WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Jan. 10

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterJanuary 10, 2017

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from Jan. 10

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE SmackDown's reign as the superior storytelling brand continued in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday night.

    There was no classic match or stellar segment, but everything showcased SmackDown's characters or moved its plots along. The show boasted urgency and purpose throughout.

    Dolph Ziggler unraveled further after suffering another loss. The Miz pined hard for the Intercontinental Championship he lost last week. Randy Orton and Luke Harper's personal issues threatened to topple The Wyatt Family. 

    And in a bit of exciting news, general manager Daniel Bryan announced Becky Lynch will challenge Alexa Bliss for the SmackDown Women's Championship inside a steel cage next Tuesday.

    Read on for a full breakdown of the night's in-ring battles and verbal clashes. As has been the case with SmackDown since the brand split, there was generally more to praise than to put down.

The Ambrose Asylum

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    Dean Ambrose announced he would be entering the Royal Rumble match. 

    He welcomed The Miz to his show. The former IC champ claimed Ambose was tainting the legacy of the title. The Miz then announced he would be a part of the Rumble as well. 

    After The Miz asked him to relinquish the championship, Ambrose gifted The Awesome One a participation award.

    In response, The Miz attacked the champ, and the two brawled on the mat. The Lunatic Fringe won their brief scrap.

                

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Ambrose names the alligator head on his set "Maryse."
    • "I thought it would be fun to have a live alligator on the show, but apparently we don't have the permits."—Ambrose.
    • Maryse accidentally slaps The Miz in the face.

                  

    Grade

    B+

                    

    Analysis

    Ambrose looks to be having a blast as champ so far. If he continues to be as invigorated as he was here, his reign will be a high-quality one.

    The IC title continues to be vital to The Miz's being. That fact that he holds it so dear makes it feel more important and adds a clear goal for his character.

Natalya vs. Nikki Bella

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    Natalya blindsided Nikki Bella backstage, leaving her holding her leg in pain.

    In the ring, Bella pounced on Natalya before the bell. They hammered each other with hard blows on the entrance ramp. 

    Natalya tried to leave the ring area, but Bella caught her and continued the beatdown. The heel cut Bella down at the knees and clamped on the Sharpshooter.

    Referees had to pull the women apart.

                     

    Result

    The match never officially begins.

                   

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • Fans chant "Let them fight!"
    • "Proving that she's the queen of black hearts, Natalya!"—Mauro Ranallo.

                   

    Grade

    B-

                    

    Analysis

    Some will view the lack of an actual match as a letdown, but this was a smart way to build to a bigger showdown. The bad blood between them boiled over, as it should at this point in the feud.

    And Natalya torturing her rival with the Sharpshooter as referees desperately tried to stop her was a great image.

    This was a case of simple booking being plenty effective. Bella's rivalries have been loaded with intensity since the brand split.

Dolph Ziggler vs. Kalisto

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    In an interview backstage, Dolph Ziggler refused to explain why he attacked Kalisto and Apollo Crews last week.

    Once the match began, Kalisto attacked with rapid-fire offense. The Showoff slowed down the match, outwrestling his foe on the mat.

    Although Ziggler dominated the match, Kalisto rolled him up for a surprise three-count. Ziggler exploded after the bout, throttling The King of Flight. 

    Crews emerged to take on The Showoff, but he ended up taking chair shots to his back.

                     

    Result

    Kalisto wins via pinfall. 

                      

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "Dolph just can't buy a win right now."—John "Bradshaw" Layfield.
    • Ziggler smashes Kalisto with a steel chair.

                     

    Grade

    B-

                      

    Analysis

    This was an average match that was followed by compelling post-bout action.

    Ziggler's tailspin has been intriguing so far. Desperation and defeat have maddened him and turned him into a more dangerous beast. His journey into the darkness promises to be one of SmackDown's best stories.

    It will be great for Crews to get some spotlight opposite The Showoff, too.

American Alpha vs. The Wyatt Family (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)

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    Luke Harper lurked at ringside as Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton battled American Alpha. 

    Jason Jordan and Chad Gable used their speed to fluster The Wyatt Family early on. The challengers, though, moved Gable into their corner and pounded on him for a long stretch.

    After Gable finally made a tag, Jordan went on an electric flurry. Harper distracted him long enough to derail the comeback, though. 

    Orton and Wyatt took turns flooring Jordan, but Gable returned to fight back against the heels. Chaos erupted as all four men clashed in the ring.

    Standing on the ring apron, Harper inadvertently distracted Orton. That opened the door for Gable to score a roll-up pin for the victory. 

    After the match, Harper and a seething Orton bickered, their fight ending with Harper kicking Wyatt in the jaw.

                   

    Result

    American Alpha wins via pinfall to retain the tag titles.

                    

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "We are the only alphas in the SmackDown tag team division."—Jordan.
    • Orton suplexes Gable onto the security barricade.

                    

    Grade

    A-

                    

    Analysis

    The tag teams put on a strong performance. The Wyatt Family looked dominant; American Alpha infused the bout with all kinds of energy.

    This is a rivalry that promises to get better as the duos continue to collide.

    But there's no guarantee The Wyatt Family will be around for the next rematch. The clan is splintering, thanks to tension between Orton and Harper. WWE has done well to tease the impending implosion.

    It now just has to deliver something memorable when the actual split happens.

Carmella vs. CJ Lunde

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    Carmella dominated CJ Lunde.

    She whipped the enhancement talent around the ring. Lunde managed some brief offense until James Ellsworth grabbed her foot. That helped Carmella score a quick, easy win.

    Backstage, Carmella promised to take Ellsworth on a shopping trip next week.

                       

    Result

    Carmella wins via pinfall.

                    

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "I think this is Mae Young's step-granddaughter."—JBL on Lunde.

                   

    Grade

    D

                     

    Analysis

    The awkward contest came off as a comedy match without actually being funny. Lunde and Carmella had terrible chemistry.

    And we saw only minimal advancement of Ellsworth and Carmella's relationship.

    It's good to keep Carmella's momentum going with another win, but this was tough to watch. There's no chance Lunde catches on and becomes the next Ellsworth.

John Cena vs. Baron Corbin

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    Credit: WWE.com

    A video package aired to hype the match, and both foes talked trash in backstage interviews.

    AJ Styles sat in on commentary as Baron Corbin and John Cena locked horns in the ring.

    The Lone Wolf earned the early advantage by overpowering Cena. Corbin, though, grew distracted by Styles' presence at ringside.

    A drained Cena fought back with his usual sequence of signature moves. He toppled Corbin with an Attitude Adjustment before staring down Styles.

                  

    Result

    Cena wins via pinfall.

                   

    Memorable Moments and Quotes

    • "You know how I make a statement? I point out the toughest guy in the room and knock his teeth down his throat."—Cena.
    • "Hustle, loyalty and respect? What about pain, humiliation and annihilation?"—Corbin.
    • "Is that the best you've got?"—Corbin to Cena.
    • Corbin punches Cena's head against the security barricade.

                      

    Grade

    B

                     

    Analysis

    WWE did an excellent job making the match feel big leading up to it. The actual action didn't live up to the hype, though.

    Corbin looked good before he fell to Cena, overwhelming the 15-time world champ for much of the bout. A lack of highlights and only having 10 minutes to work with at the end of the show held this back from being better, though.

    Cena won as expected, and he is primed to face off with Styles as a result. WWE now has to find ways to elevate Corbin ahead of the Royal Rumble to allow him to keep building momentum.