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.
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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