WWE SmackDown Flops and Hits: Brock Lesnar brutally exposes Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman cries on TV, bold prediction about Kevin Owens’ future (1st October, 2021)

This week’s episode of WWE SmackDown could have been perfect if not for two glaring flaws. The Blue brand kickstarted this year’s Draft and picked several top talents from RAW, including Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair. Between big returns and top-notch matches, the show did well to follow up on a near-perfect episode of the Red brand.

Here, we look at the biggest flops and hits from WWE SmackDown this week. So, without further ado, let’s begin.

#5 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Brock Lesnar confronts Roman Reigns, attacks The Bloodline

SmackDown’s opening segment confirmed that Roman Reigns would stay on the Blue brand while RAW picked Big E. Soon after that, Reigns and Paul Heyman walked out to the ring to gloat about The Tribal Chief’s recent triumph over “The Demon” Finn Balor at Extreme Rules. They were soon interrupted by Brock Lesnar, who arrived on the show to make a strong statement.

Lesnar and Reigns were involved in a physical altercation, and the Universal Champion was the first to attack his next challenger. The Beast Incarnate soon turned around the tables and hit Roman Reigns with multiple suplexes. He did the same to The Usos before subjecting them to devastating F5s as Reigns and Heyman looked on from the ramp.

Once again, another one of Roman Reigns’ challengers proved that The Tribal Chief wouldn’t take a blow to save his cousins from a brutal beatdown. This is bound to catch up with him and possibly account for a long-term story-telling on WWE SmackDown. But for now, he has to look out for Lesnar as he poses a huge threat to his championship reign ahead of their title match at Crown Jewel.

Honorable mention: Paul Heyman cries during a backstage segment

Later in the night, Brock Lesnar hijacked Jeff Hardy’s backstage interview on WWE SmackDown and used the segment to announce that he is now a free agent, courtesy of his “good friend Paul Heyman.” This didn’t sit well with Roman Reigns, who screamed at Heyman in a backstage segment, and the latter even cried in a desperate attempt to prove his innocence.

Lesnar is a fantastic athlete with a commanding presence, and Reigns has redeemed himself as one of the best heels in the business. Still, Heyman is arguably the best part of this storyline on WWE SmackDown.

His history with Lesnar and his current obligations towards Reigns have raised doubts about his loyalty, and Heyman is absolutely gold in selling the narrative. Viewers should keep a close eye on him in the weeks leading up to Crown Jewel.

For now, Roman Reigns has instructed Paul Heyman to ensure that The Usos are drafted to WWE SmackDown. He also told his cousins to leave “Heyman to die” on the Red brand if he couldn’t ensure that Jey and Jimmy Uso would stay on the Blue brand.

The story-telling has been fantastic so far, and Heyman deserves equal credit for playing an instrumental role in keeping things exciting in a feud that we have seen multiple times in the past.

#4 Flop on WWE SmackDown: Kevin Owens’ booking is posing serious questions about his future

Kevin Owens once again lost to Happy Corbin on WWE SmackDown. We are now at a point where unclean finishes are no longer a problem because KO has been subjected to multiple underwhelming losses. His current booking on the Blue brand has forced us to think that he is indeed AEW-bound and is only waiting for his contract to end, which runs until January.

To his credit, Owens still fought inside the ring like it was the main event, but he isn’t getting the respect he deserves on WWE SmackDown. It would be a huge mistake to think that such storylines will hamper his credibility before he moves on to the rival promotion.

He is an established star in the pro-wrestling circuit, and the more he is pushed into embarrassing losses, the more it will cause fans to turn on the product.

As a result, when he eventually goes to AEW and is booked well there, the same audience will cheer for him on top of their lungs. If this continues on WWE SmackDown, then it will essentially lead to the company gifting one of their best performers to their rivals along with his fans, a number that isn’t small by any means.

#3 Hit on WWE SmackDown: The New Day and The Street Profits excel

WWE SmackDown picked The New Day on Night One of the Draft, splitting them from Big E once again. While the decision fetched mixed reactions from fans, one can’t deny the quality that Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods bring with themselves. This week, they teamed up with The Street Profits to take on The Alpha Academy, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode.

It was a great match that allowed all eight superstars to showcase their in-ring prowess. The Street Profits also deserve a lot of credit for outshining all their opponents. It was amazing to see Kingston and Woods taking a step back to allow Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins to enjoy the spotlight.

Everyone in this match was booked well, and it undoubtedly gave us hope for the tag team division moving forward.

#2 Flop on WWE SmackDown: “The Demon” Finn Balor’s fall isn’t addressed

This week’s episode of WWE SmackDown was a good one, but it had equally appalling flaws. “The Demon” Finn Balor is no longer undefeated on the main roster, courtesy of an “ill-timed rope snap.” There’s a video that shows who cut the rope but no explanation for why this finish was booked in the most prominent title match at the last pay-per-view.

In fact, the only time Balor’s loss was addressed was when Paul Heyman boasted about Roman Reigns’ dominance in the opening segment. It was a controversial decision, but the WWE creative team still has a chance to redeem itself if they can offer a reasonable justification and use it in a storyline.

Until then, they will be blamed for preying on Finn Balor, precisely The Demon’s credibility despite building him up as an unbeatable force.

#1 Hit on WWE SmackDown: Sasha Banks shines in the entertaining main event

The main event of WWE SmackDown witnessed a brief but entertaining clash between Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair as both superstars faced each other in WrestleMania rematch. It was a well-balanced encounter as the two competitors looked equally strong. Banks eventually won the match after Becky Lynch cleverly sabotaged Belair in the final moments of the match.

Earlier in the night, it was confirmed that Belair had been drafted to RAW while WWE SmackDown picked Charlotte Flair. The Queen made her presence known right after the main event as she attacked both Belair and Banks before raising her title in the air and staring at Lynch, who was doing the same thing on the announcement desk.

The Man was particularly great on the mic, and Belair deserves credit for looking strong despite sharing the segment with three Horsewomen who have nailed their respective roles as top heels.

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