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WWE Smackdown Review 01/09/23

We are back to normal this week with the go-home show for tomorrow night’s Payback. That should be a big enough deal, but we’re also getting the return of John Cena, who is going to be around for a long time to come. At the same time, we have the return of Jimmy Uso so the Bloodline is back. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of Jey Uso laying out the Bloodline and then quitting WWE.

Here is John Cena to get things going and yeah the fans still remember him. Cena is here to say thank you for everything he gets to do, including wrestling in India for the first time next week.

As for this weekend though, he is going to be the host of Payback. As for tonight though, you saw the video about Jimmy Uso so tonight is about answers. Cena is about to say what he is doing tonight but here is Jimmy Uso to interrupt.

The fans want Jey but Jimmy says he did what he did out of love for his brother. Jimmy again explains that he didn’t want Jey to get corrupted by the power like Roman Reigns….or Cena. Jimmy isn’t pleased with the sky blue shirt but Cena seems to like the look.

Cena and Reigns are exactly alike (Cena: “Nah man.”) because they both take and take but Cena does him with a smile. Cena thinks the pressure is getting to Jimmy and he has one (Cena does the one-finger pose) thing to say: the wrong Uso quit. Jimmy tries a superkick but gets caught in the AA.

Grayson Waller and Austin Theory aren’t impressed with John Cena being back. Now go watch them be the best tag team ever.

Jimmy Uso is livid.

Match 1 Rey Mysterio/Santos Escobar vs. Austin Theory/Grayson Waller

Escobar dropkicks Waller down to start and then launches Rey over the top onto the villains as we take an early break. Back with Mysterio in trouble and Escobar getting tripped off the apron.

Rey manages to send Waller outside for a crash and then grab a tornado DDT. That’s enough for the tag off to Escobar so the pace can pick back up. Everything breaks down and Theory takes out Escobar’s leg (after Escobar shoved Rey out of the way). Rey and Theory go to the floor and the rolling Stunner gives Waller the pin on Escobar at 8:05.

Official Result Grayson Waller & Austin Theory

Rating: C+. Waller getting the pin on Escobar here is a bit of a surprise as Escobar isn’t on Payback and Waller is hosting a talk show on there. At the same time, I’m glad they didn’t have a champion get pinned, even if it is Rey. For now though, nice opener and at least Waller FINALLY got a pin.

Michin is talking to Adam Pearce when Jimmy Uso interrupts. Pearce tells him off for being rude and that’s that.

Post break Michin talks to the Good Brothers about Jimmy Uso disrespecting her. AJ Styles is going to deal with this.

Here is Bobby Lashley (rocking a suit) for a chat. Lashley acknowledges the fans liking him these days but he is here to talk about the only thing anyone wants to ask him about: what is up with him and the Street Profits? Lashley says that real recognizes real so here are the Profits to join him. The Profits thank Lashley for everything he’s done for them lately and they’ll thank him with success. Lashley says they’re coming for power, control and championship gold. As they’re leaving here are Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn for their match, plus a staredown.

Match 2 Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn vs. Cruz del Toro/Joaquin Wilde

Non-title. Sami armbars Wilde down to start and hands it off to Owens for a Swanton. Back up and del Toro hits a rolling dropkick to send Owens into the corner. Del Toro misses a springboard dive and it’s a pop-up powerbomb to put him down. Del Toro gets kicked off the apron and the Helluva Kick into the Stunner finishes Wilde at 2:28. Total squash.

Official Result Sami Zyan & Kevin Owens Win

Rating D Fine enough squash Match, more designed for commentary to remind us about the Payback match against the Judgement Day.

Post-match Sami tells the Judgment Day to bring it tomorrow night.

Jimmy Uso is going to leave when he runs into AJ Styles. Arguing and shoving ensues, with Solo Sikoa running in to jump Styles. Jimmy says no one in the Bloodline can tell Jimmy a thing, and then he leaves.

AJ Styles wants to beat up the Bloodline but the OC tries to calm things down. The attempts don’t work out.

Here is the Miz for a chat. Miz talks about how much better he is than LA Knight, as he impersonated him so easily on Raw. Knight isn’t on his level or even half of the star Miz was ten years ago. Cue Knight to interrupt and say Miz has impersonated stars such as the Rock, John Cena and now Knight himself.

Knight has done it all to get here from working nothing jobs to living in the roach-infested apartments to cashing his checks at the payday loan place. Now Miz is talking about how Knight isn’t on his level, but it’s Miz who isn’t on his level.

Miz brings up Knight’s failure on a reality show and you might not remember it because he was the first eliminated. Miz was in the Marine series and has Miz and Mrs. because he succeeds everywhere he goes. Knight talks about how the star of Miz and Mrs. was Miz’s wife because he just carried the bag that held his giblets.

Speaking of Maryse, he apologizes for sending her a broken husband after Payback, but Knight would be happy to fix her, YEAH. Miz laughs it off and says Knight is different from these people, who will settle for mediocrity.

Knight is trying to do something but after Payback, he’s sending Knight back to 2003, where he can cut promos into a hairbrush in his roach-infested apartment. Knight says

Miz will learn tomorrow and hits the catchphrase, but Miz jumps him with the Skull Crushing Finale. Knight gets up and chases after him but security breaks it up. They were both bringing it here and this was a fiery exchange.

Match 3 Shotzi vs. Bayley

The rest of Damage CTRL is here with Bayley. Shotzi ducks a big boot to start, as Cole asks “Who thinks of shaving panthers.” Bayley hammers her down in the corner but gets sent outside for a flip dive off the apron.

We take a break and come back with Bayley tying her in the Tree of Woe for a bottom rope springboard elbow.

Shotzi fights up so Bayley wants Iyo Sky’s title. Cue Charlotte to take Sky out and Shotzi hits a DDT for the pin at 9:09.

Official Result Shotzi Wins

Rating: C. Not much to this one, but somehow this wound up being more about Charlotte than anyone in the match.

Shotzi’s new look might not stand out as much but she did look rather unique with the change of pace. What mattered here was giving Shotzi a win though and hopefully, she can go somewhere after years of floundering.

Video on Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura.

Payback rundown.

Match 4 AJ Styles vs. Solo Sikoa

No Paul Heyman this time. Sikoa runs him over with a shoulder to start but the running headbutt only hits knees. Styles hits his jumping knee and adds a running clothesline in the corner Heyman comes out. Sikoa’s cheap shot doesn’t work as Styles knocks him outside and hits the slingshot forearm as we take a break.

Back with Styles being sent ribs first into the post and a belly-to-belly gets two. Sikoa backdrops him but Styles is right back with the Pele. The running basement forearm and there’s the corner clothesline to rock Sikoa again.

The Phenomenal Blitz is countered into a pop-up Samoan drop to give Sikoa two more. Styles knocks him right back down and hits a Lionsault of all things for two. Sikoa grabs the referee though and here is Jimmy Uso to break up the Phenomenal Forearm. Sikoa hits the Spike for the pin at 12:04.

Official Result Solo Sikoa Wins

Rating: B-. Kind of a lackluster main event here and you might as well have had a big sign counting down to Jimmy showing up again to interfere. This is the latest issue for The Bloodline as one guy seems to want back in but there is a chance that it’s another big swerve. Styles and the OC going after the Bloodline is at least something fresh, but this wasn’t a great way to bring Jimmy back.

Post match Heyman looks stunned and Jimmy hugging Sikoa makes it even more complicated. Sikoa shoves Jimmy away and goes to the floor, leaving Jimmy to drop Styles and hit the Superfly Splash. Heyman calls (presumably) Roman Reigns to end the show.

Overall Thoughts

This was a kind of all-over-the-place show as they were trying to get Jimmy Uso back while having Cena pop in and give a hard final push towards Payback. It didn’t help that last week was nearly a punt of a show (for good reason) but Payback is looking like a weak show and it isn’t like there was much excitement for the event in the first place. Not a bad show, but fairly skippable, as might be the case with Payback as well.LEGEND


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