Preview: Friday Night SmackDown (11/5/21) – A New Era Continues

Xavier Woods King of the Ring
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It’s Friday night, and you know what that mea-oh, wrong show. Yes, it is Friday night and that means another episode of the blue-branded grappling extraordinaire is live on our screens – WWE‘s Friday Night SmackDown has arrived once more in what is being dubbed a “new era”. Less than 24 hours after a number of high profile releases left fans reeling in agony (seriously, Keith Lee?), there is not much positive feeling surrounding this episode of SmackDown. Currently, we have a grand total of zero segments or matches to preview, which means this preview will act as a prediction of some of the things you can expect to see on the show. We have a good track record with these previews, so you are in capable hands. We hope. Let’s jump right in to the preview.

It’s A New Era, Yes It is!

Xavier Woods King of the Ring

Or at least that’s what we are being told. It is hard to build something up as a “new era” when the look and feel of the show remain the same; the same names are champion and there is still a persistent waft of negative air surrounding releases. However, we have to go with what’s given to us. The Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, remains as one of the best things in pro wrestling right now; with the Bloodline Faction being arguably the most dominant, elite faction in the business today. However, with King Woods (who should be referred to as “King Xavier” but don’t let facts get in the way) and Sir Kofi Kingston overcoming The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) last week, perhaps this “new era” is merely the offer of a New Day. With The Usos now clearly on course for a feud with long-time rivals The New Day, all that remains is the announcement of Reigns’ next foe, in the absence of the suspended Brock Lesnar. Maybe tonight is the night we find out.

Shotzi Blackheart & Sasha Banks Set to Collide

NXT Shotzi Blackheart

This is, at least, a new feud for a new era. Sasha Banks is an established star at this point; a multi-time champion, recognizable name with Disney clout from her work on The Mandalorian. Shotzi Blackheart, however, is a fresh name from NXT – someone who Sasha Banks has never really worked with before, outside of tag team matches. Therefore, this is a welcome feud. On last week’s show, Shotzi turned heel; costing The Boss her latest chance to recapture the SmackDown Women’s Championship. However, when you consider what Sasha has done to Shotzi in recent works, it is a relatively justified heel turn. After all, Sasha was heel less than two weeks ago; spent months antagonizing true babyface, Bianca Belair (after unceremoniously turning on her) and has a history of betraying her friends. Yet, somehow, Shotzi is the heel. A new era complete with old WWE quirks. Anyway, this has the potential to be an interesting feud and tonight, we might just see the makings of it.

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