Just 8 days remained before WWE’s Crown Jewel event on this Smackdown, and Smackdown continued the solid build for the show. The main event was finally made official and it feels massive. WWE struck when the iron was hot with LA Knight and the event feels much larger for it. We’ll look at the contract signing and everything else in this episode.
Roman Reigns and LA Knight Contract Signing
LA Knight is a star. There is no doubting it at this point because he has the fans in the palm of his hand for every segment he is involved in. If you told me one year ago that Knight could believably hold his own in a feud with Reigns, I probably wouldn’t have believed you.
Will he win at Crown Jewel? There’s almost no chance, but this was clearly testing what Knight’s ceiling is and he has passed with flying colors. This segment was dripping with tension and both men did very well to sell their match.
Carlito and Santos Escobar vs. The Street Profits
This was an okay match that only existed to further storylines. The distraction from Logan Paul attacking Mysterio backstage and Carlito abandoning the match is an interesting way to further Escobar’s resentment towards the LWO. The Street Profits also look ruthless and dominant for taking advantage of this vulnerable moment.
Shotzi vs. Chelsea Green
It seems like Smackdown is finally interested in building an undercard for the women’s division. The show has consistently only given time to the likes of Charlotte, Bianca Belair, and Damage CTRL, so this felt fresh by comparison.
By no means are these two on the level of the names previously mentioned, but they haven’t been afforded the time to reach that level. I am still unsure if Shotzi is nearing her ceiling because she is obviously charismatic, but she might need these reps in-ring to grow. This was very low-stakes stuff, but it was better than getting a redundant build to a three-way match with the divisions top stars.
John Cena addresses Solo Sikoa
This was a great, classic babyface promo elevated by Cena’s delivery. He is truly one of a kind when it comes to this kind of thing and this was another example of why. Cena starting by wondering if he still “has it”, only to fire up and feed off of the fans was awe-inspiring. A lot of criticism of Cena in the past has been about his super-human presentation, but he finally felt human. Acknowledging that he’s getting older and the reality of his impending retirement felt very genuine. This was great stuff.
Dragon Lee vs. Cedric Alexander
Dragon Lee feels like he is destined to be a star and his continued push on the main roster feels like WWE sees it as well. To put him in what many would view as a dream match on Smackdown, the company’s flagship show, shows a tremendous amount of faith. I am happy for Lee, but can’t help but feel disappointed it happened at the expense of Cedric Alexander. If HHH had been in charge of the main roster a few years ago, Alexander would have been the exciting up-and-comer, but it seems WWE doesn’t have much interest in him these days.
Bianca Belair Addresses the WWE Universe
Bianca Belair, in my opinion, is a good talker, but not a great one. Luckily this kept a simple format as she just stated her intentions of going after Damage CTRL and getting her title back. Simple and effective are the only words I would use to describe this.
LA Knight vs. Jimmy Uso
LA Knight had a great night as he closed out the show getting a much-needed win over the Bloodline. Jimmy Uso is by no means a main-event star, but a win over him and hitting his finisher on Roman Reigns after made Knight feel higher on the totem pole than he previously was. I do wish the match was slightly less competitive, though. Knight should easily beat Jimmy Uso in a singles match.
Honestly, this was a great show. WWE is on fire right now and is consistently delivering a product that makes its fans leave happy. There is so much to look forward to right now and it feels like WWE is firing on all cylinders at the moment. Good for them.
This has been my review of WWE’s most recent edition of Smackdown. Let me know how you felt about any of the segments in the comments or follow me on X @wewanttablez. Also be sure to look out for my other reviews and articles on Cohen’s Commentary.