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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 10.23.20

October 23, 2020 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 10.23.20  

Hey there everyone, Robert Winfree back again for another “exciting” episode of WWE Smackdown. Tonight is the go home show for the Hell in a Cell PPV, so expect Bayley to finally get around to signing the contract for her title defense against Sasha Banks as well as something going down between Roman Reigns and Jey Uso. Big E’s singles career starts in a more official capacity tonight as well so be on the look out for that. Plus there’s the new Smackdown tag team champions in the form of the Street Profits who will probably start developing their next program tonight. Or they’ll get shunted into the shadows until after the PPV, who knows.

Commentary welcomes us to the show, running down what we’ll get tonight. Roman Reigns will reveal the consequences for Jey Uso tonight, and we’ll get some entry in the Otis vs. Miz legal feud. That brings us to Kevin Owens who jokes about the draft meaning very little, but is happy to be bringing us the Kevin Owens Show with his first guest Daniel Bryan.

Bryan heads down to the ring, and the two men sit together. Owens thanks Bryan for being here and for mentioning him last week as someone he’d like to wrestle with, a sentiment Owens shares. He mentions they’ve beaten each other up a few times, Bryan is happy to have had that as they pushed each other to be better. Bryan wants Smackdown to highlight the best talent in the world, puts over the roster they’ve got now. He wants the Intercontinental title defended on the show each week, Owens dovetails that into the two of them possibly teaming up to go for the Tag Team titles. Owens notes he’s never been tag team champion, Bryan says Owens has betrayed a lot of friends, Owens goes back to selling the notion of their team. He’s even got a name, team Hell KO. Bryan notes Kane was the Hell part of his old team. This sales pitch is interrupted by Roode and Ziggler.

Ziggler with a mic, he feels that Bryan overlooked the two of them when talking about hot young talent. Roode mocks their fantasy tag team, saying they should be talking about him and Ziggler because they’re the best tag team in the world. That brings down the Street Profits and their rain of red cups. I feel bad for whoever has to clean that up. Ford and Dawkins mock Ziggler and Roode, they remember what happened last week. But despite that they’re happy to be on Smackdown, because they want the smoke. Oh, here comes Cesaro and Nakamura. Cesaro is sick of being disrespected after carrying the tag team division for months. Bryan says he and Owens should team up now, and we get a face vs. heels brawl. Here come the officials to try and break things up as we head to break. Generic overlong opening is generic.

Back and we’ve got an eight man tag match.

Match #1 – 8 Man Tag Team Match: Roode, Ziggler, Cesaro, and Nakamura vs. Bryan, Owens and Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins)

Owens starts by fighting back against the bad guys. Owens floors Nakamura with a lariat then a senton that production misses because Kevin Dunn I guess. Dawkins tagged in, Nakamura and Cesaro double team him and the heels take over. Dawkins survives and tags in Ford, they run wild then Ziggler blind tags in and drop kicks Ford. Some cheap shots from Nakamura on the outside. Roode tagged in, he hits a back breaker. Cesaro in now, rapid tags from the heels as they isolate Ford. Ford fights back, hits an enziguri to Cesaro and he tags in Bryan. Brayn unloads on Cesaro before tricking him to the outside and he hits a suicide dive onto Cesaro. Is that really something he should be doing? Bryan tries a crossbody but Cesaro catches him, Bryan slips off his shoulder and resumes running wild. Bryan tries to backflip out of the corner but seems to have tweaked his knee on the way down. Cesaro knocks him out of the ring and starts stomping the knee on the outside. That’s where we’ll head to another commercial break.

Back from break as Bryan is getting isolated and his knee is being worked over. Roode stomping away, tags in Ziggler. Ziggler mocks Bryan, Bryan tries to fight back but Ziggler takes out the knee and tags in Cesaro. Cesaro with a modified half Boston crab, he goes into a one legged big swing before tagging in Ziggler again. Bryan counters a move and catapults Ziggler into the corner. Roode tagged in and he cuts Bryan off before the hot tag. Roode sets Bryan on the top rope, tries for a fisherman buster but Bryan fights out, knocks him off and hits a missile drop kick to floor Roode. Dawkins gets the hot tag and runs wild on the bad guys. So many cuts to the screens, stop that production. Nakamura survives a pin attempt and hits a spin kick then a lungblower. Cesaro tagged in, he hits a gutwrench powerbomb but Owens is in to save the match. Parade of finishers now, Cesaro rolls up Dawkins but the ref sees him using the ropes for leverage. Dawins hits a Sky High, tags in Ford for the frog splash and the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bryan, Owens, and Street Profits won via pin

Rating: 2.5 stars

Went a bit long but leave it to Bryan to bring the only semblance of story to a chaotic match setting.

Faces celebrate while commentary runs down what’s coming up next, including a confrontation between Not-Your-Buddy-Pal Murphy and Seth Rollins.

We cut to a bad Law & Order parody for Otis’ briefcase. Ron Simmons plays bailiff and introduces judge JBL. JBL lists the charges, then lets Miz give opening statements. Miz cuts off his lawyer, waste of legal fees. Miz lists a few legal cases he could use as precedent, but just needs the truth as Otis has victimized him and isn’t upholding the standards of Money in the Bank holder. Otis gets his statement now. Otis won the contract by winning the relevant match. Miz fires his lawyer after it’s pointed out to him that Otis just made a good argument. We’ll get more later as we get a To Be Continued. I was hoping that would say To Be Concluded because this is just a tiring angle.

Bianca Belair is here for a match, which will take place after the break (allegedly).

In the back Owens and Bryan celebrate with Street Profits. Bryan with some “comedy” lines. Zayn shows up as everyone else leaves, he disagrees with Bryan’s vision for his IC title being defended every week. He’s the champ so he decides when and if it’s defended. He wants Bryan to keep his vision for this title to himself, because until he loses the belt things will be done his way.

Match #2: Bianca Belair vs. Zelina Vega

They tie up and Belair over powers Vega early. Vega with a slap on a break but that just annoys Belair who throws her around a bit. Some arm work from Vega but Belair ignores that to resume slamming Vega around. Belair front flips out of a headcissors attempt, kicks Vega down and hits a standing moonsault. Vega tries to hold onto the ring skirt, she lands a few kicks to Belair then hits head scissors. Belair stalls out her monkey flip attempt and punches her out of the air. Belair with a clean and jerk weight lifting routine to Vega, drops her over the top rope then hits the Kiss of Death and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bianca Belair pinned Zelina Vega

Rating: Pumpkin. . . SQUASH

Mmmm, delicious squash.

Video package for Lars Sullivan (what’s the over under on them taking away one of his names?) sends us to break but Lars will be up next.

Shorty G (I still hate typing that) is in the ring for his match with Lars. He says he’s fed up with the state of things, he went undrafted and tonight he’s going to turn things around against Lars.

Match #3: Lars Sullivan vs. Shorty G

Shorty gets caught early and Lars hits a fall away slam. Flapjack to Shorty, Lars is is having fun. Lars puts Shorty on his shoulders, Shorty fights back with an eye rake, and hits a rolling thunder kick but Lars avoids a second one and tosses Shorty across the ring. Clothesline from Lars, then a Freak Accident to end things.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Lars Sullivan pinned Shorty G

Rating: Delicata. . . SQUASH

Well, that was less delicious squash but squash none the less.

Kayla asks Shorty how he feels after the match. He quits.

In the back Seth Rollins gets an interview. He talks about plucking Murphy from obscurity and guiding him, and promises to have fun breaking Murphy down later tonight. He calls Murphy confused but the greater good is all of us, and he needs to remind Murphy of his place in it. He’s a savior, Murphy is a disciple who walks behind. Tonight he’s going to define Murphy’s role for him.

That cuts to Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman in a luxury suite, Roman isn’t pleased with the catering service, or he’s just pensive about the announcement he’ll make later. Either way that visual sends us to break.

In the back Adam Pearce shows up to talk to Shorty G in the trainers room. Shorty says he quits being Shorty G, thank God. He’s done being a character who pretends everything is fine. He’s not some smiling face on top of public service announcement. There’s only one man that can achieve anything he wants, an Olympian with a long wrestling pedigree, and his name is Gable. . . Chad Gable. That pause made me wonder if they were taking away his first name, but the death of Shorty G is only a positive.

Bayley is in the ring sitting on her chair, mic issues cut off the start of her promo. She says she’s been asked about Sasha Banks over and over again after not signing the contract for their bout. She claims Banks doesn’t deserve a shot at the title, she wants to be done with Banks but can’t get it done yet. Next she mocks Sasha’s claim that her name was bigger than the title. Bayley mocks the size of Sasha’s head (hydrocephalies isn’t funny Bayley, Banks is an inspiration in that regard) and wont sign the contract because Banks isn’t the boss of her. Banks shows up with the contract demanding Bayley sign the contract. They jaw back and forth then Banks avoids a chair shot and gets the physical belt. Banks tells Bayley she’ll give her the belt if she signs the contract. They get into a tug of war, Banks lands a knee and sets to Pillmanize the neck of Bayley unless she signs the contract. Bayley fights back but can’t get out of the chair. Banks with a modified camel clutch and demands Bayley sign the contract. Bayley does so, though contracts signed under duress aren’t legally binding. Banks poses with the belt, then drops it and leaves.

Back to the courtroom. Oh joy. Miz is questioning John Morrison. Morrison says Otis has assaulted himself and Miz, and others as well. He says the scars in his heart hurt the most. Rey Mysterio on the stand now, he says 8 men walked in and only Otis walked out with the briefcase, he feels Otis won straight up. Askua speaking Japanese now, that leads to stenographer Teddy Long making an appearance, and an Asuka “Holla, holla, holla”. Tucker on the stand now, he runs down the Miz saying Miz deserves everything Otis has given him. Miz tries to intimidate him, Tucker scares Miz and Simmons tells everyone to shut up. After a short recess JBL promises to give his verdict. Teddy Long apparently has to pee. Who thought this was a good idea? That sends us to break.

Back from break and Tucker has joined Otis at the legal table. JBL says something is missing the legal uproar, specifically the truth. He says all the complaints levied against Otis are just the job description for WWE superstars. He doesn’t find the time Otis is taking to cash in being negligent. After minimal deliberation JBL tries to rule in favor of Otis but Miz asks for a continuance. Miz really thinks JBL should admit his next evidence, a briefcase presumably full of money or other bribe related materials. JBL opens the case, and in light of new evidence he rules in favor of Miz. Otis must defend his contract at Hell in a Cell against Miz. Simmons with the customary Damn to close.

Cole wishes JBL was that easy to deal with back in the day. Commentary then sends us to a vignette for Murphy and Rollins. After that Rollins makes his way to the ring. That match will take place after the break. Or some protracted promo before the match, take your pick.

Murphy is walking as we come back from break.

Match #4: Seth Rollins vs. Not-Your-Buddy-Pal Murphy

They tie up early, both men trade clean breaks. Rollins shoves Murphy while trash talking, Murphy grabs a Fujiwara armbar and starts working the arm of Rollins. They trade arm wringers and escape sequences then Rollins lands a right hand. Side headlock from Rollins and he’s keeping Murphy grounded. Rollins holding the side headlock, Murphy shoves him off but eats a shoulder block. Right from Murphy and he hits a hurricanrana. On the outside Rollins gets back body dropped onto the announce table and we get another commercial break.

Back and Rollins walks into a back elbow. Rollins counters a tornado DDT attempt and then knocks Murphy off of the top rope to the outside. Dominck and Rey show up in the back to confront Aliyah about watching the match. Rollins gets a rear waistlock and tries to squeeze the life out of Murphy on the mat. Murphy drives Rollins into the corner a few times, Rollins counters the last one and throws him into the corner. Murphy lands a kick and then hits a missile drop kick and both men are down. Flurry of strikes from Murphy, he tosses Rollins outside and then hits a dive that barely connects. That was almost real bad. Back in the ring Murphy top rope for a meteora onto Rollins. Rollins kicks out of a pin attempt, Murphy rolls out as he’s selling his left shoulder off of that landing. Rollins with a suicide dive onto Murphy. Back in the ring Rollins with a flying knee for a near fall. On the apron now, Rollins slams the arm down over the apron. A shot in the back of the Mysterio clan watching the match sends us to another break.

Back with Rollins and Murphy fighting on the top rope. Top rope sunset flip attempt from Murphy but his arm gives out. Murphy super kicks Rollins but can’t follow up as his arm is giving out again. Rollins with a buckle bomb, but he runs into a knee trying to finish him off. Murphy gets a cover for 2. Rollins elbows Murphy down then slaps him a few times. Murphy lands a right, and they’re slugging it out now. Murphy gets the better of the strikes, lands a series of kicks but runs into an enziguri. Inside cradle from Murphy but Rollins kicks out, elbows him and hits a falcon arrow for 2. Rollins sets for the Blackout stomp, Murphy avoids it a few times then kicks Rollins on the top rope. Murphy eventually eats the stomp and we’re done.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Seth Rollins pinned Murphy

Rating: 3 stars

I think this could have been a higher rating but the production decisions and commercial breaks take a bit from it.

Rollins gets a kendo stick, Aliyah asks Rey and Dominick to help Murphy but they wont. So Aliyah heads down to help him. Rollins trash talks Murphy to kill time for Aliyah to show up. Rollins asks her what she’s gonna do and lays into Murphy. Aliyah tries to shield him, that brings out Dominick and Rollins heads out. Dominick asks her what she’s doing, and Rollins jumps Dominick from behind. That brings out Rey with a chair and Rollins heads out. Rey checks on his kids and again asks Aliyah what she’s doing out here. Aliyah helps Murphy up, Murphy gives a somewhat sinister look to the Mysterio men behind her back as we head to the back.

A production assistant tells Paul Heyman that it’s time for Reigns, Heyman reminds him that Reigns operates on his own time table, but he’ll let him know that this peon stopped by. That sends us to break.

Back from break and we get a recap of the main event from last week and the post match angle with Roman Reigns and Jey Uso. Back in the ring Reigns and Heyman make their way down. Heyman hands Reigns the mic. In the back Jey shows up on the screen where he’s in Reigns’ suite. He mocks Reigns a bit, and says Reigns has changed. He’s got his head so far up his own ass he’s lost his connections with everyone around him. He reveals that he’s Jimmy, not Jey. Jey jumps Reigns from behind, avoids a spear attempt and then gets a chair. Jey gets the chair kicked into his face, sort of as they both missed but they’re selling it. Jey with a super kick and a top rope splash. Both Usos celebrate on the ramp, Reigns stands and Heyman hands him the mic again. Reigns tells them they can think this is funny because they don’t understand. He understands. If they make him quit he wont be the champion anymore, he wont be anything. When he makes Jey quit, which he will, Jey will fall in line and take orders and acknowledge him for who he is and all he does. But if he can’t then he’s out. Jimmy and Jey and their families and all the posterity will be out of the family. Those will be the consequences for Jey when he loses. Reigns poses with the belt as the cell descends around him. They’re bringing back the red bars apparently, great. Jey climbs the cell to pose staring down at Reigns. That visual will end the episode.

Strong promo from Reigns, not exceptional but it got the point across and continues his strong character work.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Rollins and Murphy had a good TV match, that was marred by production choices and commercial breaks but otherwise was good. The opening 8 man was a decent scramble but felt overly crowded, no shock given the volume of bodies involved. The humor stuff with Otis and Miz is a very binary thing, it either amused you or it didn't and if it didn't it was a giant drag (Asuka's holla holla holla notwithstanding). Bianca Belair finally made TV, and Shorty G is dead, both good things. The closing segment was strong as well. Not the strongest go home PPV show ever, but a really good effort all around.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree