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Hall’s WWE Smackdown Review 1.27.23

January 27, 2023 | Posted by Thomas Hall
Brock Lesnar WWE Smackdown 1-27-23 Image Credit: WWE
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Hall’s WWE Smackdown Review 1.27.23  

Date: January 27, 2023
Location: Sames Auto Arena, Laredo, Texas
Commentators: Wade Barrett, Michael Cole

It’s the go home show for the Royal Rumble and that means we have some final pushes to make to get us to the big event. In this case, we are probably going to have some more names added to the Royal Rumbles, but there is also a Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa match that will probably involve the Bloodline. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of the Trial Of Sami Zayn from Raw. Roman Reigns told Sami Zayn to not be seen until the Royal Rumble.

The Usos and Solo Sikoa arrive and Sami Zayn sneaks in to thank Jey for having his back. If Jey ever needs anything, let him know. Sami leaves.

Opening sequence. Smackdown has an opening sequence?

Rey Mysterio vs. Karrion Kross

Scarlett is here with Kross. Rey snaps off the hurricanrana to start but gets tossed over the top for his efforts. They switch places though and the sliding sunset flip sends Kross into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Rey fighting back and shrugging off Scarlett’s attempted distraction. Rey hits the 619 into the top rope splash for two and Kross is mad. He’s so mad that Rey is able to crucifix him for the pin at 7:17.

Rating: C. That was rather short for a match that felt like it was a while in the making. Odds are we’ll see a rematch, probably after Kross attacks Rey again. Giving Rey some momentum going into the Royal Rumble is fine, but it’s weird to see Kross take a fall like this after being built up as a pretty solid monster.

We look at Brock Lesnar returning to cost Bobby Lashley the US Title on Raw.

Damage Ctrl is in the Royal Rumble.

Here is US Champion Austin Theory for a chat. Theory says he’s winning the Royal Rumble but here is the New Day to interrupt. Kofi Kingston says there are three Austin’s he respects: Austin Creed, Stone Cold Steve and Austin, Texas, where he lives. New Day says one of them will win, because when one of them wins, they all win. Theory says he is the biggest star in WWE but here is Miz to interrupt.

Miz: “Theory, I have been competing in Royal Rumble matches since before you hit puberty.” Theory: “Doesn’t that just mean you’re old?” The fight is on but Bobby Lashley runs in to clean house. Lashley promises to take out Brock Lesnar but cue Lesnar through the crowd to F5 Lashley. Lesnar is in the Rumble too and panic ensues. Nice segment here, as it added some names to the Rumble and didn’t waste a ton of time.

Rhea Ripley is in the Royal Rumble.

Lacey Evans vs. Jazmin Allure

Evans beats her down in the corner to start but takes off the sole of her own boot. That’s taken away so Evans hits her in the stomach instead. The Women’s Right sets up the Cobra Clutch for the win at 2:14.

Post match Evans says the Cobra Clutch is unbreakable and she’ll use it to win the Royal Rumble. She demands people salute her before throwing Allure over the top. Evans seems to have finally gotten the gimmick down but the promo was pretty bad.

Sheamus and Drew McIntyre both think the other will win the Royal Rumble. They chop each other until they remember they have to beat up Hit Row tonight.

Video on Cody Rhodes’ return from injury.

Tag Team Title #1 Contenders Tournament Semifinals: Drew McIntyre/Sheamus vs. Hit Row

Hold on though as here are the Viking Raiders to jump McIntyre and Sheamus from behind. After a break, Adam Pearce says we have some replacements.

Tag Team Title #1 Contenders Tournament Semifinals: Braun Strowman/Ricochet vs. Hit Row

B Fab is here with Hit Row. Ricochet hammers on Adonis to start and sends him outside but Top Dolla breaks up the dive. Dolla gets kicked to the floor but the distraction lets Adonis get in a cheap shot to take over. Dolla runs Ricochet over and B Fab gets in a right hand of her own for two. Ricochet fights up and ducks underneath a clothesline, allowing him to DIVE (that looked good) over to Strowman for the tag. Ricochet’s dive hits Dolla and the Monster Bomb finishes Adonis at 4:57.

Rating: C. Ricochet and Strowman are good choices for a big/little team as they work well together and are both popular. If nothing else, it is nice to see Ricochet having something to do and the team getting a title shot wouldn’t be a bad idea. Hit Row continues to fall down the ladder and that might be best for everyone, as they just haven’t worked since their return.

Kevin Owens says he is going to beat up Solo Sikoa tonight so he can beat Roman Reigns tomorrow. The Usos show up for the fight but things get broken up, with Adam Pearce throwing the Usos out.

Jey Uso makes a phone call and says he needs a favor.

Here is LA Knight, with a tiny lantern, to Bray Wyatt’s old Broken Out In Love theme. Knight talks about how he was involved in the biggest moment at Raw XXX and now Bray Wyatt 24 hours before the Pitch Black match at the Royal Rumble. He wants whatever version of Wyatt to come out tomorrow because he’ll beat any of them up. Cue Wyatt on the stage in his rocking chair to say the time for talking is over. Tomorrow night, Knight is meeting the man he has been looking for. Uncle Howdy pops up in the balcony and Knight seems a bit shaken.

Tag Team Title #1 Contenders Tournament Semifinals: Legado del Fantasma vs. Imperium

Zelina Vega is here too. Wilde and Kaiser trade wristlocks to start but Wilde seems to slip a bit on a springboard attempt. Kaiser drops him with a right hand and it’s off to Vinci vs. Del Toro. Imperium double teams Del Toro for a bit and alternate with the shots to the face. That’s broken up though and the hot tag brings in Wilde as everything breaks down.

We take a break and come back with Wilde still in trouble. The uppercuts don’t get him away but a tornado DDT does plant Kaiser. Del Toro comes back in to clean house and Legado hits stereo running flip dives to the floor. A top rope splash hits Vinci for two with Kaiser needing to make a save. Vinci and Wilde head up top with Vinci hitting a super gorilla press (cool spot), setting up the Imperium Bomb for the pin at 12:13.

Rating: C. The fact that the tag team division has come far enough to have a midcard match like this is an amazing sign, as there was no way that would have been the case just a few months ago. It might not have been a classic, but it is nice to have that kind of depth for a change. Imperium vs. Strowman/Ricochet is a fine #1 contenders match and we should be in for a nice final to a bit of a weird tournament.

And now, one of my favorite moments of the year: Rumble By The Numbers.

30 Men and Women in the Royal Rumble matches
1988 was the first Royal Rumble (at least televised)
1,250 competitors
32 winners
2.5% of the participants have won
19 have gone on to win a title at Wrestlemania
57:12 is the longevity record for women, held by Bianca Belair
62:12 is the longevity record for men, held by Rey Mysterio
1 second is the fastest elimination
4 times San Antonio has hosted the Royal Rumble
3 times the Alamodome has hosted the Royal Rumble
3 is the record for most Royal Rumble wins, held by Steve Austin

Xia Li is in the Royal Rumble.

Earlier today, Sonya Deville interrupted Charlotte’s interview.

Charlotte comes in to ask Adam Pearce to give Sonya Deville a title match to get rid of her. It’s on for next week.

Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa

Owens starts the fight fast and runs Sikoa over. The backsplash hits but Sikoa bails before the Cannonball can hit. Owens follows him outside and gets rammed into the barricade as we take a break. Back with Owens in trouble but hitting a clothesline and DDT for a breather. The bullfrog splash gets two and they trade superkicks to no avail.

The Stunner is countered into a Samoan drop to give Sikoa two but Owens superkicks him into the corner. Now the Cannonball can connect and there’s the Swanton, only to have Sami Zayn break up the cover. For some reason that isn’t a DQ so Sikoa misses a superkick and hits Sami by mistake (we’ll say it’s a no contest at about 8:30, when Sami pulled Sikoa out).

Rating: C+. This was the hard hitting brawl that you would expect from these two and the Sami interference ending made the most sense. Sami continues to cause issues, including going against what Roman Reigns told him to do, and that is going to come up big at the Royal Rumble. For now though, it’s a good way to give us a cliffhanger to end the show.

Owens clears off the announcers’ table but gets chaired in the face. A splash through the table takes too long though and Owens superkicks Sikoa out of the air. The pop up powerbomb onto the table leaves Sikoa laying and a chair shot knocks him over the barricade. Owens throws the chair at Zayn (doesn’t hit him) and shouts at the camera about Roman Reigns to end the show.


Rey Mysterio b. Scarlett – Crucifix
Lacey Evans b. Jazmin Allure – Cobra Clutch
Ricochet/Braun Strowman b. Hit Row – Monster Bomb to Adonis
Imperium b. Legado del Fantasma – Imperium Bomb to Wilde
Kevin Owens vs. Solo Sikoa went to a no contest



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The final score: review Good
The 411
The point of this show was to inch closer to the Royal Rumble and not rock the boat too much. Not only did they do that, but they set up two matches to give us a reason to come back next week. That is the kind of efficient show that I love to see and they did it well here. It’s great to see WWE actually planning this stuff out and giving us a good show as a result. Doing that over and over makes Smackdown, or any show really, so much easier to watch and it’s great to see WWE making it work.

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WWE Smackdown, Thomas Hall