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Join 411’s Live WWE Smackdown Coverage

January 14, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Lita WWE SmackDown Image Credit: WWE

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Hey there people, time for another episode of WWE Smackdown. The Royal Rumble is looming large on the horizon and will probably take up a chunk of the show as more wrestlers try to make it into the Rumble match. Last week Seth Rollins was announced as the opponent for Roma Reigns at the Rumble, a decision I’m not personally thrilled with, so one imagines that tonight will kick off their feud in earnest. Speaking of Roman Reigns, he surpassed 500 days as Universal champion earlier this week and we should get some kind of celebration or acknowledgement of that here. Well that’s enough preamble, especially since we’ve been given no real match announcements, so let’s get to the action.

Smackdown is in Omaha, Nebraska tonight.

We get some previews for the show at the top, we’ll get a face to face between Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Tonight we’ll get Lita on Smackdown for the first time in almost 20 years, she’ll be in the Royal Rumble. The music for the Usos hit and here come the Smackdown tag team champions, fresh off of their title defense against the New Day last week. Both Usos have mics as they stand in the ring, but they take their sweet time before talking. Last week they won a war with the New Day, but they do respect the New Day as they’re the only team that ever pushed them that hard. But despite that, they showed everyone who the best tag team in the world is, and reminded everyone that they’re the ones. Despite that the grind never stops, they should be celebrating or helping the tribal chief against Rollins and mock Rollins’s wardrobe. But management is lining up challengers for them, so they’ll happily knock them all down. Tonight we’ve got a Fatal 4-Way tag team team match for a title shot. Jimmy does a great fake announcer voice and introduces Los Lotharios. Up next is Cesaro and Mansoor, poor Cesaro. Jinder Mahal and Shanky head out next, then our final team is the Viking Raiders. The Usos then super kick Jinder and Mansoor to send us to break.

Match #1 – Tag Team Fatal 4-Way: Lost Lotharios (Angel and Humberto) vs. Cesaro and Mansoor vs. Jinder Mahal and Shanky vs. Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)

Mansoor is working Humberto as we come back, the Usos have joined commentary. Humberto flies into an inverted atomic drop then Cesaro tags in. Erik makes a blind tag off of Cesaro, Angel tags in and removes the pants only to get tagged off of by Shanky. Shanky and Erik square up, Erick lands a flurry but Erik knocks him down with an overhand chop. Jinder tags in and they work to isolate Erik. Shanky back in, then Jinder but eventually Erik gets free and tags Ivar. Shanky in as well, and things are breaking down as Ivar runs wild on Shanky. Erik tags in and Shanky eats some double team moves. Ivar tags in, goes up top but Jinder cuts him off and lays in strikes. Cesaro comes out of nowhere and they set to superplex Ivar, then Erik comes in and we get the old Tower of Doom spot and everyone’s down as we go to break.

Humberto is isolating Mansoor as we come back but Mansoor is able to tag Cesaro. Cesaro runs wild on Humberto and Angel and hits a Samoan drop on Humberto. Ivar with a blind tag, Cesaro hits a discus lariat on Humberto then looks to hit the Big Swing on Ivar. Jinder comes in to break that up and hits the Khallas on Cesaro. Mansoo with an enziguri to Jinder, then Shanky takes him out, it’s time for Everyone to get their stuff in. Los Lotharios hit a double suicide dive onto a pile of humanity, then Ivar looks to dive but is cut off by drop kicks from Angel and Humberto. Ivar starts fighting back then Humberto eats the Viking Experience and the Raiders pin to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Viking Raiders won

Rating: 3 stars

A bit disjointed, but some pretty good work overall.

Post match the Usos get on the commentary table and remind everyone that the Vikings never took their asses to the island of Samoa, and when the Viking Raiders step to the Usos it’ll be One and Done. I kind of enjoy the slightly sillier side of the Usos.

We get a recap of Sonya Deville’s existence on screen, a general negative. Deville is in the back anxiously scrolling through her phone when Naomi shows up. Naomi has no time for Deville’s games anymore, she wants to know what Deville doesn’t like about her. Deville reiterates that she’s a member of management and can’t be touched. Finally she addresses her dislike of Naomi, she thinks Naomi has delusions of grandeur, and tells her to get lost if she wants to keep her job. Adam Pearce comes in and notes how cold the room is.

Back to ringside and here comes Sami Zayn. Zayn will debut some kind of stupid stunt after this break as he tries to overcome the humiliation of Johnny Knoxville being better than him.

We get a little highlight package for The Shield as we come back, and I know how much it pained everyone involved to have to use a few pictures that included Jon Moxley/Dean Ambrose.

Back to Sami Zayn, he says his career went down after he was robbed of the Intercontinental title and now he’s finally poised to reclaim that title. But last week a new cast member in the conspiracy against Sami Zayn showed up, Johnny Knoxville. We get a replay of last week when he confronted Knoxville last week and got tossed over the top rope after losing to Rick Boogs. Zayn is actually happy about Knoxville being in the Royal Rumble, because Zayn is in as well and can’t wait to get his hands on Knoxville. Tonight he’s here to prove that Knoxville can’t do what Zayn can, but anything Knoxville can do Zayn can do better. In fact no one’s better at being a Jackass than Sami Zayn. Zayn has a crappy wooden ramp set up beside the ring. He’s here to welcome us to the first episode of In-Zayn. Zayn comes out in a shopping cart with a couple of goons to push him around. He plans to jump the wrestling ring in this shopping cart. The usual hemming and hawing follow as he realizes how dangerous this is and starts getting cold feet. That ramp might be too small, but he’s not backing out. Another false start, can we just get to Knoxville coming from behind to shove him already? Finally they start pushing, but he calls it off as they approach the ramp. Zayn tells the fans to shut up, he just wants to check on the landing pad and make sure this is safe. The crowd don’t care, Zayn says he’s tougher than Knoxville but he’s not getting hurt over nothing. Rick Boogs has showed up, he’s got a haircut and looks a bit like Rick Rude. That distraction allows Shinsuke Nakamura to come from behind and hit he Kinshasa. Boogs with a military press to Zayn and tosses him into the crash pads outside of the ring. That was almost as painful as a Happy Corbin segment.

Aliyah is at gorilla, she’s making her singles debut against Natalya next. Megan comes up to interview her, she’s all nerves and puts over Natalya, she just wants to put on a good show and not embarrass herself. Natalya shows up with a Guinness World Records book, and reminds us she’s the winningest woman in WWE history which is one of her three world records. Aliyah is shocked that the Guinness World Records are still a thing then makes her way to the ring. That match will be up after the break.

We come back to Megan talking with Natalya, who insists that the Guinness World Records are still a thing. And her records represent all the time and effort she’s put into this. Tonight she wants to beat the record of 3.8 seconds for the fastest win in WWE women’s history. Stop giving Charlotte Flair ideas, I beg of you.

Natalya jumps Aliyah before the bell, tossing Aliyah around and stomping her down. Mounted punches from Natalya before the ref finally pulls her off and checks on Aliyah. Aliyah wants to continue the match.

Match #2: Aliyah vs. Natalya

Natalya gets rolled up immediately and Aliyah pins to win with a school boy.


Rating: DUD

Well that set the new record for fastest match at 3.17 seconds.

In the back Pearce and Deville wonder why the heat has kicked on so much in their room. What in the world are they playing at here? Last year I’d have gambled on a Scorpion and Sub Zero cross over but now this just feels random. After this match we’ll get Lita’s appearance.

This time we get a recap of Rollins turning on The Shield 8 years ago. I get that they’re trying to add gravitas to this, but given how terribly rushed it is it comes across as more desperate than epic.

To the ring and Michael Cole introduces Lita. Lita gets a mic and Cole welcomes her to the show. She feels great to be home and thanks the crowd for the welcome. Cole brings up Lita being an inspiration to so many of the current women’s roster, and asks why she’s coming back in the Rumble match. She calls wrestling a wild ride, notes she was the first woman to main event RAW, first woman involved in TLC matches, steel cage matches, and is proud to be a Hall of Famer. Most days she’s been satisfied with her career, until recently. She thinks she has one more run left in her, her plan is to win the Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania. This all brings out Charlotte Flair, she takes the mic from Cole and dismisses him so she can interview Lita. Charlotte didn’t know it was flashback Friday, and jokes about Extreme in the good old days. Charlotte reminds us she’s entering the Rumble and will choose her own opponent at Mania, promising to end Lita’s little run. But the question everyone needs answered is how Lita will handle the humiliation of her comeback ending before it even begins? Lita has heard about this whole Tonya Harding thing Charlotte has going on, given her outfit that’s appropriate. She wonders how Charlotte will throw anyone out of the ring with her giant head, this gets a “Giant Head” chant from the crowd. Charlotte brings up how Trish Stratus came out of retirement and wrestled Charlotte and lost, just like Lita will, and plans on retiring Lita all over again. Lita fakes a slap, Charlotte bites on the feint, then Lita hits a Twist of Fate to stand tall. Much as it’s nice to see Charlotte on the wrong end of things, how sad is it they wont give it to someone who’ll actually benefit from doing it?

We get a recap of the issues between Sheamus, Ridge Holland, Cesaro, and Ricochet. Another reminder that Ridge Holland’s nose is broken. Sheamus is in the back at gorilla and Megan interviews him. He brings up that Ridge Holland should be here with him, instead he’s not here because the human pinball machine Ricochet injured him. Tonight he’ll break Ricochet’s nose in retribution. Up after this break, Sheamus takes on Mr. O’Shea.

Match #3: Sheamus vs. Ricochet

They tie up, and Sheamus quickly tosses Ricochet around. They hit the ropes but Ricochet uses a side headlock to control Sheamus. Sheamus has finally had enough of this and shoulder blocks Ricochet to the mat. Some strikes from Sheamus then he tries a powerbomb but Ricochet hurricanrana’s him over the top rope and lands a punt kick form the apron. Ricochet with a dive onto Sheamus then they head back into the ring. Sheamus heads out of the ring again, then sweeps the legs of Ricochet so he lands on the apron. Sheamus then guillotine’s Ricochet under the ring and send us to break.

Sheamus is in full control as we come back, then Ricochet fights back with a kick to the face then a jawbreaker. Ricochet flips out of a back suplex and hits a cross body. Strikes from Ricochet, then he avoids a Brogue Kick. Sheamus lands a right hand, but gets caught between the ropes with a Lionsault for a 2 count. Ricochet up top, misses a Shooting Star Press then gets caught in a tilt a whirl backbreaker. Sheamus with the clubbing blows to the chest and sends Ricochet back into the ring. Sheamus grabs Ricochet and climbs the ropes, he wants a second rope White Noise but Ricochet slips free and lands kicks to the face then drives the face of Sheamus into the ring post and hits a Sunset Bomb for a 2 count. Sheamus staggers up, Ricochet can’t lift him though and settles for a roll up for 2 but gets caught mid air trying a handspring move with a Brogue Kick and Sheamus wins.


Rating: 3 stars

Nice finish, and these two work rather well together.

We recap Aliyah beating Natalya in record time, in case you missed it earlier. Pearce and Deville are still complaining about the environmental controls as they remind us of the rules for the Rumble. Oh, I suddenly get what’s going on. It’s hot enough that Deville has to take her jacket off, thus breaking the legal protection outerwear gives and allowing Naomi to attack her. God that’s dumb. But here’s Naomi, and Pearce shows up to stop violence. Naomi pleads her case to Pearce, he agrees with Naomi and gives Naomi another shot at Charlotte next week.

Kofi Kingston heads to the ring, he’ll take on Madcap Moss after this break.

The next Roman and Rollins rewind is Seth Rollins cashing in Money in the Bank on Roman and Brock at Mania 7 years ago.

Back to the ring, Kofi Kingston has a proclamation from the injured Xavier Woods. It is with great regret that Woods must announce his injury last week, as a result Woods will miss the Royal Rumble. However the Rumble can’t be truly Royal without some representation from the King and places Kofi in the Rumble in his stead. Kofi looks surprised when Corbina nd Moss come out, dude you’ve got a match this shouldn’t be a surprise. Corbin talks, he’s happy about a lot of things including making money on NFT’s. The only thing that will make him happier is eliminating Kofi in the Rumble match. Moss agrees with him. We get another recap of Drew McIntyre getting Pillmanized a few weeks ago. Corbin and Moss find this amusing. Moss: What do you call the New Day when it’s just Kofi who poops himself due to fear over Moss? The Poo Day. I take it back, this is worse than Sami Zayn’s godawful segment. Kofi starts convulsing with laughter, it’s funny because he’s going to drop a royal deuce on Moss’s forehead in this match. You know Vince wrote it when the poop jokes come out.

Match #4: Kofi Kingston vs. Madcap Moss w/ Happy Corbin

Kofi avoids an attack and lays in strikes, then Moss hoists him up, tries to toss him over the top rope but Kofi reverses that to “eliminate” moss then dives onto Corbin and Moss to send us to break.

We come back as Moss is working a headlock. Kofi fights back, but gets caught in a cross body. Stomps and punches from Moss in the corner but Kofi starts fighting back with punches of his own then a drop kick. Kofi fires up with clotheslines, Moss’s timing is all over the place here. Kofi hits the Boom Drop then sets for the Trouble in Paradise. Corbin provides a distraction, meaning Moss avoids the kick. Moss eats a kick in the corner but rolls through on a cross body though Kofi counters and tries an SOS but Moss counters into the Punchline to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Madcap Moss won

Rating: 2 stars

Too short to be anything, and Moss still doesn’t quite have a feel for the timing in the ring but someone believes in him so we’d better get used to his existence.

Seth Rollins heads to the ring, and I for one have not missed him since he left. After this break Rollins and Roman Reigns will go face to face.

Post break here comes Roman Reigns. The crowd seems more pro-Reigns. Both men have mics, they stare at each other as a “Roman Reigns” chant breaks out. Roman tells Omaha to acknowledge him, they oblige. Rollins wants to acknowledge the fact that this is quite a moment and offers the Shield fist salute. Roman says that’s beneath him now. Rollins then wants Roman to acknowledge how he looked when Rollins showed up last week, calling himself the last person Roman wanted to see. To be fair, I don’t want to see Rollins either. Rollins brings up that he’s beaten Roman every time they’ve squared off for singles gold. Roman is amused by Rollins talking about the past, Rollins doesn’t seem to know that Roman is in God mode these days. He’s the provider around here, the greatest of this generation no questions asked, the greatest Universal champion of all time, and the greatest to ever do this. Rollins isn’t here to rain on his parade, he’s here to acknowledge Roman and all of his success. He’s just got one question for Roman, can Roman look into the mirror and say he’s done that all by himself? Because that’s the difference between them, without Roman Reigns Rollins is just fine. Rollins climbed the ladder while Roman was riding the pine in the CFL, he held Roman’s hand in The Shield and now Roman needs the Bloodline to hold everything up. The irony of Rollins “The Authority’s puppet” making these points is not lost on me. Rollins created Roman, and he can destroy him. Roman calls this a waste of his time, and mocks Rollins as a clown without star power. Rollins will never reach the levels of Roman, if Roman wanted a serious challenge he wouldn’t have chosen Rollins from RAW, hell Rollins wouldn’t even be his first choice from his household. If Roman wanted a mega star he’d have chose Rollins’s wife. Rollins avoids an attack from the Usos then high tails it out of the ring without taking anything physical. I liked a lot of that, but it’s terribly muddled in terms of presentation. This is one of the times when playing a character rather than an alignment hurts, the crowd leans towards Roman but Rollins is the one being presented more as the underdog babyface against the numbers of the Bloodline. They need to sort that out fast, otherwise we’ll get a good match at the Rumble but without any real fan investment.

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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree