An Overly Detailed WWE Smackdown Review (January 17th, 2019) By An Overly Opinionated Fan

Friday Night Smackdown Review #3 (1/17/2020) by Anthony S. DiSalvatore 

Hello everybody, I’m here once again to give you my overly detailed and slightly opinionated take on last Friday’s episode of Smackdown! On this night, Roman Reigns will meet Robert Roode in a tables match! In his return to the ring, John Morrison will face Big E. After avoiding Lacy Evans last week, Sasha Banks will finally show up to settle the score! I’m most excited to see Morrison in the ring. Let’s get right to it. 

The show opens with a promo from Kane! He’s here to declare entry into the Royal Rumble match. He doesn’t get too far before Bray Wyatt interrupts on the Tron. Bray runs us through some recent history between him and Kane going back to the original Wyatt Family days. Nice bit of continuity there. The lights go black and the Fiend appears, but Kane doesn’t seem the least bit intimidated. Daniel Bryan comes in to hit the Fiend from behind, but I wouldn’t call it a save since Kane was just standing there minding his own business. The Fiend tries to escape through the hatch in the canvas, but Bryan does his best to stop him. He isn’t successful, but he does come back up with some of the Fiend’s dreadlocks. 

Bryan and Kane are catching up backstage when they’re interrupted by the interviewer chick. Kane leaves, and Bryan says he’s had it up to HERE with the Fiend! Every time he has him on the ropes, he uses Teleport and escapes. Bryan knows exactly how to get the upper hand: challenge him to a strap match! Now for those of you who are new, a strap match is when one opponent is tied to the other by their wrists, by way of a leather strap. It’s designed to prevent running away, goofing off, or using Teleport so this seems like a great idea. First match of the night is up next! 

Match #1: Big E (w. Kofi Kingston vs. John Morrison (w. The Miz) 

Big E and Kofi are out first. I think this is Big E’s first singles match in at least a couple of years. I’m convinced he can make it on his own at this point. He can bench press 600 pounds and he has a ton of charisma. But not as much as his opponent! John Morrison is here looking as cool as ever, Miz is here looking dapper as usual. This should be great! 

I’m always impressed when I watch Morrison wrestle. He’s always been super innovative. Early in this match, he pulls off a neck breaker on Big E falling from the apron to the floor. That looked rough. Morrison is squirrelly as usual, but it doesn’t take long before Big E tries to moose handle him. He pulls off his big splash and things are looking dire. Get in there Miz! Morrison kicks out and takes control after a thumb to the eye. He pulls out the Moonlight Drive! Been a while since I’ve seen that move. Kofi shoves Miz into the stairs. Morrison sees it while on the top rope and pulls off the FLIPPITY FLOP! Kofi’s basically dead after that one. The finish comes when Morrison nails the split-legged flippity flop moonsault! This match was better than it had any right to be. Morrison is older now, but he hasn’t aged a day. Nicely done. Almost KILLED Kofi. I don’t know how he recovered. 

Next, we have a flashback to seven weeks ago when Robert Roode was put out of action by Roman Reigns. Fast forward to last week, and Robert Roode is BACK to fight Roman in a tables match. We join Roman backstage with the Usos. The general idea here is they are related, so they’ll always be there to support each other. The Usos are up next against the Revival. 

Match #2: Usos vs. The Revival 

It’s good to see the Usos in the ring again. They’re here to get revenge for Roman Reigns after what Baron Corbin did to him last week. The Revival hasn’t been able to buy a win lately, but they’re here to prove a point this week. Now we’ll see who really runs this division. 

This was a decent match, but it could have been better if they had more time. These two have great chemistry. The storytelling is great even with such a small sample size. A slower-paced team largely based on ground wrestling trying to slow down the faster high-flyers?? Who would have guessed that a wrestling match could be better given a clear babyface/heel dynamic and great chemistry? Disappointing though. Should have gone longer, but they’re moving right along I guess. Usos win this match with the top rope splash. During this match, they announced new rules for the main event table match. If Roman wins, he gets to pick the rules for his match with Baron Corbin at Royal Rumble. If Robert Roode wins, HE gets to pick the rules. This should be interesting. Will Corbin interfere to help Roode get the win?? Probably. 

Immediately following this, the Revival are backstage for a promo. They say nobody cares about them, but before they can even finish that sentence, they’re interrupted by a brawl between Lacy Evans and Bayley. I guess that answers that question. Moving on. 

Sonya is backstage with Mandy Rose and she is FINALLY gonna confront Mandy over this thing with Otis. Why are you being so nice Mandy? Sonya and I are sick of this. How dare you ignore Sonya this way? Sonya wants Mandy to ask Otis to accompany her to ringside. That’s intriguing. Where do we go from here? 

We join Bayley and Sasha in the training room. Sasha plugs her rap album again. No, I will NOT be reviewing that. A mysterious bald man I’ve never seen before comes back to tell Bayley that because Sasha is hurt, Bayley will be taking her place in the match against Lacy Evans. Is this match right now? That doesn’t give Bayley much time to prepare. I think they’re setting her up for failure. Maybe she’s onto something with this new attitude. 

Match #3: Bayley vs. Lacy Evans 

It was made clear by the mysterious bald man that this is NOT a title match, but Lacy Evans can certainly make a case for herself as the top contender if she can win this match. The commentary team keeps hyping her military background. Can’t she just be GI Jane? She can pull that off for sure instead of this nonsense they have her doing now. I’m not even sure she’s from the south. Bayley tries to do the feet on the ropes thing but gets caught in the act. The ref tries to argue with her. What’s with these referees suddenly deciding to be the moral compass? Don’t argue, just stop them from cheating. It’s not your job to solve the heel wrestler’s moral dilemma. 

Not much to say for Lacy here. I know she’s new, so I won’t harp on her obvious problems in the ring. Her timing will improve with experience. But she must learn how to sell! Her selling is almost as bad as Charlotte’s. The crowd’s warming up to her though. The finish comes when Bayley gets fisted by Lacy Evans. That must have hurt. 

After this match, Chad Gable is backstage. He says Sheamus is only picking on him because he’s insecure. Sheamus interrupts him with more short jokes. I know you’ve been out for a while dude, but that was so two months ago. Sheamus does that thing where he tries to touch the smaller guy on the head and Gable dumps him square on his ass! How embarrassing. This is not over little man. 

Next, we have a promo with Braun Strowman! I forgot he was on Smackdown. Braun declares for the Royal Rumble, but you don’t wanna hear about that right now. He’s after the Intercontinental title. 

Elias is out here again for another song. I’m genuinely sorry about all these promos. Elias does not get far until he is interrupted by Nakamura, Cesaro, and my long-lost illegitimate cousin, Sami Zayn. Sami completely ignores Elias in the ring, because he is here to answer Braun Strowman. No title match for you Braun. They have the Royal Rumble to worry about. Nakamura has actually won it once, which I totally forgot about, and he’s determined to win it again. Sami attempts to flee, but Elias cuts him with a song. Sami has had enough of this nonsense, but he can’t beat Elias on his own. Good thing Cesaro is here with nothing better to do! The Triumvirate of Terror gang up on Elias and Braun Strowman comes out to make the save. Somehow, I think Nakamura will find a way to win this thing. Braun hasn’t had much luck in title matches.  

Match #4: Alexa Bliss (w. Nikki Cross) vs. Sonya Deville (w. Mandy Rose) 

This match is all about continuing the story between Otis and Mandy. Otis comes to the ring wearing a half shirt and short trunks. Put that away dude, there are children here. Mandy takes a tumble to the outside, but Otis catches her. Sonya is distracted, and Bliss rolls her up from behind for the win. Just like every other segment, he’s ever been in, Otis is the star here. This guy is money. After this, it’s confirmed that Chad Gable will wrestle Sheamus and Lacy Evans will finally get her title match at Royal Rumble. 

Main Event: Roman Reigns vs. Robert Roode 

Roode attacks Roman on his way to the ring and we are underway! It doesn’t take long before this match goes to the outside and Roman sets up to put Roode through the announcers’ table. Roode counters with a thumb to the eye. Great move! Roman eventually gains the upper hand and goes for the spear through the barricade wall. They really should reinforce that one spot on the wall. It seems to break every other week. Roode sidesteps and Reigns crashes through the wall. Corbin is out here now. Roode goes for a superplex and comes up empty. Reigns goes for a powerbomb and Roode escapes. He tips the table over. Great move Robert. He can’t put you through the table if there’s no table there! Why doesn’t Corbin get in there and help him? There are no disqualifications. Roman sets up for the spear but before he can connect and end this thing, a wild Dolph Ziggler appears! Superkick to Reigns. Now Corbin and Ziggler are both helping Roode. Why didn’t they do this, to begin with? The Usos come out to make the save. Roman Reigns spears Roode through the table for the win. Per the rules of this match, Roman Reigns gets to pick the rules for his match at Royal Rumble with Baron Corbin. Will it be something dog related? Nope. It’s a falls count anywhere match. 

My Final Thoughts for Smackdown (1/17/2020) 

Not much for me to tear apart this week. All the matches were decent, all the major storylines had progression and all the matches had meaning which is nice. I hope Miz and Morrison win the titles again because I’m done with the New Day. Lacy Evans is not ready for prime time just yet. At the very least she needs to learn how to sell moves properly. Good to see Morrison in the ring again, he hasn’t lost a step. Now that they’ve shown Kane and Daniel Bryan still being friends, I think maybe Kane will help Bryan beat the Fiend. Or try to anyway. Roode looked great tonight, but I hope he moves on from this soon because I think he deserves better. I’m super excited to review my first major show this Sunday! This concludes my thoughts on Smackdown from 1/17/2020! What will become of Sasha’s rap album? Tune in next week to find out!