Reviews

The John Report: WWE Smackdown 10/29/21 Review

wwe smackdown reigns mciintyre sasha banks charlotte flair

It’s the Halloween edition of WWE Smackdown this week. The only match WWE advertised before the show was a “Trick or Street Fight” between Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs vs. Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss.

This might be the least viewed Smackdown episode in the US this year since it’s being shown on Fox Sports 1 instead of the main Fox channel. That’s because the main Fox channel is showing the World Series Game 3 between the Houston Astros and Atlanta Braves in ATL. Smackdown will return to the main Fox channel in the US next week. Last week’s Smackdown was the first episode with the new roster in place with Charlotte Flair becoming the Smackdown Women’s Champion after a title exchange with Becky Lynch while Brock Lesnar got suspended for attacking some WWE Officials after he tried to get his hands on Roman Reigns. We might not see Brock again until early 2022. Enjoy the break, pal.

From the Mohegan Sun Arena in Wilkes-Barres, Pennsylvania, this is Smackdown for episode #1158. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Let’s get to it.

The Smackdown introduction video aired. They don’t air that every week, but they did this week.

The crowd was shown with Michael Cole welcoming us to the Mohegan Sun without mentioning the city. Cole was on hand to call the action with Pat McAfee as they mentioned the Trick or Street Fight to start the show.

Charlotte Flair, the Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair made her entrance in ring gear and a robe that was different than her regular robe. Cole noted she was a 12-time Women’s Champion. The announcers Cole and McAfee talked about the situation with Charlotte and Becky Lynch having a feisty title exchange last week on Smackdown.

Let’s Hear from Charlotte Flair

Charlotte started her promo mentioning she was the Smackdown Women’s Champion and said it’s six times now. Charlotte said she’s not keeping count, you are keeping count because none of you can do what she can do. Charlotte spoke about how she’s the biggest star in this company and the most decorated woman in WWE history. Charlotte said that when another woman wins a title, it’s this big moment with tears, but when she wins a title, it’s just another Friday. Charlotte said after last week’s drama, order has been restored while adding that the women of Smackdown need somebody to guide them and bring out the best in them.

Sasha Banks showed up for the interruption since she went after Flair last week. Banks laughed at Flair for calling herself a leader. Banks said that Charlotte only cared about holding the other women down. Banks made it clear she wants the Smackdown Women’s Title. Charlotte said that this is the new era of Smackdown and we all know Banks thinks she deserves a title opportunity. Charlotte said she’s given Banks so many chances and she always beats Banks, so Charlotte spoke to Sonya Deville earlier and Charlotte thinks a new contender deserves an opportunity.

Shotzi (no longer Blackheart) showed up in her tank and did a promo saying if you are looking for somebody you have never faced before then she’s your girl. Charlotte said that she did come to the ring in a tank, so she must be ready for battle. Charlotte told Shotzi she’s gonna get her match now and Shotzi shot her “missile” from the tank, but not sure where it landed. That match is next.

Analysis: The Charlotte promo was the same thing she always says about how great she is and how many titles she has. I don’t mind her promos that much if they are fresh, but they are too repetitive. Sasha Banks was a heel for several months. Now that she’s against Charlotte, I guess we are supposed to like her again for saying things like Charlotte holds people down. Anyway, Shotzi hasn’t been used much at all for a while, so at least it’s a different opponent for Charlotte this week.

(Commercial)

Charlotte Flair vs. Shotzi

This is a Championship Contender’s match meaning Shotzi would get a title shot if she wins. Sasha Banks was watching at ringside.

Charlotte with a waistlock takedown, Shotzi got a boot to the face and then a sunset flip for two. Charlotte went for a boot, Shotzi ducked it and howled at Flair. The fans chanted for Shotzi, then Charlotte did some backflips and Charlotte hit a dropkick to the ribs. Shotzi with a kick, a jawbreaker, a headscissors off the ropes and a low dropkick for just a one count. Shotzi worked over Charlotte with punches. Shotzi went to the middle turnbuckle, Charlotte grabbed the legs to trip her up and Shotzi went back/neck off the turnbuckle leading to a two count for Charlotte. Charlotte choked Shotzi against the middle turnbuckle. Shotzi with an inside cradle for two and then Charlotte hit a clothesline. Charlotte with a boot to the chin, Shotzi with a kick to the head, then a step-up enziguri and a running splash on the back of Flair for a two count. Charlotte left the ring, Shotzi charged, Charlotte with a punch and Charlotte trash-talked Banks on the floor. Shotzi hit a suicide dive on Flair, it looked like a bit of a rough landing, but Flair caught her well enough. They went to break there.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Charlotte teasing a moonsault off the top to the floor, but Shotzi got back into the ring. Charlotte was seated on the middle rope and Shotzi hit a hurricanrana off the top for a two count. Nice nearfall there. Shotzi with a forearm for two. Shotzi went for a splash by the ropes, Shotzi moved and Charlotte hit a big boot to the head. Charlotte to the floor, Shotzi moved and Shotzi hit a superkick on the floor. Back in the ring, Shotzi got a two count. Charlotte with a crucifix pin for two. Charlotte went for the Figure Eight, Shotzi countered into a cradle for two. Charlotte missed a kick, Shotzi hooked the arms and Shotzi hit a Tiger Suplex hooking the arms for a two count. That was a great nearfall. The fans chanted “Shotzi” as Charlotte hit a backbreaker and sent Shotzi into the turnbuckle. Charlotte went up top, moonsault attempt, Shotzi rolled away and a standing moonsault by Charlotte (the Andrade spot) got a two count. Banks on the apron, Charlotte got in Sasha’s face, then Shotzi almost hit Banks when Charlotte moved, Charlotte hit a forearm to Shotzi, and Charlotte hit the Natural Selection neckbreaker for the pinfall win after 12 minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Charlotte Flair

Analysis: ***1/2 This was a very good match. Sometimes Charlotte has matches where she doesn’t sell enough or make her opponent look competitive, but in this case, it was pretty even most of the way. The fans were strongly behind Shotzi and thought that she might win the match. Banks getting on the apron played a part in the finish, which was followed up on after the match. I liked how this was booked. Nice job by both women.

After the match was over, Banks went into the ring to check on Shotzi and Shotzi yelled at her that it was Sasha’s fault. Shotzi beat up Banks all around the ringside area. Shotzi even threw Banks into the front part of the tank. There wasn’t much effort to break up the attack as the fans booed Shotzi for what she was doing. Shotzi stood over Banks in the ring with the fans booing Shotzi for her actions.

Analysis: This was about establishing Shotzi as a heel for sure, but maybe even more so to remind fans that Banks is a face now. Banks was a heel for a few months, now she’s back as a face and this attack by Shotzi will help in that transition. I thought Shotzi did well in terms of being aggressive in her attack. Banks took the beating well and it should set up a match between them soon. Shotzi was given a pretty big spot here in the first 30 minutes of the show and she did a great job. Good for her.

Jeff Hardy was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Jeff said he’s pumped to be back on the blue brand and hoping it’s a fresh start for him. Jeff said he wanted to challenge for a title he’s never held before. Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss interrupted the interview talking about their match later. Moss had a terrible joke. They left thankfully. Jeff: “It’s good to be back on Smackdown.”

Analysis: I hope Jeff has a big role on Smackdown. They did not use him well on Raw over the last year.

An update on the status of Brock Lesnar is up next.

(Commercial)

There was a replay shown of Brock Lesnar’s actions on Smackdown last week when he beat up a referee, an official (hey Daivari) and a camera guy. Adam Pearce, the WWE Official that is often in charge, announced that Lesnar was indefinitely suspended. Lesnar gave Pearce two F5’s much to the delight of the crowd.

