WWE SmackDown aired live from the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. It was the final episode of SmackDown before the Royal Rumble PPV this Sunday night.
WWE SmackDown Results (1/24)
- Roman Reigns & The Usos defeated King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode
- Elias & Braun Strowman defeated Shinsuke Nakamura & Cesaro
- John Morrison defeated Kofi Kingston
Here are 5 takeaways from the show:
Reigns & The Usos Picked Up A Win
Roman Reigns & The Usos battled King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, and Robert Roode in the first match of the night.
Match Recap: Jimmy Uso tweaked his knee while falling out of the ring and Ziggler capitalized by launching him into the steel steps. Reigns and Jey told the WWE doctors to check Jimmy’s head as SmackDown went to a break. It then became a Handicap Match as Jimmy could not continue. Roode, Ziggler, and Corbin took turns beating Reigns down for the next several minutes.
Jimmy Uso hobbled down the entrance ramp and tagged back in. Jimmy hit a Crossbody on Roode but Corbin broke up the cover. Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch and then threw Corbin over the barricade. Jimmy hit Roode with the Uso Splash for the pinfall victory. King Corbin and Roman Reigns will once again battle this Sunday at Royal Rumble in a Falls Count Anywhere Match.
Opinion: SmackDown started off with a solid match tonight and the crowd was into it. The match lasted almost 30 minutes and was much better than anticipated.
Bayley Interrupted Lacey’s Promo
Michael Cole interviewed Lacey Evans tonight on SmackDown. Lacey spoke about losing her father to addiction/ drepression and how her time in the military made her a better person and leader. She turned into a motivational speaker for a moment and told everyone in the crowd that they can accomplish their dreams if they put their mind to it. Evans claimed that her daughter was crying backstage after Sasha Banks and Bayley bullied her.
Lacey vowed to put Bayley on the shelf this Sunday at the Royal Rumble PPV. SmackDown Women’s Champion attacked Lacey from behind and shouted “where is your daughter now?”. Evans and Bayley continued to fight backstage before Dana Brooke and Carmella broke it up.
Opinion: I couldn’t stand this promo. It was so heavy-handed and written to basically force people to clap for Evans. I felt like I was watching someone running for President instead of someone fighting for a wrestling title this Sunday.
Braun Strowman & Elias Dominated
Elias & Braun Strowman faced Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura tonight. Sami Zayn was ringside for the match.
Match Recap: Elias dominated early and leveled Cesaro with a Clothesline. Nakamura distracted the referee and Sami Zayn tripped Elias up. Cesaro hit Elias with an uppercut as Braun Strowman took out Shinsuke with a shoulder tackle outside the ring.
Cesaro and Nakamura hurled Strowman into the ring post for a near fall. Sami Zayn once again distracted the refereee and Shinsuke tried to bring a chair into the ring. Elias prevented it and Strowman planted Cesaro with the Running Powerslam. Elias tagged and connected with an Elbow Drop off the top rope for the pinfall victory.
John Morrison Defeated Kofi Kingston
John Morrison faced Kofi Kingston tonight on SmackDown. Big E and The Miz were ringside for the match. John Morrison defeated Big E on last week’s episode of SmackDown. Before the match, The Miz scolded the crowd for booing John Morrison last week. Miz claimed that he hasn’t changed and plugged his reality show. The Miz then announced that they are entering the Royal Rumble this Sunday night.
Match Recap: Kingston controlled the action early but Morrison battled back and sent Kofi flying out of the ring. John tried to flip onto Kofi but Kingston got out of the way and Morrison crashed on the floor outside the ring. The action returned to the ring and Morrison connected with a knee to the face. John went for Starship Pain but Kofi got out of the way at the last moment. Kingston went for Trouble in Paradise but Morrison countered with a kick to the face for a near fall.
Morrison poked Kofi in the eye while the referee was distracted and followed it up with a Spanish Fly off the middle rope for a two count. Kofi hit SOS and went for the cover but Morrison was able to kick out at two. Big E chased The Miz around the ring. The Miz hopped on the ring apron and Kingston leveled him with Trouble in Paradise. Morrison capitalized on the distraction and elbowed Kingston in the back of the head. Morrison then connected with the Starship Pain for the victory.
The Fiend Signed The Contract With His Own Blood
The contract signing for the Universal Championship Strap Match at Royal Rumble was the final segment of this week’s episode of SmackDown.
Daniel Bryan made his way down to the ring first to a chorus of “yes!” chants. Wyatt interrupted with an episode of Firefly Fun House. Bray said that he was trying to fax the contract over but it wasn’t working. Bryan told Bray to cut the crap and come down to the ring and sign the contract.
Bray stated that his attorney, Mercy the Buzzard, has advised him to stay put. Daniel claimed that all Wyatt does is run and that The Fiend cannot run this Sunday at the PPV. Bray stated that Bryan betrayed him in the past and now it was time to pay. Wyatt added that it was only fitting that The Fiend sign the contract and the lights went out in the arena.
The Fiend appeared in the ring and Bryan went after him. The Fiend locked in the Mandible Claw and then planted Daniel with the Sister Abigail. The Fiend ripped Bryan’s shirt off and started whipping him with the strap. The Fiend stabbed his own and signed the contract in blood.
The lights in the arena went back out and turned back on as Bryan leaned against the ropes. Bryan saw the contract and nodded his head as SmackDown went off the air.
Opinion: This year’s Royal Rumble build has been lackluster at best. The women’s Royal Rumble match has barely been built up at all in recent weeks. I’ll always be excited to watch Royal Rumble every year but there are several matches on the card that I simply am not invested in. Bryan and Wyatt continue to be the most entertaining part of SmackDown and hopefully the Strap Match at the PPV delivers.