When WWE Smackdown started in the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, we knew there would be a contract signing, and The Bloodline, but not much else. How did the show go? Here are my thoughts on the October 27, 2023 edition:

  • Contract signings in WWE are usually boring and predictable. This one wasn’t. I mean I knew it would probably result in a fight between Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Crown Jewel Challenger LA Knight, and I was pretty sure another Bloodline member getting involved at the end. It did, and Jimmy Uso was the one who helped out his Tribal Chief, and went through a table for his troubles. What I loved was everything that came before. Knight cutting off Roman’s entrance, taking the spot Paul Heyman had made for the Head of the Table, Roman’s reactions and comebacks while still trying to maintain his composure and dominance, and the way both of them worked the sold out Milwaukee crowd. It was a great way to open the show.
Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman look at LA Knight, who sat at the head of the table during the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship Contract Signing on WWE Smackdown October 27 2023
  • Okay, fair is fair. LA Knight is great, and bringing up Roman Reigns’ Sufferin Succotash Promo was a nice jab, but I think it also opened the door for Reigns to justifiably bring up Knight’s time as Max Dupri.
  • The Street Profits with Bobby Lashley versus LWO members Santos Escobar and Carlito had me much more interested than other recent outings involving members of these factions. It wasn’t about establishing and reinforcing who were the heels, but rather about being a solid tag match, until it wasn’t. It was kinda obvious when they showed Rey Mysterio watching on a monitor backstage, that Logan Paul would attack him. And attack him Paul did, causing Carlito to leave, and causing Escobar to lose the now 2 on 1 encounter. It’s more build for Crown Jewel, and maybe for an LWO split, and I’m okay with that.
  • Carlito has wrestled two matches since his return, missed the first part of the first one, and the last part of the second one. So I guess you could say he’s wrestled one full match.
  • Kevin Owens punching Austin Theory and Grayson Waller in the face at the same time backstage was peak KO. It’s good to see that he hasn’t lost the core of his character by switching brands. Also, Theory and Waller discussing the possibility of such a punch landing was a great setup. Come to think of it, the whole segment that took us from Logan Paul to Owens, to A-Town Down Under, to the punch was like the WWE version of a West Wing walk and talk. It flowed nicely. Good stuff.
  • I’m glad we’re getting to see Chelsea Green and Piper Niven on both shows (all three if you count NXT), as the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions should. I like that they’re mixing with different opponents, and Shotzi was a good choice here for the solo contest against Green. It was a good match, with both competitors given a chance to shine. We already know Shotzi can go, but Chelsea has been presented as the big talker whose partner (formerly Sonya Deville, now Piper) does all the ass-kicking. Now, it’s nice to see her really work in the ring, even landing a nice Missile Dropkick on Shotx=zi. Sure, she lost to a surprise pin reversal after some showing off, but she’s no longer being presented as a fluke champion.
Chelsea Green dropkicks Shotzi on WWE Smackdown October 27, 2023
  • John Cena’s in-ring promo was a bit melodramatic, but still good. Paul Heyman’s side of the conversation was as solid, smooth, and smarmy as ever. Of course, they weren’t trying to put themselves, each other, or even The Bloddline (in Heyman’s case) over. Specifically, they were both trying to build Solo Sikoa as a real threat to Cena, ahead of his first singles match on a Premium Live Event. I’d say mission accomplished on both parts.
Paul Heyman confronts John Cena on WWE Smackdown October 27 2023
  • Do you want a hard-hitting, fast-paced, athletic contest between a rising star and someone who hasn’t got nearly enough screen time lately? How about Dragon Lee versus Cedric Alexander? This match wasn’t about storyline, though it did tell a story physically. No angles, no heat, just excitement, and getting the two competitors a chance to shine.
  • Bianca Belair is back! I mean she returned last week to handle Damage CTRL who were attacking Charlotte Flair, but this time was more than a run-in. It was a full promo, and a pretty passionate one at that. Sure, she twirled her hair on the way down, but then it was all business. I’m excited for Bianca versus Iyo Sky Round 2 at Crown Jewel. Their first match at Backlash was a real barn-burner, so this one promises to be great as well. Her match against Bayley on the next Smackdown, though, is something we have seen several times already. Instead of negotiating that match, she might have tried to bar Bayley and Dakota Kai from ringside when she faces Iyo instead. Just sayin’
Bianca Belair returns to WWE Smackdown on October 27 2023
  • Jimmy Uso versus LA Knight was a hard-fought match, and a deserving main event for the show. I thought for a moment that Uso might actually pull out a win, but of course, not. A Suplex/Blunt Force Trauma combo put Jimmy away, and then Roman Reigns hit the ring. Knight dodged him and hit a BFT, leaving Reigns on the ground and the Megastar standing tall over the Tribal Chief. It’s a great visual, but generally such things don’t bode well for the challenger come the PLE. Knight is a massive underdog already, so who knows.
LA Knigjht standing over Roman Reigns after hitting him with the BFT on WWE Smackdown October 27 2023

This Smackdown was nicely bookended by Roman Reigns and LA Knight. The intro was

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