WWE SmackDown: 3 things that went right on Sept. 24 episode

WWE, Street Profits Credit: WWE.com
WWE, Street Profits Credit: WWE.com /

WWE used this past Friday’s episode of SmackDown to generate that last bit of interest for Sunday’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view. Whether WWE’s efforts worked will vary by person, but in terms of the company’s process, it was a mixed bag.

The company didn’t stray too far from its creative status quo, but in a few cases, the talent elevated WWE’s trite format to supply that extra hype for the upcoming show. It helped boost the entertainment level of Friday’s broadcast, too.

We’ll get to where WWE messed up in a later piece. For now, let’s focus on the positives.

These are the top three things that went right on the Sept. 24 episode of SmackDown.

Montez Ford wrestles Roman Reigns in the main event

As much as most fans love The Street Profits, many of them also recognize the potential Montez Ford has as a singles star. This past Friday viewers glimpsed some of it when Ford faced Universal Champion Roman Reigns in the main event.

To WWE’s credit, it didn’t resort to using a cheap non-finish to avoid booking Ford or Reigns to eat a pinfall loss. Heck, we didn’t even get the usual “Reigns builds his heat for 10 minutes before the babyface starts his comeback” formula.

Instead, we saw a match that resembled the ones most workhorse heel champions have against potential stars nestled in the midcard, as Reigns sold for Ford through roughly half the match before escaping with the win by blocking a Frog Splash and quickly applying his guillotine choke.

Obviously, Reigns needed to win this match heading into Extreme Rules, but even in defeat, Ford gained plenty from working with Reigns in SmackDown’s featured match. That he even received one of the few televised Reigns matches spoke volumes about how the company feels about Ford, but pushing the champion to the point of desperation cemented its faith in him.

Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair

To no one’s surprise, SmackDown started with wrestlers talking back and forth instead of, you know, actual wrestling. Fortunately, the wrestlers in question were SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch and number one contender Bianca Belair, which no fan will complain about.

Things started out with Lynch delivering the good promo work that fans expect out of her, even if some of it veered into “unnecessary exposition” territory. If you’re familiar with how WWE books things, you know what came next: Belair came out, poked at “The Man” by noting that she matched Lynch’s accomplishments in a quarter of the time.

Following Belair’s soliloquy, she offered Lynch a handshake. This led to another physical altercation, but this time, Belair countered the Manhandle Slam and hit her rival with the KOD. Again, this stayed within the confines of WWE’s booking comfort zone, but Belair and Lynch’s performances here elevated the tired “show opening promo” booking trope.

Sonya Deville once again denies Naomi her match

Yeah, it seems more and more likely that a Naomi vs. Sonya Deville match is coming in the near future.

For the last few weeks, the former SmackDown Women’s Champion has begged Sonya Deville for a match (while never asking Adam Pearce to book one) only for Deville to reject her request or tell her to “ask next week”.

After getting fined for yelling in Karen Deville’s face last week, Naomi decided to cut out the middle woman this week and issue an open challenge. Unfortunately for Naomi, Deville interrupted and pulled a few plays from the WWE heel authority figure playbook, including:

  • Saying that she could beat Naomi up (“smack the glow off her face”, to be specific) before saying that she isn’t a wrestler anymore
  • Telling Naomi that she books the matches, not Naomi (Naomi responding that she isn’t very good at it was great, and not just because most episodes of Raw and SmackDown often air without a main event being booked in advance)
  • Cutting Naomi’s microphone
  • Going for meta heat by evoking many of the things Naomi critics say whenever fans demand more TV time for her
  • Ordering unnamed wrestlers security to escort Naomi to the back

Next. WWE SmackDown Results September 24: The Demon rises. dark

As unwelcome as it is to see the return of the evil boss trope, it at least looks like this is a means to move Deville back to the full-time roster, and it was great to hear the fans back Naomi throughout this segment.