WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 1/9: Styles responds to Bryan’s two-on-one announcement, Ryder vs. Mojo in U.S. Title tourney match, Lynch vs. Riott

By Joey Galizia, PWTorch Specialist

Zack Ryder (art credit Travis Beaven)


JANUARY 9, 2018
By Joey Galizia (@RamJam89), PWTORCH SPECIALIST


  • WWE Champion A.J. Styles responds to being booked in a handicap match with his title on the line.
  • Zack Ryder faces his former teammate Mojo Rawley in a U.S. Title tournament first round matchup.
  • Becky Lynch will be in action tonight squaring off against Ruby Riott.
  • After a controversial finish, will Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin get another title shot?


In the beginning of their relationship Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan were the perfect team. They not only supported one another’s decisions but also actively stood up for each other to ensure that Smackdown Live was the show that talent was treated fairly. Interesting, considering that currently both men are on such different pages that it may eventually lead to a physical altercation. Last week the Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens problem got so heated that WWE Champion A.J. Styles demanded to face both of them in a handicap match. D.B. decided to call A.J.’s bluff, and booked that match for the Royal Rumble with the Phenomenal One’s WWE Championship on the line. Expect the champ to respond to Bryan’s abuse of power. Also expect him to agree to the match because he is a fighting champion, and as we’ve found out in the past…. THEY DON’T WANT NONE UNLESS IT’S P1.


As the U.S. title tournament wages on we have finally arrived to our final bout of the first round. Bobby Roode, Xavier Woods, and Jinder Mahal have already advanced with the formers squaring off against each other in the semifinals. That means that the Glorious One will face the winner of tonight’s contest between former Hype-Bros and now bitter enemies Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley. Mojo defeated Zack on the kickoff portion of Clash of Champions leaning on his strength and intensity over the much quicker Ryder. If the Long Island Iced ZZZZ wants to move on, he’s going to have to up his game. The real question is how is Dolph Ziggler responding to this tournament? He is of course, the entire reason this tournament was set in stone in the first place. Will we see the return of the Show-Off anytime soon?


The dynamic of Babyface and Heel is always argued amongst the wrestle-verse, but if there’s one guarantee it’s this: Becky Lynch is an aces babyface. Unfortunately, the Riott Squad derailed her momentum by taking her out of action for a few weeks with injury. (In kayfabe. She was actually filming a movie.) Lynch made her return last week to stand with her tea-drinking mate, Charlotte (also the SD champ BTW), to fight back against the faction that has been causing so much havoc on Tuesday evenings. As for tonight, Lynch can exact her full revenge when she goes up against the Squad’s leader Ruby Riott in one-on-one action.


-Jimmy and Jey Uso caught a stroke of luck during their title defense against Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. The referee counted a fall with the two men who were NOT legal in the match. This lead to a restart and an eventual victory for the superkicking samoans. Gable and Benjamin were clearly unhappy, and according to WWE.COM, will air that happiness on our television screens tonight. On a side note, the Usos continue to be the most exciting tag-talents for the WWE going into 2018.

-Speaking of tag-teams, the Bludgeon Brothers have been straight up murdering the competition. (Not even being sarcastic.) They’ve turned the entertaining Breezango into a pair of bruised peaches who never stood a chance. Fortunately for the handsome duo, their “besties” Konnor and Viktor of the Ascension will fight in their place this time, as they prepare to give Harper and Rowan a true hoss fight.

-Tye Dillinger has been missing from T.V. but has been working heel on the house show circuit. When that turn comes on SD is up in the air but it will be nice to see him revert back to what made him so popular in NXT in the first place.

-K.O. and Sami are ecstatic about getting a shot at the championship, but will the glory of being the face of SD Live be the tool that pulls them apart from each other again? If this means we are getting Sami vs. Kevin at Wrestlemania then I’m all for it, but I’m a little hurt to think that after they finally buried the hatchet they may become enemies once again. Time will tell.

Coming to you from Alabama where the crowd will certainly be hot after the Tide won in EPIC fashion against Georgia last night it’s WWE SMACKDOWN!!! You in?

NOW CATCH UP ON LAST WEEK’S SMACKDOWN REPORT: KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 1/2: Styles vs. Sami Zayn, The Usos vs. Benjamin & Gable for tag titles, Aiden vs. Xavier in U.S. Title tournament

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