SmackDown airs tonight (Oct. 28) with a live show from Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. This is the third SmackDown episode during the four week build towards Crown Jewel, which takes place on Nov. 5. Tonight’s show airs on FS1 due to the MLB World Series coverage on FOX.
Ronda Rousey needs a new opponent
SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey is issuing an open challenge for the belt tonight. There are a lot of different ways WWE can book a mystery opponent for Ronda.
Will her challenger be someone from Raw who presents a formidable threat, such as Asuka?
How about a less established babyface from the SmackDown roster looking to prove herself, like Shotzi?
Could it be a squash match against local talent? Or maybe someone from NXT?
If WWE is open to booking a heel vs. heel match, Zelina Vega or Lacey Evans might want a shot at some gold. The most interesting opponent from this bucket is Shayna Baszler, given her history with Ronda.
A surprise return of Charlotte Flair, Naomi, Sasha Banks or Becky Lynch seems unlikely, but I guess you never know.
What if Ronda changes her mind about the open challenge? She made it clear that she doesn’t want to give the fans what they want, after all.
There is ultimately one woman on the SmackDown roster who stands out to me as the likely opponent for Rousey, and that’s Raquel Rodriguez. WWE is clearly high on her, and she isn’t a pushover like most of the other women on SmackDown.
We’ve already seen Raquel accept an open challenge from Ronda in the past, and she came pretty darn close to winning. Ronda was a babyface at the time, so it could make sense to revisit this match now with Rousey as a heel. Would she need to take a shortcut to beat Rodriguez in a rematch? Would she graciously shake Raquel’s hand after the match, regardless of the outcome, just like last time?
The rest of the title scene
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is back on TV tonight. He won’t he happy after that hot head Jey Uso defied his orders and got knocked out by Logan Paul.
Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER is set to defend the gold next week against Rey Mysterio. Mysterio used a trick out of Eddie Guerrero’s playbook to get one over on Imperium last week. Will his luck continue tonight?
The Usos are the undisputed WWE tag team champions and have ongoing issues with both the Brawling Brutes and the New Day. They broke Sheamus’ arm last week and are on the cusp of breaking New Day’s record for longest reign as tag champions.
Women’s Tag Team Champions IYO SKY and Dakota Kai retained the belts last week against Shotzi and Raquel Rodriguez. Is Raquel getting tired of her partners dragging her down yet?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- A mystery partner will join forces with Hit Row tonight for a six-man tag team match against Legado Del Fantasma. Will the partner be a mid-card babyface like Ricochet or Madcap Moss? Or does WWE have a more interesting surprise lined up?
- Butch & Ridge Holland vs. Solo Sikoa & Sam Zayn is booked for tonight. The Brawling Brutes are trying to avenge Sheamus, but they might have a difficult time overcoming the numbers advantage of The Bloodline.
- Omos walked on Braun Strowman’s turf last week and asserted his dominance by shoving the Monster out of the ring. These two giant men will do battle at Crown Jewel. I imagine Braun will be more aggressive if Omos happens to show up again tonight.
- Liv Morgan continued her dark descent last week by superplexing Sonya Deville onto a bunch of steel chairs and smiling afterwards. Their singles match ended without a winner, so there will likely be a rematch coming soon.
- Bray Wyatt is back in WWE to do horrible things, and he won’t feel sorry about it. Howdy!
- Karrion Kross has been a non-factor the last couple of episodes after suffering kayfabe injuries in a car accident. Is he in any kind of shape to take on Drew McIntyre inside a steel cage at Crown Jewel?
- LA Knight has an extremely high opinion of himself. He’ll likely win a few matches in the short-term while WWE is establishing him as a big deal on SmackDown. Will a mid-card babyface like Ricochet or Madcap Moss do the job for him tonight?
- It looks like next week’s episode of SmackDown is also being taped tonight, so WWE might have to call in a few reinforcements from Raw if they don’t want to spread the SmackDown roster too thin.
What will you be looking for on SmackDown?