Smack The Review: Smackdown Review (January 31st)

After a very newsworthy Royal Rumble PPV (at least from the RAW side of things), we return to regular programming hoping that Smackdown picks up some steam on the road to Saudi Arabia (I meant to WrestleMania obviously). Will it succeed, or will it drag like usual??.

Let’s get ready to rumble …

Roman Reigns promo time

WWE Photo

This episode was labelled “Super Smackdown” ahead of the Super Bowl on Sunday between Kansas City Chiefs and San Fransisco 49ers (I might not be American but I know my stuff). Roman Reigns kicked things off alongside his cousins the Usos, as a prelude to a 6-man tag against Corbin and co. (because the feud must continue). Roman Reigns didn’t take long on the mic, before getting interrupted by Corbin. Basically, it was the same sh*t all over again from the King. This really doesn’t even deserve to be recapped or reviewed because you can go to any episode from the last two months and you have a 50% chance of seeing such an interaction.

He (re)played the dog food humiliation that he exercised upon Roman Reigns. However, they added a twist to the 6-man tag that the loser in that match will eat dog food (yeah we are getting it). Overall, this was lame and usual with few funny lines in-between. I can’t believe that WWE still thinks this feud is working in any way. I passed the point of even caring really, but the job requires me to cover it.

Lucha House Party vs The Revival vs John Morrison/The Miz vs Heavy Machinery

WWE Photo

First of all, how poorly-treated the Revival are in WWE!. This match, unfortunately, sets up a tag title match in Saudi Arabia, not at the next normal PPV. This match started slow, expectedly, then went to full gear in a hurry. LHP, in particular, lit it up with high-flying offence as well as John Morrison.

Post-commercial, things were back in order for a bit. Lucha House Party are having a good showing in this match, but Otis is always the best thing about this match. He is just a joy to watch. The caterpillar is just a joy to watch. Heavy Machinery almost won, but the Revival broke it up. From then, hell broke loose with everyone hitting everyone and jumping on each other. Finally, Miz and Morrison earned the victory via a Skull Crushing Finale/Starship pain combo. This was a good sprint of a match, however, the fact that Miz/Morrison vs New Day is taking place at Saudi Arabia instead of a normal PPV.

Backstage: Finally, Otis got a date with Mandy Rose on Valentine’s day Smackdown. This … is going to be good (Woooooo!!)

A recap of the strap match between Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble.

A video promo for Daniel Bryan.

A look back at the half-time heat match between The Rock and Mankind.

Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross vs Sonya Deville/Mandy Rose

WWE Photo

This match was supposed to take place last week but was cut off with a brawl. This match should set the winner for a tag title match. Things started with a brawl on the outside before the bell, and once the match officially started Sonya Deville took control of Alexa Bliss. Mandy Rose scored a near fall on Bliss with a knee only to be broken by Cross.

Nikki got the tag eventually and ran wild for a while. Alexa Bliss scored the win for her team, which is instantly bad news for Mandy and Sonya who have been overlooked a lot despite being the most natural tag team in the women’s division. If this is any indication, Rose and Deville are destined for high-profile jobbing to the stars in the women’s division.

A recap of Braun Strowman’s story with Shinsuke Nakamura.

Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Braun Strowman: Intercontinental Championship match

WWE Photo

You can feel it in your bones the moment this match was announced that Braun would win the title, but who knows what could transpire. Despite that, Nakamura did little to nothing with that title since winning it late last year. Hopefully, this will be at least a quality match to say goodbye for Nakamura.

It is textbook power vs technique, with Sami Zayn and Cesaro on the outside serving as a distraction. Sami Zayn’s cheap shot allowed the IC champion to take control before Strowman created separation only so long for Nakamura to kick his way back. The monster among men turned things around, demonstrating his mighty power. Sami Zayn went to expose the turnbuckle, but it backfired allowing Strowman to powerslam Nakamura for the win. Congrats! Strowman, however, this was sort of a squash match despite the 3-on-1 advantage Shinsuke and co. has. At least, Strowman held his first singles gold which he is deserving of.

Backstage: Sami Zayn cuts a promo on behalf of his faction, only to get interrupted by Elias’ music. He just gets irate about being interrupted constantly, so he sends Cesaro out to the ring to take care of it. Cesaro came out and got beat up by Elias (yes, that happened).

A video recap of CHAD GABLE’s feud with Sheamus.

CHAD GABLE vs Sheamus

WWE Photo

CHAD GABLE has an early advantage by attacking Sheamus on the entranceway. Post-commercial, it was Sheamus controlling CHAD GABLE, for way longer than it should be. CHAD GABLE started mounting a comeback, hitting a moonsault for a close near fall. Sheamus was back on top after that, hitting a brogue kick for the win. This was quick but harmful, as it doesn’t do anyone any good. If you were asking why this feud was booked in the first place, then this rematch made you ask more questions probably.

Bayley promo time

WWE Photo

Let’s see where Bayley will go after a half-hearted feud with Lacey Evans. She proceeded to cut a very decent promo, under the fire of “What” chants. Apparently, the feud is not over as she mentioned Lacey’s daughter repeatedly. While she was talking about charlotte Flair challenging her, Naomi came out with what looks like a Jedi mask straight from “The Mandalorian” on her head. Obviously, this is leading to a challenge from Naomi for a title shot. She didn’t talk for much before getting attacked by Bayley, yet Naomi came out on top. It remains to be seen if this story will go all the way to WrestleMania. Weirdly, this was a transition to the main event.

Roman Reigns/The Usos vs King Corbin/Dolph Ziggler/Robert Roode: Loser eats dog food

WWE Photo

This match is super interesting in a gross way. Corbin went straight after Roman Reigns but got caught by the Usos. This match is just ridiculous by virtue of its stipulation, which makes it hard to focus on the action and ignore the heavy consequences. The Usos were under control by Corbin and co. as Jey Uso is looking for the hot tag, but Corbin cut the way on him momentarily. Roman finally got the tag and went straight after his nemesis. This kicked a good sequence between him and Corbin. Despite the 3-on-1 advantage, Reigns is still in the match. Meanwhile, the Usos were doing their usual high-flying risk leaving Roman Reigns to roll up Corbin for the win. King, eat your dog food now. This smells bad even watching it from behind the screen. a Kennell from hell match is next I guess.

In an episode of Smackdown where the IC title changed hands, someone eating dog food is the main event. However, this was a fun episode yet not very newsworthy aside from said title change. It looks as the next episode is big things with Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan and Bayley featured.

Final rating: 7.5/10 (I enjoyed the main event thoroughly and the 4-fatal way tag match was so fun and Braun Strowman winning the title is a feel-good moment)

This was one man’s opinion, after all, reach out on twitter @austin316tn or tell me in the comments below.