WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Major title change, Cain Velasquez sends Brock Lesnar a message
The WWE Draft took a backseat to Bayley finding her edge -- and the SmackDown women's championship
As SmackDown hit the Fox airwaves for the second week, the WWE Draft loomed large. Surprisingly, the draft was mostly uneventful and picks were made in packs of five with little fanfare other than shots of USA Network and Fox draft "war rooms."
While the draft may not have had much by way of impact, the show closed with a shocking title change. And midway through the show, fans were treated to the continued build toward Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez at Crown Jewel. There was also a good Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins match, though that got interrupted, as you will soon find out. Let's take a look at what happened when WWE descended on Las Vegas for SmackDown.
The first four rounds of the WWE Draft are complete.
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Bayley's descent into madness leads to title change
Having lost her SmackDown women's championship to Charlotte Flair at Hell in a Cell, Bayley was set for a rematch in the main event of Raw. As she made her entrance, she snapped and took what appeared to be a pickaxe to the inflatable tube men that have been one of her trademarks on the main roster. After shredding the inflatables, a much more serious Bayley charged to the ring to take the fight to Flair. She later received new, more serious entrance music.
SmackDown Women's Championship -- Bayley def. Charlotte Flair (c) via pinfall to win the title: Bayley took a much more serious approach to the match on her way to winning the title. She saw Flair kick out of both the Bayley-to-Belly and elbow drop and eventually won with an inside cradle after Flair tried to cover her following Natural Selection. Flair was bloodied in the match before taking the shocking win. After the victory, Bayley took the mic and told the crowd, "Screw all of you."
The new look, new attitude version of Bayley is a welcome change. Her previous heel turn was approached as something she felt was justifiable in the service of being a role model. This is a Bayley who has realized she needs an edge to be on top of the game and to compete with legendary figures like Flair. A shocking title win to close the show would be a strong enough statement, but this version of Bayley added extra punch to the situation. It's also a decision that goes against the constant chatter about Fox wanting Flair as one of their champions and gives a second straight week of big moments to close the show. Grade: B+
Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez war of words
After Velasquez's surprise debut to take out Lesnar on the previous week's debut of SmackDown on Fox and the announcement of Lesnar vs. Velasquez at Crown Jewel on Oct. 31, it seemed a given to have a confrontation with both men already in Las Vegas for the day's press conference.
Paul Heyman did the heavy lifting of selling Velasquez as a dominant force in the UFC and putting over how badly he defeated Lesnar to win the UFC heavyweight championship in October 2010 -- including leaving a permanent scar on the face of "The Beast." Heyman went on to say Lesnar is a man who faces and conquers his fears, and does not run from them. The end of the in-ring promo was interrupted by Rey Mysterio's music before Mysterio and Velasquez addressed Lesnar from the entryway. Mysterio showed photos of Lesnar's 2010 defeat while Velasquez vowed to give lesnar a matching scar on the other side of his face.
As seen at the press conference earlier today, Velasquez isn't going to sell tickets with his mouth. Having Heyman build him up as a threat was a good idea, and Mysterio is a good mouthpiece at Velasquez's side. WWE had mentioned Velasquez's title win against Lesnar previously, but this was the moment where they really sold how dominant a win the first round TKO truly was -- cementing Velasquez as not just someone who beat Lesnar but someone who destroyed him is good business. The crowd still seems a little unsure about Velasquez, but showing Lesnar's bloody face after their fight helps establish him as a legitimate threat. Grade: B-
What else happened on SmackDown?
- Seth Rollins def. Roman Reigns via disqualification after interference from "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt, thus giving Raw the No. 1 pick in the WWE Draft. Wyatt pulled Rollins through the ring, and the universal champ would eventually reemerge violently coughing. The lights again went out, and Wyatt had transported himself to the top of the stage as he stared back at a prone Rollins.
- King Corbin def. Shorty Gable via pinfall following End of Days. These two have developed good chemistry, so the match was technically good. They are having matches weekly, which is leading to somewhat of a formula to their matches. Also of note, Gable is officially "Shorty" now.
- The New Day def. The O.C. via pinfall after Kingston hit Styles with Trouble in Paradise. The O.C. had earlier been drafted to Raw and they were sent off with a loss in a short but competitive six-man tag. Prior to the match, The New Day hosted a small segment for WWE's Susan G. Komen partnership.
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