This week’s SmackDown started with a bang as two of the brand’s top stars inked a contract to face each other at Crown Jewel one week from Saturday. It was the kind of show where everyone was saying… “LA Knight.. Yeah!” The brand also offered a Logan Paul sneak attack on Rey Mysterio, what should have been a five-star classic between Cedric Alexander and Dragon Lee, and some Women’s Division action sprinkled in. John Cena spoke candidly to the WWE Universe about his journey and their support, and LA Knight battled Jimmy Uso in the main event.
There was some good, and some not-so good. Here are your winners and losers for SmackDown, October 27, 2023:
Winner: LA Knight and Roman Reigns Contract Signing
In a fun opening segment on SmackDown that made the evening feel important, LA Knight seized the moment in a contract signing with The Head of the Table. First, he interrupted Roman Reigns’ entrance, and chose not to acknowledge the champion as he walked past him to the ring. He then sat at the head of the table to sign the contract. He declared the WWE Universal Championship his target at Crown Jewel, and despite Reigns’ taunts, Knight’s unwavering determination and mic skills make him a credible contender.
It’s unlikely Knight wins in at Crown Jewel, but it’s what WWE does with him on the way there that matters most. He needs to go in red hot, and come out the sympathetic babyface with a ton of continued support. This was a great way to help ensure that happens. Even with a loss, he could be positioned as a nearly impervious star.
In the main event, he battled Jimmy Uso and he stole the stage as well, beating him cleanly with a Blunt Force Trauma. When Roman Reigns tried to get into the ring and sneak in a post-match beating, Knight hit him with the same finisher, setting up the reality that he could actually take the title. He carried the opening segment and the final segment of the night with ease.
Winner: Street Profts Steal One From The LWO
Under Bobby Lashley’s mentorship, The Street Profits were back in action. They had a new look and a slightly more heelish entrance.They triumphed over Carlito and Santos Escobar in a bout tainted by Logan Paul’s interference. While United States Champion Rey Mysterio watched from backstage, Paul ambushed him, diverting the focus of Carlito and Escobar. At the direction of Escobar, Carlito rushed to Mysterio’s aid, leaving his partner vulnerable to The Street Profits’ aggression. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins capitalized on this distraction, securing a vital win in their transformation into heels.
Beyond the physical clash, the match set the stage for Escobar’s growing frustration and disillusionment within his LWO alliance, adding depth to the storyline. Paul’s backstage attack intensified the tension, forcing Carlito to abandon Escobar, who faced the onslaught alone. The match’s significance extended beyond the ring, shaping the evolving dynamics within the LWO faction.
Winner/Loser: Shotzi Rolls Up Chelsea Green
Doing Shotzie a favor, general manager Nick Aldis granted the host of NXT’s Halloween Havoc a one-on-one match with Cheslea Green. Despite Green’s formidable efforts, Shotzi seized the opportunity, capitalizing on Green’s overconfidence, and rolling her up for the victory.
This match provided a refreshing break from the usual roster lineup, but it wasn’t exactly top notch action. While the show could have used the presence of Charlotte Flair, Asuka, or Damage CTRL, this bout proved WWE can forge ahead without them on a show for one week. It’s important to give these ladies screen time, but it would have been nice if they’d delivered a more solid match. And, with a lack of storyline to set up the bout, it felt like filler.
Winner: Cena Says He Has To Win at Crown Jewel
John Cena came to the ring after the commerical break to address the WWE fans and talked about how serious his match with Solo Sikoa — which was confirmed by People Magazine on Friday — was going to be. Cena knows he’s at risk of losing the support and respect of the WWE Universe if he doesn’t win, so this match for him is a must. He was emotional and dramatic, which helped sell the importance of their upcoming clash. Paul Heyman arrived on the scene and took a back-handed approach to Cena’s greatness. He emphasized that John Cena was no longer the best in the ring and his penchant for inspirational speeches and unique fan connection wouldn’t be enough this time. Cena’s was then attacked from behind by Solo Sikoa and left laying after a Samoan Spike.
Cena and Heyman both delivered compelling promos. Considering this match was added at the last minute, it almost feels like it’s got as much weight behind it as some of the other bouts on the card, if not even more meaning for Cena. The promo offers a tease that Cena will win, but at this stage in his career, it’s hard to know where this will go.
Winner/Loser: Dragon Lee Vs. Cedric Alexander
On Friday night, fans were looking forward to a match that had the potential to be a five-star classic. Dragon Lee versus Cedric Alexander is a dream match to some and it offered Lee a chance to keep his push going, and Alexander an opportunity to remind people who great he is in the ring. Unfortunately, while the match was fine, it didn’t live up to the Internet hype wrestling enthusiasts probably set for it.
This match wasn’t quite long enough and it didn’t have the spots one would expect to get the crowd to even chant a “this is awesome”. Lee emerged victorious with a pinfall, affirming the company’s decision to spotlight him. The hope is that these two get a chance to run it back and deliver the bout they are capable of. This was good, but it wasn’t up to the level most would have hoped.
It wasn’t perfect and it didn’t necessarily captivate the live crowd, but Belair did a good job cutting a promo on Friday and sharing the story of her time away. She established that her plan is to take out Damage CTRL and reclaim her WWE Women’s Championship. She also announced that she now has a title match against Iyo Sky at Crown Jewel. She’ll take on Bayley next week and that match could offer some insight as to how likely it is she recaptures here Women’s Championship.