Well, this is not interesting.
Which is the main point here. SmackDown suffered its first loss in a long time. The first hour of the show was pretty great, and the last hour was a long convoluted mess that was overbooked and pretty meaningless.
I feel like I contradict myself when I complain about bad things, because SmackDown definitely doesn’t do everything right every week. But… it’s just always entertaining.
For the most part. But not tonight.
For my Raw recap opening remarks, I stated that Bad Bunny and Peacock are fine because all I really want out of WWE television is entertainment. I may complain about certain things WWE does outside of wrestling, but WWE really should exist to entertain us. If you’re a fan, that’s great! If you’re not, that’s perfectly fine too.
This year’s Royal Rumble is not going to be as entertaining as any of the rest of them because the crowd reaction adds to the excitement. Piped in countdowns and cheering and booing won’t do it for me, or probably a lot of other people. I hope that WWE makes it entertaining enough for those of us who care.
Let’s get into the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of SmackDown, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Community theater mafia boss
Roman Reigns looked so done and tired of Kevin Owens as he was talking.
Owens said as far as he’s concerned, he’s beaten Reigns twice, and nothing will keep him from getting back up as many times as he needs to. Reigns then started in on what Owens brought up last week - his family. He asked about his father and he needed to because he wanted to know why Owens was never taught limitations.
If Owens thinks that he has a chance at winning the Universal championship, he’s a fool, and if he’s a fool, then his father and grandfathers are fools. Reigns asked what Owens thought his grandfathers would tell him when he meets them again, why he wouldn’t acknowledge Reigns as their Tribal Chief.
And then Owens had probably the best promo of this feud. He called Roman an insecure bully and a community theater mafia boss. And Roman got a remote from Heyman and he clicked off his portion of the screen like Broadway mafia boss.
I’ve found myself now in this second main Universal championship feud wanting it to just keep going and going. Seriously. It’s going to end, but I don’t want it to end. Roman is the greatest Universal champion in its history. I wax poetic about not wanting to see the same stuff in other places where I’m bored and annoyed.
But I never want feuds with Roman Reigns to end. They’ve all been amazing. They’ve all produced the best WWE television. As I said my opening remarks, I contradict myself but it’s really because I just long for entertainment. Roman Reigns gives me that, as do his opponents. It’s a real sight to behold. If only 5 years ago, Vince decided to pivot and make this dude a heel, man.
Sunday might be about the Rumbles, but in my eyes, this is the main attraction.
My Women’s Royal Rumble winner
Don’t mess with the hair. Never mess with the hair. I love Bianca Belair with all my soul.
She had so much fire in this match and it showed throughout. Everything Bayley had for her she kicked out. Charles Robinson sold Bianca’s bridge out of Bayley’s pin attempt. Both women had big hits, Bianca with an elbow and Bayley with a knee. They both sounded painful.
At one point Cole said that Bayley seemed jealous and immediately Bayley whipped around and said “I’M NOT JEALOUS, COLE!” Hahaha one of the low key best feuds in WWE are these two. Something the crowd-less era gave us, which has been one of the joys of SmackDown. Belair pulled off the “upset” victory here, which isn’t an upset to me at all. If anything, Bayley winning would have been the real upset.
After the match, a passionate and emotional promo from Belair about how Bayley isn’t her role model but that she sees the importance of beating her. This is the biggest win of her career thus far. The next win is this Sunday.
Do it, WWE. Bianca deserves it. I know there are some nefarious things going on at the red brand with The Fiendette Alexa Bliss but there’s no need for a Rumble win to come out of that.
A lot of people did a lot of things
There was a heartfelt promo by Bryan to start the show. He mentioned what a lot of us have been worried about. Obviously Bryan can choose to walk away whenever he feels like it, but wrestling will not be as exciting when he’s gone. There was really no need to mention the brand to brand invitation stuff when Styles came out to interrupt him, but it built to a match between them for the show.
Well, they had a good match, and then Sami Zayn came out because he’s been silenced and Styles took advantage of the distraction. And then Big E came out and attacked Zayn, throwing him into Cesaro on commentary. So they got into it, and Bryan dove on Styles, Cesaro, and Zayn, and Zayn attacked Bryan and caused a DQ. Then Nakamura came out to assist Big E and Bryan, and then a six man tag was born. Whew.
And then Miz and Morrison interrupted a good bout with E and Cesaro and caused a DQ. And then Otis came out and attacked Miz and Morrison. That made this a 5 on 4 tag match. Everyone took out Bryan’s tag partners so that he was all alone, but Sheamus came out and was the 5th man for the babyfaces. Sheamus Brogue Kicked Sami for the win in all of this mess.
And then Braun came out and cleared out the heels attacking Sheamus. Holy shit. This was… some convoluted Raw nonsense in my SmackDown programming. Also, this is supposed to preview the Royal Rumble, but NO ONE WAS THROWN OVER A TOP ROPE? For shame, WWE. You’ve conditioned me to these types of shenanigans.
Reginald gave Sasha some wine
Reginald gave Sasha a wine to pair with her loss on Sunday, but Sasha gave it back to him and said there’s something she likes about him. She asked him what’s the best type of wine to pair with a broken jaw and laughed. Sasha’s laugh is wonderful. Hoping she stays champion on Sunday.
King Corbin defeated Dominik Mysterio
Dominik attacked Corbin before the match, which was good personality showing. You could see what they’re doing with this match as Rey was on commentary and he wasn’t always on his son’s side. Rey has taken on the coaching role. Corbin ducked a drop kick and hit the End of Days to win. Definitely thinking we’ll see some sort of father/son break down at the Rumble.
Tell me your Royal Rumble predictions and your thoughts on SmackDown, Cagesiders!