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WWE Smackdown Review 11/08/23

Well everyone, it’s Friday and that means it’s time for WWE Smackdown. Well, Summerslam happened, and with it, Jimmy Uso attacked his twin brother Jey and cost him the match with Roman Reigns. In that match, Roman had some friction with Solo Sikoa, so the full disillusion of the Bloodline is coming.

Incidentally, Paul Heyman claiming that the Bloodline story is in the bottom of the third inning was more telling than he realized. See, he used that same line in November of last year. If the story hasn’t actually progressed in 10 months that’s not a good thing.

So we’ll probably get Jimmy’s justification and some confrontation with Jey. We’ll get Santos Escobar vs. Austin Theory for Theory’s US title, boy does that match have no hype but the match itself might be good. Iyo Sky cashed in her Money in the Bank contract and became the WWE women’s champion, so we’ll have to see what’s next for her and the women’s division in general. I’m not sure if Charlotte will be around, though they spent a lot of time setting up her vs. Bianca Belair but again, who knows if Flair will be around for a generic feud?

Asuka will be a little directionless, but with word about Kairi Sane possibly returning to WWE, I’m going to just sit here and hope that we get Asuka, Kairi, and Iyo all in one faction in the relatively near future. We’ll get Karrion Kross vs. AJ Styles again, and while last week we got hints about Bobby Lashley recruiting the Street Profits into a group I imagine we’ll get confirmation about a reformed Hurt Business.

Oh, and LA Knight should be around seeing as he’s one of the most over guys on the roster. Anyway, that’s the preamble as we look to move on from Summerslam, so let’s get to the action.

First up, here’s Flair for our first match. Her usual obviously sweetened reaction is becoming sour. As Charlotte is in the ring we get a recap of the triple threat and Iyo Sky cashing in her contract. Here comes Asuka.

Match #1: Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka

The commentary is sure to remind us that Flair had that triple threat won more than once. Quick arm wringer from Charlotte, Asuka counters into one of her own, then Charlotte loses her place and Asuka lands a strike to cover.

They trade punches, then elbows and Charlotte lands a shoulder block. Some rope running and Asuka lands a dropkick to the body. Kicks from Asuka but Charlotte catches one and trips Asuka down, and then she lands a thrust kick.

Charlotte with a kick through the ropes, climbs up top but Asuka catches her and tosses her down. Asuka with a second rope dropkick, then a sliding kick for 2. That sends us to break.

We come back to Charlotte jumping onto Asuka on the outside. Back in the ring, Charlotte climbs the ropes, and sort of hits a crossbody. Some chops from Charlotte, the crowd has gotten into the match during the break.

Charlotte with a release throw, then a step over clothesline for 2. They hit the ropes and Charlotte lands a Spear, then a Figure 8 but the music of Iyo Sky interrupts things. Here comes all of Damage Control, but Askua rolls up Charlotte for 2. Boot from Charlotte as our cackling hens head to the ring.

Bayley gets on the apron for no reason, then avoids Charlotte and Asuka hits a Codebreaker. Iyo flies in with a double dropkick to both women and the match is thrown out.


Rating: 2.5 stars Thoughts: Decent match but it felt a little pointless with that ending. Asuka and Charlotte have always had pretty good chemistry and while it’s occasionally dodgy in execution this was mostly fine in that respect. Commentary going out of their way to put over Charlotte at every opportunity got a little annoying though.

Post-match the beatdown is on, Charlotte is supposed to get posted but just lands on the turnbuckles instead. Asuka takes her posting like a champ though. Dakota Kai tries to talk and put over Iyo, is something wrong with her throat? Anyway, Damage Control stands tall.

Next, a recap of Jey Uso vs. Roman Reigns and the shocking turn of Jimmy on his brother.

That sends us to break.

Post break, a hype package for Theory vs. Escobar. I’m not sure it actually helped the hype level, which remains low.

In the back Kayla talks with Santos Escobar, he’s feeling confident. He’s got Theory’s number, but here’s Theory to attack him from behind. A brief fight breaks out and Theory slams a case onto Escobar’s leg before it can be broken up.

