SmackDown on Fox Episode #70
SmackDown Episode # 1,119
Orlando, FL – The Thunderdome (Tropicana Field)
It’s Friday Night, you know what that means. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
The show opens with Daniel Bryan coming out to the ring where he cuts a promo much like last week where he hypes up the Royal Rumble and talks about how he wants to win the Royal Rumble because it is the only thing he has never done in his career and also he wants to go on and face the champion at WrestleMania because he doesn’t know how many more WrestleMania moments he has left. Bryan says he is in great shape and is ready for anything the Royal Rumble has in store this year because it is always very unpredictable.
Bryan is interrupted by Raw’s AJ Styles who comes down to the ring along with Omos. Styles talks about how he is going to win the Rumble until Bryan cuts him off and asks why he is there, this leads to Styles handing over the mic to Omos who tells Byan they are there as part of the quarterly brand-to-brand invitational. Styles says that it seems like Bryan already has one foot out the door of WWE seeing as he hasn’t even dressed like he is ready to compete in the last few weeks. Bryan assures Styles he doesn’t have one foot out the door and if Styles wants to find that out they can have a match later tonight. Styles says he is down for having one more warm-up match before the Royal Rumble and then he shoves Bryan down to the mat, Bryan gets to his feet as Omos stands between him and Styles. Bryan says that if Styles really wants to prove himself then he will leave Omos in the back, but then tells him whether he brings Omos out or not he is still going to kick his ass.
I enjoyed the Bryan part of this promo, but once Styles came off I lost some interest because I am so over WWE not sticking to their own damn rules of the brand split, however, this little promo would be nothing compared to what we get by the end of the night when it comes to them not sticking to the brand split.
We go to the back where Bayley was interviewed about what she did last week to Bianca Belair after the obstacle course when she put Bianca shoulder-first into the pole of the basketball net. Bayley then says she watched Bianca’s Chronicle documentary on the Network and says she is proud of Bianca after all she has been through, but what really stuck out to her was the fact that Bianca always runs away from her problems. Bayley says that she is the biggest problem Bianca will ever face so she can keep running and after she beats Bianca again tonight she can run back into the darkest hole in her life.
We get the entrance of Bianca Belair and that sends us to a commercial.
We come back and go to our first match of the night.
Match #1: Bayley vs Bianca Belair
We get a lockup and Bianca uses her power to back Bayley into the corner and then breaks cleanly. Bayley then kicks Bianca in the gut and then targets the arm that was sent into the basketball goal last week but is then slammed to the mat by Bianca. Bayley goes for a rear waistlock and then hammers down with clubbing blows to the arm but then gets hit with a suplex by Bianca for a 1 count. Bayley kicks Bianca in the leg and then slams her hard onto the mat. Bayley runs off the ropes and hits Bianca with a sliding clothesline for a 1 count. Bayley takes Bianca down with an arm breaker which causes Bianca to retreat to the corner where Bayley grabs her ponytail and starts playing around with it and this pisses Bianca off as she drops Bianca with a forearm.
Bianca fires away with clubbing strikes to the point where Bayley is rolling out to the apron to catch a breather and when Bianca reaches out to grab her she kicks Bianca in the bad shoulder. Bianca hits Bayley with a running dropkick and kips up and then she hits a standing moonsault onto the back of Bayley which gets a 2 count when Bayley gets her foot on the ropes. Bayley rolls out to the floor and that sends us to a commercial.
We come back to Bayley and Bianca doing a leapfrog and dropdown spot and Bianca catches Bayley off a leapfrog attempt and throws her into the corner and when she bounces out she hits her with a reverse powerbomb which gets a 2 count. Bayley stumbles over to the corner and then Bianca repeatedly drives her shoulder into the midsection of Bayley. Bianca charges toward Bayley in the corner but gets met with knees to the chest and then Bayley takes her down with a tornado arm breaker for a 2 count. Bayley goes for the Rose Plant, but Bianca counters into a schoolgirl but Bayley rolls through and catches Bianca with a knee to the head for another 2 count.
Bayley steps on Bianca’s shoulder a couple of times and then goes up top and hits the diving elbow on the injured arm which gets her yet another 2 count on the EST. Both women are slow to get their wits about them and as they are Bianca catches Bayley in a crucifix pin for another near fall and then Bayley catches her in a La Magistral for a 2 count. Bayley catches Bianca with a jackknife pin but Bianca bridges out and then we get both women trying to get a backslide pin, but it finally gets broken and Bianca nails her with a forearm.
Bianca lifts Bayley for the double chicken wing but is unable to hold her up as the injured shoulder gives out. Bayley looks to send Bianca into the corner, but Bianca blocks it by hitting a one-armed handspring and staggers over to the corner, but when Bayley charges in she is sent face-first into the top turnbuckle and then she hits Bayley with the KOD for the win.
Winner: Bianca Belair via Pinfall Match Rating: **½
After the match, we get an interview with Bianca at the top of the ramp where she says that Bayley was the perfect opponent to prove herself against and she is happy to beat Bayley as it’s the biggest win of her career and the only thing that could top it is to win the Royal Rumble and go to WrestleMania.
This was a fine match, but not quite on the same level as some of their other matches. I thought they did a good job of having Bayley work over the hurt shoulder and Bianca did a good job of selling the arm. I watched the Bianca Belair Chronicle documentary just like Bayley did and while I had been back and forth when it came to how big of a fan I was of Bianca I have to say that after watching this documentary I am fully on the Bianca train as it made her come off way more likable and relatable and I am fully behind her winning the Rumble and going on to face Sasha at WrestleMania.
We cut to the back where we can see but not hear Cesaro talking to AJ Styles and Omos.
King Corbin makes his way down to the ring and is blindsided by Dominik Mysterio and is beat down at ringside and this sends us to a commercial break.
We come back and go straight to our next match of the night.
Match #2: King Corbin vs Dominik Mysterio
Rey Mysterio is on commentary for this match.
Corbin picks up Dominik and drives him into the corner and delivers shoulders into the midsection, but then Dominik fires back with punches until Corbin shoves him back into the corner and charges in, but Dominik moves out of the way and delivers a flurry of strikes before being grabbed and thrown back into the corner but when Corbin charges in this time, Dominik slides out of the way. Corbin chases Dominik around the ring and when he gets back into the ring Dominick catches him with a kick and then hits him with a springboard knee drop to the back of Corbin’s head which sends Corbin falling back out to the floor and then Dominik dives out onto Corbin with a plancha.
Corbin jaws with Rey at ringside before sliding into the ring where he is caught with a few body punches and then Dominik tries for a wheelbarrow move, but Corbin catches him and hits him with a couple of back suplexes. Corbin continues to stare down Rey at ringside while punishing Dominik with some measured punches. Corbin charges toward Dominik and hits him with a clothesline in the corner which causes Dominik to stagger over into another corner and this time when Corbin charges in Dominik is able to move out of the way and send Corbin shoulder-first into the ring post.
Dominik goes up to the middle rope and takes Corbin down with a missile dropkick and then hits him with a senton atomico for a 1 count. Corbin tries to make a comeback as he sends Dominik into the ropes but he ducks his head too early and gets kicked, Dominik hits Corbin with a bodyscissors which sends him into the ropes where Dominik goes for the 619 but, Corbin catches him by the legs. Corbin tries to slam him to the mat, but Dominik lands on his feet and runs off the ropes where he tries for a hurricanrana but Corbin powers him up and looks to powerbomb Dominik into the corner, but Dominik reverses into a hurricanrana sending Corbin face-first into the turnbuckle.
Dominik charges in but Corbin backdrops him and this ends with a scary bump that could’ve been much worse as Dominik almost landed on his head. Corbin sends Dominik into the ropes and looks to hit the Deep Six, but Dominik turns it into a tilt-a-whirl DDT for a very close 2 count. Corbin rolls out to the apron and Dominik looks to hit him with a springboard dropkick, but Corbin dodges, and then he grabs Dominik by the head and lifts him into the air where he drops him gut first across the top rope. Corbin then hits the End of Days to pick up the win.
Winner: King Corbin via Pinfall Match Rating: **¼
After the match, Rey goes to get in the ring but Corbin grabs him and tries to lawn dart him into the ring-post, but Rey slides out the back and shoves Corbin into the ring post and then dives off the apron with a seated senton onto Corbin.
