WWE Smackdown emanates from the WWE ThunderDome inside the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida tonight for the go-home episode before Hell In A Cell this Sunday!
- Otis defends his Money In The Bank contract in court
- Roman Reigns reveals the consequences of this Sunday’s Hell In A Cell ‘I Quit’ match
The Kevin Owens Show With Daniel Bryan
- Owens welcomes fans to the KO show on his new home on SmackDown and introduces Bryan.
- Owens asks about Bryan’s vision for SmackDown, Bryan responds that he wants a show focused on fresh talent and the IC title defended every week. Owens suggests he and Bryan team up as he has never won the tag titles.
- Roode & Ziggler, Street Profits and Cesaro & Shinsuke all interrupt before Bryan says he and Owens should test that theory and start a brawl as we cut to commercial.
Analysis: Not at all the direction I thought they’d take with either man but certainly not against it! These two have great chemistry and the SmackDown tag division could use some new, big-name blood even if it’s only a short partnership before one (most likely Owens) betrays the other. And hey, if that happens we get DANIEL BRYAN VS. KEVIN OWENS! How could you not be all for that!
The Street Profits, Kevin Owens & Daniel Bryan defeat Cesaro, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode & Dolph Ziggler via Pinfall in roughly 15:00
- The heels resorted to dirty tactics to isolate Ford in their corner before Ford managed to disorientate Cesaro and get the tag to Bryan.
- Bryan seems to injure his knee after flipping out from the corner. The opposing team takes advantage, hitting it off the ring apron and locking in a number of leg submissions to weaken it further.
- Dawkins tags in and Cesaro tries to pin him with his feet on the ropes but the referee catches him. Bryan & Owens take out the rest of the opposing team before Ford hits the Frog Splash on Cesaro for the win.
Analysis: Bryan’s knee injury was the big story of this match, allowing the heels to keep him from fighting back nor being able to tag out. He eventually tagged out though and his team managed to pick up the win – Very fun opener! I’m not usually a massive fan of these 8-man tags put together with no build, but the match-up was fresh enough and that didn’t matter.
Law & Otis Part 1
- JBL is introduced as the residing judge.
- Miz gives his opening statement, that Otis has hurt him emotionally and as a former MITB contract holder, he wants to get the contract off Otis and restore the contract’s legacy.
- Otis responds that he should keep the contract because he won it…and that’s it.
- Miz’s lawyer says Otis has a good point. Miz fires her.
Analysis: They went all-in with the Law & Order spoof and it was great! Dramatic sound effects after every point, JBL & Simmons being the court staff, the over-the-top introduction. I wasn’t expecting much from this but I’m pleasantly surprised and looking forward to the rest of the segments throughout the night.
Sami Zayn Confronts Daniel Bryan Backstage
"Fist me boys!" – @WWEDanielBryan
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) October 24, 2020
- Bryan celebrates with Owens & the Street Profits. He tells them to “fist me boys” which causes Owens to spit out his drink before the Street Profits laugh about it with him and walk away.
- Sami Zayn appears and says he saw Bryan’s comments about wanting the Intercontinental Championship defended weekly on the KO show but wants to clarify he’s running the championship the way he wants to.
Analysis: Similarly to last week, they’re building multiple stories around Bryan and I want to see ALL OF THEM. Bryan Vs Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship could be a excellent feud, especially based off their Talking Smack interaction last week.
Bianca Belair defeats Zelina Vega via Pinfall in 2:38
- Vega slaps Belair early on which enrages ‘The EST’ and she easily overpowers Vega.
- In the closing moments, Belair deadlifts Vega into a Gorilla Press and brings her down onto the turnbuckle before hitting the KOD for the win.
Analysis: Very dominant showing for Belair, as it should be, but one that didn’t make Vega look bad either! I’m glad they finally seem to be on the right track with Belair on SmackDown after she mostly floundered on RAW since WrestleMania. If done right, she’ll be a future Women’s Champion for sure.
Lars Sullivan defeats Shorty G via Pinfall in 2:01, Chad Gable is back!
- Shorty G is interviewed beforhand and says he challenged Sullivan after being disrespected when he didn’t get drafted on the main show. He wants to prove he deserves being on SmackDown.
- G manages to get some offence in after using an eye rake before Sullivan grounds him with the Freak Accident for the win.
- Shorty G says he quits SmackDown in the aftermath.
- Adam Pearce talks to him in the medical room: Shorty G says he’s done being the guy who accepts his position and that he needs to go back to being the Olympian. He needs to go back to being Chad Gable.
Analysis: Another squash match that did wonders for both men. Despite winning, Lars wasn’t actually the focal point of this segment but instead Shorty G was. Gable is finally ridding himself of the Shorty G label that’s been holding him down for the last year. Now he needs to start getting wins back, clean or not.
Sasha Banks Forces Bayley To Sign Their Hell In A Cell Contract
- We cut back to Bayley saying that she isn’t afraid of Sasha and that’s not why she didn’t sign the contract. She didn’t sign because she’s tired of dealing with Sasha.
- Sasha interrupts and tells Bayley to sign the contract. Bayley tries to hit her with a chair but misses with Sasha grabbing Bayley’s title.
- The two get into a brawl with Sasha eventually locking in the Bank Statement whilst Bayley’s head is in a chair, causing Bayley to eventually sign the contract.
Analysis: This wasn’t at all the traditional ‘face way’ of getting someone to sign a contract but for a feud as long-standing as this, it totally makes sense. Sasha is done being nice and just want to get her hands on Bayley now, with Bayley trying every trick in the book to get out of dodge before finally being forced to sign. Very excited for their match on Sunday.
Law & Otis Part 2
- Multiple witnesses come to the stand: Morrison says Otis has made him and Miz experience a lot of emotional trauma the last few months but Rey, Asuka & Tucker all give evidence that Otis did indeed win the Money In The Bank ladder match and therefore is the rightful holder.
- Miz goads Tucker into attacking him before JBL breaks it up and holds a recess before he makes his decision. He returns and almost sides with Otis.
- Miz interrupts handing in the last piece of evidence: A giant briefcase of money. JBL then rules in favour of Miz, declaring that he will challenge Otis for the Money In the Bank contract at Hell in A Cell.
Analysis: A very entertaining follow-up to the earlier segment. The cameos from Rey, Asuka, Tucker & Teddy Long were great fun and Miz bribes JBL to win because OF COURSE HE DOES. We’re getting Miz Vs. Otis again but at least it has stakes this time. I just hope if they do end up keeping Money In The Bank on Otis that they actually do something interesting with it. If he ends up losing his cash-in match after all this, it’s gonna be very disappointing.
Seth Rollins defeats Murphy via Pinfall in 17:10, Aalyah Gets Involved Post-Match
- Aalyah is seen watching backstage as Murphy makes his entrance. Rey & Dominik try to get her to leave during the match, but she insists she wants to watch Murphy.
- Rollins & Murphy exchange control throughout this very even contest. They constantly dodge and counter each other’s offence, not letting the other get the upperhand.
- Rollins eventually picked up the win with The Stomp after Murphy dodged it several times.
- Afterwards, Rollins pulled out a kendo stick from under the ring and Aalyah ran to the arena after Rey & Dominik refused to help Murphy. Aalyah protected Murphy from sustaining more than a few kendo shots before Dominik came to the ring.
- Rollins attacked Dominik as he was leaving, leading to Rey coming out to drive him from the ring. Aalyah and Murphy embraced as we cut to commercial.
Analysis: A fantastic back-and-forth content between Rollins & Murphy that wouldn’t have been out of place on a pay-per-view and exceeded expectations for an episode of SmackDown. Though I am getting a little burnt out on the Mysterio Vs. Rollins story, I feel like the Aalyah and Murphy is breathing new life into it – I just hope the Rollins/Mysterio aspect finishes soon. I’d love to see more of Murphy away from Rollins after this match, especially if Aalyah’s managing him or something interesting like that!
Roman Reigns Announces the ‘Consequences’ of the Hell In A Cell I Quit Match
- As Roman is being handed the mic by Heyman, we see Jey on the titantron in Roman’s suite. He says that Roman’s lost the connection to his family and to look behind him before taking off his hat and bandanna to reveal he’s actually Jimmy!
- Jey attacks Roman from behind and managed to hit the Universal Champion with an Uso Splash as Heyman looks on horrified.
- Roman announces that the match’s ‘consequence’ is that if Jey does not acknowledge Roman as the tribal chief and follow his order after the match, both Uso brothers and their close families will be disowned by the Anoa’i family.
Analysis: An interesting twist to the match on Sunday, though I feel like there were stronger segments that could have ended the show. Roman now has a knife to hang over both Uso brothers to force their subservience though I’m cautiously pessimistic about how they’re going to present the possibility of them being disowned. Then again, they’ve surpassed all my expectations with this feud thus far so it really wouldn’t shock me for them to do it again!
And that was the October 23rd 2020 episode of WWE SmackDown. Another consistently strong showing from the blue brand as, despite being the go-home episode to Hell In A Cell, they managed to simultaneously tie up all the loose ends heading into Sunday whilst ALSO teasing a number of new angles to look forward to after Sunday.
I particularly enjoyed Chad Gable finally ridding himself of the demeaning Shorty G moniker, Seth Rollins Vs. Murphy and the Law & Otis segments. Whilst there wasn’t anything ‘bad’ per say, I still retain that feeling of cautious pessimism about how they’re going to present this consequence after Hell In A Cell when Roman inevitably forces the Uso brothers to go along with him due to it.
Keep up-to-date with all the fallout from this episode of Smackdown, as well as all the latest WWE news, right here at Inside The Ropes.