Another hype package, this time it’s Karrion Kross thanking AJ Styles for showing him the value of brotherhood, and he promises to debut his disciples to follow his prophetic guidance. Soon.

To the ring, here’s AJ Styles with Michin, that match will be up after this break.

We get some Edge highlights while Edge talks the lyrics for his entrance song. Next Friday we’ve got 25 years of Edge celebration.

Don’t forget, Roman will be here later. So, you know, please keep watching.

In the back, Santos Escobar is being iced up and has medical personnel looking at him.

To the ring and here’s Karrion Kross.

Match #2: AJ Styles w/ Michin vs. Karrion Kross w/ Scarlett

AJ lands a dropkick, then hits a backbreaker. Muta Lock from AJ, but Kross fights out of it. Cross chop from Kross then some punches and a back body drop. Corner attacks from Kross, then an elbow as he demands to feel AJ’s hate.

Exploder suplex from Kross. AJ gets some more corner abuse, and then he takes a wicked bump into the corner, almost posting his head on the ring post. Kross sets AJ on the top rope, then chops him and climbs up top. AJ slips free and yanks Kross down, then clotheslines him out of the ring.

Kross catches AJ from the Apron and hits a Death Valley Driver onto the announce table, which doesn’t break, as we head to the commercial.

AJ is starting to roll as we come back. A flurry of strikes from AJ, then he sets for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Kross avoids it and grabs the Kross Jacket. AJ flips into a pin, but Kross rolls out still holding the choke. The next time AJ fights free he gets there, they botch a moonsault into a DDT, AJ can’t quite lift Kross and they have to modify the reverse DDT for 2. Not a great sequence there. AJ with some Kawada kicks, then he wants the springboard 450 and hits it but Scarlett gets the foot of Kross on the ropes. That draws the ire of Michin, but she misses Scarlett with a kick and Scarlett drops her with a punch. Kross then hits a Doomsday Saito suplex. AJ avoids a Kross Hammer and lands an enziguri. Scarlett distracts AJ from a Styles Clash but Michin is back and takes out Scarlett. Kross avoids the Clash but eats a Pele kick. Styles Clash from AJ and that’ll do it.


Rating: 2 stars Thoughts: This had some good parts but the commercial break gutted it, and that botched spot before the closing stretch hurt as well. I’m still not sure what we’re doing with Kross at this point.

Next, another recap. This time we get a recap of Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes from Summerslam. I can’t be the only one a little tired of the recaps tonight, right?

After that here comes Edge to pop the crowd and send us to break.

Post break Cathy is waiting for an Escobar update, here’s a Theory to claim to be disappointed. Rey Mysterio walks out and warns Theory that Escobar will make it to the ring as someone restrains Rey.

Bless them, they’re still trying with Theory but everything about him feels painfully artificial.

Back to the ring and Edge has a mic. He plays with the crowd a bit and reminds us about Toronto next week which the crowd boos. It’s been too long since Edge was in Calgary and he says his excuse for being here is to ask for a match next week. A match against someone he’s never faced one on one, despite how long they’ve been in WWE together. Specifically Sheamus.

He brings up that Sheamus is the reason he returned, he’s the man who got him thinking he could do this again after neck surgery. Next, he talks about wanting to do the Celtic Warrior stuff that Sheamus does on his Youtube channel, and he brings that up Edge wiped out during a mountain bike ride and he looked up after taking the fall at around 20 miles an hour and realized, he could do this again.

Fast forward to his big surprise return at the 2020 Royal Rumble, to prepare for that he called Sheamus and Sheamus came to his house to get him ready for that. They kicked the crap out of each other every day for weeks, and after that Edge knew he was ready. Now he’s proving it and asks Sheamus to come down and give him an answer. Sheamus and the Brawling Brutes head to the ring.

Sheamus puts over Edge briefly, then asks if the crowd would like to see the footage Edge was referencing, and we do get it. Edge asks if we needed to see his bruised bare white ass on TV, and Sheamus brings up that Edge has shown a lot more than that on national TV.

Well, Edge has something as well, and we get a still picture of Sheamus on Edge’s daughter’s bike.

Sheamus expected that picture to be burned. Some more good-natured barbs are traded, and then Sheamus mentions that in 2004 he was trying to figure out what he was going to do with his life, and he was bouncing at a Dublin club when the WWE came to town.