Adam Pearce was shown at his home saying Lesnar’s actions were cowardice. Pearce said he gives every piece of himself to this company and he will not be disrespected. Pearce said that cannot, will not happen again. Pearce said that due to Lesnar’s actions, in addition to a suspension, Pearce is fining Lesnar $1 million. Pearce thanked us to end it.

Analysis: That’s a lot of fake money. Poor Brock. I guess if they said something like $100,000 it isn’t enough, so maybe $1 million is enough to make people angry. As I said last week, I assume Lesnar is back around the Royal Rumble and he might win the Rumble too.

Paul Heyman was shown watching that on a TV screen and there’s Kayla Braxton for an interview. Heyman said that Roman Reigns would show up whether he was suspended or not, but Roman doesn’t have to do that because Roman smashed Lesnar at Crown Jewel. Heyman was asked how would Brock Lesnar respond, so Kayla asked Paul to provide some insight. Heyman said that Lesnar would respond by showing up to the office and rip everybody apart starting with Adam Pearce. Heyman was getting fired up talking about how Lesnar is a Beast and then Paul stopped himself. Heyman said he hasn’t spoken to Lesnar and told Kayla to leave him alone. McAfee: “Adam Pearce is a doofus.”

Analysis: Great interview from Heyman with Kayla doing a nice job of pressing him for an answer. Heyman denied talking to Lesnar, but then got fired up talking about what Lesnar was going to do even though he had no idea what Brock might do…or so he says. I like how it was done.

Drew McIntyre entered for an open challenge match.

(Commercial)

Drew McIntyre was in the ring with Angela the sword in his hands. Drew did a promo saying he’s in an ass-kicking mood. Drew said it’s time for an open challenge, so who’s got the testicular fortitude to fight the Smackdown Warrior right now?

It’s Mustafa Ali, who also used to be on Raw like McIntyre was. Ali said we know Drew is big, he’s bad, but Ali is better. Ali said he’s got more athletic talent in his pinky than Drew does in his entire body. Ali said he’s quicker, more agile and Drew doesn’t compare when it comes to in-ring talent. Ali said he’ll be the one to beat Drew tonight.

Drew McIntyre vs. Mustafa Ali

Drew tossed Ali into the turnbuckle, Ali with two chops and Drew hit a huge chop in return. Ali with a dropkick to the arm, then kicks to the arm and Drew hit a belly to belly suplex. Drew beat up Ali with strikes, then a belly to belly suplex and he wanted a DDT, but Ali got out of it. Ali sent Drew into the ring post. Ali went up top for a 450 Splash, Drew moved, Drew went for a Claymore Kick and Ali moved. Drew did a takedown on the left arm, applied the Kimura Lock submission on the arm and Ali tapped out. It went about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: *3/4 An easy win by McIntyre as you would expect there. Drew using a Kimura Lock to win is different for him, so it’s a way to show he has another move he can beat somebody with. That’s smart because a lot of top wrestlers have a pinfall finisher as well as submission move they can use. Ali is a talented wrestler, but I’m not sure if he’ll get pushed that much on Smackdown.

Post match, Ali did a promo while selling the left arm injury. Ali said that you people choose to cheer for Drew McIntyre and root against him (Ali). Ali said that you choose against him is because his name is Mustafa Ali. That led to Ali dropping the microphone. The fans booed.

Analysis: This will probably be an angle where Ali keeps saying stuff like that, but then some babyface will tell him it’s not because of his name, it’s because of his actions. Just my guess anyway.

King Xavier Woods was shown walking backstage with Kofi Kingston saying you should show King Woods some respect. Hit Row were standing backstage. Woods said it was great seeing fellow musicians doing their thing. The Hit Row foursome did some “we’re not worthy” bowing towards Woods, who said they may rise. Kofi asked for some hot fire from the group. Hit Row said, “King Woods” to the tune of “Hit Row” and everybody walked off happily.

King Woods entered with his New Day buddy Kofi Kingston and this is a knighting ceremony for Kofi. That’s the end of the first hour.

(Commercial)

A video aired about Xia Li in action. She is coming soon to Smackdown.

Knighting Ceremony for King Woods and Kofi Kingston

Kofi Kingston told the crowd to lend me your ears so you can listen to the creed of King Woods. That led to Woods reminding us who he is with Kofi leading a “Hail King Woods” chant to the “New Day Rocks” chant. Woods said that last week, he was officially the king. The fans chanted “you deserve it” to Woods, who said he does and did a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff to get here. Woods told Kofi he was his most trusted confidant, so he asked Kofi to bend the knee. Kofi got down on a knee while Woods bestowed an honor on Kofi calling him “Sir Kofi Kingston” saying he was “the hand” of the King. Woods placed a unicorn pin on Kofi’s jacket. Kofi was excited about it.

It was interruption time with The Usos showing up as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. The Usos said “whoa” repeatedly or at least Jimmy was doing it. The Usos got into the ring saying: “It’s The Usos and The New Day.” Jimmy mentioned it’s King Woods and Sir Kofi. Jey said he’s the Right Hand Man, this is their show and you might as well call this show The Bloodline Show because “we are the ones.” The fans booed. Jimmy asked why they are playing dress-up for Halloween?

Kofi said that they are just jealous because New Day looks clean in these outfits. Woods said that The Usos have had the same gear since 2018 and The Usos said they had new merch. Woods talked about making his carpet dirty. The Usos fired back at them, Woods said tonight it will be The Usos against The New Day in a “trial by combat” (another way of saying it’s a match) and The Usos agreed. Kofi took a punch to the jaw, then The Usos escaped and that was it. Cole mentioned that Woods can’t make matches, but hopefully it becomes official.

Analysis: Congrats to Sir Kofi on being a knight now. I’m sure there are people watching that think Kofi is going to turn on Woods or the other way around, but I think New Day will continue to stick together. I don’t know if this needed to be as long as it was, but it was fine. It also sets up a match for later between two teams that have wrestled many times in the past.

There was a Raw Rebound video showing highlights from Raw from this past Monday. That 4-way Ladder Match won by Seth Rollins was outstanding. This is a new thing to try to show what happened in a quick video. I don’t think it’s the best thing to do to spend two minutes on that when there’s a lot of talent sitting in the back doing nothing.

Shinsuke Nakamura, the Intercontinental Champion, and Rick Boogs made their entrance for tag team action. Pat McAfee was dancing on the announce table as usual while going crazy for the entrance song. That tag team match is next.

(Commercial)

It’s official for later on Smackdown: The Usos vs. The New Day

Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance doing their ridiculous over-the-top laughter gimmick. There was pyro that went off and McAfee laughed at these two getting Brock Lesnar-style pyro. That was funny by Pat. Last week on Smackdown, Corbin beat Nakamura in a non-title match. Cole said maybe Corbin bought the pyro usage.

Trick or Street Fight: Shinsuke Nakamura & Rick Boogs vs. Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss

There were pumpkins all around the ring as well as other objects. Nakamura with a running kick on Corbin and Moss sent Boogs out of the ring. Boogs with a gutwrench suplex on Moss. Corbin hit Boogs with a candy corn kendo stick. Reggie, the 24/7 Champion, was in the ring being chased by Drew Gulak and Viking Raiders, then Reggie left to the back and that was it. Moss tried to send Boogs into a bucket of apples, Nakamura hit Moss with a kendo stick, Moss was in the bucket of apples, came up with an apple and then Nakamura hit him with a kendo stick again. The trio of Boogs, Nakamura and McAfee had apples. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

