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WWE Smackdown! - October 7, 2022
Live from Worcester, Massachusetts. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Wade Barrett. This is the "Season Premier" for whatever that's worth.
Everybody's newest lord and savior, Papa Triple H, opens the show in front of an adoring crowd. He keeps it short, dramatically stating that when you think the end is near, it's actually the beginning.
WWE Universal/World Champion Roman Reigns and Bloodline come to the ring for their weekly chat. They've got nothing going on at Saturday's Extreme Rules show, and are here to continue building up Roman's showdown with Logan Paul at Crown Jewel. Paul shows up for a confrontation, even though Bloodline has him seriously outnumbered. Roman offers him a friendly chat while the fans chant "Logan sucks." Roman says the fans did the same thing to him before he was the Greatest Of All Time. Paul Heyman wonders outloud who this pseudo-celebrity is that's about to get smashed by Reigns. Logan speculates that maybe Jey Uso is the true Tribal Chief in the group, which earns an animated response from the Usos. Roman takes the bait and stares a hole through Jey, so Sami Zayn awkwardly steps in to play peacemaker. Sami manages to unite the group against Logan and earn his keep for the night.
Solo Sikoa vs. Ricochet
Solo meets Ricochet with a body avalanche. Ricochet manages a tope suicida, followed by a Lionsault for 2. Springboard dropkick by Ricochet, and he fakes a dive to gain a mental advantage. Solo pauses for a tantrum but then snaps Ricochet's neck on the ropes. Sikoa punches Ricochet out of the ring to send us to commercials. They return with Ricochet making a "miraculous" comeback, per Michael Cole. Solo reveres a SSP into a spinning uranage and wins at 8:48. Formulaic match with a cool finish, **½.
Winner: Solo Sikoa
The Bloodline are watching backstage. Sami Zayn gushes over how great Solo has been for the group and calls Jey Uso a hothead. Jey becomes irate, but Roman agrees with Sami.
Hit Row step off their tour bus and will be doing something after the commercials. Let us pray it isn't another musical performance.
The New Day visit the Usos and Sami Zayn to try and shame them for their current roles as henchmen. Sami orders them to find a partner and they'll settle it in the ring. Wow, a New Day vs. Usos feud, that's a fresh concept for a Season Premier!
Hit Row (Top Dolla and Ashante "thee" Adonis, with B-Fab) are here to wrestle, but they get jumped by a trio of men in lucha masks. B-Fab doesn't see Zelina Vega snea in for a rana. The men unmask to introduce themselves as Legado Del Fantasma.
Sonya Deville and Xia Li vs. Shotzi Blackheart and Raquel Rodriguez
Shotzi immediately lets herself get distracted and Sonya beats her up. Li throws a suplex, Shotzi kicks out. Shotzi blocks a double suplex, but Deville boots her face for 2. Shotzi rolls nto a hot tag at the 1:35 mark, and Raquel runs wild. Raquel hits the Vader Drop corkscrew elbow and finishes Sonya with a chokeslam at 2:18. Perfectly digestible TV match, *.
Winners: Raquel Rodriguez and Shotzi Blackheart
The Bruisin' Brutes wish Sheamus luck against Gunther. He needs to win the IC title to complete his belt collection.
Video package for Ronda Rousey vs. Liv Morgan at tomorrow night's Extreme Rules event.
Karrion Kross (with Scarlett) comes to the ring to talk about the strap match with Drew McIntyre at Extreme Rules. Drew ambushes Kross during his overly theatrical entrance and beats him with a strap. Security gets involved, which allows Kross to gain the upper hand, knock Drew against the ring post, and give him a good whipping.
Viking Raiders video promo, besides a fake burning fire. We can't see anything, but it sure does sound like Sarah Logan is coming back to be their mouthpiece.
WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos and Sami Zayn vs. The New Day (Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston) and Braun Strowman
Braun heard there was a tag team he could beat up and took the call. The New Day sure are nice to team up with Braun after he assaulted them on Raw a few weeks ago. That's enough bitching from me, let's try to enjoy this for what it is. Sami squares off with Xavier, Kofi tags himself in for a lateral press for 2. Sami flees with a tag to an unprepared Jey Uso. The New Day dump out Jey for stereo dives. Back from commercials, Bloodline is working Kofi over in their corner. Sadly, Sami and Jey can't get along, and Kofi makes the hot tag to Braun, of all people. The crowd roars as Braun squashes Jimmy. Jey and Sami keep bickering and Braun sneaks up to pounce Sami over the announce table. Meanwhile, the New Day finish Jimmy with a tandem flying double stomp to win at 9:14. I didn't really like this, but the live crowd did, so we'll split the difference, **¼.
Winners: The New Day and Braun Strowman
Backstage, Maxxine is furious that someone has taken out the Maximum Male Models. Max Dupri doesn't care and rebrands himself as L.A. Knight
Gunther poses with his Imperium brothers. That's something human beings do backstage in WWE.
Gunther © (with Imperium) vs. Sheamus (with The Brawlin' Brutes)
They go straight into a brawl. Sheamus throws Gunther into the barricades and poses to signal a commercial break. They return with Sheamus hitting a flying clothesline. Gunther runs into a power slam, rolls away from a Brogue Kick, and smashes Sheamus into the ring post. Gunther takes over the match and locks on a tight rear naked choke. Sheamus breaks free and exchanges stiff blows with the champ. Gunther nails a German suplex to send us to more commercials. They return with Gunther controlling Sheamus' wrist for easy shots to the head. Sheamus pops the crowd by coming back with rapid elbow shots. Sheamus stops to catch his breath and show off his bloody chest to the camera. He clubs Gunther in the ropes and gets a standing ovation. Sheamus hits the Celtic Cross from the second rope but Gunther kicks out! Gunther blocks the Cloverleaf and nails a shotgun dropkick. Big powerbomb by Gunther only gets 2! Gunther hits a frog splash to the back of the neck, Sheamus kicks out! Irish Curse backbreaker by Sheamus and he stops over into the Cloverleaf! Gunther taps, but the ref waves it off for some reason. Imperium return to cheer Gunther on, but the Brawlin' Brutes attack before anything else can happen. Meanwhile, Gunther uses a shilelagh to block the Brogue Kick and steal the pinfall at 19:56. Well, we lost significant portions of this to commercial breaks, but whatever they did had the live crowd properly hooked and roaring. This was building to a huge conclusion, but just fell off the rails with the tap-out that wasn't a tap-out. Kind of a shameful waste of an incredible effort by the participants, ***.
Winner and still Intercontinental Champion: Gunther
Final Thoughts: I almost skipped this Smackdown, and in hindsight, I wish I had. Nothing here was worth going out of your way to watch, and didn't add any intrigue or heat to the Extreme Rules show, instead choosing to build up Crown Jewel and likely plant storyline seeds for Survivor Series. The streak of "Good Smackdowns" ends with a thud.
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