Smack The Review: Smackdown Review (January 17)

WWE, or Smackdown, in particular, doesn’t seem to have the ability to deliver consistent programming. With Royal Rumble getting closer, it seems a necessity that the blue brand delivers some compelling shows to push the storylines forward. Will my curse continue or will we finally get something compelling ?.

Let’s get to business…

Kane returns (What?)

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Is it 2012?? 1997?? 2003??, are we still in two decades ago?. We are in 2020 and Smackdown opens with Kane coming out and cutting a promo. He said some stuff about the Royal Rumble, then got interrupted by Bray Wyatt. If the reports are true, those two will meet in WWE’s next show in Saudi Arabia which is a disaster in any way you look at it.

Of course, Bray Wyatt was good as always linking back to their history together. However, this won’t save the segment from getting some negative marks. Neither will do the appearance from Daniel Bryan to beat up “The Fiend”. Again, it is 2020, and we are having a reunion for Team Hell No, this may not be good at all.

The worst thing about this is that if Kane vs Wyatt is happening, it’s taking place in Saudi Arabia which means two things: first, nobody is going to care, and Second expect Kane to drop the wig and the mask once again.

Kane and Daniel Bryan backstage and the latter is interviewed about the Fiend where he challenges Bray Wyatt to a “Strap Match” which by Bryan’s own admission is a “dumb idea”.

John Morrison vs Big E

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It is the first match for John Morrison in WWE in nearly eight years, which is incredible. Something else is incredible, it is Kofi Kingston new hair colour. Even John Morrison’s hair looks different. The match started even but after a commercial break, Morrison took over showing off his incredible agility and fluid offence. However, Big E mounted a series of suplexes and strength-based moves for a comeback. On the outside, Kofi entered a dispute with The Miz so John Morrison delivered a moonsault on the New Day’s man. Later on, Miz saved Morrison from a Big E spear distracting him enough to take the starship pain for the win.

The match was really good if abrupt to be fair. However, this is very promising for the tag team match should we get it at the Rumble. Also, John Morrison looks really good.

A recap of the feud between Reigns and Corbin followed by a backstage promo from Roman Reigns and The Usos.

The Usos vs The Revival

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This builds from the interference of The Revival in last week’s tag match between The Usos and Ziggler/Corbin. This started as a classic tag match from the Revival, cutting the ring in half and working over Jey Uso. Eventually, the hot tag was made and Jimmy ran wild over the Revival. From there, The Usos took advantage with Jimmy Uso hitting a frog splash for the win.

The match was fine, though it could have benefited from five minutes more. The thing is, The Revival are in a really bad situation and they need to rack up some serious wins. It seems that they still have some “Ucey hot” in their gear.

Backstage: The Revival interviewed/Lacey Evans brawl with Bayley and Sasha Banks.

A recap for Mandy Rose’s story with Otis.

Backstage: Mandy Rose talking with Sonya Deville/Sasha Banks and Bayley.

Bayley vs Lacey Evans

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After the brawl backstage earlier in the show, Bayley took the place of an injured Sasha Banks. This shows that WWE clearly thinks Sasha vs Lacey Evans is the bigger match. Still, I don’t dig this babyface be a star character from Lacey and it doesn’t seem to work that much for the live crowd either. Lacey started hot off the mat, taking Bayley down and having the better of the Smackdown women’s champion. Bayley found her way into the match eventually, starting to work over Lacey with sections of the crowd surprisingly willing Evans to get back and even starting a “Let’s go Lacey” chant. All the while Bayley was mocking the fans for doing so.

The “Sassy Southern Bell” mounted a comeback until Bayley countered a moonsault, allowing her to dominate the match again. She got a couple of near falls, which upped her frustration. Lacey seemed to find an opening and hit a women’s right from out of nowhere to pin the champion. This was a really good match, and it seems that we are getting the same match for the title at the Royal Rumble. This result proves my point that Sasha Banks vs Lacey Evans is the bigger match.

Backstage: CHAD GABLE is being interviewed and he got interrupted by Sheamus to instigate a brawl where GABLE was on top.

Backstage: Braun Strowman is being interviewed. He wants his IC shot so bad.

In the ring: Elias is singing a song about Greensborough. He got interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn. Zayn is just great on the mic. He cuts a great promo to deny Strowman an IC title shot. Then, Elias tried to sing a song about Sami Zayn but got assaulted by Zayn and co. only to be saved by Strowman (obviously). Let’s hope he gets his IC title shot soon and we got over with this.

A video package celebrating the life of the late great Rocky Johnson. Great touch from WWE as usual.

Sonya Deville vs Alexa Bliss

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Otis came out prior to the match, alongside Tucker. In-ring, Sonya started strong but Alexa Bliss eventually took over. However, Otis wasn’t as good as last week and he cost Sonya her match. If anything, Otis catching Mandy when she fell is the highlight of the match. Where is this going??.

Backstage: Corbin with Ziggler and Roode getting ready for the main event.

A recap of the opening segment.

A strap match between Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan for the Universal Title is set for the Royal Rumble. CHAD GABLE vs Sheamus/ Bayley vs Lacey Evans for the Smackdown women’s championship are set for the PPV as well.

Roman Reigns vs Robert Roode

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The match kicked off straight away, with Roode attacking Reigns from behind before the bell. Roman Reigns turned it around, having the better of Roode. That was until Roode rakes the eye of Reigns, but Roman stroke back. This match is back and forth as it comes. Midway through, King Corbin came out to the ring setting the odds up against “The Big dog”.

The crowd was firmly behind Roman as he fought back into the match. All the while, Corbin was looking over with no interference yet. As Reigns was getting ready to end the match, Corbin caused a distraction allowing Ziggler to creep in and deliver a superkick. The Usos came out to even the odds, putting Ziggler through the announce table, while Roman Reigns speared Roode into a table in the ring to win and pick the stipulation for his match against King Corbin at the Royal Rumble. The stipulation is “Falls count anywhere”, thankfully, it is not a “loser eats dog food” as rumoured for a while.

That was Smackdown. I for once enjoyed this week, as there was nothing really offensive. Even Kane’s return didn’t hamper anything as odd as it was to see him dawning the mask in 2020. Everything progressed, slowly may it be, but it did. Morrison vs Big E and Usos vs Revival was good though needing more time. Overall, this was an above-average episode, and with one show left until the Royal Rumble, it seems like WWE might have some nice surprises for us in the go-home show so we will wait.

Final rating: 7/10

This was one man’s opinion though, you can reach out on Twitter @austin316tn or tell me in the comments below. Till next week!!.