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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.30.22

September 30, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
WWE Smackdown Drew McIntyre Image Credit: WWE
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 9.30.22  

Well everyone, it’s Friday so here’s another episode of Smackdown. Tonight we’ll probably be dealing with a somewhat improvised episode seeing as Hurricane Ian has most likely caused some travel problems. We do have a couple of tag team matches, Solo Sikoa will team up with Sami Zayn to take on Madcap Moss and Ricochet, plus Hit Row will square up with Los Lotharios. One of those matches has potential, the other involves Hit Row. Last week we got confirmation that Karrion Kross will meet Drew McIntyre in a strap match, so there’s a decent chance that feud will push forward. Next week we’ve got the rematch between Gunther and Sheamus coming, and we’ll probably get more Imperium and Brawling Brutes interaction tonight. Bayley will be in action against Shotzi. Now again, all of this could be up in the air depending on who’s been impacted by the hurricane. Well let’s see what WWE has in store for us tonight.

You can tell when the show is potentially hurting for time when they give us the full video intro. Up first is Sami Zayn, and I’m reminded again that we’re stuck with Cory Graves alongside Michael Cole, still maybe the worst commentary duo in WWE. They just don’t blend. Solo Sikoa is here as well to set up our first match. Yeah we’re hurting for time, we’ve got two different video recaps before the first match starts.

Match #1 – Tag Team Match: Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa vs. Madcap Moss and Ricochet

Ricochet and Sami start us off. Sami grabs a side headlock then switches to an arm wringer. Ricochet flips free and hits an arm twist of his own then lays in punches. Evasive moves from Ricochet then a drop kick. Moss tags in and starts in with shoulder strikes then a slow motion back body drop. More strikes from Moss, then Sami hits a drop toe hold and tags out. Sikoa starts in with strikes right away then lands a headbutt. Stomps from Sikoa then Sami tags back in. Moss fights back but launching Sami out of the ring, then Sikoa eats a kick and is sent out to set up an assisted Ricochet dive onto them which sends us to break.

We come back to Sikoa working a nerve hold on Ricochet. Ricochet fights back with some strikes but he eats a Samoan Drop for a 2 count. Stomps from Sikoa then a leg drop. Ricochet avoids another Samoan Drop and fights back with an enziguri then a flying drop kick and both men are down. Both men tag out, though it’s debatable which of them is the hot tag. Moss runs wild on Sami to a chorus of boos from the Canadian crowd. Punches from Moss then a couple of corner Spears before he knocks Sikoa out of the ring. Sikoa is pissed and gets a chair, but here’s Ricochet to slow that down, and Sami rolls up Moss for 2 then hits a Blue Thunder Bomb for another 2 count. Sami heads up top, but Moss catches his cross body and the hoists Sami up for a Jackhammer and Sikoa has to break up the pin. Ricochet and Sikoa start brawling in the ring, Ricochet sends Sikoa out of the ring with a knee strike, then sets to dive but Sami trips him up. Moss tosses Sami into the barricade, Ricochet tries to dive onto Sikoa but Sikoa tosses the chair into him mid flight. Sikoa tosses Ricochet into the ring post then into the barricade. Sikoa blind tags in and intercepts a charging Moss with a spin kick. The Spinning Solo (it’s just a traditional uranage) follows and Sikoa pins Moss to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn won

Rating: 3 stars

The confused face/hell alignments hurt this a bit, but it was pretty solid and Ricochet was the right kind of guy to bump like a madman for Sikoa as Sikoa clearly has some mobility issues.

Post match Sikoa unloads on Moss in the corner, then hits a couple of hip attacks.

We head to break with the announcement that Ronda Rousey will wrestle Natalya tonight.

In the back Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa walk and talk, but find Jey in the Bloodline locker room. Jey and Sikoa hug, then Jey says he’s just here to make sure his little brother is good and he and Sami both put over Sami. Sikoa heads into the room, then Jey talks with Sami. Jey sees right though Sami Zayn, this is his warning because if he even thinks about jeopardizing the Bloodline Jey will get him. Sami advises him to take that up with Roman, then heads into the locker room leaving a fuming Jey.

We get a video promo from Karrion Kross and Scarlett, Kross warns Drew that luring him out of the darkness was dangerous. Kross knows you can’t just waltz back in and get a title shot, but Drew’s been on top for a long time. Kross will send Drew to the hospital to make sure he stays down, and at Extreme Rules he’s going to take Drew to a point of no return. Both Kross and Drew want the same thing, and because of that they’re bound together through suffering. Once Drew is out of the way Kross will become the new UwU champion. When Kross and Drew are strapped together Kross will drag him into the deepest parts of hell and leave him there to burn away. Tick tock. Once again, Kross has a good feel for these kinds of promos and this worked well. Our weekly White Rabbit QR code shows up at the close of his video.

In the back Kayla talks with Austin Theory, because we’re hurting for time. Theory has learned his lesson, Brock Lesnar and Tyson Fury have both ruined his cash ins then insults Wales and the European version of Winnipeg. But more than anyone Drew McIntyre got embarrassed at Clash at the Castle. Drew shows up behind Theory as Theory continues talking then puts a hand on Theory’s shoulder to interrupt him. Drew: You. Me. In the ring. Now! That sends us to break.

We come back, and here comes Drew McIntyre with his sword and the leather strap. When Theory comes to the ring he brings with him Alpha Academy.

Match #2: Drew McIntyre vs. Austin Theory w/ Alpha Academy (Otis and Chad Gable)

Theory avoids Drew at first then tries a cheap shot before chopping Drew to no real effect. Drew returns fire and floors Theory with a chop. Deadlift release suplex from Drew, good grief. Another chop from Drew, and Theory powders. Drew reaches for Theory but Theory snaps him over the top rope then hits a drop kick. Some punches from Theory but Drew cuts him off with a Future Shock DDT. Drew sets for the Claymore, but Gable gets involved and tossed into the ring. Otis pulls Drew out of the ring and the match is thrown out as Otis tosses Drew into the ring steps.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Drew McIntyre won via Disqualification

Rating: 2 stars

More angle than match, but competently worked.

Post match here comes Johnny Gargano to help Drew, he runs wild on everyone for a few moments before the numbers catch up to him. Our final run in comes from Kevin Owens, and Owens proceeds to abuse Theory and Gable. Theory and Gable are ejected, the Otis takes super kicks from Owens and Gargano, then Drew lands a headbutt that sends Otis out of the ring. Everyone yells at each other for a bit.

In the back Max Dupri walks and is found by Maxxine, Mace, and Mansoor. Mace and Mansoor promise to make Max proud by taking home the title. Max asks if they got a title shot, but Maxxine says they’ll be breaking the Canadian record for longest pose. Max walks off, and Hit Row walk by and distract the Models. They reset and hold the pose as we head to break.

Post break Shotzi talks, she doesn’t like Damage Control and doesn’t think those scheming jackals have any control. Tonight she’s going to prove she’ll put her nose and her boots wherever she wants and says she’ll roll to the ring. Tank return hype?

To the ring and Los Lotharios are almost in the ring. Hit Row come out, to no discernable crowd reaction.

Match #3 – Tag Team Match: Hit Row (Top Dollah and Ashante the Adonis) w/ B-Fab vs. Los Lotharios (Humberto and Angel)

Ashante and Angel start us off, they tie up and hit the corner, then Humberto tags in and they work to isolate Ashante with a double team flapjack and stereo super kicks. Chop from Humberto then he tags in Angel. Stomps to Ashante, then Angel removes his pants to show he’s serious. Ashante counters a suplex with a neckbreaker then both men tag out. Dollah runs wild for a bit, including one of the worst Regal knee lifts, then a nice side slam. Elbow drop from Dollah and Angel breaks up the pin. Dollah then hoists Angel onto his shoulders, picks up Humberto, tags Ashate while holding both of them and hits a Worlds Strongest Slam to drop everyone. Heavy Hitter to Humberto and we’re done.


Rating: 1.5 stars

Glorified squash, Dollah’s strength is impressive but Ashante doesn’t generate sympathy and neither of them are especially good workers right now.

We get a video recap of Liv Morgan going “extreme” last week after her match with Lacey Evans.

In the back Ronda is asked about Liv going extreme, Ronda dismisses it and says Liv could bring a katana and Ronda would still kick her ass. Ronda’s already the most dangerous woman on the planet, what do you think she becomes when she can use a baseball bat? Short and effective promo from Ronda there. That sends us to break.

Post break, here comes Natalya.

