It really speaks to how over Sami Zayn is that WWE would spend an entire week hyping an Usos vs. New Day match on Friday Night SmackDown to determine who would hold the record for the longest tag team title reign in WWE history and fans in Indianapolis would respond to it by consistently chanting for Zayn.
We want Sami, indeed.
We didn’t get Sami, as Michael Cole informed everyone he was off dealing with a personal matter. Whatever that matter is, we wish the best for him.
Meanwhile, I quite liked the story they told with this match. The New Day were desperate to keep the record as longest reigning tag team champions, and it showed in their approach. With each near fall that didn’t put The Usos away, they became increasingly desperate.
The Usos also had to dig deep when they realized this wasn’t just any regular opponent, no matter how good Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston may be. There was just too much on the line.
But by the time it was over, it was clear The Usos deserved not just the win but the record too. It’s the kind of run they’ve been on. It’s been fantastic.
Later in the night, we got Reigns seemingly about to give them their flowers for once only to be interrupted by The Brawling Brutes with a returning Sheamus and Drew McIntyre apparently aligned with them, at least for now, in a roundabout way, united in their disgust with The Bloodline consistently getting away with running over everyone with sheer numbers.
Me thinks this is the setup for a War Games match, folks.
And me likes it very much.
All the rest
- Santos Escobar scored a win over Shinsuke Nakamura in the first round of the SmackDown World Cup tournament. Legado del Fantasma’s sheer numbers gave Escobar the edge, and he used the Phantom Driver to put Nakamura away. In an interesting note, Michael Cole promoted Nakamura’s pending New Year’s match with The Great Muta in Japan. I’m going to choose to believe this loss had nothing to do with that match. Hey, it’s a different world now with new folks in charge, right? They wouldn’t reveal a bracket for the tournament, meanwhile, so they could only promote Escobar vs. a mystery opponent in two weeks.
- Bray Wyatt confronted LA Knight during an interview backstage, saying he knows how far you have to go to get respect around here. Knight, of course, responded with disrespect, telling him to go play with his dolls and stick ‘em wherever it gives you pleasure, cause he don’t mind. That was a pretty great line. Wyatt ended up head butting him and disappearing. I don’t know why Knight was chosen as the first guy Wyatt would have an interaction like this with but It was a fun little backstage bit.
- It looks like WWE is going to pair Emma and Madcap Moss on television. The two are dating IRL last I heard. The chemistry should be there, at least!
- Shotzi earned a shot at Ronda Rousey and the SmackDown women’s championship by winning a Six-Pack Challenge. Said match wasn’t very good, but those kind of chaotic matches hardly can be. What was good was Shayna Baszler confronting Shotzi while she was celebrating backstage, telling her all she won was a broken arm, and then tricking her into turning around to confront Rousey just to choke her out. “Clean up on aisle green,” Ronda said. Ha! I love these two together.
- Braun Strowman ran through Jinder Mahal to advance in the SmackDown World Cup tournament. There wasn’t much to this.
- The Viking Raiders finally made their return to television after weeks of vignettes and that is indeed Sarah Logan with them. She’s back with a, shall we say, unique look. They took out both Legado del Fantasma and Hit Row before those two teams could have a match. The tag team division gets a bit deeper.
This was a good show.