By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,155)
Live from Ontario, California at Toyota Arena
Aired October 15, 2021 on FS1
[Hour One] Smackdown had a new opening to the usual AC/DC tune. The broadcast team of Michael Cole and Pat McAfee checked in and touted that the venue was sold out. They hyped a Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar contract signing for their match at WWE Crown Jewel along with previously advertised matches…
Edge made his entrance. A video package recapped the Edge and Seth Rollins feud. Edge took a seat on a chair inside the ring and delivered a promo. He recalled Rollins calling him out several times after their MSG match even though Rollins knew that he wasn’t medically cleared.
Edge took issue with Rollins going to his home. He said Rollins took a page out of his playbook. Rollins was shown watching the promo on a backstage monitor. Edge brought up the time that he slapped John Cena’s father. Edge said he underestimated Rollins and he shouldn’t have done that.
Edge said Rollins is the only guy who comes close to matching his intensity. He conceded that he was wrong when he used the name Edge Lite to describe Rollins. Edge said he has to end this or it will continue to affect their families. He said he could go to Rollins’ home and encounter his wife.
Edge said he won’t feel sympathy for Rollins. He said he won’t hesitate to do what needs to be done. Edge said it’s fitting that their trilogy ends with Hell in a Cell. “In Hell in a Cell, I am going to scar your soul,” Edge said. “And that is a scar that you can never, ever heal from”…
Powell’s POV: The usual strong and intense promo from Edge. It’s going to be very interesting to see how that HIAC match goes if they play to the usual subdued crowd in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
The broadcast team recapped the King of the Ring first round matches that aired on last week’s Smackdown…
Finn Balor made his entrance for his KOTR semifinal match. A pre-tape aired with Balor said the man who wears the crown should bring respect and honor to the ring. Balor said Sami Zayn only respects the sound of his own voice. He spoke of shutting up Zayn once and for all… [C]
Sami Zayn made his entrance and kissed the KOTR crown on the stage. A pre-taped promo aired with Zayn dreaming of being King Sami…
1. Finn Balor vs. Sami Zayn in a King of the Ring tournament semifinal match. Balor performed a flip dive from the ring onto Zayn on the floor heading into a break a few minutes into the match. [C]
Zayn went for a top rope move and leapt into a dropkick from Balor, who then covered him for a near fall. Zayn came back with a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near fall of his own. Zayn followed up with an exploder suplex in the corner.
Zayn went for the Helluva Kick, but Balor avoided it and then caught Balor with a kick from the apron. Balor went up top, but Zayn tripped him up and then rolled him up for a pin. The referee spotted Zayn using the ropes for leverage and stopped her count.
Balor rallied with a sling blade and went for his finisher, but Zayn avoided it and rolled him up for a near fall. Balor came back with a standing double stomp and pair of running dropkicks. Balor went up top and hit the Coup De Grace and scored the pin…
Finn Balor defeated Sami Zayn in 11:25 to advance to the finals of the King of the Ring tournament.
Powell’s POV: A strong television match. Zayn is a terrific heel who never struggles to turn a crowd against him. The outcome felt predictable if only because Zayn hasn’t worked past Saudi shows, but it was nice that they were given a good amount of time and they made the most of it.
The broadcast team hyped the contract signing… An ad for Raw hyped Charlotte Flair vs. Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Championship, Jinder Mahal vs. Xavier Woods in the other KOTR semifinal match, and Shayna Baszler vs. Doudrop in a Queen’s Crown tournament semifinal match… [C]
A video package aired to tout Drew McIntyre coming to Smackdown via the draft beginning next week. McAfee said he hopes McIntyre brings “that big ass sword named Angela.” A graphic listed the new Smackdown roster…
Powell’s POV: Smackdown is one thing, but tell me they’re not going to have McIntyre bring that big ass sword to Saudi Arabia.
A video package recapped Paul Heyman’s drama with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns…
Naomi made her entrance. A pre-tape aired with Naomi saying she was so happy to have a match and to have it be against the person who has sidelined her. Sonya Deville was shown watching Naomi on a backstage monitor. Cole hyped their match as coming up next… [C]
Sonya Deville stood on the stage dressed in non-wrestling attire and recalled warning Naomi not to walk out of her office until she was finished speaking. Deville said Naomi would face her and Shayna Baszler…
2. Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler and Sonya Deville in a handicap match. Deville had the referee ring the bell and then slugged Naomi. Deville slipped out of the ring when Deville went after her. Naomi knocked Baszler down and chased Deville around the ring and then into the ring.
Baszler caught Naomi with a knee. Baszler held Naomi while Deville hit her. Naomi eventually broke free and performed a springboard kick on Baszler. Naomi went to the ropes, but Deville grabbed her leg from ringside. A short time later, Baszler caught Naomi in a Kirifuda Clutch. Once Naomi faded, Deville placed her foot over her while the referee made the three count…
Shayna Baszler and Sonya Deville beat Naomi in 2:00 in a handicap match.
Powell’s POV: I hope they have a good explanation for why Deville has singled out Naomi. Either way, I’m happy they didn’t rush into the their singles showdown match.
A Hit Row video package aired and listed the faction as coming soon to Smackdown… Seth Rollins made his entrance. A graphic listed that he would “unleash hell” in his rebuttal to Edge… [C]
Sasha Banks delivered a backstage promo. She said she would conquer and destroy all and become the new Smackdown Women’s Champion at Crown Jewel… The broadcast team ran through the Crown Jewel match lineup…
[Hour Two] Seth Rollins stood in the ring and laughed. He said he was not intimidated or afraid to face Edge inside the Hell in a Cell structure. Rollins said hell has already frozen over because Edge finally said that he was wrong when he claimed Rollins was Edge Lite.
Rollins reiterated that he is not intimidated or afraid to face Edge in HIAC. Rollins said Edge was right in saying they have similarities, but he has spent more time inside the HIAC structure than Edge has. Rollins said he is the man he is today because of HIAC. Rollins said Edge’s fairytale will end at HIAC…
Highlights aired of last Friday’s Queen’s Crown opening round matches…
Carmella was warming up backstage when Zelina Vega showed up and said she was happy that she took care of Liv Morgan. Vega said she wants to go up against the best and everyone knows that Carmella is ten times better than Morgan. Vega said they should have a good, clean, fair match. Carmella said someone finally gets it and then made her entrance… [C]
3. Zelina Vega vs. Carmella in a Queen’s Crown tournament semifinal match. Vega’s entrance was televised coming out of the break. Carmella let her assistants know that she didn’t need her face mask for this match. The match started friendly until Carmella threw a kick at Vega’s face.
Vega dove on Carmella and punched her face. Carmella went to ringside for her mask and called for a timeout. When she went for the mask, Liv Morgan was at ringside holding it. Carmella returned to the ring where Vega caught her in an inside cradle for the win…
Zelina Vega defeated Carmella in 2:40 to advance to the finals of the Queen’s Crown tournament.
Powell’s POV: I’m surprised to see Vega go to the finals. You have to feel good for her given everything that’s transpired with her being released and rehired only to have the company release her husband. By the way, Colin McGuire’s coverage of AEW Rampage’s Buy-In pre-show is now underway in a separate post available via the main page.
A Sheamus video package aired to hype his return to Smackdown via the draft… Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss made their entrance for a Happy Talk talkshow segment… [C]
Corbin introduced Moss as his guest and called him the funniest man he’s ever met in his life. Moss told his latest cornball joke and they both laughed obnoxiously. Moss started to tell a joke about Drew McIntyre and Ricochet.
Rick Boogs interrupted from the stage by saying he didn’t come to hear bad jokes, he came to rock. Boogs played Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring. The video wall still listed him as “King Nakamura” even though he handed over his crown for the KOTR tournament. They stopped and jammed out with McAfee before going back to the stage area.
The Street Profits made their entrance and rocked out with Nakamura and Boogs. The broadcast team hyped the Smackdown Tag Title match as coming up next… [C]
A video package aired for Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods returning to Smackdown next week via the draft… The Usos made their entrance…
4. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in a Street Fight for the Smackdown Tag Titles. Ring announcer Greg Hamilton delivered in-ring introductions for the title match. Cole reminded viewers that the Street Profits are Raw bound. The bell rang and the teams brawled to start the match.
Ford did his big flip dive over the ring post onto both opponents at ringside. “Get the tables,” Dawkins yelled. Cole acknowledged the tribute to the Dudley Boyz. They pulled a table out from underneath the ring only to have the Usos perform stereo suicide dives at the table, which left both teams down. [C]
The Usos pulled kendo sticks out from underneath the ring and worked over Dawkins with them while Ford was down at ringside. Ford eventually returned with a top rope cross body block. Ford knocked Jimmy down and then gave him a Van Daminator and covered him for a two count.
Jey returned and hit a popup Samoan Drop on Ford for a near fall. Dawkins returned and worked over Jey with a kendo stick and then Ford slammed a chair over Jey’s back. Dawkins put Jey on his shoulders, but Jimmy returned to break up whatever the Profits had in mind.
The Usos hit a double superkick on Dawkins and then Jimmy covered him for a two count. The Usos went to the top rope in opposite corners. Ford pulled Jey to the floor and slammed his head onto the broadcast table. Ford performed a spinebuster on Jimmy and then Ford followed with a top rope slash, but Jey pulled Ford to the floor and put him through a table.
In the ring, Dawkins had one of the Usos rolled up, but he kicked out and the other Uso hit him from the floor. The Usos performed a double superkick and then both went up top and performed back to back splashes, which led to Jimmy covering Dawkins for the win…
Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso defeated “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in a Street Fight in 11:00 to the Smackdown Tag Titles.
Powell’s POV: A fun match with both teams going all out from bell to bell. There were no dull moments in this one.
Becky Lynch was interviewed by Kayla Braxton in the backstage area. Lynch boasted that she was undefeated in singles competition for nearly three years. She also spoke of having a baby, returning in record time, and winning the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Lynch made her entrance. Cole told viewers they were taking their last commercial break and Lynch would face Sasha Banks after the break… [C]
A Charlotte Flair video package touted her as returning to Smackdown next week… A graphic listed the new Smackdown roster… A sponsored ad recapped last week’s contract signing segment… Sasha Banks made her entrance and then Bianca Belair came out…
5. Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks in a non-title match. Bianca Belair sat in on commentary. There were dueling chants for Lynch and Banks.
[Hour Three] Banks positioned Lynch on the ropes and then double stomped her before covering her for a two count. A short time later, Banks went for double knees on the apron, but Lynch moved, causing Banks to slam her knees into the ring post casing.
Banks rallied with the Three Amigos suplexes and covered Lynch for a two count. Lynch ran Banks into the post casing and then placed her over the middle rope before performing a middle rope leg drop that led to a two count.
Banks rallied and performed double knees against the post casing and then again inside the ring. Banks performed a meteora from the top rope and got a two count. A short time later, Banks performed a Backstabber that sent Lynch to ringside.
Banks set up for a sunset bomb from the floor, but Lynch avoided it and performed a leg drop. Lynch leapt from the ring steps, but Banks saw her coming and put her in a Bank Statement on the floor. Banks released the hold and rolled Lynch back inside the ring. Banks performed a top rope splash for a near fall.
Lynch rallied briefly, but Banks caught her with double knees in the corner. Lynch put her down and went for the pin with her feet on the ropes, but the referee caught her. Lynch leg dropped Banks from the ropes and got a near fall. Lynch acted shocked that she didn’t get the pin.
Lynch draped Banks over the middle rope and went for another leg drop, but Banks moved. Both women ended up at ringside. Lynch tried to hit Banks, who moved, causing Lynch to hit Belair. Banks ran across the broadcast table and hit Lynch with double knees against the barricade.
Back inside the ring, Lynch avoided a top rope splash. Lynch eventually applied her finisher, but Banks rolled on her to break it. They fought for position and Lynch threw three uppercuts and a kick before setting up for the Manhandle Slam, but Banks countered into a pin for a two count.
Banks performed a Backstabber and then applied the Bank Statement. Lynch reached the ropes to break the hold. Belair took a shot at Lynch with her hair from the floor that missed. A distracted Lynch was hit by another Backstabber by Banks, who pinned her.
Sasha Banks defeated Smackdown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch in 17:45 in a non-title match.
After the match, Adam Pearce came out and could be heard telling the wrestlers to hurry things up. The production crew quickly set up the contract signing table and chairs.
Powell’s POV: A good match from Lynch and Banks with the now all too familiar distraction finish. Still, it’s not always easy to have a heel vs. heel match and they pulled it off in terms of keeping the live crowd engaged from bell to bell. Either this show will need an overrun or this may be the quickest Reigns’ entrance since he turned heel.
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman made their entrance for the contract signing. Reigns took his seat at the head of the table. Brock Lesnar made his entrance and took his lap around the ring while smirking at Reigns and Heyman before entering.
Lesnar took a seat and put his feet up on the table and laughed while looking at Reigns and Heyman. Reigns had Heyman review the contract. Heyman presented Reigns with a pen. “My Tribal Chief, it’s everything that you requested, my counsel, sir, is to sign this contract for Crown Jewel.”
Reigns signed the contract and then placed it next to Lesnar, who scribbled his name in big letters. Reigns laughed. “You must be some kind of a dumbass,” Reigns said. “A big dumb farmer, huh, you just signed it without even reading it. What’s wrong with you, man?”
Lesnar took the mic. “Roman, I already read the contract this morning with my advocate Paul Heyman,” Lesnar said. Reigns looked rattled, Heyman looked nervous, and Lesnar was all smiles as he left the ring. The broadcast team ran through the Crown Jewel lineup. Reigns tossed a chair in the ring while Lesnar continued to laugh at him from the stage…
Powell’s POV: The contract signing was brief and yet everything it needed to be with Lesnar stirring the pot one more time heading into the match. And not only did they fit the segment in, they actually went off the air a couple minutes before the bottom of the hour. Overall, this was a strong episode of Smackdown with good final hype for the brand’s pay-per-view matches. I will return shortly with my same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members. Let me know what you thought of the show by grading it below.