Kevin Owens Interrupted Universal Champion Roman Reigns, Jey Uso and Paul Heyman
Anything involving Reigns continues to be the best stuff on SmackDown right now. Uso is playing his role remarkably well, though I have no idea why we haven't heard from his brother Jimmy and where he stands in all of this. Heyman was also effective just standing silent in the background. Owens showed great fire on the mic and his feud with Reigns so far has made for terrific television. You can give their match any stipulation you want and it won't change how he doesn't stand a chance of winning the title, but it should be fun, nonetheless.
Natalya def. Bayley
Bayley and Natalya have had bad blood dating back to before Survivor Series when Natalya had to qualify for SmackDown's women's team and Bayley didn't, so I didn't mind the heel vs. heel dynamic as much here. Both women are talented, but this was completely inconsequential with the commercial break dominating a majority of the match. Worse yet, Natalya beating the longest-reigning SmackDown Women's Champion of all-time made zero sense. How much is it really going to mean for Bianca Belair to beat Bayley when she can't even beat Natalya?
Daniel Bryan, Rey Mysterio and Big E def. Intercontinental Champion Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler and Shinsuke Nakamura in a Pat Patterson Tribute Match
This was a fantastic tribute to the late, great Pat Patterson with all of these men being former Intercontinental Champions. It also didn't feel too random because Bryan and Zayn have been feuding lately and Bryan tapped out Zayn here. It was a very exciting six-man tag team affair and I was fine with the babyfaces beating up Ziggler afterward given the circumstances. The ten-bell salute for Patterson at the start of the show was classy as well.
SmackDown Women's Champion Sasha Banks and Carmella Exchanged Words
Other than Talking Smack, we haven't heard Carmella cut an extended promo since returning with her new character, so I liked that she had the opportunity to explain herself here. It wasn't anything out of the ordinary and I'm still not sold on her repackaging, but I appreciated the effort to add fuel to their feud. Banks was the better promo of the two, but the real question is how strong their in-ring chemistry is going to be. Either way, it's a fine filler feud for Banks before she (hopefully) moves on to someone such as Bianca Belair in time for WrestleMania season.
King Corbin def. Murphy
This was a rematch from last week where Corbin accused the Mysterio family of cheating to help Murphy win and he wasn't wrong. He promised backup this week, but I wasn't expecting it to be Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake, "formerly" of The Forgotten Sons as Corey Graves noted on commentary. Jaxson Ryker was nowhere to be seen and hasn't been seen since saying some questionable stuff on Twitter back in June. The match was once again overshadowed by everything going on at ringside, though I will say that final End of Days to Murphy was timed perfectly. Is this supposed to be leading to a six-man tag team match? And am I supposed to care?
Kevin Owens and Otis def. Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Jey Uso by Disqualification
The fact the match was thrown out once Reigns attacked Owens while the illegal man was lame, but everything else about this was well done and made for an excellent ending to the show. The matchup had intensity, action, and stellar storytelling. Reigns didn't show up until after the bell had already rung, and afterward, he didn't hesitate to lay out Uso with a slew of chair shots along with Owens. I'm not sure where this storyline is headed, but I'm sure as hell excited to find out.
SmackDown has been a much better show on the whole since Reigns' return and that's mostly because of The Tribal Chief. As previously mentioned, any segment he's a part of is must-see and his matches and segments demand my attention every single week. The Pat Patterson tributes throughout the show as well as the six-man tag team match were wonderful, but this edition of SmackDown didn't produce a whole lot else otherwise, or at least anything I'd recommend you go out of your way to watch.