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WWE Smackdown preview (January 29, 2015): Let the storm rage on

What you need to know

Winter Storm Juno took the wind out of Smark Storm #RoyalFumble, as WWE hunkered down in their Stamford, Connecticut headquarters building rather than risk the chill of the weather, and the fans, in Hartford.

As even the white hot internet rage from Sunday night's pay-per-view (PPV) begins to dissipate, we're left to wonder how much Monday night's opportunity to work with Roman Reigns and let his shine in a controlled environment helped.  His solo work on Raw was a little weird - bending and breaking kayfabe to address dirt screen scuttlebutt but not in a way that made him sympathetic.

But his show-ending sitdown with his WrestleMania 31 opponent, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, and his Advocate, Paul Heyman, was quite satisfying.  Much of the credit for that goes to Heyman, of course, but the Rumble winner held his own, showing the bad ass of few, sexily delivered words character that his supporters have been calling for all along.

Having come up short (in kayfabe) on his own title shot, Seth Rollins reminded us that he is killing it in reality (by talking trash about The Beast Incarnate and then knocking over his chair like a seventh grader) - and that he's still sitting on a Money in the Bank contract that he plans to turn into his first WWE title run.  The third former Shield-man walked across Connecticut in a snowstorm because HE'S A WILD CARD.  Seriously, I don't know.  At least the included him on the very short call sheet for the show?

While he wasn't invited, another man who failed on Sunday night was booked into the first match at WWE's next PPV.  John Cena will face United States Champ Rusev at Fast Lane.

Daniel Bryan, again the center of a Royal Rumble controversy for the second straight year, did his part to quell the fan uprising...sort of.  Like Reigns' one-on-one, The Beard acknowledged the perception that he's Vince McMahon's red-headed stepchild, destined to play second fiddle to...anyone taller or with better muscle definition.  But he also put over Roman as a deserving title contender, before closing with a vow to eventually reclaim the belt he never lost.

JBL got to do his best Brick Tamland and fans got to see the best and most vexxing matches from Royal Rumble.  Wherever you stand with the company, WWE played Monday about as well as it could be played.

What to look out for

Boston is digging out, Smackdown is sticking close to home...LIVE from XL Center in Hartford on a special, winter weather-mandated Thursday show that will feature Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan's first exposure to a live crowd since Sunday night.

We've gotten some mixed messages about the champ's status.  He was listed as a "Featured Superstar" on tonight's event page at, but there are also reports that he's back in balmy Minnesota already.  We've probably already gotten what we're going to get from Brock for the next few weeks anyway, and this is only a two hour show.

A two hour show that still needs to answer pretty much all of the questions we had on Monday.  How does Reigns fill his time, and get the crowd back/to stay on his side, between now and late March?  Where do Rollins, Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Intercontinental champ Bad News Barrett, on-the-verge-of-feuding-with-each-other tag teams like Miz & Mizdow and Star & Goldust, and the entire Divas division go now?

The big question is, can we move on and see what happens?  Or are we so tired of getting shows like Royal Rumble that we're going to hate whatever comes next?

At least we know Cena and Rusev is a lock, and, at least for tonight, former Team Hell No mates Bryan and Kane will be trying to shut the other in a casket.  That will give us something to support ourselves with while wondering why they're showing Arnold Schwarzenegger Hall of Fame videos again.

It's a whole new world after the Rumble - and the snow.  Start getting the lay of the land when WWE layeth the LIVE smacketh downth upon us tonight!

Who better to spend this momentuous occasion with than your fellow Cagesiders?  Join them in the live blog tonight, won't you?

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