wrestling / TV Reports

Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.29.23

September 29, 2023 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown Jimmy Uso Paul Heyman Image Credit: WWE
The 411 Rating
Community Grade
Your Grade
Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.29.23  

Well it’s Smackdown time again everyone. John Cena still needs a partner for Fastlane to face Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa, it was supposed to be LA Knight saving Cena last week before a positive Covid test sent Knight home. If he’s good to return he should be here tonight to take up with Cena, assuming plans haven’t changed. So I’m sure lesser Uso will be here to waste time, Solo will do Solo things, Paul Heyman will call Roman and beg him to actually show up for TV one of these days, and basically it’ll be the same thing it’s been for months now. Elsewhere on the card Rey Mysterio puts his US title on the line against Santos Escobar, it’ll be interesting to see if Escobar goes back heel here but either way I expect the match to be good. Bayley will wrestle Charlotte Flair, because God forbid any women’s program adjacent to the title not include Poochie, Bobby Lashley will be on the Grayson Waller Effect which will be telling about the future of the Street Profits because Lashley might take up with Waller and Austin Theory instead and leave the Profits high and dry. Sheamus seems to be out of action with a shoulder injury, meaning Ridge Holland and Butch will continue to be fodder, Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn teased that they cursed the women’s tag team titles after failing to unify against Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler a while back so let’s see if anything comes of that little tease. And hey, do you remember that someone from RAW is coming to Smackdown in exchange for Jey Uso? Pepperidge Farms remembers, but I’m not sure the writers do. Well anyway there’s a lot of possible directions for things to go, but Fastlane is coming up in just two weeks so anything they’re going to do for that show needs to get going now. So that’s the preamble, let’s get to the action.

Full video intro this week, that’s usually not the best sign for how much content they’ve got on the week but let’s see if they buck that trend.

Commentary runs down what to expect tonight, then Jannetty Uso and Solo Sikoa show up with Paul Heyman looking disapproving as he walks with them. Heyman has a mic and introduces himself and says tonight he gets to make a proclamation live in this hell hole known as wherever we are, they all acknowledge Roman Reigns. So does everyone in the crowd, because it was his ruling that last week John Cena be beat down and left alone. That means we get a replay of those events from last week in overly dramatic fashion. Heyman says that Cena’s having travel issues and while he’ll be here at some point we wont see him until much later. AJ Styles isn’t here either, but AJ’s gone because of the beating the Bloodline gave him, but Jimmy puts his hand out Roman style for the mic, Heyman declines and Jimmy laughs then takes the mic from Heyman. Jimmy claims the reason Cena isn’t here is because he’s scared of Jimmy Uso. I’ll take this opportunity to enter this as exhibit 54768 that Jimmy isn’t Jey in any capacity. Karl Anderson interrupts this, takes out Solo and Jimmy and stands tall. Anderson yells that he warned AJ to stay out of Bloodline business, but now this is OC business since they attacked AJ and demands someone get in the ring. Solo starts, but Heyman stops him and Solo then demands Jimmy handle it he’ll handle it for him. Jimmy claims to have this, but Solo refuses to reply as we head to break.

Match #1: Jimmy Uso w/ Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman vs. Karl Anderson

Joined in progress as Anderson stomps down Jimmy, while commentary reminds us AJ isn’t in the hospital but rather a local medical facility. Because he’s been moved around to keep “local” accurate I guess. Anyway Anderson with kicks then a spinebuster to Jimmy for a 2 count. Uppercut from Anderson, then another in the corner. They head up top and fight while Solo gets closer and distracts things, that allows Jimmy to attack the eyes of Anderson and shove him off the ropes. Jimmy lines up a superkick, and connects. Jimmy up top, takes a while setting up the Splash but Anderson is a good boy and remains still so Jimmy can hit it and get the pin.


Rating: 1.5 stars
Thoughts: Too short to really matter, Jimmy being a goof with delusions of grandeur is a direction at least. But it’s a little tiring and has too much overlap with Dom Mysterio’s presentation.

Post match Solo saves Jimmy from Anderson and wipes him out with a Samoan Spike. Post match Jimmy wants another handshake, but Solo denies him. Michin shows up and slaps the crap out of Jimmy, this amuses Solo but he manages to keep a straight face as Jimmy wobbles to the back.

