SmackDown airs tonight (Jan. 26) with a live show emanating from Kaseya Center in Miami, Florida. This is the final episode of SmackDown during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble 2024, which takes place tomorrow night (Jan. 27).
Vince McMahon ruins everything
Vince McMahon hasn’t been part of WWE’s creative process for some time now, and we are all much better off for it as pro wrestling fans. But that guy always finds a way to ruin everything, and that’s what happened once again yesterday when he was named as a defendant in a sex trafficking lawsuit that contained some absolutely horrifying allegations against him. Just like that, the dark cloud of McMahon once again looms large over WWE, and it’s casting a shadow over this weekend’s Royal Rumble event.
How will WWE creative head Triple H respond to that sort of thing as a booker when he wants to get fans more hyped up for the WWE product heading into the Royal Rumble? It definitely won’t be with a highly inappropriate segment where he foolishly leads fans into chanting nice things about McMahon. Instead of doing something stupid like that, what about a hot angle to open tonight’s SmackDown with a babyface wiping the floor with some heels? LA Knight is the perfect man for the job.
After Randy Orton had a big night last week when he defeated Solo Sikoa, LA Knight has a chance to follow suit tonight when he goes one-on-one with the Tribal Heir. WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is not currently advertised for the show, so it’s not clear if he will be there to keep The Bloodline from being taken out once again by Knight, Orton, and AJ Styles.
The trio of Sikoa, Jim Uso, and Paul Heyman doesn’t seem like enough to keep Roman’s challengers at bay. Will the wise man eat some RKOs or BFTs on the Royal Rumble go home show?
The rest of the title scene
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Katana Chance and Kayden Carter defend the belts tonight against The Kabuki Warriors. Will Bayley become more ostracized from Damage CTRL if the other members continue winning championship gold?
United States Champion Logan Paul and Kevin Owens brawled at the WWE Performance Center yesterday. Was that their final angle heading into Royal Rumble or is more coming tonight?
WWE Women’s Champion IYO SKY might need to take matters into her own hands if she is hoping that anyone besides Bianca Belair will win the Royal Rumble match.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Carlito vs. Santos Escobar is booked for tonight. Legado del Fantasma got the better of the LWO in tag team action last week. Is there any reason to think things will turn out differently in singles competition?
- The Final Testament goes face-to-face tonight with Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits. Is this leading to a six-man tag match at Royal Rumble, or will this feud continue to play out on TV?
- Austin Theory and Carmelo Hayes have a rematch tonight after their match from earlier this month was stopped by the referee. Theory wasn’t too happy with Grayson Waller for getting this one booked, so Grayson better find a way to help his guy win.
- Pete Dunne is back as Pete Dunne! It’s about time.
- Why are so many wrestlers in WWE forgetting to declare for the Royal Rumble match? Do they know the event is tomorrow night?
- Where the f*** is Omos?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown?