Kevin Owens and the Fiend came face to face on this week’s episode of WWE SmackDown. Here the five biggest takeaways from the show.
The Fiend changes everyone he has touched on WWE SmackDown since debuting last year at SummerSlam. Finn Balor, Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman, Seth Rollins, The Miz, and now Alexa Bliss have all changed characters after run-ins with the Fiend. And Kevin Owens may be next.
Here are the biggest takeaways from this week’s episode of SmackDown.
WWE SmackDown needed Sami Zayn as the Intercontinental Champion
As announced before the show, Sami Zayn and Jeff Hardy had an Intercontinental Title match just days after their grueling ladder match, which will stand as one of the greatest ladder matches in WWE. Their IC Title match on this week’s Friday Night SmackDown ended up being the main event of the show, and it definitely delivered.
Whether it was his “I’m not gloating” promo before the match wherein he turned it into a rant against the crowd for accepting the false IC Champions or his performance in the match itself, Zayn showed unequivocally why he’s the best man for the title. I look forward to him being a reluctant workhorse heel champion.
Sasha Banks could win the title on next week’s WWE SmackDown
The Boss Sasha Banks called her shot on this week’s episode of SmackDown, challenging Bayley to a match next week. It looks like that match will happen, barring Bayley ducking the match. But, of course, knowing Bayley, odds are she’ll get herself disqualified, forcing a rematch at Hell in a Cell.
It’s puzzling that WWE would even announce a match between them on an episode of television before Hell in a Cell, but they want to load up the SmackDown card for the first night of the draft. So I get it.
And it’s possible Sasha wins the match on draft night, setting up a story where Bayley says, “So what? You never retain titles anyway, and you never win matches at Hell in a Cell. So I’m going to destroy you in the main event, champion or not.”
Do I think it will happen? No. Do I think it could happen? I wouldn’t put anything past WWE.
Roman Reigns just might banish Jey Uso
Roman Reigns has given Jey Uso one more shot at the Universal Title inside Hell in a Cell, but he’s told Jey that there will be “real consequences” in this match, unlike their barnburner that main evented Clash of Champions.
Throughout this entire promo, Reigns gaslit Jey and manipulated him emotionally, basically saying that he was doing Jey a favor this whole time by putting him in the main event. And he added that it was truly a difficult night for him.
All lies, right? And it makes us all wonder what Roman has in mind for the stipulation or the consequences for Jey. He’s going to lose to Roman, 100 percent. But what are the stakes? Sent back to NXT? Taken off television? Kicked out of the family entire? Forced to do Roman’s bidding as a precursor to the Bloodline stable?
Consider me intrigued.
Carmella didn’t need a repackaging, but let’s see where it goes
On SmackDown this week, we finally got a reveal as to who the mystery woman in the vignettes is. And to nobody’s surprise, it’s Carmella.
Many fans were hoping we’d get a surprise, such as NXT call-up Chelsea Green, who has been in limbo between the Black and Gold brand and the main roster for seemingly months now.
Carmella has played two different characters before this repackaging. She started as a clever heel cutting corners, then moved into a quality babyface. Fans liked her babyface work, but she had her most success as a heel. So moving back to the heel side of the coin with a new character is probably a good long-term move for her.
Kevin Owens can break the Fiend’s spell on WWE SmackDown
Although Kevin Owens is a Raw superstar, he and the Fiend seem destined to join the same brand when the smoke clears after the two draft nights next Friday and Monday.
Owens appeared on SmackDown to host an episode of the Kevin Owens Show with Alexa Bliss, under the premise that if he got answers from Bliss as to why she changed, then he could gain insight into why Aleister Black has become the way he is.
Instead, just as Owens thought he had some answers, Alexa Bliss changed all the questions. Clearly possessed by the Fiend and seemingly accepting of her brainwashing, Bliss called in the Fiend, who put Owens in the Mandible Claw.
They’ll have a match next week on SmackDown during the first night of the draft, but this Owens vs. Wyatt rivalry has the potential to last a couple of months.
But for Owens, here’s the biggest question. Can he avoid changing back to who he was – the unfeeling, evil Owens who betrayed everyone around him – now that the Fiend attacked him? Can he break the spell the Fiend has had on the rest of the roster? Owens wants to be a better person and has said as much in interview after interview, but this is his biggest challenge to growth yet.