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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 1.07.22

January 7, 2022 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Roman Reigns Brock Lesnar WWE Smackdown
6.6
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 1.07.22  

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Alright everyone, welcome to the first Smackdown of 2022. Tonight Roman Reigns is back after a positive COVID test kept him out of the Day 1 PPV and he’ll be addressing the situation with Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar. Speaking of your new WWE champion, Brock Lesnar has carte blanche to appear on whatever show he wants so he’ll be here tonight and we’ll get some weird kind of confrontation between them. Sami Zayn will take on Rick Boogs as Zayn tries to build momentum ahead of his shot at the Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura. The big match tonight will be a Street Fight for the Smackdown tag team titles as the Usos defend them once again against New Day. The Royal Rumble is also starting to loom on the horizon, so expect talk of that to start permeating the show as well. Well that’s enough preamble, let’s get to the action.

We open with a recap of Brock Lesnar winning the WWE title then reuniting with Paul Heyman on RAW. We’re at the Mohegan Sun arena in Connecticut tonight. To open the show, here comes Roman Reigns all alone. Roman without his retinue will take some getting used to. Roman gets a mic and tells New England to acknowledge him. The reactions for Roman are getting more and more positive, I’m not sure whether he or Brock will play heel. He jokes that he misses one week and everything falls apart, but when you’re in isolation you can do a lot of thinking. There’s a lot of things he wanted to do, say, and see, except for two people who he never wants to see again for the rest of his life. He never wants to see Brock Lesnar or Paul Heyman again, his facials when saying Heyman’s name is great. That is however a perfect cue for the music of Brock Lesnar. Brock and Heyman are here and head to the ring. Heyman is clearly nervous as he heads to the ring but he’s behind Brock and tries to do his intro but Brock takes the mic from him. Brock and Roman go face to face, then Brock does a pretty darn good Paul Heyman impression for a few words while introducing himself. Heyman approves. Brock tells Roman to acknowledge him, then says that while Roman has a lot to say Brock doesn’t. Brock got what he wanted last Saturday, the WWE title and so did Roman in retaining the Universal title, so now why don’t they give everyone what they want. Title vs. title, champ vs. champ. Roman considers for a moment, and says it’s a good idea, but it’s not his idea. And this is his Roman’s show, so we do what he says on his time, and he doesn’t do business with people who do business with trash like Heyman. Heyman pulls out his own mic and wants to know how Roman could talk to him like that. Heyman runs down everything he did for Roman, he protected Roman from Brock not because Brock could beat Roman but because he loves Roman. Brock objects to this, and tells Heyman to shut up. Roman sticks up for Heyman, but Brock goads him, and now Heyman is trying to place peacemaker and as Brock turns to Heyman again telling him to shut up Roman drops Brock with a Superman punch, grins at Heyman, and heads out of the ring. I really like Heyman still being conflicted, he didn’t just flip a switch and change everything overnight. Brock and Roman still feels like a big deal, there’s some definite electricity between them. Solid opening segment.

After this break we’ll get Sami Zayn and Rick Boogs.

Sami Zayn is in the back and Megan recaps his last few weeks as well as sets up the match. Sami says it’s been a year since the conspiracy robbed him of his IC title, calls Rick Boogs a gorilla with a guitar who’s no match for the master strategist but he walks over and talks with Johnny Knoxville. Knoxville is here to continue his campaign for the Royal Rumble, but Sami says this isn’t Jackass, you need technical wrestling skills. Knoxville says he doesn’t, he just needs to throw people out of the ring. Sami says he’s not qualified to do this, or be in the Rumble, maybe if he showed Sami that he has something but until then just stay out of everyone’s way. Knoxville calls him an idiot as Sami’s music hits and he can’t respond before heading to the ring.

Rick Boogs then introduces himself and plays to the ring.

Match #1: Rick Boogs w/ Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Sami Zayn

Sami avoids Boogs for a bit before Boogs catches him with an exploder suplex. Another throw from Boogs then a military press and drop then Sami powders as we head to break.

We come back to Boogs easily gutwrenching Sami several times before tossing him away. Sami is able to snap Boogs over the top rope and start taking over. There’s an elbow off the second rope by Sami, he tries another one but Boogs catches him and starts working a bearhug. Boogs switches the bearhug into a suplex, Sami tries to fight out with knees but Boogs powers him back up from his knees, stands and hits a suplex. That takes almost inhuman strength to pull off, good grief. Sami heads out of the ring but this time Boogs follows him, sends him back into the ring but Sami kicks him out of the ring. They eventually get Boogs into the ring, then Sami and Nakamura trade some verbal barbs but no blows are traded. Boogs grabs a small package as Sami enters the ring and pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Rick Boogs won

Rating: 2.5 stars

The commercial ruined any flow this might have had, but as a showcase for Boogs this was good.

Post match Knoxville shows up and tosses Sami over the top rope. The ring announcer tells us that Johnny Knoxville will in fact be in the Royal Rumble. We get a look at the men currently in the Rumble, Knoxville, Dominick and Rey Mysterio, Austin Theory, and the Street Profits.

Kayla is in the back in her interview ring, and brings up New Day. Tonight is their “final” shot at the Usos, but they’re not concerned. A Street Fight means no rules, which makes sense for the disgusting street people like the Usos. But they’ll regain the tag team titles. Kofi’s laugh is still unbearably grating.

To the ring, and speaking of grating here comes Charlotte Flair. She’ll be doing something after this break.

Flair has a mic as we come back to action, she mocks people for their resolutions in the new year and says her ambition is to continue making history. The Royal Rumble is coming up, and that can change lives. So I guess it’s her job to remind us of the gimmick. She introduces the lineup for the women’s Royal Rumble.

Rhea Ripley, Nikki ASH, Bella Twins, Shotzi, Natalya, Michelle McCool, Dana Brooke, Carmella, Queen Zelina, Mickie James, Tamina, Kelly Kelly, Aliyah, Summer Rae, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, and Lita. That’s clearly not the entire lineup, and Pat McAfee actually says that Mickie James is the Impact Wrestling knockouts champion.

Back to Charlotte who says she’ll be entering the Royal Rumble as well. Even the fake crowd noise machine can’t be bothered to react to that. Charlotte wants to win and choose who she’ll main event WrestleMania with, but the music of Naomi hits to interrupt. So we’re just dropping Naomi’s issue with Sonya Deville after all that TV time are we? Naomi says Charlotte doesn’t have to wait until Mania to face a challenger, she could choose to face Naomi right now. Charlotte is in ring gear, and says Naomi has done nothing recently to deserve a match with her. Naomi, like all good guys in WWE, has to just listen to verbal abuse with no reply, until she just slaps Charlotte. Charlotte tries to charge but Naomi sends her out of the ring. Given that both are in ring gear I assume we’ll have a match after this break.

Match #2: Charlotte Flair vs. Naomi

We come back and surprise, Charlotte is in control. Charlotte with some trash talk but Naomi fights back and hits a sliding clothesline for a 1 count. Stiff kick from Naomi but she runs into a tilt a whirl backbreaker for a 2 count. Charlotte grabs a headscissors and starts working that hold. Charlotte with a flip through on the hold then a kip up but Naomi hits a double Sole Food. Naomi up top but takes too long and Charlotte cuts her off with a big boot that sends her to the floor. Charlotte follows Naomi out and tosses her over the barricade. Naomi fights back with a high kick then a blockbuster off of the barricade onto the floor. The ref is still counting but Naomi gets in and for God’s sake here comes Sonya Deville to make this a no count out as Naomi was set to win that way. I just had to open my mouth and ask for continuity. Charlotte with a cheap shot to send us to break.

We come back again, and again Charlotte is working a hold. Naomi fights out of a neck crank, hits a jawbreaker then another kick to the head. Naomi counters a tilt a whirl into a crossbody, then hits a leg drop but can’t keep Charlotte down. Springboard kick off the second rope from Naomi, after a bit of a wobble on the ropes, but that still gets 2. Naomi heads up top, hits an ugly crossbody for a 2 count. Charlotte counters the Rear View with a roll up, moves into the Figure 4 but Naomi moves to the ropes but as the ref breaks the hold here’s Sonya again to mention there’s no disqualification in this match. In fact the only way to win is by pin fall or submission. Naomi avoids a big boot and kicks Charlotte, then tries a Sunset Flip but Charlotte blocks it and stomps on her. Charlotte heads up top for her crappy double moonsault, connects but only a 2 count on the pin. Naomi grabs a crucifix but only 2, some sloppy rope moves then a double kick and both women are down. Charlotte badly mistimed her thigh slap there, almost comically so. Naomi lands a kick, hits a Bubba Bomb but only gets a 2 count on the pin. Charlotte tosses Naomi into the ropes, hits a backbreaker but still can’t keep Naomi down. Naomi badly counters a powerbomb into an X-Factor for a 2 count, then she heads up for a split legged moonsault but Charlotte catches her and hits a back suples then Natural Selection to pin and win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Charlotte Flair won

Rating: 2.5 stars

They tried way too hard to make this feel bigger than it was and it went on way too long. This felt like Charlotte trying to rehab her reputation after so visibly sandbagging Toni Storm for weeks on end.

Kayla is in the back and brings out the Usos. They says the New Day had a chance at Day 1 but the Usos hit them with the 3D, now the 1D 1 and Done. Tonight they’ll end their rivalry once and for all, the New Day will know why the Usos are the ones.

In the ring, here comes Happy Corbin. What did we do to deserve a prolonged Charlotte segment followed by Happy Corbin? Anyway, after this break we’ll get Happy Talk.

When we come back we get a recap of the opening segment, happier times just 60 or so minutes ago.

In the back Adam Pearce talks with Sonya Deville, they need to get Roman an opponent for the Royal Rumble and Pearce gets to decide on Roman’s opponent but he has to decide by the end of the night. We get a slightly awkward ending to that shot, lingering on a long haired man only seen in silhouette in the back.

To the ring, here’s Happy Corbin but still no Madcap Moss. Corbin thanks the Happy Heads for coming out. He says that with COVID you have to watch your back, like Drew McIntyre didn’t after his match with Madcap Moss at Day 1. That gives us a video recap of the brawl at Day 1 and Corbin Pillmanizing Drew’s neck. Corbin finds this hilarious, seeing the recap makes him happy and it was worth every penny of his fine to do. He thought Drew would be out for months after that, but Drew is here tonight and he brings out Drew McIntyre. Well, it’s not Drew it’s Madcap Moss in a bad kilt with a tiny plastic sword and a neck brace. Moss makes his way to the ring and Happy starts interviewing him. Corbin asks how he’s even walking, Moss with a bad Scottish accent says he’s spent a lifetime eating haggis so he can survive anything. He does think Corbin would kill him in a match. One final question from Corbin, he wants to know when Drew will compete again. Moss could compete tomorrow but he’s going to milk this injury to pursue his passion of watercolor painting and poetry about the Loch Ness monster. The Viking Raiders show up to end this travesty, Corbin and Moss head out of the ring but their tag team match will be up after this break. I feel like I say this every week after a Corbin segment, but how in the world does this near billion dollar publicly traded company with broadcasts on major network TV and a global reach think this is a wise use of airtime.

Match #3 – Tag Team Match: Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss

We come back as Moss eats some tandem offense from the Raiders. Moss is able to tag out but Ivar kicks Corbin in the face and tags out. Now Corbin takes a series of tandem offense for a 2 count. Moss with a cheap shot to Erik and Corbin hits a Deep Six leading to Ivar breaking up the pin. Corbin lays in body blows then tags Moss who hits a shot to the head off of the ropes. Moss catches Erik and hits a fall away slam. Corbin tags back in and lays in strikes, Erik tries to fight back but Corbin cuts him off with a tomahawk elbow. Erik takes out Corbin on the apron but Moss unloads on him in the corner before Erik side steps his charge and drops Moss with a knee to the face. Ivar wants in, but Corbin takes him off the apron and shoves him into the ring steps. Moss with a gut shot to Erik, hits the Punchline and pins to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss won

Rating: 1.5 stars

Too short to be anything, and if you’ve seen one match with Corbin or Moss you’ve seen them all.

We get an update on Drew, he’ll be out for a while. We head to Sheamus who doesn’t care about Drew’s status, but he does feel a little responsible for Ricochet breaking Ridge Holland’s nose on Saturday. But he knows what will cheer Ridge up, Sheamus is in the Royal Rumble and will win it then main event WrestleMania.

Here comes New Day for our presumptive main event, which should start after this break.

We come back to Roman in his locker room and here comes Adam Pearce. Pearce wants to tell him he’s selected his next opponent. Roman doesn’t care, he’s smashed everyone on the roster already, then dismisses Pearce so he can watch his cousins match. No name was given by Pearce.

Back to the ring, here come the Usos.

Match #4 – Tag Team Title Street Fight: (c) The Usos (Jimmy and Jey) vs. New Day (Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston)

Jimmy and Jey rocking the Bloodline shirt but have tape crossing out Paul Heyman, I appreciate that. Jimmy and Kofi start, this is a Street Fight why are we tagging? Quick offense from the New Day as Woods tags in. Jey in to save Jimmy from a finisher, then Kofi heads up top and trust falls onto both Usos to send us to break.

We come back to a wild brawl, good. All four men are fighting on the entrance stage, Kofi bounces Jimmy off of the LED board then Woods does the same to Jey. Jimmy tosses Kofi into a barricade then hits Woods with a right. Kofi takes a weak flapjack onto the apron then Woods with a super kick to Jimmy. Jey and Woods head into the ring where Woods hits his slingshot tornado DDT for a 2 count. Jimmy in the ring and hits a pop up Samoan drop for a 2 count. Kofi is in the ring now and lays in strikes to Jimmy but he gets caught in an alley oop Samoan drop for 2. Jey heads out of the ring and grabs tape. Jimmy tapes Woods to the ropes then Kofi hits him with a reverse suplex. Kofi with a sloppy as hell SOS to Jey for a near fall. Kofi removes the tape on Woods then they low bridge the charging Usos. Things return to the ringside area and we get more brawling, Jimmy posts Kofi then Jey tosses Woods into the fans. Jey gets the steel steps, he and Jimmy the blast Kofi with them. They head with the steps into the crowd, and drill Woods with them as well. The Usos stand tall and pose for a moment, then head back to the ring. Kofi takes some strikes, but here comes Woods for a double clothesline off of the barricade and everyone’s down as we head to break.

Jimmy is set up for a Doomsday crossbody as we come back to action, New Day hit that move but Jimmy still kicks out at 2. We are told we’ll get news about who Adam Pearce chose to face Roman before the show ends. Xavier Woods finds a Roman helmet under the ring, Kofi has a chest plate and they abuse Jimmy for a bit. Jey hits a super kick to Woods but the helmet protects him so Jey eats a headbutt and shot from Kofi. Stereo super kicks from New Day but that only gets 2 as well. The crowd chant for tables, Woods is limping lightly on one leg, I think he tweaked it earlier. Woods heads out of the ring and gets a table that he sends into the ring. Kofi sets up the table in a corner, Woods grabs Jimmy and tries to send him into the table but he and Jimmy trade counters before Jimmy drops Woods with a super kick. Kofi super kicks Jimmy, then Jey super kicks Kofi. Jey sets to hit a hip attack but Kofi avoids him and hits Trouble in Paradise but Jimmy breaks up the pin. Woods heads to the apron, he heads to the top rope but Jey crotches him once he gets there. Double super kick from Jimmy and Jey to Woods, then another one to Kofi. Sandwich super kick for Kofi then the Usos set up the table. Jey sets for the 1D, they hit it through the table and pin Kofi to retain.

OFFICIAL RESULT: The Usos retained the Smackdown tag team titles

Rating: 3 stars

These two teams could have a watchable match in their sleep, but the downside is they’ve just wrestled each other too much. I also dislike street fights that don’t feel brutal, this is supposed to be a big blow off and parts of it felt too sanitized.

In his locker room Roman hears a knock and in comes Seth Rollins. Rollins does his stupid laugh as we end the episode. Well, Roman and Rollins will be. . . well it will definitely happen I guess.

6.6
The final score: review Average
The 411
Smackdown has become a show of highs and lows, the opening segment between Roman and Brock was genuinely great. Sadly everything after that was downhill, including an interminably long Charlotte Flair bit, another mostly painful segment featuring Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss, just a lot of dross tonight. The main event was good, thankfully with the Usos retaining to give their program with the New Day a break, but felt watered down as well as suffering from just the repetition of that pairing. I'm also not happy about Rollins coming back, but I wont hold that too much against the show. As far as teasing Roman and Brock, plus setting some pieces in place for the Rumble, this gets an Average rating.
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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree