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WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Nov. 4, 2022): The shadow side

Morality is not simply being good, it is understanding your own capacity for evil and making the choice to be good.

This is what Bray Wyatt seems to be struggling with right now, as evidenced on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown.


He even mentions a classic example of what I was just talking about. When someone cuts you off in traffic, you’re not a monster for briefly fantasizing about running them off the road in response. You’re a monster if you actually act on those thoughts.

Here, Wyatt is bothered every so slightly and he’s tested with the man he’s fighting so hard not to be, yet another encounter with the shadow side. And he clearly seems to be losing that fight.

It’s taken very little time to get us here too.

A sign of things to come, perhaps.

Maybe we’ll find out after a long journey to Saudi Arabia.

All the rest
  • Liv Morgan has lost her mind and is attacking folks while smiling and seemingly in a dark place — but also she’s still doing the thing where she hugs kids on her way to the ring and plays up to the crowd like a babyface? Seems odd! It’s even funnier when, during the ensuing No DQ match with Sonya Deville that came about because of Morgan’s unhinged behavior, Wade Barrett tells us how she changed after losing her title and became both a sadist and a masochist. Anyway, she beat Deville and they pushed it as Morgan being “back and better than she’s ever been before.”
  • Emma did an interview talking about how she had something to prove when she returned to WWE after five years away. Her blood was really pumping. Xia Li got in her face and said all she proved was that she’s weak, so Emma bopped her in the mouth. Always good to see a program build with some simple violence.
  • LET ME TALK TO YA! LA Knight getting heat using Samantha Irvin was a slick way to add some stakes to his match with Ricochet, though I’m not sure how many fans even know the connection. They didn’t explicitly play it up on TV, but it’s a nice little Easter egg for anyone who knows better. Knight cheated to win after a decent match that was more about getting LA over as the heel they want him to be. To that end, it worked.
  • The New Day made it clear to The Usos that they plan to greet them back on American soil after Crown Jewel because they have a record to protect as longest reigning tag team champions. We’ve seen this match a million times before but this is a pretty damn good storyline reason to do it again. Plus, it’s always a great time, who would ever be against running it back?
  • Sami Zayn was getting “Sami Uso” chants, and we have to continue praising the work he’s done to get to this point.
  • I’m not entirely sure I could even tell you why but seeing Ronda Rousey alongside Shayna Baszler made both of them look better. Two killers running together is a scary sight, but a damn good one. Baszler took it to Nattie, beating her clean and then, at the order of Rousey, put her down after the match as well. This was pretty great.
  • Braun Strowman ran through five guys on this show, and I ain’t talking burgers. MVP lined ‘em up, Strowman knocked ‘em down. Then Braun made a point at MVP’s expense, the poor guy. An easy way to heat him up just a bit in advance of the big showdown with Omos.
  • GUNTHER and Rey Mysterio had a fine TV main event match for the Intercontinental championship, with Mysterio doing his best “little man against an impossibly large opponent” work and coming up just short. It’s the babyface role he’s been working forever, and if nothing else it made clear they could come back to this any time they wanted. I’d watch it again!

You could tell this was a taped show. I’ll also never, ever get used to the way WWE treats television in the Network/Peacock era. They simply don’t need to bother working hard to build to the PPV. Shows are just shows that lead to more shows.

Grade: C-

Your turn.

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