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WWE Smackdown! - October 14, 2022
Show opens with footage from the parking lot, where Karrion Kross and Scarlett
have just survived a car crash. Drew McIntyre valiantly rushes in for a heroic assault on Kross. Referees stop Drew from murdering Kross and haul him away. Someone better call 911!
Live from New Orleans, Louisiana. Our hosts are Michael Cole and Wade Barrett.
Bray Wyatt returns to Smackdown LATER!
The New Day come out to a nice pop. They are proud to be the longest reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history, it's a key part of their legacy, and they want it to stand forever. Meanwhile, the current champs, The Usos, are about 30 days away from breaking their record.
Sami Zayn gives Solo Sikoa a break to get ready for his fatal 4-way match later. He's about to ask Jey Uso to be in his corner, but he gets a phone call from Roman Reigns. Sami is able to sweet talk Roman, and passes the phone to Jey, whose face reveals he doesn't like what Roman has to say. This angle is great fun.
Kofi Kingston (with Xavier Woods) vs. Sami Zayn (with Jey Uso)
Kofi quickly clears the ring, so lets have some commercials at the 0:35 mark. They return with Sami enjoying the upper hand. Kofi counters with a mid-air dropkick. Kofi rallies until Sami botches an ambitious mid-air powerbomb. Sami pushes Kofi off the top rope, and Jey has to step out of the way to avoid getting hit. They return from MORE commercials with Kofi hitting the SOS for 2. Kofi follows with a diving somersault senton. Jey drops Xavier with a superkick, which lets Sami hit Kofi with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a hot nearfall. Kofi blocks the Helluva Kick and signals Trouble in Paradise, but has to stop to knock Jey off the apron. Sami looks for a quick rollup, Kofi reverses, but Jey kicks them over so Sami is on top to win at 15:32! Long-winded match that got devoured by commercial breaks. The finish keeps the Sami/Bloodline angle moving forward, but it's agitating when it comes after a 3 segment match that feels like it was designed to kill time, **¼
Winner: Sami Zayn
Raw's Rey Mysterio wants a word with Triple H. He's reached his breaking point while feuding with his son, Dominick. Rey looks Triple H in the eyes and quits WWE. Triple H pleads with Rey to give him 5 minutes to come up with another solution. Wouldn't want Mysterio showing up on Dynamite, right?
Shotzi hangs out with NXT's Roxanne Perez (formerly Rok-C of ROH), and introduces her to Raquel Rodriquez. Roxanne asks Raquel to be her partner, so Bayley and crew arrive to call her stupid for not asking Bayley instead. They'll make them pay in the ring.
Braun Strowman vs. James Maverick and Brian Thomas
I guess Braun is a Smackdown guy, because his entrance has blue graphics. Braun throws the jobbers into each other. Braun's onslaught is interrupted by Omos waltzing in through the crowd. Braun refocuses and powerbombs one jobber onto the other to win at 1:38. Nothing wrong with this squash.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Braun would like to fight Omos right now. MVP pipes in that Braun looks normal when standing next to Omos. MVP and Omos walk away while Braun makes faces at them.
Jey Uso gives Sami Zayn a sarcastic "you're welcome" for helping him win. Sami pleads that he won all by himself. Solo Sikoa won't take sides because he wasn't paying attention. Sami pumps up Solo's chances of winning the fatal 4-way later, and Solo seems eager to get some gold of his own.
Mansoor (with Maxxine and Mace) vs. LA Knight
Knight is smartly ditching the "Max Dupri" shtick and branching out on his own. The fans seem to like him already. Monsoor misses a cheap shot and takes a back body drop. Knight hits a clothesline to outside. Maxxine steps in to argue with her "brother" and Monsoor gets a cheap shot out of the deal. Inverted DDT by Mansoor gets 2. Knight escapes a chinlock and hits a flying shoulder tackle. He kicks Mace off of the apron and snapmares Mansoor to win at 3:03. Totally acceptable short TV match, *½.
Winner: LA Knight
Mansoor recovers in the arms of Mace while Knight grabs a mic to brag about his win. Knight turns heel on the fans, he doesn't need a bunch of incels chanting his name. He puts the Smackdown roster on notice, because this is LA Knight's game! And just like that, Smackdown has another productive midcard act to give the roster some depth.
THE RETURN OF BRAY WYATT IS NEXT!... just kidding, he might be here later.
Damage CTRL (Bayley, Dakota Kai, and Iyo Sky) vs. Shotzi Blackheart, Raquel Rodriguez, and Roxanne Perez
This match is happening because Roxanne chose the wrong friends. Roxanne starts against Kai, and holds her own with some armdrags. Kai retreats into a tag to Sky. Roxanne cartwheels over Sky, hits a rana, but Sky lands on her feet for a dropkick. Roxanne quickly escapes Damage CTRL's corner and hits a dive. Roxanne gives Bayley a legsweep for 2. Sky's assist from the apron lets Bayley take control. Roxanne quickly slips through Kai's legs to get an instant hot tag to Shotzi. Kai rattles Shotzi with a penalty kick, and Damage CTRL retake control. Shotzi DDTs Sky onto the apron and makes another hot tag to Rodriguez. Damage CTRL swarm Rodriguez, and Sky hits a moonsault. Shotzi helps with an outside dive. Meanwhile, Roxanne tries to roll up Bayley, instead takes a Belly to Bayley suplex for only 2! Roxanne hits Bayley with a SUPER RANA but Bayley kicks out! Roxanne blocks the Rose Plant, but Bayley pulls her into a pinning predicament to win at 6:51! I liked this a lot. This was fast-paced, had no commercials, and a satisfying amount of action to get the fans going. Matches like this are catnip to casual fans, **½.
Winners: Damage CTRL
Video recap of Legado Del Fantasma beating up Hit Row.
Video recap of Ronda Rousey beating Liv Morgan at Extreme Rules.
Spooky Viking campfire video package. The Viking Raiders are getting ready for battle while Sarah Logan whispers cryptic nonsense.
Hit Row (Top Dolla and Ashante "thee" Adonis, with B-Fab) vs. Legado Del Fantasma (Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro, with Santos Escobar and Zelina Vega)
Hit Row meet DEF in the aisle for a brawl. Top Dolla hauls Wilde into the ring to start the official match. Zelina interferes to allow her team to overwhelm Top Dolla with "Sacrificio" and the win at 1:26. This was really bad, DUD.
Winners: Legado Del Fantasma
Kayla Braxton is standing by with Sonya Deville. She was right about Liv Morgan all along, and her failure at Extreme Rules proves it. Morgan heroically ambushes from behind and awkwardly slams Sonya onto a production box. Liv climbs some scaffolding and puts Sonya through a table with a senton. Liv makes a crazy face. Liv's assault was very much over-the-top considering the milktoast things Sonya was saying about her.
Intercontinental Championship #1 Contenders Match:
Ricochet vs. Sheamus vs. Solo Sikoa vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey is replacing the injured Karrion Kross, and it looks like Triple H talked him out of quitting WWE by putting him in a random 4-way for a chance to be destroyed by Gunther. The ring clears out so Rey can hit a diving corkscrew plancha. Back from commercials, Ricochet and Sheamus are duking it out. Rey interferes and takes an Irish Curse backbreaker. Michael Cole announces that Rey Mysterio is officially a Smackdown guy now, which is the real deal he cut with Triple H. Please excuse my snideness from before. Solo and Sheamus find themselves alone for a hoss fight. Solo hits a Samoan Drop outside, but doesn't see Ricochet flying at him. Rey slides off the apron to splash Sheamus. Now, it's Ricochet and Rey's turn to show off with a spotfest. Ricochet hits a brainbuster, but misses the SSP. Solo returns to lay waste to everyone, including a spin heel kick on Sheamus. Back from MORE commercials, Solo is still killing everyone. Sheamus gets a boot into Solo's face, but finds himself on the receiving end of a TOWER OF DOOM spot. Solo goes for a cover, but Sheamus nails a disgusting knee drop to his kidney. Sheamus clubs Solo's chest 26 times, but Solo blocks White Noise. Sheamus hits a backbreaker instead and turns Sikoa into a Cloverleaf. Sheamus has to let go when Bloodline interferes. The Brawlin' Brutes run in to fight Bloodline. Meanwhile, Ricochet blocks 619, but Mysterio counters into a West Coast Pop, and THEN 619! Rey's frog splash finishes Ricochet at 17:24! Crowd loves this result. Another long-winded match that got hindered by two many commercial breaks, but really cool homecoming moment for Rey, ***.
Winner: Rey Mysterio
Our main event segment is the Smackdown return of Bray Wyatt, and the fans are ready with their phone lights. The lights go out, with only a glowing door on the set. Bray steps through with a lantern in hand and gets a babyface reaction. I kind of dig Bray's new screamo music. He looks a bit choked up at first when the fans chant "Welcome Back!" He says this is a version of him we've never seen before, the real Bray. In the past year he lost his career, his self-confidence, his wife, and got to a point where he thought everything he'd ever done was meaningless. Bray learned he was wrong when he kept meeting people asking him when he was coming back. He sends out a special Thank You to a mysterious stranger who saved his life. His passionate speech is interrupted by a spooky mask on the big screen, capped off with an upside down moth logo and Bray's old noise signature. Some folks online thinks this means that Bray's first feud will be against himself. That sounds really dumb, but ::sigh::, I'm willing to let it play out and see where it goes. Good speech from Bray, and not at all what I was expecting.
Final Thoughts: This wasn't perfect (but when is wrestling ever perfect?) but was memorable and broke out of the boring WWE formula of the past two decades. Smackdown is worth a fresh look if you haven't watched in a while.
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