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WWE Smackdown Review 1/12/2023

Hello everyone, I am one half of your Irn Bruiserweights bringing you your Smackdown Review. So let's get into it.


We’re done with Survivor Series and that means it is time to start getting ready for the Royal Rumble. As a result, we are likely to need a new challenger for Roman Reigns and wouldn’t you know it, Randy Orton happens to be here tonight. That should be enough, but we also have some Damage CTRL issues to cover.




Here is Bianca Belair to get things going so we see a video on the women’s WarGames match. Belair thanks her teammates for helping her in WarGames but she’s not done with Damage CTRL. She wants her title back from Iyo Sky so here is Damage CTRL (minus Bayley) to interrupt. Dakota Kai says if Belair wants the title match, she’ll have to go through the entire team. That works for Belair, but here are Charlotte and Shotzi to interrupt. The brawl is on, with Damage CTRL being cleared out rather quickly.



Post break, Damage CTRL runs into Bayley, who needs to be out there tonight when Kairi Sane faces Bianca Belair. Bayley looks worried.


Match 1 - Butch vs. Bobby Lashley



Lashley has the Street Profits with him. Before the match, Lashley (who is rather popular) says this isn’t what Butch wants to do. Butch goes right after him and gets powered into the corner for his efforts. Back up and Butch dropkicks him to the floor for a dive off the apron and a knockdown.


We take a break and come back with Lashley snapping off a suplex. The high angle spinebuster puts Butch down again and Lashley sends him outside. The spear hits buckle though and Butch manages some enziguris. A standing Sliced Bread gives Butch two but Lashley is right back with a running powerslam for the same. There’s the spear to finish Butch at 8:08.


Official Winner - Bobby Lashley


Official thoughts - I’m not sure what they’re doing with Lashley here, as he’s one of the biggest stars in WWE but he’s just kind of there on Smackdown. You could easily swap him into a main event or title program and it wouldn’t be a problem, but here he is instead. On the other hand, you have Butch, who is stuck without anyone to help him and not being able to do anything on his own. If that’s the case, just make him Pete Dunne again already.


Video on the men’s WarGames match.


Paul Heyman comes in to see Nick Aldis and asks about Randy Orton being here tonight. Aldis is planning to sign Orton to an exclusive Smackdown contract tonight, even if it costs him the entire Bloodline. If that doesn’t work for Heyman, what is he going to do about it? Heyman: “Anything it takes.”



A banged up Butch doesn’t know why Ridge Holland walked out last week but Pretty Deadly comes in to mock him. The fight is on, with Butch getting knocked down by the numbers game.


Video on Santos Escobar turning on the LWO.


Santos Escobar is ready to teach Joaquin Wilde a lesson.


Match 2 - Santos Escobar vs. Joaquin Wilde


Wilde starts fast and knocks him to the floor to start for a nice looking top rope flip dive. Back in and Escobar ties him in the Tree of Woe for a running dropkick to take over. Escobar cranks on the arm for a bit until Wilde fights up. A dropkick to the knee slows Escobar down and a rolling DDT gives Wilde two. Escobar isn’t having that though and runs him over, setting up the Phantom Driver for the pin at 3:59


Official Winner - Santos Escobar


Official thoughts - Escobar’s rise continues and it makes perfect sense to have him take out some of the LWO. Granted you might not remember that Wilde is part of the team as he has barely been around in such a long time. The big showdown with Rey Mysterio is coming but WWE is doing a nice job of getting him ready on the way there.


Post match Escobar stays on Wilde but Dragon Lee runs in for the save.



Adam Pearce comes in to see Nick Aldis because he has his contract offer for Randy Orton.



Here is Logan Paul for his championship celebration. Paul has a message to everyone who has been against him to start: WHERE ARE YOU NOW? There are people backstage who hate that he’s so good and now he has the US Title. Now he wants some challengers and we are going to have a tournament to crown his new challenger. People involved include Santos Escobar, Dragon Lee, Karrion Kross, an unnamed NXT star, Austin Theory, Grayson Waller and Kevin Owens.



The tournament starts next week but here is Owens to interrupt. Owens insults Paul’s energy drink and says the nightmare is ending when he wins the US Title. Paul says six seconds is five more than he needs to KO Owens, who says this is his world. Cue Austin Theory and Grayson Waller (the latter being Owens’ opponent tonight) to run their mouths, earning a right hand from Owens.



Match 3 - Kevin Owens vs. Grayson Waller


Logan Paul is on commentary and Austin Theory is at ringside. Owens starts fast but Waller gets in a shot to the back of the head to take over. A superkick takes Owens down as Paul isn’t worried about the winner of the tournament. Waller’s middle rope elbow gets two but Owens is back with a suplex. It’s still too early for the Cannonball so they head outside, with Owens nailing a clothesline. A splash off the apron connects as well as commentary asks if Paul is ready for Owens. Paul: “Even if I’m not, I’m going to pretend I am.” Theory offers a distraction though and Owens’ hand is crushed in the steps.



We take a break and come back with Owens hitting a frog splash, only to bang up his hand in the process. Owens manages a DDT and superkicks Theory into the corner. Ow the Cannonball connects and a Swanton gets two. Waller goes after the hand to block the Stunner and we hit the armbar. With that broken up, Waller ties the hand in the corner and tries a running kick, which is reversed into a rollup to give Owens the pin at 10:50.


Official Winner - Kevin Owens


Official thoughts - There is something nice about having the match built around Owens’ hand injury and then going with a rollup rather than Owens hitting his finisher despite the injury. Owens winning the tournament is a very real possibility and he already has the match with Paul set up. If nothing else, the talking alone will be worth the whole thing.


Video on CM Punk’s return. He’ll be on Smackdown next week.


Match 4 - Bianca Belair vs. Kairi Sane


Charlotte and Shotzi are here too. We go to the back, where Bayley seems worried so Iyo Sky tells her to stay here instead. The rest of Damage CTRL goes to the ring and we’re ready to go. Belair runs her over to start and snaps off a dropkick to take over. Asuka offers a distraction so Charlotte does the same. Only Charlotte gets caught so she’s caught, but Asuka tries to come in. That’s too much for the referee, who ejects everyone else as we take a break.


Back with Sane cranking on something resembling a Boston crab, followed by a double arm choke. Belair fights up and snaps off some slams, setting up the handspring moonsault for two. Sane is back with a shot to the face and another forearm from the top gets two more. They go out to the floor, where Belair Glam Slams her onto the apron. Cue Bayley to go after Belair, only to have the Insane Elbow broken up. The KOD gives Belair the pin at 10:36.



Official Winner - Bianca Belair


Official thoughts - It’s nice to see two stories in a single match like this with Damage CTRL’s issues with Bayley, plus Belair having to fight through the entire team to get a title shot. That could open up more than a few doors and I’m interested in seeing where both of the stories go. Either way, Nice main event here, as Belair gets a win while Damage CTRL’s issues continue.




Here is Nick Aldis, with Adam Pearce next to him, to introduce Randy Orton. The fans are rather pleased to see Orton but the GMs start fighting over him. Pearce offers Orton the winner of Jey Uso vs. Seth Rollins (Orton is intrigued) while Aldis counters with the guys that took Orton out (Orton is again intrigued). Cue Paul Heyman to interrupt, saying there will be no RKOs this evening, nor will Orton get to make a decision tonight.



The Bloodline will make Orton’s decision for him, so here are Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa to interrupt. The fight is on with Orton being beaten down, only to have LA Knight run in for the save. Jimmy is left alone for the beating and the RKO, leaving Orton to pick up the contracts. Heyman: “GO TO RAW! YOU’RE SAFE ON RAW!” Orton signs with Smackdown and Heyman isn’t happy. Orton says Heyman needs to call Roman Reigns because Daddy is back. Aldis celebrates with Orton, who drops him with an RKO. Heyman calls Reigns to end the show. I’ll take that over a long running back and forth ordeal over where Orton should sign.



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