WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Oct. 8, 2021): Pride earlier than the autumn

This week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown emanated from San Jose. Get an entire take a look at the present with the dwell weblog proper right here.

Remember roughly one month in the past when Seth Rollins and Edge went to battle at Madison Square Garden and the top results of it was Rollins placing Edge away with the Curb Stomp? My learn on that on the time was that it was a really effectively executed match with an unimaginable story that culminated in Edge, having come to phrases with simply how distant from his authentic objectives he had gone, and simply how a lot he’d misplaced in doing so, having to just accept his destiny.

And he did that. He accepted it, understanding it’d very effectively be the top.

But it wasn’t.

I questioned the place they may presumably go from there, and it seems they’d the precise thought with this story all alongside. Rollins ought to have let it go there, due to course he ought to have, as a result of he received. In battle, victory is all that issues. History is written by the winners and all that.

But that’s not what occurred. Rollins, in fact, wished extra. He wished not simply the painfully apparent bodily admission of defeat however the verbal equal. The defeat itself was not sufficient, he wanted to experience his opponent’s demise. Savor it. Examine the wound and twist the knife somewhat extra.

When Edge didn’t chew, no less than not initially, Rollins did what he was all the time going to do, what he’s all the time finished earlier than — he took it too far. He concerned the Copeland household, breaking into Edge’s residence and making snide remarks about his spouse and youngsters. At the time, I didn’t like that story beat, largely resulting from how not possible it’s to execute in the precise approach on a professional wrestling present, nevertheless it’s improved with the good thing about hindsight.

Rollins was again this week to proceed rubbing it in and demanding Edge come again round. He supplied up no matter stipulation Edge wished, continued working him down on the expense of his household, all of it. Then, the person himself confirmed up, rushed the ring, unleashed a vicious assault with all of the markings of the evil Edge we’d identified earlier than, the one who goes to that darkish place, after which he made clear what stipulation he wished.

Hell in a Cell.

Rollins’ response to this made clear what all of this was about. He was shocked, sure, however he additionally appeared scared. The smug confidence that had him performing these methods, and saying this stuff, was changed by concern; of what he unleashed, of what was bearing down on him, at his incapability to flee from it.

Pride comes earlier than the autumn.

The better part? It’s deserved. And that is the important thing to all of this. Going to the depths of your personal darkness to actual revenge on a person over a title is dropping your self. A title, as a lot as it might imply competitively talking, remains to be only a bodily illustration of an achievement.

But household? Family is every little thing. Going to the depths of your personal darkness to defend your loved ones is righteous. In phrases of storytelling, Rollins’ going after Edge’s household primarily offers the latter carte blanche to do as he pleases, by way of viewers acceptance. It’s why they’d Iosef kill John Wick’s canine, the identical canine his spouse left for him to assist him grieve — and transfer on from — her demise. Iosef speaking shit, breaking into Wick’s home, and even stealing Wick’s automobile he refused to promote wouldn’t have been sufficient to justify a revenge tour by Iosef’s complete household. But killing the canine? Going after household like that?

Now you get not the boogeyman, however the man you ship to kill the boogeyman. And there will likely be no escaping it. Edge will come for Rollins and he’ll do nothing as a result of he can do nothing.

And we get to cheer all of it.


Acknowledge me

We obtained a take a look at what a babyface Roman Reigns may appear like with this character bent and you understand what?

It would possibly may work.

The bit they did at first of his section confirmed that. He walked out, soaked within the roar of the gang reacting to his mere presence earlier than shouting out the title of town, San Jose, and demanding “acknowledge me.” They responded with a thunderous pop whereas The Usos flanked him holding up their fingers, The Ones, and the viewers did the identical in response.

It felt electrical. That’s a professional wrestler being rattling good at his job, creating one thing the followers so badly need to get in on, even when stated wrestler is a heel as a result of he’s superior.

Hell, even when they don’t make him babyface once more with this, it’s nonetheless only a cool factor for followers and dwell audiences. Even if different crowds reply with boos, it nonetheless works. I like it. It’s an ideal professional wrestling bit.

Meanwhile, in story Reigns gave Paul Heyman the possibility to clarify himself and he did lots of groveling earlier than doing precisely as Roman requested him to, telling Brock Lesnar what he’s obtained coming to him at Crown Jewel. Then he fairly actually bowed on the Universal champion’s toes whereas the remainder of us had been left to surprise how honest he was being.

That’s one of many nice issues about Heyman, each the person and the character — he’s extensively referred to as an inveterate liar. This may very effectively be the setup to a swerve, the one factor that might take Reigns down and finish his, ahem, reign as champion.

They’ve finished a rattling good job of making intrigue on this match centered solely across the loyalty of a supervisor.


The contract signing is a section WWE makes use of typically for title matches, contemplating it’s a easy and efficient instrument to construct to stated title match. There’s a bingo card recreation to be performed every time, as there are a variety of bits you’ll be able to search for inside these segments.

Here, we obtained “it’s a contract signing but no one actually signs a contract” on high of “the furniture is used as a weapon and/or destroyed” to go together with “everyone cuts a promo on everyone else before a brawl breaks out.”

The factor to remember is that they’ll make as many bingos as potential so long as it’s entertaining and Becky Lynch, Bianca Belair, and Sasha Banks made certain to make it entertaining.

Especially the way it ended:

Belair continues to be unimaginable, each inside this program and total.

Also, props to them, they really bothered to have a backstage section the place we noticed Lynch complaining to Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville however finally selecting to signal the contract to make the match official.

King of the Ring, Queen’s Crown

On the lads’s facet, the Mysterio household drama continued, permitting Sami Zayn to attain a win over Rey Mysterio. This was a great way to make use of a significant match to proceed driving a wedge between Rey and Dominik. Meanwhile, Finn Balor returned from his failure as The Demon at Extreme Rules with a robust victory over Cesaro. As far as reestablishing somebody goes, this was about nearly as good as you possibly can ask for.

It additionally units up a matchup that is sensible within the semifinals.

On the ladies’s facet, it’s a bit extra complicated.

Toni Storm was propped up by the use of an introduction to her new character, somebody who fashions herself a “child of the 80s,” as they put it. I’m undecided how this is sensible, contemplating she wasn’t even born till 1995, however both approach, it appeared like an apparent set as much as give her a win and showcase this new character extra. It was a shock, then, when she obtained beat in comparatively brief order.

It was additionally a shock when Carmella beat Liv Morgan a short time later, as WWE continues to tease a Morgan babyface push earlier than beating her in matches like this. That victory arrange a Vega vs. Carmella match for subsequent week, a heel vs. heel encounter that offers us nobody to cheer for.

Seems unusual!

It additionally ensures {that a} heel from this facet of the bracket will likely be within the ultimate, which may both imply a heel vs. heel ultimate when Shayna Baszler comes out of that facet of the bracket (which is what I anticipated as quickly as I noticed the entire bracket), or Doudrop is definitely getting a reputable push all the best way to the ultimate right here. Neither possibility appears to be like significantly interesting to me, however your mileage might fluctuate.

All the remainder

  • We obtained our first take a look at how Hit Row will likely be introduced on the principle roster with a trendy vignette that confirmed them within the studio. Pat McAfee known as them “an electrifying music group that also kick ass in the ring,” which is simply concerning the good technique to describe them. One of my largest points with WWE in current reminiscence is the truth that nobody on the roster is cool. Hit Row is strictly that, offered WWE presents them correctly, which is to say, allow them to do their factor and it’ll work itself out. They’re off to begin in that regard.
  • Am I the one one who retains listening to “Madcat” each time they are saying “Madcap” Moss’s title on this present? I can’t be the one one, can I? Anyway, this factor the place he tells shitty dad jokes that everybody however Baron Corbin hates is the type of silliness I can get behind in my professional wrestling. After all, who’s an even bigger heel than your dad after he excitedly tells you his newest knee slapper?
  • I questioned briefly why Naomi wasn’t within the Queen’s Crown match and felt badly about it till she confirmed up on TV and jogged my memory she’s on this awesomely unusual story with Sonya Deville, who’s now apparently doing what she stated she wouldn’t and getting again within the ring to wrestle Naomi herself. We nonetheless don’t know why she hates her a lot, past the company nonsense she claimed a pair weeks in the past, however this can be a genuinely thrilling match to sit up for. I’m all however sure it’s not truly going to occur, however nonetheless care sufficient to need to tune in to see the following step within the story.
  • Whoever will compete with MACE who will ANNIHILATE along with his DISPOSITION TO DOMINATE?!?

After a predictably dangerous episode because of the draft final week, the blue model obtained proper again heading in the right direction.

Grade: B+

Your flip.

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