SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE LIVE EVENT – SMACKDOWN
JANUARY 8, 2018
MONTGOMERY, ALA. AT GARRETT COLISEUM
REPORT BY C.J. BUTTERBAUGH, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Byron Saxton was the ring announcer for the show. Attendance was really low, the smallest crowd since the annual January shows started. Being that it was the same night as the Alabama vs. Georgia National Championship game and the miserable cold rainy weather, it was not a surprise. Stands were less than one-fourth full of the 12,500 seating capacity.
(1) The Usos defeated Rusev & Aiden English and Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin and Big E & Xavier Woods in a Fatal Four-way match to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Titles. The crowd was really into the New Day and the Usos. Rusev received a good reaction while Gable & Benjamin received a decent reaction as well. The Usos won after a Superkick Party a la The Young Bucks with a double superkick to Gable for the cover. Kofi Kingston was not at ringside for this one.
(2) Mojo Rawley defeated Sin Cara in about 7:00. Rawley was beating up on Sin Cara after the win when Zack Ryder’s entrance music played and he came out. Ryder hit the Rough Ryder on Rawley and Sin Cara and Ryder left the ring. The good guys spent time with the crowd signing and posing for pictures. Pretty flat crowd reactions for both Rawley and Sin Cara.
Fashion Files segment with Fandango and Breeze trying to determine the right way to pronounce “live” for WWE Live.
(3) The Bludgeon Brothers defeated Breezango in basically a squash. Breezango received a good reaction while the Bludgeon Bothers had a mild crowd reaction.
(4) Naomi & Becky Lynch defeated Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan of the Riott Squad with Ruby Riott at Ringside. Minimal interference from Ruby Riott and Naomi pins Logan after a booty bump. Naomi and Lynch received a good reaction from the crowd while the Riott Squad reaction was flat.
(5) Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Jinder Mahal with a Kinshasa after deing dominated for the majority of the match. The Singh brother introduced Mahal. Jinder cut a promo on the Alabama Crimson Tide and his usual rhetoric. During the match, both Mahal and Nakamura exchanged Nakamura’s “come on” for a good reaction. Crowd was into the match and chants of Nakamura started at various points in the match.
(6) Charlotte defeated Natalya, Tamina, and Carmella in aFatal Four-way for the WWE Smackdown Women’s Title. Lana came out with Tamina and provided some outside interference. Charlotte submitted Natalya with the Figure-Eight for the win. Charlotte received a good crowd reaction while the others received cold reactions.
(7) Bobby Roode defeated Baron Corbin with the Glorious DDT. Roode had an awesome response with his entrance, all 800 people singing. Corbin did not receive a huge reaction, but more than I expected.
(8) A.J. Styles defeated Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in a handicap match for the main event in a title defense. A.J. Styles received the biggest crowd reaction of the night by far. Zayn and Owens received good backlash from the crowd. Zayn accidentally gave Owens a Helluva Kick and the distraction gave Styles the chance to hit the Phenomenal Forearm on Zayn for the pin. A good match worth the price of admission.
FINAL THOUGHTS: All-in-all a good show. The crowd was so light that they did not even check our tickets on the way in. I seem to remember that the advertisement for the show had A.J. Styles and Jinder Mahal in a match, but the actual matches worked out better as they were.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS REPORT: 1/7 WWE in Mobile, Ala.: Styles vs. Owens & Sami, Roode vs. Corbin, Charlotte defends in Four-Way, Gable & Shelton vs. Usos