Friday 11 December 2020

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WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction, Highlights from December 11

Sana Ejaz Khan


    The Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view is just over a week away on December 20. Since WWE has already filled most of the card, this Friday's show was all about selling the big feuds.

    After several physical encounters over the past several weeks, Carmella and Sasha Banks signed the contract for their upcoming SmackDown women's title bout at TLC.

    Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode defeated The Street Profits two weeks ago, so Montez Ford was looking for some revenge when he took on The Showoff.

    Last week's show also featured growing tension between Big E and Sami Zayn. The two met for a match this week, but the intercontinental title was not on the line. 

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on Friday's episode of SmackDown. 

Montez Ford vs. Dolph Ziggler

1 OF 6

    After the opening segment with Banks and Carmella ended quickly, Ford and Ziggler came out for their match. Both teams delivered promos before it got started.

    The Showoff went for a single-leg takedown but Ford got to the ropes. Ziggler kicked him in the gut and raked his face across the top rope. A dropkick scored Ziggler a two-count. 

    Ford countered a dropkick and hit one of his own as he started to build some momentum. Angelo Dawkins prevented Robert Roode from interfering. Ford and Dawkins then called for Solo cups to rain from the ceiling as the show went to a break. 

    We returned to see Ziggler keeping Ford down in a headlock. He dropped several elbows on Ford before hitting a jumping elbow for a near-fall. 

    The SmackDown tag team champion started making a comeback as he countered some of Ziggler's signature moves. Roode attacked Dawkins and the distraction led to The Showoff hitting a superkick for the win. 


    Grade: B



    When you put two guys as athletic as Ziggler and Ford into the ring together, they are bound to have a good match. It's not rocket science.

    Ziggler is and always has been a great heel. The way he plays to his opponents' strengths to make them look better is a skill some wrestlers never master. Ziggler has it down.

    Ford's agility is unmatched and he continues to find new ways to impress. This was a good stop on the way to their eventual title match. 

Big E vs. Sami Zayn

2 OF 6

    We returned after a break to see Zayn in the ring ranting about how he doesn't have any merchandise. Big E made him a shirt backstage before the commercial to make him upset.

    The powerhouse came out and threw his coat at Corey Graves before the ref called for the bell. Zayn made the announcers clarify that this was a non-title bout. 

    They locked up and Big E pushed the IC champion to the mat. The big man maintained control for a long time as he punished Zayn and talked trash at the same time. 

    Zayn had the upper hand for a few moments but Big E started throwing him around with belly to belly suplexes. The Great Liberator hit a crossbody but Big E rolled through. He hit an urinagi and Zayn immediately started acting like his hand was hurt. 

    He slapped E across the face and tried to run away. Big E chased him under the ring as the ref continued to count. Zayn made it back in to win by countout. 


    Grade: C+



    Countout finishes are never exciting but sometimes they work for storyline purposes. This is one of those times.

    Zayn is a classic cowardly heel and what he did in this match was the ultimate jerk move. He and Big E had a fun encounter and it ended with the bad guy getting one over on the good guy.

    This is not over, so Big E can easily recover by scoring a win to earn himself a title shot, possibly at TLC. Could this have been better? Yes, but they are leaving themselves room to grow. 

Jey Uso and Kevin Owens Fight

3 OF 6

    Roman Reigns and Jey Uso were backstage when Kevin Owens went to the ring. Uso asked if he could go get Owens and Reigns told him to do it.

    KO delivered a promo with a table, a ladder and some chairs in the ring. He addressed Reigns directly and said all of those weapons would help him get back to the top of WWE.

    Uso attacked him with a chair and went right after his knee. The Tribal Chief smiled as he watched Uce attack his TLC opponent. 

    Owens found a way to get the upper hand and put Jey through a table with a powerbomb. This brought out Reigns but Paul Heyman convinced him to do this on his time, not on Owens'.

    After a break, Reigns attacked Owens backstage and took him out before he spoke right to the camera and asked KO's wife to talk some sense into him. 


