Reviews

The John Report: WWE Smackdown 10/15/21 Review

WWE Smackdown with roman reigns, sami zayn, finn balor, brock lesnar

Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. It’s a “supersized edition” of Smackdown with WWE choosing to run a 2 hour, 30-minute show instead of the usual two hours.

The reason for the longer show is because they are on Fox Sports 1 this week since regular Fox (where Smackdown normally airs) is showing the Major League Baseball Playoff between the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox in the first game of the American League Championship Series. Plus, by going 30 minutes into the 10pm ET hour, it puts Smackdown against AEW Rampage for the first half hour. Both shows are going commercial-free in those 30 minutes so the last 30 minutes of Smackdown are without commercials. In other words, there’s a lot of Smackdown to consume this week.

From Toyota Arena in Ontario, California, this is Smackdown for episode #1156. 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 Friday Night Smackdown intro video aired to begin the show. They do not air that most weeks. They added the word “supersized” to it for this week. It was mentioned by Michael Cole that they were sold out in the Toyota Arena in Southern California without saying the name of the city because sometimes they don’t say city names if they are smaller cities. Ontario is near LA. It was a legit sellout. Anyway, Cole and Pat McAfee did a rundown of this week’s show.

Let’s Hear from Edge

Edge made his entrance to a huge pop from the crowd. The announcers pointed out it was a late-arriving crowd since it was shortly after 5pm in California. A video package aired showing Edge’s long-term storyline between Edge and Seth Rollins. Last week on Smackdown, Edge challenged Rollins to a Hell in a Cell match at Crown Jewel (on Thursday) and that’s how the show ended. This week, Edge is starting the show.

Edge sat in a chair with a spotlight on him in the ring. Edge said this all started with Seth seven years ago with Rollins trying to use Edge as a stepping stone. Edge said then Seth cost him the Universal Title. Edge pointed out that after their match at MSG, Rollins knew that Edge wasn’t cleared yet. Edge said then Rollins went to Edge’s home where Edge laughs, cries and puts his little girls to bed. Edge spoke about how Rollins did something out of Edge’s playbook like when he slapped Cena’s dad. Edge said Seth is like him. Edge said that he beat Rollins at SummerSlam, then Rollins beat him at MSG and stretchered him out of the World’s Most Famous Arena. Edge said that Rollins comes close to matching his passion and obsession for this, but not yet. Edge admitted that Rollins is not Edge-lite, he is his own man, he is Seth Freakin’ Rollins and Rollins was shown watching on a TV screen backstage. Edge said that he could go to Seth’s house and see Becks (Becky Lynch), but he doesn’t want to do that and he wants to leave Seth a husk of the man that everybody sees now. Edge said that Rollins should never feel sympathy for a devil and that’s what they are. Edge said that he will not hesitate or have a second thought during their match. Edge noted that it’s fitting that this trilogy, their story ends at Hell in a Cell. Edge wanted Rollins to listen closely. Edge: “At Hell in a Cell, I’m going to scar your soul and that is a scar that you never, ever hear from.” Edge dropped the microphone to end it.

Analysis: Strong promo work from Edge as usual. They could have done a back and forth with Edge/Rollins, but Edge is a great talker that can handle doing a monologue like that. Edge spoke with intensity, he was believable in talking about how personal the story is and it makes me want to see the match with Rollins. Their first two matches were around the four star level. Can they top it at Hell in a Cell? Maybe. I think Edge-Rollins has been one of WWE’s best feuds of the year.

They showed highlights of Sami Zayn and Finn Balor winning their King of the Ring matches last week to set up their match this week.

Finn Balor made his entrance to a good pop. Balor said that becoming King of the Ring would be the feat of a lifetime and tonight he plans on accomplishing a great feat – shutting up Sami Zayn once and for all.

(Commercial)

Sami Zayn made his entrance. Zayn spoke about how he has been held down and dealt with conspiracies, so it would be great if he became King Sami.

King of the Ring Semifinals: Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn

Balor was in control early with a low dropkick followed by an armbar. Zayn came back with a clothesline followed by multiple pin attempts. The fans were cheering for Balor as Zayn choked Finn against the ropes. Zayn with a chinlock, Balor broke free and threw Zayn out of the ring. Balor followed with a somersault dive over the top onto Zayn on the floor.

(Commercial)

Zayn and Balor exchanged strikes, Zayn with a punch and Balor with a Pele Kick to the head knocking Zayn down. Zayn to the apron, Balor sent him to the turnbuckle. Zayn drove Balor throat first into the top rope. Zayn up top, Balor met him there with a chop and Zayn with a headbutt that knocked Balor down. The fans booed Zayn while he celebrated. Zayn jumped off the top with nothing and Balor hit a dropkick for two. Good nearfall there after just a dropkick, but it worked. Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. That move usually gets a two count for Zayn. Zayn worked over Balor with elbows leading to Zayn hitting an Exploder Suplex into the turnbuckle. Zayn charged with a Helluva Kick, Balor moved and kicked Zayn in the head. Balor up top, Zayn tripped him up and Zayn did a rollup for two with his feet on the ropes, but referee Jessika Carr spotted the cheating attempt. Balor worked over Zayn with punches, then the Slingblade and the dropkick that sent Zayn into the turnbuckle. Balor up top with a Coup de Grace attempt, Zayn moved and Zayn rollup for two. Balor with a double foot stomp. Balor hit two consecutive dropkicks into the turnbuckles. Balor up top and he hit the Coup de Grace double foot stomp for the pinfall win after ten minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Finn Balor

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a great match where they made the most out of their ten minutes with a lot of nearfalls and fun moments. Zayn kept on cheating, he got caught and Balor capitalized on it to get the win. I like the way they kept kicking out so late on those two counts and making the nearfalls look so close. Balor needed to hit Zayn with multiple dropkicks to weaken him before the Coup de Grace finish. No surprise that Balor won since we know Zayn doesn’t work the Saudi Arabia shows.

The win by Balor means he goes to the King of the Ring finals where he will face Jinder Mahal or Xavier Woods, who meet on Raw.

Still to come: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar in a contract signing segment.

This Monday on Raw: Charlotte Flair defends the Raw Women’s Title against Bianca Belair. Flair was drafted to Smackdown while Belair was drafted to Raw. Also, King of the Ring (Xavier Woods vs. Jinder Mahal) and Queen’s Crown (Doudrop vs. Shayna Baszler) semifinals.

Analysis: Maybe they will put the Raw Women’s Title on Belair since it is Charlotte’s last time on Raw. I don’t know how they’ll do it.

(Commercial)

There was a video about Drew McIntyre coming to Smackdown next week. Drew will be the top face on Smackdown as soon as he gets there.

They showed a graphic with the new Smackdown roster starting next Friday, October 22. Pat McAfee was very happy that Roman Reigns was staying on Friday nights.

A video package aired about Paul Heyman’s role in the Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar story. The idea is that Reigns was mad at Heyman for not telling him that Lesnar would be at SummerSlam while Lesnar claimed that Heyman knew about it. Ever since then, Heyman has tried to prove his loyalty to Reigns even though for nearly 20 years, he was the advocate for Brock Lesnar. Heyman said now he stands right behind his Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. Last week on Smackdown, Reigns told Heyman he’ll protect him while Heyman did a promo saying Lesnar met his match because Reigns will be the reigning, defending, undisputed Universal Champion.

Analysis: I think Heyman is one of the best actors in all of WWE, maybe the best. There have been moments in this story where Heyman had to cry or grovel and he makes it look so believable. I know Heyman isn’t a manager in a traditional sense, but that’s basically his role as a non-wrestler and I think he’s exceptional at what he does.

Naomi made her glow entrance wearing some green glow this week. Naomi did a pre-tape promo talking about how excited she was to have a match with Sonya. Sonya Deville was shown watching backstage. That match is next.

A commercial aired for WWE Crown Jewel with Big E defending the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre. That should be great.

(Commercial)

Sonya Deville walked out in a suit since she’s a WWE Official. It was going to be Sonya’s first match in 14 months, but she did not look like she was dressed to compete. Sonya said that it was going to be Naomi against Sonya Deville and…Shayna Baszler. Shayna was drafted to Smackdown although the new rosters are supposed to start next Friday.

Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler & Sonya Deville

Sonya told the referee to ring the bell, Sonya slapped Naomi and Naomi kicked Baszler in the head. Naomi chased Deville, kick by Baszler and a kick by Deville. Baszler held Naomi so Deville can get in some cheap shots. Naomi with a springboard kick on Baszler. Deville got a hold of Naomi’s foot, Naomi tried going after Sonya and then Baszler applied a Kirifuda Clutch submission. Naomi passed out, so Deville covered Naomi with one foot on her stomach. It went three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Shayna Baszler & Sonya Deville

Analysis: * It was a match that was more of a story than a match. This was about Sonya using her power as an authority figure to dominate Naomi thanks to Baszler’s presence. I hope the long-term story here is good for Naomi since Smackdown is lacking babyface women, so they will need to push her.

A video aired about the Hit Row foursome coming to Smackdown next week.

Seth Rollins made his entrance wearing a ridiculous white, red and black suit. Cole wondered what was he wearing? It’s what Rollins does where he wears a suit that looks silly to get him heat. Rollins gets some promo time after a break.

(Commercial)

Sasha Banks did a backstage promo talking to the camera about how great she is. Banks said she’ll make history and take back her Smackdown Women’s Championship. Banks said that she came back to right some wrongs. Banks said that Big Time Becks is going to get a big time beatdown because Banks is laser-focused. Banks rattled off her nicknames while adding that she’ll be the new Smackdown Women’s Champion.

They mentioned some of the Crown Jewel matches in this order:

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Championship: Big E (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

No Holds Barred Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Bill Goldberg

Raw Tag Team Championships: Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos

Hell in a Cell Match: Edge vs. Seth Rollins

There are three more matches. The full listing is at the bottom of this review.

Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins said he is not afraid to face Edge inside Hell in a Cell. Rollins said that hell has already frozen over right here tonight. Rollins said that Edge finally admitted that Rollins is not Edge-lite and Rollins claimed he was better than Edge in every possible way. Rollins said he’s going in with a mental advantage as well as a physical advantage since Edge got stretchered out of MSG. Rollins laughed saying there’s no way Edge can be 100%. Rollins said that mentally and physically he had the edge, so Edge had an ace up his sleeve: Hell in a Cell. Rollins repeated that he wasn’t afraid to face Edge inside Hell in a Cell.

Rollins said that Edge is right that they are two devils cut from the same cloth and they are a lot alike. Rollins noted that he has spent more time in that cell than Edge has. Rollins said he knows what that structure has done to people, he knows what it has done to him. Rollins spoke about how he’s been calloused and scarred from the cell – Rollins wanted us to look at him. Rollins noted that he’s the man he is today because of Hell in a Cell. Rollins added that he was the visionary, the revolution and he is Seth Freakin’ Rollins. Seth dropped the microphone.

Analysis: A fine promo from Rollins. I liked Edge’s promo more, but this was okay in terms of telling us that Rollins is confident going into his match against Edge at Crown Jewel.

Carmella was shown backstage with Zelina Vega walking up to her. Vega sucked up to Carmella about being the most beautiful woman in WWE and is ten times better than Toni Storm or Liv Morgan. Vega said she is not going to hurt her face and wanted to have a good, clean match. Carmella was excited saying finally somebody gets it.

Carmella made her entrance for her Queen’s Crown tournament match.

Analysis: I still find it weird that they had two heel women win last week instead of Toni Storm or Liv Morgan getting a win.

(Commercial)

Zelina Vega made her entrance while looking at the crown on the stage.

Queen’s Crown Tournament Semifinals: Carmella vs. Zelina Vega

Carmella told the women at ringside that she didn’t need to wear the protective mask tonight. Carmella got a rollup for two and then Vega got a rollup for two. Carmella with an armbar takedown. Vega did a flip off the ropes, then an armdrag and another rollup for two. Carmella hit a superkick that sent Vega into the turnbuckle. Carmella said she didn’t mean to. Vega charged at Carmella with punches. Carmella wanted the mask from the women at ringside, then Liv Morgan was there holding the mask and when Carmella went back in, Vega hit an inside cradle for the pinfall after three minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Zelina Vega

Analysis: *1/4 Another short match in this tournament. It’s disappointing that WWE continues to not give the non-main event women time. Morgan showing up at ringside cost Carmella, but at least it wasn’t a ROLLUP OF DEATH~! finish. Good for Vega getting some wins of late at least.

Zelina Vega’s win means she will face the winner of Shayna Baszler vs. Doudrop in the Queen’s Crown Finals at Crown Jewel.

Post match, Carmella ran away from Morgan.

A video package aired about the “Celtic Warrior” Sheamus, who is joining Smackdown next week.

Happy Corbin made his entrance with Madcap Moss for the “Happy Talk” talk show.

(Commercial)

Happy Talk

Happy Corbin was in the ring with Madcap Moss. It led to Moss telling one of his bad jokes, then he laughed with Corbin and the fans booed them. Corbin mentioned Kevin Owens running to Raw because he can’t take the heat on Happy Talk. Moss told a bad joke about Owens leading to some bad laughter. Corbin mentioned the new superstars coming to Smackdown that they can make fun of now. Moss had a joke about Drew McIntyre and Ricochet, but they were interrupted by Rick Boogs.

Rick Boogs did the introduction for the Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura with the fans humming along to the song. McAfee did his usual dancing on the announce table, so the guys went over to Pat to rock out with him. Nakamura and Boogs just walked around the ring while the music played, then they went up the ramp to the back while The Street Profits made their entrance for their match.

Analysis: I don’t know if there was a point to the Nakamura/Boogs interruption although maybe they will have a tag match next week. I guess it was just done to make the fans happy after the heels Corbin/Moss bored them with their promo.

A Crown Jewel commercial aired promoting Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg in a No Holds Barred Match.

(Commercial)

A video aired about The New Day’s Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods coming back to Smackdown next week.

The Usos made their entrance as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions for this title defense that is a Street Fight.

Street Fight for Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)

The Street Profits were drafted to Raw, so this is their last match on Smackdown for now. The teams stood in the ring for the championship introductions. No tags in a match like this.

The two teams got into a brawl right away with Dawkins hitting a double underhook neckbreaker on Jey. Jey sent Dawkins into the barricade while Ford battled Jimmy and Jey went into the ring with a neckbreaker on Ford. The Usos worked together to send Dawkins into the barricade. The Usos were on the floor, so Ford jumped over the ring post with a somersault dive onto both Usos! Ford landed on his feet! That was amazing. Dawkins shoved Ford and told him to get the tables as a Dudley Boyz tribute. As the Street Profits did that, The Usos recovered and hit suicide dives to knock the Profits down. They went to break a few minutes into the match.

(Commercial)

The Street Fight continued with Jimmy in the ring with Dawkins while Jey tossed his brother a kendo stick. Jimmy hit Dawkins in the chest with a kendo stick, then Jey hit Dawkins in the back with the kendo stick. Both Usos hit Dawkins with kendo sticks for a two count. The Usos took turns smacking Dawkins with kendo stick shots to the body. Ford went up top and hit an amazing cross body block with huge height. Ford sent Jey out of the ring, then kicks and slaps to Jimmy followed a RVD-like Van Daminator chair kick into Jimmy’s head for a two count. Jey was back in with a popup Samoan Drop on Ford. Jey charged, Ford with a kick to the face of Jey and Dawkins launched Jey into a suplex by Ford for a two count. Dawkins got some payback with kendo stick shots to Jey’s back and Ford hit Jey in the back with a chair. Dawkins lifted Jey on his shoulders, then Jimmy saved his brother and The Usos avoided a jumping Ford. The Usos with a double superkick on Ford and a double superkick on Dawkins. The fans chanted “we want tables” as The Usos went up top, but Ford got a hold of Jey and sent him into the announce table. Dawkins hit the Anointment slam on Jimmy and then Ford hit an amazing Frog Splash off the top where he changed direction in mid-air. Jey broke up Ford’s pin attempt on Jimmy and Jey gave Ford a spinebuster through the table on the floor. Dawkins tackled Jey on the floor. Dawkins went for a rollup on Jimmy, but then Jey with a punch and Jimmy hit a superkick. Both Usos hit a double superkick on Dawkins. Both Usos went up top. Jimmy hit an Uso Splash off the top and Jey hit an Uso Splash off the top on Dawkins and Jey pinned Dawkins for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos

Analysis: ***3/4 This was a terrific match full of action. Since there were no tags, they didn’t do the traditional face in peril tag team match where they build to hot tags, so it had a different feel to it. There was an obvious result since Street Profits are going to Raw, but that was still a lot of fun as The Usos continue to have great matches no matter the opponent. The crowd was really into it. Some incredible spots by Montez Ford including the ring post leap and that Frog Splash where he changed direction. There was a lot of action since there were no tags and I enjoyed this a lot.

Becky Lynch was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Becky talked about her greatness about how she hasn’t lost in singles competition in over two years, she won a title in record time and so on.

Becky Lynch made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Even though Becky has been heelish, she was cheered quite a bit. Cole noted this was their last commercial as they got near the end of hour two.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair joining Smackdown starting next Friday. The announcers talked about the new Smackdown roster again.

There was a Progressive Match Flo showing a replay of last week when the Becky Lynch-Bianca Belair-Sasha Banks contract signing fell apart and ended when Belair slammed Lynch onto Banks to put both women through the table.

Sasha Banks made her entrance with Cole noting that the last time Banks and Lynch met was inside Hell in a Cell. Banks looked confident as usual. They were right near the top of the third hour with Cole noting they were commercial-free for the next 30 minutes. Bianca Belair made her entrance to watch the match.

Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks

This was not for Lynch’s Smackdown Women’s Title. Belair joined the commentary team for the match.

Banks grabbed a side headlock, Lynch broke free with a shoulder tackle and did some flexing. Lynch and Banks did a series of pin attempts with nearfalls. Lynch pulled on Sasha’s left arm, Banks slipped out of it and they were going for submission moves until they both got back up. Banks with a forearm to Lynch’s face and a double knee stomp for a two count. Lynch ran the ropes, Banks dropped down and Lynch hit a leg drop followed by a neck snap for a two count. Banks sent Lynch to the apron, Banks with a knee lift to the face and Banks went for a double knee attack on the apron, but Lynch moved and Banks hit her knees against the ring post. Ouch. Lynch hit a slam on the apron for a two count. Lynch dumped Banks out of the ring. When Banks got back in, Lynch did a sweep kick and bounced off the ropes with a bulldog. Lynch applied a chinlock, Banks got out of that and hit a suplex. Banks hit three suplexes in a row called the Three Amigos leading to a two count. There was an “Eddie” chant for Eddie Guerrero, so that was cool by Sasha. Lynch was aggressive with kicks and whipped Banks into the ring post. Lynch pulled on Sasha’s arm against the ropes. Lynch jumped off the middle rope with a leg drop to the back for two. Banks with a jawbreaker, Banks sent Lynch into the turnbuckle and Lynch jumped off the ropes leading to a kick. Banks countered Lynch to send Lync shoulder first into the ring post. Banks hit the running knees against the ring post and running knees against the turnbuckle. Banks jumped off the top with the Meteora double knees for a two count. Lynch went to the turnbuckle, Banks avoided an attack and Banks did a backstabber double knees to Lynch’s back to knock Becky out of the ring. Banks teased a Powerbomb off the apron, but Lynch got out of it and Lynch did a leg drop on Banks on the apron. Banks was near Belair on the floor. Lynch went for a jumping attack on Banks the floor, but Banks avoided it and Banks went for the Bank Statement. It looked like Lynch was tapping out, but you can’t tap out on the floor. Back in the ring, Banks went up top and hit a Frog Splash on Lynch for two. Lynch got back up with a forearm, but then Banks hit a double knee attack against the turnbuckle. Banks charged again, Lynch caught her and hit a Bexploder into the turnbuckle. Lynch to the middle rope and she hit a leg drop for two. Banks was on the apron, Lynch went for another leg drop, Banks moved and Lynch hit the mat. The fight went to the floor with Lynch hitting Belair with a forearm after Banks moved out of the way. Banks with a double knee attack on Lynch against the barricade. Back in the ring, Banks with the Frog Splash attempt and Lynch got the knees up to block, which led to Lynch getting a two count. Lynch hit a double underhook suplex and she went for the Disarm-her, but Banks countered it and Lynch had to break it. They battled over pin attempts again, Lynch with three uppercuts, kick to the gut and Banks countered the Manhandle Slam into a rollup for two. Banks with a Backstabber into the Bank Statement submission, but Lynch got to the bottom rope to force the break. Lynch was near the rope and Belair nearly whipped Lynch with Belair’s hair, but it looked like Lynch moved. Banks hit the Backstabber for the pinfall win after 17 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Sasha Banks

Analysis: **** This was an awesome match. It was like a PPV match with a lot of back and forth action where both women got to be on offense at different times. They kept on battling over pin attempts early, then it was submissions and I knew with Belair out there that they would involve her in the finish at some point. They opted to go for Belair nearly hitting Lynch with her hair, Lynch avoided it and then Banks pounced with the Backstabber for the win. I liked how it was book. I know Lynch rarely loses and it wasn’t a clean loss, but I think it was the right booking decision to have Banks win. This gives Banks wins over Belair and Lynch in recent weeks. I don’t think Banks will win at Crown Jewel, but it’s a tough match to predict. Anyway, kudos to Lynch and Banks for putting on a great match here.

It was time for the contract signing segment, so Adam Pearce ordered some guys around to set up the chairs and table in the ring. The women had to leave the area quickly since there are no commercials.

Contract Signing Between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar

Roman Reigns made his entrance as the Universal Champion with Roman doing his slow walking entrance as usual. McAfee noted it has been 411 days for Reigns as the Universal Champion. Huge pop for Brock Lesnar. The fans love babyface Brock every single time he’s out there. It’s pretty cool to hear the reaction.

Brock Lesnar sat down in a leather chair in the ring with his feet up on the table. Roman Reigns handed Paul Heyman to review it. Heyman said that everything he wanted was in the contract and Heyman’s counsel was for Reigns to sign it. Lesnar was handed the contract, he didn’t even read it and stared at Reigns while signing it.

Reigns called Lesnar a dumbass for signing it without even reading it. Reigns called him a farmer. Lesnar said he already read the contract this morning with his advocate Paul Heyman, which led to an “ohhh” from the crowd. Lesnar left the ring while his music played. Reigns was in the ring speechless while Lesnar had a big smile on his face.

Analysis: If you wanted a brawling segment here you didn’t get it. Instead, it was Lesnar delivering one line to get in Roman’s head by saying that Heyman helped Lesnar read the contract. Is it true from Brock or just mind games? Up to the viewer to decide. I like it, though. The fans reaction to it was great too.

The announcers did a rundown of the Crown Jewel lineup. Once again, I have all the matches listed at the bottom of this review.

The camera was on a smiling Lesnar as he stared back at Reigns/Heyman in the ring. That was the end of Smackdown after 2 hours and nearly 30 minutes.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Sasha Banks
  2. Becky Lynch
  3. The Usos/Street Profits

 

The Scoreboard

7.75 out of 10

Last week: 5.75

2021 Average: 7.04

 

Final Thoughts

This was a very good show with a strong second half thanks to the Tag Team Title match, the Lynch/Banks match and the contract signing main event with Brock Lesnar delivering a clever line to get people talking. The Balor/Zayn match was also very good in the first half. The match of the night goes to Lynch/Banks definitely, but the tag match was very close and Balor/Zayn could have been the best if they got more time.

The promos from Edge and Rollins were a bit long, but necessary to give their perspective on their Hell in a Cell match at Crown Jewel. Other than that, there wasn’t that much talking on the show. Yes, the Happy Talk show sucks although at least was shorter this week.

I thought they did a great job of promoting Smackdown’s Crown Jewel matches. It was the last Smackdown before Crown Jewel on Thursday and clearly, they made a major effort to promote Crown Jewel a lot, so they did.

The WWE Crown Jewel lineup from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia looks like this.

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar

WWE Championship: Big E (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks

Hell in a Cell Match: Edge vs. Seth Rollins

No Holds Barred Match: Bobby Lashley vs. Bill Goldberg

Raw Tag Team Championships: Randy Orton & Riddle (c) vs. AJ Styles & Omos

Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament: Xavier Woods or Jinder Mahal vs. Finn Balor

Finals of the Queen’s Crown Tournament: Doudrop or Shayna Baszler vs. Zelina Vega

Mansoor vs. Mustafa Ali

WWE Crown Jewel is live on Thursday, October 21, at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Peacock in the United States and WWE Network everywhere else.

Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

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