WWE SmackDown comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 22, 2015) from Austin, Texas with a taped show on the SyFy channel featuring the go home show to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in Philadelphia.
Because SmackDown is a taped show, you can simply go read the spoilers to know everything that happens (find them by clicking here). We will provide results with a live blog below anyway.
You can use this space to discuss all the events as they occur, however, and it's probably going to enhance your viewing experience. In fact, I know it is because we're a lot of fun around here.
Enjoy the show!
- Daniel Bryan was out first. He said he could talk about his match with Kane, or the fact that he has been thinking about the WWE world heavyweight title since he had to forfeit it, or Sting on Raw, or The Authority and how they suck. But instead he'll step aside for a few guys returning to work tonight. That brought out Dolph Ziggler, Ryback, and Erick Rowan. They each got to talk. Huge pop for Ryback and a big chant. Rowan spoke about finding out who he really is in his two weeks off. Ziggler said he ate some stuffed crust pizza and watched the Stephanie and Triple H fitness DVDs. He said he was so close to the top before he got fired, but The Authority tried to take it away. He took a shot at CM Punk and said he'll take whatever The Authority dishes out. That brought them out, sans Trips and Steph. Seth Rollins got into it with Dolph, arguing back and forth. Kane went after Bryan. Big Show went after all of them. Kane revealed Ziggler will take on Bad News Barrett and he has to win to qualify for the Rumble.
- Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad News Barrett: The Intercontinental champion was in control for almost the entirety of this match, working over the shoulder and what not. Ziggler made a few comebacks, the first couple getting snuffed out, of course. The finish saw Barrett look for the Bullhammer, take a dropkick, then get hit with the Zig Zag for the pin. Ziggler is officially in the Royal Rumble.
- Renee Young interviewed Roman Reigns. They played clips from Raw. Reigns brought up that Big Show constantly calls himself a giant. Roman brought up that Andre the Giant didn't need to remind us every week that he's a giant. Uh ... okay. He brought up the Royal Rumble and how he'll go in alone without friends and having to earn everything he gets.
- They showed Fandango picking his Royal Rumble number. He was super happy about it. Then Dean Ambrose showed up and stole his number while he was kissing Rosa Mendes.
- Ryback vs. Rusev: Like the Barrett-Ziggler match, the heel had control for most of it until THE BIG GUY made his comeback. It's SmackDown, so you never know, but Ryback was over as hell based on crowd response. Rusev hit an Alabama Slam late in the match, which is mind boggling. This heated up quite a bit at that point, with Ryback breaking out of Rusev's grip before he could fully apply The Accolade. Rusev bailed before THE BIG GUY could hit the Meathook Clothesline. They battled on the outside, with Ryback rushing back to the ring when he heard the referee get to nine. Rusev couldn't make it back by 10, so Ryback won to qualify for the Royal Rumble. Pissed, Rusev went after him after the bell sounded. Rusev missed a kick but Ryback missed Shell Shock and they continued teasing a bigger match later.
- Naomi vs. Brie Bella: Paige and Natalya were ringside on commentary for this. Brie, by the way, is apparently done using that "Brie Mode" entrance theme now that she's back with her sister. They showed an inset Bellas promo and bombed Nattie for being too in love with her cats and Paige for being too white and apparently being a vampire. Paige's response was to say "Uh, I'm a Glam-pire." I don't know what that means. Paige and Nattie explained why they're teaming together. Natalya said the Bellas had no business talking about her husband and Paige immediately said "your husband is an idiot, though." Amazing. Meanwhile, Brie had her way with Naomi in the ring. They continuously cut away from the action in the ring to watch the commentary team talk. Brie missed her knee in the ropes but stifled a Naomi comeback, hit a Bella Buster, and got the pin.
- Luke Harper cut a promo from some dark place. "This Sunday at the Royal Rumble, you can send in anyone you want; just don't send anyone you want back." Nice. "Are you scared yet? You should be." Isn't that a line from Scare Tactics?
- Stardust and Goldust were picking their number for the Royal Rumble. Neither gave away much. They just reminded each other that it's every man for himself.
- Luke Harper vs. Erick Rowan: These two had the match you would expect them to have. Two big old bastards beating on each other. Rowan earned a couple near falls but ultimately missed a splash and Harper hit a superkick followed by the spinning lariat for the pinfall. "Heartbreak for Rowan," as Michael Cole put it. No Rumble for BIG RED.
- Kane told Rollins that he needed every advantage against Daniel Bryan tonight, so he wanted to borrow J&J Security. Rollins agreed and off they went.
- The Miz was shown walking through the back. Damien Mizdow brought him coffee. Miz admonished him for what he did for The Kliq on Raw. Mizdow apologized, saying he got caught up in the moment. "That said, the people did seem to like it." Miz laughed that off, saying the crowd is never cheering for him, they're always cheering for Miz. He walked off and The Usos came in to ask Mizdow if he's going to eliminate himself when The Miz gets tossed. They tried to convince him not too.
- Daniel Bryan vs. Kane: No disqualifications, so a kendo stick came into play fairly early on. Kane had it first but Bryan used it to greater effect once he got his hands on it. A "YES" from the crowd for each swing of the stick. Things cooled down fairly quick before moving to the outside where J&J Security set up a table like Kane was going to put Bryan through it. That never happened, of course. Bryan did hit a suicide dive and a dropkick against the barricade but J&J Security interfered to give Kane the edge again. Still, Kane found himself caught in the YES Lock coming off the top rope. Before Kane could tap, the goons were back in to break it up. Bryan was forced to battle three guys, kicking out of a choke slam in the process. Kane brought a chair in but Bryan knocked it away before hitting THE KNEE THAT BEAT JOHN CENA to get the pin to qualify for the Rumble.
- Post-match, Big Show came out to beat on Bryan before he could get to the back. The heels put the boots to him before Ziggler, Ryback, and Rowan ran out. That brought out a wave of wrestlers to get a big brawl going in the ring. THE ROYAL RUMBLE PREVIEW! Dean Ambrose actually got entrance music for his turn coming in. So did Roman Reigns. He showed up through the crowd. He cleaned house when he got in and the show went off the air with the babyfaces in the ring unsure of how to proceed.