This week’s WWE Smackdown had a Roman Reigns-LA Knight contract signing, The Street Profits facing the LWO and a whole lot more.
It is the FS1 edition of Smackdown for those of you in the US because the main FOX channel is showing game one of the MLB World Series between the Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks. This also means the television audience will be smaller since FS1 is a much smaller channel than the main FOX channel.
There will also be spoilers out for next week’s Smackdown since the crew will be heading to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel, which is on Saturday, November 4th. They are taping a second Smackdown episode after this week’s show.
The show started with the news that John Cena will face Solo Sikoa at Crown Jewel. It was announced earlier today. It is Cena’s first singles match in over six months since WrestleMania 39 back in April.
Roman Reigns made his entrance as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion with Paul Heyman by his side. While Reigns and Heyman were standing in the entrance, LA Knight made his full entrance and Knight posed in the ring. Reigns was not happy about it. It was noted by Michael Cole that Reigns had been champion for 1153 days.
Roman Reigns-LA Knight Contract Signing
There was a table in the ring along with a black carpet and two leather chairs. Heyman put the chair at the Head of the Table, so Knight sat in that chair. Reigns was not happy about it. Smackdown General Manager Nick Aldis was in the ring to officiate the contract signing. Nick said that we are here to sign the contract for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title match at Crown Jewel.
LA Knight did a promo saying that the contract reads that Roman Reigns is going to hand over that championship to LA Knight. That led to Knight signing the contract first and Heyman threw that pen out of the ring.
Reigns called Knight an idiot. Reigns said “you must be stupid” and Reigns mocked him for just signing it. Reigns asked if Knight has ever had a contract signing? Reigns wondered if Knight has ever had a championship match before and answered that he didn’t think so. Reigns said that Knight had no clue what he’s doing right now. Reigns told Knight he’ll go easy on him, he’ll make it easy on him and they’ll go real gentle on him. Reigns tried to sign the contract, but the pen didn’t work. Heyman handed Reigns another pen, so Reigns signed it. The fans chanted “Roman’s scared” while Reigns laughed about it. Reigns handed Aldis the contract and Aldis wished them the best of luck at Crown Jewel.
Knight said that where he was sitting he was the Head of the Table so Knight told Reigns to “acknowledge me.” Knight said that you want to talk about this contract signing and this championship signing. Knight said that if you are underestimating Knight because it’s his first time around then you are already beat. Knight said that after only a single year he’s sitting at the head of this table about to take Roman’s title in a climb so fast that you don’t even know what hit you. Reigns said that he’ll wonder what happened when Knight walks out with the WWE Championship. Knight said that he only needs one time. Knight said that Reigns failed over and over again and was busy saying “suffering succotash,” Knight said that he’s been telling us whose game it is. Knight said that there’s nothing Reigns can do to stop Knight and that’s a fact of life. Knight can’t stop being the megastar with everybody saying “LA Knight…yeah.”
Reigns flipped the table over onto Knight and Reigns stomped on Knight. Reigns sent Knight hard into the turnbuckle. Reigns brought a table from under the ring and put it into the ring. Reigns set up the table, so Knight was able to recover and Knight stomped on Reigns against the turnbuckle. Jimmy Uso went into the ring to stomp on Knight repeatedly. Reigns left the ring, so Reigns & Heyman told Jimmy to “get him” and that didn’t work well because Knight gave Jimmy a belly-to-back suplex through the table. Knight celebrated in the ring while Reigns/Heyman looked on from the aisle.
Analysis: This was all about building up LA Knight as a credible threat to Reigns. The promo exchange saw Knight dominate most of the talking while showing a supreme level of confidence as usual. Reigns does a great job as the cocky heel champion while Knight is likable as the guy that believes that he is the best and now he’s going to get the chance to prove it. I’m not surprised by Jimmy getting involved and that Jimmy got put through the table easily by Knight. They made Knight look very strong during this segment, that’s for sure.
The commentary team of Michael Cole, Kevin Patrick & Corey Graves did a rundown of what’s coming up.
Latino World Order made their entrance with Santos Escobar teaming up with Carlito. I guess Carlito is officially in the LWO, which is certainly fine.
The Street Profits made their entrance looking stylish as usual while joined by the suit-wearing Bobby Lashley. The Street Profits have a new theme song. That will take some getting used to because I liked their previous song a lot.
The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins (w/Bobby Lashley) vs. LWO – Santos Escobar & Carlito
Dawkins with a shoulder tackle on Escobar. They exchanged moves showing off their athleticism and Escobar hit a dropkick. Carlito tagged in and knocked down Dawkins with a running attack. Lashley distracted Carlito, so Dawkins worked Carlito over with punches. Carlito came back with a dropkick. Ford charged, Carlito ducked it and Ford went flying over the top. Carlito did a slingshot dive over the top onto both guys on the floor. Impressive hops by Carlito there.
Ford was in control of Escobar with a chinlock. Ford kicked Escobar in the chest along with a splash. Rey Mysterio was shown backstage with the US Title as he watched on a TV. Ford grounded Escobar again, Escobar broke free and Escobar hit a jumping enziguri kick on Escobar. Ford with a chinlock again, Escobar fought back with punches, but Ford nailed Escobar with a clothesline. Dawkins tagged in for a double team spike into the mat. Dawkins with a spinning splash and a jumping kick, but Escobar came back with an impressive jumping knee. Carlito got the tag with punches, a double underhook suplex, Carlito kicked Dawkins out of the ring and Carlito hit a sitout spinebuster for a two count. Carlito hit an impressive neckbreaker on Ford for two because Dawkins broke it up. Escobar clotheslined Dawkins out of the ring. Escobar tagged in and they showed Rey Mysterio backstage as Logan Paul attacked Rey from behind with one punch. Paul said that’s all it takes – one punch. Carlito ran to the backstage area. Escobar hit a headscissors on Ford and double knees in the corner. Dawkins tagged back in, Escobar jumped off the top at Ford, but Ford moved out of the way. Dawkins and Ford hit the Revelation double team move (spinebuster-neckbreaker combo) on Escobar for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Street Profits – Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins
Analysis: ***1/4 I thought it was a good match with the babyface team being disadvantaged since Carlito left the match while Escobar wasn’t able to do much alone. I like Triple H booking in general, but he does love distraction finishes a lot. Anyway, the presentation of The Street Profits has improved since their association with Bobby Lashley and they look very aggressive in the ring. I like it. Carlito could use a win since he’s “new” on the WWE roster again, but this wasn’t the spot for it.
Roman Reigns was in his dressing room with the Special Council Paul Heyman, who had a Green Bay Packers edition of the WWE Title. Heyman said he’ll give it to LA Knight because it’s the closest that Knight or the Packers will ever come to be champion. Jimmy Uso went into the ring and laid down on the couch. Jimmy said he was in the trainer’s room getting looked at. Jimmy said that he did an audible and hot route. I love football terms. Jimmy said that they have to handle this fool LA Knight tonight. Reigns wanted Heyman to make the match: Jimmy Uso against LA Knight. Heyman left to go talk to SD GM Nick Aldis. Jimmy said “YEET” to Reigns and Reigns said he didn’t like that.
Analysis: That was funny at the end with Reigns shutting down the “YEET” usage by Jimmy again.
Logan Paul was backstage with Cathy Kelley, who asked why Logan did what he did to Rey. Logan bragged about how his fist is as big as Rey’s head and said this is why there are weight classes in boxing. Logan left the interview.
Logan Paul walked up to Kevin Owens backstage saying nice shirt since Owens had a Rey Mysterio shirt on. Logan left. Austin Theory & Grayson Waller complained to Owens about how KO said they had punchable faces. Owens argued with them. Owens left and came back to knock them both down with one punch. That was funny.
Analysis: There was a rumor of a Logan Paul-Kevin Owens rivalry, so perhaps if Paul wins the US Title like I expect then that’s going to be a rivalry. Owens going up against the annoying heels like Theory & Waller makes sense as a rivalry too.
Dragon Lee was interviewed by Kayla Braxton with Dragon saying he loved being there on Smackdown. Cedric Alexander walked in saying he would love to have a match with him tonight. Dragon said it would be his pleasure to take him to the limit. Cedric said “good” to end it.
Analysis: It’s nice to see Cedric Alexander on the show. They haven’t used him in a very long time, so I’m all for it.
Shotzi made her entrance in the TCB tank. They showed a promo segment from Earlier Today with Shotzi talking to SD GM Nick Aldis while Chelsea Green & Piper Niven walked in as the Women’s Tag Team Champions. They exchanged insults. Shotzi wanted a match with Chelsea, so Nick made the match. That’s next.
Shotzi vs. Chelsea Green (w/Piper Niven)
Green sent Shotzi into the turnbuckle, but Shotzi came back with a boot to the face. Shotzi used her legs to choke Green against the ropes. Shotzi jumped onto Green on the floor. Shotzi went for a move off the ropes, but Green hit a legsweep off the middle rope for two. Green hit a running dropkick for two. Green with a clothesline. They battled by the turnbuckle with Green tossing Shotzi down. Green jumped off the top with a missile dropkick. Green did a cocky cover using her back, so Shotzi did a crucifix pin for the pinfall win after four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Shotzi
Analysis: ** It was just an average shorter match. I always write about how Green is booked poorly in singles matches and it continues here. Green did get plenty of offense in the match, but all it took was one hook of the arms by Shotzi to get the win.
Coming up next is John Cena.
This Monday on Raw on the eve of Halloween: Seth Rollins vs. JD McDonagh, plus Natalya faces Chelsea Green in a Trick Or Street Fight.
There were images shown of media coverage of WWE’s Bash in Berlin on August 31, 2024. That should be awesome.
It’s official for later in the show: LA Knight faces Jimmy Uso in singles action.
Let’s Hear from John Cena
John Cena made his entrance to a thunderous ovation. The fans love the guy who is announced as “The Greatest of All Time” by WWE when he makes his entrance. As mentioned earlier, Cena faces Solo Sikoa at Crown Jewel.
Cena said this is what Smackdown looks and sounds like from a sold out Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Cena said there was a special energy in this building and special excitement. Cena admitted the energy is a little different while saying the energy is serious. Cena said it hasn’t been this serious since 20 years ago when WWE wanted to fire him. Cena said that he dug in deep, he turned it around and for 20 years they have shared this. Cena said for 20 years he give us his heart and soul while the fans give him their noise whether they liked him or not. Cena spoke about how the fans have given him their support and their respect. Loud “Cena” chants from the crowd.
Cena said that the reason that Crown Jewel is so serious to him is that for the first time in 20 years, he feels in jeopardy of losing your support. Cena is in fear of losing your respect. There was a loud ovation from the crowd with Cena pausing to soak it in. Cena said that they can’t ignore the match while the fans chanted “you still got it” at Cena, who asked: “But what if I don’t?” Cena said they can’t ignore the data. Cena said that if he doesn’t deliver, he might lose this connection with the fans. Cena said he didn’t want to lose this. Cena wants to keep this ride going. Cena spoke about how there was only one thing left to do at Crown Jewel: “Win!”
Cena said that WWE uses words like “must win” all the time. Cena said that Crown Jewel is no different because it is “must see” it’s a “must win” for him. Cena said that he knows it takes guts to stand right in this ring and promise a victory. Cena said that the time is now to knuckle up and the time is now to deliver.
Paul Heyman arrived with the interruption as the fans booed him. Heyman said he’s the Special Counsel and Wise Man to the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, but that’s not why he is out there. Heyman said that he is there with no hustle and no loyalty to anything but the truth. Heyman said he was there with respect as the fans chanted “you suck” at Heyman. Paul asked if he can go into the ring, so Cena allowed it.
Heyman said that they are sold out in Milwaukee. Heyman thanked Cena for the house and said thanks for 21 years of Cena drawing sold out greats. Heyman recalled when he was running Smackdown (in 2002) and he picked Cena to be there. Heyman said that he raised his kids to be more like Cena than to be like him. Heyman said that at SummerSlam a few years ago, Roman Reigns proved he was the greatest of all time.
Heyman told Cena that he’s the best ever in communication in the history of WWE. Heyman said that Cena has a bond with them that he can never have. Heyman said that Cena can talk like nobody else on this planet can do. Heyman said he’s been doing this for 100 years and he’s still on top. Heyman: “And John, you could have been me.” Heyman said that was until Cena pissed off The Bloodline.
Heyman talked about how Cena can come back from a lot, but if Solo hits Cena with that spike then Cena can’t talk anymore. Heyman said that your ability to communicate can be taken away from Cena. Heyman said that if Solo takes that away from Cena then The Bloodline takes Cena away from his WWE Universe. Heyman talked about how Cena thinks he must win, but Heyman told Cena he can’t win. Heyman said that’s not a prediction….and here comes Solo as Heyman said “that’s a spoiler.”
Solo Sikoa hit Cena with a forearm to the back. Solo punched Cena repeatedly. Solo hit a Spinning Solo slam. Solo looked at the taped up thumb and Solo hit Cena with the Samoan Spike. Cena was down on the mat selling it. Patrick called it a calculated trap set up by Heyman.
Analysis: This was excellent. It was a lengthy promo segment between two of the best talkers ever in Cena and Heyman. Cena put over the importance of winning the match while also admitting he was in fear of Solo Sikoa due to how good he is. Cena is one of the most successful wrestlers, but I think it’s great that he’s playing this vulnerable legend who thinks he can still go, but he’s not totally sure about it. Paul Heyman was terrific in his role putting over Cena for being so great, but it was all a trap for Solo Sikoa to attack. I liked the segment.
LA Knight did a promo from backstage. Knight said that he hasn’t forgotten about Roman Reigns Spearing him a few weeks ago. Knight said that Jimmy Uso got thrown through a table for his troubles. Knight said he’ll make Jimmy tell his Tribal Chief whose game this is with everybody saying…LA Knight.
Dragon Lee entered for singles action.
Cedric Alexander made his entrance. They showed a video package of Cedric in action since it has been a while since we have seen him in the ring.
Dragon Lee vs. Cedric Alexander
Cedric got an armbar takedown and Dragon came back taking him down by the leg. Cedric with an armbar. They exchanged some chops, Cedric delivered a kick to the head and sent Dragon to the apron. Cedric went to the apron, so Dragon greeted him with a jumping knee. Cedric got an STO takedown on the ring apron leading to a break.
The match continued with Cedric hitting an impressive Michinoku Driver for a two count. Dragon came back with a boot to the face. Dragon was on the top, Cedric went after him there, but Dragon knocked him down and Dragon hit an impressive double foot stomp. Cedric came back with an elbow smash to the face. Dragon hit a Ligerbomb for a two count. Cedric tried a move, but Dragon got out of it and got a rollup for two. Cedric got his own rollup for two. Dragon hit a running knee to the back. Dragon flipped over and planted Cedric with a move that’s like a reverse DDT for the pinfall win after about eight minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Dragon Lee
Analysis: **3/4 They are great athletes that are always going to have an entertaining match as long as they get a chance to show what they can do. Dragon Lee is the newer guy on Smackdown, so this was a showcase match for him. I’ve covered Dragon Lee’s run on NXT and he has a lot more moves that he can do, but he was able to show off a good amount here.
Post match, Alexander and Lee shook hands while Alexander raised Lee’s hand as well.
The Progressive Match Flo replay showed IYO SKY retaining her WWE Women’s Title over Charlotte Flair last week. SKY won thanks to her Damage CTRL friends Bayley & Dakota Kai. Bianca Belair made the save for Flair after being away for a few months.
Bianca Belair made her entrance to a big pop from the crowd. Belair was in some non-wrestling gear so she was there to talk. Damage CTRL’s IYO SKY, Bayley and Dakota Kai were shown watching on a TV backstage.
Let’s Hear from Bianca Belair
Bianca Belair started by saying she was so excited to be back on Smackdown. Belair said while she was away, she only had one thing on her mind. That led to a replay of Damage CTRL attacking Belair two months ago in a backstage segment. It was a steel chair attack on Belair’s left knee, which was done to give Belair a two-month break.
Belair said that it was just two weeks after losing her title at SummerSlam. Belair said it did something to her physically and mentally. Belair was left sitting at home with nothing but her thoughts. Belair said that it made her think about how she was going to make Damage CTRL pay. Belair said that this time, she just could not let it go. It was vengeance that made Belair get back up and get back here to Smackdown.
Belair said that vengeance is what led to her going to talk to Nick Aldis today. Belair announced that at Crown Jewel, she’ll get a WWE Women’s Title match against IYO SKY. Bayley said next week she’s going to face Bayley next week, so she’s going to take her out and then Belair will reclaim her WWE Women’s Championship. Damage CTRL was shown watching on a TV while Belair left.
Analysis: It was that simple for Belair to be given a WWE Women’s Title match. It is true that IYO SKY cashed in on Belair to become the champion, so it does make sense to give Belair a rematch. While I get why that’s done, I would have liked something where they said Belair only gets a title shot if she can beat Bayley so that way Belair has to earn it. Also, having Damage CTRL confront Belair would have fit their characters as heels that complain. Instead, it was just a Belair monologue promo. Anyway, it should be a great match between Belair and Sky at Crown Jewel.
Jimmy Uso made his entrance for the main event. The “Main Event” nickname can go to him just like his brother Jey Uso, who main evented Raw. Jimmy’s match with LA Knight was up next.
They showed some members of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks at ringside. No huge names even though Damian Lillard is a WWE fan.
Next week on Smackdown:
* Bianca Belair vs. Bayley
* United States Championship Weigh-In: Rey Mysterio and Logan Paul
LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso
Jimmy got a shoulder tackle knockdown leading to a celebration. Knight did an elbow smash and a suplex. Knight grabbed an armbar followed by a knee drop on the left arm. Knight delivered a kick to the chest followed by a clothesline. Knight hit a running dropkick. Jimmy sent Knight to the apron, Knight jumped back in and did a sunset flip that drove Jimmy’s back into the knees. Jimmy sent Knight to the apron leading to a knee strike. Jimmy suplexed Knight on the apron. They went to the final break there.
The match returned with Jimmy hitting an uppercut. Jimmy did a running hip attack against Knight’s face while Knight was against the turnbuckle. The bump is a back bump into the turnbuckle, but it still looks like a good offensive move. Knight came back with a running clothesline. Knight made the comeback with punches, but Jimmy kicked him in the gut and Jimmy sent Knight shoulder-first into the turnbuckle. Jimmy with a chop, Knight came back with his own chops and Knight hit a reverse DDT. Knight continued on offense with punches, a jumping cross body block and a side Russian legsweep. Knight hit a DDT for two. Knight stomped on Jimmy repeatedly as the fans chanted “YEAH” every time. Jimmy left the ring, got a high five by Cole and Knight slammed Jimmy’s head into the commentary table a few times. Back in the ring, Jimmy was able to come back with a Samoan Drop for two. The fans chanted “this is awesome” for them. Jimmy went up top, Knight was back up, Jimmy with a headbutt and Knight was shoved down. Jimmy jumped off the top with an Uso Splash for a two count. Jimmy went up top, but Knight knocked Jimmy down. Knight tried to superplex, Jimmy shoved him down and Knight jumped up to the top rope leading to a superplex. Knight hit the BFT (Blount Force Trama) for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: LA Knight
Analysis: ***1/2 I thought they had an enjoyable TV main event. I don’t think anybody was surprised by Knight picking up the win here since he’s challenging Roman Reigns at Crown Jewel. Jimmy is very good in his role, so he’s always going to have a good match in this spot. Knight beat Solo Siko and Jimmy Uso, which is not a surprise on his way to the match with Reigns.
After the match, LA Knight was celebrating the win. Roman Reigns was in the ring and he went for a Spear, but Knight moved so that Reigns hit the turnbuckle. Knight hit BFT on Reigns. Knight talked trash to Reigns, who was down on the mat selling it. Reigns sold it great. Knight had a smirk on his face to end the show.
Analysis: Good ending. Reigns hit a Spear on Knight to end Smackdown two weeks ago, so this time Knight was ready for it and he ended up standing tall.
Three Stars of the Show
- LA Knight…yeah
- John Cena and Paul Heyman
- Roman Reigns
7.25 out of 10
Last week: 7
2023 Average: 7.24
Final Thoughts on WWE Smackdown
It was mostly a good show this week. The long talking segments with Roman Reigns-LA Knight and John Cena-Paul Heyman were really well done. Knight was booked strong throughout the show since he got to talk more than Reigns and he put Jimmy Uso through a table. Knight also beat Jimmy in the main event match as well and hit his finisher on Reigns to end the show. This week’s show was obviously about pushing the idea that Knight is a threat to beat Reigns at Crown Jewel.
As for the Cena-Heyman stuff, I thought they both had some terrific lines. Cena is doing an excellent job of portraying this aging star who believes he is still great, but he’s also genuinely not sure. Due to how genuine Cena is, the fans are totally behind him. Heyman had a great line about wanting his kids to be more like Cena than himself. That segment also put over Solo Sikoa well.
The other matches and segments were solid. I thought Bianca Belair’s promo was okay, but no interaction with Damage CTRL at all was disappointing. She just said she gets a title shot at IYO SKY. That’s fine, but let’s hear from the heels too. Dragon Lee got a win, Shotzi got a win and The Street Profits picked up a tag team win. It wasn’t that strong in terms of matches, but I thought the talking segments really carried this episode.
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
* Cody Rhodes vs. Damian Priest
* John Cena vs. Solo Sikoa
* United States Championship: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Logan Paul
* WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY vs. Bianca Belair
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.
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