SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
OCTOBER 23, 2020
ORLANDO, FL. AT THE THUNDERDOME IN THE AMWAY CENTER
AIRS ON FS1 NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves
Show Airing on FS1
Smackdown tonight will air on FS1 because of Fox airing game three of the World Series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The show returns to Fox next week.
Top Three Developments from Last Week
- New Day (Big E and Raw Tag Team Champions Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) defeated Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura and Sheamus in their final match on Smackdown. Kofi & Woods are now with obviously with Raw as the tag champs while Big E remains on Smackdown. They gave an emotional address prior to the match talking about how the New Day concept came about and how they became true best friends through the years. They embraced following their victory. Here they are in a WWE exclusive:
- Daniel Bryan returned to WWE television and made his first Thunderdome appearance. He checked off several wrestlers on Smackdown he’d loved to face but left off Seth Rollins, which brought him out to the ring. Seth told Bryan he was either with him or against him for the greater good, which led to them going at it, which led to Rey & Dominik Mysterio coming to the ring. Bryan left the ring, but then Murphy came out. He teased joining Seth against the Mysterios but attacked him instead. After Seth left the ring, Murphy offered an olive branch handshake to the Mysterios, but they didn’t bite. Here’s Rey and Dominik in a WWE exclusive:
- Sasha Banks signed the contract for her Hell in a Cell match against Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley, her former best friend. Bayley walked out before signing, raising doubt as to whether she’ll participate in the match.
Items Advertised by WWE
WWE is light in their preview for tonight. It makes me wonder if they are sort of “phoning in” the show because they think everyone will be watching the World Series on Fox. A lot of people may not have FS1 too, so the audience could potentially be smaller. Either way it is the go-home show for Hell in a Cell, so here’s what they do have advertised thus far:
- Roman Reigns to reveal consequences for Sunday’s Universal Title Hell in a Cell “I Quit” Match with Jey Uso.
- Law & Otis comes to Smackdown tonight
Roman Reigns Reveals Consequences for Jey Uso
Roman Reigns will defend the Universal Championship against his cousin Jey Uso this Sunday in the first ever “I Quit” Hell in a Cell match. Roman has been trying to get Jey to acknowledge that he’s the “tribal chief,” but he’s refused. Last week, Roman retained the championship against long-time rival Braun Strowman, and beat him down after the match with Jey looking on. Jey slapped and superkicked Roman and hit him with a chair before Roman returned the favor with his signature Superman Punch. He left the ring with his music playing.
Tonight, Roman will reveal the “consequences” Jey will face in the upcoming championship match. The WWE Network’s Twitter account decided to troll Jey highlighting his father, Rikishi, getting thrown off the top of a Hell in a Cell cage back at Armageddon 2000:
Oh y’all funny huh https://t.co/cW7R8kd3Uq
— The Usos (@WWEUsos) October 21, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: This feud continues to be compelling not just regarding what will happen this Sunday, but what will happen going forward. There’s something to this trying to get Jey to admit Roman is the tribal chief. Let’s not forget undrafted Jimmy Uso is still out there and could factor into the happenings. I wonder if he steps in and acknowledges Roman for Jey to try and get him to have mercy.
Otis and the Money in the Bank Contract Lawsuit
Mr. Money in the Bank Otis continues to be plagued by a lawsuit filed by the Miz, seeking to gain control of the Money in the Bank contract. Last week, he shoved down Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn after he taunted him about the pending lawsuit. The Miz is now on Raw, and a continuance was filed by Miz’s attorney. This past Monday on Raw, Otis appeared as El Gran Gordo and teamed with his former Heavy Machinery partner Tucker and took on Miz and John Morrison. Before the match, Miz emphatically made his case as to why he should have the Money in the Bank contract.
Tonight, Otis has a date in court and will represent himself as he tries to hang on to the contract he won back in May.
Frank’s Analysis: Am I a bad person if I want to see Miz win this lawsuit and be the new Mr. Money in the Bank?
Bayley and the Contract for the Hell in a Cell Smackdown Women’s Championship
This isn’t advertised in the preview but is an important issue following what happened on last week’s show.
I talked about Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley not signing the contract for the Hell in a Cell match with her former best friend Sasha Banks. To expand on the signing, Sasha said she had been waiting for this moment for a long time.” Bayley said she had as well to get past her and wants to continue to prove she’s the best women’s champion of all time. She said she’s done it all by herself and beat Sasha to the punch regarding turning on each other. Sasha said friends don’t turn their backs on each other, and she is going to end Bayley’s title reign. Bayley said she didn’t have to sign anything and walked out, to which Sasha called her a coward and said there’d be no place to run at Hell in a Cell.
The match is advertised in WWE’s Hell in a Cell preview, so we’ll see tonight how they navigate to it with Bayley not signing last week. She pushed the narrative of not partaking in the match with this tweet:
I’m free Sunday if Ryan wants a fight. https://t.co/eQ5KN9mPGH
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) October 22, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: Maybe I’ve watched wrestling too long, but Bayley not signing the contract annoys me more than intrigues me because we know they’re going to have the match. I do understand though why they set it up this way as the idea is to get people to watch Smackdown to find out how they get her to sign or how they make the match happen. I guess when you’ve “seen it all” you get immune to the little tricks they try to pull to create a story, intrigue, doubt or whatever you want to call it. The story is still a misfire for me because Sasha is more upset that they’re not friends anymore. If they’re trying to make Sasha a babyface, shouldn’t she want to rid herself of Bayley and do things the right way? I like Sasha and all, but she hasn’t given me a reason to cheer for her.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- A vignette aired for Bianca Belair. Look for another tonight and perhaps and in-ring debut (Smackdown debut anyway) after Hell in a Cell.
- Smackdown Tag Team Champions the Street Profits retained their titles over Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode despite losing the match via DQ. Here they are in WWE exclusive:
With two major stories on which to focus, I’m not worried about what they do with the rest of the show. The Roman-Jey program is the best program WWE has done in quite some time and I’m looking forward to seeing it play out. I’m down on the Sasha-Bayley story, but still looking forward to the outcome (while dreading it at the same time). With the show on FS1 and the World Series going on, they’ll likely focus on the major stuff and not have too noteworthy of an episode, despite it being the go-home for Hell in a Cell.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!