Following an online altercation with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman that resulted in an invitation to the Fox broadcast, Logan Paul returned to WWE television on Friday night’s SmackDown. What did the social media phenom say this week when he participated in the show’s squared circle segment?
Find out with our episode recap, which also included naming new No. 1 contenders for The Usos’ tag team titles and a one-on-one match in which Raquel Rodriguez sought retribution against Bayley.
- Logan Paul appearance
- Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender’s Match: New Day vs. Brawling Brutes vs. Hit Row vs. Imperium
- Raquel Rodriguez vs. Bayley
- Ricochet vs. Sami Zayn
Logan Paul Kicked Off SmackDown
Building on the contentious online exchanges he had with Roman Reigns, the undisputed WWE Universal champion, and Paul Heyman, Logan Paul opened Friday’s show. Before Heyman and The Bloodline, without The Head of the Table, interrupted, he made a tease about a press appearance scheduled for Saturday in Las Vegas.
Heyman attempted to dissuade him from making a stupid decision, such as confronting Reigns. Still, the social media personality countered by asking what would happen if he managed to knock out The Tribal Chief with one magical punch.
Sami Zayn got involved, disparaging The Bloodline, and devoured a right hand that knocked him to the ground. Ricochet appeared for the night’s opening as Paul withdrew, and the program went commercial.
This was a good enough way to open the program, but if WWE ever has the notion that it can persuade the crowd to choose Paul over Reigns, the response the former received here should be used as proof to the contrary.
He was the most unlikeable character on film, even when confronted by the company’s leading heel faction. Although he has done an outstanding job between the ropes and his promos are superior to some seasoned performers, the audience is unwilling to support him because of his notoriety in popular culture.
By the time Reigns delivers the first Superman Punch, the crowd will have started to yell, which is probably not the intended outcome, given what we saw here.
B-, if only because Heyman is back and Zayn is a treasure
Ricochet vs. Sami Zayn
Paul remained ringside and supported Ricochet as he engaged Zayn, who was also present with The Bloodline. The opening part of the match was highly one-sided due to Zayn’s influence on the transition into and out of the commercial break, giving him a front-row seat.
Despite a late comeback, Paul diverted referee Jessika Carr, allowing the former Intercontinental champion to kick out after Zayn had floored him with a Blue Thunder Bomb for what should have been the victory.
More intervention from all parties dominated the match’s final moments, causing Zayn and Jey Uso to start fighting before Ricochet eliminated them both at ringside and finished the former with a Shooting Star Press to secure the victory.
This match was competitive, but it also had some excellent narrative. A bout between Zayn and Uso that is red-hot and divides the fans in two will result from the second story of their growing hatred toward one another.
In addition, it was a lovely touch to use Ricochet as the sole genuine babyface and then grant him the victory. He delivered as always, and the match was influential as a result.
Ricochet defeated Zayn
Braun Strowman Obliterated Maximum Male Models
Friday night’s match between the Maximum Male Models and Braun Strowman saw the back-to-school collection go on display when ma.çé and mn. sôör were defeated by the charging Strowman, who first attacked the Maximum Male Models on the entrance ramp before destroying them with an in-ring powerbomb.
The Monster Among Monsters sat up and glared the team down to end the segment after Chad Gable and Otis of Alpha Academy attempted a setup and knocked Strowman off his feet.
As Triple H and WWE Creative work to repair Strowman’s character throughout this comeback, he still appears to be a formidable force. Gable and Otis, both professionals, are the best picks to assist him in making the appropriate decision.
The Maximum Male Models may be reaching the end of their usefulness on SmackDown at this point, having already been reduced to serving as tackling dummies for the unstoppable big guy if there is one thing that is crystal evident.
Raquel Rodriguez vs. Bayley
Iyo Sky, Dakota Kai, and Bayley carried on riding a wave of momentum as they proceeded to celebrate winning the Women’s Tag Team Championship on Monday’s Raw. Raquel Rodriguez, one of the women they beat, fought Bayley alone in retaliation.
The ring-savvy Bayley attempted to take down her taller opponent by working her left leg. It worked until Rodriguez changed her strategy to lighten the burden on her wounded limb. Kai and Sky caused a distraction, allowing Bayley to secure the tainted victory. After a three-on-one beating, Shotzi stormed the ring and chased the heels away before turning the much-needed babyface.
.@LoganPaul kicks the night off here on #SmackDown! pic.twitter.com/8kqTmW5tjX
— WWE (@WWE) September 17, 2022
Once more, Rodriguez was booked well in this match, looking like a future star as she held off Damage Ctrl until the numbers game proved too much for her to handle. She will become a household name in the women’s division, but she urgently needs to establish a persona so that fans can see why they should care about her beyond that she is tall and physically commanding in the ring.
What was a disastrous, ill-defined heel turn is eliminated by Shotzi’s turn. Bring back her tank to resume the route to fame from which she should never have been diverted. Her arrival there will only be aided by positioning her against Damage Ctrl.
Bayley defeated Rodriguez
NXT North American Championship Match: Madcap Moss vs. Solo Sikoa
Madcap Moss was given a chance to compete for a singles championship for the first time in his career as he took on the newly crowned NXT North American Champion Solo Sikoa without The Usos (“you were off your game, Jey”) instead of Sami Zayn.
Sikoa outclassed and defeated the opponent for the majority of the match. Eventually, Moss battled back, but his opponent swiftly interrupted him. Despite the challenger making a late comeback, Sikoa defeated him with a range when Zayn led a pursuing Moss directly into his grip, thus defending his title.
Although the battle was very lengthy, Sikoa received a strong showing. The involvement of Zayn furthers the notion that the Bloodline benefits from his presence, perhaps even more so than that of Jey Uso. He looked powerful and could have easily won the bout outright. Even if it seems like he lost even miniature steam under Triple H, Moss made the most of his time.
Sikoa defeated Moss to retain
Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender’s Match
The victor of Friday’s Fatal 4-Way No. 1 Contender’s Match would face The Usos for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
The lineup of contenders included Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods of The New Day, Butch and Ridge Holland of The Brawling Brute, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci of Imperium, and Top Dolla and Ashante Thee Adonis of Hit Row.
Butch and Kaiser started by exchanging blows while the Brutes and Imperium resumed their conflict. With this many stars competing in the exact match, the action slowed down considerably down the stretch, with spectacular near-falls brought on by last-second saves and well-executed kickouts.
A straight right to @SamiZayn by @LoganPaul and the Honorary Uce goes down! #SmackDown pic.twitter.com/HOO9vodKxK
— WWE (@WWE) September 17, 2022
Kaiser and Vinci appeared to be winning with the Imperium Bomb late in the bout. Still, Holland’s sneaky tag allowed the former rugby player to steal the pinfall victory and set up The Brawling Brutes for a title battle against The Usos the following week.
The game was a fantastic representation of the four competing teams with some intelligent moments for good measure. It would have meant more if it had seemed like Jimmy and Jey Uso may lose their championships, but that does not take away from the action, reversals, counters, and sequences that made this a solid main event. Imperium will undoubtedly be present in the title match the following week.
Brawling Brutes defeated Imperium, New Day, and Hit Row to become No. 1 contenders.
#SmackDown starts RIGHT NOW!
— WWE (@WWE) September 17, 2022
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