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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Oct. 7, 2022): Extreme premiere

“Logan sucks! Logan sucks! Logan sucks!”

That’s how the crowd responded to Logan Paul getting into the ring with The Bloodline on Friday Night SmackDown this week. WWE had promoted a face-to-face meeting between the two, and they delivered on that just as soon as the show went on the air.

The fans were delighted to see the heel, and none too pleased to see the babyface. There’s been no double turn, so that’s still the case, right?

It’s so hard to tell these days.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Anyway, Paul Heyman was tasked with smartening Paul up, but really he just admitted what we already knew — Paul is this generation’s Mr. T/Cyndi Lauper, the outside celebrity who doesn’t really belong but can bring some new eyeballs to the product and so will be placed in a big match on a big WWE card.

Then Heyman started popping off about Jordan Peterson, Ben Shapiro, and Andrew Tate, further proving his point that this is really just all about publicity and how pro wrestling does anything to go after it. He eventually got back around to Paul, and I suppose the idea is he’s controversial on the level of the other three, even though I’m not sure that’s even remotely the case, at least not in 2022.

But whatever, the point was made.

Paul ignored all that and tried to create conflict within The Bloodline, claiming he couldn’t tell if Reigns or Jey Uso is the tribal chief. This, for some reason, sincerely upset Reigns, who was going to go after Jey until Sami Zayn played peace maker.

This was a downright strange segment. Why would Reigns take such obvious bait like that?

Later, Solo Sikoa beat up Ricochet, and the match was fine but it was really just about getting to a backstage segment where Zayn and Jey could argue about it and Reigns could side with Sami and then make Jey being a hothead his problem to deal with now.

This could only end well!

Later still, Sami decided to respond to The New Day antagonizing them by telling them to get a partner for a six-man tag team match and, of course, they went and snagged BigCut McSlimTruck and easily won the match while Sami and Jey continuously went at each other’s throats. I’m just imagining The Bloodline in a War Games match and that being where the turn finally happens.

I’m just no longer clear on who exactly will be turning.

Despite the weird Reigns stuff, this was all pretty good advancement for this story.

I’m giving this its own spot not because I have all that much to say about it but because Sheamus and GUNTHER put on yet another good match that had an actually effective finish because it legitimately pissed me off.

There’s nothing better in pro wrestling these days than when you find yourself just rolling with it in a natural way, going right along with the babyface (at least for this match, in this case) in his quest to win the Intercontinental title for the first time, and it’s going swimmingly, and he’s so close, and then NO THAT SON OF A BITCH CHEATED THIS CANNOT STAND!

This also acted as a solid way to promote the six-man tag team match Imperium and The Brawling Brutes will be having at Extreme Rules. A pretty damn good piece of business and a fun close to the show.

All the rest

  • Hey, Triple H looks good, huh? Anyone else surprised we haven’t seen more of him since he took over?
  • Zelina Vega returned to apparently head up the debuting Legado del Fantasma, replacing Elektra Lopez. I’m not sure how much of an upgrade that is for my tastes, but your mileage may vary. It’s obviously far too early for any judgments here, however. Either way, they laid out Hit Row and they’re a fun group. There’s reason for excitement.
  • Raquel Rodriguez is once again in a new tag team, this time with Shotzi Blackheart. They beat Sonya Deville & Xia Li on this show, presumably to better establish themselves as a team. The division needs teams and there isn’t much for Rodriguez as a singles star in the stagnant SmackDown women’s division, so it does make some measure of sense. But what of Aliyah? Maybe we’ll never know!
  • Drew McIntyre tried a surprise attack on Karrion Kross in a reversal of how things have been going between these two and he ended up beaten pretty badly with a strap. This entire program has done wonders for making Kross look good but I’m not so sure McIntyre is taking the loss at the actual PPV. We shall see. I did like how Kross wasn’t entirely surprised because the crowd started cheering during his entrance and he instantly recognized that couldn’t be right and knew there must be someone behind him. Little stuff like that goes a long way.
  • A brief promo aired that seemed to tease The Viking Raiders returning with … Sarah Logan?!?
  • Max Dupri finally realized the truth — he is LA Knight.

A damn good show.

Grade: B+

Your turn.

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