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WWE Smackdown Review 10/11/23

Crown Jewel is out of the way and that means it is time to get closer to Survivor Series. That could make for some interesting situations around here, as we already have a WarGames match set on Raw. I’m not sure what they have around here for a Smackdown version, though Damage CTRL vs. etc. is an option. Let’s get to it.

Kevin Owens is brought out as the guest commentator since Corey Graves is at home with his new baby.

Here is the LWO (Owens is a fan) to get things going. Rey Mysterio talks about losing his US Title at Crown Jewel, but the reality is that Logan Paul stole it.

Paul needed brass knuckles to win the title, but here is Carlito to interrupt. He wants to talk about Crown Jewel, where Santos Escobar left the knuckles on the apron. The argument is on and Escobar walks out, much to Rey’s chagrin.

Match 1 Bobby Lashley vs. Carlito

The Street Profits and the LWO are at ringside. Lashley runs him over to start and hammers away in the corner as B-Fab is watching backstage. The Hurt Lock is countered with a jawbreaker and Carlito manages a suplex.

They head outside where Lashley gets in a posting and we take a break. Back with B-Fab still watching as Ashante Thee Adonis comes up to ask what she’s doing before they leave together. Carlito fights back and the seconds get in a fight outside. Montez Ford gets in a cheap shot to Carlito though and Lashley hits the spear for the pin at 9:28.

Official Result Bobby Lashley Wins

Rating: C+. This feels like it was more about the pre-match deal with Escobar than anything here. That being said, despite Carlito’s recent return, he wasn’t in Lashley’s league on his best day so this was the right way to go. Lashley feels like he could be an easy step away from the main event scene again, so beating Carlito, even with an assist, makes sense.

Post match Santos Escobar doesn’t get in to help but Rey Mysterio runs in with a chair for the save. Rey yells at Escobar and checks on Carlito….and Escobar jumps Rey from behind. Escobar gets knocked to the apron but he crushes Rey’s leg in the steps.

Post break Escobar is leaving and says Rey had it coming.

Kevin Owens says he’s turned on a lot of people, but even he wouldn’t turn on Rey Mysterio.

We look at Iyo Sky defeating Bianca Belair to retain the Smackdown Women’s Title at Crown Jewel with an assist from the returning Kairi Sane.

Here is Bayley for a chat. She has had a lot of success since Damage CTRL started and we hear about everything Iyo Sky has done.

Then Kairi Sane returned and Bayley would like an explanation. Cue the rest of the Damage CTRL, plus Sane. Sky said she had her plan and it involved Sane helping her keep the title. Bayley brings up her knocking Sane out of WWE back in 2020 (and we get a clip).

Dakota Kai says Sane makes the team stronger and they’re just trying to take some weight off of Bayley. Sane says she respects Bayley as the leader of Damage CTRL.

We get the tentative hug but here is Bianca Belair to interrupt. Damage CTRL points out the numbers game so here is Charlotte…..and Asuka. Tonight it’s a six-woman tag.

Video on Dragon Lee.

Match 2 Dragon Lee vs. Cedric Alexander

Joined in progress with both of them running the ropes until Alexander dropkicks him to the floor. Back in Alexander snaps off a tornado DDT, setting up the running kick to the back of the head. Lee is back with a dropkick to the floor for a running flip dive, followed by a sit-out powerbomb back inside.

Alexander sends him hard into the corner and they slug it out. Lee hits a basement superkick but charges into a running Spanish Fly. One heck of a Michinoku Driver gets two on Lee but the Lumbar Check is blocked. Destino finishes Alexander at 5:51.

Official Result Dragon Lee Wins

Rating: B-. This is a good example of a match where you knew exactly what you were going to get as soon as the match was announced. They were able to go out and fly all over the place for about six minutes and that made for an entertaining spectacle. Alexander might not be doing anything important at the moment but he can still turn it on when he gets in the ring.

We look at Logan Paul winning the US Title at Crown Jewel.

Here is LA Knight for a chat before his match. Knight says Crown Jewel didn’t go as he planned and he could come out here and say things didn’t go as planned.

The fans still seem to like him, so Knight talks about coming within an inch of winning the title. But then Jimmy Uso got involved and Knight was robbed. Roman Reigns needs to give Jimmy a raise but Knight isn’t done with the Bloodline until he wins the WWE Title.

Cue Grayson Waller (Knight’s scheduled opponent) to say Knight is blaming everyone but himself. Maybe Knight just isn’t the guy.

Knight calls Waller a jackass and says the Grayson Waller Effect sounds like an STD. Waller doesn’t like being accused of being in his mother’s basement and the fight is on, with Waller taking some water to the face.

Match 3 LA Knight vs. Grayson Waller

Knight clotheslines him down to start and cranks on the arm, with Waller bailing him out to the floor. A slingshot shoulder hits Waller as this is one-sided so far. Knight’s swinging neckbreaker seems to wake Waller up a bit as he hits Knight in the face.

That doesn’t seem to bother Knight, who backdrops him to the floor, setting up the Rams at the announcers’ table. Waller manages to send him into the steps and hit a hard clothesline though and we take a break.

Back with Waller stomping on the back and grabbing a half crab. With that broken up, the rope walk elbow gives Waller two.

Knight avoids another elbow though and snaps off some alternating jabs. A DDT gives Knight two and the LA Elbow into the BFT finishes Waller off at 11:24.

Official Result LA Knight Wins

Rating: C+. That’s all it needed to be as Knight needed a nice win to give him a boost after last week’s loss. Knight lost the biggest match of his career but he is already at least somewhat back on track. Waller is the definition of someone who can be built back up with a few annoying chats.

Owens gives us a slow-motion video looking at his punch to Grayson Waller and Austin Theory two weeks ago. Telestrating is included.

Classic Smackdown moment: John Cena debuts and gives Kurt Angle a run for his money.

We look at Solo Sikoa laying out John Cena and possibly knocking him into retirement.

Owens shows us the punch again….so here are Austin Theory and Grayson Waller in person. They throw an empty water bottle at Kevin Patrick, so Owens says he’s about to get suspended (the penalty for getting physical tonight) and goes after them for the brawl.

Jimmy Uso is ready for LA Knight next week. He calls Roman Reigns, who makes him a bit more serious.

Match 4 Damage CTRL vs. Bianca Belair/Asuka/Charlotte

Belair slams Bayley down to start and the villains are sent to the floor in a heap. Charlotte boots Bayley outside as well and we take a break.

Back with Charlotte sending Bayley flying with a fall-away slam so it’s off to Sane. Belair comes in with a delayed vertical suplex but Sane gets in a shot to the face.

Some double-teaming drops Belair on the apron for two and the beating ensues. Belair fights out of the corner but Sane pulls Charlotte to the floor. A shot to Bayley lets Belair get over for the tag….but Asuka pulls away and mists Belair.

Asuka and Sane hug, with Bayley and Sky joining in. Charlotte breaks it up and the big beatdown is good for the DQ at 7:31.

Official Result Damage Wins

Rating: C+. In a way, this felt like a way to turn this into a WarGames match, but they don’t have a ton of time left to make that happen. With only two shows left before the Survivor Series, we have two weeks to find Damage CTRL a fourth opponent and announce the match. That could still be done, but that isn’t exactly leaving them a ton of time.

Post-match the beating is on, with Shotzi’s save attempt not working well. Belair is back up but the beatdown is on, with the Insane Elbow leaving Shotzi lying. The villains pose to end the show.

Overall thoughts

This was a pretty by-the-book show and that isn’t a bad thing. On one hand, they seemed to set some stages for Survivor Series, but at the same time, it needed to be the kind of show that got things ready rather than getting ready to set things up later. What we got wasn’t bad, but I was expecting a little bit more with the show less than three weeks away. Good enough show, even if it might not have been the right kind


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