SmackDown Report for 1/24/20

SmackDown on Fox Episode #17
SmackDown Episode # 1,066
Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center

We open the show and immediately go into our first match of the night which is a shocker.

Match #1: The Usos & Roman Reigns vs King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler, & Robert  Roode
Dolph Ziggler and Jey Uso start the match with a lock up and Ziggler pushes Jey into the corner but doesn’t break cleanly as he delivers a back elbow to Jey. Jey gets a headlock on Ziggler but gets sent to the ropes where he comes back with a shoulder block and a chop before tagging in Jimmy. The Usos hit a double back elbow and a double elbow drop on Ziggler. Ziggler rolls over and makes the tag to Roode, Jimmy and Roode lockup and Jimmy grabs an arm, but Roode grabs Jimmy’s hair and forces him back into the corner where he stomps a mudhole in him. Jimmy fights back with some chops and then sends Roode into the corner but Roode backdrops him and when he does Jimmy tries to land on the apron but he slips and falls to the floor selling his leg, Ziggler runs over and slams Jimmy’s head and back into the ring post and steel steps. Jimmy is out of it as Jey and Reigns check on him and the trainers come out to check on him. The trainers help Jimmy walk to the back as we go to commercial. 

We come back to Reigns and Ziggler in the ring and Reigns has Ziggler backed up against the ropes and then delivers a right hand before tagging in Jey. Jey takes Ziggler down and hits him with a headbutt. Ziggler hits a back elbow out of nowhere and then tags in Corbin. Jey blocks a right hand from Corbin and delivers some of his own before Corbin reverses an Irish whip only for Jey to stop before hitting the corner and this leads to Corbin doing the slide-out and slide back in clothesline spot, but Jey ducks the clothesline and connects with a back elbow. Jey goes up top and is looking to dive on Corbin but sees Corbin coming his way so he jumps off and rolls through only to walk into a Deep Six that gets a 2 count. Corbin throws Jey to the outside and then starts mouthing off to Reigns. Corbin tags in Roode who drives Jey into the ring apron before throwing him back into the ring where he stomps on Jey’s hand and then hits a neckbreaker that gets a 2 count. Roode tags in Ziggler who hits a jumping elbow that gets him a 2 count. Corbin then gets tagged in and drives elbows into the shoulder and neck region of Jey. Roode tags in and he whips Jey into the heel corner, but Jey uses the momentum to knock Corbin off the apron. Jey hits Roode with an enziguri and just when it looks like he is going to make the tag Corbin pulls Reigns off the apron and then sends him over the barricade into the crowd as we go to another commercial. 

We come back to Corbin throwing Jey back into the ring and then he taunts the crowd. Jey is able to reverse Corbin’s attempt to send him shoulder-first into the ring post and now both men are down. Jey crawls over and despite Corbin having a hold of one of his legs Jey finally makes the tag to Reigns and immediately Corbin tags out to Ziggler. Reigns hits clotheslines and uppercuts to Ziggler followed by the repeated corner clotheslines and a running big boot. Reigns set up for the Superman Punch but Roode causes a distraction which allows Corbin to grab Reigns by his hair from behind and this leads to Ziggler hitting Reigns with the superkick for a 2 count. Ziggler sends Reigns to the outside and then distracts the referee which allows Roode and Corbin to put the boots to Reigns. Ziggler goes out and crawls over the ring and picks him up while talking trash the entire time and throws him back into the ring. The heels continue to make tags and work Reigns over. 

Roode tags in and goes for the Glorious DDT but Reigns counters and hits the one-armed sitout powerbomb. Jey is finally back up on the apron and it looks like Reigns will make the tag, but Ziggler pulls Jey off the apron and sends him into the barricade and over the announce table. Roode tags in Corbin who works Reigns over in the corner and then tags in Ziggler. Ziggler hits a neckbreaker and then goes for a pin which gets a 2 count. Ziggler goes for the superkick but Reigns counters it with a Superman Punch. 

Jimmy Uso finally comes back out limping down the ramp and Reigns is able to make the tag to him and on the other side Ziggler tags in Roode. Jimmy hits a Samoan drop on Roode and then knocks Corbin off the apron and then he hits Corbin with a tope suicida. Jimmy goes up top and hits a crossbody on Roode for a 2 count when Corbin breaks up the pin. Corbin tries for the End of Days, but Jimmy flips through it and then Reigns hits Corbin with the Superman Punch. Reigns goes after Corbin and they fight through the crowd and to the back. Back in the ring Jimmy goes up to the top and Ziggler tries to grab his foot but Jimmy kicks him away and then Jey takes him out on the outside. Roode runs up and tries to throw Jimmy off the top, but Jimmy knocks him off and then hits the Uso Splash to get the win for his team.
Winners: Roman Reigns & The Usos via Pinfall   Match Rating: ***

Wow, this was a long match to open the show and while it was a good match it probably didn’t need to be that long, especially since there was so much to cover on this Royal Rumble go-home episode. I liked the booking of having Jimmy Uso out most of the match as it was something different and also it made it easier to write the recap for the match. They did a better job of building up the Reigns vs Corbin match during this match than they did the Women’s Royal Rumble on the entire show and nobody gives two shits about this Reigns vs Corbin match. 

We get a recap video of what happened last week with Kane, The Fiend, & Daniel Bryan as we go to our first commercial break. 

As we come back from commercial we see a recap of the Lacey Evans vs Bayley match last week. 

Michael Cole is at the top of the ramp to interview Lacey Evans. Lacey talks about how she was tired of hearing Bayley and Sasha disrespect the SmackDown women’s division and because of her childhood she learned early on to fight back against bullies. She then talks about losing her father after he lost his battle with depression and addiction and while she is saying this she is getting choked up. Lacey then talks about how she wants to be a champion that inspires others to accomplish whatever goals they have. Cole asks Lacey about her daughter and what happened when she was confronted by Sasha Banks, Lacey says that she was brave at that moment but when they got backstage her daughter was in tears and was asking her a bunch of questions and Lacey had to explain to her that this was her job and what she has to do. Out of nowhere, Bayley attacks Lacey until they are broken up and Bayley is yelling at Lacey and asks Lacey where her daughter is at now. 

Kayla Braxton interviews Carmella & Dana Brooke about the Royal Rumble this Sunday and each tells why they are going to win the match and then just like last week the interview is interrupted as Lacey and Bayley are still brawling with each other. Lacey is determined to get to Bayley as she takes her shoe off and beats her with it as Carmella and Dana help pull Lacey off of Bayley. 

Match #2: Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross vs Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville)
We barely get into the match when Bayley runs out with Lacey chasing after her and immediately the referee calls for the bell as all six women brawl around the ring until they are broken up.
Winners: No Contest  Match Rating: DUD

I really liked the substance of Lacey’s promo but the delivery was terrible as the crying was some of the worst acting I have ever seen as she cut it on and off like a light switch, but had she done the promo without the crying part it would’ve been really good. I don’t know if they could or would do it but it would be fun to see Lacey’s daughter cause a distraction that leads to Bayley losing her title. I liked all the brawling between Lacey and Bayley over the next two segments, however, I wish they hadn’t ruined the tag match because that was going to be the match where they hype the women’s Royal Rumble but because it didn’t happen the Women’s Rumble barely got any attention on the show other than a brief backstage interview.

Since I am talking about the women I want to mention someone who was in the audience sitting right behind Cole & Graves none other than Kathryn Dunn who was on last year’s season of Big Brother, I thought it was her at first but wasn’t sure but thanks to good ol’ Twitter it was confirmed that it was indeed her. 

As we come back from commercial Elias is in the ring and he sings about the Royal Rumble and then he brings out Braun Strowman to sing with him, but before they can really get started they are interrupted by their opponents for tonight. 

Match #3: Braun Strowman & Elias vs Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura w/ Sami Zayn
We get a lock up and Elias grabs as side headlock and transitions into a hammerlock but Cesaro reverses it and then starts delivering a bunch of strikes. Cesaro tries for a hip toss but Elias counters and hits snake eyes followed by a clothesline. Elias grabs the arm of Cesaro and then goes for a walk on the top rope before coming down with a meteora. Elias grabs Cesaro’s arm and looks to drag him over to make a tag, but Cesaro stops that and pushes Elias into the heel corner, but as he does Elias knocks Nakamura off the apron. Elias comes out of the corner with some forearms but Cesaro once again shoves him into the heel corner and this time Zayn grabs Elias’s leg as a distraction. Elias walks into a clothesline from Cesaro and is then thrown out of the ring. Nakamura lands a big kick to Elias’s head on the outside and then Strowman takes down Nakamura with a running shoulder block which sends Zayn running for his life as we go to commercial. 

