Smackdown – January 24, 2017

Date: January 24, 2017
Location: Huntington Center, Toledo, Ohio
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips, David Otunga

It’s the final show before the Royal Rumble and that means we might be in for a few more announcements for the big battle royal. At the moment, twenty one names have been announced and most of them are from Monday Night Raw. A few more Smackdown names wouldn’t hurt anything and could be on the way tonight. Let’s get to it.

We open with Miz complaining to Daniel Bryan that he and Maryse don’t have their own private dressing room. Miz wants to know what will be done for someone with his star power so Bryan offers to curtain off a stall in the men’s room. Bryan gives him a better offer: a rematch for the Intercontinental Title against Dean Ambrose. Miz suggests a No DQ match but Bryan thinks a lumberjack match would be better.

We get a long recap on Randy Orton joining the Wyatt Family and the team’s issues since.

Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper

Bray is sitting in his rocking chair and stoically looking ahead. Orton elbows Harper in the jaw to start and they head outside for nothing in particular. Back in and Orton kicks him in the face to set up the elevated DDT. Harper’s neck seems to be a bit banged up as they head outside again with Luke kicking Orton in the face.

Bray throws both of them back inside and it’s off to a break. Back with Orton fighting out of a chinlock and scoring with a superplex. Harper grabs his Michinoku Driver and kicks Orton in the face for two, drawing a smile from Bray. Orton gets two off a rollup so Harper tries the discus lariat, only to get caught in the RKO for the pin at 9:50.

Rating: C. This was much more about the angle than the match and I don’t think there was much of a surprise with Orton winning. Harper is a talented guy but he has no business going over someone on Orton’s level at this point. I wouldn’t mind if Harper went out on his own but it didn’t go all that well in the first try and he’s about the same as he was back then.

Post match Wyatt gives Harper Sister Abigail. The announcers aren’t sure if Harper is out of the Family or if it was just tough love.

Recap of last week’s cage match and Mickie James being revealed as La Luchadora.

Renee Young brings out Mickie James to explain her actions from last week. She reads off her resume but Renee says that isn’t enough. Mickie doesn’t like having to explain herself because this Divas Revolution is nonsense. The only person that sees things the right way is Alexa Bliss, who has been fighting against the Revolution since it started. Becky Lynch is nothing special and Mickie would love to fight her anytime. Cue Becky to chase Mickie into the crowd but Alexa jumps her to start the double beatdown.

Last week, Carmella took James Ellsworth on a shopping spree. James wasn’t sure about the prices but Carmella insists. First up: pants. Ellsworth starts with jeans but Carmella isn’t happy. Various other goofy outfits ensue so Carmella finally takes over with the help of Dante the fashion guy. Eventually it’s decided to make him into someone who belongs on Jersey Shore and that’s it.

Battle Royal

Heath Slater, Rhyno, Tyler Breeze, Fandango, Simon Gotch, Aiden English, Konnor, Viktor, Mojo Rawley, Curt Hawkins

The winner is in the Rumble and Baron Corbin is on commentary. English and Gotch are out in the first five seconds and Mojo punches Hawkins out next. Slater and Viktor get rid of each other, followed by Mojo helping to get rid of Rhyno and Konnor. Mojo superkicks Fandango out and backdrops Breeze to the floor for the win at 3:15.

Rating: D. This wasn’t much but they kept it quick enough that it couldn’t cause any problems. Rawley is in a weird spot at the moment as he hasn’t done any real singles work in a long time so it’s not the worst idea to let him establish himself a little bit here. The match was so short that it’s hard to complain so I’ll spare you any issues with a three minute battle royal.

Nikki Bella was walking into the arena earlier when she explained that she and John Cena just happened to be next to her on the side of the production truck. Natalya comes up and lays Nikki out.

Here’s AJ Styles to call out John Cena. Before he gets there though, he has an issue with the Royal Rumble poster. Cena is up near the front and Styles is almost in the back of a big group shot. Now it’s Cena, who looks to have some new gear. Earlier this week, Styles turned on the Today Show and saw Cena as guest host. Cena talked about facing some guy from Atlanta and the incredibly marky host is confident Cena will win. AJ doesn’t like being referred to as just some guy and says no one has missed Cena.

John is a sorry excuse for a wrestler so Cena finally goes on a rant about how he’s been around for ten years while AJ has only been hot for six months. AJ might have been great on the indies but Cena was built for WWE and gets more done in one day than AJ does in a year. If Styles is so mad about the poster, learn how to Photoshop. AJ is just like everyone else: wanting to be Cena when he just can’t do it.

Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler

The superkick ends Kalisto in 48 seconds.

Post match Ziggler grabs a chair but JBL stands up, allowing Apollo Crews to really chase Ziggler off.

Naomi vs. Natalya

No match as Nikki attacks Natalya in the back.

Naomi says she wants to fight someone so here’s Alexa….to says he won’t do it either.

Dean Ambrose says there aren’t enough lumberjacks in the world to stop him from beating Miz tonight.

Intercontinental Title: Miz vs. Dean Ambrose

Ambrose is defending in the Rumble. Dean threatens Dirty Deeds to send Miz outside and the lumberjacks pummel him. That’s only good for two though and we take an early break. Back with Miz sending Dean to the floor a few times, followed by the YES Kicks. Dean comes back with the top rope elbow for two and it’s time for the lumberjacks to beat on Miz even more.

Back in and Maryse grabs Dean’s leg, setting up a running knee ala Daniel Bryan (JBL says that’s how Bryan won the title at Wrestlemania because JBL isn’t as smart as he thinks) for two more. Miz is sent to the floor again and Dean dives on the big pile. The fans think this is awesome as Dean hits the rebound lariat for two, only to have everyone come in for…..absolutely nothing because ten guys coming in and attacking both wrestlers isn’t a DQ. Dirty Deeds ends Miz at 12:15.

Rating: C+. While I’m not sure this was awesome, I’m sure that the ending didn’t make a lot of sense. Like, you can’t do a no contest when ALL THE LUMBERJACKS come in at once? It’s really that important to have Ambrose pin Miz here? Anyway, the match was fine as these two have chemistry together and that’s all that matters.

Ambrose poses to end the show.

Overall Rating: C. This wasn’t Smackdown’s best work as it seems that they’re getting ready for everything besides the Rumble. Now in a way I can get that idea as there’s only so much hype you can do for a battle royal when your roster doesn’t even comprise a third of the lineup and none of your entrants have any real chance. Still though, they did the best with what they had and that’s fine enough.


Randy Orton b. Luke Harper – RKO

Mojo Rawley won a battle royal last eliminating Tyler Breeze

Dolph Ziggler b. Kalisto – Superkick

Dean Ambrose b. Miz – Dirty Deeds


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  • BODConscience

    I hope that interaction between corbin and Ambrose isn’t the beginning of a feud. I mean I don’t hate either of them but just even thinking about them having matches together makes me physically Ill. Although who knows? Maybe they’ll have Ryback/Kalisto chemistry. Weirder stuff has happened.

    • Phrederic

      If Corbin just slaps the piss out of Ambrose it could be okay.

  • Mike Mears

    I didn’t watch the show, but it sounds like Cena was intentionally cutting his promo juuuust on the other side of the face/heel line he crosses every once in a while. They’ve managed to make me hyped for a match I wasn’t thinking I needed to see again, so kudos to them for that.

    • Dwayne

      My only issue is Cena cut that promo as if he didn’t lose to AJ before. You wouldn’t think AJ ever beat him if you didn’t already know

      • Mike Mears

        But if I’m right and he is trying to come off as kind of a dick, wouldn’t that kinda make sense? (Again, I didn’t see it so I could be full of shit)

        • Dwayne

          Maybe but this is a guy that he wants to take the title from that he hasn’t beaten yet. So it comes of kinda strange to act that way.

  • Stranger In the Alps

    I like having the IC title defended on television often, kind of like a pseudo-TV title. Put a champion on TV so that your #1 champ doesn’t get overexposed.

    Not like that lame duck over on Raw, who appears to wrestle every week to diminishing returns each time.

    • Can’t blame that on KO, every week on RAW he pretty much gets emasculated by Roman. He gets treated like a comedy act instead of a cold blooded killer champion, which is how he should be booked. The difference between RAW and Smackdown is just startling, like two different companies running shows. RAW hypes legends and old guys, plus the non-stop push of RR, while SD hypes matches and promotes and builds up people to look great. I mean seriously, look at Corbin, Miz, Ziggler, Lynch, Bliss and even Ambrose, they all come out looking so good on SD. Meanwhile on RAW it feels like no one ever gets a chance to shine and everyone has to look subservient to Big Steph, it’s night and day.

  • Waddam N. Oover

    When Cena said “You’re gonna try as hard as you can to make it here, but if you ever fail? No, it ain’t your fault…it’s my fault, right? ‘Cause I buried you?” sounded way more directed at Ryback than it was at Styles.

  • Adam Wright

    I would love for Luke Harper to go out on his own, but they need to change his look. Last time they tried him as a singles guy, they kept him looking like a wyatt family member, which was a big mistake.

    He needs his own identity.

    • Buster Abbott

      The problem is that Harper has such a fantastic “this guy is bad news” look that you’d only want to modify it, not change it altogether. Having him show up beardless or something would be jarring

  • Adam Wright

    Annoyingly that battle royal for a spot in the Rumble is a perfect Pre-show match. There’s no need to have it on Smackdown itself.

    • They add any more matches to the pre-show it’s gonna tie the main show for matches. Which is actually funny and depressing at same time.

  • Sexy Miz

    The Miz Theme Unplugged.

  • ziggaman730

    Gotta love the “I dont owe you an excuse”. nearly 2 decades of making it easy for the WWE writers.


    I was expecting… more.


  • Ioan Morris

    Royal Rumble match
    Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns
    AJ Styles vs. John Cena
    Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley
    Rich Swann vs. Neville
    Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya

    How the hell do they stretch that to four hours?

    • Adam Wright

      Royal Rumble match – 1hr 20 (if using 2 minutes between competitors)
      Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns – 30mins
      AJ Styles vs. John Cena – 30 mins
      Charlotte Flair vs. Bayley – 20 mins
      Rich Swann vs. Neville- 10 mins
      Becky Lynch, Nikki Bella, and Naomi vs. Alexa Bliss, Mickie James, and Natalya – 10 mins

      That’s 3 hours right there, plus all the entrances, promos etc.

      • Wasn’t the six woman match announced for the preshow? Or did I miss something. I thought the six woman/Banks and Jax/Tag Titles/Cruiser matches were on preshow.

    • TatR!

      Rumble 70
      Owens Reigns 30 with entrances
      Styles Cena 35 with entrances
      Panel waffles several times 20
      Flair vs Bayley 25 with entrances
      Swann vs Nevlle 15 with entrances
      tag match 15 with entrances
      promos, videos, blathering 30

      four hours flies when time moves so slowly

      • Ioan Morris

        It’s a pretty tight 1hr if you watch on Monday.

        • TatR!

          i’ll read Scotts rant in 30 seconds and then write something stupid in the comments, total time: 34 seconds

          • Ioan Morris

            Nicely done. Efficient.

    • kbwrestlingreviews

      With Rollins out of the Rumble you can expect a long Seth vs. Authority talking segment too.

  • Devin Harris

    I know I keep bitching about this but I hate when some guys enter themselves in the rumble while other guys fight for it. I’m asking too much. I know

    • Don’t ask for continuity on WWE, that’s not allowed. They practically book the damn show on a napkin as it airs as it is. They probably won’t even decide of the Rumble till the final four.

      • brak_attack

        While I agree with you in principle, I think it’s unfair to say that we shouldn’t expect continuity yet simultaneously ignore their continuity. For weeks Steph has been on Zayn’s case and for months she’s been against Rollins. It shouldn’t have to be spelled out that she’s punishing them in ways that she didn’t punish others. Along with that, look at the caliber of people who had to participate in a battle royal to get in — ALL lower midcarders. They shouldn’t really be held to the same standard as somebody like the Undertaker, who can just say “I’m in.”

    • Chris Hirsch

      Sami Zayn and Rollins were forced because Stephanie hates them, the losers in this battle royale should have to earn a spot. Most everyone else that declared at least has a track record.

      • Devin Harris

        I hate that we have to fill in the blanks instead of them explaining it. This one seems simple enough

    • kbwrestlingreviews

      I’m the same. It really does come off like Stephanie just gets to do whatever she wants and screw off if you notice issues.

  • And the running gag of Simon Gotch being the first one eliminated in an elimination match continues.

  • Stan Ford

    They are foreshadowing the shit out of an AJ/Cena double turn.

    • WWF1987

      Cena’s not turning heel. He’s added some tweener to his character though.

  • I like Cena but I don’t want him to win the match at the Rumble, especially after that Today Show segment. I don’t know how anyone is supposed to root for Cena after showing that. Between that and the Chamber, sadly I don’t think AJ’s going to WM as the champ.

    It’s fascinating to see Dean Ambrose as the undisputed top babyface as Smackdown, keeping the Intercontinental title warm (in a good way). He feels totally in place, as does the Miz.

    • WWF1987

      It’s sad that AJ has to wrestle Shane at Mania after the heck of a year he just had.

      • It sounds like crap but the upside is AJ will be in one of the main events and avoid the beehive battle royal or ladder matches. Any McMahon in a pay per view match gets one of the top billings.

        • BODConscience

          Yep. I wouldn’t mind that situation. As sad as it sounds he would get more out of it than a mod card title match and besides may e they’re going to channel the Angle/Shane matches from KOTR (I believe). That’s always a good thing.

          • *shameless plug warning* I rewatched that match recently so I could write about it and I concur – we could do with more true Street Fights like that one every now and again. And when you remember what AJ used do with Abyss and the like, a No DQ match with Shane actually sounds pretty good on paper.

      • Chris Hirsch

        Did Observer report this or something?

  • Andrew Barbarash

    I think you have underrated this show, sure it wasn’t a blow away hit. But Orton/Harper and Miz/Ambrose delivered fun matches and the Micky James return promo was intriguing and actually had justification for her actions. Cena/AJ continue to make absorbing TV as I sense there is a lot of competitive (albeit friendly) tension between the two and that spills out nicely on SD. Also the ambiguity of where both Cena and AJs characters are heading make their exchanges fascinating and unpredictable. No one can say for sure who is going to win because both are transiting beyond the current roles they play be it face or heel. I can’t see AJ being a heel by the time Mania rolls around and I don’t think Cena is a babyface anymore, even if they aren’t turning him heel something has shifted.

  • Chris Hirsch

    I think Cena is just finally freshening up his character, while he will remain a face. He should be protective of his spot and he should be running down the “new era” that is trying to take his spot. For once, he has to show some passion.

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