It’s the calm before the storm. This week’s episode of SmackDown emanates from Grand Rapids, Michigan, but there have certainly been more eventful Friday nights.
As with last week, Randy Orton and John Cena are nowhere to be found. Similarly, neither Daniel Bryan nor CM Punk will be in action.
And of course, Batista won’t be around to follow up on his lackluster return on Raw.
Still, there is some tag-team action to look forward to and another confrontation between Punk and Kane.
The following are the full spoilers and analysis for this week’s edition of Friday Night SmackDown.
- Rey Mysterio and The Big Show defeat The Real Americans in SmackDown’s opening match. Following their win, Paul Heyman comes out and cuts a promo on Show’s match with Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.
- The Miz pins Brodus Clay. During the match Bad News Barrett did commentary via loudspeaker, and Miz went after him following his win.
- Cameron was beaten by AJ Lee.
- The Shield cut a backstage promo on the Royal Rumble.
- Ryback and Curtis Axel get a win over Los Matadores.
- CM Punk comes out and talks about the Royal Rumble, but is interrupted by Kane, who taunts Punk about his slim chances of winning as the No. 1 entrant.
- Erick Rowan and Luke Harper squash The Prime Time Players, and Bray cuts a promo afterwards about how he’ll hurt Daniel Bryan at the Rumble. Bryan comes out and says he fears nothing.
- Kofi Kingston got a pinfall victory over Fandango.
- The Shield and The New Age Outlaws vs. Big E Langston, The Usos, Cody Rhodes and Goldust closes the show. The match ends in disqualification and superstars start running in and brawling; a preview of Sunday’s Royal Rumble match.
Big Red Distraction
Not a lot happened on SmackDown, but one angle of interest is Kane vs. CM Punk.
This is the first week in a long time that Punk didn’t have a match with The Shield or any of its members, so it looks like their feud has ended.
The Second City Saint now turns his attention to The Big Red Machine, who will surely cost Punk the Royal Rumble match.
That gives him a reason to not compete in the Elimination Chamber match (as he’ll face Kane at February’s pay-per-view) and will lead in nicely to Triple H vs. CM Punk.
One thing to note; Punk’s rivalry with The Shield appears to be over, and he never got even with Roman Reigns following his loss to him at Old School Raw.
Another strong indication officials have big plans for Reigns.
The Beard Has No Fear
Daniel Bryan proclaimed on Raw that to take down Bray Wyatt he needed to do so mentally as well as physically.
I’m not quite sure how he achieved that by joining the Wyatt Family for two weeks, but hey, The American Dragon is back!
And as over as ever. It’s odd that WWE are protecting Bryan from a Rumble loss by simply keeping him out of it altogether.
After his run with the WWE Championship went horribly wrong in 2013, it’ll be interesting to see if WWE decides to actually listen to its fans.
Low SummerSlam buyrate be damned— the fans want Bryan. He should go over on Bray on Sunday, but it’s really hard to tell if the WWE can ever truly get behind him.
Revenge of the Midcard!
With CM Punk and Daniel Bryan not in action and no John Cena, Randy Orton or Brock Lesnar, this week’s show was left mainly to the midcarders.
Kofi Kingston got a victory over Fandango—is it an indication of a push or simply a nothing match? Probably the latter.
Elsewhere, Bad News Barrett finally begins a feud of some kind, as it looks like Miz now has an issue with him.
Hopefully Barrett can make something of this awfully forced and inorganic gimmick.
And finally, Big Show and Rey Mysterio defeat The Real Americans in a final attempt of WWE to convince us that Show is a threat to Lesnar.
At least we get to hear Paul Heyman talk.