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The John Report: WWE Smackdown 10/07/22 Review

wwe smackdown oct 7

This week’s edition of WWE Smackdown featured Roman Reigns going face to face with Logan Paul, plus GUNTHER defending the Intercontinental Title against Sheamus.

It’s the “Season Premiere” episode of Smackdown, which is an awkward thing about a show that has a new episode every week and didn’t have a season finale last week. It’s just what WWE does. We found out earlier in the week that the company was changing their commentary teams with Michael Cole and Wade Barrett as the new team on Smackdown. Wade comes over to Smackdown after two years of doing a nice job in NXT. I think Wade will be a good fit with Cole although I do hope Pat McAfee returns in January after his ESPN college football duties are done.

The WWE Extreme Rules Premium Live Event is on Saturday, October 8th. Here’s our in-depth team TJRWrestling preview of Extreme Rules where some members of the TJR team and myself shared our predictions for the six matches that were advertised heading into Smackdown.

I also want to say it broke my heart reading about and writing about the death of former 2015 Tough Enough winner Sara Lee (her married name was Sara Weston), who was married to former WWE superstar Wesley Blake (Cory Weston). She was just 30 years old. They have three young kids together that will grow up without their mother. I don’t know what happened, but it’s so sad. There has been a memorial fund set up for the Weston family for anybody that wants to donate to help them out. A lot of well-known people in wrestling have stepped up to donate. I’m sure a lot of people in WWE that know Cory and Sara were hit hard by this news as well, so they’re performing on Smackdown, Raw and NXT with heavy hearts for that family. Rest in peace, Sara.

From the DCU Center in Worcester, Massachusetts this is Smackdown for episode #1207. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

Let’s Hear from Triple H

The show started with WWE’s Chief Content Officer (and Head of WWE Creative) Paul Levesque aka Triple H in the ring in a suit to welcome us to the show. Triple H said there will come a time when you believe that everything is finished, but that is just the beginning. Hunter: “Welcome to Fox and the Season Premiere of Friday Night Smackdown.” There was a QR Code on the microphone he was holding.

Analysis: Just a quick promo to welcome us to the show. The QR Code placement was interesting. Hunter’s phrase was unique too, so there could be something to what he said.

The Bloodline group made their entrance by the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, who has been the Universal Champion for 768 days and he added the WWE Title to his collection this past April at WrestleMania.

Michael Cole welcomed us to the show with new commentary team partner Wade Barrett. Wade had a good line about Cole has had a lot of wives in reference to commentary team changes over the years.

Roman Reigns and Logan Paul – Face To Face

Roman Reigns was joined in the ring by the Undisputed Tag Team Champions The Usos, Solo Sikoa, “Special Counsel” Paul Heyman and the “Honorary Uce” Sami Zayn. They hyped up Reigns vs. Logan Paul at Crown Jewel on November 5th. I remember that date because it’s a day after my birthday.

Reigns: “Worcester, Mass…acknowledge me!” That led to a lot of boos and cheers while Roman’s allies held up their one fingers since they are The Ones.

Logan Paul made his entrance before Reigns could say more. Logan was standing on the apron while Reigns and The Bloodline were in the ring.

Reigns said that this is his show, he told Logan that he was Roman’s guest and Reigns said he wanted to hear what Logan had to say. The fans were chanting “Logan sucks” as Logan went into the ring. Reigns said that they did the same thing to him years ago and he’s the greatest of all time now. Reigns said that there are a lot of things that they can teach Logan.

Paul Heyman spoke up saying he also serves as the “Wise Man” to Reigns. Heyman said that Reigns asked him “who in the hell is Logan Paul?” and it hit Heyman in the head like Anderson Silva will hit Logan’s brother Jake in the head. Heyman said that Logan is this generation’s Mr. T and Cyndi Lauper that “we” bring in to bring more eyeballs to their product. Heyman said that means millions of more people all get to acknowledge the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. Heyman called Logan a “male Kardashian” that gets to be smashed by Reigns. Heyman talked about Jordan Peterson saying he would never have the balls to fight the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. Heyman also mentioned Ben Shapiro talking fast and he said that he is a “yamika” not a fighter, so he wouldn’t have the balls to fight Roman Reigns. Heyman mentioned Andrew Tate saying he would never have the balls to fight Roman Reigns.

Heyman mentioned that Logan has the balls to step up and gets to show his followers that he will get smashed by Roman Reigns in Riyadh. Heyman talked about Logan getting smashed by Reigns at Crown Jewel and at that moment in his life he won’t be offering a prediction, he’ll be offering a spoiler.

Logan finally spoke saying Heyman really is a Wise Man. Logan said when Heyman says that Reigns is going to be smashed by the Tribal Chief, does he mean Roman Reigns or does he mean Jey Uso? Jey was yelling at Logan with Jimmy trying to calm his brother down. The fans were chanting “Uso” for Jey while Reigns stared at Jey, who calmed down.

Sami Zayn spoke up (to cheers from the crowd) leading to “Sami” chants. Zayn said that Reigns is the Head of the Table, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, the GOAT and the Tribal Chief. Zayn said that nobody is challenging that. Zayn said that Jey did nothing wrong. Jey said that the only person doing anything is this wannabe, pretender, Youtuber that wants to be a WWE superstar and Zayn said that Logan is going to get smashed worse than anybody has been smashed. Zayn said that Logan is a two and they’re the ones. Zayn: “You’re a giant number two.” That has a double meaning with Zayn saying that Logan will end up as a number two stain on the bottom of Roman’s foot. Zayn said that they’ll still be standing together because “we the ones.” Roman’s music played to end it while Reigns hugged Jey and the group was happy about it.

Analysis: That was a long promo segment going nearly 20 minutes. As much as I like Paul Heyman promos, I thought his part dragged on way too long. Logan Paul was in the role of the guy that was trying to cause dissension in the group because Jey sometimes acts like he’s the leader when Reigns isn’t around, so Logan played into that. Sami Zayn did a good job as the peacemaker in that moment. The crowd clearly doesn’t like Logan in this feud, yet he’s supposed to be the face, but I don’t think the fans are going to want to cheer him much against Reigns. Anyway, this was fine overall, but it did go a few minutes long.

Solo Sikoa was already in the ring for his match against Ricochet up next.

A commercial aired for Extreme Rules hyping up the Seth “Freakin” Rollins-Matt Riddle match.

(Commercial)

The main event is GUNTHER defending the Intercontinental Title against Sheamus. Cole mentioned their first match at Clash at the Castle was considered a Match of the Year contender (damn right). That should be the main event, so that’s fine with me.

Ricochet vs. Solo Sikoa

As soon as Ricochet got into the ring, Solo knocked him down with a clothesline. Ricochet got back up, the match started and Solo hit an uppercut punch. Ricochet sent Solo out of the ring, Ricochet with a suicide dive. Back in the ring, Ricochet hit a cross body block and a springboard moonsault for two. Ricochet hit a springboard dropkick to knock Solo off the apron. The moonsault off the middle rope and the springboard dropkick while the opponent is on the apron are both classic Chris Jericho spots. Solo was reluctant to go into the ring, then Solo went into the ring and Ricochet hit him with a jumping knee to knock Solo out of the ring to the floor. Solo with a necksnap across the top rope, then back into the ring with a headbutt and a hard whip into the turnbuckle. Solo went Ricochet to the apron, Ricochet tried a move, but Solo delivered a loud punch that knocked Solo off the apron to the floor.

(Commercial)

Solo remained in control with an uppercut, then he charged and Ricochet got two boots up to block the attack. Ricochet with kicks to the body, then he ran the ropes and hit a headscissors. Ricochet with a shoulder tackle, a rising knee to the face, a superkick and a spin kick to the face. Ricochet went up top, he jumped off with a Shooting Star Press landing on his feet where Solo was ready for him and Solo hit the Spinning Solo slam for the pinfall after eight minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: **3/4 A solid win as Solo continues his winning ways. The ending was shot in a way where they focused on Ricochet climbing to the top rope without showing what Solo was doing in the ring, so when Ricochet jumped, we didn’t know Solo would be standing there. I like how it was shot.

The Bloodline was shown in Roman’s dressing room sitting on couches/chairs with Sami Zayn telling the group that Solo was on a roll and he was taking Solo under his wing. Jey said that Solo is his brother, so he was mad that Sami was saying that. Sami tried to calm him down and called Jey a hothead. Jey got mad about it and Roman told Jey that he has been a hothead their whole lives. Reigns said he didn’t want it to be his problem, so it is Sami’s problem now. Everybody went quiet for a moment. Sami reluctantly said “okay” to end it.

Analysis: That means that Roman wants Sami to be the one to try to calm Jey down when Jey gets angry about things. That should lead to some funny segments because Sami has great chemistry with Jey. They do a great job portraying their characters

Hit Row was shown walking off a bus because they’re up next.

(Commercial)

The Usos and Sami Zayn were shown walking backstage when The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods laughed at Jey Uso having to take orders from “Sam Zayn.” The New Day mocked Jey, so Jey was fired up as usual and Zayn tried to calm Zayn down. Zayn challenged New Day to a six-man tag team match. New Day accepted, so that match was coming later.

Hit Row made their entrance. They were attacked by three men in masks with suits on. It was Legado del Fantasma. Zelina Vega showed up at ringside and hit a headscissors on B-Fab. The Legado trio hit their signature moves on Top Doll and Ashante “Thee” Adonis.

Zelina Vega did a promo saying she is back and she did not come along. Santos Escobar said that they are Legado del Fantasma, “Smackdown is ours” and “be safe” to end it.

Analysis: The Legado guys are a talented trio and they have replaced Elektra Lopez with Zelina Vega, which is fine with me. Vega is a lot more experienced in wrestling and a better overall performer, especially in terms of promos, so I like the move. We know Triple H likes booking stables as we see on Raw all the time, so here’s a stable for Smackdown.

There was an old-school video game video with a White Rabbit that saw a letter X and crawled into the hole. It said, “tomorrow night” 10-18-22 “feed your head.”

Analysis: I strongly believe that it will lead to the return of Bray Wyatt at Extreme Rules on Saturday night. That was the most obvious clue they have done and this time they aired it on the show instead of teasing it as a surprise. It’s a good way to build up Extreme Rules even more.

(Commercial)

Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez made their entrance on Shotzi’s tank, so it’s good to see the tank again. Their opponents were already in the ring.

Raquel Rodriguez & Shotzi vs. Sonya Deville & Xia Li

Deville hit a running knee on Shotzi for a two count. Li tagged in with a knee to the body along with an overhead suplex for two. Li with a hair pull takedown on Shotzi and Deville kicked Shotzi to keep her down. Raquel got the tag after Shotzi broke free. Raquel ran over both opponents with shoulder tackles followed by a fallaway slam. Raquel with a corkscrew elbow off the ropes. Shotzi with a flipping reverse DDT. Raquel hit the Texana Bomb for the pinfall win, It went three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Raquel Rodriguez & Shotzi

Analysis: * A quick match to put over Raquel & Shotzi as a babyface tag team that might get a title shot in the future. The problem is the crowd barely reacted to them. Perhaps that will change in the weeks ahead, but for this match the crowd didn’t care much. It’s the same formula as the Raquel-Aliyah where they build to Raquel getting the hot tag and Raquel gets the win.

They showed tweets from Triple H, Bret Hart, Kurt Angle, Honky Tonk Man, The Miz and Shawn Michaels all tweeting their thoughts about the GUNTHER-Sheamus match for the IC Title.

Sheamus was shown getting ready with his Brawling Brutes buddies by his side.

(Commercial)

A video aired about the Liv Morgan-Ronda Rousey match at Extreme Rules that will see Liv defend the Smackdown Women’s Title against Rousey in an Extreme Rules Match. Morgan won the title after a Money in the Bank briefcase cash-in back in July, retained in controversial fashion at SummerSlam in August and now they will have a stipulation match. I’m picking Rousey to win, but it’s not a lock.

Let’s Hear from Karrion Kross with Scarlett

Karrion Kross made his entrance in non-wrestling attire including a black leather attire and he was joined by his wife Scarlett. Kross faces Drew McIntyre in a Strap Match at Extreme Rules.

When Kross got into the ring, the red lights were on him and Drew McIntyre showed up with an attack from behind. Drew took down Kross and beat him up with punches. Drew had a leather strap with him as he continued to attack Kross with punches. Security guys tried to pull Drew away, but Drew beat them all up. Drew suplexed a security guy on the floor. Kross was back up, so he pulled on the strap to pull Drew into the ring post three times. Kross hit Drew in the back with the leather strap two times. It was really loud. Kross hit Drew in the back with the strap several more times with Drew going down to the floor selling the attack. The fans were booing as Kross let go of the strap leading to Kross and Scarlett leaving. They showed the red scars that were developing on Drew’s back to show the physical toll that the strap left on him.

Analysis: The story of this feud has seen Kross get the advantage over McIntyre many times and we just saw it happen again. This time McIntyre was able to get the advantage early, but the security guys were used to keep McIntyre busy until Kross could recover. I picked Kross in our preview, but it’s not a lock for sure. It could go either way. I’m interested to see how they book it.

(Commercial)

There was a video that sounded like the Viking Raiders talking because there were shields in it and a woman’s voice. I think that was Sarah Logan, who is married to Erik of the Viking Raiders. We did not see their faces. (Update: It was definitely Sarah Logan, so she’s back in WWE.)

Braun Strowman joined The New Day as the surprise partner for the six-man tag team match.

Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Braun Strowman vs. Sami Zayn, Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso

They had a spot early in the match where Zayn bailed to the floor and Jey argued with him about it. The Usos hit some dives onto the floor as The Bloodline team regrouped and the show went to break. Sorry I missed all the details there, but it was just about two minutes of action leading to a break.

(Commercial)

The Bloodline team was in control as Jimmy worked over Kofi with punches. Jey tagged in with some stomps on Kofi against the ropes. Jimmy tagged in with a running forearm on Kofi for two. Jimmy tagged in Zayn with Cole pointing out that Jey did it and Zayn hit a clothesline on Kofi. Jey did a hard slap on Zayn’s back to become the legal man. Jey hit a belly-to-back suplex for two. They replayed Jey’s hard slap to Sami’s back to tag himself in. Jimmy and Zayn worked well together as a team as some fans chanted “Sami” for Zayn. Sami extended his hand for a tag, Jey tagged in and Jey kicked Kofi in the ribs. Kofi finally broke free, so Strowman got a hot tag to a huge pop. Strowman with a corner splash on Jimmy and a huge Chokeslam. Jimmy and Zayn were arguing on the floor, so Strowman tagged Kofi back in. Strowman left the ring and ran over Zayn while Jey landed on Cole, who went down. Woods with a backbreaker on Jimmy, Woods jumped off the top with a double foot stomp and Woods pinned Jimmy for the pinfall win. Cole screamed about New Day pinning the champions.

Winners by pinfall: Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston & Braun Strowman

Analysis: *** A pretty good match that was heavy on story with the idea that Zayn and Jey’s problems cost their team the match because it allowed Strowman to take them out while Jimmy was left alone. Kofi and Woods hitting the double team move for the pinfall on Jimmy will probably lead to yet another New Day vs. Usos rivalry that we have seen many times over the years. At least it always produces good matches.

They showed Max Dupri/LA Knight in the backstage area where he had knocked down Mace and Mansoor. Maxxine Dupri showed up to call him Max, but LA said that was not his name because he is LA Knight. The crowd cheered, Barrett was happy and Knight left.

Analysis: There’s the official change to the LA Knight character that was teased for weeks. That’s a good thing.

GUNTHER, the Intercontinental Champion, was shown backstage with Imperium because the main event IC Title match was up next.

(Commercial)

The commentary team of Cole and Barrett was shown at their table with a white rabbit sitting right behind them in the crowd. The announcers didn’t mention it or act like they noticed the white rabbit.

Next week on Smackdown:

* Kofi Kingston vs. Sami Zayn.

* LA Knight vs. Mansoor.

A Progressive Match Flo video was shown about GUNTHER and Sheamus building their rivalry since their classic match at Clash at the Castle last month.

Sheamus made his entrance for the main event. Sheamus sent his buddies Butch and Ridge Holland to the back. It’s The Brawling Brutes vs. Imperium in a Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match at Extreme Rules.

GUNTHER was up next as the Intercontinental Champion with his Imperium buddies Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci by his side. GUNTHER told his buddies to go to the back. Ring announcer Samantha Irvin did the championship introductions.

Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER vs. Sheamus

It started out as a slugfest in the ring. They left the ring quickly with Sheamus sending Gunther into the barricade three times in a row. They went to break one minute into it.

(Commercial)

The same White Rabbit video aired that was shown earlier in the show.

Sheamus was on the apron where he did a neck snap against the top rope. Sheamus hit a clothesline off the top. Gunther got a boot up, but then he charged right into a powerslam by Sheamus. Gunther was bleeding from the mouth. The fans were cheering for Sheamus, who wanted the forearm smashes, but Gunther fought him off. They were on the apron with Gunther hitting a chop and shoved Sheamus back-first into the ring post. Gunther pulled on the left arm of Sheamus and drove the ribs of Sheamus into the steel connected to the turnbuckle. Gunther was in control with an uppercut. They exchanged punches, then Gunther slapped on a sleeper and tried to choke him out, but Sheamus powered out of it. Gunther with a hard chop, Sheamus fired back with a punch, Gunther with chops, Sheamus with punches and they kept on exchanging shots. Gunther hit a German Suplex leading to another break.

(Commercial)

A video aired promoting Extreme Rules and the Liv Morgan-Ronda Rousey match.

Gunther was in full control with punches and chops, but Sheamus came back with some hard elbows to the face. Sheamus drove Gunther into the turnbuckle followed by Sheamus delivering a barrage of back elbows. Sheamus worked over Gunther with forearms to the back. They did a close-up on the chest of Sheamus showing the red scars formed from all the chops. Sheamus delivered about 30 forearm smashes to the chest while the crowd was chanting along with it. Sheamus with a corner clothesline. Sheamus went to the middle rope and jumped back with the White Noise slam for one…two…and Gunther got the shoulder up. Good nearfall there although we know Sheamus usually doesn’t win with that move. Sheamus went for the Cloverleaf submission, Gunther fought out of it with a hard chop. Gunther hit a Powerbomb for one…two…and no because Sheamus kicked out. That has been Gunther’s finishing move in the past. Gunther with a knee drop on the head/neck and a neck twist using his feet. Gunther went up top and jumped off with a Superfly Splash on the back/neck and turned Sheamus over for another two count. Sheamus hit a jumping kick, then the Irish Curse backbreaker and Sheamus applied the Cloverleaf submission, but Gunther was near the ropes. It looked like Gunther tapped out, but the referee said that she didn’t tap out. The fans thought that was it while the announcers thought that was it. The fans chanted “you tapped out” while Barrett said that Sheamus had every right to be upset. Kaiser and Vinci showed up to support Gunther. Butch and Ridge Holland also showed up at ringside as they got into a brawl with Imperium. Sheamus hit a jumping knee to the face. Kaiser tossed something to Gunther that the referee didn’t see. Sheamus charged, Gunther had a shillelagh (piece of wood) that he used to hit Sheamus. The referee Jessika Carr didn’t see it due to the fighting at ringside and Gunther covered Sheamus for the pinfall win. It went 18 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: GUNTHER

Analysis: **** It was another excellent match by Gunther and Sheamus although it wasn’t at the same level as the Clash at the Castle match. I rated the Clash match at five stars and think it might be the WWE Match of the Year while this was still a great match too. It’s hard to be at that Clash level all the time. This one was more controversial due to Gunther possibly tapping out (they didn’t replay it) and also getting the cheap win when Kaiser handed him the shillelagh that was used to knock Sheamus down for the pin. The crowd was strongly behind Sheamus, who has become a babyface thanks to this feud while Gunther continues to get heat as the heel in the story. I’m glad they got as much time as they did and put on another fun match.

GUNTHER celebrated with the IC Title while the other members of the groups were fighting and Sheamus was down in the ring. GUNTHER held his title up in the air. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: I think the Gunther-Sheamus rivalry will continue due to the controversial finish. My guess is they are going to build another Gunther-Sheamus match, which could be a Hell in a Cell match or something like that where they don’t have outside interference. I think when they meet for the title again, Sheamus will get the big win.

Here’s a post-show tweet from Sheamus about Gunther tapping out.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. GUNTHER
  2. Sheamus
  3. Sami Zayn/Jey Uso

 

The Scoreboard

7.25 out of 10

Last week: 7

 

Final Thoughts

I thought it was mostly a good show. The first hour was a bit dull at times, but the second hour was more interesting thanks to the great GUNTHER-Sheamus main event match. Sheamus failed to win the Intercontinental Title even though there was a moment where it looked like Gunther tapped out and then Gunther got help from Ludwig Kaiser handing Gunther a shillelagh that was used by Gunther for the pinfall win. I think we’ll see Gunther vs. Sheamus for the title again soon, perhaps in a stipulation match like Hell in a Cell or something like that.

The ongoing saga between The Bloodline group remains interesting with Roman Reigns ordering Sami Zami to try to calm Jey Uso down. When Sami failed to do that in a tag team match, The New Day and Braun Strowman got the win in tag team action. I thought the Roman Reigns-Logan Paul segment with The Bloodline ran a bit long while the crowd didn’t really like Logan, so that was a bit awkward. Those “Sami” chants are nice to hear.

It was cool to see Legado El Fantasma debut on Smackdown with Zelina Vega in the group. We know Triple H has been booking groups strong on Raw, so now he’s got a heel SD group to feature more. I also liked seeing LA Knight back officially.

There were no new matches announced for Extreme Rules, so it looks like they are sticking with six matches. Also, there were more “White Rabbit” teases and a clue promoting the date of Extreme Rules, so the big reveal is coming. A guy in a White Rabbit costume was on camera as well. I still think it’s for Bray Wyatt. We’ll find out at Extreme Rules.

The next WWE Premium Live Event is Extreme Rules from Philadelphia on Saturday, October 8. Here’s the lineup and if you click the graphic it will take you to our preview of the show.

wwe extreme rules 2022 preview tjrwrestling

Strap Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross

Fight Pit Match: Matt Riddle vs. Seth Rollins

Extreme Rules Match for the Smackdown Women’s Championship: Liv Morgan (c) vs. Ronda Rousey

Ladder Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley

“I Quit” Match: Edge vs. Finn Balor

Six-Man Tag Team Good Old Fashioned Donnybrook Match: The Brawling Brutes (Sheamus, Butch & Ridge Holland) vs. Imperium (GUNTHER, Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)

You can watch WWE Extreme Rules on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, streaming live on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.

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Thanks for reading. Please check out my reviews of every WWE PPV ever listed in order. Go Toronto Blue Jays Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport