WWE Friday Night SmackDown continues to deliver solid television on a weekly basis, as Roman Reigns is routinely amazing fans with his work as “The Tribal Chief.” This week’s show featured an unexpected appearance from Drew McIntyre, who picked up a win over Jey Uso in the main event. Plus, Sami Zayn defended the WWE Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews and Rey Mysterio won the “Final Chapter” of his feud with Seth Rollins.
Drew McIntyre Makes Roman Reigns Understand
Drew McIntyre showed up on the blue brand this week, and he had one clear mission. The former WWE Champion was determined to make Roman Reigns understand that the two stars could clash at WWE Survivor Series. McIntyre and Reigns traded verbal barbs at the beginning of the show, and “The Tribal Chief” utterly roasted McIntyre at a few points. “I don’t watch RAW,” Reigns said. “The Big Dog” took a shot at WWE RAW’s low viewership numbers when he told McIntyre that nobody watches the red brand. Reigns continues to thrive in his new role as SmackDown’s top heel, and he’s getting better with each passing week. This episode was one of his best performances yet, from this war of words with McIntyre to his harsh criticism of Jey Uso when Reigns’ top lieutenant challenged McIntyre to a match.
That bout main evented the show, which speaks to Uso’s meteoric rise in recent months. He’s been in the spotlight throughout the fall, and now he found himself in another main event. Uso almost walked away with the victory, but Reigns’ desire to make McIntyre “understand” the cost of disrespect made all the difference. Uso was overly aggressive, and McIntyre capitalized by hitting a thunderous Claymore to defeat Uso. Even if McIntyre loses his WWE Championship match to Randy Orton on Monday night, WWE left fans salivating at the prospect of a feud between McIntyre and Reigns.
Seth Rollins’ Feud With Rey Mysterio Is Finally Over (?)
Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio have been engaged in a bitter rivalry for months, and the conflict has seemingly reached an end. Thanks to Murphy’s decision to turn on Rollins (again), Mysterio beat Rollins in a hard-hitting No Holds Barred Match. This bout was a pay-per-view quality slugfest with tables, stairs and chairs. Of course, the Mysterio family drama continued to play out, too. Though Murphy turned on Rollins weeks ago and later returned to his status as “The Disciple,” Murphy attacked “The Messiah” at the end of this match and handed Mysterio the victory on a silver platter.
Later in the show, WWE confirmed that Rollins and Murphy will clash in a match next week, so this feud is pivoting to a battle between these two. For Murphy, this development is an opportunity to remain a major player on SmackDown. For Mysterio, it’s the chance to move on after he has spent months in a feud that’s become quite repetitive. Maybe he’ll chase the tag titles with his son, Dominic. He could also chase some singles gold. Either way, fans should be relieved to see the future Hall of Famer heading in a new direction.
Sami Zayn Is A Treasure
Sami Zayn has been on fire since he won the WWE Intercontinental Championship. His use of handcuffs during his victory at WWE Clash of Champions opened many fans’ eyes to Zayn’s ability to excel as a creative heel. He’s continued to shine in this role, as he consistently picks up cheap wins and cuts fresh promos. He’s almost single-handedly built up his upcoming match with Bobby Lashley at WWE Survivor Series by comparing the significance of the respective titles they hold.
On this week’s show, Zayn defended his title against Apollo Crews, who feuded with Lashley for months earlier this year. Zayn could have benefitted from a clean win over Lashley’s rival. Instead, the champion outsmarted Crews by tying him up in the ring apron to win via countout. This fairly weak style of victory doesn’t necessarily make Zayn look like a legitimate threat to Lashley, but it does establish Zayn’s ability to win with some innovative methods.
These three developments could be considered the top takeaways from the show, but be sure to check out the SmackDown Double Down to hear my complete thoughts on these matches and the rest of the show, too.