TJR: WWE Smackdown 10/16/20 Review (Season Premiere)

TJR: WWE Smackdown 10/16/20 Review (Season Premiere)

Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. It’s the season premiere episode of Smackdown. It’s a weird thing to say about a show that has new episodes every week, but that’s what WWE is promoting. It’s because this is the second year Smackdown has been on Fox since it started in October 2019. It’s also the first episode post 2020 WWE Draft with new rosters for Smackdown and Raw. There are still some former Smackdown wrestlers advertised for the show even though they were drafted for Raw. Tonight is their Smackdown “farewell” I guess you can say. The matches advertised include:

* Roman Reigns defends the Universal Title against Raw’s Braun Strowman.
* The Street Profits defend the Smackdown Tag Team Titles against Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.
* The New Day vs. Sheamus, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura.
* Lars Sullivan faces Raw’s Jeff Hardy.
* Daniel Bryan is back after missing over three months following the birth of his son.

From the WWE ThunderDome at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1104. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s get to it.

The new Smackdown intro video played. I say new because of the WWE Draft changing up the roster. It’s the same AC/DC “Are You Ready?” song. It’s a fresh look with some different people in there. It’s well done as usual.

There was an impressive pyro display at Amway Center to welcome us to the show as the ThunderDome crowd was shown and looking ready to go. The announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves welcomed us to the show that is sponsored by Progressive as usual.

Let’s Hear from Triple H and Stephanie McMahon

The Smackdown roster was shown standing on stage along with some of the Raw guests that were on the show.

Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in the ring for a promo. Stephanie welcomed us to the Season Premiere of Smackdown. Triple H said there’s excitement for the new season. Triple H mentioned the main event with Braun Strowman taking on the “Tribal Chief” Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Stephanie said that in their farewell match, The New Day will take on Sheamus, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura as New Day were shown doing some silliness. Triple H mentioned Jeff Hardy facing the superfreak, Stephanie asked if Rick James was here, but no he mentioned the “Freak” Lars Sullivan facing Hardy. Stephanie mentioned Daniel Bryan appearing as well.

The couple mentioned Kevin Owens, Aleister Black, Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn, “Mr. Money in the Bank” Otis and Smackdown’s Tag Team Champions The Street Profits. They were attacked by Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. It led to most of the roster getting into a brawl around the ring.

The wrestlers went into the ring and there were so many camera cuts that it was hard to keep track of everything. Owens hit a dive off the apron onto three guys on the floor. Montez Ford hit a somersault dive over the top onto Roode and Ziggler. Sami Zayn looked like he was avoiding every person in the ring.

Lars Sullivan made his entrance as the wrestlers in the ring turned to face him. Sullivan hit clotheslines on Ford and Dawkins. Sullivan slammed Kalisto into the barricade at ringside. Sami Zayn left. Apollo Crews and Shorty G went after Sullivan, which led to Sullivan knocking down Crews and hitting Shorty with the Freak Accident. Jeff Hardy kicked Sullivan in the back, then went for a Twist of Fate, Sullivan avoided it and Hardy avoided a charge, so Sullivan was on the floor. That match is next.

Analysis: It was fine as an opening segment that took up nearly ten minutes. There was Triple H and Stephanie speaking as executives that welcomed us to the show and then it led to a predictable brawl. It would have been nice to hear from some of the wrestlers while they were on the stage, but WWE opted to turn it into a big brawl that highlights Lars Sullivan. The Hardy match with Sullivan was already advertised, so it was an effective way to tease the match before the break. That doesn’t mean I like Sullivan matches. I’m just saying that at least it worked in terms of getting the audience ready for the match.

(Commercial)

They showed WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett on the Thunderdome screens. Jeff works for WWE as a Producer.

Jeff Hardy vs. Lars Sullivan

Hardy was drafted by Raw, but I guess this is like a Smackdown farewell for now. There was a kick from Hardy, then Sullivan knocked down Hardy with a clothesline and Hardy was favoring the leg injury. Sullivan with a lifting slam followed by a sliding clothesline for two. Sullivan went up top for a headbutt, but Hardy moved out of the way and Sullivan hit the mat. Hardy with an inverted atomic drop that had no effect as Sullivan hit him with a forearm to the back. Hardy with a forearm, then he went up top and hit a Whisper in the Wind spinning attack on Sullivan for a one count as Lars did a power kickout. Sullivan shoved Hardy out of the ring to block a move. Sullivan left the ring, Hardy jumped off the steps right into his arms and Sullivan slammed Hardy on the ring apron. Hardy with a kick to the gut and the Twist of Fate neckbreaker. Sullivan got back to his feet, Cole was shocked, Jeff was stunned by it, Hardy on the top rope, Sullivan got him and gave him a Freak Accident slam after four minutes.

Winner by pinfall: “The Freak” Lars Sullivan

Analysis: ** A dominant win by Sullivan as expected here since he’s a bigger, monster heel type character that WWE loves to utilize. Hardy got some offense in, but most of it was Hardy taking an ass-kicking and having Sullivan get a meaningful win over a former World Champion. Sullivan will likely win every match for several months. It all depends on when WWE decides to book him against bigger name opponents. The ring announcer said “The Freak” Lars Sullivan as the winner of the match, so that’s why I put it above. They are certainly pushing “The Freak” nickname for him.

Post match, Sullivan did some angry faces staring into the hard camera as the announcers put over the dominant performance for Sullivan.

The New Day trio made their entrance for their “final” time together since Big E is on Smackdown and Kofi Kingston/Xavier Woods are on Raw. Big E threw his jacket at Corey Graves as usual.

A Hell in Cell commercial aired for October 25 that focused on Drew McIntyre defending the WWE Title against Randy Orton. That’s one of three HIAC matches at that show.

(Commercial)

There was a video about Bianca Belair as the Strongest, Fastest, Flyest, Hardest, Strongest, Baddest, Toughest, Sharpest, Roughest and it’s a reminder that it’s the EST of WWE. Graves said that Belair will be Smackdown Women’s Champion by this time next year. I think that’s a smart prediction.

The New Day trio did a pre-match promo with Big E looking frustrated about the WWE Draft happenings. Xavier Woods noted that he and Kofi Kingston are going to Raw while Big E is staying on Smackdown. Kofi said that he was reminded recently on social media that they have provided us so many great moments. Woods spoke about setting the record as Tag Team Champions, Kofi mentioned Woods taking kendo stick shots inside Hell in a Cell and Big E mentioned Kofi winning the WWE Title as they all talked about being emotional. Woods was emotional talking about how these two guys took a chance on joining him six years ago and gave him some amazing years in his life. Big E talked about the talks they had together at Waffle House talking about families. Kofi spoke about how six years ago he wasn’t sure how much longer he could do this and then Woods/Big E pitched this idea to him. Kofi said he loved them like brothers. Kofi teared up and commented that he was crying before a match. They got back to the fun routine by leading the “New Day rocks” chants.

Analysis: This was cool. I’m sure some fans got emotional watching this as well. You can tell that WWE gave them some time to express themselves to reflect on six years of New Day as a trio. There will be a reunion I’m sure and we don’t know when that will be, but we know that after this Smackdown they are broken up because WWE really wants to push Big E as a singles guy on his own. Kofi and Xavier should do well on Raw as a team or if they break off into singles they will do fine too. This New Day trio had an incredible run together. They’re great guys and I wish them many more years of success.

The trio of Sheamus (drafted to Raw), Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura (those two are still on Smackdown) did a brief interview with Kayla Braxton in the backstage area. They are heels, so they were happy about New Day ending and had no sympathy for them. That led to their entrance for the match with Big E doing a silly dance routine against the ropes.

Analysis: I saw New Day wrestle at house shows many times over the years. They almost always got introduced first for their matches and when they did, they would dance during the intro of the other guys in the match. It was always funny. I enjoyed those moments. I miss live events/house shows.

The New Day promise to remain stronger than ever: SmackDown, Oct. 16, 2020

(Commercial)

There were some comments from Fox NFL analysts offering up predictions for the Roman Reigns match against Braun Strowman. Good job by some of them pretending like they know what they are talking about.