As we come back Elias is fighting his way out of a rest hold but Cesaro sends him into the heel corner, but Elias is able to get a boot up at a charging Cesaro. Elias once again fights his way out of the corner and attempts to tag Strowman, but Cesaro sends him right back into the corner but Cesaro gets hit with a mule style kick out of the corner. Elias slowly crawls to his corner but Cesaro grabs the foot only for Elias to kick him off which sends Cesaro back far enough for Nakamura to make a blind tag. Cesaro and Nakamura kick Strowman off the apron. Elias backdrops Cesaro to the floor but walks right into a spinning wheel kick by Nakamura. Nakamura gets in place to hit the Kinshasa and charges in but Elias stops him in his tracks with a jumping knee. 

Elias finally makes the hot tag and Strowman comes in with shoulder blocks for both Nakamura and Cesaro who he knocks off the apron. Strowman hits an avalanche in the corner on Nakamura and then biels him across the ring. Strowman hits another avalanche in the corner and then a clubbing blow to the chest of Nakamura. Strowman goes for a third avalanche, but Nakamura moves this time and then delivers a kick to the back of Strowman’s head and then he follows up with a diving knee off the middle rope. Nakamura tags in Cesaro and they send Strowman shoulder first into the ring post and then hit him with a double Russian leg sweep and then a running kick but all of that still isn’t enough to keep Strowman down as Cesaro only gets a 2 count on a pin attempt. Cesaro hits a running European uppercut to a seated Strowman but still gets a 2 count. Zayn gets on the apron to distract the referee so that Nakamura can grab a chair, but before Nakamura can do anything with the chair Elias sends him face-first into the ring post. Strowman then hits the Powerslam on Cesaro and that is enough to end the match.
Winners: Braun Strowman & Elias via Pinfall   Match Rating: **½ 

This was a good match but just like last week I don’t have anything to really note about it which is kind of a bummer because I remember a few years ago when I would’ve had a lot to say and get excited about when it came to what Strowman was doing, but this feud is just average as nothing it offensively bad about it, but it isn’t setting the world on fire either. 

We get a recap of last week when Bryan made the match between him and The Fiend a strap match.

We go to the back where Big E is slathered in baby oil and has some guy try and lift him because he thinks the more oiled up he is, the harder it will be to eliminate him on Sunday. They talk about Kofi’s match coming up.

Kayla interviews King Corbin who talks about how he is going to beat Reigns on Sunday and then win the Royal Rumble where he will win and go on to become the Universal Championship. 

We get the Royal Rumble by the numbers video package.

Kofi Kingston makes his way to the ring for the next match as we go to commercial. 

As we come back from commercial we get Sheamus talking about his match with Shorty G coming up on Sunday.

As Morrison comes to the ring The Miz cuts a promo saying that he doesn’t understand why Morrison got booed last week in his return match, usually, the fans cheer when people come back after being gone for a few years. Miz then says both he and Morrison will be in the Royal Rumble. 

Match #4: Kofi Kingston w/ Big E vs John Morrison w/ The Miz
The match starts with a lock up and then Morrison pushes Kingston into the corner and then both men shove each other, Kingston blocks a punch and then goes for a jumping spin kick but Morrison rolls under him and then we get cartwheels by both guys as they are matching each other move for move. Morrison sends Kingston into the corner and hits the monkey flip, but Kingston lands on his feet and then Kingston goes for a monkey flip of his own and when he does he sends Morrison face-first into the mat. Kingson sends Morrison into the ropes, but he holds on and then sends Kingston to the outside and tries for a diving corkscrew plancha but Kingston is able to move out of the way sending Morrison crashing to the floor and then Kingston hits a dive of his own to Morrison on the floor that connects. Kingston tries to get Morrison back in the ring, but Miz provides a brief distraction which allows Morrison to shove Kingston face-first into the ring post as we go to commercial.

As we come back Kingston is trying to kick Morrison off of him as he had Kingston in a half crab. Morrison sends Kingston into the corner and charges in but eats a boot from Kingston and then Kingston who is on the apron slides under the legs of Morrison and tries for a pin attempt, but Morrison rolls out of it and lands a knee to the face of Kingston. Morrison goes for the Starship Pain but Kingston is able to get out of the way and now both men are down. Kingston starts to make a comeback as he springboards into the ring with a chop and then lands a series of chops and dropkicks, Kingston goes for his jumping clothesline but Morrison evades it and lands a kick to Kingston’s gut. Morrison sends Kingston into the corner which allows Kingston to run up the ropes and spring off the top with a hurricanrana and follows it up with the mushroom stomp which gets a 2 count. 

Kingston lands a kick to a seated Morrison and then hits the Boom Drop. Kingston goes for the Trouble in Paradise but Morrison is able to counter with his own kick to Kingston’s face which gets JoMo a 2 count. Morrison picks Kingston up and sets him on the top rope and we get a bit of a struggle on the rope before Kingston headbutts Morrison back down to the mat only for Morrison to poke Kingston in the eye. Morrison runs up the second rope and hits Kingston with a Spanish fly but once again he only gets a 2 count. Morrison hits some kicks before Kingston is able to hit the S.O.S. for another 2 count. Morrison tries to get a quick win as he folds Kingston up and uses the ropes for leverage but Big E takes Morrison’s feet off the ropes which breaks the pin. The Miz hits Big E on the outside which leads to Big E chasing him around the ring and then Miz gets up on the apron only to be hit with a Trouble in Paradise from Kingston. Morrison hits Kingston with a forearm to the back and then hits Starship Pain to pick up the win. 
Winner: John Morrison via Pinfall   Match Rating: **¾

This was a really fun match with some really nice counters especially Morrison’s counter of the Trouble in Paradise. I definitely can’t wait to see these two face each other again as they have really good chemistry with each other. I look forward to seeing what kind of crazy elimination save spots we will get from both Kingston and Morrison in the Rumble. 

We cut to the back and see Daniel Bryan walking toward the ring for the contract signing as we go to commercial. 

As we come back from commercial Michael Cole is in the ring and he informs us of the rules of a strap match and then introduces the participants in the match. 

Bryan makes his way to the ring, but when it’s time for Bray to come out he shows up on the tron instead on the set of the Firefly Funhouse. Bryan has a fax machine as he wanted to fax the contract over, but he isn’t having any luck with it, Bryan says he has had enough of Wyatt’s games and wants him to come out and that Wyatt does nothing but run. Wyatt says Bryan never learned his lesson as Bryan betrayed him but Bryan will get his just due. Wyatt says that since Bryan won’t be facing him at the Royal Rumble it’s only fair that The Fiend signs the contract. 

The lights go out and when they come back on The Fiend is in the ring and he locks the Mandible Claw on Bryan and then hits him with Sister Abigail. Bryan takes the strap that was laying on the contract table and repeatedly whips the back of Bryan. The Fiend then sits at the contract table and jabs the pen into his hand making it bleed and slams his hand down on the contract and he has signed it in his own blood. The show closes with Bryan looking at the contract as he slowly gets back to his feet with the crowd chanting Yes! 

I really liked this segment as it did a really good job of hyping up the match and putting over the strap stipulation. I did get a chuckle out of Wyatt with the fax machine and calling customer service. The more I think about it the more I feel that the match on Sunday has a good chance of being the first worst match of the year contender of 2020, hopefully, Bryan is able to make it passable and not a total abomination but he definitely has his work cut out for him. 

I thought this was a decent episode of SmackDown in terms of in-ring action, but it lacked a lot as far as hyping up the Royal Rumble. The fact that they have barely mentioned the Women’s Royal Rumble at all in the last few weeks is really disappointing and they did no favors to that on this show as pretty much all we got was a quick backstage interview with Dana and Carmella and a 3-second match. I did like the main event segment and thought it did a good job of putting over that match on Sunday. 

That’s it for this week I’ll be back next week with all of the fall out from my favorite PPV of the year the Royal Rumble and at that time we will officially be on the road to WrestleMania …with three or four rest stops along the way. 

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