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The royalty crown tournaments kicked off on the season premiere of WWE SmackDown. The October 8 edition of Friday Night SmackDown featured not only the first games of the King of the Ring tournament, but also the first games of the first-ever Queen’s Crown tournament.
Everything was focused on Crown Jewel, including one of the biggest matches WWE SmackDown could put on the show. Becky Lynch put her SmackDown Women’s Championship on the line against Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks. The three women would sign the contract for this match on SmackDown.
In the opening games of the Queen’s Crown tournament, Liv Morgan wanted to end her rivalry with Carmella and embark on a journey to her first major title. Zelina Vega wanted to knock out SmackDown newcomer Toni Storm in the tournament.
After repeatedly defeating Dominik Mysterio, Sami Zayn has attempted to turn Rey Mysterio’s son against the luchador. The Master of the 619 tried to stop that and advance to the King of the Ring tournament on SmackDown. Finn Balor fought Cesaro in a battle of top competitors who needed a major title.
This show only had a few big promised moments, but with two tournaments and a lot to build for Crown Jewel, there was plenty to expect, especially given Roman Reigns’ status as the number one star on SmackDown after the WWE Draft.
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Bianca Belair held the ring at her contract signing. Becky Lynch had her own table in the driveway. Sasha Banks stood confidently on the announcement table. Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce tried to maintain control, but the action quickly broke down.
The three women stepped into the ring to fight. The EST threw The Legit Boss onto the table, then hit the KOD on The Man through Banks and the table.
Later in the evening, Lynch finally signed the contract for her title match, although she wasn’t happy about it.
This was short and sweet. All three women had their share, and Belair took a measure of revenge on the women who had laughed at her in recent weeks. It was a good stove for the Crown Jewel contest, which may well be the show stealer.
In the end, everyone involved has already said what to do when it comes to this match. It’s hard to imagine that there’s much more to gain from these types of segments. It’s time to get to the action.
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Dominik Mysterio told Rey Mysterio to stay in the back. Sami Zayn told Dominik that he was better than his father. While The Great Liberator defeated The Master of the 619, Dominik finally made it to ringside.
Rey hit a code red to get back into action. As The Master of the 619 ran to his finisher, Zayn dove in and hit the Blue Thunder Bomb. Zayn pulled the turnbuckle down, causing Dominik to get involved to fix it.
In the chaos, Zayn tossed Rey into Dominik, then rolled up the legend for a count of three.
Zayn for sure. Mysterio through pinfall to advance to the semifinals of the King of the Ring tournament.
This was a solid match, although it went slower than expected. Zayn has taken advantage of his own mind games, setting up Dominik to stand in the way of his father’s bid for the King of the Ring.
Since The Mysterios are heading to Raw in two weeks’ time, it’s important that this story comes to a natural end. It will be important for Dominik to find his way alone and earn his father’s respect outside of Zayn’s influence.
The Great Liberator advances to the semifinals of the King of the Ring tournament. He’s unlikely to make it to the final, but it would be exciting to finally see him get what he deserved.
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Before their match, Zelina Vega and Toni Storm promised to win the Queen’s Crown tournament.
This match ended not long after it started. When Storm suffered a relapse that required her to turn into a Gory Bomb, Vega used the temporal shift to hit a Code Red for the win.
Vegan for sure. Storm through pinfall to advance to the semifinals of the Queen’s Crown tournament.
Storm and Vega have wrestled before and none of their matches have accomplished much so far because of the time they’ve been given. Storm has all the talent in the world to compete against anyone, but she hasn’t shown it yet.
Vega, meanwhile, is finally reaping victories after an embarrassing run of losses on her return to WWE. Although she has been used regularly, SmackDown has not shown nearly enough confidence in her to carry matches.
If this Queen’s Crown tournament is going to be something, it’s important that the match impresses. Each women’s match must be given the same amount of time as the men’s match.
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Roman Reigns praised Paul Heyman for getting The Usos to SmackDown. However, he wanted to extract the truth from his special counsel. Heyman twisted the story to explain that he believed in Reigns and knew he would defeat Brock Lesnar.
The head of the table demanded that Heyman tell the incarnate beast that he would lose. Heyman did just that, clearly telling Lesnar that he would fail in his challenge for the universal WWE champion.
This was a fantastic promo, especially from Heyman. He has leaned into the cliches as a speaker for a while because it works to control the crowd. However, it can also take the weight off his words in the biggest moments.
Fortunately, The Special Counsel is good enough to use its own clichés to its advantage. His message to Lesnar worked because it was clear how much he meant it. He gave Lesnar a message that could get him in serious trouble with The Beast Incarnate.
It should be interesting to see what the implications are for now, assuming Lesnar sees the message.
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Mace explained in an interview that he was ready to dominate everyone when he joined the blue brand alone.
Before the match, Carmella made sure to put on her protective mask to protect her moneymaker. Liv Morgan attacked The Most Beautiful Woman in the World at the bell, but Carmella caught her in the Code of Silence for a near tapout.
Morgan fired back with a one-knee facebuster that nearly took the win, but Carmella got her foot on the rope. The Most Beautiful Woman in the World ended her match with a low super kick.
Carmela def. Morgan through pinfall to advance to the semifinals of the Queen’s Crown tournament.
It’s honestly infuriating how disrespectful SmackDown has been with its women’s section outside of the untouchable stars. It feels like we’re on the cusp of another “give women a chance” movement. This took less than two minutes.
It was clear from the start that the women had almost seen how fast they were going for their signature moves. However, it was even worse than expected. This potential feud was short for no reason.
morgan vs. Carmella has lost so much momentum so quickly and the main goal, to get Morgan over the line, has already failed. It would have made perfect sense if she had made a run in the Queen’s Crown tournament. Instead, Carmella vs. Zelina Vega will take three minutes next week if they’re lucky.
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Naomi wondered why she wasn’t in the Queen’s Crown tournament. Sonya Deville made it clear that she didn’t think Naomi was worthy. She booked The Glow for a match against herself next week.
Finn Balor came out aggressively, but Cesaro sent him out with a pop-up uppercut. The power of the Swiss Cyborg continued to dominate the action until he grabbed a vicious Slingblade.
The prince went to the top rope for the double footstep, but Cesaro met him there. He lifted The Prince high for a superplex straight into a crossface. Balor fought off and sent him to the post with his shoulder, followed by a plancha with somersault and a corner to set up the Coup de Grace and the win.
Balor def. Cesaro through pinfall to advance in the King of the Ring tournament.
As always, Balor and Cesaro deliver. Two of the best wrestlers in WWE right now, they put it in a match that felt more like it was going to be worth the final, not a quarterfinal.
Too bad The Swiss Cyborg is out after one round. He is the perfect wrestler for the King of the Ring tournament with his stamina and unyielding strength. While it made sense for The Prince to win, Cesaro didn’t have to face Balor in the first round.
Balor will likely beat Zayn as he has in the past, making The Prince the real frontrunner to win the tournament right now. It could be a good time to warm up Balor after his loss to Roman Reigns.
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Seth Rollins denied that he went too far in his actions with Edge. He demanded an answer to his challenge from The Rated-R Superstar. The Drip God told Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce that he would cause trouble for SmackDown if Edge didn’t show up at the end of the night.
The Drip God repeatedly taunted The Rated-R Superstar, expecting him not to show up. However, the titantron showed Edge coming and he marched to the ring. He repeatedly gave Rollins a spear, then went to the steel chair leg to suffocate his rival.
Rollins ducked for safety. Edge grabbed a microphone and called the stipulation for their final match: Hell in a Cell.
Especially Rollins vs. Edge has undergone a feverish development over the past month. This is as strong a story as WWE is telling right now. It’s personal and every match is better than the last. The two compete at the highest level to deliver the best possible product.
Hell in a Cell is for rivalries like this one. It will be fun to see what Rollins and Edge can do together in that structure. The Messiah has a rocky history in the Cell, but much of it has been out of his hands. This could be one of the best men’s HIAC competitions in years.