The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods) vs. Sheamus, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura)

Woods started with Nakamura, Kingston got the tag and hit a double foot stomp to the chest of Nakamura. There was a spin kick by Nakamura to knock Kingston down. Cesaro tagged in with an uppercut on Kingston, then a whip to the turnbuckle and Kingston hit a dropkick to the chest. Big E tagged in, Kingston jumped over him with a splash and Woods slammed Big E onto Cesaro for a two count. Cesaro took control with an uppercut, Sheamus tagged in for a double shoulder tackle and Sheamus/Cesaro mentioned “The Bar” name that they used. Woods with a rolling elbow, Woods with a sliding knee and Big E gave Woods a Powerbomb onto Sheamus. Kingston went up top with a splash onto Sheamus for a two count. Kingston with a kick on Sheamus. When Kingston went towards the ropes, Nakamura pulled the rope down and Kingston bumped to the floor. Nakamura with a knee on Kingston as he was held by Cesaro/Sheamus and Nakamura with a running knee to the ribs for a two count. Cesaro and Sheamus stomped away on Kingston against the turnbuckle. Cesaro with a body slam on Kingston followed by a leg drop for two. Sheamus with a boot the ribs, then Nakamura back in and he hit a knee to the ribs. Cesaro drove Kingston into the turnbuckle, so Sheamus grabbed Kofi by the hair and pulled him to the floor. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match continued with Kingston still as the face that was isolated from his team, but Kingston managed the SOS on Sheamus. Big E got the hot tag with the two overhead belly to belly suplexes on Cesaro, a side belly to belly slam and a running big splash. Big E set up for the Big Ending, but Cesaro landed on his feet and hit a gutwrench suplex to send Big E across the ring. Cesaro with a big uppercut, Big E got the back elbow up, Woods tagged in and Big E hit a uranage on Cesaro into the backstabber by Woods for a two count. Cesaro with an uppercut, Nakamura made the tag and hit a sliding German Suplex on Woods for a two count. Nakamura with punches, Woods sent Nakamura to the apron, Kingston tagged in, Cesaro decked Woods with a clothesline and Kingston hit a dive over the top on Cesaro/Nakamura on the floor. Sheamus knocked Big E out of the ring, Kingston kicked Sheamus and back in the ring, Nakamura hit a rising kick on Kingston to block a top rope attack. Nakamura hit the knee while Cesaro did the swing and Sheamus tagged in for a double team White Noise on Kingston for two as Big E made the save. That led to four straight big moves to clear the ring including Big E hitting the Big Ending and other moves. Sheamus talked trash to Kingston saying they would nothing without Sheamus/Cesaro and then Sheamus ran into the ring post. Big E and Woods hit a double team Big Ending for the pinfall win with Big E pinning Sheamus for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.

Winners by pinfall: The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods)

Analysis: ***1/2 I thought it was a very good tag team match. During the match, I was thinking about how Cesaro worked against these guys so many times with Tyson Kidd, Sheamus and Nakamura as his partners, so there’s a lot of familiarity between all of them. The heels controlled most of it as they isolated Kingston, Big E got the hot tag and then the last few minutes were full of excitement. I enjoyed it a lot.

After the match, Big E hugged Woods and Kingston. They all talked to eachother with the microphones at ringside picking up that they thanked eachother and said they were brothers. They hugged it out. They faced the hard camera with their arms raised as winners.

The New Day vs. Nakamura, Cesaro & Sheamus – The New Day’s Farewell Match: SmackDown, Oct. 16, 2020

Analysis: Another cool moment. I think we as fans are going to miss these guys being together although I do expect Big E to do great as a singles star, so I’m okay with it. I’m just saying this trio was outstanding for a long time. It’s tough to find that kind of chemistry for that long, but they did it. Thanks to New Day.

Otis was about to be interviewed by Kayla Braxton backstage. Sami Zayn, the Intercontinental Champion, showed up to talk some trash to him about losing Mandy Rose to Raw and losing tag team partner to Tucker. Sami mentioned Miz suing Otis too. Otis shoved Sami on his ass, so I guess they’ll be having a feud.

Daniel Bryan made his entrance in street clothes including a jacket and slacks as he seemed to enjoy the “Yes” chants on the Thunderdome.

This Monday on Raw: Firefly Funhouse is there with Bray Wyatt and Drew McIntyre will be there along with Randy Orton. They didn’t plug a match.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Daniel Bryan

Bryan was in the ring with a shot of his wife Brie Bella and their daughter Birdie on one of the Thunderdome screens. That’s pretty cool. Bryan said he loved being there in the Thunderdome. Bryan missed four months because Brie gave birth to their son Buddy over two months ago.

Bryan said that he loved his time at home while giving a shoutout to Brie and his daughter Birdie on the screen. Bryan hyped up the show with what’s coming up while talking about the roster. Bryan spoke about Bianca Belair, The Riott Squad, people like Kevin Owens, Aleister Black and Apollo Crews. Bryan said he cannot wait to get in the ring with these men. Here comes Seth Rollins! Yes! This is the feud that I want.

Analysis: In my preview of the show I mentioned that I wanted WWE to do a Bryan vs. Rollins feud. It might not happen right away, but I think it’s a potentially great rivalry with two of the best overall performers in WWE.

Seth Rollins said that it was nice of Brie to let him off “Daddy Duty” to come back to Smackdown. Rollins said that Bryan forgot the most important acquisition in the draft, Seth Rollins. Seth got into the ring with Bryan. Rollins asked Bryan what side of history does he want to be on? Rollins said when it comes to the greater good, either you’re with Rollins or you’re against him. Rollins said he assumes that Bryan is smart enough to stand beside Rollins and mold the future of this industry in their vision.

Bryan said he’s all for changing the future for the better like saving the planet and making Smackdown as good as it can possibly be. Bryan said that Seth’s vision is short-sighted, self-centered and just kind of dumb. Rollins said Bryan doesn’t mean that. Bryan said it’s dumb like a sportscoat without a shirt that Rollins was wearing, so Rollins punched him and kicked Bryan.

Rollins sent Bryan into the ropes and Bryan bounced off the ropes with a running clothesline. Bryan worked Rollins over with the “Yes” kicks to the body. Rollins bailed. That led to Rey Mysterio entering with Dominik since that duo were drafted to Smackdown.

Rollins went into the ring to try to convince Bryan to fight with him, but Bryan decided to leave the ring. That led to Murphy running down to the ring in between Rey, Dominik and Rollins. Murphy stood beside Rollins, but then Murphy took down Rollins with punches and a rising knee to the face that knocked Rollins out of the ring. Rollins bailed up the ramp. Rey and Dominik stared at Murphy in the ring. Murphy extended his hand for a handshake, but Dominik chose to leave the ring and Rey left the ring as well.

Analysis: This was pretty good with Murphy getting some revenge on Rollins. The Mysterios don’t trust Murphy yet, so it was good to have them refuse the handshake for now. Murphy can continue to prove himself to them in the weeks ahead. As for Bryan and Rollins, that’s the match I want to see on a pay-per-view and a long term rivalry. Hopefully this was a sign of things to come although I can see WWE going to Rollins vs. Murphy in the short term due to the history they have together. I know Seth’s fiancée Becky Lynch is due to have their baby in December, so maybe Rollins will get a break for a month or two after that. I don’t know if he will. I’m just saying it’s something to keep in mind.

Seth Rollins past catches up to him on SmackDown: SmackDown, Oct. 16, 2020

There was a video of Fox NFL Insider Jay Glazer talking about how Fox executives are happy about keeping Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan and Sasha Banks while noting that Bianca Belair is the future. Glazer said that Braun Strowman wants to take the Universal Title to Raw, but they can’t let that happen.

Analysis: Jay is good on TV. I liked the inclusion of the Fox guys on the show.

