1-6 (f*ck kayfabe; the Kickoff Show counts) at Survivor Series, that's not what we got. These two hours were rote. Rife with filler, clunky action, and inconsistent narratives, they represent a huge step down from last week's near-perfect episode, though we're confident it's only an anomaly.

A number of SmackDown's biggest names were absent. Nonetheless, we got a big night from Charlotte Flair, who explained her ruthless assault on Ronda Rousey, then wrestled two consecutive matches within the opening half-hour. The WWE Champion was in the house as well, introducing the world to "the new Daniel Bryan, while his old rival The Miz started something fresh with Shane McMahon, and The Bar and New Day competed in the obligatory holiday-themed bout.

A disappointing evening, particularly after last week's barn-burner. Let's break it down...


A caffeine-dependent life-form from the frozen wastes of north east Scotland. He once tried to start a revolution but didn't print enough pamphlets, so hardly anyone turned up. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.