WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (11/3): Powell’s review of Bianca Belair vs. Bayley, Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory, Rey Mysterio and Logan Paul weigh-in for the U.S. Title match at Crown Jewel

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

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,264)
Taped October 27, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at Fiserv Forum
Aired November 3, 2023 on Fox

[Hour One] Smackdown opened with a recap of last week’s segments involving LA Knight and The Bloodline… The broadcast team was Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Kevin Patrick. Alicia Taylor was the ring announcer…

LA Knight made his entrance. Knight said that Roman Reigns holding the WWE Universal Championship for nearly 1,200 days is impressive. Knight said he was conducting a hostile takeover and will take over everything that Reigns stands for and thinks he’s owned for the last three years.

Roman Reigns’ entrance theme interrupted Knight. Cole noted that Knight interrupted Reigns last week, and Reigns was returning the favor. Reigns walked to the ring with Paul Heyman while Cole said it was the 1,160th day for Roman’s championship reign.

Reigns said he would typically tell “this irrelevant town” to acknowledge him, but they know who he is (and saw him last week before this episode was taped after the live show). Reigns said he expected someone to step up while he was on leave, but he didn’t think it would be Knight.

Reigns said Knight got all the people on his side and he said that’s not easy in this day and age. Reigns told the fans to chant Knight’s name and said this would be the last night that happens. Reigns said what he does is referred to as cinema. Heymans said Reigns is the star.

Reigns said he turned the business into a multi-billion dollar industry. Reigns said the only thing Knight has done is get the fans to chant his name and “cosplay a redneck version of my cousin.” Reigns said he would smash Knight and leave him in the desert and he won’t be the last one.

Knight said Reigns doesn’t understand that he’s not coming at him from the same angle as everyone else. Knight said he wasn’t there to finish something, he was there to start his own era. He said he wouldn’t cosplay, he would live it. Knight said Reigns damn near made himself a megastar by carrying the title, whereas Knight is a megastar every day.

Knight said he doesn’t do warning shots. He told Reigns to make sure he’s good and done or he would come back and find him. Knight said the only bloodline would be dripping down from between Reigns’ eyes while Knight is named the new champion. Nick Aldis and a group of referees stepped between Reigns and Knight. Reigns left the ring and barked at Heyman to hurry up…

Kevin Owens made his entrance for the opening match heading into a commercial break… [C]

Powell’s POV: The Reigns and Knight segment was solid with some good lines from both men. The crowd was invested, but you can tell that they’d already seen both wrestlers. It’s unavoidable due to the crew traveling to Saudi Arabia, but there just wasn’t the same level of energy that there would have been had this been a live segment. By the way, Jake Barnett told me that he’s just too damn good to cover a taped show, so he is going to watch the play that his daughter is involved in on the production side. Okay, so half of that is true and Jake will be back reviewing Smackdown next week.

Grayson Waller was on commentary. They cut backstage where Kayla Braxton spoke with Austin Theory, who recalled Owens saying that he has a punchable face. Theory said Owens has a face that only a mother could love. He said Owens wouldn’t have to wear a mask for Halloween once he was finished with him. Theory made his entrance…

1. Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory. Waller said Owens sucker punched him and Theory last week when he took them both out with a single punch. The match spilled over to ringside where Owens performed a senton on the floor. [C]

Theory took control until Owens suplexed him from the ropes. Owens followed up with a Popup Powerbomb and then asked Waller if he was watching. Owens kicked Theory and put him away with a Stunner…

Kevin Owens defeated Austin Theory in 7:20.

Powell’s POV: It’s a little odd that Owens is no longer in a tag team and yet his first feud on Smackdown is with a tag team. But the match was solid and I assume we’ll be getting Owens vs. Waller next.

Cathy Kelley interviewed Bianca Belair on the backstage ring set. Iyo Sky and Bayley attacked Belair from behind while Dakota Kai stood by. Belair fought back and then producers quickly stepped in… [C]

Logan Paul was shown walking backstage. He encountered Bobby Lashley, Montez Ford, and Angelo Dawkins and ended up shaking hands with them. Lashley told the Profits that Paul was an example of a man who came in and made sure he got what he wanted. B-Fab entered the picture and said the Profits are up. She complimented their new Rolexes and then asked Lashley if she could speak with him…

Footage aired from the Smackdown Lowdown (yes, it’s still a thing) of Piper Niven and Chelsea Green mocking Shotzi. Niven and Green made their entrance while Cole questioned who would team with Shotzi… [C]

Shotzi made her entrance on her toy tank. Shotzi pointed at the stage and then Charlotte Flair made her entrance…

2. WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven vs. Charlotte Flair and Shotzi in a non-title match. Flair tagged in early and performed a crossbody block from the ropes onto both opponents. Flair dominated both opponents and eventually put Green down with a big boot before pinning her…

Charlotte Flair and Shotzi beat WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven in 3:00 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: What happened to Shotzi being crazy and tormenting Bayley? Anyway, this was a lopsided match. I’m used to Green being booked to be soft, but it was disappointing that Niven was also such a pushover for Flair.

Highlights aired of last week’s angle involving John Cena, Paul Heyman, and Solo Sikoa… Sikoa was shown backstage while the broadcast team hyped his face-to-face segment with John Cena… [C]

Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman made their entrance. Once in the ring, Heyman said it’s the end of days for the Doctor of Thuganomics. He said it’s not the way he wanted it to be. He told the fans not to blame Roman Reigns. Heymans said Cena came back to WWE and picked a fight with The Bloodline.

Heyman asked if they were supposed to let Cena get away with it. Heyman said Reigns calls the shots and he turns to the sergeant at arms. Heyman spoke about Sikoa eventually becoming Tribal Chief and said that you can’t get there without a pile of victims.

[Hour Two] Heyman said there’s no better victim than Cena. Heyman said Cena could have made it easy. Sikoa whispered in Heyman’s ear and then a surprised Heyman handed him the mic. Sikoa asked Heyman why he was wasting his breath “talking to them.” Sikoa said they came to speak face to face with Cena.

John Cena made his entrance. Cena held up his towel, but he played it straight and didn’t do his camera talk. Cena headed to the ring and then he and Sikoa stared one another down.

Sikoa told Cena that he’s pissed off he has to wait another day to fight him. He said the order came down from the Tribal Chief, who told him to give the microphone to Cena so that he could say goodbye to the fans. Sikoa said that after the match, Cena wouldn’t be able to do that. Sikoa passed the mic to Cena.

“That’s it?” a hoarse Cena asked. “Do you realize who you’re in the ring with. We’ve been waiting for you to talk for a year and that’s all you bring to the table. Cena said he could do it with a half a voice and it would only take 90 seconds to cook Sikoa. Cena said he would say goodbye, but it wouldn’t be to the fans, it would be for them.

Cena said Sikoa only has a job because of his cousin. Cena said Sikoa walks around like a badass enforcer when he’s actually just a Taz wannabe. Cena told Sikoa to tape his thumb up tight because the only place it would go would be up his own ass at Crown Jewel. Cena looked at his wrist and said, “Yeah, about 90 seconds,” and then left the ring…

Powell’s POV: Cena did a nice job of selling the Samoan Spike by speaking with a realistic sounding raspy voice. I guess all those acting lessons have paid off after all. Meanwhile, t didn’t feel as big as I thought it would have to hear Sikoa say more than he has in the past. The timing makes sense given that Cena is a big name opponent, but it just didn’t pack a big punch for whatever reason.

The Damage CTRL trio were talking backstage. Smackdown general manager Nick Aldis showed up and informed Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai that they would be banned from ringside during Bayley’s match. Iyo Sky didn’t seem very disappointed…

Various pub items were shown at ringside while Alicia Taylor delivered introductions for the Donnybrook match. The Brawling Brutes came out first… [C] Patrick hyped Elimination Chamber tickets going on sale next week for the Perth, Australia event…

Pretty Deadly made their entrance. While they were in the slow motion part, Butch entered the picture and punched one of them. The Brutes brought Pretty Deadly to the ring…

3. Ridge Holland and Butch vs. “Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit Wilson in a Donnybrook match. Holland and Butch used shillelaghs. Holland and Butch dominated the offense. Butch performed a top rope moonsault onto his opponents on the floor. [C]

Holland and Butch locked in simultaneous submission holds. The Pretty Deadly duo grabbed hands and yelled “Elton Strong” and then Prince fought out of the hold. Prince broke up the other submission by using a small barstool as a weapon.

Holland came back by pressing Prince over his head and then slamming him. He wanted to do the same to Wilson, who slipped away. Butch took out Wilson. Butch went after Prince, but Wilson recovered and turned Butch inside out with a clothesline.

A short time later, Holland slammed Prince through a table that was placed on two whiskey barrels. In the ring, Butch hit Wilson with a Brogue Kick for a near fall. Holland slid a table inside the ring. Wilson scrambled out of the ring to avoid being put through the table. Holland followed, but Wilson ran him into a whiskey barrel.

Wilson returned to the ring. Butch got Wilson on the ropes and was setting up for a move when Prince slammed a bottle over his head. Wilson and Prince put Butch through the table and then Wilson pinned him…

“Pretty Deadly” Elton Prince and Kit Wilson defeated Ridge Holland and Butch in 12:30 in a Donnybrook match.

Powell’s POV: Both teams worked hard. Some of the weapons looked more campy than punishing, but that’s WWE hardcore. I was surprised to see Holland and Butch lose the Brawling Brutes’ specialty match. By the way, I misunderstood the Aldis announcement regarding Damage CTRL. He barred Sky and Kai from ringside during Bayley’s match. I mistakenly wrote that he barred Bayley and Kai from Sky’s match at Crown Jewel. I changed it above to avoid further confusion.

Highlights aired of the Reigns and Knight verbal exchange…

Nick Aldis was walking backstage when he encountered Paul Heyman, who praised his suit. Heyman asked if he could offer some pearls of wisdom. Aldis assumed he didn’t have a choice, but he told Heyman to make it quick. Heyman said he had a lot of medical personnel ready for Crown Jewel because LA Knight would need it. Heyman said this is the most savage version of Roman Reigns that anyone will ever see. Aldis asked Heyman if he was done. “With LA Knight?” Heyman asked. “Hardly”… [C]

Patrick hyped the Crown Jewel Kickoff Show as starting at 11CT/12ET and noted that it will include Sami Zayn vs. JD McDonagh…

Nick Aldis hosted a weigh-in for the Rey Mysterio vs. Logan Paul match for the U.S. Championship. The segment was not held in front of the live crowd and was done in front of a Crown Jewel backdrop and there were photographers present. Aldis introduced both men. Paul weighed 213 lbs, and Mysterio checked in at 175 lbs.

Aldis had Rey and Paul go face-to-face. Rey told Paul that he has a big mouth. Paul agreed and said that he also backs it up. Aldis stepped in and told them no contact. Rey said he had one thing to say and told Paul to get it clear. Rey hit Paul. When others intervened, Rey hit Paul with a microphone…

Powell’s POV: Quick and painless with Rey getting a couple of shots in after being laid out by Paul in a previous angle.

The broadcast team ran through the Crown Jewel lineup… Bianca Belair made her entrance for the main event… [C]

Bobby Lashley vs. Carlito was announced for next week’s Smackdown…

Bayley made her entrance…

4. Bianca Belair vs. Bayley. Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai were barred from ringside. Bayley had Belair down at ringside heading into an early break. [C] Belair performed a handspring into the ropes and follow with a standing moonsault. Bayley pulled the braid of Belair drive her into the ring post. Bayley performed a top rope elbow drop and covered Belair for a near fall.

Bayley went to ringside and cleared the broadcast table while telling the team that Belair would not be able to compete at Crown Jewel. Bayley set up for a powerbomb, but Belair fought her off. Belair and Bayley fought on the apron. Belair avoided a charging Bayley, who crashed into the post. Belair dive onto Bayley at ringside.

Belair threw Bayley back inside the ring and set up for her finisher. Bayley slipped out and rolled up Belair for a two count. Belair whipped Bayley’s abdomen with her braid once. Belair hit the KOD and got the three count…

Bianca Belair defeated Bayley in 13:20.

Belair celebrated her win in the ring and then looked down at Bayley. Belair went to ringside and hoisted up Bayley and then put her through the broadcast table with a KOD to close the show…

Powell’s POV: Barring Kai and Sky from ringside made the highly predictable outcome of the match somehow feel even more predictable. That said, they saved the best for last from a match quality perspective.

Overall, the matches were forgettable, but they delivered a good final push for Crown Jewel. I will be back shortly with my same night audio review of Smackdown for Dot Net Members (including our Patreon patrons), who will also have exclusive access to our same day audio review of WWE Crown Jewel. Let me know what you thought of Smackdown by grading it below.

Join me for my live review of WWE Crown Jewel on Saturday

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