In hockey, the term “three stars” refers to the three standout players of a game who are recognized for their exceptional performance, with the first star considered the best of the three players.
Inspired by that concept, I rank the top three performers after every WWE flagship show, considering how much their work entertained or impressed me, whether it’s a remarkable match, a stunning move, or a compelling promo or segment.
With that said, here are the Three Stars of SmackDown for Nov. 3, 2023.
1. LA Knight
In his final face-to-face meeting with Roman Reigns before Crown Jewel, LA Knight once again stood tall against the top performer in the industry, breathing in Reigns’ smoke before blowing it back as fire.
OH IT'S GOING DOWN TOMORROW! @WWERomanReigns vs. @RealLAKnight for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at #WWECrownJewel!— WWE (@WWE) November 4, 2023
1pm ET on @peacock in the U.S. and @WWENetwork everywhere else! YEAH! #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/kWDDJVoTap
After Reigns taunted Knight by calling him a redneck cosplaying as The Rock, Knight responded by promising to kick his ass and take his title, as the intensity in Knight’s eyes made it clear that he meant business. When the champ shoved Knight in the chest, Knight wasted no time reciprocating the disrespect, signaling that The Tribal Chief is in for a dogfight in Saudi Arabia.
When it comes to building anticipation for a championship match, this was nothing short of exceptional. LA Knight’s journey from obscurity to the WWE main event took just one year. His work in the past two weeks has proven he belongs there.
2. John Cena
Though he spoke with a raspy voice, John Cena sounded very much like the Doctor of Thuganomics as he murdered Solo Sikoa on the microphone.
Following Sikoa’s first promo in over a year on the main roster, Cena belittled the Samoan hoss, calling him a bargain-basement Taz and adding that the only reason he had a job in WWE was because of his cousin, Roman Reigns.
But the kiss of death came when Cena advised his Crown Jewel opponent on how best to prepare to deliver the Samoan Spike.
“...tape your thumb up extra tight because the only place it’s getting stuck tomorrow is straight up your ass.”
While Cena won the war of words, he and Sikoa each did a fantastic job projecting strength and toughness. Both men need to win, but only one will prevail. Their verbal joust effectively heightened the importance of their meeting at Crown Jewel.
3. Grayson Waller
While Kevin Owens and Austin Theory threw stiff shots at each other in the ring, Theory’s BFF Grayson Waller was peppering commentator Kevin Patrick with verbal jabs on commentary. Right as I took a sip of Sprite, Waller delivered the line that had me spraying soda everywhere.
Waller: You know, the funny thing is Kevin Owens kind of looks like some of the girls you were with in high school.
Patrick: How do you know who I was with in high school?
Waller: Hey, you look like a guy who gets with swamp donkeys, mate.
That’s the kind of improvised heel commentary I long for.
Well done, Grayson Waller, well done.
Now it’s your turn, Cagesiders. Which three stars left the biggest impression on you during the go-home episode of SmackDown before Crown Jewel? Share your thoughts in the comments section.