Event: WWE SmackDown
Date: January 3, 2020
Location: Memphis, TN
WWE SmackDown Results & Highlights
The first SmackDown of the new decade started with Daniel Bryan and The Miz in a backstage segment where The A-Lister asked the American Dragon to beat The Fiend at Royal Rumble not just for him but for everyone.
Lacey Evans & Dana Brooke def. Sasha Banks & Bayley, and Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross in a Triple Threat Tag Team Match: Each team started with a fair share of mike time between them. It was a slow and not so entertaining match and the crowd was silent throughout, with the wrestlers trying to fire them up every now and then. Evans finally delivered Woman’s Right to Banks before tagging in Brooke who hit a Senton off the top rope to secure the win.
Shorty G def. Dash Wilder: The match was made backstage when G tried to motivate a frustrated Revival because they feel they are not being respected and were being reduced to a comedy act in WWE. Shorty G locked Wilder in an Ankle Lock to win the match.
Post-match, Scott Dawson and Wilder double teamed and attacked Shorty G inside the ring delivering a Shatter Machine. SHEAMUS made a shocking return after teasing for weeks, forcing the Revival to retreat. While everyone thought he was there to make the save, the Celtic Warrior made another swerve and delivered a massive Brogue Kick to Shorty G and walked away.
Kofi Kingston def. The Miz: The match was made earlier in the show when The Miz ran into Kofi and Big E backstage. Miz was clearly frustrated with how things went down with The Fiend, and the conversation did not go well with the New Day. Miz appeared to be out of focus throughout the match as Kofi got the better of him on every move. Kofi went for the SOS but Miz countered it and went for the Skull Crushing Finale but Kofi countered again with a rollup to secure the win.
Post-match, Miz ambushed Kofi from behind and retreated before Big E could interfere. The crowd booed him out of the arena as the A-Lister appeared to be an emotional wreck. Is The Miz turning heel again?
Backstage: Roman Reigns announced his entry into the Royal Rumble. In another segment, when Cathy Kelley tried to get an interview with Miz, she was instead met with a returning JOHN MORRISON who said that Miz doesn’t have anything to say. Is Morrison joining The Miz to resurrect the Dirt Sheet Duo?
Otis def. Drew Gulak: Before the match started, Gulak insulted Otis and said that he has made a 372 slide powerpoint presentation explaining the reasons why Mandy Rose wouldn’t date him. An already upset Otis did not have the patience and pulled Gulak into the ring to start the match. Otis delivered the Caterpillar and a splash from the top rope to secure the win.
Braun Strowman def. Cesaro: Accompanied by Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura, Cesaro took the fight to Strowman. Nakamura and Zayn tried to create distractions but it helped only so much. Cesaro went for the Neutralizer but the Moster Among Men countered with a powerbomb to secure the win.
Post-match, Nakamura ambushed Strowman with a Kinshasa before Zayn got them to retreat.
Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns def. Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler via Disqualification: The faces and heels went against each other with their regular move sets. Bryan managed to apply the LeBell lock on Ziggler but Corbin made the save and went for a Chokeslam only to be hit by a massive Spear from Roman Reigns. Ziggler took out Reigns with a Superkick and went for a Zigzag on Bryan but the American Dragon countered it and delivered the Running Knee. Before Bryan could make the pin, The Fiend appeared out of nowhere and took him out with Mandible Claw, drove him through the barricade and then disappeared into the darkness.
With Daniel Bryan out of the equation, Corbin and Ziggler took advantage of the situation and blindsided Roman Reigns who went to check on Bryan. They handcuffed Reigns to the rope inside the ring and was about to pour dog food all over him when the music hit and THE USOS returned to save their cousin. Jimmy and Jey superkicked the heels out of the ring and rescued Reigns to end the show.
Takeaways from Friday Night SmackDown
1. New Decade, New-ish Faces
WWE made a bold statement with their first show of the decade with a loaded episode which reeked of a RAW-after Mania event. John Morrison, Sheamus, and The Usos returned to strengthen the thin SmackDown roster, and WWE didn’t hold back the eventual returns for Royal Rumble.
With the return of Usos and a possible Miz-Morrison team-up, the Tag Team Division will get a massive shot in the arm, after suffering with Revival-New Day matchups for the better part of 2019.
Morrison and Sheamus are two names that will be familiar with a lot of WWE audiences, as they were top names when the 2010 decade started and will look to get back to that position in this new decade as well.
Overall, WWE made a fresh and promising start to the year, and hopefully, they can keep up the quality in the coming weeks.
2. 50-50 Booking?
Although WWE is doing a fantastic job with the Women’s Division on the blue brand, the booking of certain superstars raises more questions than answers. Dana Brooke has been generally used as the superstar who takes the pin role, but for some reason, she ended up pinning Sasha Banks this week.
Lacey Evans is clearly the next challenger for Bayley’s Women Championship, and hence, Brooke getting a random pin out of nowhere doesn’t make sense at this point. If WWE decides to use this and give Brooke a string of victories in the coming weeks, it will be great, however, WWE will most likely have Banks take back the victory in a singles match down the line.
3. Yet Another Victim
Finn Balor has become the Prince, Seth Rollins is the self-centered heel again, Daniel Bryan has returned to his American Dragon roots, and now The Miz has finally snapped to go back to his former self.
After a year of staying as a babyface, Miz attacked Kofi Kingston and went back to his heel role, and will apparently reunite the Dirt Sheet Duo with John Morrison.
The Miz has always excelled in his role as the douchey heel, and along with John Morrison, the duo could be a force to be reckoned with on the blue brand.
4. Reigns Is Back In The Main-Event
Roman Reigns finally acknowledged the WWE Universal Championship and laid down his claim for the top title on the blue brand. In a segment with Bryan, Reigns expressed his wishes to win the Royal Rumble and challenge for the Universal Title at WrestleMania.
Reigns has stayed away from any form of championship rivalry since his return, and his only title match in 2019 came during a random SmackDown episode against Shinsuke Nakamura for the IC title.
With reinforcements in the form of Usos, Roman Reigns looks set to be the one to take down the Fiend at WrestleMania.