Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. This show follows WWE Extreme Rules from this past Sunday night. It’s also the first part of the two-night WWE Draft that will continue with Monday’s Raw.
Some draft rules as explained by WWE:
– Half of the roster is eligible on Smackdown, and half on Raw. Unlike in past years, they did not list who was eligible on each night.
– It was stated that undrafted Superstars will become free agents.
– The roster changes take effect on Smackdown on October 22, which is the night after Crown Jewel. That’s easy to understand as long as you know it but will confuse people that are unaware over the next three weeks.
From Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, this is Smackdown for episode #1154. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage, insightful columns from our team along with reviews about wrestling’s past (including my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order) and present. Let’s get to it.
The show began letting us know that the WWE Draft begins now. The crowd in Baltimore was shown as the announcers welcomed us to the show. It was Michael Cole and Pat McAfee on commentary as usual. Cole reminded us that the new rosters won’t go into effect until October 22. They said draft picks were made by officials from Raw, Smackdown, NXT as well executives from USA Network and Fox. They said the main event is Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks.
The WWE Officials Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were on hand to announce the draft picks.
First Round of WWE Draft
The #1 pick from Smackdown is Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Pat McAfee was excited about the Tribal Chief staying on Friday nights.
The #2 pick from Raw is WWE Champion Big E.
The #3 pick from Smackdown is current Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair.
The #4 pick from Raw is Bianca Belair.
Analysis: All big names there. No surprise that Roman Reigns and Big E are staying where they are. Charlotte Flair seems to change shows every year or two, so now she’s back to Smackdown and maybe will lose her title in the next three weeks unless they go for something like a title swap. Bianca Belair is a popular name for Raw. I assume Belair’s husband Montez Ford will join her on Raw either in his Street Profits tag team or as a singles wrestler.
Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, made his entrance with Paul Heyman for some promo time. There were highlights shown from Roman’s win over “Demon” Finn Balor at Extreme Rules this past Sunday. Up next for Reigns is a match against Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel on October 21.
Reigns said that the shirt said “We The Ones” and he’s number one, so he told them to acknowledge him. The fans cheered and booed at the same time. Heyman said that wasn’t loud enough for the Tribal Chief and he called them Baliti-morons to get some heat. Heyman said that you can’t say the “undefeated Demon” because that Demon went up against an exorcist named Roman Reigns, who held up one finger because he’s the one. Heyman said that like a shark that circles around the island of relevancy, this shark only swims looking forward to and he looks forward to Crown Jewel. Heyman said that the “Beast” Brock Lesnar will come up against the Suplex-orcist Roman Reigns because Reigns will remain the Universal Champion and he will smash at Crown Jewel…Brock Lesnar.
Right on cue it was Brock Lesnar entering to a huge pop from the crowd. The fans love babyface Brock Lesnar. Lesnar had a full beard and the ponytail hairstyle. Lesnar got in the ring with Reigns for a face off.
The fans chanted “Suplex City” for Lesnar, who was hopping on his feet looking ready to fight. Reigns with punches, Lesnar regrouped and hit Reigns with two German Suplexes across the ring. The Usos went in the ring, so Lesnar hit a clothesline and a German Suplex. Reigns left the ring, so Lesnar called for him to come back in the ring to face off with him. Reigns got on the apron, teased going back in the ring and then Reigns backed away to boos from the crowd. Lesnar picked up Jimmy Uso and hit him with an F5. The fans wanted another one, so Brock hit an F5 on Jey Uso too.
Analysis: Good segment. The fans love babyface Lesnar as I wrote above and they wanted to see him kick some ass. Reigns retreating like that is what the heel champion should do. It was a basic segment, but it was effective and got the job done in terms of getting people more excited about their Crown Jewel match. I was a bit surprised by no Finn Balor in this segment or the rest of the show. You would think he would be out there being angry about what happened at Extreme Rules, but no sign of him at all.
Charlotte Flair was shown backstage getting ready for an interview with Kayla Braxton.
Charlotte Flair was interviewed by Kayla Braxton with Charlotte holding the Raw Women’s Title. Charlotte said Kayla should congratulate her for being the first woman picked. Charlotte did her usual promo about being the best, she’s the opportunity and so on.