    Grade: B+



    Poor Jey. No matter what he does to impress Reigns, he just ends up getting beaten down, usually with a steel chair.

    This segment was predictable but effective. KO is great as a never-say-die fighter and Reigns is perfect as the overconfident champion who has backed up everything he has said so far. 

    This segment helped emphasize how their upcoming match is about more than just the title but it made sure to keep the Universal Championship as the main focus. 

The Riott Squad vs. Billie Kay and Natalya

4 OF 6

    Billie Kay and Ruby Riott started for their teams. Riott quickly made the tag so she and Liv Morgan could hit a double-team move. They kept Kay in their corner for a couple more tags. Natalya helped distract Morgan so Kay could hit a boot to the face.

    The Queen of Harts dominated for a few minutes but Kay tagged herself in. Morgan kicked her into Natalya and hit a combo with Riott to get the win. 


    Grade: D



    This match was too short and had a sloppy finish. Natalya and Kay were supposed to collide but it ended up being minor contact. When Nattie didn't go down at first, it looked weird when she was off the apron a few seconds later.

    Kay is a funny character but WWE was dumb to separate her from Peyton Royce. The Riott Squad looked good together but didn't get enough time to do anything memorable. This was a poorly booked match with subpar execution, which is a shame because all four women have proved they are capable of being better than this many times. 

Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Chad Gable and Otis

5 OF 6

    The new team of Otis and Chad Gable were out after the break to face former SmackDown tag champs, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura. Earlier in the show, Gable showed a clip of him training Otis.

    Cesaro took Gable down right away. Gable tagged Otis and the big man took The Swiss Cyborg off his feet and then tagged Gable back in. They went back and forth like this a few times before Cesaro leveled Gable with an uppercut.

    The Dozer tagged back in and took control again. Gable demanded to be tagged in again and he jumped right into the arms of Cesaro for the Big Swing. Nakamura came in and hit the Kinshasa for the win. 


    Grade: C



    Is Gable a heel? Is he just a cocky guy who wants to be good? Does Otis need him? These are all questions we have after this match.

    The action in the ring was fine but the story of Gable trying to teach Otis only to end up losing for his team didn't make a lot of sense. Are we supposed to want Otis and Gable to win or should we want Otis to get tired of him and beat him up? Nobody knows.

    Regardless, it's always nice to see Cesaro and Nakamura get a chance to wrestle, even if it's in a short match like this. 

Sasha Banks vs. Carmella (SmackDown Women's Championship)

6 OF 6

    Banks and Adam Pearce were in the ring to open the show. The Boss found there was no contract in the folder and started to get mad. Mella appeared on the screen and said she had already signed it before having it sent back out to her.

    They traded insults and Carmella said she was The Queen’s Gambit not Tiger King. She said this while wearing an animal print design on her shirt.

    Banks dared her to come out for a title match tonight and Mella agreed. Pearce made it the main event and at the end of the night, Carmella debuted her new entrance. 

    They locked up and Mella yanked Banks to the mat by her hair to get an early advantage. She kept The Boss on defense until Banks hit a knee to the face. Mella hit a facebuster on the apron as the show went to a break.

    The Princess of Staten Island hit a crossbody from the top rope for a two-count before she applied the Code of Silence. Banks countered into the Bank Statement. Mella's henchman pulled Banks out of the ring while the ref was distracted. Banks attacked Carmella and got herself disqualified. 

    Mella superkicked her out of the ring and pushed her face into the ice bucket she was using for her champagne. She grabbed a bottle and smashed it over the back of Banks before pouring herself a glass and spraying the announcers with a different bottle. 


    Grade: C+



    This was the first time we have seen Carmella wrestle in seven months and based on what we saw, she didn't have much ring rust if any at all.

    She and Banks meshed well together but it never felt like the title was going to change hands. It was obvious this bout would end with some shenanigans from the start.

    The DQ finish will allow the feud to continue but this show already had a countout, so it felt a little excessive to include another non-finish.

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