The Street Profits made their entrance for a title defense. They had their red solo cups with them as usual. They are still red even though they are on the blue show. They did a pre-tape promo as well. That match is after a break.

(Commercial)

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode did not get a televised entrance. They were already in the ring. Ric Flair was on the ThunderDome screen.

Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) vs. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler

Dawkins with a dropkick on Ziggler, but then he missed a corner charge when Ziggler moved and Roode tagged in with a suplex. Roode with a front suplex, Ziggler tagged in and Roode lifted his partner into a huge Fameasser by Ziggler on Dawkins for a two count. Ziggler and Roode kept attacking Ford repeatedly, so the referee Jessika Carr called for the DQ finish. This only went two minutes.

Winners by disqualification: The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Analysis: * A quick match that meant nothing with a lame DQ finish. I say lame because WWE doesn’t do finishes like that very often. It makes veteran wrestlers like Roode and Ziggler look inexperienced because they lost a match in a manner that is uncommon. Anyway, at least it’s a good thing Street Profits are still the champions.

After the match, Ziggler and Roode tossed Ford over the top to the floor. Dawkins was attacked by both heels as Roode hit a spinebuster into a Zig Zag as a double team move. That was cool. Ford hit a frog splash cross body block on both heels to knock them out of the ring. Street Profits stood tall. Incredible height by Ford on that jump off the top.

Analysis: This should lead to a title rematch perhaps at Hell in a Cell. Even though Roode/Ziggler lost, they’ll probably get another shot because we know WWE loves booking rematches.

Highlights were shown of last week when Bayley got disqualified intentionally against Banks. That would set up their Hell in a Cell match.

Sasha Banks entered first for the contract signing. She was rocking a red outfit in heels with the outfit covering her body head to toe. Cole noted that Banks has been in two Hell in a Cell matches in her career. He did not mention they were both losses. Banks got some pyro as she posed on the apron.

(Commercial)

The end of Bayley’s entrance was shown.

Contract Signing Between Bayley and Sasha Banks

The women were seated in the ring with WWE Official Adam Pearce moderating it. Pearce told them they had to sign the contract to make the Hell in a Cell match official. Banks signed the contract first.

Bayley did a promo saying she wanted to get this over with. Bayley bragged about how dominant she has been all by herself. Banks got mad at her saying “by herself” and Bayley said that Banks was waiting to turn on Bayley all this time, but Bayley beat her to the punch. Banks said if she wanted to turn on Bayley, she would have done it years ago. Banks said when Bayley got left behind at NXT, Banks called and brought Bayley in to be her partner. Banks said she helped Bayley win her first Raw Women’s Championship. Banks mentioned the Women’s Tag Team Titles and Bayley’s run as champion for over 370 days. Banks said she helped Bayley every single time. Banks said that Bayley tried to end her career, so Banks said at Hell in a Cell, she will end Bayley. Banks said that her name is bigger than that title. Banks said when she wins that championship it will be the icing on the cake.

Banks stood up to face Bayley. Bayley left the ring without signing the contract. Banks said in Hell in a Cell, there is nowhere to run. Banks said that Bayley will sign this contract one way or another. They stared at eachother to end it. The announcers tried to make a big deal out of Bayley not signing the contract.

Analysis: I liked the promo by Banks talking about their history together. It was exactly what it should be. Everything Banks said was true because Bayley was her partner, Banks did help her in the past and they were champions together. Bayley did the heel thing by saying she turned on Banks before Banks could turn on her, but Banks came across well as a face that said she wasn’t going to turn on her friend. It’s been built up really well, so I have a lot of confidence that their matches are going to deliver in the ring as well.

Braun Strowman was shown getting ready for his Universal Championship match up next.

(Commercial)

There were clips from some people like Ken Jeong, Joel McHale and the NFL’s George Kittle congratulating Smackdown on the Season Premiere. Kittle plays for the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers, who will lose to my Los Angeles Rams on Sunday. George is a great player and I have him on multiple fantasy football teams. I can see George wrestling in WWE after he retires because he’s a huge wrestling fan.

Braun Strowman made his entrance for the main event. Strowman was wrestling in a shirt and he had some gloves on. Strowman was drafted to Raw, so if he wins then he’ll take the title to Raw with him.

Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion that’s known as The Tribal Chief, was joined by Paul Heyman, who does a terrific job of staring at the Universal Title when Reigns held it up in the air. The wrestlers stood in the ring as ring announcer Greg Hamilton introduced them. Jey Uso was shown looking on at a TV backstage. The match begins after another break.

(Commercial)

There was a plug for the Big Noon Kickoff show with host Rob Stone mocking the Stanford Cardinal’s tree saying it’s not an official mascot. Steve Austin is a guest on their show.

Mark Henry and Rob Stone of Fox were watching on the ThunderDome. It was mentioned on Twitter that Goldberg is watching too. Yawn. I really don’t need to see more Goldberg wrestling even though I know he has a deal for two matches per year, so WWE might get him to put over Reigns early next year.

Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman

Reigns and Strowman locked up, Reigns used the momentum to send Strowman to the floor and a Superman Punch by Reigns knocked Strowman off the apron to the floor. Reigns with a Drive By dropkick on Strowman on the apron. Strowman did a power kickout. Strowman ran right into an uppercut punch and a boot to the face. Strowman did another power kickout that sent Reigns out of the ring. Strowman charged, Reigns pulled down the top rope and Strowman bumped over the top to the floor. Reigns with a whip into the steel steps, then back in to break the referee’s count and Reigns sent Strowman onto the top of the announce table. Strowman with a knee to the ribs. Reigns went for an attack, Strowman caught him and Strowman tossed Reigns over the announce table. Strowman went back into the ring, Reigns back up, Strowman back out of the ring and Strowman hit a running shoulder tackle to send Reigns over the barricade. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Strowman tossing Reigns across the ring. The announcers mentioned Goldberg was watching the match on the ThunderDome. Strowman hit a forearm to the chest of Reigns to remain in control. There was also Keith Lee beside Goldberg, but the announcers didn’t mention Lee. Strowman charged, Reigns moved and Strowman went shoulder first into the ring post. Strowman does that bump all the time. Strowman bounced back from that, picked up Reigns on the shoulder and hit a spinning slam. Strowman with a Chokeslam for a two count with Reigns doing the low blow kickout like he did against Jey Uso at Clash of Champions. The replay showed it was an intentional low blow by Reigns that the referee never saw because he was on the other side. Reigns hit a Spear and Strowman kicked out at two with Reigns looking shocked about it. Reigns set up in the turnbuckle again, he charged and Strowman caught him, but Reigns slipped out of that. Reigns slapped on a guillotine choke on, Strowman tried to fight it, but then Strowman faded and Reigns choked him out. Reigns won by submission after 11 minutes.

Winner by submission: Roman Reigns

Analysis: *** This was pretty good with a different ending for a Reigns match since he won by submission with a guillotine choke. It was obvious that Strowman had no chance of winning because we know Reigns has a long title reign ahead of him. I liked the way the match was structured and the big moves were emphasized. By having Reigns win with a move like a guillotine choke, it adds another dimension to his game and a layer to his character, especially as this heel persona. It’s smart to add a submission move to the arsenal, so to speak. Strowman heads off to Raw coming off a loss here, but Strowman isn’t a guy that is hurt by losses that much. He should bounce back fine.

Post match, Jey Uso made his entrance to confront cousin Roman Reigns. Jey was on the top of the ramp. Strowman slowly got back up and Reigns hit another Spear on Strowman. Reigns signaled for Jey to come down to the ring. Jey slowly made his way down toward the ring with Heyman handing Reigns a steel chair.

Reigns told Jey this is how they eat and if he’s not at the top, they don’t eat. Reigns told Jey this is you at Hell in a Cell and if Reigns can do this to Strowman, imagine what he can do to Jey. Reigns hit Strowman with some hard chair shots to the back to knock him down. There were referees that showed up to try to stop Reigns, but Reigns scared them out of the ring. Reigns hit Strowman in the back with several more chair shots. Jey got into the ring with Reigns.

