WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 1/30: Nakamura Rumble victory follow-up, will Ronda Rousey appear, what’s next for Usos, Roode

By Joey Galizia, PWTorch Specialist

WWE Smackdown hits & misses
Shinsuke Nakamura (art credit Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


JANUARY 30, 2018


  • The Road to WrestleMania begins for A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura
  • Will Ronda Rousey make her presence felt on SD Live?
  • Who’ll be next in line for a United States Championship opportunity?
  • What’s next for the Usos?


The excitement still hasn’t worn off. Shinsuke Nakamura entered the Rumble match on Sunday in the cursed number 14 position, and a massive mountain to climb if he hoped to be successful. Nak made it to the last three, but the two final opponents proved to be the most dangerous combo. That’s because it was John Cena and Roman Reigns, the so-called “chosen ones” of Vince McMahon. Even with those odds stacked against him, the King of Strong Style would hand out multiple knees to the face, and claim his main event spot at WrestleMania by tossing out the Big Dawg to a deafening pop. Post-match he cut probably his greatest promo since debuting for the WWE, and all it took was two words: “A.J. STYLES.” The Wrestlekingdom 10 rematch will finally occur, and the wrestle-universe is beyond ecstatic to see it happen at the granddaddy of them all for the WWE Championship.

Tonight’s big preview for the show is the beginning of that road to Mania. A.J. Styles was successful in his defense on Sunday against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn, but with one blue-brand PPV before the big show in New Orleans will we be seeing any added stakes? Or will we get to see these two former Japan superstars come face to face ahead of their history-making match? Guess we’ll just have to tune in to find out.


Ronda Rousey is here to stay. The WWE’s newest and greatest signing in a quite a while did not appear on the Red Brand last night but previews for tonight’s show indicate that she might be. Odds are they probably play another video package but with the WWE’s last stint in Philadelphia coming to an end I wouldn’t be totally surprised if they threw us one last surprise. SD Women’s champion Charlotte Flair will most likely have some words for the Rowdy One, and considering the shade that’s been thrown to Rousey by almost everyone in the women’s division, it wouldn’t be surprising for some deep cuts to be made. My two cents is this: Whether you like her or dislike her Rousey will be good business for wrestling, and if good business means better business then I am all for it. #suckIThaters


-The Usos more than survived against Chad Gable & Shelton Benjamin this past weekend. Hell, they won in a clean sweep in a two-out of-three falls match, something that hasn’t been done since Dolph Ziggler did it to Cesaro several years ago. With this latest defense the superkicking Samoans remain at the top of the tag division. Will a date with the Brothers who Bludgeon finally be upon us?

-Bobby Roode was successful in his first U.S. Open title defense at the Rumble. He vanquished Mojo Rawley without too much difficulty even though the entire WWE Universe expected it to be Dolph Ziggler. (In reality Dolph came back to the Rumble entering at number 30 and still got tossed out fairly quickly.) It looks like the open challenge won’t happen again soon though since Xavier Woods, Aiden English, Rusev, and the Maharaja Jinder Mahal all appear to be positioning themselves for the next shot at the Glorious One.

-Al the Daniel Bryan rumors proved to be false. The General Manager did NOT enter the Royal Rumble matchup, but he is still gracing us with his charismatic presence on Tuesday Nights. It did seem that he and commissioner Shane McMahon were on the same page on Sunday, and seeing as how K.O. and Zayn lost even with a handicap stipulation in their favor, Shane has never been happier as the boss of the blue brand. Will K.O. and Sami continue to cause problems? Tye Dillinger most likely would like a word with the besties since they cost him an opportunity at entering the Rumble match.

-Baron Corbin did not have a wonderful weekend. After weeks of hyping up a fantastic performance he was eliminated fairly early on in the Rumble, and poor Heath Slater had to suffer because of it. Will the Lone Wolf attempt to get back on track tonight?

Last night in Philly. Fly Eagles fly.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S REPORT: KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 1/23: Styles vs. KO and Styles vs. Sami, Final Royal Rumble hype, more Bryan-Shane tension

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