SmackDown airs tonight (Jan. 27) with a live show from Sames Auto Arena in Laredo, Texas. This is the final SmackDown episode during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble, which takes place tomorrow night (Jan. 28).
The clock is ticking on Rey Mysterio’s career
It was nearly two months ago when Karrion Kross made it known that he intends to end the legendary career of Rey Mysterio. Both men are officially entered into tomorrow night’s Royal Rumble match, but they can’t wait until then to get their hands on each other. Mysterio vs. Kross in a singles match is booked for tonight’s episode of SmackDown.
Rey dealt with an injury late last year and has only wrestled one match since the beginning of November. Kross took advantage of that time to play mind games with Rey, mocking his shitty parenting skills and reminding Mysterio that the clock is ticking down on his career. Kross has also been doing strange things with tarot cards to indicate the end is near for Rey.
Rey is a feisty sort of fellow and had enough of Karrion’s lip, so he attacked Kross on the Jan. 13 episode of SmackDown. It did not go well for Mysterio; Scarlett got involved and Rey was choked out in the Krossjacket.
That angle serves as a reminder that Rey doesn’t have a good way to neutralize Scarlett’s potential interference tonight, and he’s already in his usual underdog role even if she stays out of the mix.
Regardless, Rey believes that he is going to win the Royal Rumble match this year, just like he did in 2006. If he can’t beat Karrion Kross in a singles match tonight, however, it’s hard to see how the aging legend can live up to his word tomorrow night at Royal Rumble.
The title scene
Kevin Owens is challenging WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble. On the eve of their title match, however, Owens goes one-on-one with Solo Sikoa. Owens can’t lose right before the PPV match, but Sikoa has never been pinned on the main roster. This looks like a screwy finish to me. Reigns has made it clear that he doesn’t want to see Sami Zayn before the Rumble. Will Zayn defy those orders?
The Usos will defend the SmackDown tag team titles against the winner of a tournament that continues tonight with two semifinal matches. Banger Bros are the heavy favorites against Hit Row, whereas the outcome of Legado del Fantasma vs. Imperium has more uncertainty.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair has been physically and verbally provoked by Sonya Deville. Flair already beat Deville in a title match earlier this month, so an extra gimmick might be needed if WWE books a championship rematch.
Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER can focus on winning the Royal Rumble now that he has put down the challenge of Braun Strowman.
Bayley and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions IYO SKY and Dakota Kai don’t really have any business on SmackDown these days, but they could show up tonight if they want to officially declare for three of the 23 unclaimed spots in the women’s Royal Rumble match.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Thanks to an assist from American Badass BikerTaker, Bray Wyatt blasted LA Knight with Sister Abigail’s kiss on this week’s Raw XXX. LA is already an underdog heading into tomorrow night’s Mountain Dew Pitch Black match against Wyatt, so he’ll need to come up with a devious scheme to get the upperhand on Bray and gain some momentum tonight.
- After Brock Lesnar showed up on Raw XXX, will WWE clarify his status for the Royal Rumble event?
- Ronda Rousey has disappeared from WWE in 2023 and looks like a non-factor at Royal Rumble, but her buddy Shayna Baszler has her sights set on hurting people and winning the Royal Rumble match.
- Raquel Rodriguez beat the shit out of Liv Morgan a couple weeks ago en route to declaring her spot in the Royal Rumble match. Will Morgan do anything tonight to remind fans that she is supposed to have a decent chance to perform well in the Rumble match?
- Braun Strowman and Ricochet are both entered into the Royal Rumble match. Will they team up tonight to beat up some some heels as a tune up for the big match tomorrow?
- Lacey Evans is returning to WWE television soon. Could her re-debut take place as an entrant in the Royal Rumble match (before she is repackaged again the following week)?
- Speaking of Royal Rumble entrants, there are plenty of spots left to fill out. Why aren’t more wrestlers jumping at the chance to headline WrestleMania 39?
- This is the go-home show for Royal Rumble, so a few extra Raw stars might be in the building. Will the final TV show before the PPV end with a giant brawl in the ring where a bunch of wrestlers try to throw each other over the top rope?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown?