Smackdown – October 22, 2021

Date: October 22, 2021
Location: Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, Kansas
Commentators: Michael Cole, Pat McAfee

We’re done with Crown Jewel and that means it is time to start getting ready for Survivor Series. The big story coming out of the show is Roman Reigns retaining the Universal Title as Paul Heyman managed to stay in the middle while still interfering in the match. That could mean more than a few things going forward so let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of Roman Reigns retaining the Universal Title over Brock Lesnar, albeit with an assist from the Usos and a title belt shot.

Here are Reigns and Paul Heyman for a chat to get things going. Reigns isn’t happy with Heyman, as he doesn’t get why the title was thrown into the middle of the ring last night. Reigns: “Shall we work on this?” He demonstrates how to put the title in his hand and says that Heyman isn’t good as his job. We hear Reigns’ various monikers, including the greatest Universal Champion of all time (that has been a long five years). Reigns lists off all of the people he has smashed while champion, including Brock Lesnar.

Speaking of Lesnar, wasn’t he supposed to be here tonight? Reigns has Heyman pull out his phone to read Lesnar’s promise to beat up Reigns as soon as he arrives tonight. Reigns: “He’s tweeting now!” That makes Reigns laugh and he wants Lesnar out here for his second beating in a row. He faces the Titantron but no one shows up, so Reigns thinks Lesnar must be scared. Reigns makes it clear: he isn’t leaving the ring until Lesnar gets here.

We take a break and come back with Reigns and Heyman still in the ring, with the former talking about how great he is. The fans want Lesnar but Reigns says Lesnar is scared of him, just like everyone else. Reigns is ready to leave but here is Lesnar to cut him off. The fight is on with Lesnar knocking him to the floor but stopping to look at Heyman. One heck of a steps shot knocks Reigns silly and it’s time to load up the announcers’ table.

Cue the Usos for the save so Lesnar beats them up, allowing Reigns to get back up. Lesnar drives Reigns into the post and then steals a camera, which he throws at the post to break it into pieces. Someone gets sent over the announcers’ table so Adam Pearce sends out various wrestlers to calm Lesnar down but they’re beaten down as well. Cesaro, Jeff Hardy and the Viking Raiders finally calm things down, leaving Lesnar to hold up the Universal Title. Now that was a hot angle and it felt like Reigns was running scared for the first time.

Post break, and post a bunch of replays, Adam Pearce gets in the ring to say Lesnar’s actions were unacceptable. Therefore, Lesnar is suspended indefinitely. Cue Lesnar again and Pearce knows he messed up. Lesnar grabs him by the shirt and wants Pearce to say it again. Pearce, while struggling to breathe, repeats the suspension. Lesnar: “Is that right?” Lesnar hits an F5, hears his music start, and hits another F5, with Pearce’s pants being ripped in the process. That’s not enough for Lesnar, who grabs the mic and tells Pearce to say it again. Since Pearce can’t move, Lesnar hits him in the face with the microphone to some rather strong praise from the crowd.

The locker room is worried about what happened and here is Naomi to get in Sonya Deville’s face. Sonya yells at her and since Naomi is a face on the WWE roster, she calmly walks away without any rebuttal. Drew McIntyre pops in to say he’s here to make a difference so it’s open challenge time.

Here is Drew McIntyre in the ring and it is still open challenge time.

Drew McIntyre vs. Sami Zayn

Sami has a new theme and says he’s used to being forgotten around here. He is actually the longest tenured member of the Smackdown roster and he is kind of a locker room leader. McIntyre may be a former WWE Champion, but he’s a newbie around here. Sami will accept the challenge and drops to the floor at the opening bell. McIntyre follows him outside and sends Zayn into the barricade for a big crash.

We take a break and come back with Zayn hammering away in the corner but McIntyre snaps off an overhead belly to belly. Sami snaps Drew’s throat across the top rope but the Glasgow Kiss gets McIntyre out of trouble. A charge hits post to put him back in trouble though and Sami sends him into said post again. The Helluva Kick, complete with the countdown, is cut off with the Claymore to finish Zayn at 6:50.

Rating: C-. It wasn’t a great match or anything but they kept it short as they should have. I was expecting this to be bell, Claymore, bell and it was only just a little bit more than that. It was a good way to debut McIntyre on his new show and it worked out well enough. Zayn can lose over and over and talk his way right back into being fine so this worked out in a short span.

It’s time for the official coronation of King Xavier Woods, with Kofi Kingston making the presentation. Woods comes to the ring and Kofi puts the cloak onto him, allowing the fans to hit a YOU DESERVE IT chant. Woods: “ME???” The scepter is presented, and that just leaves the crown. Kingston gives Woods a huge over the top introduction and puts the crown on his head to a rather positive reception. Woods promises it will be a fair and fun reign, with Kofi reading a proclamation and waving the robe behind him. Goofy fun here and it’s great to see Woods getting the chance to do something on his own.

Becky Lynch isn’t interested in trading titles with Charlotte, so maybe she should be Becky Two Belts again.

Xia Li is coming soon.

Mansoor vs. Mustafa Ali

Rematch from Crown Jewel where Mansoor won. Ali misses a charge in the corner and walks into a backdrop. There’s a clothesline to the floor and Mansoor backdrops him from the apron to the floor. Back in and a high crossbody gives Mansoor two but Ali is back in with a Batista Bomb for two. A tiger suplex of all things drops Ali but he is back up with a sunset flip. That’s fine with Mansoor, who sits down on it for the pin at 2:37. Mansoor was certainly energetic here.

Ridge Holland isn’t surprise he made it here.

Aliyah is ready to give Smackdown a makeover.

Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo say that winning is easy when you look this good.

Sheamus delivers nothing but bangers. These were short and to the point and a lot better than what I would have expected from introductions.

Here is Hit Row to rhyme about how great they are and now they need a big bag for all of their nice things.

Hit Row vs. Dustin Lawyer/Daniel Williams

Swerve takes Lawyer down in a hurry and hits a running elbow to the back. The backsplash gives Dolla two and it’s a Wasteland/World’s Strongest Slam to Williams and Lawyer at the same time. A side slam/running kick to the head finishes Lawyer at 1:12. Simple, to the point, get the idea over, wrap it up before you overstay your welcome. Not a thing wrong with that.

We recap Lesnar’s destruction earlier, including that of Adam Pearce.

Sonya Deville says Pearce is going to be ok eventually and she told him what would happen. For now though, we have to keep going and she’ll take care of things on her own.

Happy Corbin vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Non-title Champions Contenders match and Corbin thanks Nakamura for sending him into the downward spiral that eventually made him happy. Madcap Moss and Rick Boogs are here too as Corbin powers Nakamura into trouble to start. Nakamura is back up with some shots in the face to take over and Good Vibrations (with Boogs accompanying on guitar) makes it worse. Back up and Corbin shoves Nakamura to the apron before dropping him face first…well close enough to the apron as we take a break.

Back with Corbin hammering away on the mat until Nakamura fights up and hits a running knee. Nakamura strikes away and hits the running knee in the corner for two. End of Days is broken up but the Deep Six gives Corbin two of his own. Boogs guitars Nakamura back to life and he knees Corbin down. Kinshasa is loaded up but Moss goes after the guitar, drawing Nakamura out for the save. Corbin sends Nakamura into the steps though and End of Days finishes Nakamura at 9:38.

Rating: C. Sweet goodness I can’t stand that finish and it’s the kind of thing that WWE loves to do. Not only did they not hide how the match was going to end, but a champ takes a fall to set up a title match which could have been set up any of about a dozen other ways. That’s not how WWE likes to do things though, because why put in the work when you can be lazy instead?

Charlotte says Becky Lynch can hand over the title really easily. Just pretend it’s Charlotte’s suitcase that Becky carried for years. We aren’t even done with the first “THE ROSTERS ARE FINALIZED” show and we already have a guest star from Raw.

Here are Becky Lynch and Charlotte, in their gear, to exchange titles. Sonya Deville tells them to hand it over but Becky drops hers. They trade the titles but Charlotte issues the challenge for winner take all. Cue Sasha Banks to call Charlotte a b**** so Becky leaves, saying she’ll see one of them at Survivor Series. Sasha and Charlotte insult each other and Banks wins a quick brawl to end the show. Just like it was last year, this was hardly anything that helped the titles, but that is long past the point of mattering.

Overall Rating: C+. This felt like a new era and that appears to be what they were going for here. There were new people introduced doing new things and it made for a good way to set things off. I liked how they introduced a lot of new people and set things in motion, with a hot opening segment making it that much better. This might not have been a classic, but it was a good way to make things interesting for the future.

Drew McIntyre b. Sami Zayn – Claymore
Mansoor b. Mustafa Ali – Cradle
Hit Row b. Dustin Lawler/Daniel Williams – Side slam/running kick to the head combination to Lawyer
Happy Corbin b. Shinsuke Nakamura – End of Days




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