KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
OCTOBER 18, 2019
INDIANAPOLIS, IND. AT THE BANKERS LIFE FIELDHOUSE
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Arena, Additional Roster Moves, News, and Items Advertised by WWE
WWE Smackdown returns to the Bankers Life Fieldhouse as we now roll into the next era, if you will, of the roster split as the draft is now complete. The arena opened in 1999 and is the home of the NBA’s Indiana Pacers. It has hosted many WWE events as well as WCW towards the end of their existence. Smackdown emanated from here earlier in the year in March during the “road to WrestleMania.”
There were additional picks made once the draft concluded this past Monday on Raw. Here are those results according to “The Bump” on WWE.com:
- No Way Jose (and his conga line?)
- Mojo Rawley (I’m not sure about his mirror)
- Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins
- The IIconics (Peyton Royce & Billie Kay)
- Sarah Logan
- Luke Harper
- Drake Maverick (hopefully he can consummate his marriage now)
- Fire & Desire (Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose)
- Dana Brooke
It was also announced on FS1’s WWE Backstage show on Tuesday by Triple H that Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross were traded to Smackdown. Here is that announcement as well as Nikki and Alexa’s reactions:
— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) October 16, 2019
As was previously reported here at PWTorch, Bruce Prichard has replaced Eric Bischoff as Executive Director of Smackdown. He will report directly to WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. Prichard had been a longtime member of the WWE creative team before leaving in 2008. He returned earlier this year. Bischoff was hired for the position over the summer when Paul Heyman was named for the same position on Raw. He had kind words on Twitter:
Bruce is a great producer, good friend and I am certain he is going to thrive in his position. He’s going to be working with a great team of the most dedicated and hard working people I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know. https://t.co/aMKk8d3Rx7
— Eric Bischoff (@EBischoff) October 15, 2019
We head towards the Crown Jewel event taking place in Saudi Arabia in less than two weeks. Here is what’s advertised for the show thus far:
- Roman Reigns ready to take the Intercontinental title from Shinsuke Nakamura
- Bayley joins “Miz TV” in the wake of reclaiming the Smackdown Women’s Championship in brash fashion
- Smackdown Women’s Championship opportunity on the line in Six-Pack Challenge Match
- The New Day team up with Heavy Machinery against the Revival and Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Matches & Segments
Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn, champion) vs. Roman Reigns (challenger)
About a year and a half ago at WrestleMania in New Orelans, A.J. Styles was the WWE Champion while Brock Lesnar was the Universal Champion. Their challengers were Shinsuke Nakamura and Roman Reigns, respectively. Nakamura won the Royal Rumble that year to earn a championship match of his choosing, and ironically the final man eliminated was Roman Reigns.
Their paths haven’t crossed since and they’ve had their own levels of success. Nakamura has had multiple Intercontinental and U.S. Championship runs while Reigns had a run as Universal Champion. Of course, that run was cut short when he surrendered the title last year around this year as a result of leukemia.
Reigns has long since returned. WWE announced that he will be granted an Intercontinental Championship match tonight against Nakamura, whom will have Sami Zayn in his corner. Sami started a little trash talk on Twitter as he was unhappy about he and Nakamura being drafted in the third round. Reigns responded and Nakamura chimed in:
Nakamura-san & I were eligible to be drafted together & got picked in the 3rd round by #Smackdown.
Imagine being able to get a generation-defining performer AND the Intercontinental Champion together in one pick & still deciding to pick The Big D Roman Reigns first. Unreal. – SZ
— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) October 17, 2019
— Shinsuke Nakamura (@ShinsukeN) October 17, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: I’m old school, so I’d prefer a build to a match like this. These two have never faced one-on-one, and thus some promos and build-up would have been nice. It seems like social media is the platform for that these days. With that said, it’s an interesting and fresh match. It wouldn’t surprise me now that rosters are set that Reigns wins the title. Nakamura has had the title for a while and could chase Reigns if they want to do a longer-term feud.
Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley on MizTV
Last week, Bayley regained the Smackdown Women’s Championship from Charlotte Flair for the second time this year. It was actually the third time overall Bayley has taken a title from Charlotte as she won the Raw title from her back in 2017 shortly after her call-up from NXT. This was no ordinary Bayley though, as she destroyed the Bayley buddies on the way to the ring. After the match, she got on the mic and said, “hey bitches, screw you!” She wasn’t done there, as she did this WWE exclusive with Cathy Kelly:
Tonight, Bayley joins the Miz for an episode of MizTV in the wake of her title win.
Frank’s Analysis: This a great character change for Bayley. I wonder if she’s totally into it, as I can’t help but think deep down inside, she’s still the fun-loving Bayley we saw in NXT and in her initial call-up. If she goes all in on this side of her, it will work. Now they just need the opponents for her. Unfortunately, in the wake of the draft, they’re not there unless Sasha Banks turns babyface again.
Eight-Man Tag Match: New Day (Xavier Woods & Big E) and Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker) vs. Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode and Smackdown Tag Team Champions the Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder)
This past Monday, WWE announced a World Cup tag team turmoil match for Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia to determine the best tag team in the world (🙄). It’s going to involve the teams listed above plus the B-Team, the O.C., new Raw Tag Team Champions the Viking Raiders, Lucha House Party, and Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins. In advance of that, there will be an eight-man tag match with New Day teaming up with Heavy Machinery taking on Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode and Smackdown tag champs the Revival.
Frank’s Analysis: I don’t have much to say about this as it’s just showcasing the top teams on Smackdown in the wake of the draft. They may actually be the only teams on Smackdown? They’ll try to add some juice to the turmoil match coming up in Saudi Arabia.
Six-Pack Challenge for Smackdown Women’s Championship Match:
In the wake of the draft, WWE will have a six-pack challenge match tonight to determine who will face Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. This will include Nikki Cross, Carmella, Dana Brooke (signed after the draft), Lacey Evans, Sonya Deville, and Mandy Rose. Here’s some Twitter chatter from Dana Brooke, who was enthusiastic after “signing” with Smackdown as well as:
Done living in the shadows. I apologize now for the damage I’m gonna do to your faces. https://t.co/EaelCe7bX7
— Daria Berenato (@SonyaDevilleWWE) October 17, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: It will be interesting to see who emerges as a top babyface out of this group. I could see someone like Dana Brooke winning, which would give Bayley a safe win to start her run with her new character. Carmella is possible too, as they have history of being friends and can play off of that. I’m not strong in either of those predictions.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt interrupted the Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns match, with the angle continuing on Raw with Rollins burning down the Firefly Fun House.
- King Corbin defeated Shorty Gable.
- New Day defeated the O.C.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!