Smackdown Review 01/17/2020
SMACKDOWN LIVE REVIEW 01/17/2020
Its the Wrestling Classic aka Justin Dhillon back here for this weeks review of Smackdown. Last week we saw the return of Bobby Roode and tonight he will face off against Roman Reigns in a tables match. John Morrison returns to the ring for the first time in eight years to face off against New Day’s Big E. Kane has been scheduled to appear as well but for what? Will The Fiend keep playing mind games with Daniel Bryan? Will Sasha Banks show up tonight? Lets find out.
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Live from the Greensbro Coliseum Complex in Greensbro, NC. – The show opens with a tribute picture to Rocky Johnson. – The regular opening video and pyro go off.
Michael Cole and Corey Graves are our announce team for the evening.
Kane comes out for his special appearance. Kane takes the mic and says we’re just 9 days away from his favorite night of the year – the Royal Rumble. He talks about the match where 30 people put their souls on the line, the match where you go through Hell for a chance at immortality at WrestleMania. Kane brags about his Rumble Match eliminations record and says he realizes how important this match is. Kane says WrestleMania dreams have turned to nightmares all because of him, and he has to admit – it was a lot of fun. Kane laughs. The Firefly Fun House music interrupts and we see WWE Universal Champion Bray Wyatt on the big screen. Wyatt acknowledges Kane and says it’s not nice to brag on other people’s bad times, and calls him a big red bully. Wyatt assures everyone Ramblin’ Rabbit is alive and well, and recovering nicely after what happened to him last week. We see Rabbit hooked up to an IV of some kind of carrot concoction. Wyatt says winning the Rumble is a great idea, especially if the winner challenges for this at WrestleMania – the WWE Universal Title. Wyatt points to a picture of Kane on the wall, with His eyes crossed out. Wyatt says if his picture is up there, that means he and The Fiend got it on. Kane acknowledges this. Wyatt gets serious and we see some flashes of their history together. Wyatt says he will never forget Kane, and neither will “he” forget. The lights start going down in the arena as Kane looks all around. The arena goes black. The red lights comes on and we hear the familiar sounds echo over the arena. Kane is now standing on the outside of the ring now, looking up the ramp. The Fiend suddenly appears from a hole in the ring. The Fiend crawls out and crawls to the ropes. Kane turns around and stares at him. Kane asks what took him so long. The Fiend seems to pause and step back a bit. Daniel Bryan hits the ring out of nowhere and levels The Fiend with a running knee as he turns around. The Fiend tries to escape back through the hole in the ring but Bryan is still trying to fight him, crawling at him. Bryan comes back up from the hole with a handful of The Fiend’s dreadlocks, as The Fiend did with him several weeks ago. Bryan stands tall under the red light as a “yes!” chant starts up. Bryan looks around and joins in on the chant as the lights come back up. Kane enters the ring and gets another “yes!” chant going. Team Hell No does the chant together as Bryan’s music hits.
This was a solid opening segment. The attention to detail when it comes to continuity is great, with Bray recalling his feud with Kane in the past as well as bringing up that the The Fiend attacking him last year. This was good storyline progression between The Fiend and Bryan. It was the first time we’ve seen The Fiend retreat when Bryan came through like a ball of fire. Bryan getting some of his dreads seemed like good retribution to what happened to him. I also wonder if this is planting seeds for the rumoured match between Kane and The Fiend for the next Saudi show.
– Backstage, Kayla Braxton stops Daniel Bryan. Bryan says a lot of people think The Fiend is good at mind games and getting the best of people, but he’s really the best at running away. Bryan asks how you beat someone who disappears every time they’re in trouble? He’s got an idea. It’s not a good idea and really not a smart idea, but he challenges The Fiend to a Strap Match at the Royal Rumble. Bryan says they will each have one end of the strap and will go to war until one man wins. Bryan talks about how he understands what could happen to him, but he’s done with the games and The Fiend escaping down the hole every time he gets in trouble. Bryan says The Fiend changed him but at the Rumble, he will change The Fiend and win the Universal Title.
John Morrison w/ The Miz def. Big E w/ Kofi Kingston
In a competitive back and forth return match for John Morrison, the Shaman of Sexy defeats Big E after hitting starship pain. There was a moment where The Miz and Kingston got physical with each other which led to Morrison taking out Kingston and The Miz saving Morrison from a spear attack from Big E.
I think it was given that Morrison would win his first match back but they didn’t let happen without some distractions and interference. This means The New Day will still want some of Miz and Morrison. This served its purpose and was quality stuff.
– The announcers talk about how King Baron Corbin will pick the stipulation for his Rumble match with Roman Reigns if Robert Roode can win tonight’s Tables Match over Reigns. Reigns will pick the stipulation for Corbin if he wins tonight. Cole sends us to a video package on the Reigns vs. Corbin feud.
– The Usos are backstage with Roman Reigns. They ask what his stipulation for the Rumble will be but he says they will find out when everyone else does. Reigns says he’s been training in the yard but he wonders if The Usos are ready for what they have in store. They are hyped up for The Revival and walk off for a match it appears. The Usos and Reigns welcome The Revival to The Uso Penitentiary.
The Usos def. The Revival
In a really entertaining tag match The Usos defeat The Revival after Jimmy hits the big Uso splash on Dash for the win.
The Usos finally got their first big win since returning a couple of weeks since the match didn’t end cleanly last week. This keeps the momentum going for the Usos and leaves The Revival having to re-strategize their game plan for 2020.
– Backstage, The Revival are walking until Kayla stops them and asks if they’re frustrated with another loss. Dawson says frustrated isn’t the word for it and if the company won’t make a change, then The Revival will have to make some kind of change. Dash says something similar. We hear a fight happening in the backstage area and the camera jumps to Lacey Evans beating on Sasha Banks. Banks is down and looks to have a hurt leg. SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley makes the save and tends to Banks while screaming at officials to get Evans away from them. The announcers also tease Banks possibly being injured. Good way to kill two birds with one stone. The Revival states their going to make some big changes and Lacey finally gets her hands on Lacey.
– The announcers look at the recent happenings between Mandy Rose and Otis which then cuts to backstage where Sonya Deville is prepping for her match. Mandy approaches Deville saying she is excited about Deville’s match tonight and says Sonya was right last week, this is the year of Fire & Desire. Sonya asks if Rose thinks Otis might want to be at ringside for her match tonight. Rose asks why because Rose will be at ringside. Sonya says she didn’t get the Otis thing before but after seeing him out there helping Rose win last week, she gets it. Rose isn’t seeing “the Otis thing” how Deville is and seems confused. Deville just wants Rose to ask Otis if he will be at ringside. The plot line thickens in this Otis and Mandy storyline. I dig.
– Bayley and Sasha Banks are in the trainer’s room. Banks has a hurt ankle. Bayley is furious and threatens to turn Lacey Evans into a stay-at-home mom. WWE Producer Adam Pearce shows up and comments on Banks failing to deliver on the match once again. He makes Bayley vs. Evans official and says it will be non-title, but it is happening. Bayley and Banks aren’t happy with the ruling. Pearce walks off.
Lacey Evans def. Bayley
In a decent match for Smackdown, Lacey Evans defeats Bayley after hitting a huge women’s right.
I don’t think this match had to go multiple segments but that might have been to fill time. Also, I WOULD HAVE LOVED IF THIS WAS FOR THE WOMENS CHAMPIONSHIP and Bayley lost. Then we could have had this Sasha and Lacey feud be for the championship with Sasha ultimately winning the belt at Wrestlemania to everyones dismay. Why? Because Sasha Banks is and has been more relevant than the current champion and realistically is in this feud with Lacey while Bayley aka The Champion seems like her lackey. Thats all.
Sheamus and Shorty G
Alyse Ashton is backstage with Shorty G. Ashton asked why Sheamus returned and singled him out last week. G says Sheamus’ games won’t work on him, and the same goes with attacking him while he’s down. G goes on about embracing yourself. He knows Sheamus is big and decorated, but… Sheamus walks in and acts like he can’t see G because of his height. Sheamus faces off with G now, talking more trash. Sheamus threatens to knock G’s head off again, and then pats him on the head, calling him “little fella.” G attacks and they start brawling. The brawl is broken up but Sheamus is fuming as he destroys some more stuff.
Glad to see Sheamus back and he’s looking JACKED! Not sure where this is going but I’m into it.
– Backstage, Kayla Braxton is with Braun Strowman. He declares himself for the 30-Man Royal Rumble match. Braun says that is next week and now he wants to talk about WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Braun goes on about Nakamura and Sami Zayn, and says he just wants his shot. Braun doesn’t care if it’s this week or next, he wants his shot at Nakamura. Braun storms off.
Elias says he’s learned a lot about himself over the last year. He realizes he’s the full embodiment of WWE, but he can’t do it alone and the truth is – he needs the fans. Elias says for him to reach where he belongs, he needs voices to ring out all over the world with the truth that WWE stands for – Walk With Elias, says the fans. Elias goes on and starts performing his new “Walking In Greensboro” song.
The music interrupts and out comes Sami Zayn, Cesaro and WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn hates to interrupt Elias but he, The Great Liberator, has something more important to talk about. Sami knocks the fans and they boo him. Sami brings up how Braun Strowman is running around ranting about wanting to fight Nakamura. Sami says Nakamura doesn’t back down from fights and Braun won’t have to wait long for his answer because the answer is… absolutely not.
Sami rips Braun some more and says he’s in no position to demand anything because he, we, call the shots around here. Sami says nothing will be happening with the Rumble Match 9 days away. He brags on how Nakamura actually won the Rumble. Sami warns the entire roster that they are all now on notice. It sounds like Cesaro and Nakamura may be in the Rumble. Sami says he made his point and Elias can now continue. Elias says he was multi-tasking while Sami spoke, and now he has a new song he just wrote in his head. It’s called “Sami Needs to Shut His Mouth” and the chorus goes, “Shinsuke sucks!” Elias starts playing but Sami interrupts and starts yelling at everyone. Sami sends Cesaro to the ring to take care of Elias.
Cesaro rushes the ring and starts brawling with Elias. Nakamura hits the ring as Elias turns it around in the corner but Elias is no match. Sami joins in next for the triple team. The music hits and out comes Braun to make the save. Braun runs over Cesaro and Nakamura, then clotheslines Cesaro over the top. Sami has retreated. Braun sends Nakamura over the top next, then stands tall and plays to the crowd for a pop. Fans cheer for Strowman as Sami, Cesaro and Nakamura re-group on the ramp. Strowman tells them to bring it as his music starts back up.
This was a good way to highlight all of these guys tonight on Smackdown but didn’t leave much of an impact. I think they could have done something different and had Elias wrestle either Cesaro or Nakamura only for it to end quickly because of a interference thus bringing Braun out. Lacey and Bayley could have been shorter to make time for it but it was what it was.
– A beautiful tribute to Rocky Johnson was aired. RIP Soulman. <3
Alexa Bliss w/ Nikki Cross def. Sonya Deville w/ Mandy Rose
Heavy Machinery came out for this match as well. In a quick match, Alexa Bliss defeats Sonya Deville when Rose gets knocked off the apron by Nikki Cross only for Otis to catch her before she hit the ground, thus distracting Deville who got caught by a roll-up for three. After the match Rose apologizes to Deville while Otis is on cloud nine.
This served its purpose. I was upset Carmella wasn’t the opponent but also forgot Alexa is on this stacked Smackdown women’s roster and I’d be disappointed if she was left off the show too. Otis saving Mandy but still causing Sonya victory is definitely something that will cause tension between Deville and Mandy next week. I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
Roman Reigns vs Robert Roode
In a chaotic main event, in which Ziggler, Corbin and The Usos got involved, Roman Reigns defeats Robert Roode after spearing Roode through a table set up in the corner of the ring. The Usos also put Ziggler through the announcer table with a double splash.
After the match, Roman Reigns says the stipulation for his match with Corbin at the Royal Rumble will be a Falls Count Anywhere.
This was exactly what you expected it to be which was a car wreck with bodies everywhere. The stipulation will allow Corbin and Roman to fight all around the arena. They went all over the place after their match at TLC so this will allow them to do that but hopefully come up with a creative finish.
I honestly enjoyed this episode from start to finish. There was a ton of storyline and character development. There was a buffet of different kind of matches. There was a guest appearance from Kane, the in ring return of John Morrison, a solid tag match and a chaotic main event. There really wasn’t much that got me anticipating next week story-wise but I am looking forward to it if its as fun as this week was. If I would describe this weeks show with any word…it would be fun.