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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Oct. 21, 2022): Newsflash, dummies

Logan Paul was given the main event spot on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, and it remains baffling the way they flip flop back-and-forth between this guy playing a babyface and playing a heel. He’s getting some cheers and shouting out Ohio, and then he’s heeling it up calling fans at home dummies.

I’m getting whiplash here.

I’ll say this for Paul — he’s arguably as good a promo as some of the folks who get time on a microphone on WWE TV each week. It’s almost surprising how comfortable he looks out there, and he did a pretty damn good job building up the idea that he could land one big punch and shock the world.

Then they worked an angle whereby Jey Uso ran in, attacked him from behind, and then argued with Sami Zayn long enough to allow Paul to recover so that he may land that one big punch on Jey, putting him out cold.

It served multiple purposes — it showed how Paul can win, unlikely as it may be, and it gave us even more of Sami and Jey being unable to get and stay on the same page for longer 10 minutes. This wasn’t nearly as bad as I went in expecting it to be, considering Roman Reigns wouldn’t be in the building.

I’m not quite on the Ronda Rousey train of thinking he should win against Reigns and be given the absolute best treatment WWE can give him, but he’s winning me over as far as not hating the idea of him sticking around for something more after this.

Did they actually get me on board with the match itself, Saudi Arabia or not? How about that.

That was kinda weird, huh?

Bray Wyatt cut a promo backstage continuing what he was saying last week. He did so while his new entrance theme was playing and it was incredibly distracting. It was so distracting, in fact, I could hardly even hear what he was saying.

It’s Wyatt, so design choices like this are the norm, and I’m sure there’s some in depth explanation for doing it. But as simple television, just a dude trying to get a message across, it didn’t really work for me.

I literally had to go back and listen again just to figure out what he said.

What he said was he was content with staying gone and just doing his own thing but he’s grateful everyone brought him back. He knows what we’re trying to do, whatever that means, but it won’t work and he’s going to do horrible things he won’t be sorry for because he’s “just a servant” who will “go where the Circle takes me.”

What does it mean?

Who the hell knows!

That’s the point, I guess. More questions to be answered, somewhere down the line.

I will say this — Wyatt has a way about him that really does draw you to him. The gravely sound of his voice, his cadence, his unique look. When he starts talking, I kind of fall into a trance and want him to keep talking. That’s part of why the music was so distracting, and part of why they brought him back at all. The dude is overflowing with charisma. He’s like gravity, bringing everything into him.

Later in the show, we got a promo with the masked man talking about lying and then the seeming introduction of someone new. We didn’t see much of anything, and only heard “howdy.” So, Uncle Howdy, I guess!

They also did yet another barcode, this one leading to a photocopy of a “psychological/psychiatric evaluation” for Wyatt that said he “refused to sign” and his history shows a “difficulty showing remorse or empathy/conflict with social norms” and “disregarding or violating the rights of others.”

Fun, huh?

All the rest

  • They opened this show with Sheamus taking on Solo Sikoa in a singles match to keep The Bloodline vs. Brawling Brutes going. The match was predictably good, and featured Sami Zayn again making Solo break character with his ringside antics. BUTCH took an incredible superkick on the outside over the announcer’s table. In the end, The Bloodline proved too much, finishing out by trying to injure Sheamus’ arm. It was treated like a big statement for the group. What this showed as much as anything is Sikoa can hang in there with the best of them. That guy has future top star written all over him.
  • Sonya Deville was back this week to battle Liv Morgan, who showed up looking a bit like Harley Quinn with eye makeup that made me think of Eric Draven and is working an unhinged character now. She’s laughing but she’s clearly not happy and she only cares about dishing out punishment, even if it means getting counted out, or disqualified, or whatever else. She lost her title, but she lost her mind too, don’t you see?!? Shout out to Deville for taking a superplex onto a bunch of chairs laid out in the ring in service of getting across how far Morgan has lost it.
  • They worked a pretty good angle for the Omos vs. Braun Strowman confrontation. MVP showed up to say Braun shouldn’t want it so much, considering he likes to call himself the “Monster of all monsters” but he should be careful inviting Omos in because he’s an actual giant. If he steps to him, shows everyone how normal Strowman can look, and then beats him, then what? It’s an actually compelling angle for this program. Then Omos came out, stood in the ring, and Strowman slowly walked up to him, showcasing the fact that he had to LOOK UP to look him in the eye. Holy shit! Then Omos pushed him out of the ring with ease, something Braun responded to with a laugh and an “okay, big boy.” This kinda rules.
  • Drew McIntyre was interviewed to tell us the WWE overlords aren’t happy about his attack on Karrion Kross and repercussions could be coming if more nonsense happens. Having said that, they’ve been booked for a match at Crown Jewel.
  • Damage CTRL retained the women’s tag team championship by defeating Raquel Rodriguez & Shotzi in what was a fairly solid match. It was a clean enough win that it didn’t leave much room for a return match. Once again, it leaves the champs without any real contenders.
  • Ronda Rousey told us in an interview that she does open challenges only to prove she’s the best, not for the ungrateful fans, who turned their back on her. They don’t want the best to win, they want their favorites to win, and she doesn’t respect this. To hell with ‘em. To hell with ‘em all. She’ll do the open challenge next week, when she wants, cause she just really wanted to get the hell out of Ohio. Her delivery still isn’t the best, especially when she’s trying to show disdain like this in an unnatural way. I’m not giving up on her being awesome in this role just yet, though.
  • Legado del Fantasma got a backstage segment to tell us they acquired Zelina Vega, and that’s why she’s there. She cut a promo saying they’re head and shoulders above the rest. “We are fueled by tradition, heritage, and culture.” Hit Row was shown watching this, getting good and pissed off about it. B-Fab had an idea.
  • Rey Mysterio got his feud with GUNTHER started off proper this week, as he was put into a match with Ludwig Kaiser and immediately felt what it’s like going up against all three. Thankfully, he’s a wily ol’ veteran who had a friend who used to lie, and cheat, and steal his way to victory and he was paying attention. He used those tactics not to win, but to even the playing field. A true good guy. When it was a true 1v1, Rey came out on top, much to the delight of the crowd. They may have gotten up for this more than anything else on the show. The Mysterio family still being over like this in 2022 is something else.

This was an enjoyable enough show. Nothing spectacular but not a bad way to spend your time.

Grade: C+

Your turn.

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