SmackDown recap and reactions: Time to Rumble



Sami Zayn wasn’t supposed to be at Friday Night SmackDown this week in Laredo, Texas, but he showed up anyway. As The Usos were arriving to the arena, Zayn stopped Jey to give him word, in person, just how much it meant to him that he stood up for him during his trial at RAW XXX this past Monday night.

Jey sent him off, but of course it wasn’t the last we heard from him.

In fact, Jey gave him a call later in the show, asking him to come back around again after The Usos were booted out of the building. The result of that call, of course, was Zayn interrupting the main event in their place, where Kevin Owens was battling it out with Solo Sikoa. KO was on the verge of winning the match when Zayn showed up to drag Solo out of the ring.

He ate a superkick for his troubles, as Owens avoided it and Solo laid him out. After, KO used a chair to take Sikoa out completely. But when he turned to Zayn, who was still down from the superkick, Owens left him there, tossing the chair to him before walking off while pledging to take the title from Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble.

“I’ll see you tomorrow night, Sami,” Owens stopped to say before disappearing to the back.

“Where does Sami Zayn stand?!?” asked Michael Cole just after.

There are only so many times they can yo-yo this thing but there was some clear story building here and plenty of intrigue heading into the Rumble. Almost as interesting as what happens with Zayn is what it means for Jey.

Eyes open.

LA Knight came in to Bray Wyatt’s old “Live in Fear” theme and I’ll be damned if it didn’t make me really miss that entire era of Wyatt. There was just something about that whole aesthetic that just worked.

Back when the slick tongue could still hypnotize you.

Knight cut a hell of a go home promo, saying he stood no chance on RAW XXX because it was a 2-on-1 with Undertaker there too but when the lights go out at Royal Rumble he’s taking Wyatt’s “dumpy ass” down.

That’s a pretty damn good line.

Of course, Wyatt responded with a few words, but he wasn’t all that cryptic this time. It was finally more about just selling the match. “Tomorrow night, when the lights go out, you’ll see.”

Then, to add to the intrigue, Uncle Howdy was shown out in the audience, looking over the scene, waving his hand like a puppet master pulling the strings.

I’m still not the craziest about this story but I’ll be damned if they didn’t hook me just a bit at least in terms of the wanting to see what happens in the match.

One thing I miss about the pre-brand split era was the fact that you could count on seeing the biggest stars on any given WWE show. We don’t ever really get that anymore.

Until it’s time for Royal Rumble.

Indeed, with everyone in town for the big event, that meant we got appearances from the likes of United States Champion Austin Theory, who was interrupted by NXT Tag Team Champions The New Day, only to end up verbally sparring with The Miz, only to see Bobby Lashley hit the scene to run through everyone, only for Brock Lesnar to run in through the crowd and lay Lashley out with an F-5.

If there’s one thing pro wrestling is great for, it’s chaotic scenes like this. It doesn’t always have to mean the most — sometimes it can just be great fun.

Here, it was both. Not only did we get some good mayhem, we also got Lesnar declaring his intention to enter the Royal Rumble match, where he’ll inevitably run into Lashley once again. It’s starting to feel like this is feud could go all the way to WrestleMania.

Do we want that?

Let’s see how the Rumble plays out.

All the rest

  • Rey Mysterio scored a win over Karrion Kross in the opener of this show. After building up to this by making like Kross was coming to put Rey out to pasture, having Mysterio win like this sure made Kross look worse but like Rey has a lot left in the tank. We’ll see what that means going forward, but he’s definitely got at least one big WrestleMania program left in him.
  • Lacey Evans finally made her return and defeated Jazmin Allure in a squash match with the Woman’s Right and then the Cobra Clutch. That’s the submission they’re now pushing her with. She got some promo time after and was heeling on the crowd, who seemed to really enjoy booing her. There’s definitely still some potential here because she comes across as unlikeable as you’d hope.
  • They found a way to get Drew McIntyre & Sheamus out of the SmackDown Tag Title Contender’s Tournament, having them willingly forfeit their spot so they could run down The Viking Raiders for attacking them from behind. Ricochet & Braun Strowman took their place and immediately booked their ticket to the Final, later joined by Imperium. The way they pulled the bait and switch here makes me far less interested in the end result, even if I understand why they did it.
  • We got video footage of Sonya Deville crashing an interview with Charlotte Flair and that led to the SmackDown women’s champion telling Adam Pearce she wants to settle this once and for all next week, with the title on the line. So it’s official. There isn’t much to say about it, but the match should be solid.

Yet another good show from the blue brand.

Your thoughts?

You must be logged in to post a comment Login