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WWE SmackDown preview (Sept. 22, 2023): Grayson Waller was right on the money about John Cena

SmackDown airs tonight (Sept. 22) with a live show from Desert Diamond Arena in Glendale, Arizona. This is the third episode of SmackDown during the five week build towards Fastlane, which takes place on October 7.

Grayson Waller was right on the money about John Cena

John Cena was a guest on Grayson Waller’s talk show last week, but neither Waller nor Jim Uso let Cena speak a single word. Instead, John quietly sat there while Waller scrutinized his current abilities in the ring with the following words:

“You had to make it all about you one more time. In fact at Payback, you got back in the ring. But not as a competitor, no, as a special guest referee. And then you had the audacity to come out here and lie to these people. He’s lied to you, because the truth don’t want to be an in-ring competitor anymore. Yeah, truth hurts, right?

And there is no doubt that you are the greatest of all-time. But there’s also no doubt that you’re not even close to being the greatest right now.”

Waller’s final biting remark about John is right on the money. Cena is hyped up by Michael Cole as the GOAT every time he appears on camera, but John can’t back it up in the ring anymore. Cena hasn’t won a match on pay-per-view since 2018, during WWE’s last major event in Australia. His loss against Austin Theory at this year’s WrestleMania is really the only thing needed to prove Waller’s point true about Cena’s obvious decline.

Grayson suspects this is why Cena chose to be a referee at Payback rather than actually compete in a match. Before John could get a word in to respond, though, he was interrupted by Jim Uso. Solo Siko and Jim proceeded to attack Cena, who was saved by AJ Styles.

Add it all up, and this angle heavily teased that Cena’s next match is coming up soon. With Fastlane right around the corner, we should finally hear what Cena has to say tonight in response to Waller’s harsh words. The main question is, when Cena does step back in the ring for his next official match, will it be a singles match against Uso? Or will it be a tag team match with AJ Styles against Uso and Sikoa?

Hopefully we’ll have some answers by the time tonight’s episode of SmackDown is over.

The title scene

WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY puts the belt on the line tonight against Asuka. IYO’s allies in Damage CTRL don’t seem so confident that the champ is ready for Asuka. This is where the Genius of the Sky needs to prove to everyone why she is the number one woman on Friday nights.

United States Champion Rey Mysterio and Santos Escobar agreed to have a title match sometime soon. Before that happens, though, they’ll be teaming up tonight to take on the Street Profits. Will there be some accidental contact between the babyfaces that leads to their downfall and escalates tension between them?

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is a part-timer who isn’t booked for Fastlane and hasn’t been appearing on TV. AJ Styles or LA Knight might end up being his next challenger, but nothing is imminent.

WWE Tag Team Champions Damian Priest and Finn Balor are scheduled to defend the belts next week on Raw against Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, so it’s possible The Judgment Day will skip out on SmackDown tonight.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Piper Niven and Chelsea Green have yet to show any interest in defending the belts on SmackDown, perhaps because there aren’t really any teams that get TV time on the blue brand.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Bayley still has a Shotzi problem on her hands. What exactly does Shotzi have in mind for revenge after Bayley cut her hair a while back?

- Adam Pearce expects to have Pretty Deadly back in the ring in no time. That wheelchair must be doing wonders for Elton Prince’s injured shoulder.

- After winning his feud with The Miz, LA Knight is determined to get some championship gold around his waist. Will we find out tonight which belt he plans to pursue first?

- Austin Theory talked a big game last week but ultimately got his candy ass whooped by The Rock and Pat McAfee. How will Austin recover after being hit with two different People’s Elbows?

- Is Karrion Kross ready to show his face on TV again after losing his very boring feud against AJ Styles over a month ago?

- What does the future look like for Hit Row after Top Dolla was fired by WWE?

- How much longer do we have to wait until a wrestler from Raw is officially moved over to SmackDown as trade compensation for Jey Uso?

What will you be looking for on SmackDown?

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