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SmackDown recap & reactions (Oct. 6, 2023): Now that’s a go home show

Your LA Knight segment of the week, one we didn’t have to wait long for:

How quickly things can change in WWE, and that was never more evident than this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown opening with “LET ME TALK TO YA!”

To a big pop, of course.

He was immediately interrupted by The Bloodline and wouldn’t you know it, Paul Heyman came right out and said it — the next big thing in WWE is none other than The Megastar himself.

With everybody saying…

So if there was any doubt about how WWE feels about this man right now, consider the matter settled. They see what we see, and I don’t want to hear a damn thing about his age. Over is over.

Naturally, The Bloodline threatened to ensure Knight doesn’t make it to Fastlane, where he’s scheduled to team with John Cena against Jimmy Uso & Solo Sikoa in Indianapolis, and Cena himself showed up to ensure they didn’t take his teammate out. There was no big brawl, however. Instead, Knight grabbed a mic, took command, and challenged Jimmy to a singles match for later.

They struck a fairly good balance here between overdoing it with a promo and letting Knight get all his verbal stuff in to pop the live audience.


The Judgment Day, in town on business on the blue brand, were hanging backstage in what was apparently The Bloodline’s locker room. I say that because Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa were none too happy to see them relaxing all big in said locker room.

And then Rhea Ripley, who has emerged as a de facto leader of the group, called off the dogs so she could meet with Paul Heyman, who in turn did the same.

Ripley’s pitch is one we didn’t hear, but we did hear her say “we’re stronger together.” Heyman called her idea “brilliant” and promised to run it up the chain to none other than Roman Reigns.

Except Ripley wouldn’t hear all that. She’s authorizing the deal herself. She got right in his face and said three words.

“Paul … acknowledge me.”

Heyman tried to back her off, but Ripley wouldn’t blink. Threats were made. The peace holds?

The peace did hold, as we found out later in the main event when Knight took on Uso and the match quickly broke down. John Cena hit the scene to back Knight up but The Judgment Day showed up to confirm their unholy alliance.

Whatever would Cena and Knight do?

Oh, that’s right. A couple other guys were scheduled for this show.

Sure enough, Jey Uso and Cody Rhodes hit the scene to even things up a bit. It was still a 6-v-4 in favor of the bad guys, but Heyman backed Solo off and the babyfaces instantly ran wild. Bodies went flying everywhere and when it was settled, it was Cena and Sikoa alone in the ring squaring up.

Cena got rocked but Knight made the save and JD McDonagh ended up the sacrificial lamb, taking everyone’s finish to close out the show. And let me give him credit for his selling here, because my word did he ever feed for ‘em big time.

All the rest
  • In advance of Iyo Sky defending the women’s championship against Asuka and Charlotte Flair, the two challengers did the “team up and try to get along” thing against Damage CTRL, who are having some problems after Bayley accepted a triple threat title match on Sky’s behalf. In something of a surprise, they played the match straight up. Everyone got along on both sides, and in the end Charlotte hit Natural Selection and scored the pinfall over Bayley. The match was fine, but could have used some depth.
  • With the LWO taking on The Suit Profits at Fastlane, Bobby Lashley vs. Rey Mysterio was booked for this show. They had a damn good singles match, one I would quite like to see them run back with more time at a later date. The match broke down late, with both outside teams getting involved and Lashley ultimately spearing Mysterio out of his boots to score the pinfall. This was a ton of fun, and was a perfect way to build to a match where they’re all legally going to be involved. Fantastic work all around. Later, they added even more intrigue by revealing Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro would be out for the match at Fastlane and Mysterio would be making a call for a mystery partner. Fun!
  • Dragon Lee made his way back to the main roster for a showdown with Austin Theory, a way to showcase him to a wider audience once more. Theory had Grayson Waller out to assist him, and it nearly meant his scoring the win but Cameron Grimes showed up in the nick of time with an assist of his own and Lee pinned Theory. The match was a lot of fun, and the crowd responded well to everything, including Lee. There’s very clearly some real potential here.

This was a damn good go home show. Like, one of the better go home shows they’ve done in recent memory.

Grade: A

Your turn.

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