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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
OCTOBER 8, 2021
SAN JOSE, CA AT THE SAP CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee
-The show opened with Bianca Belair entering the ring. Becky Lynch was seated with her feet up on a table at the bottom of the ramp. Sasha Banks was dancing on the announce table. Adam Pearce stood mid-ring with Sonya Deville and welcomed everyone to the season premier of Smackdown. Pearce threw to a graphic of the triple threat match for the Women’s Championship at Crown Jewel. Sonya Deville then introduced Bianca Belair and Cole threw to a video package of last week’s happenings on Smackdown. Deville introduced Banks, then Cole threw to a package recapping last Monday’s Raw. Finally, Deville announced Lynch. Lynch had a new CGI of her face, wearing sunglasses that said Big Time Becks. Lynch took the mic and greeted the crowd. Lynch said “Esther” must feel bad about herself on a losing streak. Lynch called Banks a disco ball looking fool. Banks asked Lynch if she missed her, because she knows the fans did. The crowd popped. Belair said the only conversation we should have is about the contract. Belair said Lynch wasn’t prepared at Summerslam, she was lucky. Belair said she’s the common denominator to the whole situation. She was in every big moment in the last year, and that’s why both women are targeting her. Belair threw down the mic and shouted at Lynch. Belair threw her chair in Lynch’s direction. Lynch then threw her table out of the way, and Banks attacked Belair from behind. Lynch entered the ring and Banks stomped on her in the corner. Lynch recovered and took out Banks before Belair recovered. Belair hit Lynch from behind and picked up both Lynch and Banks for a K.O.D. Banks escaped, but Belair knocked her onto the table. Belair then K.O.D’ed Lynch threw Banks, threw the table. Belair twirled the hair and posed over them.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, I didn’t expect that to open the show, but I really like how they did that. Having the women in three different spots before having them converge was a cool twist and made the beginning of this contract signing feel different. I don’t really care for the contract signings, but at least this was short and to the point. Lynch had her typical good one-liners, Banks came off as a star while doing very little, and Belair looked super strong. Too early to tell who’s going to win this one, especially with the confusion of the titles after the draft. Smart money is on Lynch, but with the title problem, it could be Banks.)
-Dominik and Rey Mysterio were in the back with Kayla Braxton. Rey talked up King of the Ring and said it would make him sick if Sami Zayn became King of the Ring. Cole said Dominik told Rey he was going to stay in the back.
-Rey Mysterio made his entrance to a decent pop. He walked past the new futuristic looking thrones on the entranceway. They showed a graphic for Mysterio vs. Zayn, next. [c]
-Back from break, Rey was in the ring with Dominik in the back. Zayn walked up to Dominik and told him it’s time for him to be his own man. Zayn said he thinks Dominik is better than his father. Zayn than walked out and made his entrance. Cole threw to the brackets, and announced the finals would be at Crown Jewel.
(McDonald’s Analysis: What kind of bracket is that? Xavier Woods vs. Ricochet? Kofi vs. Jinder? I hope Zayn wins, I guess.)
(1) REY MYSTERIO vs. SAMI ZAYN – King of the Ring First Round Match
Zayn went for a Helluva Kick right away but Rey moved. Rey went for a hurricanrana but Zayn reversed into a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. Zayn picked Mysterio up and whipped him off the ropes. Mysterio hit a hurricanrana and had Zayn in 619 position. Zayn moved to the floor, but Rey jumped over the top and hit another hurricanrana into the steps. Rey stayed on Zayn and hit him with punches in the corner. Zayn recovered and threw Rey across the ring into the post, head first. Dominik walked down the ramp as they cut to break. [c]
Zayn pounded on Rey in the corner back from break. Rey fought back and battled out of the corner. Zayn recovered and hit an exploder suplex. Zayn went for a Helluva Kick but Rey reversed into a hurricanrana. Zayn went to the top rope and Rey reversed, punched Zayn, then hit a frankensteiner for a near fall. Rey went for a springboard splash, but Zayn moved. Zayn went for a Blue Thunder Bomb, but Rey escaped. Rey went for a 619, but Zayn moved, then hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall. Zayn took the covering off the turnbuckle. Zayn set Rey up on the opposite turnbuckle. Dominik grabbed the turnbuckle cover and went to put it back on. Meanwhile, Rey hit a senton. Rey ran over and yelled at Dominik, Zayn threw Rey into Dominik and rolled up Rey for the win.
WINNER: SAMI ZAYN in 8:00 to advance to round 2 of the King of the Ring Tournament
(McDonald’s Analysis: Solid match with good action. The result was the right one. Rey and Dominik have to break up soon. They’re stretching this out too long. With that said, I’m glad Rey got a taste of his own medicine.)
-Zayn went to the top of the ramp put on the crown and cape and sat in the throne. In the back, Kayla was getting ready to interview Seth Rollins. [c]
-Back from break, there was a Hit Row vignette. Cole called them the steal of the draft. They threw to a graphic of the new Smackdown roster. McAfee called it stacked. Cole then threw to a video package recapping the Edge-Rollins feud. The bulk of the recap was Rollins in Edge’s house last week. After the video, Rollins was in the back with Kayla. Kayla asked Rollins if he crossed the line. Rollins said he was embarrassed up to and after Summerslam. He said after all that he beat Edge at Madison Square Garden in a sanctioned match with a legal move. He said he’s come out week after week to challenge Edge to find out who the better man was. Rollins said he did what he said he was going to do, so he went to Edge’s house to get an answer to his challenge. He said he still doesn’t have an answer. Rollins then said he doesn’t know why he’s talking to Kayla about it, because she doesn’t have any power. He said he’s going to look for someone with power to do something about it.
-Zelina Vega made her entrance. They showed a pre-taped interview with her. She explained why she will win the tournament. Cole said this will be a first round match in the Queen’s Crown Tournament. Cole said we will crown a Queen for the first time in history. He announced Vega’s opponent as Toni Storm, next. [c]
-Back from break, Vega danced in the ring. Toni Storm’s music hit and she made her entrance to zero reaction. They showed a pre-taped interview of her as well. She mentioned Joan Jett and Madonna. She said she’ll be named the Queen of Rock. Cole then threw to a graphic of the Queen’s Crown Bracket.
(2) ZELINA VEGA vs. TONI STORM – Queen’s Crown First Round Match
Storm took Vega down right away. Vega screamed and hit a Lou Thesz press then got a near fall. Cole said both of these women will be joining Raw. Vega had a variation of the dragon sleeper on Storm. Vega taunted then Storm fought back. Storm went to the top rope, but Vega hit the ropes and crotched her. Vega pulled Storm off the top and went for a back-slide. Storm fought back, then Vega hit a sunset bomb for the win.
WINNER: ZELINA VEGA in 2:00 to advance to Round 2 in the Queen’s Crown Tournament
(McDonald’s Analysis: Well, this bracket is worse than the men’s one. Nothing to see here, Baszler is clearly going to win. I can’t believe Storm lost like that. I guess WWE lost any and all faith in her already. I don’t know why they called her up if they are going to treat her this way. I assume this is to set up Vega and Carmella in the second round. This match was just there. Waste of time.)
-Cole threw to a recap of Roman Reigns as the first pick in the draft. Roman Reigns’ music hit and he made his entrance to a huge pop. Reigns was flanked by the Usos and Paul Heyman. McAfee called Reigns the greatest of all time. Cole said they survived the draft and the Bloodline is still intact. McAfee called Reigns the greatest champion in WWE history. Cole said only one other man has held the Universal Championship longer than Reigns, Brock Lesnar. Cole said Reigns turns his attention to Lesnar at Crown Jewel and we hear from Reigns, next. [c]
-Back from break, Reigns and the Usos posed with the titles as pyro went off. They showed the graphic for Reigns and Lesnar at Crown Jewel. Reigns stood mid-ring with the mic. He asked San Jose to acknowledge him. He was met with a mixed reaction. Reigns said Heyman had one job before tonight, to make sure the Usos were drafted to Smackdown. Reigns said Heyman did it. Reigns asked San Jose to acknowledge Heyman. The crowd booed. There was a smattering of “you suck” chants. Reigns told Heyman he loved him. He said the Usos love him too. Reigns said Heyman is part of the family, he’s the wise man to the Bloodline. Reigns said he wants Heyman to be wise right now and come clean, tell the truth. The crowd chanted “suplex city”. Reigns said suplex city doesn’t exist, this is the island of relevancy. Reigns went back to Heyman. He said he wanted Heyman to admit he was responsible for Lesnar being a free agent. Heyman took the mic and said he was in a terrible situation. Heyman said he is loyal to Reigns, he’s been with the family for 40 years. Reigns took Heyman’s head and made him look at him. Heyman said Reigns chose him for a reason. Heyman said he’s been accused of many things, and he’s guilty of more, but he’s never been called stupid. He said betraying Reigns before Crown Jewel would be stupid. Heyman said Lesnar is lying, and you know because it would be stupid to make this move and let Reigns know in advance. Heyman said the conqueror will be conquered by Reigns at Crown Jewel. Reigns cut him off. Reigns said he doesn’t want Heyman to tell him, he wants him to look into the camera and tell Lesnar. Reigns said not to worry, he will protect Heyman, because he can. Heyman took the mic and looked into the camera. He said he has to give Lesnar credit. He said Lesnar knows what’s going to happen at Crown Jewel. He said Lesnar has met his match, and his matches name is Reigns. Heyman said Reigns will fight Lesnar as a Tribal Beast and Lesnar will learn one thing, the winner, will be Reigns. Heyman said, that’s not a prediction, Lesnar, that’s a spoiler, and you can believe that. Heyman threw the mic, got on his knees and handed Reigns the title. Reigns held the title high. McAfee said Heyman call sell anyone, anything, at any time, but that felt like it was from the soul.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Yep. That was awesome. Heyman was great here. I like how Reigns wanted Heyman to talk to Lesnar, instead of him. It makes sense. Heyman delivered the perfect promo for the situation and came off as both confident and subservient to Reigns, which is exactly what was needed. This story gets better every week. There’s still a chance Heyman is lying, but I don’t think that’s where this goes. On another note, Reigns comes off as such a HUGE star and a BIG deal around the other things on this show so far. The contrast is shocking.)
-Pearce and Deville were in the back and Rollins entered. He asked if Edge would be there tonight. Pearce said Edge was scheduled to be there before Rollins broke into his house. Rollins said he’s going to go to the ring at the end of the night, and it Edge doesn’t come out, it will be bad for Pearce and Deville. Rollins held up a photo of Edge and Beth Phoenix from Edge’s house. He asked Pearce and Deville to return it to Edge if they see him before he does.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I love the Edge and Rollins feud and I like that Rollins is being featured so much tonight. Him going to Raw was my least favorite part of the draft. The stolen picture is awesome.)
-Carmella made her entrance. Cole threw to a video package of Carmella’s mask from last week. Cole said Carmella and Liv Morgan is next. [c]
-Back from break, Liv Morgan was mid-entrance. She entered the ring and posed.
(3) CARMELLA vs. LIV MORGAN – Queen’s Crown First Round Match
Carmella ran out of the ring and put on her mask. Carmella hit a superkick and got the win.
WINNER: CARMELLA in 2:00 to advance to the 2nd round of the Queen’s Crown Tournament
(McDonald’s Analysis: My keyboard bugged out for a minute, so I didn’t get the full description here. Fortunately, this was a whole lot of nothing. I had high hopes for the Queen’s Crown Tournament. WWE has quickly shown me I was stupid for believing it would be more than this. Carmella or Vega in the finals? Really?)
-In the back, Kayla congratulated Carmella and welcomed new Smackdown draft pick, Mace. Mace said he’s not here to compete, because no one is competition. He said everyone is prey. Mace said he’s here to dominate.
-Happy Corbin made his entrance to boos. McAfee said this is the greatest show in sports entertainment, but unfortunately, Corbin is a part of it. He said Happy Talk sucks, Smackdown is awesome. Mad Cap Moss ran out behind Corbin. They showed a recap of Corbin introducing Mad Cap Moss last week. They showed a graphic for Happy Talk with the Street Profits as the guests, next. [c]
-Back from break, Cole hyped Fury vs. Wilder III. In the ring, Corbin said welcome to the talk show that has everyone grinning from ear to ear. Corbin said one of the people making him so happy is Mad Cap Moss. He gave Moss the mic. Moss told a terrible joke. Corbin laughed and Kevin Owens’ music hit. Owens made his entrance and Moss met him on the ramp. Owens took out Moss then hit the ring. He went for a Stunner on Corbin, but Moss attacked him. Corbin and Moss double-teamed Owens then laughed hysterically at the downed Owens.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Since Owens got drafted to Raw, I’d rather they just left him off TV for two weeks. Is he ever going to get revenge on Corbin? Or are they just going to job him out constantly until he leaves for AEW? Owens is one of the most egregious wastes of potential on the roster.)
-Pearce and Deville were shown in the back talking. Naomi interrupted and asked why she wasn’t in the tournament. Deville said she wasn’t worthy. Naomi asked Pearce to trade her to Raw. Deville said she’s not done with Naomi on Smackdown. Deville said Naomi has a match next week. Naomi asked who her opponent was. Deville said it was her. Naomi said it’s on and left the room.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Naomi and Deville? That sounds awesome. I’m actually really excited for this. Will Naomi just destroy Deville or non-finish? Also, does this mean that Deville is going to be an active wrestler again?)
-Finn Balor made his entrance to a good pop. They showed a graphic for Balor and Cesaro, next. [c]
-Back from break, Cesaro made his entrance. Cole recapped past King of the Ring winners.
(4) FINN BALOR vs. CESARO – King of the Ring First Round Match
Balor and Cesaro locked up mid-ring. The two traded arm bars than Balor got a headlock. Cesaro fought back with a headscissor. Balor went back to the headlock but Cesaro shot him off the ropes. Cesaro caught Balor with a backbreaker for a near fall. Cesaro whipped Balor hard into the corner for another near fall. Cesaro hit a leg drop, for yet another near fall. Cesaro hit Balor in the corner with uppercuts then whipped him off. Balor recovered and hit a standing double stomp. Balor backdropped Cesaro over the top to the floor. Balor set up for a dive over the top rope, but Cesaro recovered, slid into the ring and hit a big uppercut as they went to break. [c]
Back from break, Balor took over and took down Cesaro for a near fall. Balor stomped on Cesaro and played to the crowd. Cesaro recovered and hit a series of corner whips and uppercuts. Balor reversed the last one into a slingblade. Both men fought back to their feet. Balor hit a big kick from the apron and went to the top rope. Cesaro recovered and hit a big uppercut. Cesaro followed to the top rope and went for a superplex. Balor fought back, but Cesaro hit the superplex anyway. Cesaro got a near fall, then applied a crossface. Balor rolled to his back for a near fall and Cesaro broke the crossface. Cesaro hit another uppercut and went for the swing, but Balor rolled him up for a near fall. Cesaro went shoulder first into the post, then to the floor. Balor hit a suicide dive and rolled Cesaro back in. Balor hit a corner stomp, then the Coup de Gras for the win.
WINNER: FINN BALOR in 10:00 to advance to the 2nd round of the King of the Ring tournament
(McDonald’s Analysis: That was a great match. The face-face dynamic was strange, but the action was about as good as you’ll get for a 10 minute TV match on WWE TV right now. Balor advancing makes sense. Him and Zayn have worked the house shows together recently, so their match should be solid if given enough time. Unlike the Women’s Division, this isn’t as predictable. I honestly wouldn’t mind a Zayn win, but I think Balor is more likely to be in the finals. Perhaps against Woods?)
-Balor left the ring and Cole threw to a recap of the contract signing from earlier in the show. Lynch was in the back with Pearce and Deville. She said they need to put respect on her name. She said the other women didn’t earn their way into the match. Lynch said she gave the people the biggest match possible. Deville said they know how good she is, she needs to prove it to everyone and she needs to sign the contract. Lynch signed the contract and walked off.
-Seth Rollins made his entrance to a good response. McAfee said what’s going to happen next with the visionary? [c]
-They showed graphics for Smackdown on FS1 next week. Rollins was in the ring and he said he’s waited for a moment like this. He called out Edge. Nothing. Rollins said come on. He said not to keep the people waiting. Rollins said Edge can name the time, place, and stipulation. Rollins said they can have the match in Edge’s living room with his family cheering him on. Rollins asked what happened to Edge. Rollins laughed than said he remembered. Rollins said he ended that Edge with one stomp in Madison Square Garden. Rollins said if Edge isn’t going to show up, he’ll take it as an admission. He said it’s an admission that he is not Edge-lite and he is better than Edge in every way. The crowd booed. Rollins said he knows they’re disappointed. He said he’s also disappointed. Rollins said that Edge is disappointing his fans and more importantly, his family. McAfee wondered aloud if Edge was in the building. Rollins said he can’t imagine what it’s like for Edge’s little girls to know that Edge is no longer and inspiration. On the screen, Edge arrived in an SUV. His music hit in the arena and he was shown walking toward the ring on the screen. Edge appeared in the arena. Rollins rolled out and grabbed a chair. Edge met him in the ring with a spear. Edge threw Rollins around ringside. Edge choked Rollins with a headset, then grabbed a chair. He took the bar piece of the chair. Rollins fought away from Edge and ran up the ramp. Edge stood in mid-ring and stared at Rollins on the ramp. Edge took the mic and challenged Rollins to Hell in a Cell. Rollins looked stunned. Edge stared after Rollins. They showed a replay of Edge’s attack on Rollins moments ago. Rollins stared at Edge from the top of the stage as Edge laughed mid-ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Strong end to the show. It’s nice when they use Hell in a Cell for a real reason other than a time on the calendar. I wonder if this will be on Smackdown or at Crown Jewel. Good segment. Rollins is smarmy, Edge is focused. Good stuff.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a strange show following the draft. By not having the rosters switch over yet, everything feels in limbo. Other than the start of the tournaments, nothing newsworthy happened. Edge and Rollins is getting better and better and that was the focal point of the show, which was a good thing. Heyman and Reigns were outstanding as usual. Solid show, but nothing special.