The John Report: WWE Smackdown 10/20/23 Review

wwe smackdown october 20

This week’s WWE Smackdown featured IYO SKY defending the Women’s Title against Charlotte Flair, a Logan Paul-Rey Mysterio discussion and more.

Earlier on Friday, WWE announced Roman Reigns will defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against LA Knight at Crown Jewel on November 4th. That was expected after their interaction last week. Reigns was not on this week’s show.

From the Frost Bank Center in San Antonio, Texas, this is Smackdown for episode #1261. Follow me on Twitter/X @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

It started with a lengthy video package about last week’s show. LA Knight beat Solo Sikoa. After the match, Roman Reigns dropped Knight with a Spear and stood tall.

The commentary team of Michael Cole, Corey Graves & Kevin Patrick welcomed us to the show with a rundown of what’s coming.

Let’s Hear from Paul Heyman…and LA Knight

Paul Heyman was in the ring talking about what Jimmy Uso did on Monday’s Raw. Heyman said that Jimmy single-handedly cost Jey Uso and Cody Rhodes the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships. Heyman mentioned the other news being that Roman Reigns defending the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against LA Knight at Crown Jewel on November 4th. They showed the graphic on the screen.

Heyman said that we are all fans of LA Knight. Heyman said he was a huge admirer of Knight. The fans shouted “YEAH” at Heyman while he spoke, so Paul said don’t do that while he’s talking and the fans kept on doing it, of course. Heyman told the fans to watch Crown Jewel on November 4th because it’s the last time you’ll see LA Knight in the ring. Heyman said that Knight will be smashed by the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Universal Champion, the Head of the Table, the Tribal Chief Roman Reigns. And here comes the interruption.

LA Knight made his entrance to a big pop and Knight took the microphone out of Heyman’s hand.

Knight said that all Heyman has been doing is making noise. Knight told Heyman to take a walk and called for Roman Reigns to come out there, but there was no sign of Reigns. Knight wanted Heyman to tell him what Reigns is going to do to him. Heyman tried to leave, but Knight stopped him. Knight said he’ll hit him so hard he’ll knock that hair back to grey. That was funny.

Knight said that Heyman claimed that the Spear last week was a warning shot. Knight asked Heyman if he thought that was the right move. Knight said he doesn’t do warning shots. Knight said he’ll keep coming back because he will not stop. Knight said he won’t stop until he owns the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Knight said that Reigns should be scared. Knight said as fast as he’s risen in WWE is as fast as he’s going to take the WWE Title from him.

Knight told Heyman about how a contract signing will take place next week between Roman and Knight. LA told Heyman to tell Reigns whose game this is, so the fans shouted “LA Knight…yeah.” Knight told Heyman to speak the undisputed truth that is “LA Knight…yeah.” Knight left Heyman in the ring.

Analysis: That was a very good promo exchange. Knight was showing a lot of fire and energy during the promo. Heyman was great in his role as usual. With no Roman Reigns on the show, it covered the storyline well with Heyman talking about Reigns winning, but Knight disputed that of course. The LA Knight catchphrases are popular, that’s for sure.

Montez Ford was backstage with Angelo Dawkins & Bobby Lashley. Bobby told Ford to fight with pride and take these guys down.

Santos Escobar made his entrance for singles action.


Montez Ford (w/Angelo Dawkins) vs. Santos Escobar (w/Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro)

Ford got a knockdown followed by a kick to the back. Ford hit a back elbow to the head. Ford hit an impressive dropkick. Escobar tried a sunset flip, Ford rolled through and delivered a kick to the chest. Ford hit a running splash for two. Escobar with a kick, then he went to the middle turnbuckle and then Ford hit a jumping kick to knock Escobar out of the ring.


Ford hit an impressive move jumping off the middle turnbuckle backward and hit a bulldog on Escobar. Escobar made the comeback with a dropkick followed by two jumping forearms and a superkick. Escobar hit a suicide dive on Ford outside the ring. Escobar jumped off the top with a cross body block for two. Escobar hit a running double knee attack on Ford against the turnbuckle. Ford hit a jumping kick, then Escobar hit a jumping kick and Escobar hit a jumping hurricanrana off the top. Dawkins pulled Ford out of the ring. Escobar sent Ford into the ring, so Dawkins sent Escobar into the ring post. The referee was looking at Ford. Dawkins threw a charging Wilde into the barricade. Cruz went after Dawkins with punches, but Dawkins sent Cruz into the steel steps. Escobar hit Dawkins with a jumping knee. Escobar went into the ring and Ford did a rollup (not a ROLLUP OF DEATH~!) with tights for the pinfall win after nine minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Montez Ford

Analysis: **3/4 A cheap win by Ford to solidify the Street Profits as heels. Dawkins did the cheap shot to Escobar on the floor, which led to Ford getting the rollup using the tights, so it was a very heelish victory. I think Ford needed that win since they lost at Fastlane and it’s important to establish the Profits as strong heels.

After the match, Ford & Dawkins stomped on Escobar. Carlito ran out with a steel chair while wearing an LWO shirt. Ford & Dawkins ran away to avoid it.

Analysis: Carlito was attacked by the Profits and Lashley last week, so he was looking for revenge. I guess that means Carlito could be in the LWO. They haven’t said it officially.

IYO SKY and Damage Ctrl were backstage getting ready for Sky’s title match.

This Monday on Raw: Jey Uso faces Damian Priest, plus Becky Lynch defends the NXT Women’s Title against Indi Hartwell. Also, Sami Zayn faces Drew McIntyre.


Rey Mysterio walked up to Carlito and the LWO. Rey said that the LWO is family. Zelina Vega asked Rey if he needed help with Logan Paul, but Rey said he could handle this and he was riding solo for this. Rey said he loved them.

Pretty Deadly was shown having a “spa day” after their win over The Brawling Brutes last week. They bragged about having a “squeaky clean” win. The Brawling Brutes duo of Butch & Ridge Holland showed up to beat up Pretty Deadly. They left to go for a pint.

Analysis: I guess that rivalry must continue.

Jimmy Uso walked into The Bloodline’s dressing room. Jimmy celebrated what he did on Raw to cost Jey Uso & Cody Rhodes the Tag Team Titles.

John Cena was shown walking backstage.


Bad Bunny, a friend of WWE, is the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live this Saturday (obviously) on NBC.

Let’s Hear from John Cena

John Cena made his entrance to a huge pop as usual. These crowd reactions for Cena are great every week. That’s cool to see. He deserves it after spending a lot of his career getting booed as a top babyface as well.

Cena said that San Antonio is sold out and everybody watching can see that this place is fired up. Loud “Cena” chants from the crowd. The chants picked up with the fans chanting “Thank You Cena” for John Cena said you had no idea what that means to him.

Cena said he got hit with some hard truths today. Cena spoke about how last week he talked about Roman Reigns’ streak at 1138 days as champion. Cena said he had a streak of his own at 2002 days. Cena said that’s how long it has been since Cena has won a televised singles match. Cena said his last win was in 2018. Cena spoke about how he’s been talking a whole lot about retirement, which led to the crowd booing and said “no” about that. Cena said we all had to face facts. Cena said it’s been a long time since he had a win. The fans chanted “you still got it” at Cena. Cena said he believes in himself, he believes in the fans and he believes in us. Cena believes in the beauty in all this madness and he believes he can still go and he can still bring it. Cena believes the time is now to turn the math around. Cena said it will be a bad night for the next idiot to walk through that curtain because whoever it is, they are going to get smoked.

Analysis: Great energy shown by John Cena as usual.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance to confront Cena. There was no referee. Solo wasn’t in his wrestling gear. Cena delivered punches on Solo and a corner splash, but Jimmy Uso showed up to hit Cena with a superkick. Solo stomped on Cena. Somebody pulled Jimmy Uso out of the ring…it was Jey Uso. Jey beat up his brother Jimmy and tossed him into the barricade. Jey hit Jimmy with a superkick over the barricade. Security broke it up.

Back in the ring, Solo wanted the Samoan Spike, Cena avoided it and Cena hit an Attitude Adjustment. Cena’s music hit to put an end to that. Solo left with Jimmy while Cena celebrated.

Analysis: A happy ending to the segment with Cena standing tall. No match like Cena wanted, but he did drop Solo with an Attitude Adjustment. I think this is going to lead to a Cena singles match against Solo Sikoa or Jimmy Uso at Crown Jewel. The pop for Jey Uso at ringside was a cool moment.

They showed a video of Logan Paul beating Dillon Danis last Saturday in a boxing match. Logan won by DQ while Danis didn’t put up much of a fight.

Logan Paul was shown arriving at the building in a truck. Logan was up next.


A video aired about Alba Fyre & Isla Dawn talking about curses. They showed images of Chelsea Green & Piper Niven. Alba & Isla said those titles belonged to them.

A replay was shown from Monday’s Raw when Jimmy Uso showed up to superkick brother Jey Uso. That led to Finn Balor & Damian Priest winning back the WWE Tag Team Titles from Jey & Cody Rhodes.

Jey Uso was shown in the Smackdown GM Nick Aldis’ office along with security. Raw GM Adam Pearce was also there. Nick didn’t like that Raw’s Jey was there and Pearce mentioned that Smackdown’s Jimmy was there earlier this week. Nick said it’s not his responsibility regarding what happens on Raw. Nick fined Jey $10,000 and Pearce wondered if he would find Jimmy too. Nick told security to escort Jey from the building, then Pearce said he could do that and Nick told security to escort them both from the building. Pearce: “Let the games begin.”

Analysis: That was it for Smackdown GM Aldis on this show. It shows that there’s already a competition between Raw and Smackdown now.

Let’s Hear from Logan Paul and Rey Mysterio

Logan Paul said “I’m back to the real shit” on his way to the ring and they had to mute the swear word. Logan was booed when he got into the ring.

Logan said six days ago he was in England beating the living daylights out of a scumbag. Logan said he won his fight. Logan said it was a pathetic excuse for a fight. Logan said if he wanted a real competition he could have just had a WWE match. Logan spoke about beating an online troll that hides behind the mask of the internet. Logan said speaking of people who hide behind masks, Logan said he’s not here for Rey Mysterio. Logan said he beat Rey Mysterio in his first WWE match (at WrestleMania 38 in a tag team match) and the last time he beat Rey, Dominik Mysterio was still his son. Logan said back then, Roman Reigns showed up to wrestle and LA Knight didn’t even have a job. Logan talked about how he’s engaged to be married, he’s got a multi-billion dollar hydration business and he’s figured out his life – he’s a WWE superstar. Logan said he’s not here for Rey Mysterio, but Rey does have something that Logan needs. Logan said that Rey has respect and legacy while also adding that Rey has the US Championship. Logan said that last week he beat up a deadbeat dad and at Crown Jewel, he’ll have to beat up another one.

Rey Mysterio, the WWE Hall of Famer who’s the US Champion, got into the ring with Logan Paul. Rey told Logan he reminds him of his son Dominik. Rey said that they had amazing natural ability, dripping with passion, an incredible career ahead of you, and a big mouth just like Dom. Rey said that Logan needs some humbling. Rey said that the last time he had to kick some sense into Dom, he was a little reluctant. Rey said against Logan he’s not going to hesitate to whoop his ass.

Rey said that Logan needs this and wants this title. Rey said he’ll give him the opportunity: Logan Paul vs. Rey Mysterio for the United States Championship at Crown Jewel. Logan extended his hand and Rey shook it to agree to the match.

Analysis: It was a basic promo exchange with Rey making it clear he had no problem putting the title on the line and Paul got what he wanted because he wants to win a championship in WWE. Paul was heelish here, but not as much as he has been in the past. My pick for that Rey-Logan match is a win for Logan Paul. I just feel like WWE is going to want to put a title on him.

Rey Mysterio Logan Paul

A Progressive Match Flo replay was shown building up the IYO SKY-Charlotte Flair match.

Charlotte Flair was shown getting ready backstage.

Grayson Waller and Austin Theory made their entrance for tag team action.


Austin Theory & Grayson Waller vs. Cameron Grimes & Dragon Lee

Theory & Waller are sometimes called A-Town Down Under. Grimes & Lee did a couple of combo moves together including a running knee strike. Grimes hit a running kick on Theory and Grimes threw Waller into the ring post. Lee hit a dropkick on Theory on the floor. Grimes & Lee sent Theory into the ring post.


Grimes tagged in with a cross body block on Theory. Grimes hit forearms on both opponents and hit a German Suplex on Theory for two. Lee with a superkick on Waller. Lee hit a somersault dive over the top on Waller. Grimes did his running cross body block spot leading to a two count. Grimes lifted Theory, who did an eye rake and Waller tossed Lee over the barricade. Waller into the ring with a save leading to a flipping flatliner (he used to do the Stunner) and Theory hit A-Town Down on Grimes for the pinfall win. It went about six minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Austin Theory & Grayson Waller

Analysis: **1/4 It was only a six-minute match and with a commercial in the middle that meant we only got to see three minutes of it. Waller usually does a Stunner during his leap into the ring, but this time it was a flatliner. That may be because Kevin Owens is on Smackdown now and he does a Stunner. Anyway, Theory & Waller winning was pretty obvious since they are pushed to a decent level while Grimes is not and Lee is still new on SD.

An interview with Kevin Owens was up next.


Kevin Owens Interview

A taped interview with Kevin Owens was shown. It was Kevin and Cathy Kelley sitting in the seats earlier in the day. Owens said it doesn’t feel great being separated with Sami Zayn. Owens talked about how they experienced everything in the last 20 years and to be separated this year when they lost the Tag Team Titles, but he’s looking forward to a clean slate. Owens said he obviously has a lot of history with The Bloodline. Owens was wearing a Yokozuna shirt, so he said this had nothing to do with that. Owens said he has never had a singles career with Rey Mysterio and Sheamus as well as others. Owens asked Cathy if there was somebody she wanted to punch. Owens mentioned Austin Theory and Grayson Waller, so Cathy said they have punchable faces. Owens said he wants to make sure people know it’s the Kevin Owens Show and that’s all.

Analysis: A basic interview with Kevin Owens talking about how Smackdown is a fresh start for him. There are plenty of people for him to have feuds with. I like Owens as a face a lot, but if he went back to being a heel I wouldn’t mind that.

Next week on Smackdown on FS1 for those of you in the US:

* Santos Escobar & Rey Mysterio vs. The Street Profits.

* Crown Jewel Contract Signing between Roman Reigns & LA Knight.

It’s on FS1 because of the MLB World Series on Fox. That means it will be a smaller audience for Smackdown next week.

Charlotte Flair, the 14-time Women’s Champion on the main roster, made her entrance. IYO SKY made her entrance with the WWE Women’s Title while being joined by Bayley & Dakota Kai. The NXT ring announcer Alicia Taylor was on Smackdown this week and she did the championship in-ring introductions.

WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY (w/Bayley & Dakota Kai) vs. Charlotte Flair)

Flair did a trip and went for her Figure Eight, but Sky got out of that and left the ring. They went to break 15 seconds into the match.


Flair was in control using her legs to flip Sky all around the ring. Sky hit a jawbreaker. Flair flipped over the top to the apron and kicked Sky. Bayley held onto the foot of Flair, so Sky kicked Flair off the apron to the floor. Sky hit a cross body block onto Flair on the floor. Back in the ring, Sky hit a missile dropkick for two. Bayley was yelling at Cole as usual while Sky was grounding Flair in a headlock. Flair picked up Sky and hit her with a belly-to-back suplex. Flair hit a jumping kick to the head. Sky kicked Flair in the legs a few times. They battled against the ropes with Sky using her legs to flip Flair over the top to the floor. Sky went for a headscissors on the floor, Flair caught Sky and Flair sent Sky into the ring apron.


The match continued with Sky hitting a Sunset Flip Powerbomb off the top rope for a two count. Sky hit the running double knees on Flair against the turnbuckle. Sky tried a submission move pulling back on the head, but Flair got out of it. Flair picked up Sky leading to a German Suplex. Flair worked over Sky with chops followed by a fallaway slam across the ring. Flair did the fallaway slam for a second time. Sky went to the turnbuckle, she jumped onto Flair, who caught Sky. Flair stood on the middle turnbuckle and hit a Samoan drop with a bit of a push and that got a two count. Sky did a neck snap onto the top rope. Sky jumped off the top, Flair caught her in a Boston Crab submission and Sky got out of it to sit on top for two. Flair with a forearm to the face. Sky avoided a knee drop and Sky dropkicked Flair into the turnbuckle. Sky went for a moonsault off the top, but Flair got her foot up to block it. Flair hit the Natural Selection for one…two…but Bayley put Sky’s foot on the bottom rope. The referee saw it. Flair went after Bayley on the floor. Flair hit Bayley with punches and chops. Flair tossed Bayley over the commentary table. Kai went on the apron, so the referee was looking at her and Flair hit a Spear, but Sky had the Women’s Title in her hands. That meant Flair hit a Spear onto the title. Sky covered Flair for the pinfall win after 16 minutes. The replay showed that Kai handed Sky the title before Kai went on the apron.

Winner by pinfall: IYO SKY

Analysis: ***1/2 A great match that got plenty of time and was easily the best match on this show. I’m not surprised by the cheap finish because I figured either Flair was going to win or Sky would win thanks to some help. Both women are very athletic, so they were able to pull off some cool moves and make it look easy. The finish wasn’t a blatant cheating move with Bayley helping Sky, but Bayley did save Sky on the nearfall. Flair went for the Spear, Sky had the title and Flair hit the title, so Sky knocked her out…in theory. It’s a creative finish. Well done.

After the match, Damage CTRL stomped on Flair a bit. Bianca Belair made her return after a couple of months off. Belair cleaned house with a spinebuster on Bayley. Belair wanted a KOD Slam on Sky, but Bayley saved Sky. Belair picked up Bayley and hit the KOD on her. Belair celebrated. Belair touched fists with Flair. They stood tall together. End show.

Analysis: This should lead to an IYO SKY-Bianca Belair match perhaps at Crown Jewel. It makes sense since Damage CTRL took out Belair a few months ago, so Belair coming back and getting a title match is a possibility for sure.


Three Stars of the Show

  1. IYO SKY
  2. Charlotte Flair
  3. LA Knight & Paul Heyman


The Scoreboard

7 out of 10

Last week: 8

2023 Average: 7.24


Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown

It was a solid show this week, but not nearly as good as last week. A lot of talking since they only had three matches in two hours. I think they need to do a better job of getting at least four matches on a two hour show. The John Cena segment where he fought with Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso got into with Jey Uso was billed like a match, but it was not an actual match. Anyway, Cena did a nice job in that segment talking about retirement and then saying he had a lot left. The LA Knight-Paul Heyman promo exchange to start the show was very good. Knight was full of energy while the crowd was saying all of his lines right on cue.

The IYO SKY-Charlotte Flair match was easily the best of the show and also the longest. I thought they did some great spots. They are tremendous athletes who make difficult moves look easy. Bayley got involved, Dakota Kai got involved and Sky found a way to win with the title belt shot to the head of Flair, who was doing a Spear. It’s a creative way to end the match. It’s nice to see Bianca Belair back after a few months off.

Everything else was okay. They continued some rivalries on the show too. Like I said, I think the show needed another match or two. I think the matches set up for Crown Jewel so far are pretty good. The Logan Paul-Rey Mysterio segment was a basic promo, but it got the job done in terms of Logan wanting a shot and Rey being a fighting champion. Logan winning the US Title is very possible, in my opinion. A fine episode of Smackdown overall.

The next WWE PLE is Crown Jewel from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Saturday, November 4th (Happy Birthday to me). Here’s the lineup so far:

* Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. LA Knight

* World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

* Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Zoey Stark

* United States Championship: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Logan Paul

WWE Crown Jewel airs on Saturday, November 4th, at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT, streaming live from Riyadh, exclusively on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else.


Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams, Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. You can contact me using any of the methods below.

John Canton


Twitter/X: @johnreport