Featuring the reveal of the consequences of the Universal Title match at Hell in a Cell, and the SmackDown debut of Bianca Belair, this October 23rd edition of SmackDown is the last SmackDown before Hell in a Cell.

We start off the show with an episode of the K.O. Show, with special guest Daniel Bryan. Owens asks Bryan what his vision for the future of SmackDown is, and Bryan says he wants the blue brand to highlight the best superstars in the world, and he wants the Intercontinental Championship defended every week on SmackDown.

Owens wants to talk about a title as well: the Tag Team Titles. He invites Daniel to be his tag team partner, but before he can get an answer, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode interrupt him. They feel a little offended that they weren’t invited to the K.O. Show, saying that they should be the topic of discussion. The Street Profits come out to interrupt Roode and Ziggler, but they themselves are interrupted by Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura, who feel disrespected once more. Bryan says that maybe he and K.O. should test themselves as a tag team, and a brawl erupts between the heels and the faces as we go to commercial.

Dolph Ziggler, Robert Roode, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura VS The Street Profits, Daniel Bryan, and Kevin Owens

When we come back, Owens, who, amusingly, still has his tie on, is attempting to fight out of the enemy corner, but gets stopped by a kick from Nakamura. Owens fights back with an atomic drop, a clothesline, and a senton. He tags in Dawkins, but Nakamura gets him over to his corner and tags in Cesaro. The two deliver a double boot for a two count, and Cesaro tags in Roode. Roode beats down Dawkins, but when he goes for an elbow drop, Dawkins moves out of the way. He tags in Ford, who gets tossed onto Roode by Dawkins for a two count. Roode goes to the ropes and Dolph tags himself in, and the Show-Off delivers a gorgeous dropkick for 2.

He tags in Roode, and opens Ford up for a punch from Roode, followed by a backbreaker for 2. Roode tags in Cesaro, who delivers a kick and an uppercut. He tags in Nakamura, who delivers a kick and a knee drop for 2. Cesaro is tagged back in, and he locks in a submission. Ford fights out of it, but Cesaro pushes him into his corner. Ford takes out everyone on the apron, and then reverses a suplex attempt by Cesaro and tags in Bryan.

Dolph Ziggler looks like he’s going to tell the teacher that Cesaro and Robert Roode are bullying Kevin Owens. Photo: WWE

Bryan takes out Cesaro, then dives to the outside and takes him out again with a suicide dive. He climbs to the top and looks for a crossbody, but he’s caught by the Swiss Cyborg. He fights out of Cesaro’s grasp, delivers a kick in the corner, and tries to throw Cesaro to the corner, but it’s reversed, Bryan tries to execute his backflip off the top to evade Cesaro, but tweaks his knee coming down. Cesaro capitalizes with a massive uppercut that sends Bryan to the floor, and slams Bryan’s leg as we go to commercial.

When we come back, Bryan is fighting out of a submission by Cesaro. Cesaro tags in Roode, who prevents Bryan from getting to his corner. He tags in Ziggler, who wraps the right leg of Bryan around the bottom rope and yanks hard. Bryan fights back, but Ziggler delivers a chop block that takes Bryan down. Ziggler tags in Cesaro, and the two pull the legs of Bryan. Cesaro locks in a half-crab, and when he gets close to escaping, Cesaro transitions into the Giant Swing, but just with the injured leg. He tags in Ziggler, who urges Bryan to get back up.

He looks for his jumping DDT, but Bryan catches him and sends him flying into the turnbuckle. Ziggler tags in Roode, who prevents Bryan from tagging out. He looks to deliver a superplex, but Bryan fights him off and delivers a missile dropkick. Roode tags in Nakamura, and Bryan finally makes a tag to Dawkins, who comes in swinging. He tosses Cesaro with a slam and dropkicks Ziggler, and then delivers a spinning stinger splash and a bulldog to Nakamura for 2.

Nakamura catches Dawkins with a kick and tags in Cesaro, and the two deliver a knee-powerbomb combo. The pin is broken up by Owens, who takes out Nakamura and Roode, but falls victim to Ziggler’s jumping DDT. Dawkins takes out Ziggler with a clothesline, and Cesaro rolls him up and uses the ropes to pin him, but the ref catches it. Dawkins nails Cesaro with a spinebuster, Bryan takes out Nakamura with a knee, and Owens takes out Ziggler and Roode with a swanton. Dawkins tags in Ford, who delivers a giant Frog Splash for the win.

Winners via pinfall: The Street Profits, Daniel Bryan, and Kevin Owens

Match Rating: 3.5/5

We go to the ThunderDome courtroom, where JBL takes up The Miz’s lawsuit with Otis. The Miz has a lawyer with him, while Otis has chosen to represent himself. The Miz makes his case, saying that he feels obligated to take the MITB contract and use it wisely. Otis responds simply that he deserves the contract because he won it. The Miz laughs at this, but his lawyer tells him that it’s a pretty good argument. The Miz responds by firing her.

Bianca Belair VS Zelina Vega

Belair uses her obvious power advantage early, tossing Vega across the ring. Vega targets the left arm of Belair, but Belair slams her hard to the mat. Vega goes for a headscissors, but the Est of WWE lands on her feet and delivers a shoulder tackle followed by a standing moonsault. Vega catches Belair with some kicks, and then delivers a flying hurricanrana. She goes for a monkey flip, but Belair catches her and delivers a solid right hand. Belair impressively deadlifts Vega into a military press position, and then drops her on the turnbuckle. She grabs her and delivers the K.O.D for the 1,2,3.

Zelina Vega’s life flashes before her eyes as Bianca Belair lifts her high above her head. Photo: WWE

I’ve always been a huge Bianca Belair fan, I’m super excited to see her back in the spotlight. Hopefully she gets the title reign she should’ve gotten on NXT very soon.

Winner via pinfall: Bianca Belair

Match Rating: 3/5

Shorty G VS Lars Sullivan

I just don’t know why this match is happening. Shorty goes for a crossbody, but Lars catches him and delivers a fall-away slam. He throws Shorty to the ropes and then tosses him up in the air, and Shorty takes a nasty fall. The Freak picks Shorty up for a slam, and Shorty rakes his eyes. He hits Lars with a rolling Liger kick, but when he goes for another, Lars moves and tosses him hard into the corner. Lars tosses Shorty all the way across the ring with a Biel, and then drops him with a clothesline. He slams Shorty with the Freak Accident, and gladly stops wasting everyone’s time and gets the 3 count. 

Winner: Lars Sullivan

Match Rating: 1/5

After the match, Kayla Braxton asks Shorty G how he’s feeling, and he responds with “I Quit.” I know this is a storyline, but he should actually leave the WWE and go somewhere where he’s not just used as squash material for the default character from the WWE 2K games.

Backstage, Alyse Ashton interviews Seth Rollins, who says he needs to teach Murphy what his role is. He says he needs to remind him that Rollins is the Messiah, the leader, and Murphy is a follower.

In the doctor’s office, Adam Pearce talks to Shorty G. Shorty says he hasn’t quit WWE, he’s quit being Shorty G. He says he doesn’t want to be the happy-go-lucky punching bag, he wants to be a man who can achieve anything he wants. He wants to be Chad Gable. Finally.

Bayley comes out to voice her frustrations with people asking her all the same questions about Sasha Banks. “Why didn’t you sign the contract, are you scared,” and so on. She says she didn’t sign the contract for the Hell in a Cell match between her and Banks for her title because she doesn’t want to give Banks what she wants. She laughs at the idea that the name “Sasha Banks” is bigger than her title.

Banks comes out with the contract, asking Bayley to sign it. Bayley tries to use her chair on Banks, but the Boss ducks it and grabs the SmackDown Women’s Title. Bayley tries to grab it back, but Banks takes her down with a knee. She puts Bayley’s head in the chair and puts her in a modified Bank Statement, not letting go until Bayley signs the contract. The match is now official, this is the first big threat to Bayley’s historic title reign in a while.

We return to the courtroom, where Morrison is delivering a testimonial about the emotional pain caused by Otis. Rey Mysterio stands by Otis, and nobody knows what Asuka is saying, because they couldn’t be bothered to get a translator. Tucker testifies as well, saying that The Miz crossed a line in moving Mandy Rose to Raw. Tucker gets in The Miz’s face, causing JBL to order a recess.

When we come back, JBL is ready to rule in favor of Otis, but The Miz has some “evidence” to submit. It’s just a briefcase of money. JBL rules in favor of The Miz, and schedules a match at Hell in a Cell between Otis and The Miz for the contract. The segment was ok, just two things: One, the whole thing was just the “Trial of Eric Bischoff” but with less content, and two, there was a disappointing lack of musical numbers.

Seth Rollins VS Murphy

With Aaliyah Mysterio watching on, Rollins and Murphy lock up and jockey for position, with Murphy locking in an armlock. Rollins reverses it into an arm wringer of his own, but Murphy rolls out of it and locks in a headlock, Rollins gets out of it and delivers a hard slap to Murphy, and locks in a headlock of his own. Murphy sends Rollins to the ropes and the Messiah drops WWE’s Best Kept Secret with a shoulder tackle. Murphy leapfrogs Rollins and looks for a punch, but Rollins avoids it. He yells at Murphy that he’s just a disciple, and Murphy drops him with a right hand.

He tosses Rollins to the floor with a hurricanrana, and then tosses him onto the table with a back body drop as we go to commercial. When we come back, Murphy is looking for an attack from the top rope, but Rollins dumps him to the floor. Backstage, Rey and Dominik try to get Aaliyah to stop watching the match, but she refuses.

In the ring, Rollins hits Murphy with a gutbuster for 2, and begins to get frustrated. He locks in a deep waistlock, but Murphy slams him into the corner. Rollins moves out of the way and drives Murphy into the corner. Murphy fights back with an enziguri and a missile dropkick. He gets fired up, dropping the Messiah with some elbows and a leg lariat. He sends Rollins to the floor and takes him out with a missile dropkick and a swanton. He climbs to the top rope and hits Rollins with a brutal diving meteora for a close 2 count.

Murphy hurt his shoulder on the meteora and goes outside to recuperate, but Rollins dives out to him with a suicide dive. He brings him back into the ring and delivers a springboard knee strike for 2. Rollins focuses on the injured left arm of Murphy, slamming it into the apron as we go to commercial.

When we come back, Murphy is delivering a superkick to Rollins, who’s tied up on the top rope. He looks for a powerbomb, but Rollins escapes and delivers a buckle bomb, which I thought was banned. Oh well, hopefully he doesn’t ruin another person’s career with that. Murphy fights back with a knee strike for two, and Rollins fights back with an elbow. He slaps Murphy, telling him again that he’s just the disciple. Murphy fights back with a combination of strikes, but Rollins stops him cold with an enziguri.

Seth Rollins delivers the Falcon Arrow to Buddy Murphy. Or is it just Murphy now? Photo: WWE

Rollins looks for the Falcon Arrow, but Murphy reverses into a rollup for 2. Rollins gets right back up and delivers the Falcon Arrow, but it only gets yet another 2 count. Rollins looks for the Stomp, but Murphy avoids it, and he avoids it again when Rollins tries a second time. Rollins heads to the second rope, but Murphy catches him with an enziguri. He grabs Rollins in a fireman’s carry, but Rollins scrambles out, yanks Murphy to the ground by his injured arm, and delivers the Stomp for the win. 

Seth Rollins finishes his former disciple with the Curb Stomp. Or is it just the Stomp now? Photo: WWE

Winner: Seth Rollins

Match Rating: 3/5

After the match, Rollins looks to use a kendo stick on Murphy, but Aaliyah Mysterio comes out to protect him. Dominik follows him out, and Rollins beats him down. Mysterio comes out with a chair, and Rollins hightails it out of there. The Mysterio boys argue about whether Aaliyah should be out there while she heads over and checks on Murphy. Aaliyah is 19 and Murphy is 32. Just making sure we’re all clear on that one.

Roman Reigns comes out to present the consequences of his Hell in a Cell match with Jey Uso. Jey appears on the screen, saying that Roman has lost his way. Jey reveals himself to be Jimmy, and Jey comes from behind and attacks Roman. He looks to use a steel chair on the Tribal Chief, but Roman kicks the chair out of his hand. Roman grabs the chair as well, but Jey takes him out with a superkick and delivers the Uso Splash. Jimmy comes out to stand with his brother.

Roman grabs a microphone and finally tells Jey what the consequences are: Jey, Jimmy, and all their descendants will be excommunicated from the Anoa’i family if he loses. The Cell comes down from the ceiling, and Jey climbs it to stare down at Roman as the show ends.



SmackDown October 23

Some very good content overshadowed by some boring and tedious content. I’m very excited for the return of Chad Gable, and I’m super excited to see where the Bianca Belair run goes.