On February 2, WWE SmackDown aired live from Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Alabama. Both Royal Rumble winners Cody Rhodes and Bayley appeared on the show. Roman Reigns was on the show, too, after a successful title defense at Royal Rumble. Bayley made her decision for WrestleMania and much more. Let’s review the whole Friday Night SmackDown.
Logan Paul Celebrates
Wade Barrett and Corey Graves are the new commentary team for SmackDown. Logan Paul opened the show. Paul said that he underestimated Kevin Owens, who gave him a great fight.
Logan went one step ahead and said that Owens did more damage to him than Floyd Mayweather. He labeled himself as one of the toughest people on a brittle roster. Logan called himself the “Beast from the East” and the “Best in the West.”
Kevin Owens entered and demanded another title shot. Logan said I outsmarted you at the Royal Rumble, and there will be no rematch. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller arrived.
Analysis: Logan Paul appeared on the show, which was a wise move after Royal Rumble. It seems like he will be more of a regular superstar now.
Kevin Owens vs. Austin Theory
The match started at a quick pace. Logan Paul was on commentary for this one. KO got the advantage with some kicks and takedowns.
Owens went for a splash, but Theory got his knees up. A senton and a cannonball delivered by Owens for a near fall. Theory countered a powerbomb into a backdrop on the apron.
Kevin delivered a Tornado DDT and landed a Swanton for a two-count. Theory landed a modified blockbuster, but KO kicked out. Waller tried to interfere on the apron, and Logan gave brass knuckles to Theory.
Kevin laid out both Theory and Waller and took the brass knuckles. With the referee distracted, Owens used the knuckles to get the win.
Winner: Kevin Owens
Analysis: It was a great match here at the start. Owens is back on his way to get another title shot. Austin Theory and Grayson Waller deserve better bookings.
WWE Tag Team Championship #1 Contendership Qualifier Fatal Four Way Match
LWO vs. Pretty Deadly vs. Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate vs. Garza and Carillo
It was a Tag Team Championship Qualifier match. Pete Dunne twisted Kit Wilson’s fingers in the beginning. Soon, all eight men were engaged in a fight.
Joaquin Wilde did that wild NXT spot again when he was catapulted off the second rope into Legado Del Fantasma and Pretty Deadly.
Zelina Vega stopped Elekta Lopez from interfering. Bate and Dunne with a double team on Wilson to get the win.
Winners: Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate
Analysis: It was a fun match.
Bayley challenges Iyo Sky
Nick Aldis and Adam Pearce were in the ring, and they introduced the 2024 Women’s Royal Rumble winner, Bayley. Earlier on the show, Bayley heard Iyo, Asuka, and Sane talk about her.
Bayley talked about her achievements in the WrestleMania, from defending the tag titles to hosting the mega event. She praised Damage CTRL for having her back.
Bayley said that she could challenge Rhea Ripley or go with more personal things than holding a title. She looked at Damage CTRL and talked to them in Japanese. She said that she knew what they were saying behind her back.
Kabuki Warriors attacked Bayley from behind. The Role Model grabbed a steel pipe and attacked Asuka and Kairi. The Kabuki Warriors had to retreat. Bayley grabbed a microphone and challenged Iyo Sky at WrestleMania.
Analysis: It was a brilliantly pulled-off segment. Bayley spoke Japanese out of nowhere. Iyo vs Bayley is set for WrestleMania, and we just go further from here.
Bobby Lashley and Street Profits vs. The Final Testament
It was a short segment. All the superstars began fighting in the ring. B-Fab took out Scarlett. Lashley laid out Kross with a spinebuster and a spear. AOP pulled Kross, and they escaped.
Backstage: NXT superstar and recent Royal Rumble MVP Bron Breakker was backstage with Nick Aldis. Adam Pearce arrived and asked him to listen to his advice on Monday before making a move.
Jade Cargill reached Aldis’ office too.
Tiffany Stratton vs. Michin
Michigan was dominant to begin this bout. She delivered a facebuster and a gut-wrench suplex on Stratton. Later, Michin delivered chops and a clothesline.
Michin followed it up with a neckbreaker and a double knee strike to the face. Tiffany replied by slamming her to the mat. Tiffany delivered an Alabama Slam, but Michin kicked out.
In the end, Stratton was victorious with the Prettiest Moonsault Ever.
Winner: Tiffany Stratton
Analysis: It was a great debut for the former NXT Women’s Champion. Stratton is highly athletic, and the future seems bright for her.
Cody Rhodes made his Big Announcement
Adam Pearce and Nick Aldis were in the ring for this. Roman Reigns arrived alongside The Bloodline.
Roman told the crowd to acknowledge him. He talked about Seth Rollins. He said that Seth called himself The Guy on Raw.
Reigns imitated Seth’s walk after the injury and made fun of his injury. He also took shots at him, including his wife.
Reigns said that Cody is an idiot. Roman gave Cody two options: be the best number 2 guy in the industry or take a crack at the number 1 spot again.
Cody Rhodes arrived to a huge ovation. Cody only wanted the ring for him and Roman, and Reigns told The Bloodline to go out.
Cody said that Seth made great points on Raw and talked to friends, family, and legends about this. He said that Roman still had the title that Dusty wanted.
Cody said he wants that title and is coming for Roman Reigns to take everything from him. “BUT NOT AT WRESTLEMANIA ”, these words had fans shocked. Cody said that he took counsel from a person who knows Roman well.
The Rock’s music hit. The Great One came into the ring. He shook Cody’s hand and whispered something to his ear, to which Cody smiled. The Rock and Roman Reigns go face-to-face to close out the main event at WrestleMania.
Analysis: We finally get The Rock vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40. Cody will challenge Seth Rollins. This was an excellent segment. However, it would be sad for the fans who wanted Cody vs. Roman II and to finish the story.
This edition of SmackDown was a big billboard for Wrestlemania. While the show was very light on big ticket matches, development wise, it was a decent episode of SmackDown.
Both Cody and Bayley have picked their opponents at WrestleMania. And while Bayley’s choice was relatively predictable, the triangular issue of Cody or The Rock versus Roman Reigns took many for a surprise.
The main events for both Nights of WrestleMania are locked in and it makes sense that WWE would want to capitalize on the star power of The Rock as soon as possible.