Outside of the scary botch, I thought this was a much better match than we got last week even though they have yet to give me a reason as to why I should care about this feud between Corbin and the Mysterios.
We go to the back where Big E is talking to Sonya Deville and he wants to know what his Royal Rumble number is and even tries to bribe her with a dollar and an Arby’s coupon, but she doesn’t look interested. The Miz and John Morrison walk up and want to know where Adam Pearce is and she tells him that he is taking the week off after what happened last week. Big E wants to know why they are on SmackDown and they talk about how it’s Rumble weekend and how things could get interesting since he is the Money in the Bank holder. Morrison then talks about the whole Gamestop stock market thing that has been happening all week and how he is going to make big money. Sonya walks off and Big E is fixing to walk off as well but Miz and Morrison start mocking him and after Big E comes back at them we get Morrison and Miz attacking Big E and all three men brawl until they are broken up.
We go to another commercial break.
We come back and are informed that on WWE Backstage on Saturday Night there will be a match between Natalya and Tamina where the winner gets the #30 spot in the women’s Royal Rumble match.
We get a recap video of the Sasha Banks vs Reginald match last week.
Sasha is walking backstage looking muy caliente when Kalisto walks up and gives her a hug and flirts a bit with her before walking off. Sasha then runs into Reginald who has a bottle of wine from Carmella. Reginald says that Carmella wanted her to have this to pair with her loss at Royal Rumble. Sasha then starts to flirt with Reginald and tells him that there is something about him that she likes, it could be his knowledge of wines or that he speaks French. Sasha asks if Reginald freelances and he says perhaps he could and then asks him what is the best wine to drink with a broken jaw, Sasha gives him the bottle back and tells him it looks like he could use a drink and then walks off. A smile comes across the face of Reginald as the segment comes to an end.
I absolutely love the interactions between Sasha and Reginald and this one was no different as the sexual tension between these two characters can be cut with a knife. It was a bit odd that we have a match between Sasha and Carmella happening at the Rumble but this was all of the hype we got for it as it was weird not to have Carmella involved in some way on the show. I hope this match between Sasha and Carmella delivers like their match at TLC did.
We get a long recap of everything that has happened between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns over the last month and then we see Reigns and KO getting mic’d up for their final war of words which is coming up next after the break.
We come back and Shinsuke Nakamura is walking backstage and he runs into Sami Zayn. Zayn talks about how it’s suspicious all of these Raw guys are showing up tonight and then asks how are things between Nakamura and Cesaro, but then thinks twice and decides not to go any further with that. Zayn then talks about his history with Nakamura and how he has done a lot for him and now it’s time for Nakamura to repay the favor as Zayn needs help getting his Intercontinental Championship back and then says Nakamura’s best work was when he was aligned with him.
Nakamura finally gets time to reply and says that while he appreciates what Zayn did for him, but he can go to hell.
It’s now time for the split-screen interview with the WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens.
Michael Cole asks KO what he thinks will be different this time that will allow him to beat Roman Reigns and take his Universal Championship, KO says that he doesn’t think anything will be different because he already beat Reigns but because Reigns had his family involved he was able to walk out with the title and they will probably be in attendance this Sunday as well. KO says that the only difference is that this is a last man standing match and there is nothing that will keep him down as he will get up, again and again, to make sure he is the last man standing.
Heyman speaks up and is not pleased with the fact that KO didn’t speak to the “Tribal Chief” Roman Reigns with respect, KO asks Reigns if he is going to let Heyman rehash the same schtick that he has been saying for years and has been using for every single one of his clients for years.
Reigns finally speaks up as he says that he wants to find out what makes KO tick and sense KO wants to talk about his family then he wants to get to know KO’s family. Reigns asks KO what kind of man his father is and KO says he is a great man and that Reigns better tread carefully with where he is going with this subject. Reigns then asks KO if his father is a smart man and KO says that he is a very smart man and if Reigns is a smart man he will think carefully with what he says next. Reigns assures KO that he isn’t trying to piss him off as he just wants to understand why KO doesn’t see his own limitations.
Reigns says that KO isn’t ready or prepared to become Universal Champion and calls him a pawn on a chessboard where he is the king and everything revolves around him. Reigns says that KO doesn’t have a chance at Royal Rumble, but it isn’t KO’s fault and he doesn’t blame him, however, he does blame his family because KO is a fool if he thinks he has a chance and if KO is a fool then his father is a fool and if his father is a fool then his grandfather is a fool.
It is clear that KO is starting to get heated but says he realizes what Reigns is trying to do as he gets that Reigns saw his video last week talking about his grandfathers. KO says those men were very important to him and that’s why he has their initials tattooed on his knuckles and then tells Reigns for a third time to watch what he says because this Sunday they won’t be in separate rooms they are going to be in the same ring.
Reigns tells Heyman that KO still doesn’t understand, but maybe one day when KO sees his grandfathers once again they will make KO understand when they tell him he is a disgrace and they will ask him why he didn’t acknowledge Reigns as their Tribal Chief. KO throws his water bottle down and is really heated as he tells Reigns the only thing his father or grandfathers would ever want him to acknowledge Reigns as is a delusional jackass that surrounds himself with yes men who tell him how great he is. KO says Reigns comes out every week and puts on a community theater performance of a mafia boss to convince people he is a tough guy that has his shit together, but in reality, Reigns is an insecure bully.
KO has gotten out of his chair and is irate, KO says that every time he looks in the mirror he sees exactly who he is which is the man that his father, grandfathers, kids, mother, grandmother, and his entire family would be proud of. KO says that when he looks in the mirror after Royal Rumble he will see the same Kevin Owens except for this time he will be Universal Champion because he will be the last man standing, but before he finishes that last sentence Reigns switches off his side of the feed because he is tired of hearing KO talk.
This was a really great final sell for their match at Royal Rumble as Reigns has finally touched a nerve in KO and he knows that with the mood KO is in he is going to be so heated that he isn’t going to be fully focused and is going to make mistake and that is exactly why he kept pushing KO on a personal level. I loved the rage that KO showed at the end and I can’t wait to see him and Reigns beat the hell out of each other at Rumble.
We get the entrances for our main event match and as AJ Styles makes his way to the ring he sends Omos to the back as he is going alone for this match.
We come back and the announcers hype up the Royal Rumble card and then we get a lengthy video package to hype the Drew McIntyre vs Goldberg match.
We then go to the ring for our main event.
Match #3: AJ Styles vs Daniel Bryan
Bryan grabs a side headlock and takes Styles over to the mat only for Styles to immediately headscissor out of it and both men get back to their feet. We get another lockup and this time Styles grabs the headlock and takes Bryan over and then we get an extended closeup of Cesaro who is on commentary for this match. We go back to the ring where Bryan and Styles are locked in a knuckle lock and Bryan is bridging up and then both men get a monkey flip spot while still in the knuckle lock and Bryan transitions into an armbar, but Styles quickly gets to the ropes.
Bryan hits Styles with an armbreaker and then sends him into the corner, but when he charges in Styles catches him with a boot but Bryan comes back as he takes Styles down with a drop toe hold and then hits a running kick to the arm. Bryan grounds Styles and works over the arm until Styles gets back to his feet and backs Bryan into the corner and then grabs a side headlock but is sent into the ropes where he takes Bryan down with a shoulder block. We get a leapfrog and dropdown spot that leads to Bryan taking Styles down with a big roundhouse kick to the chest.
Bryan looks to go back to the arm but Styles goes for the eyes and pushes Bryan into the corner where Bryan ducks a punch and hits Styles with a chop. Styles reverses a whip into the ropes and takes Bryan down with a kitchen sink. Bryan blocks a suplex attempt by Styles and hits him with a suplex of his own. Bryan looks confident as he starts to go up top, but Sami Zayn makes his presence known which causes Bryan to be slow to climb up the turnbuckles and this allows Styles to get back to his feet and knock Bryan to the floor. Styles sends Bryan into the steps and that sends us to a commercial break.
We come back and Styles is stomping a mudhole into Bryan and then he looks for a suplex but Bryan blocks it with a knee to the head and then he dodges out of the way when Styles goes to splash him in the corner, Styles reverses a whip into the corner but Bryan backflips off the top and hits Styles with a flying clothesline. Styles staggers back into the corner and Bryan hits him with a running dropkick and then follows up with some kicks in the corner. Bryan sits Styles up on the top and hits him with a hurricanrana which gets him a 2 count.
We see Zayn harassing the announcers as he holds up his conspiracy signs. Bryan goes back to the arm of Styles as he hits him with another armbreaker and goes for a big kick, but Styles catches the leg and hits Bryan with a dragon screw in order to create some distance and catch a breather. Styles wraps Bryan’s leg up in the rope while he is in the corner and then hits him with an enziguri and then kicks the leg of Bryan. Styles locks Bryan in the Calf Crusher but Bryan crawls to the ropes forcing the break. Bryan gets back to his feet in the corner and Styles grabs the leg but Bryan hits him with an enziguri and Styles crumbles to the mat. Styles gets back to his feet and charges at Bryan in the corner but gets backdropped to the apron where he tries for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Bryan catches the arm and hits Styles with the Danielson special which he transitions into the Yes Lock, but Styles forces the break when he gets his foot on the rope.
Big E comes out to the ring and takes Zayn down with a clothesline and then throws him across the announce table which draws the ire of Cesaro who gets in the face of Big E and shoves him and then boots him in the face. It looks like we are going to get a double team on Big E by Zayn and Cesaro, but Bryan dives out of the ring with a tope suicida taking them both down. Styles throws Bryan back into the ring and Bryan starts to fire away with punches, but Zayn runs in and attacks Bryan to cause a DQ.
Winner: Daniel Bryan via DQ Match Rating: ***
After the match, Shinsuke Nakamura makes his way out to the ring and takes down Zayn and Styles. Nakamura and Styles stare each other down but before anything happens Zayn shoves Nakamura into Cesaro and all 6 men start brawling until the babyfaces clear the ring and we go to a commercial break.
We come back from break and now have a six man tag match.
Match #4: Daniel Bryan, Big E, & Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, & Cesaro
We go into the match already in progress where Nakamura misses a sliding knee and then Cesaro hits a running uppercut on Nakamura and then he sends Nakamura into the corner where he misses a strike in the corner and then gets hit with a kick from Nakamura. Nakamura charges in and catches the foot of Cesaro and spins him around so he can hit Cesaro with the sliding German suplex. Nakamura drags Cesaro over to the corner and makes a tag to Big E who gets in some shots to the body before Cesaro comes back with some strikes of his own and then he tags in Zayn.
Zayn hits Big E with some jabs and then beats him down with clubbing blows, we get a drop-down and leapfrog spot that ends with Big E getting dropped with a back elbow for a 2 count. We get some quick tags by the babyfaces as they work over Zayn and then Big E and Bryan hits Zayn with a double hip toss. Big E wrenches on the arm of Zayn and then Bryan comes off with an ax handle onto the arm. Bryan sends Zayn into the ropes but ducks his head and gets kicked and then is taken down with a chop block. Zayn makes a tag to Styles who wraps Bryan’s leg around the ring post a couple of times and that sends us to a commercial break.
We come back to Cesaro swinging Bryan around by the injured leg and then locks in a half crab, but when Bryan starts inching toward the rope Cesaro breaks the hold and tags Styles back in. Styles goes to work on the leg and then tags in Zayn who lays in punches on Bryan. Zayn sits Bryan up on the top and looks to hit a superplex but Bryan headbutts him back down to the mat and then hits him with a missile dropkick. We get a hot tag on both sides and Big E hits Cesaro with an overhead belly to belly suplex and then catches Styles out of the air and hits him with an overhead belly to belly suplex as well and finishes up the trifecta by hitting Cesaro with the side belly to belly suplex.
Cesaro gets back to his feet and ducks a clothesline from Big E and then hits Big E with a springboard twisting uppercut for a 2 count. Cesaro sets Big E up for the Neutralizer, but it gets countered by a backdrop from Big E but Cesaro lands on his feet and charges toward Big E in the corner but ends up getting hit with the uranage for a 2 count. Big E then starts to set up for the Big Ending, but The Miz and John Morrison come out and attack Nakamura and then slide in the ring and attack Big E which is enough for the referee to call for the bell.
Winners: Big E, Daniel Bryan, & Shinsuke Nakamura via DQ Match Rating: **¼
The Miz and John Morrison continue to attack Big E until Otis runs down (without coach Gable) for the save as he throws both men around the ring and then hits them with the Caterpillar elbow drop and that sends us to another commercial break.
We come back and have another match ready to go.
Match #5: Daniel Bryan, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus & Otis vs AJ Styles, Sami Zayn, Cesaro, The Miz, & John Morrison
Bryan and The Miz trade punches in the middle of the ring and Bryan takes Miz down and we get some brawling on the mat until Miz grabs the injured leg of Bryan and slams it into the mat and then puts the boots to it before throwing Bryan out to the floor. The Miz picks Bryan up and hits him with a shinbreaker on the announce table and boots Bryan in the face while he is down. The Miz throws Bryan back into the ring and locks him in a figure-four, but Bryan is able to grab Miz and starts punching him to get out of the hold. Miz reaches out his arm and tags in Sami Zayn who hits Bryan with a Blue Thunder Driver for a 2 count.
Zayn makes a tag to Cesaro who hits Bryan with a delayed suplex for another 2 count. We get a tag to Morrison who hit Bryan with some mounted forearms and then tags The Miz back in who kicks Bryan in the gut and then tags in Styles. Styles and Miz hit Bryan with a wishbone and then Styles sends Bryan into the ropes where both men crash into each other as they both go for a crossbody. The heels run over and clear the apron of the babyfaces and start attacking them which allows Styles to be free to make a tag to Zayn.
Sheamus then runs down to the ring and gets on the apron as I guess he decided to join in on the fun mid-match, Bryan makes the hot tag to Sheamus who comes in a house of fire as he hits Zayn with clotheslines and running knee. Sheamus takes Miz out with a knee strike and a clothesline to the outside and then he catches Morrison on the apron and hits him with the 10 beats of the Bodhran and this allows Zayn to try and score a pinfall as he rolls Sheamus up in a schoolboy for a 2 count. Sheamus hits Zayn with the Irish Curse and then locks in a cloverleaf but it gets broken up by Morrison. We then get a succession line of everyone hitting a signature or finisher until Sheamus hits Zayn with the Brogue Kick to pick up the win.
Winners: Daniel Bryan, Big E, Shinsuke Nakamura, Sheamus, & Otis via Pinfall Match Rating: *½
After the match, the heels beat down Sheamus until Braun Strowman makes his return and lays out Cesaro, Styles, and Zayn with chokeslams and powerslams as Miz and Morrison look on from the top of the ramp and that is how SmackDown comes to an end.
Before I go any further I just want to say that the singles match between Bryan and Styles was really good and it’s a shame that it had to end abruptly just so we could get the cluster hat was the rest of this show, now that I have that said and done get ready for a ran in 3.2.1.
WHAT THE FUCK DID I JUST WATCH, WHY DID WE NEED THIS GIANT CLUSTERFUCK!!!!! Sorry to be so blatant but what the hell did I watch for the last 30+ minutes of this show and why did anyone think we needed all of this on the final show before one of the big four PPVs. I get that they want to hype up the Rumble match, but that doesn’t always have to consist of having half the locker room emptying out especially when some of those guys are from the other show. How is it that two matches ended because of a DQ, but yet when Sheamus runs down and teams with the babyfaces in the middle of a match it is perfectly fine, that makes no sense at all. I also don’t get the point of having Strowman show up at the end of the show because that was a surprise you could’ve saved for the Rumble itself as his return is not going to draw any more views either way unlike the return of Edge. On top of all of that, there is the fact that all of these Raw guys were showing up on SmackDown which is so damn frustrating because why would they expect us to care about the brand split when they don’t even care about it. This was one of the worst 30 minutes I have watched of SmackDown and had it not been for the rest of the show which was really good this would be one of the worst episodes of SmackDown I have seen.
I enjoyed the first half of this show as I thought both the Bianca vs Bayley match and the Corbin vs Dominik matches were good, but the biggest highlight of this show that did the most to hype the Rumble was the interview segment involving Reigns and KO as they really did a great job of hyping their match at Rumble. I would just avoid the last 30 minutes of this show like the plague because it will do nothing but piss you off as there are so many things wrong with it.
That’s all for me this week I hope everyone enjoys the Royal Rumble just like I will and I will be back next week for all of the fallout on the blue brand.