Smackdown – January 31, 2020

Smackdown
Date: January 31, 2020
Location: BOK Center, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

We’re done with the Royal Rumble and since Drew McIntyre won, we need a new #1 contender to the Smackdown World Title. Granted that probably won’t be happening until Elimination Chamber or whatever else is next, but you can almost pencil in Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin in some form for the title shot. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Here are Roman Reigns and the Usos to open things up. Reigns is happy to have beaten King Corbin but he’s not happy with losing the Royal Rumble. They’ll regroup tonight against…well these three as Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode interrupt. Corbin talks about how the Usos are the reason he didn’t win the Royal Rumble. The Usos talk about beating the three of them up over and over so Corbin brings up their suspension.

We see the dog food incident again, with Cole saying we’ve seen this “ad nauseum”, as even WWE admits that this feud has gone on WAY too far. Reigns accuses Corbin of having a dog food fetish and offers a stipulation: the loser of the main event eats dog food. A bunch of dog food is wheeled out and Cole suddenly finds the possibility of Corbin eating dog food to be HILARIOUS. It’s almost like he’s suddenly 74 year old man child who is entertained by juvenile ideas.

Heavy Machinery vs. Lucha House Party vs. Miz/John Morrison vs. Revival

The winners get a Tag Team Title shot at Super Showdown and Kalisto is the odd luchador out. Tucker bearhugs Wilder to start and it’s quickly off to Otis, so Tucker throws Wilder to him as the bearhugging continues. That’s broken up and it’s Morrison coming in to get caught with a springboard hurricanrana from Metalik. Revival breaks up a sunset flip for two as everything breaks down.

Heavy Machinery is sent outside for double dives from the House Party, followed by Morrison hitting a huge top rope corkscrew dive. Miz teases his own dive but Dawson cuts them off, allowing Metalik to hit his own dive as we take a break. Back with Dorado hitting a double Golden Rewind on Miz and Morrison and everything breaks down again. Otis hits a double Caterpillar on Miz and Morrison for two but Dawson knocks Otis into a tag from Metalik.

A springboard crossbody from Metalik sets up a top rope splash from Dorado but Otis comes back in to clean house. Dawson DDTs Otis but Dorado slips out of a slingshot suplex. Back to back moonsaults connect but the third is cut off, setting up Wilder’s belly to back superplex on Kalisto. Miz sneaks back in with the Skull Crushing Finale into Starship Pain to Dawson for the pin and the title shot at 11:57.

Rating: C+. They didn’t bother with anything but action here and that made for an entertaining match. There was no reason to do anything more than go all the way with something like this and we even got the logical challengers out of it. The match was fun and that’s as good as they could have done.

Fire & Desire come up to Heavy Machinery with Mandy thanking Otis for his help in the Royal Rumble. Tucker tells him to go for it so Otis admits that he likes Mandy and asks her on a date for next Friday. She has plans on Friday, but she doesn’t have any two Fridays from now. As in Valentine’s Day.

Video on Daniel Bryan vs. the Fiend in the strap match. Daniel Bryan thinks he might have gone too far because his wife wouldn’t let his daughter see the scars on his back.

Video on Halftime Heat, twenty one years ago today.

Fire & Desire vs. Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross

The winners COULD get a future title shot. It’s a brawl before the bell with Sonya getting tied in the ring skirt and Nikki having to be dragged off. Bliss gets knocked into the announcers’ table but says she’s good so the bell can ring. The chinlock goes on before it’s off to Mandy, with Nikki having to be taken out. Bliss forearms her way out of the corner and gets in a hard shot to Sonya. A roll underneath Mandy is enough for the hot tag to Nikki so house can be cleaned. Everything breaks down and the Purge into Twisted Bliss finishes Mandy at 3:28.

Rating: D+. The usual shortened women’s tag here which had little going for it as commentary talked about Otis and Mandy. Therefore, of course it makes sense for Mandy to take the fall here. The two stories aren’t connected, but Mandy is the only one of the four doing something interesting and it’s not like her getting pinned advances anything else. It’s a little thing but why mess with a story that is getting somewhere?

Intercontinental Title: Braun Strowman vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura is defending and has Sami Zayn and Cesaro with him. Strowman shoulders him down to start and hits a running splash in the corner to make it even worse. Sami gets in a cheap shot from the floor though and Nakamura takes over with a front facelock. Some kicks in the corner have Strowman rocked so he blasts his way out with a clothesline.

The running shoulder on the floor has Nakamura down again but Strowman misses a charge. Nakamura kicks him in the head and hits the running knee to the back of the head for two. Sami goes for the turnbuckle pad and Cesaro offers a distraction, only to have Strowman send Nakamura into the buckle instead. The running powerslam gives us a new champion at 4:35.

Rating: D+. It took long enough. Strowman winning a title does feel like a big deal and even though it should have been the World Title and over a year ago, I’ll take what I can get. This actually came off as something important and the fans seemed happy with what they saw. Not much of a match, but Nakamura had held the thing since July and not done a thing with it. I can’t imagine that changes under Strowman, but at least he FINALLY won something that matters.

Post break Sami is livid but Elias is in the ring to interrupt them. Sami tries to rant but Elias keeps interrupting with the guitar. That’s enough as Sami sends Cesaro to the ring to deal with this. Elias beats Cesaro up and stands tall.

Video on Shorty G. vs. Sheamus.

Sheamus vs. Shorty G.

Gable jumps Sheamus from behind on the ramp and we take a break before the bell. We’re joined in progress with Gable fighting out of a chinlock but getting taken to the floor for the Regal Roll. Back in and Sheamus hits a reverse Wasteland but Gable ties him in the ropes and slugs away. The Liger kick in the corner sets up the moonsault for two but Sheamus is right back up. The Irish Curse into the Brogue Kick finishes at 3:49.

Rating: C. Just in case you didn’t get the point on the Kickoff Show. This was the same result as Gable tries hard but can’t overcome the size difference, because we need to hammer home the one thing that the company sees in him. Why or how this is the best thing they can do with him is beyond me but I guess we’re just lucky that way.

Here’s a very happy Bayley to brag about retaining the Women’s Title at the Royal Rumble. You can’t recreate her and she crushed Lacey Evans’ dreams for injuring Sasha Banks and putting her on the shelf. Bayley did all this with Lacey’s daughter Summer in the front row so now she knows what a failure her mom is. If Summer needs a role model, she can sit in the crowd with these idiots and watch Bayley. We all know Charlotte is going to pick her for the title match so just get out here right now.

Cue Naomi instead (now with what looks like a light up bowl around her head during her entrance) to say she can’t help but hear the trash talk around here. Bayley has never beaten her and that title could use some glow. Before the challenge can be on, Bayley drops her with one shot. The belt shot misses though and Naomi hits a springboard kick to the head. This is a fresh challenger with some credibility so good for them.

Usos/Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin/Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler

The losers must eat DOG FOOD, which Cole has repeated about 37 times tonight. Corbin punches Jey down for an early two and a low bridge puts Jey on the floor. Roode, now in long tights, hits a spinebuster on the floor as Cole puts over how bad the dog food smells. We take a break and come back with Roode cranking on Jey’s arms. Jey slips out so Ziggler comes in, only to miss a Stinger Splash in the corner.

Corbin gets the tag and breaks up the hot tag though, allowing him to make Jey look at the dog food. That’s enough to make Jey get over for the hot tag to Reigns as everything breaks down. A big boot connects for Reigns but Corbin is back with a chokeslam for two. Ziggler adds a superkick and it’s the Deep Six for two more on Reigns. Jimmy is back in and sends Roode over the announcers’ table, setting up another dive to Ziggler. Reigns misses the spear but rolls Corbin up for the pin at 9:56.

Rating: C-. Yeah it’s another watchable match but it’s everything else that is making it bad. Between Cole shouting about the dog food over and over and over again and the fact that we’ve seen these people fight for months now and how this was nothing new as far as a six man formula goes, this wasn’t exactly thrilling. It’s fine for a house show stipulation where the kids can laugh, but when you have to hear about it all night long, it’s way too much.

Post match Corbin tries to leave but he gets speared down and handcuffed, meaning he gets chained up like he did to Reigns months ago. The buckets of dog food are poured over him so Reigns and the Usos can pose to end the show. It’s a poetic way to go about things with Corbin, but the feud has gone on for so long now that the impact is really, really weakened. Also it’s not exactly brilliant, cutting edge stuff in the first place.

Overall Rating: D+. So that’s how we start up the Road to Wrestlemania: building to Super Showdown, a Valentine’s Day comedy angle, a Royal Rumble rematch and dog food (plus a title change and a new challenger for the Women’s Title as it did have some good stuff). This could have been a show from any time during the year and I’m not exactly thrilled with how the important season started off. There were some positives here but the negatives were more as it didn’t exactly feel inspired.

Results

Miz/John Morrison b. Heavy Machinery, Revival and Lucha House Party – Starship Pain to Dawson

Alexa Bliss/Nikki Cross b. Fire & Desire – Twisted Bliss to Rose

Braun Strowman b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Running powerslam

Sheamus b. Shorty G. – Brogue Kick

Roman Reigns/Usos b. King Corbin/Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler – Rollup to Corbin

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