In the back Cathy talks with Santos Escobar. Escobar says this is his dream, he’s prepared for this his entire life and with the whole world watching he’ll make his dream come true. Rey will be in for the fight of his life, and may the best man win.

The Grayson Waller Effect is being set up as we head to break.

Post break Jimmy shoves around production assistants to feel better about himself, better be careful those guys might be union. Paul Heyman observes this and calls Roman Reigns.

To the ring, it’s time for the Grayson Waller Effect. Waller jokes that Cena might be the greatest of all time, but he’s not the greatest at being on time. His guests keep getting bigger, in this case literally because Bobby Lashley is a unit, though Bobby is a little weak as a talent scout. Here comes Bobby Lashley in a suit while Waller does pushups to try and get a pump on. We also get a recap of last week when Bobby dressed down the Street Profits for failing to beat the LWO. Waller brings up the Profits loss last week, and Bobby says he made a mistake with the Profits, but apparently they don’t have the pride to win at any cost so it’s back to the drawing board. That means Waller can ask if he’s interested in Waller and Theory, but Bobby just looks at him and says he knows about Theory and will pass on that one. The Street Profits show up as Waller is trying to put over Theory, they’re both suited and walk to the ring. Bobby doesn’t seem amused by this but both Dawkins and Ford have mics, he doesn’t want to hear excuses, reasons, or anything because if they want something from him they have to prove it. Bobby goes to leave, but Ford and Dawkins follow him and Bobby again says they have to prove what they’ve got inside. Waller talks, and throws to Austin Theory coming out for some reason. Theory and Bobby stare down briefly on the stage but nothing comes of it. The Profits just let Theory walk between them, and I’m starting to think Bobby was right about them lacking instinct. I mean your bosses old rival is right there, and there’s two of you, this isn’t exactly calculus. Anyway after this break Austin Theory will wrestle Cameron Grimes.

Match #2: Austin Theory w/ Grayson Waller vs. Cameron Grimes

Grimes got the jobbers entrance, and Dragon Lee is in the crowd. Theory yells at Lee and that allows Grimes to attack with kicks and chops right away. Manhattan Drop from Grimes then more kicks to the body and leg to set up a low dropkick for a 1 count. Theory fights back with a back elbow then some punches while commentary keeps trying to push Theory as “the 150 million hit man” and I want to mute commentary. Grimes fires up with strikes to very low reaction. Enziguri from Grimes, then he’s up top and hits a crossbody for 2. Deadlift German suplex from Grimes gets another 2 count. Grimes clotheslines Theory out of the ring, then lands a punt kick from the apron. Waller comes over to distract things so Theory can toss Grimes into the ring post. Back in the ring, rolling dropkick from Theory then A Town Down to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Austin Theory won

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: Odd layout with Grimes doing 90% of the offense then taking three moves and losing.

Post match Theory and Dragon Lee get into it a bit in case you forgot No Mercy was tomorrow. Waller cools Theory down as they head up the ramp, still no sign of the Profits so they’re idiots.

At gorilla Kayla talks with Rey Mysterio. Rey says LWO is family, he knows how hard Escobar has worked and he grew up watching Escobar’s dad. But be careful what you wish for, Rey expects the best from his opponents and himself, he’s planning to give Escobar the fight of his life and repeats that he wants the best man to win. Then Rey heads to the ring, that title match will be up after this break.

Post break Jimmy beats up Ashante the Adonis in the back, then Solo comes up behind Ashante and puts him through a merch table with a Uranage. OK then.

Santos Escobar heads down to the ring, Zelina Vega is at ringside now but doesn’t seem to be fully with either man.

Match #3 – US Title Match: (c) Rey Mysterio vs. Santos Escobar

Special ring introductions for the title match. They tie up, Escobar with a go behind but Rey tries a Stunner but Escobar blocks it. Rey with an ankle pick and they hit the mat with Escobar holding a leg scissors around the body of Rey. Eventually Escobar loses the grip and they wind up separated. Rey and Escobar trade arm wringers, Escobar sends Rey to the apron then lands a kick and hits a plancha onto Rey to send us to break.

We come back to Escobar working a modified abdominal stretch. Escobar forces Rey down to the mat again, but Rey fights up and free with a headlock. Shoulder block from Escobar, then a dropkick off the ropes for a 2 count. Rey blocks an O’Connor Roll and hits a head scissors to send Escobar out of the ring, then Rey with a triangle crossbody to the outside that wipes out Escobar. Back in the ring Rey goes up top for a seated senton, then a slightly awkward crossbody and both men are down for a moment to recover. We go picture in picture to see Jimmy and Solo still on a rampage in the back taking out production staff. OK then. Rey lands a kick to the head of Escobar, then a drop toe hold to set up the 619 but Escobar intercepts him with a superkick that sends Rey out of the ring. Escobar with a high velocity suicide dive to take out Rey. Escobar onto the barricade then moonsaults onto the prone Rey. Back into the ring now Escobar with some double knees in the corner, then he hits it again for good measure. Escobar sets Rey on the top rope and climbs up there with him, but Rey fights back with headbutts to drop Escobar to the mat, but he takes too long and Escobar lands a kick then climbs up for a super hurricanrana which connects. Slingshot splash from Escobar connects but only a 2 count as we head to break.

Post break Escobar boots Rey in the gut and sets up a Gory Special which he locks in. Rey escapes with an arm drag then elevates Escobar to the apron but Escobar lands a kick and climbs the ropes but Rey avoids his crossbody and Escobar eats canvas. Rey hits the ropes for a springboard crossbody, but Escobar avoids it and Rey wipes out. Escobar hits a tilt a whirl backbreaker, then an Argentine backbreaker drop for a near fall. Rey and Escobar share a moment, Rey calling him on saying there has to be a winner. Chop from Escobar but Rey fights back with a kick but Escobar counters a hurricanrana, Rey then rolls through for a sunset flip for a near fall. Escobar sends Rey to the apron, Rey then kicks him and pulls him up onto the top rope. Up there Rey wants a super hurricanrana but Escobar tries the avalanche Phantom Driver, they fight over the spot for a second before Rey ultimately hits a top rope head scissors to send both men down. Rey sets up a 619 again, but Escobar catches him and looks for a counter but Rey sends him into the ropes again and this time hits the 619. Rey slowly heads up top, but Escobar avoids the Frog Splash and they trade roll ups for 2 counts each. Escobar tries a Phantom Driver but Rey counters into a Small Package which gets the 3 count.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Rey Mysterio retained the title in 20:30

Rating: 3.5 stars
Thoughts: Good match, but that’s not surprising as these two are darn good wrestlers. This lacked a little cohesion early but picked up down the stretch as both men work similar styles and were quite giving to each other.

Post match Rey celebrates with the belt briefly then offers a hand to Escobar. Before that can develop the Street Profits arrive and jump both men. The Profits ultimately stand tall and here comes Bobby Lashley who’s all smiles. Cruz del Toro and Joaquin Wilde run down, but Bobby cuts off Wilde and Cruz then gets beat down by the Profits. Dragon Lee tries to get involved but he’s held back by security as Wilde takes the Revelation, apparently now that’s going by The Cash Out. Bobby embraces Dawkins and Ford as they head to the back while the LWO tries to regroup. That felt a little mistimed as shots are lingering. Anyway Cena will be here eventually as we head to break.

Post break, a recap of the Profits heel move moments ago. In the trainers room the LWO are recovering, but here’s Kayla to stir the pot. Escobar speaks in Spanish and Rey says they beat the Profits last week and they want a match at Fastlane against the Profits and Bobby. Well that’s one way to establish the Hurt Profits.

We get a bit of time devoted to WWE signing Jade Cargill. I can’t wait for Poochie to bury her, because Poochie.

Next, a recap of Iyo Sky vs. Asuka from last week. Of course it focuses as much oh Charlotte Flair as anything else, because we should be wondering what Poochie is thinking at all times when she’s not on screen. That’s a set up for Charlotte Flair’s entrance with her sweetened response. After this break we’ll get Charlotte and Bayley again. Oh wait, check that, we do see John Cena arrive in the parking garage still holding the contract from last week.

We come back from break with another inspirational bit of Elton Prince recovering from his shoulder injury. He does finally get out of the wheel chair this time. In the back Butch and Ridge Holland wonder what that was and wish more harm on Pretty Deadly.

To the ring, here comes Bayley with accompaniment. Before the match Charlotte gets a mic, God help us. She asks what happened to Bayley, she used to matter and now is just a stepping stone for Iyo. But that doesn’t matter, because after she wins tonight she’s taking the title from Iyo at Fastlane.

Match #4: Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley w/ Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai

Bayley attacks at the bell and unloads on Charlotte. Some corner work from Bayley but Charlotte turns it around and lands a chop. More chops from Charlotte then she lands a boot. Iyo ties up Charlotte so Bayley can attack and knock her to the floor, then Bayley follows up with a diving elbow from the apron to the floor and we get a break.

Post break Charlotte hits a top rope crossbody. More chops from Charlotte then a fall away slam. Step over clothesline from Charlotte gets a 2 count. Bayley snaps Charlotte over the top rope then tries an O’Connor Roll but Charlotte blocks and starts going after the knee of Bayley. Kick from Bayley, but Charlotte responds with a big boot for another 2 count. Charlotte goes up top, but Bayley pulls her down then hits a double knee strike to the body. Bayley with a modified Sunset Flip that sends Charlotte into the corner, and that gets a 2 count. Bayley unloads with chops of her own but runs into a Spear and that gets the pin.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Charlotte Flair won in 7:37

Rating: 2 stars
Thoughts: A bit too disjointed to go much higher, these two have pretty good chemistry in general but this didn’t really click.

Post match Bayley gets a mic and says she promised to end Charlotte tonight, and they’re all going to. Iyo, Dakota, and Bayley all surround the ring but here’s Asuka for some reason to sort of chase them away. Asuka gets a mic and yells at them in Japanese which Bayley pretends to understand and volunteers Iyo for a triple threat match at Fastlane with Asuka and Charlotte. Iyo: “That wasn’t what she said.”

In the back John Cena walks, he’ll talk after this break.

Next week Dragon Lee will take on Austin Theory, Judgement Day will be around for more pointless talking as well.

Anyway here’s John Cena still carrying the contract for Fastlane. Cena gets a mic and plays with the crowd then reminds us he’s here to wrestle but the Bloodline didn’t like that and knocked him out. But Cena still has the contract for that match against the Bloodline at Fastlane, and there’s still an open space for his partner. So tonight is important, he’s got a choice in that he can tear up the contract and get out of the match or he can stand and fight. Well his motto is Never Give Up, so you know what he’s doing. He will honor that contract and if can’t find a partner by Fastlane he’ll just fight by himself. That brings out the Bloodline and Jimmy Uso. Jimmy has a mic and says Cena wont even make it out of tonight much less get to Fastlane. Cena jumps Jimmy, Solo looks nonplussed but does get into the ring with Cena. Cena tries an Attitude Adjustment to Cena but Jimmy saves him and then hits Cena with a hip attack. Solo follows with one of his own, then another from Solo. Jimmy starts taking apart the announce table and set Cena on it, Jimmy climbs the ropes but here’s LA Knight to a less monstrous pop than usual. Knight attacks Jimmy and Solo for a bit and drops Solo with a neckbreaker then a powerslam to Jimmy. Yeah Elbow to Jimmy, Cena tosses Solo out of the ring then Knight does the same to Jimmy. Knight and Cena wind up face to face, Knight picks up the contract and signs to be Cena’s partner. Would have been better with the crowd last week, but you do what you can. Cena and Knight stand tall with Knight’s music playing as the episode ends.

The final score: review Average
The 411
Pretty pedestrian show this week, a lot of filler in terms of the air time with some video packages, reactions, lingering shots, and Jimmy and Solo occasionally attacking people backstage. The wrestling was mostly just alright, the exception being Rey and Escobar which was good. Ultimately this episode had to redo a chunk of last week because of Knight's positive Covid test that prevented him from saving Cena then, so almost all of the narrative this week was a retread to get to the outcome of Knight saving Cena and teaming with him. Beyond that they jumped to another women's triple threat very quickly with no real build other than Charlotte being Charlotte, we spent a good chunk of time pointing at Dragon Lee in the crowd, and the Street Profits went full heel. A lot of tossing stuff at Fastlane because it came up so quick in the calendar but man does that feel like a B tier PPV. Still this could have been worse and there were highlights both in the ring and move the narratives forward.

article topics :

WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree