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WWE Smackdown Review 26/01/2024

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

We get a recap of Solo Sikoa attacking LA Knight and AJ Styles last week only to be felled by Randy Orton. Of course, we also get a reminder that Roman showed up, only to eat an RKO and be left wondering why he signed for the match at all.

Live and here’s Eladio Carrion, apparently he’s a musician who made an RKO song. He’s got a mic and plays with the crowd then brings out Randy Orton. Randy plays with the crowd and puts over Eladio before moving on to discuss the Bloodline. The Bloodline has had a heck of a run for the last few years, mostly because Roman has been champion for almost 1,300 days, a feat unheard of in the modern era. No one can stop the Bloodline except for maybe Randy. Tomorrow at the Rumble the only number that will matter is 15 because Randy will exit that event as a 15 time world champion. He’ll do it courtesy of the RKO. That brings out AJ Styles, AJ asks if Randy remembers that other people are in the match, or if he’s just looking past AJ. Everyone’s been overlooking AJ these days, he asked Nick Aldis for a match with Solo but Aldis gave that to LA Knight. As long as Randy has been in this business, he should know better than to overlook AJ. They’ve got history, and he warns Randy that there’s a receipt coming his way and tomorrow he’s stepping over Randy and Roman, and here comes LA Knight to interrupt. Knight has a mic and wants to talk to us. He plays with the crowd and then notes that AJ has been nothing but a crybaby since coming back, and then tells him to quit crying dummy. Knight doesn’t want to fight Solo tonight right before his title match, there are 4 men in that title match tomorrow but only Knight has a match tonight. Paul Heyman must have lobbied to get Knight a match because he’s the biggest threat tomorrow. He’ll hit Solo so hard tonight that Solo will do his dad’s dance moves, then he mimes some Rikishi dancing, and then he’ll take out anyone tomorrow necessary to become champion. That’s not an insult, it’s just a fact of life. Knight leaves, then AJ with a kick to Randy followed by a Pele kick to keep Randy down as Knight is on the entrance stage. If you’ve got to have a revolving door promo this is in general how to execute it, everyone had something to say and they built off of each other.

Carlito heads to the ring, he’ll take on Santos Escobar after this break.

Post break here comes Santos Escobar and his goons.

Match 1 - Carlito w/ Zelina Vega, Cruz del Toro, and Joaquin Wilde vs. Santos Escobar w/ Humberto and Angel

Both men with some trash talk then Carlito unloads with punches. Escobar fights back with chops but he can’t stifle the momentum of Carlito as he bounces Escobar around the ring and then chops him down. Carlito ignores a kick and hits a standing avalanche to drop Escobar. Escobar tries to beg off but then pulls Carlito into the ropes and punches him down then tries a dive but Carlito catches him and sends him back into the ring. Carlito gets distracted by Angel and Humberto which allows Escobar to hit a suicide dive and send us to break.

Carlito runs into a clothesline as we come back and that gets a 2 count. Escobar tears at the shirt of Carlito then tears off the tape on his shoulder and grabs an armbar over the ropes to attack the arm. Double knees in the corner from Escobar then a top rope hurricanrana for a 2 count. Some elbows to the arm and shoulder as Escobar works the limb for a bit but Carlito fights up only to get pulled down by the hair. Carlito clocks Escobar and starts unloading with clotheslines and a dropkick. The corkscrew neckbreaker from Carlito gets a 2 count, then he follows up with a spinebuster. Escobar tries a Victory Roll but Carlito counters then hits a knee lift and another clothesline. Humberto and Angel get involved, and Angel low bridges Carlito but now Cruz and Wilde get into a brawl with Angel and Humberto. That goes on for a bit but here’s Elektra Lopez to attack Zelina Vega as well and that distraction allows Escobar to roll up Carlito and get the pin.

Official Winner: Santos Escobar won in 9:49

Official thoughts - About what it needed to be, Santos has a full faction at his back and this mostly served to get Lopez in here and further fuel this rivalry.

Commentary runs down that RAW will move to Netflix in January 2025. Also, they talk about The Rock joining the board of TKO, because The Rock always out maneuvers Triple H.

In the back, AJ walks and finds Jannetty Uso. Jimmy asks AJ to help them get rid of AJ tonight so he won't make it to the Rumble. Michin, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows wander over and chase off Jimmy. They ask AJ what that was about and AJ tells them not to worry about it and walks off.

Next a prolonged commercial for the next video game, boy we’re stretching this one out tonight. I wonder if the Vince story forced any rewrites? Anyway, that sends us to a regular commercial break.

In the back, Ava Raine is here to talk with Nick Aldis. Ava got to be Smackdown GM in exchange for Rocky getting his board seat. Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits are here and Bobby draws his Rumble number. Escobar and Legado del Fantasma are here as well and Bobby and Escobar trade barbs before Escobar draws his number.

Bayley video, she puts herself over, her rise then injury and rehab. She created Damage Control to facilitate her ego and desire to make history, they became so good that Kairi Sane came back from Japan and Asuka joined up with them. Tonight the Kabuki Warriors with the tag team titles again and Bayley wins the Rumble tomorrow then goes on to take the title from Rhea Ripley and Damage Control will hold all the gold in WWE.

To the ring here come the Kabuki Warriors, their title match will be up after this break.

In the back R-Truth plays around with the tumbler before picking his number, he is very much not happy and asks if that means he has to quarantine. Aldis tells him it’s his entry number, Truth says “Mr. Pearce your hair grew fast and has a lot of body.” Truth is a gem, wrestling is blessed to have him.

Back to the ring, here come the champs to still almost no reaction.

Match 2 – Women’s Tag Team Title Match: (c) Kayden Carter and Katana Chance vs. Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane)

Asuka and Chance start us off, Chance with some roll ups then a kick. Chance tags in and Asuka takes some double team moves but Chance can’t find a pin. Some arm drags from Chance then stereo dropkicks through the ropes and Chance follows with a corkscrew plancha to send us to break.

We come back to Sane and Asuka in control and double teaming Chance for a 2 count. Asuka cheap shots Carter on the apron then shoves Chance around. Chance tries to fire up with strikes then low bridges Asuka trying a hip attack. Carter isn’t back on the apron, but Chance tosses Sane when she tries to get involved but still no Carter for a tag. Asuka grabs an Ankle Lock and Chance rolls free and is finally able to tag. Carter dives from the top onto Sane and Asuka then runs wild on the floor for a bit. Back in the ring Carter with a running boot then she appeals for the crowd to care, which they only kind of respond to. Asuka fights away from Chance, Sane with a blind tag and Chance takes another double team move then a combination of sliding elbow and low kick means Chance has to break up the pin. Sane clocks Chance with a back fist, then another Uraken for Carter. Sane up top, InSane Elbow but Carter kicks her out of the air and avoids the finisher. Both women are down, Asuka wants in and gets the tag. Carter avoids a kick then hits a hammerlock Sister Abigail and tags out. Chance in, they want the Keg Stand and it hits but Sane breaks up the pin and saves the match. Carter tosses Sane out of the ring then tags back in, they’re setting for the After Party but Sane breaks that up. Asuka's sliding kick to Chance sets up Sane to spike her with an Alabama Slam into the announce table. In the ring Asuka avoids a roll up, kicks Carter a couple of times then tags in Sane. Sane with then InSane Elbow while Asuka hits a reverse DDT at the same time and that’ll get them the belts.

Official Winners - NEW Woman’s Tag Team Champions - Kabuki Warriors won the titles in 9:03

Official thoughts - This started slow and the crowd didn’t seem to know or care about the party girls, but they got the crowd with them by the end and that’s the mark of good work. Asuka and Sane are still a darn good team.

Post match pyro goes off while Asuka and Sane celebrate with the rest of Damage Control.

In the back, Paul Heyman talks with Solo Sikoa and talks about the difference between solving and fixing a problem. Last week Solo solved a problem but didn’t fix it, tonight he needs to fix it without mercy. Solo considers his thumb and the digit provides an answer before he leaves. The Tribal Jester talks a bit, Heyman says that Roman is scary and went from Big Dog to Tribal Chief by seizing the moment. Now, over on RAW, there’s a champion with one leg and that creates an opportunity. Rollins wants to be a martyr, well Jimmy can make him one by winning the Rumble and beating Rollins at WrestleMania. Bring the World Heavyweight Title to the Bloodline, then Jimmy can see how the line of succession goes and that it starts at the Rumble. Heyman should not be able to make me care about Jimmy, but he got close to doing so.

Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits head to the ring next, after this break they’ll go face to face with the Final Testament.

Bayley dances into the GM office and runs into Bianca Belair who’s just drawn her Rumble number. Belair warns that she’s about to become a two time Rumble winner. Bayley pulls a number and seems less than pleased.

Back to the ring where all three members of the Hurt Profits have mics. Bobby says they’re chasing cowards again then introduces the three of them. They’re not here to play, everyone’s here to see a fight and they will deliver. No more hiding, bring on the Final Testament. The lights go out and we get that group and new music for them. Scarlett leads the way and enters the ring while the others wait on the ramp. Bobby wants a real fight with Kross, not Kross sending his lady out. Dawkins says this was supposed to be face-to-face. Ford says the Final Testament is scared. Paul Ellering says there is no fear in these men then hands Kross the mic. Kross says all he sees is frustration in those three men, and desperation. He gets that, things aren’t going according to plan anymore, like they’re not in control because they’re not. But the fans aren’t getting a fight tonight. Bobby says they’re fighting so Ford and Dawkins charge the group while Scarlett rakes the eyes of Bobby. Kross posts Bobby and attacks him on the floor while the Authors of Pain attack Dawkins and Ford. Ford takes a powerbomb. Bobby fights back but it’s three on one and Bobby gets beat down and then clocked with a Kross Hammer to leave him lying. The Final Testament then head out triumphant. OK, not a bad way to keep establishing this group.

In the Rumble room Jimmy is here to pick a number, he’s not pleased and even Aldis and Ava commiserate with him.

To the ring here comes Austin Theory to a pretty obviously sweetened reaction. Anyway after this break he’ll take on Carmelo Hayes again.

We come back to a recap of Logan Paul and Kevin Owens brawling last week.

Back to the ring here comes Carmelo Hayes.

Match 3 - Carmelo Hayes vs. Austin Theory w/ Grayson Waller

Some jaw jacking to start then Theory shoves Hayes. Hayes starts unloading with rights then lands a lovely looking dropkick. Chops from Hayes, Theory fights back with knees though then Hayes flips out of a back suplex and hits a springboard elbow. Theory takes a powder and Hayes considers diving at him but Theory walks back into the ring and lands a punch then tosses Hayes. Waller lays in a cheap shot to send us to break. Awkward start to the match.

Hayes starts his comeback as we return to the broadcast. La Mistica facebuster from Hayes gets a 2 count. Hayes is up top but Waller distracts him so Theory can yank him off the ropes. Theory with Ataxia, I think that’s what it’s called, but only a 2 count. Theory wants A-Town Down, Hayes avoids that but Waller’s up and gets punched then Hayes tries a Victory Roll but Theory counters into one of his own and grabs the tights to get the pin.

Official Winner - Austin Theory won in 6:58

Official thoughts - The cheap win took some of the air out of this one, and the fact that they were just rehashing an unfinished match didn’t help things. But they’ve got decent chemistry and with real time and a good agent, they might be able to craft something solid.

Post match beatdown but here’s Trick Williams to save Hayes and beat down Theory and Waller then send them packing. Still tension between Trick and Hayes despite the save.

The commentary puts over the Rumble and runs down the card.

In the back Kayla talks with Eladio Carrion, he puts over the experience of opening Smackdown then has to back Randy Orton for champion. Solo Sikoa wanders over and just stares at him until he gets nervous and stammers while the Bloodline walks by him.

To the ring, here’s LA Knight. That match will be up after the break.

Back from break and here comes Solo Sikoa with Heyman and Krusty the Klown in tow.

Match 4 - LA Knight vs. Solo Sikoa w/ Jimmy Uso and Paul Heyman

Knight with punches right away, Solo fights back with a corner avalanche and punches of his own. More punches from Knight then a shoulder block to the body and a slingshot shoulder block but Solo does not sell it so Knight has to hit him again. Knight stomps on the hand and thumb of Solo then they head out of the ring where Knight slams the hand around the apron, barricade, and announce table, then one to the ring steps for good measure. Solo punches Knight but pauses to sell the hand, which lets Knight slam him into the ring post then slam his hand back into the ring post over and over. The crowd want tables, for some reason. Back in the ring, Knight gets distracted by Jimmy’s antics which allows Solo to land a right hand when Knight tires a slingshot shoulder block and we head to break as Solo sells the hand.

We come back to Knight landing clotheslines but Solo won't go down and eventually hits a release Samoan Drop for a 2 count. More like a back body drop but we’ll count it. Knight lands a kick but then runs into a clothesline. Solo runs into a boot then Knight hits a diving bulldog so the ref can convey some time info to both of them. Knight with jabs now then a jumping clothesline to drop Solo. Russian leg sweep from Knight then some corner stomps then a running knee. Jimmy is on the apron and gets clocked, then Knight with a DDT. Knight clotheslines Solo out of the ring then hits a diving dropkick through the ropes. knight bounces Solo off of the announce table repeatedly then hits a running knee to the downed Solo. AJ then shows up and hits a Phenomenal Forearm to Knight to cause the DQ.

Official Winner - LA Knight won via Disqualification in 8:39

Official thoughts - Knight and Solo have always had good chemistry, Knight being willing to just straight up fight the bruiser Solo where most hit and run is both a good character trait for Knight and provides a nice foil for Solo’s usual structure. The ending was about keeping things muddy heading into the Rumble and this was more about setting up the fracas post match, but I’m not going to complain about these two locking horns.

AJ tosses Knight into the ring steps. AJ goes for the announce table, but Jimmy’s got a chair and they stare off Jimmy plays it off and drops the chair and tells AJ to go ahead and take out Knight. Now with the chair, AJ looks at the fallen Knight, and Solo tells him to deal with Knight or else. AJ takes that poorly and chairs Jimmy and Solo. Randy’s music now hits and here comes Randy for some retribution. Randy goes after AJ then a snap powerslam to Jimmy. Solo pulls Randy out of the ring and wants to put him through the table but Randy fights him off and drops him onto the table. Randy now takes aim at Jimmy in the ring and spikes him with a hanging DDT. AJ jumps at Randy but misses then Randy with a hanging DDT to AJ as well, and AJ’s sell is great. Randy looks for an RKO and drops AJ with it. Randy stands tall and poses, but here’s Knight with Blunt Force Trauma to Randy just before the episode ends.


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