Match #4: Natalya vs. Ronda Rousey

They stare off then shove, Natalya goes for the Sharpshooter but Ronda kicks her off. Ankle Lock now from Natalya, Ronda rolls through and sends Natalya into the corner. Punches from Ronda then she grabs a triangle choke through the ropes and then a follow up knee. Rolling armbar from Ronda, she switches to about half a banana split and Natalya escapes into side control but Ronda spins free and lands a knee to the body. Natalya avoids a knee strike in the corner and slams Ronda out of the corner. They’re both selling like they’ve been working for 15 minutes. Another kick from Ronda, then she counters a discus clothesline into a judo toss. Natalya avoids Piper’s Pit, tries a Sharpshooter but Ronda picks the ankle, they get a little lost and Natalya just covers for 2 then hits a discus clothesline for a near fall. Ronda counters a scoop slam into an Ankle Lock, drops to grapevine the leg and forces the tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ronda Rousey won

Rating: 2.5 stars

Average match, these two have worked together enough to play the hits.

Post match here comes Liv Morgan with a baseball bat, Ronda stares her down on the entrance ramp and Liv charges into a side kick. Liv hits a bat shot, then misses a shot against the ring post. Ronda picks up Liv and hits Piper’s Pit on the floor. Both women fight for the bat, Ronda shoves Liv into the ring a few times, then Liv pushes her into the barricade. Liv tries a bat shot but Ronda counters and tosses Liv into the time keepers area. Security is here to try and calm things down, Ronda has the bat and debates what she’ll do, eventually just dropping the bat and walking away. Liv returns to her feet and charges at Ronda through the security goons and we get a full blown pull apart. That’s one way to kill time I guess. I appreciate them trying to heat this match up, the efficacy might be a touch debatable but they’re trying.

In the back Drew, Johnny Gargano, and Kevin Owens talk. Drew brings up the history between himself and Owens, Gargano is able to play a little peacekeeper as everyone agrees Theory needs his ass kicked. Owens walks off, the Models are still posing, then Owens finds Sami Zayn. They share a few looks, then Owens chuckles and tells Sami he needs a new shirt. That sends us to break.

Post break Shinsuke Nakamura is slightly confused by the models posing.

To the ring and here come Imperium. These three men will be in an anything goes match against the Brawling Brutes at Extreme Rules, plus of course next week the rematch between Gunther and Sheamus on Smackdown. Kaiser has a mic, he says there are few things more insulting to the sacred wrestling mat than the presence of the Brawling Brutes. Vinci says none of the Brutes have championship qualities, champions look like Gunther. Gunther says he’ll beat Sheamus again next week and he’ll enjoy the look of defeat in his eyes when his spirit is broken. The next night Imperium will obliterate the Brutes. Sheamus interrupts this with a mic of his own. Sheamus says Gunther likes talking a big fight, but Ridge and Butch are stuck in Florida but that’s alright because Sheamus is here in Winnipeg. And lads, Sheamus is happy to fight all three of them. Kaiser and Vinci go after Sheamus, but Sheamus takes them out then gets in the ring with Gunther. Sheamus tosses his weapon aside, he’s happy with a fair fight against Gunther. Gunther doesn’t back down, and the two men start brawling. Sheamus lands a knee strike then sets for the Brogue Kick, but Kaiser and Vinci hold him in place so Gunther can land a boot. Gunther starts laying in chops to Sheamus, then he tells Sheamus that he’ll never get the title before chopping him again. Powerbomb from Gunther, I don’t know why Sheamus always takes that on the small of his back but it always looks incredibly painful. Imperium head out, but Sheamus gets a mic and from the mat asks if that’s all Gunther’s got. Imperium return to the ring, Kaiser and Vinci stomp on Sheamus for a bit now. Gunther gets the shillelagh and cracks Sheamus in the head with it to lay him out. Imperium head out again. I’m still psyched for their rematch.

Bayley is in the back, and brings up pinning Bianca Belair. Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai are stuck in Florida, but it doesn’t matter as Bayley will beat Shotzi tonight then go on to beat Belair in their ladder match.

We get an announcement from the commentary table about the passing of wrestling legend and WWE hall of famer Antonio Inoki. Corey Graves brings up that Inoki is technically a WWE champion though his reign was never acknowledged and we get a graphic in memory of Inoki which sends us to break. Classy of them to do that on the fly as news of Inoki’s passing only recently broke.

Post break, here comes Bayley. Shotzi follows, and the tank is indeed back and now shoots fireworks.

Match #5: Bayley vs. Shotzi

Bayley with kicks and more strikes right away. Shotzi avoids a clothesline then lands an enziguri. Some arm throws from Shotzi then a Codebreaker to the arm and a modified Victory Roll for 2. Bayley sends Shotzi into the corner then hits a slow motion arm drag and a kick. Shotzi drops Bayley into the ropes and misses a splash, then there’s an awkward transition to reset the position and Shotzi hits a back splash to Bayley. Shotzi heads up top, Bayley moves so Shotzi heads to the apron and hits a head kick then spikes Bayley on the apron through the ropes to send us to break.

Both women are down as we come back, Shotzi avoids a corner rush and hits what could charitably be called a drop kick. Running face buster from Shotzi then a knee strike and rolling elbow. Suplex into the corner from Shotzi, that looked like a rough landing. Bayley cuts off Shotzi on the ropes then slams her down. Rose Plant from Bayley and we’re done.


Rating: 2.5 stars

Shotzi’s sloppy chaotic style works better as a face, and Bayley is still a pretty solid ring general. The ending seemed very abrupt and I hope Bayley didn’t tweak her knee as she looked like she was limping.

Post match Bayley with another Rose Plant, sort of. Bayley goes under the ring for a ladder which she sends into the ring. Bayley sets Shotzi in the ring and looks to splash her, but Bianca Belair’s music hits. Belair heads to the ring, save Shotzi but Bayley grabs her from behind and sets for a Rose Plant, though Belair powers up and into a Kiss of Death position but Bayley slips free and escapes.

In the back the models are about to break the record but here comes Max and lays out Mansoor. Max says they’re clowns more worried about posing than anything else. You can 86 this, and Max tosses his belt aside saying this might have never been for him.

Austin Theory and the Alpha Academy head to the ring, our six man main event will be up after the break.

Post break, here come the faces for our main event.

Match #6 – Trios Match: Austin Theory and Alpha Academy (Otis and Chad Gable) vs. Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, and Johnny Gargano

Gable and Gargano get us going. They tie up and trade arm wringers and escapes for a bit, then they hit the ropes and Gargano hits a hurricanrana then some chops. Theory distracts Gargano and Gable is able to drop him then tag in Theory. Theory misses a corner attack and Gargano lands a rolling kick. Slingshot Spear from Gargano, things break down then Owens tags in and hits a cannonball senton from the apron onto Theory and Gable to send us to break.

Post break Galbe is isolating Gargano in the heel corner. Gargano fights back with shoulder blocks from the apron, but a jumping DDT is countered into a Northern Lights suplex from Gable to get a near fall. Gable starts working the arm of Gargano, Theory attacks Drew on the apron to prevent a hot tag. Gable then avoids a rolling kick and grabs an Ankle Lock. Gargano is able to roll up Gable then avoid a clothesline and tag in Owens. Owens runs wild on Gable with strikes and a senton. Theory eats a DDT from Owens, then Owens drops Gable with a wrist clutch Fisherman’s buster across the knee. Cannonball from Owens in the corner, then a Swanton Bomb to Gable and Otis has to break up the pin. Drew stomps onto the apron and demands a tag, Owens eats a German suplex from Gable and both men are down. Drew gets the tag, as does Theory and Drew starts to run wild. Drew with belly to belly throws to Theory then a neckbreaker. Next Drew sets for the Claymore, but Theory rolls out of the ring and Drew follows him. Drew tosses Theory back into the ring but Otis blindsides him with an avalanche then tosses him into the ring steps. Gargano with a pescado to Otis but Otis catches him, Gargano then slips off of his shoulders and posts him. Things break down on the outside, Otis gets set on the announcers table but Gable saves him and suplex Owens on the floor. Gable looks to attack Owens on the table, Gargano hits a DDT onto Otis, Owens with a Stunner to Gable on the table, then back in the ring Drew kills a jumping Theory with a Claymore to get the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Drew McIntyre, Kevin Owens, and Johnny Gargano won

Rating: 3 stars

A little too chaotic, though I’m blaming that more on Kevin Dunn and the production decisions than the workers as we legitimately missed the Stunner and Claymore on the broadcast.

Post match Drew whips Theory with the leather strap and sends him packing to stand tall as the episode ends.

The final score: review Good
The 411
Full disclosure, I'm grading this one on a curve as they clearly had to rework parts of the show due to the hurricane causing issues. That said it felt like they stopped trying to stretch for time by the second hour, though the first hour had all the hallmarks of filler tactics. They're trying to heat up Liv Morgan vs. Ronda Rousey, and God bless the attempt but I'm not sure how successful it is. Max Dupri seems done with that gimmick and we could get the return of LA Knight, the Imperium beatdown of Sheamus was well done, we had a decent running gag in the back of the Models holding their pose, and a pretty decent brawl for the main event. Hit Row was a low point, and Shotzi's ring work still makes he fearful for whoever she's in the ring with (not in a good way), but even those were still generally passable. Considering the re-writing that had to go into this episode I think they pulled it into Good territory.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree