WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Logan Paul challenges Roman Reigns, Paul Heyman returns

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Logan Paul wants a crack at undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns. Paul returned to WWE programming six weeks after defeating The Miz at SummerSlam in pursuit of elevating his game.

Paul promised to bring chaos to WWE. Instead, he opened the door for Paul Heyman's return. Heyman had not been seen on WWE programming since Brock Lesnar put him through an announcer's table at SummerSlam. Reigns' special counsel was dismissive of Paul but could not dismiss his actions.

SmackDown also played host to a fatal four-way match crowning new challengers for The Usos' tag team titles. Sikoa made a rare main roster defense of the NXT brand's North American championship.

CBS Sports was with you all night with recaps and highlights of all the action from Honda Center in Anaheim, California.

Wheels set in motion for Reigns vs. Paul

Paul kicked off the show and challenged Reigns to meet him face to face. Heyman -- flanked by The Usos, Solo Sikoa and Sami Zayn -- brushed off Paul. Heyman applauded Paul for his willingness to box Floyd Mayweather but assured him that a match against someone of Reigns' stature was misguided. Zayn offered to take care of Paul but ate a sucker punch for his efforts. The Bloodline attempted to go on the offense before Ricochet arrived to support Paul and stage a match against Zayn.

It was later announced that Madcap Moss, who saved Ricochet from a beatdown at the hands of The Bloodline earlier in the evening, would challenge Sikoa for the North American championship. 

Jey Uso hyped up Sikoa shortly before his title defense. Sikoa shunned Jey when he offered to accompany him to the ring, accusing Jey of dropping the ball earlier in the evening. Jey's temper flared up during the Ricochet-Zayn match, ultimately costing the "Honorary Uce." Sikoa instead invited Zayn to join him ringside.

North American championship -- Solo Sikoa def. Madcap Moss via pinfall after planting him with the Swinging Solo, a move reminiscent of his cousin The Rock's trademark Rock Bottom. Sikoa and Moss fought an even contest that elevated Sikoa as a superstar who can hang on the main roster. Moss nearly landed a fight-ending move on Sikoa before Zayn pulled Sikoa out of the ring. Moss gave chase to Zayn and as a consequence ran right into a superkick. The finish came shortly thereafter.

It's understandable why WWE is angling for a Reigns vs. Paul match. There are few credible opponents for Reigns at the moment and Paul is a big cross-over star -- one that can actually go in the ring. Expectations are the match will headline Crown Jewel. The whole ordeal feels too much like a cash grab to get excited about it. The most interesting thing coming out of SmackDown is the interplay between Bloodline members. Zayn continues to network up the ranks while Jey's attitude drives him down the ladder. Zayn has found himself a strong ally in Sikoa, who is being positioned as the group's de facto leader in Reigns' absence. Grade: B-

What else happened on WWE SmackDown?

  • Ricochet def. Sami Zayn via pinfall after landing a Shooting Star Press. The Bloodline attempted to jump Ricochet, but Moss evened the playing field.
  • Karrion Kross promised to forever agonize Drew McIntyre during a backstage promo.
  • Alpha Academy attacked Braun Strowman after "The Monster Among Men" cut Maximum Male Models' runway short.
  • Bayley def. Raquel Rodriguez via pinfall following distractions by Dakota Kai and IYO SKY. Shotzi rescued Rodriguez from a post-match assault. Bayley boasted about how Damage Control can do whatever they want in a pre-match segment.
  • Liv Morgan interrupted Ronda Rousey's interview and demanded her respect. She challenged Rousey to an "Extreme Rules" match. Rousey accepted, telling Morgan it was the champion's funeral.
  • McIntyre challenged Kross.
  • No. 1 contenders match for the undisputed WWE tag team championships -- Brawling Brutes (Ridge Holland and Butch) def. New Day (Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods), Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci) and Hit Row (Top Dolla and Ashante Adonis) via pinfall after stealing momentum from Imperium and pinning Kingston. They will challenge The Usos for the tag titles next week.
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September 17, 2022, 12:00 AM