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WWE Smackdown 1/21: Results and Match Ratings

The January 22nd edition of WWE Smackdown moved forward as Roman Reigns was left stunned last week. Reigns strong-armed Adam Pearce into a contract signing, only to have Kevin Owens named as his replacement. On this week’s Friday Night Smackdown, Reigns responds, as well as Apollo Crews challenging Big E for the Intercontinental Title. Bianca Blair also takes part in Bayler’s Ultimate Obstacle Course Challenge.

WWE Smackdown: Roman Responds

After being made to look like a fool last week on WWE Friday Night Smackdown, Roman Reigns made his way to the ring. With Paul Heyman by his side, Reigns was noticeably upset about the match change. Reigns went on to hint that he might have a “bad back” and not being able to compete at the Royal Rumble. WWE official Adam Pearce came out to reason with Reigns but was met with a resistant Universal Champion. Pearce was intimidated by Reigns but pushed back against Heyman. Reigns called on Heyman to stand up for himself, leading to the former ECW owner getting into the face of Pearce and challenged him to a match later in the night.

WWE: Women’s Action

WWE Women’s Tag Team Title Match

Charlotte & Asuka defeated The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan) w/ Billie Kay
Prior to the match, Sami Zayn came down to ringside and handcuffed himself to the barricade. Zayn argued that he was cheated out of his match last week against Big E and wanted to protest. After both teams made their entrance, the action was quickly underway. The Riott Squad took early control and maintained their advantage on Charlotte through the early commercial break. After a double team attempt from the Riott Squad, Charlotte forced a comeback and made the tag to Asuka. The Riott Squad then regained the momentum until a miscue from Billie Kay on the outside resulted in Charlotte getting the pin on Riott for the win. **

Match Thoughts: A fairly solid match that furthers the angle of dissension in the Riot Squad. Charlotte and Asuka also look strong as they move towards the PPV.

WWE: Royal Rumble preview

Cesaro defeated Dolph Ziggler
Daniel Bryan comes to the ring in street clothes to speak on entering the Royal Rumble, but Cesaro quickly crashes the party. Cesaro attempted to challenge Bryan, but due to the former WWE Champion not dressed to wrestle, an open challenge was made. Dolph Ziggler’s music hits, leading to a match between the two.

After the commercial break, Daniel Bryan has joined the broadcast booth as Ziggler gets the early advantage on the Swiss Superman. Cesaro is able to put on the Big Swing followed by a multiple-pin sequence from both men. The fast-paced action continued until Ziggler hit the Zigzag for a two count. After a sleeper by Ziggler, Cesaro used his strength to power out and reverse a hurricanrana into a neutralizer to pick up the victory. **1/2

Match Thoughts: It’s a shame they were only given a few minutes. Both men can work and in the time given they put a fun match never slowed down.

WWE Smackdown: Intergender Challenge

Sasha Banks vs Reginald
In the first intergender match in the WWE in over 3 years, SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Bank threw down with Carmella’s sommelier, Reginald. Reginald tried to bribe Sasha to start with a flower, but it didn’t go well. Sasha and Reginald then took part in some chain wrestling, before Carmela’s sommelier showed off his athletic talent. Reginald used various flips as counters to Bank’s offense before she was able to hit a bulldog. After several exchanges, the action went outside with Banks getting the best of Reginald. The match then moved back in the ring with Banks picking up the submission win with a crossface. *

Match Thoughts: Not sure what to even think of this one. It seemed like an attempt at a Lucha match that went a half step too slow with a few botches through in. Another glaring issue is that despite the short match time, every spot seemed repetitive.

Intercontinental Title Match

Big E defeated Apollo Crews
Quickly the match got started as Big E hit a huge overhead belly-to-belly suplex. After a splash to the outside. Big E threw Crews back into the ring. Apollo gained the advantage on the champion, including hitting a standing moonsault. The two then went back to the outside of the ring, leading to another moonsault by Crews, this time from the apron to the floor. Big E attempted a superplex, but the challenger fought it off and hit a dropkick from the second rope. The match then ended after Sami Zayn ran into to attack both men. **

Match Thoughts: Much like the Cesaro/Ziggler match, Big E and Crews went all out but it was just too short to be much more than a preview of what could have been. Looks like we could get a triple threat at the Royal Rumble, and I’m down for that.

Bayler’s Ultimate Obstacle Course Challenge

Baley set up an obstacle course that both Bayley and Bianca Blair took part in. Flipping a large tire, jumping over a wooden board, and performing a fireman’s carry across one side of the ring are some of the examples. Even making a basketball layup was added.

After Baley completed her course in 1:12, despite taking a few short cuts, it was Bianca’s turn. Baley added multiple obstacles for Bianca which she handled well, including a fireman’s carry on Otis. Blair ended the course by dribbling past Bayley and dunking the basketball. An upset Baley throws the basketball at Blair and finishes her off with a beat down outside the ring.

WWE Smackdown: Undercard

King Corbin defeated Dominque Mysterio
Dominque Mysterio was able to start off on the right foot with a flurry of offense. Corbin, however, took little time to use his strength to overpower the younger Mysterio and put him away with the End of Days. *

Match Thoughts: Not much to say about this one. A quick squash to move along the Mysterio-Corbin feud.

WWE: Main Event

Adam Pearce vs Paul Heyman

With Adam Pearce waiting in the ring, Paul Heyman walked down to ringside but appeared to slip. Heyman claimed he was hurt and needed a replacement.

Roman Reigns vs Adam Pearce

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns’ music hit as he walked to the ring and hit the superman punch on Pearce. Pearce attempted to make a comeback but Reigns was having nothing of it. Reigns attacked Pearce on the outside and all the way up the ramp to the entranceway. Kevin Owens then rushed out to Reigns as both men found their way back into the ring. Ownes was able to hit a stunner before tossing the champion back outside as a group of referees came to break up the brawl. The show came to close after Owens connected with a pop-up powerbomb on Reigns through a table.


Robby Sobel

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