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WWE SmackDown preview (Oct. 20, 2023): Charlotte Flair is finally an underdog

SmackDown airs tonight (Oct. 20) with a live show from Frost Bank Center in San Antonio, Texas. This is the second episode of SmackDown during the four week build towards Crown Jewel, which takes place on November 4.

Charlotte Flair is finally an underdog in WWE

WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY defends the gold tonight on SmackDown against Charlotte Flair.

WWE fans have watched The Queen dominate the championship scene for the better part of a decade; she’ll probably break the record for the most career world title reigns by the time she hangs up her wrestling boots. However, as far as tonight’s title match is concerned, Flair is actually the underdog.

Over the last month, IYO has successfully defended the belt against Asuka in a singles match, as well as against Flair and Asuka in a triple threat match. A singles title defense against The Queen is still missing from IYO’s to-do list, but she can check off that box tonight with a win over Flair.

Once that is out of the way and IYO has demonstrated that Asuka and Flair cannot take the belt from here, the stage will be set for former champion Bianca Belair to return to WWE and come back for her belt. The EST of WWE happens to be advertised for Crown Jewel in a couple of weeks, so there’s a plausible scenario where she returns to WWE as soon as tonight to confront Damage CTRL after they once again cheat their way to victory.

Is it possible that Charlotte blows up this idea by beating SKY for the belt tonight? Sure, you can never say never with The Queen. And that’s one reason why you’ll have to tune in to SmackDown tonight, because Flair always has a chance to win the gold.

The rest of the title scene

Logan Paul called out United States Champion Rey Mysterio after defeating Dillon Danis last weekend. Rey isn’t a hard man to find, so the YouTube douche returns tonight for a face-to-face confrontation with him. This segment will presumably make a title match between them official for Crown Jewel, potentially setting up Logan’s first championship win in WWE.

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns returned to SmackDown for last week’s season premiere after being gone for roughly two months. Things are back to normal tonight, though, as the part-time champ isn’t expected to be in the building. The rest of The Bloodline will have to deal with LA Knight, who will be in a foul mood after he was laid out by Roman at the end of last week’s episode.

The Judgment Day are once again the undisputed WWE tag team champions, which means we could see them pop up on SmackDown tonight to repay Jimmy Uso for helping them win back the belts from Cody Rhodes and Jey Uso on Raw. Cody and Jey are theoretically no longer eligible to appear on SmackDown, but those brand split rules don’t really ever matter and are rarely enforced.

Nick Aldis is the new General Manager of SmackDown, and one of the first complaints he had to deal with was WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Chelsea Green demanding new belts on Italian leather.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- The LWO’s Santos Escobar goes one-on-one with The Street Profits’ Montez Ford tonight. Escobar is looking for payback after Bob Lashley and the Street Profits laid out Carlito backstage last week.

- John Cena is still hanging around in WWE and has been very involved in The Bloodline’s business. Will Cena continue to play cheerleader for LA Knight as part of that story? John needs a match for Crown Jewel and could be paired up with Solo Sikoa or Jimmy Uso on that card.

- Kevin Owens was traded to SmackDown as compensation for Jey Uso moving over to Raw. Which heel will be the first in line to pick a fight with KO? Will he immediately join John Cena and LA Knight for their conflict against The Bloodline?

- Elton Prince faked an injury in last week’s comeback match against the Brawling Brutes. Fortunately for Pretty Deadly, the referee was the only person in the arena who actually bought into his act, and it helped the heels pick up a win over Ridge Holland and Pete Dunne.

- Dragon Lee and Cameron Grimes are likely headed towards a tag team match against Grayson Waller and Austin Theory fairly soon.

- Is Jade Cargill finished making her tour of all three WWE brands? Which roster will she be joining?

- When should we expect to see AJ Styles return to WWE after his kayfabe injury at the hands of The Bloodline?

- Is it finally time for Karrion Kross to take action to create a shitty new stable that will help him stop losing so much in WWE?

- As the new GM of SmackDown, will Nick Aldis immediately begin to focus on the brand warfare nature of next month’s Survivor Series event? What moves will he make to ensure that SmackDown is the superior product compared to Adam Pearce’s Raw?

What will you be looking for on SmackDown?

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