Corbin and Moss were in control with kendo stick shots to the body of Boogs. Corbin was choking Boogs with a kendo stick and tossed Boogs out of the ring. Corbin sent Nakamura into the barricade. The fans chanted for pumpkins. Nakamura kicked Corbin and some candy went flying into the crowd. Moss ducked a kick from Nakamura, so Nakamura kicked the ring post and then Moss hit a clothesline. Corbin grabbed a pumpkin, the fans cheered and Corbin tossed it down to draw boos. Boogs saved Nakamura from a double team attack because Boogs threw pumpkins at his opponents. Boogs hit both guys with skeleton that was there. Back in the ring, Boogs with multiple clotheslines and Nakamura with kendo sticks. Boogs lifted up Corbin and Nakamura jumped off the ropes with a knee for a two count because moss broke it up. Moss slammed Nakamura down, Boogs suplexed Moss, Corbin with a Deep Six slam on Boogs and Nakamura with a spin kick to Corbin. Moss put a pumpkin on Nakamura’s head. Corbin saved his partner by sending Corbin into the ring post. Nakamura knocked Corbin over the barricade at ringside. Boogs suplexed Moss across the ring. There were two guys in masked costumes that hit Boogs in the back with kendo sticks. Moss hit a neckbreaker on Boogs on a pumpkin. Moss pinned Boogs to win. It went about ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Happy Corbin & Madcap Moss

Analysis: **1/2 It was mostly a comedy match. I’m surprised they didn’t use more of the “weapons” at ringside with no table breaking spots or anything like that. Lots of kendo stick usage as well as a pumpkin to the head (of course), but other than that was mostly a tame match. I’d rather see Corbin and Moss lose because I find their act tiresome already. However, I guess WWE felt the need to do a cheap finish and that’s why Nakamura/Boogs lost this match.

After the match, the guys in the masks took the masks off to reveal it was the team of Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo. Corbin and Moss laughed about it.

Analysis: Good way to book Garza and Carrillo in a way that gets some heat as a new team on Smackdown.

Sonya Deville, the WWE Official, was interviewed Megan Morant, who mentioned Naomi facing Shayna Baszler. Sonya said she wasn’t stacking the deck against Naomi. Sami Zayn walked up to Sonya saying it was a mistake to leave the locker room Sami off the show. Sami told Sonya she needs somebody in her corner, then they cut away and it was onto Naomi’s entrance.

Analysis: I agree that we always need more Sami on the show!

Naomi made her entrance for singles action.

(Commercial)

Shayna Baszler entered to face Naomi. A few weeks ago, it was Shayna & Sonya Deville easily beating Naomi in a match. There was no referee in the ring.

Sonya Deville walked out there saying she understood there was an issue, but she came out there to mention something. Sonya said that the referee that was supposed to work this match is injured after what Brock Lesnar did last week. Sonya appointed herself the official for this match. Sonya put a referee shirt on top of her dress shirt/tie combo because they had a perfect-sized shirt at ringside. Imagine that! Good job by Cole pointing it out.

Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler

Naomi with a takedown, Baszler went for a kneebar submission and Naomi fought back. Naomi with a headscissors and then a bulldog into the middle turnbuckle. Naomi with a kick to the head. Naomi went for a springboard attack, she slipped, got back up and hit a kick to the head. Naomi tried a cover, Sonya turned it around and Sonya did a fast count to give Shayna the pinfall win. It went about two minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shayna Baszler

Analysis: 1/2* A short match with a cheap ending to further the story that Sonya doesn’t like Naomi for some reason. The count was extremely fast. It will build up sympathy for Naomi, who could be a top babyface woman on Smackdown as long as they keep building her up. The slip on the ropes wasn’t on purpose by Naomi. It happens sometimes.

Post match, Naomi complained about it to Deville, who showed no sympathy for what happened. Shayna Baszler applied the Kirifuda Clutch submission on Naomi. That was it.

King Woods and Sir Kofi Kingston were interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Woods said that nothing can go wrong while Kofi talked about how he’s always got Xavier’s back. Xavier said it was time for them to deliver their first royal ass whipping.

The New Day entered for their match.

This Monday on Raw: Becky Lynch defends the Raw Women’s Championship against Bianca Belair. Plus, find out what Seth Rollins has planned for WWE Champion Big E.

(Commercial)

The Usos made their entrance as the Smackdown Tag Team Champions. This was a non-title match.

The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The New Day (King Woods & Sir Kofi Kingston)

Woods ran the ropes leading to a forearm on Jey for a two count. Kofi tagged in with a clothesline off the middle rope for two. Jimmy tagged in with a double team elbow drop on Kofi. New Day cleared the ring of both Usos. Kofi went for a backsplash dive onto The Usos on the floor, but The Usos caught him and tossed him over the barricade.

(Commercial)

The Usos were in control of Kofi with Jey hitting an elbow on Kofi’s chest. Jey hit a running hip attack on Kofi against the turnbuckle. Jey with a charging attack, but Kofi stopped him with a stomp to the chest. Woods tagged in against Jimmy with a jumping kick, a side Russian legsweep and a running dropkick for two. Woods worked over Jimmy with chops to the chest, Jimmy with an uppercut punch, Woods with a kick to the gut and Woods with a suplex into the double knees for two. Jimmy with a kick to the head, Jey tagged in and a lifting neckbreaker by Jey got a two count. Woods with a punch, Jey with a punch in return, Woods with a forearm, Jey with a running attack and Jey with a superkick on Woods. Jimmy and Kofi tagged in with Kofi hitting a jumping punch on Jey while Jimmy hit a popup Samoan Drop for two. The Usos hit a double superkick on Kingston for a two count. Jimmy got the tag, Woods held onto Jey and Kofi got the knees up to block a splash from Jimmy. Jimmy with a rollup for two, Woods tagged in, Jimmy with a superkick on Kofi and then Woods went into the ring with a cradle on Jimmy where he hooked the arms/legs of Jimmy to get the pinfall win. It went about ten minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The New Day (King Woods & Sir Kofi Kingston)

Analysis: *** It was a typical pretty good match between The Usos and New Day. I think the finish was a way to show that these teams are so even that they can win any kind of move, even Woods getting a cradle pin for the win. It is likely going to lead to a title match and it’s certainly possible that New Day could have another title reign since they have had many before, but I think The Usos as long-term champions is the best thing for Smackdown. Anyway, the match was perfectly fine. It just didn’t feel like some special main event match or anything like that.

The New Day celebrated while The Usos left the ring. Cole reminded us that next week they are back on Fox. McAfee said, “baseball’s stupid” and they’ll be back on Fox in one week. The show ended there.

Analysis: That was funny by Pat! With that said, Fox pays a lot of money to show baseball, so I don’t know if they would like that comment. With that said, it was Pat trying to make a joke so it’s innocent.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Charlotte Flair
  2. Shotzi
  3. New Day/Usos

 

The Scoreboard

5.75 out of 10

Last week: 6.5

2021 Average: 7.00

 

Final Thoughts

This was a below average episode of Smackdown. I think WWE decided to not really do anything major since they were on FS1 with a smaller audience than usual. I understand the reasoning behind it, but as a viewer, it’s disappointing when the show is lacking in terms of quality. The lack of Roman Reigns on the show also made it feel like a weaker episode. It wasn’t terrible or anything like that. It just wasn’t that interesting.

The first match with Charlotte and Shotzi was pretty good because of how even it was with Shotzi getting a lot of offense. I didn’t expect Shotzi to turn on Sasha Banks after the match, but hopefully it works out for Shotzi long term. Maybe Shotzi can be an ally of Charlotte too. I think it was done more to make Banks more of a face anyway since she has turned so many times in her career.

The main event with New Day and Usos was fine, but nothing that special really. The Street Fight match earlier in the show was just average wrestling.

It’s weird that Survivor Series is three weeks away, yet they don’t even mention it at all.

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

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook