10/04 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of The Rock’s return, Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar for the WWE Championship, Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon in a career vs. career ladder match, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox
Aired live on October 4, 2019 from Los Angeles, California at Staples Center

[Hour One] Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the premiere of Friday Night Smackdown on Fox… Vince McMahon’s music played and then he and Stephanie McMahon walked onto the stage. Stephanie welcomed fans to history and Fox, then Vince welcomed viewers to Friday Night Smackdown…

The new opening video aired and was set to the tune of AC/DC’s “Are You Ready” song. The wrestlers shown in the video were Kofi Kingston, Becky Lynch, Seth Rollins, Alexa Bliss, Randy Orton, Ember Moon, Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Mandy Rose, Carmella, Rey Mysterio, Bayley, The Miz, Shinsuke Nakamura, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Shane McMahon, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Sasha Banks, Big E, Xavier Woods, and Charlotte Flair. There was also a historical clip with Triple H, Undertaker, and John Cena.

Pyro briefly shot off on the stage while lasers shined around the ring. Cole noted that there were 17,588 fans in attendance…

Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch made her entrance and was introduced by ring announcer Greg Hamilton. Cole and color commentator Corey Graves checked in on commentary from their desk at ringside. Graves said that if you’re not excited then you better check your pulse.

Lynch spoke about kicking off the premiere of Smackdown on Fox and noted that the show is in her blood. “King” Baron Corbin’s entrance theme interrupted Lynch and he walked to the ring while saying everyone knows he should be kicking off the show. Corbin got to the ring and asked if she really thinks she’s the man. “Take one more step and you’ll find out,” Lynch said.

The Rock’s entrance music played. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson made his entrance to a big star ovation. Rock took his warmup jacket off and covered the camera for a moment, then pulled it off and headed to the ring. A loud “Rocky” chant broke out once he was in the ring and his music stopped playing. Rock said many moons ago, he uttered a phrase to some jabroni that changed the WWE landscape forever. Rock recalled saying he would lay the smack down. Rock said “smackdown” has become a word, a show, and an institution.

Rock said Corbin looked like “a broke ass Burger King on crack.” Amen. “Finally, The Rock has come back… home,” Rock said. Corbin interrupted Rock, which drew loud boos. Corbin said he had to make a correction, it’s not Rock’s home and he’s no longer the Great One. Corbin dubbed himself the most electrifying king in sports entertainment. Corbin told Rock that the king said to know his role and shut his mouth.

Rock told Corbin that just because he won King of the Ring doesn’t mean he’s an actual king and it sure as hell doesn’t make him want to walk around like a 35 year-old virgin walking around at Comic Con. Rock said Lynch is The Man, but you don’t see her walking around carrying a pair of testicles. Lynch said that if she did they would be a hell of a lot bigger than Corbin’s. Funny.

“My testicles are perfectly adequate,” Corbin responded. Corbin said he’s the king and he’ll dress how he wants. He said there’s one king and it’s sure as hell not LeBron James. Rock asked if Corbin really thinks he’s superior to LeBron. “It doesn’t matter what you think,” Lynch told Corbin. Rock labeled Corbin a super tough dude, then encouraged fans to chant STD whenever they see Corbin.

Rock closed with a line about how Corbin was getting ready to get his ass whooped by The Rock and The Man. Corbin removed his king attire and then took punches from Rock and Lynch. Rock hit a People’s Elbow. Lynch threw two kicks at Corbin, who then stumbled into a Rock Bottom. Fans chanted “Rocky.” Rock picked up the mic and closed with the “If you smell what The Rock is cooking” line. Rock went to the new stage and played to the crowd before heading backstage…

Cole and Graves hyped the WWE Championship match, the Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon ladder match, and a lumberjack match between Roman Reigns and Eric Rowan, and they hyped the women’s tag match for after the break… [C]

Powell’s POV: Smackdown is going to kill it in the ratings if they have The Rock on every show! Wait, what? A one-off appearance? Oh, never mind. Anyway, Rock had the crowd hanging on every word and was on his game. It was great to see Lynch included in the segment. Corbin was the easy butt of the joke and a good choice for the segment given that his ridiculous attire gave Rock plenty to work with. We can only wonder what fun Rock and his writer Brian Gewirtz could have done with Corbin’s bad wedding bartender shirt.

Trish Stratus and Lita were shown sitting in the crowd next to Maria Menounos… Lynch was still in the ring coming out of the break, then the rest of the entrances took place for the women’s tag match. Yes, Bayley had the inflatable tube men as part of her entrance…

1. Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks and Bayley. Cole noted that this was the inaugural match for Smackdown on Fox. Flair sent Banks to ringside with a big boot. Flair went up top, but Bayley knocked her down to ringside heading into a break at 2:00. [C]

Flair tagged in and performed a Natural Selection on Bayley. Lynch and Banks squared off and traded punches until Bayley hit Lynch. At 7:30, Flair performed a moonsault from the top rope onto both opponents on the floor. Cole said that’s one of the reasons Flair is known as The Queen. Huh? Flair put Bayley back inside the ring and put her in the Figure Eight to get the submission win…

Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair beat Sasha Banks and Bayley in 8:15.

Powell’s POV: A good tag match. I assume Flair beating Bayley will lead to a Smackdown Women’s Title match on Sunday. Lord knows they need something since they only have three matches advertised for Sunday’s Hell in a Cell.

Fox Sports’ Erin Andrews interviewed “New Day” members Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods backstage. She asked Kingston about being the underdog in his match against Brock Lesnar. Kingston said he climbs mountains and overcomes the odds. She asked if he was bringing along Big E and Woods. Xavier politely asked that he climb the mountain alone…

Seth Rollins was shown walking backstage while Graves hyped Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for after the break… An ad aired for the WWE Draft on next week’s Smackdown and the October 14 Raw… [C]

Cole boasted about the attendance while artwork of Los Angeles was shown. Boxing champion Tyson Fury was shown in the crowd. Cole and Graves said Urban Meyer and Dennis Rodman were backstage. Footage aired from the Blue Carpet event. Mick Foley and Kurt Angle were shown standing in the crowd…

Seth Rollins made his entrance. A Firefly Funhouse segment aired. Bray Wyatt was shown making a mean face at his set, then he got happy and welcomed Rollins to the Firefly Funhouse. Wyatt said that since Smackdown is on its new home, he wanted to introduce everyone to his home and his special friends. The puppets checked in. Ramblin’ Rabbit lives! The Rabbit was wearing a “Burn It Down” t-shirt and warned Rollins to run before it’s too late.

Wyatt said he’d show Rollins what will happen at Hell in a Cell. A mic lowered and he introduced the rabbit puppet, then Mercy the Buzzard puppet. Both were shown inside a red cage. The buzzard chewed up the rabbit and stuffing was in and around the cage. Ramblin’ Rabbit was beheaded. Wyatt asked if he was okay, then laughed maniacally. Wyatt told Rollins that history has a way of repeating itself. “We have all hurt for so long,” Wyatt said. “Now it’s your turn. See you in hell.”

Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn made their entrance heading into a break… [C]

Powell’s POV: For better or worse, this has felt like a typical WWE show since The Rock checked out.

Hulk Hogan’s theme played coming out of the break and he was shown joining Ric Flair in the front row and hugging Rock’s mother. Cole noted that Rollins will be the captain of Team Hogan in a five-on-five match (in SAUDI ARABIA)…

2. WWE Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura (w/Sami Zayn) in a non-title match. Nakamura applied a quick armbar, but Rollins powered out immediately. Rollins sent Nakamura to ringside and then hit him with a suicide dive. Back inside the ring, Rollins was setting up for The Stomp when the lights went out and then switched to The Fiend’s lighting.

Seth Rollins fought Shinsuke Nakamura to an apparent no-contest.

Nakamura was still in the ring while Rollins stood on the stage. The Fiend appeared behind Rollins and then applied the Mandible Claw. The Fiend tossed Rollins off the stage (not a far drop). The lights went out and Bray Wyatt’s laughter track played… [C]

Powell’s POV: So Rollins apparently ran to the stage and then decided to stand there when he could have simply went backstage? Barring a restart after the break, noting says business as usual in WWE quite like a cheap non-finish.

A sponsored video package recapped the Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens’ storyline… Owens was already in the ring when ring announcer Greg Hamilton read through the stipulations of the match. Shane McMahon made his entrance.

[Hour Two] Shane stood on the stage and signaled for Hamilton to deliver the “best in the world” introduction. Owens ran to the stage and fought Shane. Once they were in the ring, the bell rang to start the match…

3. Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon in a loser leaves WWE ladder match. Owens set up a ladder on the apron and the ringside barricade. Shane came back and placed Owens on a chair, then went to the top rope and put him through the table with an elbow drop. [C]

Coming out of the break, Owens had Shane on the ladder that was set up over the apron and the ringside barricade. Owens performed a frogsplash onto Shane, which broke the ladder. A “this is awesome” chant broke out. A shot aired of the briefcase hanging above the ring while the broadcast team explained that the goal was to pull the briefcase down and the loser of the match would be terminated by WWE.

Owens set up a ladder inside the ring and started to climb it, but Shane hit him from behind with a chair. Cole noted that there are no disqualifications in a ladder match. Shane teased hitting Owens with a chair in the corner, then opted to toss it aside. Shane grabbed a ladder and placed it in front of Owens in the corner. Shane went to the top rope and performed a Coast to Coast and kicked the ladder into the face of Owens, who rolled to ringside.

Shane climbed a ladder in the middle of the ring. Owens recovered and powerbombed Shane onto a ladder that was lying over the bottom rope in one corner of the ring. Owens climbed the ladder and pulled down the briefcase to win the match.

Kevin Owens beat Shane McMahon in 12:00 in a loser leaves WWE ladder match.

After the match, Owens celebrated and grabbed a microphone. Owens picked up Shane, cleared his throat, and said, “You’re fired.” Owens gave Shane a Stunner, then went back to celebrating…

Powell’s POV: Hard work from both men in a crowd pleasing stunt match. Is Shane truly done or will this result in Vince simply rehiring his son or some other stipulation breaking nonsense? Shane can return someday, but I hope he’s gone long enough that it feels like the stipulation counted for something. Hey, maybe Shane can work for NXT like everyone thought Owens would if he lost this match! No?

Kayla Braxton was shown backstage while Cole said she was outside Brock Lesnar’s locker room. She nodded awkwardly and looked like she was trying to remember lines… A sponsored “best of Smackdown” highlight package aired… [C] More footage was shown from the blue carpet ceremony…

Backstage, Braxton tried to interview Heyman, who said he doesn’t care what Erin Andrews or Kofi Kingston had to say. He told her to show the relevant footage. Highlights aired of Lesnar destroying Rey Mysterio and his son Dominic on Raw. Heyman said he wanted to make it so easy that even someone as simple as Dominic could understand it. Heyman said Mysterio was in Lesnar’s way and Lesnar got rid of him. He said Kingston is Lesnar’s way and you can do the math. Heyman said it’s not a prediction, it’s a spoiler that Lesnar will once again become the WWE Champion…

4. Braun Strowman, The Miz, Otis, and Tucker vs. AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode in an eight-man tag match. Only Strowman’s entrance was televised. Strowman performed his running shoulder blocks at ringside. Strowman squared up in front of boxer Fury in a playful way. Both men smiled. Ziggler hit Strowman from behind. Strowman ran Ziggler into the ring post, then threw him into the barricade, which knocked Fury into his seat. Fury stood up and jawed at Strowman, who laughed. Strowman returned to the ring and Ziggler superkicked him. Strowman came right back with a powerslam and scored the win…

Braun Strowman, The Miz, Otis, and Tucker beat AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode in 3:10.

After the match, Fury jumped over the barricade and was swarmed by security, who held him back from going after Strowman. A “let him fight” chant broke out… [C]

Powell’s POV: When I grade this show in our post show poll, I may gave Smackdown it a higher mark simply because they didn’t televise Ziggler’s entrance and play that ridiculous entrance theme. Anyway, the big story was the angle involving Strowman and Fury. It’s been a long time since I paid attention to the heavyweight boxing scene, so I honestly couldn’t have picked Fury out of a lineup before this show. That said, he’s a big dude and this could get some mainstream attention. By the way, a local ad aired for WWE TLC in Minneapolis at Target Center on December 15 with tickets going on sale next Friday.

Cole narrated a Gemini Man movie themed spot that showed younger WWE wrestlers along with their current look and questioned who would win…

The broadcast team recapped the previous segment, then showed footage of a local deejay named Marshmallow pinning Carmella to win the WWE 24/7 Championship. Cole said the deejay lost the title and encouraged people to go to the WWE Youtube page to find out who won the championship…

Daniel Bryan joined the broadcast team on commentary for the lumberjack match, then ring entrances took place. Roman Reigns received pyro and bad CGI for his entrance…

5. Roman Reigns vs. Erick Rowan in a lumberjack match. The lumberjacks included Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Ricochet, No Way Jose, Heath Slater, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, Erik, Ivar, Cesaro, and Andrade.

Rowan was tossed to ringside and fought the lumberjacks during the opening minute. Reigns went after Rowan, who threw Reigns into the barricade. Rowan returned to the ring and some of the lumberjacks put the boots to Reigns until some others broke it up. Reigns was rolled back inside the ring. Rowan covered him for a two count. [C]

Reigns hit Rowan with a Superman Punch. Luke Harper came out. Bryan said that’s why he was out there and left the broadcast table to fight with Harper, who quickly tossed him aside. Reigns dove onto Harper and a batch of lumberjacks. Rowan threw Rowan back inside the ring and got a two count. Reigns rallied. Harper ran in and clotheslined Reigns. Harper took out some lumberjacks. Bryan entered the ring and hit Harper with a running knee. Rowan put his claw on Bryan, but Reigns speared and pinned Rowan.

Roman Reigns beat Erick Rowan in 9:20 in a lumberjack match.

After the match, Bryan offered Reigns a handshake, which Reigns accepted…

Powell’s POV: Does the handshake make you feel better or worse about Bryan being a babyface coming out of Hell in a Cell? Speaking of HIAC, WWE does realize they need more than three matches for the pay-per-view, right?

The broadcast team hyped the WWE Championship match as the main event… Another WWE Draft video aired… [C] A sponsored “Highlight of the Night” clip showed Rock and Becky Lynch working over Baron Corbin earlier in the night…

A tale of the tape graphic was imposed over the ring for the main event… Rob Stone and Matt Leinart of Fox’s college football coverage were shown in the crowd…

Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman made their entrance. Lesnar received some pyro. The New Day trio of Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods came out. Big E and Woods stayed on the stage while Kingston tossed out pancakes. Woods played the trombone and then headed backstage with Big E. Hamilton introduced Kingston. Heyman took the mic and introduced Lesnar…

6. Kofi Kingston vs. Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) for the WWE Championship. Charles Robinson was the referee. Kingston charged Lesnar, who immediately hit an F5 and scored the pin.

Brock Lesnar pinned Kofi Kingston in 0:08 to win the WWE Championship.

After the match, Lesnar smiled. Bill Goldberg and Mark Henry were shown standing in the crowd. Rey Mysterio’s music played and he walked out with former UFC Champion Cain Velasquez. Lesnar acted shocked while Graves said it looked like he’d seen a ghost. Cole and Graves explained that Velasquez defeated Lesnar for the UFC Championship.

Velasquez entered the ring. Lesnar went at him, but Velasquez tackled him and threw punches. Lesnar escaped and headed to ringside. “Fight me,” Velasquez said. Heyman handed Lesnar the WWE Championship, which Lesnar put over his shoulder. Lesnar walked back toward the ring, the stopped and smirked. Lesnar pointed at Velasquez.

Lesnar handed his title belt to Heyman, who held it above his head. Lesnar appeared to be censored, then took his title back and headed up the ramp with Heyman. Cole recapped footage of Velasquez tackling Lesnar and hitting him until Lesnar escaped and fled to ringside. Mysterio’s music played. Lesnar stood on the stage while Velasquez stared him down from a distance. Mysterio raised the arm of Velasquez. Cole thanked viewers for joining them on the premiere of Smackdown on Fox and said goodnight from Los Angeles…

Powell’s POV: A good angle given the history between the two. It’s been a long time since Velasquez defeated Lesnar back in 2010 and I’m just not sure how much crossover appeal he has. That said, he has trained at the WWE Performance Center and he’s been working for the AAA promotion in Mexico. Meanwhile, poor Kingston. That was a lousy way to lose the championship. And poor Hell in a Cell. We’re two days away from a show and there are only three matches advertised.

Overall, it was a good show, but I didn’t come away convinced that WWE is making major changes to their approach. And as someone who feels like change is needed, I have a bad feeling that once Rock and the celebrities go away and the WWE Draft has passed, it’s going to be business as usual again in no time. I hope I’m wrong. Jake Barnett and I will be co-hosting a special audio review of this episode for Dot Net Members coming up later tonight. Join me on Sunday for my live review of WWE Hell in a Cell and then Jake and I will also get together after that show for our usual post pay-per-view audio review.


Readers Comments (23)

  1. So this firefly funhouse stuff is what people are going wild for?

    That segment was piping hot garbage.

    • Easily the best thing in wrestling today, especially when the opposition is Kenny Olivier’s jazz hands of doom.

    • It’s a childish gimmick, a throwback to the age of “people like dumb stuff, give them dumb stuff”. Like you, I don’t understand why some people are behind this like they are. Desperation for something different on WWE perhaps?

      Rotunda does a solid job though, and I’m glad he has something to do in the spotlight.

  2. Does Smackdown always air in 24fps or is that new for Fox?

  3. Reading the review so far, it sounds a lot like Smackdown on USA. Lol. So much for new, right? NXT will continue to be the only thing WWE gets right, or so it seems. Hmmm… Wonder if that’s because Vince keeps his hands off it?

  4. WWE is the AC/DC of “sports entertainment.” Dull and repetitive.

    • It actually follows the arc pretty well. They were cool and different, pushing the limits a bit while staying mainstream enough, then they got old and lost sight of what actually made them good.

  5. Kofi losing in 8 seconds made me feel like everything is back to normal in this world. Man, do I hate him more than Jason hates Ziggy’s shitty entrance music. I hope Kofi goes back to undercard matches from now on.

    Nice edition of Smackdown, by the way. Not a great one, but close to that thanks to Kofi becoming an afterthought.

  6. Maybe Hell in a Cell will only be a one hour show in an empty arena. I am not even sure where HIAC is even at.

  7. Jesus, did Inoki book this show? Good thing we made Kofi (and everyone he beat during his reign) look like a chump so the UFC washouts can look super strong.

    • On second thought “washouts” might be a little strong. Let’s say well past their prime.

    • I never was much into Kofi as the champ, but I felt bad for him going out like this.

      Squashed like a chump by a parttimer for a stupid story line with has-been Mysterio and some out of shape ex-UFC fighter.

      Yes, this is the “New” Smackdown…

  8. “Overall, it was a (edit) …OK… show, but I didn’t come away convinced that WWE is making major changes to their approach. And as someone who feels like change is needed, I have a bad feeling that once Rock and the celebrities go away and the WWE Draft has passed, it’s going to be business as usual again in no time”

    My sentiments exactly. It seems like I’ve just watched another episode of RAW/Smackdown, not a new and revamped show. Nothing changed, NOTHING!

  9. The lumberjacks included Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, Scott Dawson, Dash Wilder, Zack Ryder, Curt Hawkins, Ricochet, Curt Hawkins, Zack Ryder, Heath Slater, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Titus O’Neil, Apollo Crews, Erik, Ivar, Cesaro, and Andrade.

    Curtis and Zack are so good, they appeared twice!

  10. Same old crap. Nothing felt different, nothing felt special. This was all stuff they could have easily done on any episode of SmackDown. The show opening with the McMahon’s did not symbolize “the dawning of a new era” to me, in fact quite the opposite. The main event and the result was a slap in the face and a kick in the balls to people who wanted to see real change all at the same time.

    • The main event pissed you off because you never saw it coming. Sorry you arent as smart as you thought you were about wrestling. Lesnar draws, kori didn’t. Numbers are at all time most for house shows. Hell kofi couldnt sell the garden out for smackdown. Shame on him
      His childish character is not over anymore

      • You wouldn’t see it coming if my mom pinned Brock Lesnar next week and became the WWE Champion. That doesn’t mean it would be good. I’d be happy for her though. She’s worked hard and deserves a run with the title.

  11. I think Brock is great. His matches on UFC PPVs were great back about a decade ago. He can put on a good wrestling match too.

    But, he is a part-time guy who peaked quite a few years ago. When he holds the most important title on the show and only appears once or twice every few months, doesn’t wrestle on tv, and doesn’t do promos, well he leaves the show directionless.

    I watch wrestling for wrestling and the angles that make matches meaningful, not to see old UFC guys and boxers.

    This was disappointing.

  12. Woooow… so it took all of 5 whole seconds for WWE to bury a guy they had been building since ‘Mania, and make Kofi look like a complete dope. In the process, they defined down every single superstar Kofi beat along the way, too. So now they have Lesnar as champion, again. How’s that story going to end? I guarantee it won’t be with the belt on Cain’s waist. S.S.D.D.

    Btw, anyone got a count of how many times Brock’s been champion now? Feels like he’s got to be nearing 10.

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