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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.16.22

September 16, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown Brawling Brutes Image Credit: WWE
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.16.22  

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Alright everyone, it’s another Friday night and here we are to watch Smackdown. Tonight the “big” news is that Logan Paul will be on the show, and the big rumor right now is that he’ll challenge Roman Reigns at Sweet Saudi Blood Money, I mean Crown Jewel, so if that’s true they’ll need to get building that. Also, if Roman can make Logan Paul interesting then Roman really is the best ever. Also tonight we’ll gain some clarity in the tag team scene as New Day vs. Imperium vs. Butch and Ridge Holland vs. Hit Row is set to determine the next challengers for the Usos. Never mind that New Day spent the last couple of months getting beat down by the Viking Raiders. Bayley will be in action against Raquel Rodriguez, and Sami Zayn tries to prove his worth by wrestling Ricochet. Last week Karrion Kross jumped Drew McIntyre and choked him unconscious, so I fully expect Drew to have some kind of rebuttal tonight as those two begin building their feud in earnest. Well that’s the preamble, so let’s get to the action.

Pyro starts the broadcast, then Michael Cole talks us in and sadly we’re still saddled with him and Corey Graves. Logan Paul comes to the ring to get things going. Paul gets a mic and thinks he did it again. He’s got a habit of opening his mouth and saying stupid stuff, this last week he had Roman Reigns on his podcast and he said if he wrestled Roman it would be his match. Paul is getting the “what” treatment pretty badly. He brings up opening his mouth about Floyd Mayweather, but Mayweather couldn’t put him down (I’ve seen your stupid exhibition buddy, Mayweather didn’t put you down because he decided not to you were dead tired and hurt to the body despite the comical size difference). He’s got a press conference scheduled soon and tells Roman to show up. This is interrupted by Paul Heyman and the Bloodline minus Roman Reigns. Heyman gets a pretty good reception as he introduces himself. The Usos, Sami Zayn, and Solo Sikoa surround the ring but Heyman is the one to get in the ring. Heyman offers a handshake, Paul accepts. Heyman says if anyone outside of WWE could be a Paul Heyman guy it would be Logan Paul, then proceeds to put over Paul and his various accomplishments, but brings up the size difference between Paul and Mayweather. Paul asks if Heyman would fight anyone, and Heyman tells him not to act like Mickey Mouse. Heyman then brings up Jake Paul picking a fight with Anderson Silva, and Silva will knock Jake out, but no disrespect because Heyman wouldn’t fight either Paul brother. But in the same vein, Paul shouldn’t be trying to pick a fight with Roman Reigns. Heyman doesn’t care what the Paul brothers have done, the only thing that matters is that Paul pick a fight with someone else. Paul says all he wants is a press conference, there’s a lot of Samoans, one Sami Zayn, and he wonders what they’re all afraid of. Are they afraid that he’d challenge Roman for the title at a press conference? Assume that happens, then you can assume Roman will smash him and you’d probably be right. But what if Paul lands the one lucky shot? That’s all it takes, one lucky shot and he could drop our Tribal Chief like a sack of potatoes. Heyman knows how stupid this is and backs away from the madman, and doesn’t like “ifs” or anything about Paul. Heyman says now he has to handle Paul, and calls in Solo Sikoa. Paul bets with Heyman that he can knock Heyman out and be out of the ring before Sikoa gets to him. Sami Zayn gets a mic and hops into the ring to try and calm things down. For the record I think Paul’s right, Sikoa is incredibly immobile. Sami talks Sikoa down and says he loves Heyman, but thinks this time Sami should be the one handling Logan Paul. Heyman tosses his mic in disgust and tells Sami to handle him then. Sami calls Paul a friend, and tries to explain how things work here, but Paul just punches him down and then has to run from the Usos as they charge him. Ricochet shows up, he’ll be wrestling Sami after this break.

Match #1: Ricochet w/ Logan Paul vs. Sami Zayn w/ The Usos, Solo Sikoa, and Paul Heyman

The match gets started as we come back from break. Sami grabs a side headlock then shoulder blocks Ricochet down. Sami grabs an arm wringer and wrestles Ricochet to the mat, Ricochet escapes and grabs an arm wringer of his own. They hit the ropes and Sami lands a shoulder block. Sami grabs another side headlock, and commentary references Sami and Ricochet wrestling in PWG a decade ago as Ricochet hits a head scissors takedown then a drop kick. Uppercuts from Ricochet then a chop. Sami heads out of the ring to recover, he jaw jacks with Paul which allows Ricochet to hit a baseball slide. Back in the ring Sami sweeps the legs of Ricochet as he was going for a springboard. Mounted punches from Sami then he heads to the second rope and hits an elbow for a 2 count. Sami lands a clothesline for another 2 count then grabs a side headlock. Ricochet fights back with strikes then another head scissors before landing a back elbow. Sami catches Ricochet on the top rope and shoves him into the barricade to send us to break.

Sami is heading up top as we come back, then Ricochet jumps up there with him but he’s shoved down then Sami goes for a flying nothing only to eat a drop kick. Ricochet starts laying in strikes then hits a hurricanrana. Corner attack from Ricochet then a springboard cross body for a 2 count. Sami blocks the Recoil then lands a strike. Sweep from Ricochet, then Sami blocks a standing moonsault and grabs an inside cradle for a 2 count. Ricochet avoids a Blue Thunder Bomb and lands a super kick. Now Ricochet heads up top, Jimmy distracts the ref and Ricochet, leading to Sami hitting the Blue Thunder Bomb but Paul distracts the ref long enough for Ricochet to kick at 2 when we do get a count. Some rights from Sami but he rungs into a Frankensteiner for a 2 count. Ricochet hoists Sami up, then has to deal with Jey on the apron leading to Sami rolling him up for 2. Knee from Ricochet then he kicks Jey off the apron and Sami hits a half nelson suplex. Jey distracted the ref a bit and again the count comes a bit later leading to Ricochet kicking out at 2. Sami complains to Jey about getting involved, Jey tells him to focus on the match. Sami now gets out of the ring and goes face to face with Jey, Jimmy plays peace keeper long enough for Ricochet to hit a dive onto all three of them. Ricochet heads up top, Shooting Star Press, and we’re done.


Rating: 3 stars

Two competent wrestlers but this was oddly heatless, the only stuff people cared about was related to Sami dealing with Jey.

The Usos look to head into the ring, but here comes Madcap Moss with a chair to dissuade them from violence.

After this break we’ll get a recap of Karrion Kross dealing with Drew McIntyre from last week.

Kross video as we come back, the hands of time decide judgement and last week the Chosen One was executed by the people’s executioner. He thinks about the sounds Drew made while being choked out, and Scarlett adds a “Oh, poor baby”. Drew tried to fight it, but eventually he had to let go. That’s the difference between them, Kross never lets anything go. Kross rewrites the timelines, and now he’s got Drew on an endless loop of suffering and he’s going to make sure Drew never gets out. Tick tock. Kross really has his presentation down for this.

Max and Maxxine Dupri are in the ring. Max welcomes us back to Smackdown, and mocks Anaheim for being close to LA, and he pauses as a prior character tries to push into his mind. But they’re not here for the lights of Hollywood, they’re here to introduce the Maximum Male Models Back to School collection. Here come Mace and Mansoor in school boy get up, but this interrupted by Braun Strowman. Braun runs over both Mace and Mansoor, then tosses them around the ringside area then he throws Mansoor into the ring. Poor Mansoor is swept off of his feet by Braun, then Braun calls for a powerbomb and hits it. Now here comes Alpha Academy, Chad Gable walks down to the ring alone allowing Otis to attack Braun from behind, but Braun just clotheslines him down. Gable heads to the ring and Braun smacks him down but Otis is able to corner Braun and land some strikes then hit an avalanche in the corner, and a second one. Otis then hits a Worlds Strongest Slam to Braun, but Braun immediately pops up and stares at Gable and Otis. Braun says Otis better have a lot more than that to step to him, and Gable dissuades Otis from continuing the brawl as Braun poses in the ring. That sends us to break.

