Updated: Nov 11, 2021
Reverse Hipster's What Mattered
7. Los Lotharios vs. Mansoor and Ali
Los Lotharios defeated Cesaro and Mansoor. It was like a match from WWE Universe mode, where two random guys suddenly start tagging. This match barely makes a list because Mansoor and Cesaro have no reason to be a tag team. However, Cesaro and Mansoor are excellent wrestlers, so of course, they put on an excellent performance. Also, Los Lotharios got a victory and gained momentum from the win.
6. Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn had several segments throughout the night, and he has quickly become my favorite superstar in WWE, especially now that Bray is gone. Sami can do it all. He can put on classic matches, and he can crack you up in promos. In my opinion, acts in wrestling that are genuinely funny are special. I loved Sami's skit with Jeff and Aliyah. I like that WWE is inferring that Aliyah has a thing with Jeff, and I hope to see that develop. As the elder statesmen of SmackDown, Sami hilariously suggested that Aliyah wears a pantsuit to show people she means business. Also, later that night, he tried to show Hit Row how to do an entrance, and I thought it was gold. I just wish Sami would have rapped.
5. Happy Corbin and Moss vs. The Viking Raiders
The Viking Raiders beat Happy Corbin and Moss. I'm not a huge fan of Happy Corbin. I think he is corny and a little boring now. I like the new wardrobe, but it's hard to invest his character now when it seems like nothing matters to him. This week, I like what WWE did. Viking Raiders had a good debut on SmackDown. They looked dominant in their first match. However, by having Corbin and Moss run away, they were protected as well, and the Raiders have a reason to want to fight them again.
4. Shotzi Blackheart
Shotzi cut a backstage promo about her attack on Sasha. Pretty much everything has gone wrong for her since she was brought to the main roster. The WWE system has broken her down. She has lost her fans, and both of her tag team partners have been fired. She lost a chance to fight for the tag team championship, even though she earned it. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Shotzi had a chance to win it all back and become champion. However, in Shotzi's mind, Sasha costs her that opportunity, so she will punish Sasha. Also, WWE has taught Shotzi that good girls finish last.
3. Naomi vs. Shayna
I thought this match was great. Naomi went out and defeated Shayna, and got a clean gritty win. Naomi looked great. She beat a formidable opponent, proving she is as great as she says she is. However, then Sonya restarted the match, and Naomi was choked. I hated Sonya in that moment. She has the most heat in WWE, in my opinion. This feud is going great. It's still hot.
2. Drew vs. Ricochet
Drew defeated Ricochet in an open challenge. I thought the match was fabulous. Ricochet walked up and slapped Drew in the mouth after saying he would do just that. Drew proceeded to unleash his fury in the match. Ricochet is one of the best sellers in WWE, and he made Drew look great. Drew was not just suplexing Ricochet, he was catapulting him all over the ring. Also, to Drew's credit, he once again found a way to let Ricochet get some offense in, and make this feel more entertaining and less like a squash match. Also, the finish was phenomenal, a Claymore from Drew in the middle of Ricochet's backflip. Then, there was storyline development. After the match, Ali tried to recruit Ricochet, and he refused because of how Ali treated Mansoor.
1. Head of the Table vs. King of the Ring
SmackDown started off with Roman returning with some excellent heel work about SmackDown being bad without him. Then, Roman criticized Jimmy for losing to the New Day. After that, the New Day came out and made fun of Roman, and declared Woods as the Head of the Table now that he is King of the King. Next, Xavier challenged Jimmy to a match, loser has to bow. If Jimmy loses, he has to bend the knee to Xavier. However, if Xavier loses, he has to acknowledge Roman.
Xavier and Jimmy delivered in the main event of SmackDown. King Woods won a thriller of a match. However, Roman stopped Jimmy from bowing, and the Bloodline beat down the New Day. I am really enjoying this segment. I think a power struggle between the King and the Head of the Table makes sense. Also, having the New Day and the Usos legendary rivalry revitalized in a new way is exciting. Also, I can't wait for Big E to get involved because I think this will be a fantastic three-on-three Survivor Series match.
Rob's What Mattered
5. Ridge Holland
I did not even know he was on SmackDown, but Ridge Holland made a short but impactful backstage interview segment about how he idolized Sheamus and what it means to be on the same show as him now. Holland looked beastly in stature. I have yet to see him in the ring, but I am excited to see what he could do, especially if paired against the Celtic Warrior.
4. Sonya Deville
I do not like that Naomi is fighting Shayna Baszler again. Part of the arc of this feud should be that Naomi faces various unfair challenges put forth by Sonya Deville, but I have to admit Deville won me over with her heelwork here. It is obvious to the fans that this is a slow burn angle because of the corrupt Deville. The result should be a huge payoff because of it.
3. Building the Tag Team Division
The main event feud of the Usos and the New Day is based around the tag team champions and the greatest tag team in WWE right now. Down the card, WWE put effort into building Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo and the Viking Raiders, defeating Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss.
2. Sami Zayn and Hit Row
Sami Zayn and Hit Row had a fun segment highlighting Zayn at his best to make something silly work. The juxtaposition was good for Hit Row, whom I thought again looked like stars in this segment, even after unexplainably losing B-Fab.
1. Drew McIntyre vs. Ricochet
This was a short exhibition match, but it is funny how easy it is to make both stars look good if they just get some time to shine. Ricochet is so good, and I hope SmackDown keeps giving him opportunities. The Drew McIntyre open challenge is the perfect thing to keep McIntyre on TV with no imminent feuds. This match also built some momentum in the midcard of SmackDown, hinting at a potential Ricochet/Mustafa Ali feud.
Rob's What Didn't Matter
4. Cesaro and Mansoor
I liked to see Angel Garza and Humberto Carillo in action and picking up a win, but their opposing team was just entirely thrown together. Because Cesaro is so good and has a lot of experience tag team wrestling, he can absolutely make this work. But it feels like such a fall from grace for a guy who was challenging Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship earlier this year. Likewise, I would have liked to see Mansoor get some singles momentum after the breakup with Mustafa Ali.
3. Happy Corbin and Madcat Moss
What I thought was a fun detour in Corbin's descent from King to down-on-his-luck has potentially become the final destination. Happy Corbin and Madcat Moss have go-away heat, in my opinion. They are supposed to be annoying, but I can't get behind any segment they are a part of right now. I hope this leads to a final evolution for Corbin, something more vicious like his NXT or early WWE Lone Wolf persona.
2. Xavier Woods vs. Jimmy Uso
This feud reminds me a lot of what happened on Monday Night Raw when RKBro went from the middle of the show to the main event. What was once the highlight of SmackDown does not feel so special when it is closing the show. I am not sure if that is an indictment on the New Day and The Usos, as much as it is a statement on expectations for tag teams vs. the main event. Maybe the problem is that the New Day and Usos is played out. The King Woods gimmick is awesome for Xavier, but closing the show with this felt like a shortcoming to me.
1. Nothing Special
After being an excellent show for most of the year, SmackDown has lost a lot of their depth in the WWE draft. The result this week was nothing special. Most of my what mattered were little things I liked to see as a fan, but they didn't have anything must-watch or exciting on this show. They desperately needed to deliver that after the news, they unexplainably released multiple talents, citing budget cuts despite their corporate reporting better profits than they projected. Something absolutely needs to change in WWE. They can't keep treating their talent like this and delivering a subpar product while companies like AEW are already outperforming them in entertainment and ethics.
Reverse Hipster's What Didn't Matter.
B-Fab, the only female member of Hit Row, was released. This leaves Hit Row to just the guys. Continuing the terrible trend of WWE separating women from their male faction members. They did it to Zelina, Carmella, Scarlett, and a few others. WWE should not have released a ton of names, but this one was a huge mistake. They messed up Hit Row, who has only been on the main roster for a couple of weeks. Also, at a time when they do not even have enough women to punish Charlotte or field a tag team championship division across two brands, they fire another woman. #GiveWomenaChance
B-Fab is 5'9" and muscular as hell. She has a unique look and charisma, and great promo skills. She has a background in basketball, boxing, swimming, Martial Arts, and music. She has toured with major recording artists such as Jadakiss, Juicy J, and more. She has the exact experience that would help propel a group like Hit Row, but when they are elevated, she is fired. If you do not want B-Fab in your women's division, what the hell do you want? She was a talent WWE could have groomed for the main event down the line. Instead, they let her walk out the door.