Kevin Owens made his entrance for a match. A Progressive Match Flo replay was shown of his past issues with Happy Corbin including an attack from Corbin and a returning Riddick Moss last week.
Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance. That’s the name for Moss now? I guess so. A bad pre-tape promo featuring bad jokes with hysterical laughing was shown as well.
Analysis: It sounded like they said “Mad Cat Moss” at first but then WWE tweeted “Madcap Moss” so I guess that’s the name.
Kevin Owens vs. Happy Corbin (w/Madcap Moss)
Owens sent Corbin out of the ring, then Corbin went back in and Moss tripped Owens on the apron. They went to break less than a minute into the match.
The match returned with Owens hit an enziguri kick to the head and a DDT out of the corner for two. Corbin got a rollup for two, Owens charged and Corbin hit a Deep Six with Pat saying “in a leopard shirt.” True. It is a leopard dress shirt. Owens with punches, chops and Owens hit Corbin with two superkicks. Owens hit a cannonball against the turnbuckle for a two count. Corbin left the ring, Moss with a distraction and Corbin hit the End of Days finishing move on the floor. Cole wondered if we should call it Happy Days now. Back in the ring, Corbin picked up Owens and hit End of Days for the pinfall win after seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Happy Corbin
Analysis: **1/4 Just an average match here. It was a decisive win for Corbin since he hit his finishing move on the floor and in the ring as well. Owens is underutilized and his contract is up soon, so maybe he’ll be leaving the company. It wouldn’t surprise me at all at this point.
A video aired about Sasha Banks causing a disqualification in the Smackdown Women’s Title match between Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair at Extreme Rules this past Sunday. Bask attacked
Next Friday on Smackdown, the King of the Ring tournament is back and the Queen’s Crown Tournament as well. It’s the “Season Premiere” of Smackdown next Friday.
Analysis: This was reported for several weeks, so it’s official now.
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were there to announce more picks. Sonya noted half the roster is eligible tonight.
Second Round of WWE Draft
The #5 pick goes to Smackdown – Drew McIntyre.
The #6 pick goes to Raw – Raw Tag Team Champions Randy Orton & Riddle.
The #7 pick goes to Smackdown – Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods so New Day is split up again.
The #8 pick goes to Raw – Edge.
Analysis: Good stuff there. Drew vs. Roman is a feud I want to see. Orton and Riddle stay where they were while Edge is back on the same show as Orton. Kofi and Woods to SD means New Day isn’t together again. The fans booed that pick a bit because they wanted New Day together.
Drew McIntyre was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Drew did a promo saying he enjoyed his time on Raw, he started his journey on Raw and mentioned Roman Reigns with his family. Drew said he is focused on the Universal Championship while pointing his sword Angela at the camera.
Edge made his entrance to a big pop. He is up next to confront Seth Rollins up next.
The commercial for Raw promoted the WWE Draft continuing on Monday. Plus, Goldberg is back on Raw this Monday.
They showed a clip from Seth Rollins threatening to beat up Edge again on Smackdown or else Rollins was going to his house.
Let’s Hear from Edge
Edge thanked Baltimore for that reaction. Edge said that’s why this is the best job in the world. Edge noted that he was thinking that he is the only talent here that was actually on the first episode of Smackdown. Because of that, Smackdown has always felt like his home and as he just saw, he has been drafted to Raw. Edge said it’s new opponents and it’s a challenge. Edge noted that he was stretched out of the World’s Most Famous Arena and every week, Seth challenges him to another match. Edge said that Seth knows that Edge isn’t cleared yet. Edge said that Seth knows the kind of man that Edge is and he has to answer that challenge. Edge stared into the camera telling Rollins to get out there to try to extract some words out of Edge’s face.
Seth Rollins was shown on camera standing outside of a house. Rollins said that Edge isn’t saying the things that he needs him to say. Rollins said that Edge is not saying the things he needs to say and he is not accepting Seth’s challenge. Rollins said he didn’t believe Edge was going to Smackdown since he’s a liar while Rollins is an honest man. Rollins said that he’s not at Smackdown – he is in fact at the “Copeland” house. Edge’s real name is Adam Copeland, so Rollins was at Edge’s home in Asheville, North Carolina. Edge ran to the backstage area.
Rollins knocked on the door and walked right into the house. We are to assume that a door was unlocked and that Rollins and a camera guy could just walk in there. Rollins called for Beth (Edge’s wife Beth Phoenix) and Rollins reached into the fridge for some orange juice as well as an apple. Rollins said that this place was hard to find as he drank some orange juice. Rollins mocked some of the artwork of Edge’s two daughters. Rollins said that the backpacks of Edge’s girls were adorable. Rollins looked at a picture of Edge, Beth and their daughters with Rollins saying it was a beautiful family and “thank God they look like Beth.” Rollins pressed a button to turn on the fireplace and said that he could stay there all night.
Edge was shown in the backstage area telling his wife Beth to go to her brother’s house and stay there. Edge told his wife that Seth was at their house. Edge said he’s calling Daniel and David (the real names of the former Revival tag team aka FTR in AEW) to go over there. Edge told her he didn’t care about the groceries, she should go to her brother’s house. A frustrated Edge hung up and tried to figure out what to do next. McAfee said he should call the cops. Yes Pat, but WWE television is not realistic.
Analysis: This was okay and mildly funny too. Obviously, it’s ridiculous and over the top while also being unrealistic to have a man and a camera guy breaking into a house that was unlocked. Rollins had some good lines. It makes the feud feel more personal because Rollins did a dirtbag by going into another man’s house. Edge’s reaction by calling his wife on the phone makes sense at least. Of course they should call the cops as McAfee said, but pro wrestling is not a realistic thing at times as we know. On another note, I saw people tweeting about how Edge’s dog was just chilling in the house in the background, so he wasn’t much of a guard dog against the evil home intruder.
Carmella entered for a match. Liv Morgan entered as the opponent in a rematch from Extreme Rules when Morgan won. We know WWE loves rematches.
Carmella did a promo calling Liv Morgan a bitch for trying to destroy her beautiful face. Carmella called for some “ladies” to help her, so a few women were at ringside to put a silver mask on Carmella to cover her face.
Back in the ring, the match never started. Carmella hit Morgan with a superkick and then she hit an X-Factor sending Morgan face first into the mat.
Analysis: Lame. It was a way to get heat on Carmella.
Third Round of WWE Draft
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville read some more names.
The #9 pick goes to Smackdown – Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss.
The #10 pick goes to Raw – Rhea Ripley & Nikki A.S.H.
The #11 pick goes to Smackdown – Hit Row (Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Ashante Thee Adonis, Top Dolla & B-Fab). Sonya said Fab-B instead of B-Fab.
The #12 pick goes to Raw – Keith “Bearcat” Lee.
Analysis: The first two picks were people staying where they were. Hit Row moving up to Smackdown from NXT is an interesting choice. I like them and they are popular in NXT, so I hope it works out. Scott is the NXT North American Champion, so he’ll probably drop the title soon or maybe forfeit it. I hope Lee gets booked better now that he has a nickname.
The New Day and The Street Profits entered for tag team action in an eight-man tag.
Analysis: They said that the draft picks don’t start until October 22, yet here’s New Day on Smackdown instead of Raw where they have been. It’s like WWE forgets their own rules. Anyway, I guess the rules are thrown out on draft shows.
The heel side was already in the ring.
The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) and The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. Otis, Chad Gable, Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Kofi started with Ziggler as a rivalry that led to many matches about a decade ago. Ziggler went for a waistlock, Kofi with a whip into the ropes, two leapfrogs and a spinning back elbow for two. Woods tagged in with a double axhandle to Ziggler’s arm. Ford tagged in with a double axhandle to Ziggler’s arm. Gable tagged in, Ford with a hiptoss and the fans chanted “We Want the Smoke” for the Profits. Gable with a takedown: “For the academy!” Gable got a sunset flip pin on Ford for two. When Ford tried a leapfrog, Gable got a takedown into an ankle lock. Ford with two kicks to Gable and a back body drop. Otis tagged in, Ford kicked him off the apron to floor and Gable kicked Ford in the ribs. Ford tried a dive on Otis, then Otis caught him and whipped Ford into the barricade. That led to a break.
Gable was the legal man against Ford with Ford getting shoulder tackles. Ford went for a move over the top, but Gable turned it into a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. That was great. The announcers put over that it was incredible. Ziggler tagged in, Ford with a step up enziguri and Dawkins got the tag against Roode. Dawkins with a dropkick on Roode, then a back elbow and an Explode Suplex on Gable. Dawkins with a spinning neckbreaker on Roode, but Otis broke up the pin. Otis with a back elbow smash on Woods. Dawkins sent Otis out of the ring, so Ford hit a somersault dive over the top on Otis. Ziggler with a superkick on Ford. Kofi jumped onto Ziggler on the floor. Roode with a spinebuster on Dawkins for a two count. Roode wanted a DDT, Dawkins broke free with a punch and Kofi tagged in followed by a Woods tag. Woods hit a double foot stomp while Kofi held Roode and Woods covered Roode for the pinfall win after about ten minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) and The New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
Analysis: **3/4 A solid tag team match with a lot of action featuring veteran wrestlers that know what they are doing out there in a tag team match like that. I loved that spot with Ford going for a dive and Gable turning it into a suplex for a two count. It’s weird how they used to book Otis in such a dominant manner for a while, but now he’s just another guy and they have clearly cooled on his push. It was a feel-good ending with New Day and Street Profits getting the win.
The New Day and The Street Profits celebrated the win. The fans chanted “New Day Rocks” along with the song.
Bianca Belair was shown warming up backstage for her match and that’s coming up next.
There was a video about WWE partnering with Boys & Girls Club of America to help spread the word about bullying and helping kids deal with that. Xavier Woods spoke to some kids about how he was part of Boys & Girls Club of America, so he liked talking to kids that he was the position he was in. Go to BGCA.org for more information.
Fourth Round of WWE Draft
Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville were up for more draft picks.
The #13 pick to Smackdown is Naomi. Sonya wasn’t happy about that.
The #14 pick to Raw is Rey & Dominik Mysterio.
The #15 pick to Smackdown is Jeff Hardy.
The #16 pick to Raw is Austin Theory.
That’s it for picks on the Smackdown broadcast.
Analysis: Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy are two of the oldest guys in WWE. Naomi hasn’t been booked well this year, so hopefully she is used well. Obviously, there is that story with Naomi and Sonya feuding that will likely lead to Sonya wrestling again. Austin Theory and Dominik Mysterio are two young talents in their early 20s with bright futures. Good luck to both.
Jeff Hardy was about to be interviewed by Kayla Braxton. That’s when Brock Lesnar showed up, he asked if it was live, then he took the microphone and apologized for interrupting. Lesnar said he had a public announcement he’d like to share. Lesnar thanked his good friend Paul Heyman and said because of Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar is a free agent. Lesnar said because of that, he gets to do whatever he wants to do. Lesnar dropped the microphone to end it.
Roman Reigns and The Usos were shown in their dressing room with Paul Heyman. Reigns mentioned Lesnar saying “my good friend Paul Heyman” and Reigns asked if Heyman is good friends with Lesnar. Reigns said that if they (him and Paul) are good friends, Heyman said that Roman is the Tribal Chief and Reigns said then Paul needs to look out for Roman and his family. Reigns asked if his cousins were drafted to Smackdown tonight. Heyman told Reigns that The Usos would get drafted to Smackdown on Raw this Monday. Heyman claimed it is all figured out. Heyman said he’s the “wise man” and Reigns yelled at him that he’s only the “wise man” when Reigns says he is. Heyman: “Please don’t do this.” Reigns said then they should follow the strategy and stick to the plan. Reigns said he wants Heyman to go to Raw on Monday and make sure that his cousins are drafted to Smackdown. Reigns asked: “Do you understand?” Heyman said yes and thanked his Tribal Chief. Heyman left. I should point out also that Heyman looked like he was crying in fear. Reigns said he wanted The Usos to go with Heyman to Raw and make it very clear that they are to be drafted to Smackdown. Reigns said if not, Reigns wants them to “leave them for dead” on Raw. The scene ended there with a final shot of Reigns.
Analysis: It sounds like a chaotic situation is coming to Raw on Monday. The Usos should be with Reigns and Jimmy Uso is married to Naomi, who was selected by Smackdown as well, so I’m sure it’ll work out with The Usos on Smackdown by the end. Maybe there’s a trade or some twist in the story. Maybe since New Day was drafted to Smackdown, they can say The Usos are drafted to Raw and then do some trade so that New Day is with Big E while The Usos are with Reigns. Just a guess on my part.
Bianca Belair made her entrance for the singles match main event. Good reaction for her as usual. Sasha Banks was up next and the match starts after a break.
The announcers summarized some of the draft picks and mentioned that it continues on Raw as well.
The main event was about to begin, but Becky Lynch showed up with the Smackdown Women’s Championship with a big green coat. It’s Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks at Crown Jewel on October 21. Becky had on some big orange sunglasses too.
Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
Banks was in control early with a headscissors followed by a monkey flip, but Belair landed on her feet and taunted Banks. Belair with a shoulder tackle on Banks. Belair sent Banks into the turnbuckle. Belair picked up Banks for a body slam as she reminded us she’s the EST, but then Banks got out of it. Belair caught Banks in her arms leading to a powerslam. Banks used her legs to send Belair into the turnbuckle. Belair went for the KOD slam, but Banks landed on her feet. Banks with a kick and then Belair hit a huge clothesline leading to Banks rolling out of the ring. Lynch was at ringside holding up her title. They went to break there.
The match returned with Belair hitting Banks with a shoulder tackle against the turnbuckle. Lynch complained about having to defend her title against both women at Crown Jewel. Banks came back with a double knee Meteora attack to knock down Belair. Banks unloaded on Belair with punches. Belair got a hold of Banks with a Glam Slam-like move slamming Banks into the mat for a two count. Cole tried to explain triple threat rules to Lynch, so Becky reminded Cole she knows how it works. Cold told her to relax and Lynch said she is relaxed. Belair hit a delayed vertical suplex on Banks. Belair with a handspring into the ropes leading to a moonsault for two. Banks worked over Belair with hard slaps to the face, then two knees and Banks sent Belair into the turnbuckle. Banks went for a Tornado DDT, Belair tried to fight it and then Banks connected with a DDT for a two count. Banks went up top and hit a Frog Splash for a two count. Banks was shocked that it only got a two count even though Banks never wins with that move. Belair caught a charging Banks and flipped her over for a slam into the mat. Banks rolled to the apron, Belair held her up on the shoulders, Banks landed in the ring and hit a knee to the face. They were battling on the floor by Lynch with Belair landing near Lynch. Belair drove Banks back first into the barricade. Belair told Lynch to move back, then back in the ring, Lynch held the hair of Banks and Banks did a jackknife pin on Banks for the pinfall win on Belair. It got about 13 minutes. The referee did not see Lynch holding Belair’s hair because he was looking at Banks in the ring.
Winner by pinfall: Sasha Banks
Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good match. The show needed that. Belair showed off her power while Banks was incredible with her unique offense as well as counter moves that show off how athletic she is. Lynch getting involved in the finish wasn’t a surprise and it also gives Belair an out. That’s because Belair didn’t lose clean. They book Belair strong and that’s another example of that. It also gives Banks a much-needed win since she can now say that she pinned Belair even though it wasn’t clean. I think it was the right call in terms of a booking decision with Banks winning in a cheap manner. A clean win would have been wrong. Sometimes it has to be cheap like this.
Post match, Charlotte Flair went into the ring and hit running kicks to the head of Banks and Belair. Flair was in heels as she delivered those kicks. Charlotte held the Raw Women’s Title in the ring while Lynch led the Smackdown Women’s Title on the announce table. Charlotte’s music played to end the show.
Analysis: Flair is on Smackdown now, so she got to show off her dominance to end the show. Lynch and Flair holding titles is a familiar sight since both women have been champions many times before.
Three Stars of the Show
- Sasha Banks
- Bianca Belair
- Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 6.75
2021 Average: 7.05
It wasn’t as good as the better episodes of Smackdown. The draft picks took up some time, so it hurt the flow of the show a bit. I did like the main event a lot with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair working well together once again until Becky Lynch got involved in the finish. The Reigns/Lesnar stuff was very good too.
Seth Rollins breaking into Edge’s house was a bit silly and unrealistic, but that’s pro wrestling at times. I guess Seth found a camera guy to commit a crime with him too, so good for Seth. Other than that, it was mostly average for what Smackdown usually does.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Crown Jewel on Thursday, October 21. Here’s what we know so far.
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
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