It's a big week and not just because here it's Thanksgiving weekend in the States, on the heels of a big AEW PPV last weekend, WWE has their annual Survivor Series and this year, for the first time ever on a main WWE show – they're doing War Games! For the men and women.
Let's go through the whole card and my predictions for each match. But before we do, here are the rules for the War Games matches, if you've never seen one before.
Men’s WarGames match: The Bloodline (Roman Reigns, The Usos, Solo Sikoa & Sami Zayn) vs. The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch, Ridge Holland), Drew McIntyre & Kevin Owens
I can see Kevin Owens getting the win here, possibly over Sami Zayn, or to be even more scandalous, what if the honorary Uce somehow causes a distraction or accident leaving the tribal chief himself, Roman Reigns to get pinned by Owens, setting up Owens vs. Reigns at the Rumble? Either way, this seems like a good scenario for the Bloodline to lose in to set up future programs.
Women’s WarGames match: Damage CTRL (Bayley, IYO SKY & Dakota Kai), Nikki Cross & Rhea Ripley vs. Bianca Belair, Alexa Bliss, Asuka, Mia Yim & TBA
The fifth woman will be announced tonight and the rumor is it's expected to be Becky Lynch. This should be a really really fun match and I'm looking forward to the crazy IYO SKY spot we get out of it. I can see it going both ways, but because this is Becky's return match, I see her getting the win. Perhaps, Alexa's disinterest storyline will continue here and she will finally align with Bray Wyatt.
Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles
It feels like Judgement Day is on a roll right now, and I feel like Finn needs the win here more than AJ does, so my prediction is Finn is going to win, likely with shenanigans.
WWE US Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Bobby Lashley vs. Austin Theory
Triple threat match means no DQ, so I can see this match getting pretty wild and ultimately I imagine Lashley is going to have the title won, about to defeat Rollins and Theory somehow swoops in and steals the victory. I can also see Lashley just crushing Theory and winning the belt since they are working a Theory losing streak gimmick at the moment. I think that would be the better ending.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Shotzi
Is there really any doubt here about the winner? Ronda is taking it. Maybe we get a surprise return from Charolette for vengeance from this summer. I miss Charolette and hope she's back on TV soon!
Will you be watching the show tomorrow night? Looks like a fun show without much filler. The two War Games matches are clearly going to carry the show. I am looking forward to this show, and it's the most I've looked forward to a WWE event in a while.
Here's the preview for tonight's Smackdown at 8pm on Fox, the final show before
WWE Smackdown on Friday at 8pm is the final stop before Survivor Series this Saturday.
- SmackDown World Cup semifinals: Braun Strowman vs. Ricochet
- SmackDown World Cup semifinals: Santos Escobar vs. Butch
- WarGames advantage match: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus vs. The Usos
- Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler vs. Shotzi & Raquel Rodriguez
Fallout from AEW Full Gear between The Elite and CM Punk
The drama between the Elite and CM Punk was exacerbated this past Wednesday on Dynamite in front of a Chicago crowd (traditionally CM Punk territory.) Before the show, Kenny Omega tried to plea for a mea culpa with fans, telling SI.com: “There are things no one can talk about, so I’d encourage people to let it go. It doesn’t change that we want a team effort in AEW. I don’t even mean implicitly myself and my opponent. It also means the referee, the fans, the people who set up the ring, everyone–even a technical error can ruin the memory of a match. I can refer back to the exploding barbed wire death match. So I encourage people to move away from it because there is no information to be released. Though I cannot talk about it, I do want the fans to know I still want the best for pro wrestling.”
Yet, as soon as the trio got out there, and hear the boos, they started playing into them, using some of CM Punk's taunts, and mocking a botch that Punk did earlier in the year. Here's a good compilation of the Elite's trolling:
While it may seem like this might just be an angle to set up a future CM Punk return, according to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer, Punk was likely not pleased with what the Elite were doing. "I know that there's people close to CM Punk that were, boy, they were not happy with that six-man tag match," Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Omega further played into the gag by thanking Kenta, the originator of Punk's finisher, the Go2Sleep.
Additionally, we have yet to hear from MJF about how he and Regal mended fences and decided to work together. It does seem like an interesting triangle of drama between Regal, Danielson, and Moxley, with Danielson begging Moxley not to turn Regal on Dynamite this week:
More Wrestling News from Around the Internet
According to Fightful, the reason Randy Orton has been out for an extended period of time is he required fusion surgery for his back after a career of wear and tear. Fightful reported sources in WWE told them "they’d be fortunate to have him back after such a long career and the significance of the injury." Orton's wife recently shared an Instagram post revealing a successful surgery.
The best video released this week is Dom Mysterio and Rhea Ripley crashing the Mysterio Thanksgiving and attacking Rey. This is pro wrestling:
Dijak returned on NXT with a new blackened look:
Billy Corgan announced a big festival in Mexico with Smashing Pumpkins headlining and one of the featured attractions is an interpromotional battle between NWA and Mexico's AAA. Here's the poster:
New Japan announced a second day of their biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom. “The Wrestle Kingdom 17 party will not be finished with the Tokyo Dome!” NJPW announced. “After January 8 2022 saw a third night of Wrestle Kingdom sell out the Yokohama Arena, January 21 will see this special festival of an event for the second year. This year, NJPW and Pro-Wrestling NOAH collided on a card full of interpromotional battles. What does this special night have in store for 2023? Stay tuned for more information!”
The first major New Japan show with cheering allowed will be February 11, 2023 at The New Beginning in Osaka. There will be designated cheering sections with spread out seating. Hopefully, this is something New Japan will be doing more consistently.
We already knew Sting was going to team with the Great Muta for his final match on January 22nd, but now it looks like Darby Allin will also be teaming with the duo. No word on their opponents yet.
Damian Priest was asked to read for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever for the role of Namor. He didn't get the part.
Bobby Lashley talked about some roles he was offered during a recent interview with Sidewalks Entertainment, saying "I did a handful of movies when I was in-between when I fighting for a while, from my first run in WWE to my second run. I did about four or five (movies). Little, small parts. They needed that big bad villain to come in there, and I played that part. Of course, I got killed every time. I was offered things afterward. I was offered Mortal Kombat. There was Stranger Things. There were a lot of different ones that I was offered. At the time, I wasn't really focused on doing that. I was fighting at the time, I was trying to get back in professional wrestling. The acting part was something that I was interested in, but I don't think it was the right timing. When I came back to WWE, I started doing more acting classes, working on that, and now I'm more open to doing it."
The award for best Thanksgiving wishes by wrestlers goes to…
Meanwhile, WWE Hall of Famer Gerald Brisco, who is indigenous, cut a hilarious promo on Christopher Columbus:
The Iron Sheik got a pretty hilarious shout-out during coverage of the World Cup game with a fan of Iran…
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Do you enjoy pro wrestling? Knotfest Wrestling has a bi-weekly column filled with wrestling news. Read previous editions of this column here. You can always follow me @robinjection on Instagram and Twitter and @Squaredcirclpit.