Post break we get a recap of Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai winning the women’s tag team titles. I’m still not sure why they didn’t win the titles to begin with. Anyway after that here comes Damage Control. On commentary Cole has the audacity to question when he’s ever been biased on commentary. All three members of Damage Control get mics. Bayley is happy to be back on Smackdown and runs through several of her old catchphrases, then reminds us who Dakota Kai and Iyo Sky are. Kai says they can go to any brand whenever they want and do anything. Sky calls Smackdown their show now. They put Aliyah on the shelf and this is what greatness looks like. Damage Control has power, the power to win titles or determine the future. Raquel Rodriguez interrupts this diatribe with a mic of her own. Raquel doesn’t see greatness in the ring, she sees bullies who are powerless at stopping her. All three of them run out of the ring, very slowly leading to Raquel having to walk awkwardly so as not to physically reach them. We head to break after that.

Match #2: Bayley w/ Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai vs. Raquel Rodriguez

The match starts as we come back. Raquel over powers Bayley but Bayley avoids her and lands a slap. Then Bayley looks to run away, Raquel follows her then tosses Sky into Kai on the floor. Raquel lands an elbow as they head back into the ring, then Raquel hits a corner splash and a Snake Eyes. Spinning powerslam from Rodriguez gets a 2 count. Bayley avoids a stomp on the apron and snaps Raquel over the ropes then demands the ref start counting her out. Raquel gets back in the ring around a count of 5 and Bayley takes over on offense in the ring. They hit the ropes and Bayley sends Raquel into the corner but Raquel catches her then tosses her away and hits a big boot. Kai and Sky distract Raquel and Bayley is able to tie up Raquel in the corner and attack the leg of Raquel. Bayley starts working the leg of Raquel. Raquel kicks Bayley away, then blocks a single leg attempt only to get kicked in the leg then Bayley hits a sliding clothesline to the back. Raquel fights back and tosses Bayley into the corner then unloads with strikes. Headbutt from Rodriguez then a shoulder block. Fall away slam from Raquel, then another one and she sets for the twisting Vader Bomb but again Sky and Kai get involved, Sky gets chopped down then Raquel picks up Kai and slams her onto Bayley before hitting the twisting Vader bomb onto both of them. Raquel goes for the Tejana Bomb, but Sky rakes the eyes of Raquel behind the refs back and Bayley hits the Rose Plant to pick up the win.


Rating: 2.5 stars

Some oddly timed parts and the set up promo wasn’t great, but Bayley is still solid and Raquel is coming along. They did a pretty decent job of keeping Raquel a monster who didn’t lose a whole lot despite eating the pin.

Post match Kai and Sky look to attack Raquel but here comes Shotzi of all people to fight them off.

After this break Kayla will interview Ronda Rousey.

Post break and we head to the locker room where Kayla interviews Ronda Rousey. Kayla asks about the controversy around the last title match between Ronda and Liv, Ronda says there will be no controversy this time and here comes Liv Morgan to interrupt things. Liv asks Kayla to leave, and Kayla does. Liv says no one says words that mean nothing like Ronda does, and reminds us she’s the only person to beat Ronda twice. Now all Ronda wants to do is repeat things Liv has heard her entire life, and she’s beaten Ronda twice. But nothing Liv says will change Ronda’s mind, so she’ll have to earn Ronda’s respect at Extreme Rules. She wants Ronda in an Extreme Rules match. Ronda is amused by this, but accepts. This feud makes no sense.

Back to commentary and Drew McIntyre walks onto the commentary desk. He congratulates Kross on getting his attention, he’s been waiting back stage for Kross all night, but Kross lacks the balls to fight him face to face. He warns Kross that time is running out on him, the only thing Kross needs to worry about is 3, 2, 1, lights out. Not bad from Drew, but entirely perfuctory.

The Bloodline hype up Solo Sikoa at gorilla, Sikoa tells Jey to wait as Jey was off of his game then tells Sami to come out with him instead. Madcap Moss follows and we head to break.

Match #3 – NXT North American Title Match: (c) Solo Sikoa w/ Sami Zayn vs. Madcap Moss

They tie up, but neither man gains an edge. Another tie up, again neither man gets an edge. Moss shoves Sikoa, then grabs a rear waist lock. Sikoa with some back elbows to break the hold then Moss unloads with strikes. Back elbow from Sikoa drops Moss. Sikoa lands a kick then a jumping headbutt. Headbutt from Sikoa then a chop. Moss hits the ropes and runs over Sikoa with a shoulder block then he awkwardly clotheslines Sikoa out of the ring. They head out of the ring and brawl around the ringside area but a distraction from Sami allows Sikoa to land a clothesline. Sikoa rams Moss into the barricade then they head back into the ring. Slow motion wheel kick from Sikoa drops Moss. Some stomps from Sikoa as the crowd remains apathetic. Sikoa goes to a nerve hold, because that’ll wake the crowd up. Moss fights back with strikes but Sikoa cuts him off with a belly to belly suplex. Hip attack from Sikoa gets a 2 count. Moss tries to fire up with strikes, Sikoa lands a couple right hands then lands some more stomps in the corner. Sikoa tries another hip attack, but Moss intercepts him with a chop block. Moss starts firing up with strikes and a clothesline. Flapjack from Moss, then a shoulder thrust in the corner, and another one. Moss goes for the Punchline but Sikoa avoids it only to be caught in Moss’s bad version of the Ore Ga Taue for a 2 count. Sikoa lands a headbutt to stagger Moss, then tries a Samoan Drop but Moss fights free then runs into a Samoan Drop for a 2 count. More stomps from Sikoa then Moss avoids a uranage and rolls up Sikoa for 2. Awkward corner clash, then Moss catches a jumping Sikoa and hits a fall away slam. Sami pulls Sikoa away from a corner charge. Moss chases Sami around the ring ring then runs into a super kick from Sikoa in the ring. Sikoa then hits a uranage and pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Solo Sikoa retained the title

Rating: 2 stars

That was rough. Neither man is a ring general and it showed here, this was slowly paced, lacked any drama, had a mostly dead crowd, and didn’t do much to get either man over outside of maybe Moss catching a jumping Sikoa and holding him.

Sami and Sikoa pose as we head to break.

Post break we’re reminded to watch the Crown Jewel press conference tomorrow. Roman Reigns will be back in action next week, they’ll bein Salt Lake City. Huh, if tickets were affordable I’d have to give consideration to that.

Anyway here comes Hit Row to star the entrances for our main event. Oh, we get an update on the Viking Raiders as apparently Erik suffered a foot injury in their Viking Rules match. Well that sucks.

Match #4 – Fatal 4-Way Tag Team Match: New Day (Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston) vs. Hit Row (Ashante the Adonis and Top Dollah) w/ B-Fab vs. Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci) w/ Gunther vs. Butch and Ridge Holland w/ Sheamus

Butch and Kaiser start us off, they just start swinging punches right away. Enziguri from Butch sends Kaiser out of the ring then Butch follows him. Kaiser gets saved by Vinci, Holland runs over Vinci. Gunther and Sheamus stare off as Dollah tosses Ashante onto the pile. Dollah tries to fly but Vinci hits a chop block. Woods lands a kick to Vinci then dives onto the growing pile of humanity on the floor. Kofi’s turn to dive then he and Woods dance around as we head to break.

Butch and Kaiser are working as we come back, Kaiser slings Butch off of the middle rope then lands a knee strike. Kaiser grabs a face lock, Butch fights up and they hit the ropes then Butch hits a clothesline. Now Butch goes after the fingers of Kaiser before stomping on the arm. Low drop kick from Butch then Ridge tags in and they hit an assisted butterfly suplex. Kaiser fights back with strikes and they head into the corner so Vinci can tag in and hit an arm drag. Vinci lands strikes on Ridge then gets caught in an arm trapped belly to belly suplex, I can’t believe they let Ridge do that. Dollah tags in and Ridge bounces off of him a few times then Dollah hits him with a suplex. Ashante tags in for an assisted splash. Letting Ridge in the ring with Hit Row members is a dubious proposition. Ridge lands a body shot then eats a drop kick and Kofi tags in. Kofi fires up on Ashante and hits a Boom drop. Kaiser grabs Woods and posts him so Vinci can tag in and Woods eats a tandem drop kick on the apron as we head to break.

We come back to Kaiser working a neck crank on Kofi. Kofi fights back with strikes but Kaiser cuts him off with an elbow to the back of the head. Kofi tosses Kaiser and Vinci then crawls towards Woods and Woods tags in as does Vinci. Woods runs wild for a bit and drops Ashante and Butch with a DDT and Flatliner combination. Russian leg sweep to Vinci and Woods hits a Landslide for a 2 count. Vinci avoids a scoop slam and clotheslines Woods down. Butch with a tag to Vinci and comes in with kicks for everyone then a double knee drop to Woods. Butch with a moonsault to the floor to take out Imperium then a flying knee for Kofi. Ashante eats a rebound German suplex from Butch. Butch stomps the fingers of Ashante then a buzzsaw kick connects. Dollah comes in but Butch is not intimidated then runs into a big boot. Dollah picks up Kofi, then adds Butch to the people on his back, Woods jumps up and is caught by Dollah, and Dollah wipes all of them out. The man can’t work but he’s big and he’s strong. Ridge attacks Dollah and tries to lift him but Dollah cuts that off only to get caught in an Alabama Slam from Ridge which gets a 2 count. Woods tags off of Ridge, and Ashante comes in as well. They start trading strikes and Woods lands a super kick. Kofi tags in and hits a dive onto Dollah. Woods takes out Ashante with a Falcon Arrow then Kofi hits a splash for a 2 count as Butch breaks up the pin. Vinci tags in as things break down on the outside, they trade roll ups for near falls then Vinci hits a spinebuster and Kaiser follows up with a penalty kick. Kaiser tags in, the Imperial Bomb connects bur Ridge tags Kaiser in the air and Ridge covers to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ridge Holland and Butch won

Rating: 2.5 stars

A bit too chaotic for my taste, and it was painfully obvious who had to do the heavy lifting in terms of match structure and keeping the crowd invested. But the Usos get a new challenge next week, where I’m sure Butch will do the lions share of the work. They did keep the pace high here, and there was generally enough smoke and mirrors to hide the weaker workers.

The Brawling Brutes pose to end the episode.

The final score: review Good
The 411
There are some good things to this episode, it had a really nice flow to it and the matches that mattered were given time to breathe and develop. The opening promo segment was acceptable if too long and way too predictable. The stuff with Ronda and Liv is whatever, it badly needs to establish the dynamics between them in terms of rooting interest and Liv's version of serious promo time is to just talk really slowly. The main event was decent, and I'm sure plenty of people enjoyed it more than I did. Solo Sikoa vs. Madcap Moss was not the direction I'd have gone, Sikoa still needs help in the ring, as does Moss and what resulted was a sloppy, slow paced, overlong match that had no heat at all. Still, this was about setting things in motion more than anything else and it accomplished that goal.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree