WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from October 11
It was draft night in WWE, and Fox was bringing out all the big guns for the October 11 edition of Friday Night SmackDown.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins opened the monumental night with the promise that the winner would get his brand the first pick.
Brock Lesnar addressed Cain Velasquez, as well as his dominant WWE Championship victory.
After Charlotte granted Bayley a return title match after what happened at Hell in a Cell, The Hugger came into Friday's meeting angry.
Beyond all that, WWE revealed who was going to what brand for the foreseeable future. While not everyone would be drafted in the first night, stars like Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Kevin Owens would discover their new homes.
It was a night that would change the landscape of WWE for better or worse, and no one wanted to miss it.
Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins for the First Pick in the WWE Draft
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns fought with all they had, as usual. The Beastslayer even caught The Big Dog with a Pedigree. However, as both were recovering for the homestretch, Bray Wyatt appeared from under the ring and dragged Rollins underneath to cause a disqualification.
The Architect dragged himself out, and The Fiend appeared on the ramp to laugh at Rollins.
Stephanie McMahon then arrived to announce the first five draft picks: Becky Lynch to Raw, Roman Reigns to SmackDown, The OC to Raw, Bray Wyatt to SmackDown and Drew McIntyre to Raw.
Rollins def. Reigns by disqualification
Beyond the weird finish, this was another quality showing between two of the best in the business. Reigns and Rollins never fail to deliver, whether they are a team or rivals. It was an odd decision to have Wyatt get involved here, especially since it looks like he is heading to a different brand than Rollins.
The first round of the draft started as expected but quickly surprised. The Fiend seemed like he was destined for Raw to continue his feud with The Beastslayer, but he's going to the blue brand. Meanwhile, McIntyre suddenly has massive expectations behind him.
King Corbin vs. Shorty Gable
King Corbin seemed out of his depth early against Shorty Gable, who threw him around with ease. However, The Lone Wolf managed to wear down Gable, slowing the smaller star so that each suplex hurt him. Corbin then managed to catch his rival with End of Days for the win.
The second round of the draft saw five more wrestlers chosen: Randy Orton to Raw, Sasha Banks to SmackDown, Ricochet to Raw, Braun Strowman to SmackDown and Bobby Lashley to Raw.
Corbin def. Gable by pinfall
WWE is nothing but consistent in its ability to run a match into the ground. Corbin and Gable have great chemistry, but this was one match too many. It just didn't feel like it mattered, and it did not help that it all just led to The King winning again.
SmackDown got the short end of the stick with talent in the draft pool for the night. Bobby Lashley, for example, was hardly set up as a second-round talent up to this point. Elsewhere among these picks, Braun Strowman and Ricochet could be hugely featured stars for their brands.
Brock Lesnar and Cain Velasquez Speak on Their Crown Jewel Clash
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman talked about Cain Velasquez and The Beast Incarnate's desire to get back at the man who scarred him. Rey Mysterio came out with Velasquez, who promised to give Lesnar another scar at Crown Jewel when they fight for the WWE Championship.
It is amazing that WWE felt so uncomfortable with Velasquez speaking that it had Mysterio speak for him. Velasquez can speak fluent English, even if he is not a great promo. This man is about to get a WWE Championship match, and the company does not want him speaking.
This feud is entirely trusting build from another sport to get people excited, and it's hard to say if it's working.
The New Day vs. The OC
Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E introduced breast cancer survivors Sarah and Samantha Vayu, giving them championship titles.
The OC tried to show they were the superior trio with an aggressive, emphatic attack on The New Day early. However, Kofi was too motivated and caught AJ Styles with Trouble in Paradise for the win.
The third round of the draft sent Alexa Bliss to Raw, Lacey Evans to SmackDown, Kevin Owens to Raw, The Revival to SmackDown and Natalya to Raw.
New Day def. The OC by pinfall
This was a good match, as expected, but it was rushed. The teams barely got time before it got down to Styles and Kofi. The two had a great sequence to finish this match, hopefully signaling that Kofi is still to be a featured star going forward.
Meanwhile, it was an odd statement to have Alexa Bliss drafted separate from Nikki Cross, especially with Cross going to the same brand in the next round. Lacey Evans also was seemingly overdrafted, but she has frequently been overpushed by WWE.
SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley
For the fourth round, the final performers were drafted: The Viking Raiders to Raw, The Lucha House Party to SmackDown, Nikki Cross to Raw, Heavy Machinery to SmackDown and The Street Profits to Raw. The rest in the first-night draft pool were left as free agents to be signed separately.
Bayley came out with a new haircut and destroyed the Bayley Buddies before heading to the ring. She went after The Queen early, even hitting a Bayley to Belly for two. It felt like The Hugger had all the momentum, but she could not put this away. Even a diving elbow was not enough.
However, after getting caught with Natural Selection, Bayley grabbed Charlotte and pulled her in for a small package three count. Afterward, the new champion denounced the entire WWE Universe.
Bayley def. Charlotte by pinfall to become the new SmackDown women's champion
This was a great ending to the night. Bayley completed her evolution into a full heel, and she made the most of the moment. On a big night, she was the final one to win and to talk. It was perhaps the biggest moment of her career and a well-earned one following a good match.
It was an odd choice to cut the draft so short when WWE easily could have had another round. Guys like Cesaro and Shorty Gable were left without a home, only to have it determined on WWE.com instead.