Well, the roster came to his place, and when Sheamus asked for advice everyone basically ignored him except Edge. He knew Edge didn’t have to give him the time of day, but he gave him advice and bought him a pint.

Well, that proved to Sheamus that Edge was a world-class act, and despite Sheamus having been here for 15 years they’ve never wrestled. Sheamus wouldn’t be here without that conversation with Edge in a Dublin nightclub. Edge appreciates that, and again asks for a match next week.

Sheamus considers the crowd to want him to agree, and Sheamus accepts. They shake on it, but Sheamus warns Edge that he hopes he didn’t make a mistake.

Well, that took a bit longer than necessary, but I’m not going to complain too much about Edge and Sheamus.

Next, a recap of LA Knight winning a battle royal at Summerslam, and how LA Knight cooked Miz on the mic on Monday.

That leads to LA Knight heading to the ring to another very large pop. After this break, Knight will take on, for some reason, Top Dolla.

Match #3: LA Knight vs. Top Dolla w/ B-Fab and Ashante the Adonis

Dolla is in the ring as we come back. Knight avoids an attack and unloads strikes on Dolla. Ashante trips up Knight and that allows Dolla to take over. Some more cheap shots, Dolla with some really bad stalling. Knight flips out of a Death Valley Driver, then boots Dolla and hits a jumping bulldog. Punch for Ashante, then the Yeah Elbow, and some Blunt Force Trauma to get the win.


Rating: Butternut. . . SQUASH Thoughts: Delicious squash.

Post-match Knight gets a mic and wants to talk to us. Doesn’t matter where in the world he is, you’ll know this is LA Knight’s game. . . yeah!

In the back Adam Pearce talks with Santos Escobar and Rey, he says Escobar is technically cleared but wants a final confirmation that Escobar wants to do this. He does, and that match will be up after this break.

Post break, some self-congratulatory stuff about Summerslam, then another reminder that Roman Reigns will be here in the main event segment. So, you know, please keep watching.

In the back, Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits are celebrating the future and unlimited possibilities. He sees a ton of talent in Ford and Dawkins, and while they’ve done a fair bit already it felt even better last week.

Lashley asks them to consider what they can do together. The sky is the limit for them, and they toast. No actual name given to this new alliance yet.

Santos Escobar heads to the ring, but here’s Theory with a chop block while he’s on the ramp. Theory gets in the ring and apologizes for everyone not getting to see him wrestle.

The rest of the LWO is out checking on Escobar. Some generic trash talk from Theory. Escobar gives his blessing to Rey, and Adam Pearce says that Rey will be taking him on. Rey attacks Theory right away and boots him out of the ring. Rey then hits a diving hurricanrana on the floor and stands tall as we head to break. No bell yet, but I assume it’ll start soon enough.

Match #4 – US Title Match: (c) Austin Theory vs. Rey Mysterio

Theory tries a backbreaker but Rey sends him into the ropes as we come back. Rey up top, seated senton then a springboard crossbody for 2.

They trade some elbows, and then Theory catches Rey but gets sent into the corner again. Theory catches Rey on his shoulders, Rey with punches then a Sunset buckle bomb for 2.

Boot from Theory to try and kill the crowd, he wants A Town Down but Rey flips free and lands an enziguri, then a 619 to the kidneys. Rey wants another 619, but Theory catches him, only for his back to give out. Another 619 connects from Rey, then a splash for the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Rey Mysterio won the title

Rating: 2.5 stars Thoughts: Too short and with that commercial break gutting things, but Rey and Theory actually worked well enough together for the brief time we saw them. Hopefully, Rey can resuscitate the US title after Theory took most of the shine off of it.

Rey celebrates with the LWO on the entrance ramp as a ton of Pyro goes off behind them.

After this break, our Roman Reigns segment.

Post-break commentary talks about next week's show, Edge vs. Sheamus and Rey on the Grayson Waller Effect.

Here comes our Tribal Chief, the head of the table, the undisputed WWE universal champion, Roman Reigns. Roman is here with Solo and Paul Heyman, so does Solo turn tonight or wait a few more weeks? For those who care, Roman is wearing his gold belt but Heyman isn’t carrying the other two, looks like they’re just going with the one belt now.

The three men pose in the ring as we head to break. Good use of time there.

Post break everyone is still standing around. Roman gets a mic from Heyman after spending a while just looking around, and he provides Calgary the chance to acknowledge him which they do. Some serious menace in his “Acknowledge me” this week.

Roman asks Heyman where Jimmy is. Heyman doesn’t know, which displeases Roman, and Heyman says Jimmy was salty with him this morning.

We cut to Jimmy in the ringside area, still all in black looking around. Jimmy heads into the ring now, with decent “you sold out” chants, and Jimmy has a mic in hand. Roman tells Jimmy the fans mean nothing, then chuckles before getting a little pensive. He asks them to be real with each other, and Roman says he owes Jimmy one and tells him to name anything Roman can do for him. New car? Boat? Yacht? Jimmy doesn’t want anything from Roman.

What he did at Summerslam had nothing to do with Roman. Roman provides laugh and says he can get Jimmy stuff beyond the physical, Jimmy can get power, or be back in the Bloodline.

Jey comes out also dressed in black to interrupt things. Roman doesn’t want anything to do with this as Jey takes the mic from Jimmy. Jey stalks back and forth, and he’ll throw 37 years of life and history down the drain if Jimmy doesn’t explain himself. Jimmy did what he did because he loves Jey.

This amuses Roman to no end. Jimmy wasn’t jealous, he was afraid to lose Jey to becoming the Tribal Chief. What happens to the Usos if Jey becomes Tribal Chief? The power of the Tribal Chief turns you into Roman, and Jimmy had to save his brother from going down that path. Jimmy couldn’t live with himself if he watched Jey become a manipulative, egotistical, lying asshole like Roman Reigns.

That’s the damn truth, he was afraid of Jey leaving, and if Jey hates him forever that’s fine, he just had to let him know it was because he loves him. So if Jey wants to kick Jimmy’s face off, go ahead. Jey considers as we can see Roman telling him to do it, but Jey just turns his back on Jimmy.

Jimmy tries to get into his eye line but Jey keeps turning his back to him, and Jimmy leaves. Roman laughs into his mic, as this is a perfect time for “I told you so”. He’s been saying that Jey would mess this up because he doesn’t think, this isn’t about Jimmy and Jey, tonight is about Roman just like every night for 3 years. Roman wants another acknowledgement, but Jey superkicks him.

Solo jumps Jey but misses a Samoan Spike only for Roman to drop Jey with a Superman punch. Roman wants a Spear as we see Jimmy walking up the ramp, but Roman runs into a superkick then Spears Roman. Jey gets a mic and tells Jimmy to hold up, he gets out of the ring and calls Jimmy over.

The two brothers meet on the entrance ramp and Jey superkicks Jimmy. Jey yells at the camera that he’s out, out of the Bloodline, Smackdown, and WWE, and then Jey exits through the crowd. We end on that visual, Jey in the crowd with a pretty decent “Jey” chant as he exits.

This was a fairly bi-polar show, when it was good it was pretty darn good but man were there downs to this one. Let's start with the good, we had a pretty strong closing segment and let's face it, The Bloodline badly needed something.

The story has, for stretches of time, been the best thing in wrestling but they've been losing some steam recently.

This helped, Jey going rogue, Jimmy trying to win him back, and Roman just laughing like a king above it all, there are solid elements here. But the story needs to move forward in meaningful ways because it can't coast forever.

Also on the good side of things, LA Knight won, Theory finally dropped the US title and we've got some seeds sown for Rey vs. Santos Escobar again and the possibility of the

LWO turning on Rey in the very near future. Unfortunately, there was a lot of time wasted with recaps and video packages, especially in the first hour which was chock full of them.

Our opening bout became pretty pointless by the end of things, Edge and Sheamus is a fine match for next week but the segment to get us there took forever and a day, Kross and AJ was hurt by the commercial break, and frankly, the trio of Graves, Patrick, and Cole is not a strong commentary booth.

Since a lot of this was seeding for future stuff, and when this show actually fired up it was pretty good, I can't drop it too much but man was there a lot of rough stuff to get through.


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