Date: October 7, 2022
Location: DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
It’s the season premiere of a show that has seasons in the loosest sense of the world. This week features a showdown between Roman Reigns and Logan Paul, plus a rematch from Clash At The Castle with Gunther defending the Intercontinental Title against Sheamus. One of these things should be awesome so let’s get to it.
HHH is in the ring to get things going to say that there will be a time when you think everything is over but it is just the beginning. Welcome to Smackdown, where there is another QR code on the microphone cube.
Wade Barrett is introduced as the new member of the commentary teams. I’ve heard worse ideas.
With HHH gone, here is the Bloodline for a chat. Roman Reigns hits the catchphrase but gets cut off by Logan Paul, who stays on the apron. Reigns invites him in and the fans DO NOT like Paul. Reigns: “Don’t worry, they did that to me years ago too.” Paul Heyman is told to smarten Paul up, with Heyman saying that Logan (too many Paul’s around here) is the Mr. T. and Cyndi Lauper of his day.
The good thing is that Logan brings in more eyes who can acknowledge Reigns, so he is a good thing. Heyman goes over some other online celebrities like Ben Shapiro who would not have the guts to fight Roman Reigns. He can’t for Logan to be in a hospital bed, where he can acknowledge Reigns. Logan asks if Jey Uso is the Tribal Chief, which doesn’t sit well with Reigns. Sami Zayn plays peacemaker and rants about Logan before promising that Reigns will crush him. Zayn hits the catchphrase as Logan leaves. I’m not sure what they were going for here but if the idea was to get Logan over, they might want to try again.
Solo Sikoa vs. Ricochet
Sikoa jumps Ricochet after his flipping entrance but gets sent outside for a dive, with Ricochet still having his vest on. A triangle dropkick puts Sikoa on the floor and Ricochet flips into the superhero pose. Ricochet starts fighting back but a springboard is broken up, dropping Ricochet on the back of his head on the apron (OUCH) and we take a break. Back with Ricochet fighting out of a chinlock and striking away. A superkick into a jumping knee drops Sikoa so Ricochet goes up, only to have his shooting star press countered into Spinning Solo for the pin at 8:40.
Rating: C. Well thankfully Ricochet’s head isn’t broken after that landing. Other than that, the match was another win for Sikoa, which is exactly how you get someone over. Sikoa is brand new to the main roster and he pinned a former Intercontinental Champion clean. What else can you do to get him over?
The Bloodline is pleased with what happened, with Sami Zayn taking some credit for Sikoa’s success. Jey Uso doesn’t like that so Roman Reigns calling him a hothead. Now Sami gets to deal with the Jey problem.
The Usos and Sami Zayn run into New Day. Insults are thrown and a six man is set for later.
Hit Row comes out for a match but three masked men jump them. Zelina Vega joins in and the men unmask to reveal Legado del Fantasma. Yes believe it or not, the three masked men who wear Legado del Fantasma masks, look like Legado del Fantasma and move like Legado del Fantasma are in fact Legado del Fantasma. Vega introduces the team in case you’re slow on the uptake.
We get a White Rabbit vignette, which says the date of 10.8.22, or Extreme Rules. Feed Your Hero.
Sonya Deville/Xia Li vs. Shotzi/Raquel Rodriguez
Deville drives Li into the corner to start and Li comes in for a shot of her own. That doesn’t last long though as the hot tag brings in Rodriguez to clean house. The Vader Bomb elbow connects and everything breaks down. An assisted standing Sliced bread drops Li and the Tejana Bomb finishes Deville at 2:14.
Video on Ronda Rousey vs. Liv Morgan.
Karrion Kross and Scarlett come to the ring but Drew McIntyre jumps him from behind. The strap is tied up but McIntyre has to beat up security. That’s enough to let Kross pull McIntyre into the post a few times before giving him quite the whipping. Drew’s back is all messed up but he gets to his feet and glares as the villains leave. That is always going to work and it did here.
The Viking Raiders talk about waiting and healing. A woman’s voice says Valhalla awaits.
Usos/Sami Zayn vs. New Day/???
The mystery partner is…..Braun Strowman, who should work well. Sami and Woods start things off but let’s go with Kofi instead. Jey comes in, glares at Zayn, and gets dropkicked down. New Day hits the double dive to take out the Usos and we take a break. Back with Kofi in trouble and Sami giving Jey a rather rough tag.
That’s fine with Jey, who chokes Kofi on the ropes to let off some steam. Kofi fights up and knocks Jimmy away, allowing the hot tag off to Strowman for the house cleaning. Sami and Jey get in an argument on the floor, leaving Jimmy to get caught with UpUpDownDown for the pin at 10:28.
Rating: C+. The Usos vs. New Day will be another fine tag program, as well as another instance where I cannot bring myself to care about seeing them fight again. I know they’re probably the two best WWE teams of their generation, but this is reaching Bockwinkel vs. Gagne levels of FIND SOMEONE NEW. Strowman was the perfect choice as the mystery partner here as he is great at getting the hot tag. It’s a great sign that WWE is getting it with him and that should serve him in the future.
Max and Maxxine Durpi argue in the back, with Max declaring himself LA Knight. Barrett: “I KNEW IT WAS LA KNIGHT ALL ALONG!”
Commentary previews the main event and there is a man in a white rabbit suit behind them.
Video on Gunther vs. Sheamus.
Intercontinental Title: Sheamus vs. Gunther
Gunther is defending and we get the Big Match Intros, complete with WXW and PWG references from Cole. They fight straight to the floor to start with Sheamus driving him into the barricade as we take an early break. Back with Sheamus hitting the forearms to the chest but getting sent chest first into the buckle to break it up. Gunther grabs a choke but Sheamus fights up, earning himself a release German suplex as we take a break.
Back with Sheamus driving him into the corner to break up another choke. Sheamus hits ten forearms on the apron, then does ten more over the other two ropes for a change of pace. White Noise connects for two but Gunther is right back with a powerbomb for the same. A top rope splash to the back gives Gunther two but Sheamus grabs White Noise.
The Cloverleaf goes on and Gunther taps….but it doesn’t count as he was reaching for the rope? That’s either one heck of an error or a bad plot point because that was a tap. As Sheamus seems confused, Imperium and the Brawling Brutes come down for the fight. The Brogue Kick is loaded up but the distracted referee lets Gunther get in a shillelagh shot to retain at 18:17.
Rating: B. It was a good fight but that tap was a REALLY bad visual and hurt all of the momentum they had. I’m assuming they were going for the reaching the rope and it looked like a tap thing but if that’s the case, the execution was terrible. Gunther retaining is ok, but there was no way they were reaching the level of their first match (which is hardly a fair request in the first place) and that tap hurt them a lot.
The brawl continues to end the show.
Overall Rating: B-. This show did work, though it seems WWE is already looking beyond Extreme Rules. There was some build towards the show, but a lot of this week felt like they were getting ready for more important things. Knowing that the White Rabbit will be revealed at Extreme Rules helps and the strap match should be good, but this week felt like it was trying to focus on several different things, with Extreme Rules being just one of them. Still though, good show with some nice action and stories being advanced, just not necessarily ones for tomorrow’s pay per view.
Solo Sikoa b. Ricochet – Spinning Solo
Shotzi/Raquel Rodriguez b. Sonya Deville/Xia Li
New Day/Braun Strowman b. Usos/Sami Zayn – UpUpDownDown to Jimmy
Gunther b. Sheamus – Shillelagh shot
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with 30 different cheap wrestling books at: