On January 12, WWE’s weekly SmackDown show went live from Pinnacle Bank Arena in Lincoln, Nebraska. Bayley battled Bianca Belair on the show as the build to Royal Rumble continued. There was further hype surrounding the fatal 4-way match for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at Royal Rumble. We saw more of the newly formed faction of Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Paul Ellering and the AOP. Let’s discuss everything that happened on the show.
The Bloodline with Nick Aldis
The show kicked off with Austin Theory and Grayson Waller. It was for Waller’s match against Cameron Grimes. But Jimmy Uso and Solo took out Grimes on the ramp. Paul Heyman, alongside Jimmy and Solo, entered the ring.
Heyman called Aldis a villainous bad guy and a James Bond wanna-be. He was complaining about making the match a fatal 4-way. Aldis stepped up on the ring apron and took the microphone from Heyman. He said the fatal 4-way is a done deal. The Bloodline ruined yet another match on SmackDown.
Aldis made the main event of tonight’s SmackDown, where Reigns, Jimmy, and Sikoa will face Knight, Styles, and Orton. Heyman tried to grab the mic, but Aldis didn’t let that happen. Heyman told him that Roman was not on the show. Aldis told them to find a partner till the end of the show, or it would be a two-on-three handicap match.
Analysis: It was a brilliant segment to increase tensions between The Bloodline and Nick Aldis. A huge main event is set for tonight.
Backstage: Paul Heyman told Solo and Jimmy not to worry as there were people who wanted to join the Bloodline, and they would be their partners. Jimmy said he was worried and asked Solo the same. Sikoa replied that he’s never worried.
Tag Team Match
Angel Garza and Humberto Carillo vs Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro
Santos Escobar joined the commentary team for this match. Joaquin and Cruz were on fire in the beginning. They sent Garza and Carillo outside, followed by sentons over the top rope.
Angel and Humberto exchanged tags in the ring and dominated Del Toro for some time. As Joaquin was tagged in, he delivered a Dropkick and a DDT. Wilde hit a poison rana on Carillo. Cruz came with a dropkick and a Corkscrew plancha on Humberto.
Carlito’s music hit and he attacked Escobar. Both brawled in the crowd. Garza rolled Joaquin and pinned him with the help of ropes.
Winners: Humberto Carillo and Angel Garza
Analysis: Carillo and Garza are back on the main roster with a cheap victory. Carlito’s involvement was a wise move to intensify this feud further.
Backstage: Paul Heyman approached LWO and gifted an apple to Carlito. He said it would be cool if Carlito teamed with Jimmy and Solo. Carlito rejected the offer and said he would fight Escobar, which would be cool.
A Logan Paul video package was aired where he complained about Kevin Owens’ cast on his injured hand. Logan said that he talked to the lawyers, and the match would be cancelled if Owens appeared with a cast at Royal Rumble.
Bayley vs Bianca Belair
Bianca started with a shoulder tackle, a takedown, and a backdrop. The EST hit Bayley with a moonsault for a two count. Bayley hit a big boot on Belair’s face, but Belair replied with a body slam. Bianca attempted KOD, but Bayley escaped and was sent to the floor.
Belair jumped over the top rope and took out Bayley. The Role Model delivered a clothesline in the ring. Bianca replied with a spinebuster and a dropkick. But, she got arunning knee by Bayley for a near fall.
Outside the ring, Belair slammed Bayley face-first into the apron. Back in the ring is a suplex and Belair’s backbreaker for a near fall. A moonsault by Bianca, but Bayley kicked out at two. Bayley escaped another KOD attempt and ran Bianca into the ring post and to the mat.
Bayley delivered an elbow drop from the top rope for a two-count. Bianca slammed Bayley on the mat. Bayley faked an injury to distract the referee, but Damage CTRL never attacked Belair. Bayley was confused. Bianca delivered a Spear and a KOD for the win.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Analysis: It was a decent match from the women’s division. Bianca got the deserved win while tensions continued between Bayley and Damage CTRL.
Backstage: First of all, a video package aired where Kevin Owens said he is at a disadvantage as he has a broken hand. Owens invited Logan to the KO Show next week.
Bayley questioned Damage CTRL backstage. Dakota said that the referee was watching, which could be disqualifying. Kai told Bayley that she only needed to win the Royal Rumble match.
Karrion Kross puts Everyone on Notice
Bobby Lashley and The Street Profits walked down the ring. Lashley called out Kross and AOP for attacking them from behind last week. Paul Ellering came out and pointed to Titantron, where a video was played. Kross said they were going to break everyone. He said that there are two of the most dangerous men in the world, The AOP and the sadistic Paul Ellering. Kross said that they are The Final Testament.
Analysis: It was a good video package of Karrion Kross. It seemed like The Final Testament was the name of the faction. It would have been more impactful if they appeared in person on SmackDown like last week.
Backstage: Paul Heyman approached Lashley and tried to convince him to team with Solo and Jimmy. Lashley told him he would be involved with The Bloodline only when standing across from Roman Reigns.
Carmelo Hayes vs Austin Theory
They started with the headlocks. A dropkick and a DDT by Hayes. Back from the break, Theory hit a dropkick. Austin tried to suplex Carmelo to the outside, but Hayes countered it with a suplex of his own. Melo has an atomic drop and a flying clothesline.
Theory delivered a Spanish Fly from the second rope. Hayes landed on Theory, and both men looked hurt. The referee ended the match.
Result: No Contest
Analysis: Hayes landed on Theory’s face, and the referee stopped the match rightfully. WWE reports both men were evaluated for injuries and will be okay.
Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso vs Randy Orton, LA Knight, and AJ Styles
Sikoa and Jimmy attacked Orton during the entrance. So the match started as a tag team match. Styles and Knight argued about who will start. Jimmy attacked Knight, but the Megastar soon replied with a swinging neckbreaker.
Knight and Styles dominated Jimmy and exchanged tags. Styles with a snap mare and a flying forearm for a near fall. Styles and Knight sent both Jimmy and Solo to the outside.
Back from the commercial, Solo with the right hands on Styles. Sikoa distracted the referee, and Jimmy landed a dropkick. Jimmy was tagged in, and Styles took him out with an overhead kick.
Knight threw Solo into the steel steps. Knight and Styles argued for a tag, and Jimmy landed a superkick on Knight. AJ and Uso collided in the centre, and both men were down.
Randy Orton joined the fray. AJ tagged Orton, who was fired up. Randy energized the crowd with a clothesline on Jimmy and laid out Solo on the apron. Orton hit the draping DDT. Jimmy hit a superkick on Orton, but The Viper replied with the RKO to get the win.
Solo attacked Orton after the match. Styles took out Sikoa with a Phenomenal Forearm. Knight has a BFT on Solo and Orton with RKO. At the ringside, they took Jimmy out with the steel steps. Orton and Styles put Solo on Knight’s shoulders and delivered a powerbomb through the commentary table. Heyman was on his phone and called The Tribal Chief to close out the show.
Winners: Randy Orton, AJ Styles, and LA Knight
Analysis: It was a fun main event. Knight and Styles’ arguing was a good element. The post-match angle was much needed, and there will be a contract signing next week for the Fatal 4-way match.
It was a balanced SmackDown episode. Everything related to the ongoing story, and no segment seemed like filler. Nick Aldishas played his role brilliantly as an authority figure in the Undisputed WWE Universal Title picture.