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WWE Smackdown Review 20/10/23

We’re just over two weeks away from Crown Jewel and as expected, Roman Reigns defending against LA Knight has been made official for the show. That takes care of the main event, but there are still some other things that need to be set up.

There is also a good chance that we will be seeing something from Jey Uso tonight after his brother Jimmy cost him and Cody Rhodes the Tag Team Titles on Raw. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of LA Knight/John Cena confronting the Bloodline last week.

Here is Paul Heyman to get things going. Knight talks about how Jimmy Uso cost Jey Uso and Cody Rhodes the Tag Team Titles on Raw before moving on to LA Knight vs. Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel. Heyman insults the Texas crowd and says everyone here is a fan of Knight, just like him. Therefore, you must watch Crown Jewel because Knight is going to get smashed for the last time.

Cue Knight, to say he isn’t here to talk to Heyman, so get Reigns out here right now. Heyman goes to leave (as Knight said he could) but Knight calls him back in here right now. Knight asks what Reigns is going to be doing to him but won’t let Heyman answer.

As Heyman goes to leave again, Knight threatens to knock his hair back to gray. The word on the street is last week’s spear was just a warning shot and Knight knows Reigns is scared. As fast as Knight has risen up through WWE is as fast as he’ll take that title from Reigns.

Knight tells Heyman to say YEAH. Heyman: “Yeah.” Knight: “You’re pathetic.” Knight wants to know whose game this is and tells Heyman to tell Reigns whose waiting for him at Crown Jewel. Heyman calls Reigns as Knight leaves.

This was straight fire from Knight and he has the eyes to back it up. Those are the eyes that you would see from people like Steve Austin, where you can feel how serious he looks and it works so well.

Post break here comes Ford flanked by Bobby and Dawkins, and we get a recap of Bobby and the Profits taking out Carlito last week.

Match #1: Santos Escobar w/ Cruz del Toro and Joaquin Wilde vs. Montez Ford w/ Angelo Dawkins

Aggressive tie up and they jockey around then trade shoves and Ford lands a kick to the body. Some more strikes from Ford to keep control over Escobar. Ford lands a dropkick and celebrates his own athleticism. Ford flips through a Sunset Flip and hits a punt kick then a running splash for a 2 count.

Escobar fights back with leg kicks then boots out of the corner but Ford catches him on the top rope with an enziguri to send Escobar to the floor and us to a break.

Escobar fights out of some arm work but Ford lands a corner clothesline to cut him off. Apparently Bobby Lashley has moved to the back and isn’t ringside. Ford bounces off the middle corner rope and hits a weird no look bulldog for a 2 count.

Escobar again fights out of a rest hold and lands a dropkick.

Escobar quickens the pace now and lands a superkick to send Ford out of the ring. High velocity suicide dive from Escobar connects. Back in the ring Escobar heads up top for a crossbody that gets 2. Double knees in the corner from Escobar but Ford avoids a Phantom Driver and lands an enziguri.

Ford up top, where Escobar kicks him and they fight up top now. Both men up top, and Escobar hits an avalanche hurricanrana and Ford rolls out of the ring to avoid a pin with a little help from Dawkins.

Escobar just whiffs on a pescado, not sure what was going on there, then he sends Ford back into the ring but behind the refs back Dawkins shoves him into the ring post. Things break down as Dawkins handles Wilde and Cruz, then Escobar hits him with a flying knee only to get cradled and pinned by Ford back in the ring.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Montez Ford won in 8:59

Rating: 2.5 stars

Thoughts: The commercial break gutted this one in terms of ability to really get into the match, but Escobar and Ford are both very good.

Post match Ford and Dawkins jump Escobar until Carlito shows up with a chair and chases them off.

In the back Bayley and Dakota Kai help Iyo get ready for her title defense later tonight and we head to break.

In the back the LWO recover, and here comes Rey and Zelina to keep checking on things, Rey and Carlito speak and Rey says he’s going to take care of business since Logan Paul is on his way. Zelina offers for the LWO to provide backup but Rey declines this time. I’m sure that wont come back to bite him.

We get a recap of Pretty Deadly and their successful return last week. That lets us transition to Pretty Deadly in a spa talking about living the dream. They’re happy to have a squeaky clean in over the Brutes and never plan on seeing the Brutes again. Naturally the Brutes then show up behind them and beat them up for a bit then leave to get drunk. OK then.

In a locker room Solo stands over Paul Heyman, lesser Jimmy Uso comes in to begin babbling pointlessly and we then see John Cena arrive at the arena. Cena will talk after this break.

Post break, here comes John Cena. Cena plays with the crowd first and appreciates them, he tries to move on but a “thank you Cena” chant breaks out and he can’t express what that means to him. It’s been a rough day for him, we’ve been doing this thing together for a long time and he has to be honest with us and himself. Last week he brought up Roman’s title run, 1,138 days as champion.

Today Cena realized his streak is 2,002 days since he won a televised singles match. As someone who lived through Super Cena that’s a heck of a stat. His last win was in 2018, and Cena gets emotional contemplating that. He’s been talking about retirement a lot, and thinks it’s time we all face reality. The fact is it’s been a long time since Cena had a win, the crowd try a “you still got it” chant to boost his spirits and it works as Cena still believes in the beauty of this madness, he believes he can still go in the ring, that he can still bring it, and it’s time to turn that math around.

So here’s the fact, whatever idiot is brave enough to walk through that curtain is going to have a bad night. Solo Sikoa answers that challenge. Solo gets on the apron, then enters the ring and we get them staring each other down before hands start flying.

Cena gets the upper hand but here’s Jimmy Uso with a superkick to drop Cena. Wait, here’s a masked man to attack Jimmy, of course it’s Jey Uso and he unloads on Jimmy as security tries to pull the brothers apart but Jey mostly just beats the crap out of Jimmy.

This allows Cena to recover and avoid a Samoan Spike then drop Solo with an Attitude Adjustment. You know, Cena teaming with Jey against Solo and Jimmy isn’t the worst idea in the world. Cena stands tall to end the segment.

Some headlines from Logan Paul winning his farce of a boxing match against Dillon Danis, I don’t think even WWE could get legitimate highlights out of that encounter. Bless them though they try. Then we see Logan arrive at the arena and then head to break.

The Unholy Union of Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn warn Piper Niven and Chelsea Green that meddling with curses only makes things worse. Those titles belong to them.

We get a recap of what just happened, then a recap of RAW.

Nick Aldis tries to talk with Jey Uso, Adam Pearce is here as well. They bicker about brand viability and Aldis then orders security to remove both Jey and Pearce. Pearce warns him about the games starting. Boy they started leaning heel with Aldis right away.

Back to the ring, here’s Logan Paul to a pretty subdued reaction. Logan gets a mic, and we get super sweetened boos before he brings up winning a boxing match 6 days ago. He won that fight, but it feels wrong to call it a fight as it was a pathetic excuse for a fight against a pathetic excuse for a fighter, he should have known if he wanted real competition he should have had another WWE match.

He did get to beat up a troll who hides behind the mask of the internet. Oh, and speaking of people hiding behind masks. He’s not here for Rey though, he already beat Rey in his first ever match, in fact the last time he beat Rey Dominik was still his son. The last time he beat Rey Roman Reigns actually showed up to wrestle, and LA Knight didn’t even have a job. A lot has changed since then, he’s engaged, won a boxing match, and has a multi-billion dollar hydration business.

He’s figured out who he is, he’s a WWE superstar. Logan’s not here for Rey, but Rey has something he needs. Rey has respect, Logan doesn’t need that, Rey has legacy and Logan has his own, but Rey does have the US title and Logan does need that title.

This brings out Rey. Rey gets a mic and says Logan reminds him of Dominik, amazing natural ability, passion coming out of his pores, and a terrible attitude. But Rey will give Logan the title shot at Crown Jewel. Logan offers a handshake after some truly terrible Spanish, Rey considers then accepts and we get a clean handshake. Not the best stuff from either man, but I’m actually curious how these two will work together in the ring.

Next a recap of Iyo Sky’s journey to the title and her current run to date. Naturally that switches to focusing on Charlotte by the end.

In the back Charlotte warms up.

Back to the ring, here’s Grayson Waller to a total lack of reaction followed by Austin Theory to further near silence. After this break these two will battle crowd apathy as well as Cameron Grimes and Dragon Lee.

Post break, Cameron Grimes and Dragon Lee get entrances which is a little surprising as I thought they’d get the jobbers entrance.

Match #2 – Tag Team Match: A Town Down Under (Grayson Waller and Austin Theory) vs. Cameron Grimes and Dragon Lee

Lee and Theory start things off, Theory lands a shoulder block but Lee fights back with a head scissors. Waller tags in and blind sides Lee then lands knees. Kick from Lee, Grimes tags in and Waller takes some tandem offense then crawls out of the ring. Grimes punts Theory from the apron then slams Waller into the ring post. Lee with a baseball slide to Theory to save Grimes then they both post Theory as well and that sends us to break.

Grimes tags in as we come back and jumps onto both Theory and Waller. Kicks from Grimes then a bridging German suplex to Theory gets a 2 count. Waller tries to help but Lee superkicks him then dives onto him on the floor. Grimes avoids a roll up and hits his jumping Spanish Fly for 2. Theory rakes the eyes as Waller tosses Lee into the time keepers area. Waller catches Grimes with a rolling Flatliner, Theory follows with A Town Down and gets the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: A Town Down Under won in 6:01

Rating: 1.5 stars

Thoughts: Poorly laid out, utterly uninteresting, and heatless in terms of the crowd caring about anything in the ring. The commercial break gutted this but we also got a ton of Grimes and Lee getting their stuff in, Waller and Theory hit one move each and then win. It’s not a layout I care for personally.

We get a recap of Nick Aldis and Kevin Owens showing up last week, and we’ll get some kind of interview with Owens after this break.

Post break commentary put over some Bad Bunny stuff then we head to a recorded interview between Cathy Kelly and Kevin Owens. Owens doesn’t feel great being separated from Sami Zayn, they worked hard to get to their spot this year and win the titles at WrestleMania, and not getting a fair shot at a rematch hurts too.

But Smackdown is a clean slate so this is a little bittersweet for him. He knows he has history with the Bloodline, and swears his Yokozuna shirt is just a coincidence. He’d really like a match with Rey or Sheamus as he’s not had singles matches with them. Most importantly he wants people to go home knowing this is the Kevin Owens show. OK then, that felt canned in a somewhat off putting way.

Commentary tell us about next weeks show, remember it’s on FS1 next week.

To the ring, and here comes Charlotte Flair. After that here comes Iyo Sky with the rest of Damage Control. Super special introductions follow.

Match #3 – WWE Women’s Title Match: (c) Iyo Sky w/ Bayley and Dakota Kai vs. Charlotte Flair

They tie up, Charlotte tosses Iyo down and tries the Figure 8 but Iyo escapes and we head to break.

We come back to Charlotte working through her usual spots with a head scissors. Jawbreaker from Iyo, Charlotte has no time for selling for peasants and chops her. Charlotte boots Iyo, the Bayley grabs her leg to set up an Iyo dropkick. Iyo then hits a suicide crossbody to Charlotte.

Springboard dropkick from Iyo back in the ring only gets a 1 count. Iyo with some rest holds, Charlotte appeals to the crowd who don’t really care. Charlotte with a back suplex to get out of the hold then lands a kick in the corner, and says “boom” mistimed with the actual kick.

Charlotte misses a corner splash and Iyo lands leg kicks then sends Charlotte over the top rope and to the floor. Iyo tries a hurricanrana from the apron but Charlotte catches her and counters with an alley oop onto the apron to send us to break.

We come back to Charlotte trying a superplex, Iyo fights her off and hits a Sunset Flip powerbomb for 2. Iyo with a Meteora in the corner but again only 2, and not an especially close 2 either. La Mistica from Iyo but she loses the grip on the arm,

Charlotte stands free then hits a wheelbarrow suplex to put both women down. Chops from Charlotte then a fall away slam and a modified exploder suplex. Iyo up top, Charlotte catches her and puts her on her shoulders, then walks up the ropes for an avalanche Samoan drop and a 2 count. Iyo avoids a boot and snaps Charlotte over the top rope then tries a springboard dropkick but Charlotte counters into a Boston Crab but Iyo counters into a roll up for 2.

Palm strike from Iyo, Charlotte kind of ignores it and misses a leg attack then Iyo follows with a low dropkick to send Charlotte into the corner. Iyo up top, but Charlotte gets boots up to block Over the Moonsault then Charlotte hits a Spear for a visual win but Bayley puts Iyo’s foot on the ropes to break the pin. Charlotte is pissed and attacks Bayley, beating her around the ringside area while Dakota hands Iyo the belt. Back in the ring now Dakota blocks the ref and Iyo blocks a Spear with the belt and gets the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Iyo Sky retained the title in 16:06

Rating: 3 stars

Thoughts: Decent match, the crowd only got into things down the stretch and Charlotte’s almost as bad at subtle spot calling as John Cena. Fortunately Iyo is one of the very best women’s wrestlers in the world but there’s a distinct lack of chemistry between these two.

Post match Damage Control attack Charlotte, but here’s Bianca Belair. Belair runs wild on Bayley and Iyo, nice of her to avoid hitting the still injured Dakota Kai. Belair tries a Kiss of Death on Iyo, Bayley save her but Belair then drops Bayley with the Kiss of Death. Belair and Charlotte stand in the ring together to end the episode.

Post match Damage Control attack Charlotte, but here’s Bianca Belair. Belair runs wild on Bayley and Iyo, nice of her to avoid hitting the still injured Dakota Kai. Belair tries a Kiss of Death on Iyo, Bayley save her but Belair then drops Bayley with the Kiss of Death. Belair and Charlotte stand in the ring together to end the episode.

Overall Thoughts

Pretty lackluster episode this week, it was really light on wrestling which isn't inherently bad but it lacked a lot of direction and heat. Nick Aldis spent all of 2 minutes as a face by insulting Dominik Mysterio, now he's leaning heel because I guess Pearce is more good guy in general and we can't have two of those in power positions.

LA Knight cut a pretty good promo opposite Heyman, but all things Bloodline just tread water unless Roman is actually present and this week was no exception. Rey and Logan Paul set up their match, the Unholy Union are teasing their return, and Bianca Belair came back from vacation.

But this really felt like a place holder as much as anything else, the forward momentum was muted and it's more obvious than ever that if Roman's not there stuff doesn't really matter.


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