Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JANUARY 31, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON FOX
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-The WWE brand signature video aired and then the WWE Smackdown opening theme.
-As pyro blasted, they showed a logo that said “Super Smackdown.” Cole said it was “Super” because it’s Super Bowl weekend on Fox. (My first thought was they were merging rosters again.)
-Roman Reigns made his ring entrance. During the entrance, Cole narrated highlights from the Rumble of Reigns vs. Baron Corbin and also Reigns’s role in the Rumble. Graves said Reigns is focused because he needs to be a big part of WrestleMania in Tampa, Fla. The Usos came out next. They stood mid-ring when the music stopped. Reigns asked the crowd to cheer harder “because I know you can do better than that.” They did a little better on the second try. Reigns he said whipped Corbin’s ass all over the baseball stadium. He said there is bad news. He paused. The Usos said he lost and he doesn’t like to lose. He said they’re going to get back to business, “plow through the King and his little bitches,” and then focus on WrestleMania. Corbin walked out on his own with Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode.
When fans booed, Corbin said, “Save it, the feeling is mutual.” He told Reigns that he knows that without the help of his cousins, he couldn’t have defeated him. “Roman Reigns cheated his way to a victory,” he said. He said he should have been in better shape for the Royal Rumble, but the Usos attacking him took him off his game. The Usos threw some insults at Corbin & Co. They listed all the things they did to them – superkick, check; superkick, check; spear, check, etc. Corbin returned fire by showing the dog food angle. Reigns said Corbin is living in the past as if that’s the apex of his career or else he has a dog food fetish. Reigns offered an added stipulation for their match later – the loser of the match has to eat dog food. Roode shook his head as if that was a crazy idea. “What do you say, fetish boy!” Corbin snapped and said, “Fine, fine, fine, you want it, I accept.” Corbin told Roode he’s not scared at all. The Usos said they’ve got a big surprise for him. Then someone rolled out a cart with dozens of cans of dog food and (what I hope is refried beans) in giant bowls.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sigh. Reigns playing off of this endless dog food thing is not good for him or viewers. The whole “fetish” thing fell flat, and he kept going to it. That all said, of course some people are going to stay tuned to see Corbin & Co. humiliated by the vat of dog food, which is why WWE is doing it.)
-Graves and Cole hyped the upcoming matches on the show including Shorty G vs. Sheamus and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Braun Strowman for the IC Title.
-Heavy Machinery made their ring entrance.
(1) HEAVY MACHINERY vs. MIZ & MORRISON & LUCHA HOUSE PARTY vs. THE REVIVAL (Dash & Dawson) – No. 1 Contendership match
They battled for a few minutes with various wrestlers tagging in quickly. At Morrison’s encouragement, Miz was going to go for a dive to the floor, prompting Cole to say, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” Dawson, though, cut him off with a clothesline. Metalik headscissored Dash off the ring apron into a crowd at ringside. [c]
Back from the break, Otis took off his shirt and rallied. Dash broke up his cover, so Otis tagged in Metalik. Lince Dorado then tagged in and landed a splash on Dawson. More chaos with Tucker landing a Thesz press on Miz, but then Morrison springboard-speared Otis but slipped doing it. Otis caught Morrison mid-air with a sitout powerbomb. Dawson DDT’d Otis. Dorado rallied against Dawson next with two moonsaults. Dash knocked Dorado off the top rope. Dawson back suplexed Dorado off the top rope. Dawson landed a top rope splash. Miz threw him out of the ring. Dawson rolled up Miz for a two count. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale on Dawson, then Morrison landed Starship Pain (that, too, looked awkward). Cole said Miz & Morrison get a title shot against New Day at Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia.
WINNERS: Miz & Morrison in 13:00. [c]
-Backstage, as Tucker and Otis expressed frustration with losing, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walked up to them. Mandy thanked Otis for all he did to help her in the Rumble. Tucker told Otis this is a good time to do what they talked about. Otis said he was nervous. He stammered. Deville said to spit it out. Otis asked if she’d go out with him next Friday. Mandy said she no plans next Friday, but she doesn’t have any plans the following Friday. Otis went from crestfallen to glowing. He said, “Great!” He still couldn’t make eye contact. Mandy and Sonya left. Tucker said he just got a date with her on Valentine’s Day.
-They went to Cole and Graves. Graves said he can’t believe it, but he congratulated Otis. Cole said it’s a very serious situation from Sunday regarding Daniel Bryan and The Fiend. They went to clips from the match. Then they went to post-Rumble video of Daniel Bryan saying maybe he loves this too much. They showed all the cuts on his back. Bryan said his daughter usually likes to look at his boo boos, but Brie said it was too much. Bryan said it’s possible he loves this too much. “Short answer, yes,” he said. “Long answer, I pray my daughter finds something she loves as much as I love this.”
-Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross made their ring entrance. The ring announcer said this was a “women’s tag division match.” (Did they really need to specify it was a women’s tag?) [c]
-Cole said they are celebrating Super Bowl Weekend, so they showed clips of Halftime Heat with Mankind and The Rock.
-They aired clips of Otis saving Mandy. Cole noted Mandy and Sonya were ultimately eliminated by Bianca Belair.
(2) NIKKI CROSS & ALEXA BLISS vs. SONYA DEVILLE & MANDY ROSE
Late in the match, Nikki gave Mandy a neckbreaker, then tagged in Bliss who landed her Twisted Bliss off the top rope for the win. Cole said this might put them in line for a future women’s tag team championship opportunity. (Good thing he specified “women’s” or we wouldn’t have known what he meant.)
WINNER: Bliss & Cross in 4:00.
-A replay aired of the Nakamura-Strowman angle last week. [c]
-They showed the dog food being stirred on the rolling tray on the stage.
(3) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA (w/Sami Zayn, Cesaro) vs. BRAUN STROWMAN – Intercontinental Title match
Braun came out first. As Nakamura came out, Cole noted Roman Reigns and Sasha Banks will be part of a Super Bowl Pregame Party on Fox. Braun dominated early. Sami slowed down Braun by yelling at the ref on the ring apron. Nakamura avoided a Braun charge and then took over control. Braun made a comeback at 3:00 when he just grabbed Nakamura by his throat. He gave Nakamura a forearm to the chest. Nakamura rolled to ringside. Braun threw him back in. Nakamura avoided a charging Braun and kicked him in the back of his head. Then he landed a running knee for a two count. Sami was ready to celebrate. Sami removed the top turnbuckle. Braun reversed Nakamura head-first into the turnbuckle, then powerslammed him for a three count.
WINNER: Strowman in 5:00 to win the IC Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: What a flat way for the IC Title to change hands. I mean, a five minute match?) [c]
-Sami yelled backstage that it was robbery and there’s footage. Alyse Ashton approached him for a comment and he lashed out at her for hack journalist questions. Elias then strummed in the ring. Sami was upset with the interruption. Elias said he’s scheduled to perform right now, so he thought he’d move things along. Sami said nobody cares about him or his jingles, so put his guitar down and shut his mouth. He said what he is about to say is more important. Elias insincerely apologized. Sami began ranting again, but Elias began playing guitar two seconds later. Sami threw another fit. Elias said he thought he was done. Sami said he was literally in the middle of a sentence. “My bad, man,” Elias said. Elias asked fans to clap along to his song. Cesaro interrupted. Cesaro charged into the ring. Elias knocked him out of the ring with a running high knee. Cesaro retreated. Elias’s music played. (Elias’s music almost never plays on TV because he always starts inside the ring.)
-Cole plugged Corey Graves’s interview with Ronda Rousey on his podcast. Graves said she badly misses the WWE Universe. Graves said he would bet they see her sooner than later. Cole threw to a video on the Shorty G-Sheamus feud. Shorty talked more about accepting and embracing being slightly below average in height. [c]
(4) SHEAMUS vs. SHORTY G
The match was joined in progress after the break. Sheamus caught Shorty early and then gave him a Celtic Cross at ringside. They showed Shorty G attacking Sheamus from behind on the stage during the break. Sheamus dominated for a minute. Shorty G made a comeback and landed missile dropkick off the top rope. Then he landed his moonsault for a near fall. Sheamus came back with an Irish Curse Backbreaker followed by a Brogue Kick for the win.
WINNER: Sheamus in about 5:00.
-They showed the dog food being stirred again. [c]
-Cole plugged that Drew McIntyre would be on WWE Backstage on FS1 next Tuesday night
-Bayley came out to the ring for a promo. “There’s just something about me, am I right? There’s just something about Bayley that can’t be taught, can’t be produced, can’t be touched.” She said she showed everyone how a role model beats an opponent quickly and decisively at the Rumble. She said she made good on her promises and crushed Lacey’s dreams. Fans chanted “What?” She said it was revenge for Lacey hurting her best friend, Sasha, and causing her to miss the Royal Rumble match. She said she did all of that with Lacey’s “cute little daughter sitting in the front row.” She said now Summer has to look at her mom and see what a loser and failure she is. She said Lacey can sit amongst the sheep in the crowd and watch her because a true champion surpasses them all. She said she’s beaten everyone. She said Charlotte is obviously going to choose her as her opponent at WrestleMania. Instead, Naomi came out.
Naomi danced her way to the ring as Bayley looked at her like an alien spaceship had just flown into the arena and landed in the ring. Naomi said she’s missed Smackdown. She said she heard Bayley bragging and lying and trash-talking. She said she hasn’t beaten everybody because she hasn’t beat her. Bayley hit Naomi with her belt. Naomi came right back with a springboard roundkick. Naomi then danced.
-The Usos began their ring entrance. [c]
(5) THE USOS & ROMAN REIGNS vs. KING CORBIN & ROBERT ROODE & DOLPH ZIGGLER
Early in the match, Roode pulled the top rope down, so a charging Jey tumbled to the floor. Roode then gave him a spinebuster at ringside. Cole said the dog food stinks. Roode then threw him into the time keeper’s area. Cole yelled, “Loser eats dog food!” as they cut to a break at 3:00.
Cole called this an unprecedented moment on Smackdown and talked up the dog food stipulation. Graves said if the loser will be spending time with their head in a toilet. Reigns eventually got a hot tag. He went to work on Corbin with a flurry of offense, and then he played to the crowd. Reigns set up a Superman Punch, but Ziggler interfered. Corbin recovered and landed a chokeslam for a near fall. After a Ziggler superkick. Corbin landed Deep Six on Reigns for another near fall. Cole kept yelling during near falls, “Is Reigns going to eat dog food – oh – two-and-a-half!” (You can just hear Vince McMahon in his ear yelling that.) Reigns caught a distracted Corbin with a Superman Punch, but Ziggler broke it up. Jey dove through the ropes and knocked Ziggler onto the announce desk. Reigns rolled up a distracted Corbin for a three count. “The King’s gonna eat dog food!” exclaimed Cole.
WINNERS: Reigns & The Usos.
-The Usos handcuffed Corbin and gave him a superkick to subdue him. Cole never sounded more excited that here. Reigns speared Corbin at ringside. Graves pleaded with the Usos and Reigns to have a heart. He said there are dogs who need that food. They trapped Corbin against the ringpost with the handcuffs and then poured the buckets of dog food all over him. Reigns was covered in it, too, by this point. They posed for a picture and acted super happy. Cole said that’ll be on the front page of WWE.com. Corbin was covered in it, but they never made him eat it. Cole told everyone to enjoy the big game Sunday on Fox.