This week’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown follows a relatively quiet episode of Monday Night Raw.
Quiet both in the sense that not a whole lot happened and also, man, that Baltimore crowd just didn’t seem to be interested.
Highlights from Old School Raw were Big Show essentially being announced as Brock Lesnar’s WrestleMania warmup and Roman Reigns defeating CM Punk (!).
This week’s SmackDown looks like a stronger show, with an interesting MizTV, a champion vs. champion bout and, yes, a six-man tag match to close the show.
The January 10 edition of SmackDown emanates from Philidephia, full spoilers below (courtesy of WrestlingInc.com).
- The show opens with Erick Rowan and Luke Harper vs. The Usos, which ends in a double countout. Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan hit the ring and beat down The Usos.
- Backstage Randy Orton complains to Vickie Guerrero about having to defend his title and says he’ll address The Authority on Raw.
- Big Show appears on MizTV but is interrupted by Paul Heyman. Show challenges Brock Lesnar to a match which is accepted by Heyman—they’ll meet at the Royal Rumble.
- Sin Cara, Rey Mysterio and Los Matadores got a pinfall victory over The Real Americans, Ryback and Curtis Axel after Rey hit a 619 on Jack Swagger.
- Big E Langston was defeated by Randy Orton after The Viper hit an RKO.
- Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt cut a backstage promo on The Usos and their match on next week’s Raw.
- Xavier Woods got a roll-up win over Fandango. Cameron and Naomi brawled with Summer Rae after the match.
- The main event of the evening was The Shield vs. CM Punk and The New Age Outlaws. Before the match The Shield cut a promo, and then went on to defeat the babyface team after Reigns hit a spear on Billy Gunn.
WWE’s New Superman?
We knew the WWE was very, very serious about Roman Reigns after he pinned four different men in one match back at Survivor Series, but this week may be Reigns' best yet.
On Raw he got a relatively clean victory over the company’s second biggest star, CM Punk, and on this week’s SmackDown he scores a victory for The Shield by pinning Billy Gunn.
It almost makes you feel bad for Seth Rollins and especially for Dean Ambrose. They’re always the ones getting defeated and never the ones securing the wins.
Officials have done a great job at incorporating Reigns’ obviously bright future into their breakup storyline, bringing some very believable tension into the program.
As the Royal Rumble nears, it’ll be very interesting to see just how many people Reigns wrecks in the battle royale.
Beast vs. Giant
One of the strangest moments from Monday’s Old School Raw was seeing Brock Lesnar destroy Mark Henry with ease, and then watching him cower from The Big Show.
Officials tried to use Show as a top babyface when he main evented Survivor Series against Randy Orton, and that certainly didn’t work.
It looks like they’ll be equally unsuccessful in their attempt to make us believe that The World’s Largest Athlete is legitimate competition for Brock Lesnar.
It’ll be a nice change of pace to see The Beast fight someone bigger than him, but you can’t help but feel like this is a waste of one of Lesnar’s ultra-valuable wrestling dates.
It's not The Big Show's fault either, the WWE can't have him doing promos in a diaper one week and facing a former UFC Champion the next.
Big E and The Viper
In terms of wrestling action, the most promising match from this week’s show looks to be Randy Orton vs. Big E Langston.
The champion vs. champion match was described as having a lot of solid back-and-forth wrestling, and it offers another opportunity for the young Langston to show off his explosive style.
Big E seems to get a little bit more polished every week, and officials are obviously taking him more and more seriously.
This match still continues the questionable trend of having midcard champions lose cleanly on television, but Big E’s future looks brighter than most of the recent Intercontinental Champions’.
Speaking of which, Curtis Axel lost again on this week’s show, while his tag team partner is apparently in hot water for his reckless wrestling. How the wheel turns.
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