Reigns said that he would never hurt Jey, but he wants him to understand. Reigns told Jey that he loves him, but it makes no sense to him that Jey wants to try to take his place. Reigns kicked the chair to Jey and told him to swing the chair at Strowman, who was still down in the ring. Reigns even turned his back to Jey, who slammed the chair down. Reigns smiled about it. Jey punched Reigns in the jaw and then Jey hit Roman with a superkick. Jey to Roman: “I love you too!” Jey hit Reigns twice in the back with a steel chair. Referees showed up to break it up. Reigns got back up and decked Jey with a Superman Punch with Jey selling it like it rocked him. Reigns said something about how that was Jey’s last chance and now Roman has to turn his back on Jey. Reigns walked out of the ring slowly with the Universal Title on his shoulder. End show.

Analysis: That was awesome as usual for their segments. This didn’t make Strowman look good because he lost the match, plus took a post match beating, but with Strowman headed to Raw, WWE is likely going to assume that people forget that it happened. This is about Roman with Jey with Roman offering his cousin a chance to work with him, Jey refused that and that superkick was really good. I liked the two chair shots by Jey, then referees broke it up right away and Reigns came back with a Superman Punch. Jey sold that so well! I love Jey’s selling. That adds so much to the story and puts over the Superman Punch as a huge move. Reigns didn’t really sell the chair shots from Jey, which is not good to see, but I assume that was done that way because they were running short on time and they had to finish it up. Anyway, the final words from Reigns that it was Jey’s last chance tells us that it’s going to be an intense battle inside Hell in a Cell with Reigns likely dominating to win the match against cousin Jey. I’m looking forward to the story they tell because this evolution of Reigns as a heel character has been very interesting to watch.

Roman Reigns vs. Braun Strowman – Universal Championship Match: SmackDown, Oct. 16, 2020

Here’s an extra Youtube video talking to the New Day guys backstage.

The New Day share emotional moment after SmackDown farewell: SmackDown Exclusive, Oct. 16, 2020

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The New Day
  2. Roman Reigns
  3. Braun Strowman

 

The Scoreboard

7 out of 10

Last week: 7.5

2020 Average: 6.42

 

Final Thoughts

This was a good show overall with the New Day’s “final” six-man tag team match as the best match of the night. Fun stuff with them against Cesaro, Sheamus and Nakamura, who are familiar opponents. I liked the Roman Reigns win over Braun Strowman because it was a hard-hitting, competitive match and a unique ending with Reigns winning by submission. You don’t see Reigns winning like that usually, but it’s another example of Roman changing things up. The drama between Roman/Jey Uso continued too. It’s easy to be invested in that storyline. It’s working very well. Every Raw guy that was in a match did the job like Jeff Hardy (to Lars Sullivan), Strowman and Sheamus as mentioned. If you’re moving on, then you might as well lose, right? Makes sense.

I’m glad that Daniel Bryan is back with a tease of a feud with Seth Rollins coming soon. Rollins still has to deal with Murphy and the Mysterio boys as well. Seth is going to have a lot of enemies. They also seem to be going with Sami Zayn vs. Otis as a rivalry as we got a taste of that in a backstage segment.

I think other stuff on Smackdown was okay. It was disappointing to see no time for a women’s match although we got the Banks/Bayley contract signing segment with Bayley refusing to sign. The SD Tag Team Title match was rushed big time, so it was tough to really get into that.

Even though it’s not a perfect show by any means, Smackdown is an easy show to watch with the two hours flying by fast. I’ve given a score of 7 out of 10 or up for four straight weeks. That’s an above average score. Keep the momentum going, Smackdown.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Hell in a Cell on Sunday, October 25. Here’s what we know so far.

WWE Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Randy Orton

WWE Universal Championship Hell in a Cell “I Quit” Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Jey Uso

Smackdown Women’s Championship Hell in a Cell Match: Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks

There’s only one more Raw and Smackdown before Hell in a Cell, so we should learn about more matches next week.

Thanks for reading. Go Los Angeles Rams. My contact info is below.

John Canton

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