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SmackDown recap & reactions (Sept. 8, 2023): Faction warfare

The Bloodline saga continued on Friday Night SmackDown this week, in its usual main event slot.

Jimmy Uso, perhaps realizing the gravity of his situation now that his brother, Jey, has abandoned ship and skipped off to the greener pastures of Monday Night Raw, is back to attempting to get in the good graces of The Bloodline. He’s been met with resistance, of course, and even Paul Heyman seemed awfully stressed about how to handle things with Roman Reigns.

And then Heyman went and got himself hemmed up by AJ Styles and wouldn’t you know it, Jimmy was there to save him.

That set up the headlining match on this show, where Jimmy was attempting to take care of business as ordered by Heyman. Solo Sikoa, who Heyman originally said wasn’t there, showed up early in the match to look on.

And then Sikoa inadvertently cost Jimmy the match, considering he turned his back on his brother, giving Styles the opening to take them both out. Then he pinned Jimmy to the mat, 1-2-3.

Roman Reigns surely won’t like that.

It was almost instantly forgotten, though, because of the surprise that followed.

When Styles was trying to get himself out of dodge, he got clobbered from behind by The Judgment Day. They then offered him up to Sikoa while Corey Graves wondered if it was a peace offering.

This was also notable because Styles had told Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows to stay away from his match tonight after a disagreement backstage. So he ended up with one faction throwing him to another without his own faction to back him up.

So many factions, so little time. Or something like that.

I’m finding myself less and less interested in Jimmy’s plight here and more intrigued by the idea of a giant war for SmackDown between the competing factions trying to claim the territory. Hey, we’re not far off from Survivor Series and maybe the return of WarGames, right?

Your LA Knight segment of the week:

My man LA went and did it — he cut a promo calling back to one of my all time favorites from the late 90s, Kevin Nash, and his legendary misunderstanding of the English language. He made sure to deliver a receipt for Nash calling him out too, making sure to slide in a remark about Big Sexy being a moron for not knowing the difference between an adjective and a verb.

I love Nash, but this was pretty great.

Here’s what I’m really coming to love so much about Knight and how WWE is presenting him — The Miz has pretty much been right! He’s absolutely an Attitude Era throwback, from the way he walks to the way he talks to the juvenile nature of the insults he deals out. He reminds me of my childhood, when pro wrestling was a lot more mainstream and The Rock calling everyone a candy ass jabroni was cool.

Of course I love this guy.

Here, he had a ball of a time putting down Austin Theory and Grayson Waller before getting the chance to avenge his previous defeat to Theory. Sure enough, despite Waller trying to assist his friend, Knight pinned Theory after Blunt Force Trauma to keep the momentum going.


Oh, and we also got an interaction between Knight and Paul Heyman on this show, a formal introduction between the two. Heyman flexed some muscle (figuratively speaking, of course), and LA flexed a bit in return and they left it at that. But boy oh boy did they clearly want us thinking about the future.

All the rest

  • The show kicked off this week with Charlotte Flair and Shotzi teaming up to take on Damage CTRL. It was a fairly standard tag team match until Asuka showed up ringside, taking the women’s championship off Dakota Kai’s shoulder and distracting both Bayley and Iyo Sky, allowing Shotzi to score yet another pinfall victory over Bayley. After, Asuka climbed in the ring to firmly establish herself as Sky’s top opposition. They had a staredown but didn’t come to blows just yet. The sooner we get to these two throwing down and having the kind of match they’re capable of, apart from all the other nonsense around Sky, the better off quite literally everyone will be. Later, they had Sky lay down the challenge herself. So it’s happening! We later learned it will take place in two weeks.
  • Now that Finn Balor and Damian Priest are tag team champions, Triple H wasted no time booking them for SmackDown. They came over to say they’re the most dominant group in WWE, and none other than the Brawling Brutes answered the call to dispute that fact. Naturally, The Judgment Day took down Ridge Holland & BUTCH after a fun match. And then The Suit Profits hit the scene for a staredown. They vowed to be the ones to fill the power vacuum The Bloodline will be leaving behind when they inevitably crumble (which they’re in the process of doing). This was one hell of a tease for more faction warfare. I’m here for it.

A lot of videos on this show recapping quite a bit but still a strong effort.

Grade: B-

Your turn.

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