WWE SmackDown 11/24/23 - 3 Things We Hated And 3 Things We Loved

The last "WWE SmackDown" before WWE Survivor Series has come and gone. There were a couple of major developments, but overall the show was a muted go-home show. With one sleep left until Survivor Series, fans do not appear to have any more answers than they did the week before. Kevin Owens returned from suspension to get revenge on Grayson Waller with a little help from LA Knight, Carlito was taken out of Survivor Series by a vicious attack from Santos Escobar, which forced "SmackDown" GM Nick Aldis to replace him with Dragon Lee, and The Brawling Brutes are simply not getting along.


Now that the show has concluded, we turn our attention to the Wrestling Inc. staff, and their opinions on tonight's happenings from Rosemont, IL. Here are three things the staff loved and three things that the staff hated from the November 24, 2023 edition of "WWE SmackDown."

Loved: Unhinged Shotzi adds flavor to WarGames (Daisy Ruth, Wrestling Inc. News Writer)

I know we've said it here in our opinions before, but I have yet to write about her, and darn it, Shotzi is just so good in this unhinged role and she really showed that off during a pretty lackluster promo to start the show tonight. Everything she said about being bullied by Damage CTRL and why she wants her revenge made sense. "They thought they could break me, but what they really did was change me," was a great line and she delivered it in such a well-acted crazy manner, I loved it.


Shotzi's look is of course partially why I love this. The spiky hair works, and the emotional reason why she agreed to have Damage CTRL cut her hair for that story endears her to me even further. Her makeup also looked incredibly fierce tonight, and it's those little touches that I appreciate when it comes to a character.

Shotzi was the perfect addition to this team, not only because of her history with Damage CTRL, but because she doesn't exactly fit with the other three mega powers that are Biacna Belair, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch. She stands out in a good way. WarGames should be a great showcase for Shotzi's chaotic offense, especially when she's playing this character who is completely off the rails. If something goes wrong (as long as no one gets hurt!), oh well, it's the "crazy girl" doing the move. I am, however, hoping for a good, crazy spot with her tomorrow, whether that involves her cutting off some more of someone's hair in retaliation, or a spot where she's jumping off things and crashing to the mat, which I think she's more likely to do than say Belair or Flair.


We're loving all the time the women's WarGames match has been getting. I agree with other opinions in this article, and I think Shotzi is a small, but majorly effective part of what's making the air time the women are getting great.

Hated: They're Not Supposed To Brawl With Each Other (Ross Berman, Wrestling Inc. News Writer)

I usually like to come to these pieces with some kind of credible backing like "this story lacks connective tissue" or "I think WWE missed the mark here," but admittedly this isn't a case of creative being lacking or messy, this is simply a case of it working too well. I love The Brawling Brutes. I think they're a hard-hitting addition to the tag team division that has grown into an entertaining tandem while Sheamus is away with a shoulder injury, but the hard facts are that Butch has always been a great singles competitor and Ridge Holland is a young stud that's built like a brick sh**house and therefore should be a singles prospect sooner rather than later.


There was once again dissension among The Brutes on Friday, with Holland abandoning Butch for the second time in as many weeks. Outside of the rogue kick from Butch last week, the reason for the fissure in the team hasn't been made completely clear. Maybe the impending return of Sheamus will help heal the division in the stable, but as it stands, Holland abandoning his little buddy Butch left a sour taste in my mouth, but I suppose that was the point.

Loved: The Women's WarGames Competitors Getting Lots Of Airtime (Olivia Quinlan, Wrestling Inc. News Writer)

I have to be honest, I thought that "SmackDown" was very mediocre for the most part. However, the one part of the show that kept me interested throughout the entire thing was all the air time the competitors in the Women's War Games match received.


Given that it's one of the two major matches at Survivor Series, it's important for WWE to continue the build-up until the last minute so it was awesome to see them take advantage of that and give the women a third of the show between in-ring and backstage segments. What I enjoyed even more, though, was that the company was also looking ahead to what comes next for the competitors following WarGames.

It seems as though Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair may be reigniting their feud at WarGames after Bianca Belair and Shotzi talked to them respectively as a means of encouraging them to work as a cohesive unit in WarGames, as well as their tag team match against Bayley and Asuka. However, that all came crashing down when the pair had a miscommunication that cost them the victory. It'll be interesting to see where they take things from here and I'd love to see WWE do more builds in this type of manner.


Hated: More unnecessary drama between Lashley and the Profits (Daisy Ruth)

I feel like a broken record because this is the second time this week I'm complaining about matches being booked at the wrong time, especially title opportunities being held on shows when they could wait until the next episode to make things more believable. That happened again on tonight's episode of "SmackDown." When I saw that the Street Profits would be taking on Finn Balor and Damian Priest for their Undisputed Tag Team Championship the day before The Judgment Day competes in the men's Survivor Series: WarGames match, I just had to roll my eyes. Once again – are we really to believe that Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford are going to take the titles off Balor and Priest right before a huge match like that? Absolutely not.


I can't complain about the match itself. Ford and Dawkins had a fantastic showing, but I had to go back and make sure I didn't miss something in our previous coverage where this match absolutely had to happen tonight. From what I can find, there's no reason why this title match couldn't have happened on next week's episode of "SmackDown." Of course, Balor and Priest would be more beat up from the WarGames match not even a week prior, but it would have given me some more faith in the Profits' chances.

This leads me to my final, overarching point. I love the heel Street Profits with Bobby Lashley. But when the camera cut backstage to Lashley and B-Fab watching the match as it began, my initial thought was, "Oh no." 


The last time WWE attempted to split up the group, I hated it then, too. When the match ended and we saw Lashley throw his hands up in frustration, he might as well have been speaking for me. I guess Lashley should be angry with his boys losing a title match, but have no desire to see any more drama within the stable that has really yet to feel...well...stable.

Loved: LA Knight And Kevin Owens Just Make Sense Together (Ross Berman)

There had to have been a person to first put peanut butter and chocolate together, and whether that guy's name was Reese or not, he had to have known from the beginning that he'd made a legendary combination. WWE should be feeling the same way after seeing the fluid way that LA Knight and Kevin Owens connected on Friday's "SmackDown." Both men are known for their mouthy nature and quick wit, and the two of them found common enemies in Grayson Waller and Austin Theory.


The way the two men dismantled "The Grayson Waller Effect" and then the natural way they picked up the victory in the tag match that followed, should have painted a pretty clear direction for these two, at least for the next couple of months. Maybe a kinship that finally comes to blows at the Royal Rumble or even a permanent addition to the tag team division, either way there is a lot of money to be made with the pairing of LA Knight and Kevin Owens. Knight especially is in dire need of some kind of positive momentum following his loss to Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns earlier this month.

What should they be called? KOLA? LAKO? There's plenty of time to figure stuff like this out after Survivor Series, I suppose.


Hated: Santos Escobar Injures Carlito (Olivia Quinlan)

Don't get me wrong, I love a good injury angle. I think that they're an effective tool for telling stories and helping to take feuds to the next level. That being said, there is a way to do them well and I don't necessarily feel that's the case for Santos Escobar and Carlito.


When you break down the different aspects of the storyline, it works. Carlito attacking Escobar out of frustration stemming from a verbal exchange and Escobar heading to the back after officials pulled them apart only for Escobar to appear at ringside once again and hit a knee from the barricade makes sense, as did Dragon Lee being the person who stepped up to take his place and fight for his idol. However, if this was the plan from the get-go, WWE could have executed this angle a couple of weeks ago.

WWE advertises their Premium Live Event matches in advance for a good reason: to create hype and excitement around them in order to entice viewers to tune in. I don't mind when they make last-minute changes to the performers in matches if they keep replacements a mystery as it still has that same advertising value, but I find announcing last-minute replacements done in this sort of manner to be frustrating more than anything.