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WWE SmackDown preview (Feb. 2, 2024): Roman Reigns is not hiding from Cody Rhodes

SmackDown airs tonight (Feb. 2) with a live show emanating from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. This is the first episode of SmackDown during the four week build towards Elimination Chamber 2024, which takes place on February 24.

Roman Reigns is not hiding from Cody Rhodes

As soon as Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble match last weekend, he wasted no time pointing at WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. That’s the championship Cody needs to finish his story, after all, so his WrestleMania decision was obvious.

Cody was about to confirm all of this on Raw, but then he was interrupted by World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, who argued that Cody should be going after the workhorse belt at WrestleMania, not the Hollywood belt. Seth shit all over Roman while presenting his case.

That leads to tonight’s episode of SmackDown, where Cody and Roman are both scheduled to appear. The champ isn’t hiding from Rhodes, so they will almost certainly cross paths tonight. However, WWE has not stated that Cody will make his WrestleMania decision. What we’re more likely to get is Roman’s response to Seth’s argument. Will the Tribal Chief try to nudge Cody towards accepting Seth’s proposal?

Is WWE considering a three way match between Reigns, Rhodes, and Rollins at WrestleMania? It doesn’t seem likely, but Rollins talked so much trash about Reigns on Raw that it must be building towards some kind of physical altercation between them, maybe for later down the road.

The bottom line is that it should be fascinating to see what happens when Reigns and Rhodes duel on the mic tonight on the road to WrestleMania 40.

The rest of the title scene

Damage CTRL holds all the gold after The Kabuki Warriors defeated Katana Chance and Kayden Carter last week to become the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. With IYO SKY as the reigning WWE Women’s Champion, that makes Bayley the only active member of the group who needs a belt. She just won the Royal Rumble and is scheduled to announce which champion she will face at WrestleMania 40. If the idea is to keep the peace within Damage CTRL, then Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley is the obvious choice instead of IYO SKY. But is Bayley about to have her 2005 Batista moment when she gives IYO the thumbs down?

United States Champion Logan Paul got lucky and retained his belt by DQ at Royal Rumble when the referee spotted brass knuckles on Kevin Owens’ hand. The YouTube douchebag is in the house tonight, to presumably set up a title match for Elimination Chamber. What kind of shape is Paul in after Owens put his ass through a table in the post-match angle?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Bobby Lashley and Karrion Kross eliminated each other from the Royal Rumble match, before AOP and Street Profits entered the scene for a wild brawl at ringside. When will these groups finally get it on in the ring in an official match?

- Bron Breakker, Jade Cargill, Naomi, and Omos are some of the wrestlers who appeared in the Royal Rumble match but are not currently assigned to the Raw or SmackDown brand. Which of these stars will SmackDown General Manager Nick Aldis ink to a deal tonight?

- Speaking of Aldis, it was mentioned on Raw and he and Raw GM Adam Pearce need to have a conversation about Elimination Chamber. Does this suggest there will be a chamber match that includes wrestlers from both brands?

- Randy Orton, LA Knight, AJ Styles, Jim Uso, and Solo Sikoa will all likely remain in each other’s business in the main event scene as Elimination Chamber approaches, given Roman Reigns is not currently advertised for the Australia show.

- Elektra Lopez joined up with Santos Escobar last week, assisting him to a win over Carlito. The LWO is desperate for the return of Rey Mysterio, but it’s up to Zelina Vega to take out Lopez.

- Will Trick Williams and Carmelo Hayes be on hand tonight to perhaps deal with Grayson Waller and Austin Theory in a tag team match?

- If Bayley chooses violence by selecting IYO SKY as her WrestleMania opponent, where does that leave Bianca Belair on the grand stage? Could she be looking at a feud with Jade Cargill?

- Whose fingers will be snapped by Pete Dunne tonight? And where the f*** is Sheamus?

What will you be looking for on SmackDown?

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