Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for January 17

The Doctor Chris MuellerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2014

Complete Report Card and Predictions Following WWE SmackDown for January 17

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    WWE.com

    Every week here on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at SmackDown, recapping all of the action, offering analysis and grading the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.

    This week's show addressed several different feuds, but the lack of anyone from the world title picture definitely did not go unnoticed.

    A couple of the matches were entertaining, but the show as a whole did not stand out as anything special. We saw some decent promos from Paul Heyman and Bray Wyatt, though.

    Let's get right into the action with the first match featuring The Brotherhood taking on The New Age Outlaws.

Cody Rhodes and Goldust vs. New Age Outlaws

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    The show gets going right away with a tag match between The New Age Outlaws and The Brotherhood. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn do their usual routine and get a decent response from the crowd.

    This was a good match until Vickie came out and distracted Cody by talking about The Royal Rumble, allowing Gunn to roll him up for a quick win.

    This could have been an awesome tag match, and hopefully we get to see them face off again in the near future.

    Grade: C-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Miz is on commentary tonight for some strange reason. WWE really has no idea what to do with him.
    • I wouldn't mind another tag title run from The New Age Outlaws.

Rey Mysterio vs. Alberto Del Rio

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    This was a really fun match between two men who have great chemistry in the ring. It wasn't the best match we have ever seen from these two, but it was a match of the night candidate.

    Rey ended up getting the win with a roll up after Alberto Del Rio missed the running side kick, but before that it was counter after counter after counter.

    Del Rio attacked Rey after the match and put him in the cross armbreaker. It seems as if Rey is being sacrificed so Batista will be more pissed off when he returns.

    If that means we get matches like this, then I'm fine with it.

    Grade: A-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Miz seemed like he might have been genuinely pissed at JBL when they were arguing at one point.
    • I miss Ricardo Rodriguez.

     

Naomi vs. Tamina

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    This match got off to a promising start, but a botched back drop slowed down the momentum of the match, and nearly killed Naomi.

    Nothing about it worked, and the kind of fall Naomi took would be scary for anyone. The match didn't really have a chance to get going again.

    Naomi ended up hitting a few moves and a split-leg moonsault to pick up the win.

    Grade: D+

    Some notes from the match:

    • A special tribute video for Mae Young aired after the match.
    • The video was very well done and it really highlighted Mae's ability to entertain a crowd.

Fandango vs. Big E Langston

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    This was a quick match that saw Langston pick up the win with his Big Ending finisher. Given more time this could have turned into something good, but it was just too short to be anything special.

    Grade: C-

     

The Usos vs. Real Americans

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    The great thing about The Usos is that they know how to build up to the big finish in every match. This match was pretty good, and it made The Usos look strong.

    They picked up the win with a Superfly Splash that capped off an exciting flurry of offense from the brothers. The Usos make tag team wrestling fun, and the fact that WWE has allowed the division to grow again is great to see.

    Grade: B

    Some notes from the match:

    • Using Zeb Colter and his wheelchair as a weapon against Cesaro was a little unexpected.
    • It's too bad WWE merged the two tag titles before all these great teams came along. Either one of these teams would be great as tag champs.

     

CM Punk Calls out His Enemies

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    The show ended with CM Punk calling out The New Age Outlaws and The Shield. All five men were going to attack him, but Kane stopped them.

    Kane said it was his job to make sure Punk was treated fairly, but Punk talked back and Kane changed his tune, chokeslamming Punk in the middle of the ring.

    The final segment of the night seemed like it was thrown together at the last minute, but Punk sold it well.

    Grade: B

     

     

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    This was a pretty standard episode of SmackDown. We had a few good matches and a few that just filled time with some storyline development peppered in throughout.

    The lack of Randy Orton and John Cena was noticed, and it felt like WWE just threw this show together at the last minute for the most part. It had all the usual feuds, but nothing really happened.

    Monday's Raw should be a big show. It's the last Raw before The Royal Rumble and we have the return of Batista. We should get any final additions to the card out of the way as well as more names for the Rumble match itself.

    Predictions:

    • Del Rio will try to attack Batista on Monday during his return.
    • Big Show will get the better of Lesnar again on Raw so Lesnar looks weaker heading into their match at The Royal Rumble, making his eventual win seem like a bigger deal.
    • Naomi will earn a Divas title shot on Raw or SmackDown next week so the match can happen at the Rumble.
    • Daniel Bryan's concussion will be written into the storyline so he doesn't just disappear for several weeks without notice.
    • CM Punk will be one of the final two in the Royal Rumble match.

    What did you think of this week's SmackDown?

     

    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.