By Graham "GSM" Matthews
SmackDown General Manager Stephanie McMahon Suspended Brock Lesnar
This was almost an exact opposite of the segment where Lesnar annihilated J&J Security and the commentary team the night after WrestleMania 31 this past year, and I'm sure the inspiration for that segment came from this one. Sadly, Lesnar didn't lay the same beating on security, but his ambush would come later on in the night. Speaking of which, this segment set up the story that Lesnar was banned from the building only to return, so it kicked off the show in hot fashion.
Matt Hardy and John Cena def. Edge and Rey Mysterio
If it wasn't the November 21 edition of SmackDown (which I have yet to watch), then it was this show where Cena debuted his rapper gimmick alongside Bull Buchanan. Granted, he didn't rap anything in this match, but his new entrance music reflected it. As I noted in my review of the November 14 episode, he and Hardy made for quite the entertaining duo and it was great to see them team back up on this show. Edge and Mysterio were an on-and-off pair by this point, so having the heels go over was the best choice.
Tajiri def. Chuck Palumbo
Were they attempting to reintroduce Palumbo around this time, or was he already on the roster? Either way, he didn't receive much focus in this match as it was all about Tajiri. They weren't given much time, but it was still a fine match, nevertheless. Although it wasn't anything of storyline significance, I appreciated how Tajiri attempted to hide how he sprayed the green first in Palumbo's face by covering him in a certain way where the referee wouldn't have seen it.
Torrie Wilson and Dawn Marie Participated in a Pilgrim Fashion Show
This was the feud that would never end on SmackDown, but thankfully, Torrie and Dawn were hot, so their segments were too tough to stomach. I know that sounds shallow, and it is, but that's really all these segments had going for them because they sure as hell couldn't wrestle. If I do say so myself, Torrie clearly had this competition in the bag. On a side note, who thought letting Al Wilson speak was a good idea? His promo was terrible, but at least Ernest Miller cut him off before it got any worse.
WWE Tag Team Champions Los Guerreros def. Chris Benoit and Kurt Angle
Angle and Benoit were still on the outs and teased tension throughout, but despite not being on the same page, they pulled together an excellent performance against the tag team champions. I'm sure they could have had an even better bout with more time, but this was an awesome match regardless with plenty of back-and-forth action and a logical finish of Los Guerreros cheating to retain their titles.
Jamie Noble Called Out Scott Steiner
No, his run in WWE wasn't the best, but I am such a mark for Steiner. His promos alone were entertaining as hell as well as his beatdowns of smaller competitors like Noble. His attack on the former Cruiserweight Champion was a treat (though I could have done without him sexually harassing Nidia) and it gave the fans what they wanted to see. It didn't give the viewers any reason to believe he was signing with SmackDown, but it was fun for what it was.
Cruiserweight Champion Billy Kidman def. Crash
Did Crash do something to earn the title shot, or was the title just randomly up for grabs? Either way, the crowd didn't seem to care. It wasn't bad by any stretch, but it was too short and forgettable to be anything of note. I believe Crash was on his way out of WWE anyway and he was being utilized as an enhancement talent on his way out.
WWE Champion Big Show vs. Fabulous Moolah Went to a No Contest
You knew where this was going once Stephanie said Moolah and Show would be in matches on this show, but predictability isn't always a bad thing. This was an effective angle that made Moolah a sympathetic babyface in her hometown, Big Show a monster heel and Lesnar a babyface bent on revenge. He was overdue for giving Show his comeuppance, so the table spot was cool, but I'm glad they didn't go too far with it and have Lesnar get his hands on Paul Heyman, too.
I was in the Thanksgiving mood, so I figured I'd watch a Thanksgiving-themed SmackDown from the good ol' days. It's the third episode I've watched from that time period in the last month, so it might become a regular thing going forward. This wasn't as great as previous editions of SmackDown I've watched from a wrestling standpoint, but the storyline progression with Show and Lesnar was well done and the appearance from Steiner was entertaining. I wouldn't recommend checking out the full show, but pieces of it are worth your time. On a site note, Ernest Miller did commentary alongside Michael Cole for the night, but he was gone by the next week.