WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 31
Coming off the heels of a breakneck Royal Rumble weekend, the January 31 edition of Friday Night SmackDown was given the title Super SmackDown as a night defined by huge matches.
Roman Reigns and The Usos teamed up once again to take down King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. These teams have been fighting forever, and this felt like it could be the final chapter in this rivalry.
Braun Strowman finally got his promised Christmas present as he was set to fight Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. He had already defeated The Artist multiple times, and this time he could win his first singles championship in WWE.
The SmackDown tag team champions also had new challengers on the horizon as a No. 1 contender Fatal 4-Way match was set. The Miz and John Morrison battled against Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party and The Revival.
After a brutal fight on the Royal Rumble Kickoff, Shorty G looked to gain some redemption in a rematch with Sheamus in The Celtic Warrior's first match back on the blue brand in months.
Before the Super Bowl, Super SmackDown promised a massive show that would not be soon forgotten.
Roman Reigns and The Usos Add Dog Food to the Main Event
Roman Reigns looked on the bright side in that he beat down King Corbin at Royal Rumble even if he fell short in the men's event. He looked to the future at WrestleMania 36 alongside his cousins The Usos.
King Corbin interrupted with Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode. The King made clear that The Big Dog cheated and would lose tonight. The Usos challenged Corbin to add a stipulation in the six-man tag tonight. The losers would eat dog food. Corbin accepted.
On a packed night, SmackDown opened with a flat and unnecessary segment. Reigns and Corbin talked around the end of their rivalry to extend it into one more show. The Falls Count Anywhere match was enough to let this go.
Instead, WWE opened a supposed Super SmackDown by stating the main event would end with three men eating a bowl of dog food. It could have been bad enough to convince some to tune out before any of the great matches.
Heavy Machinery vs. The Revival vs. Miz and John Morrison vs. Lucha House Party
Every team in this match had a chance to shine as they closed in on victory but fell just short. Otis got on a roll with Tucker backing him up. Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik were flying high throughout this match.
However, none were as crafty as the eventual winners. After Dash Wilder was taken out, The Miz connected on a Skull Crushing Finale into John Morrison's Starship Pain to take the three count.
Miz and Morrison def. Revival, Heavy Machinery and Lucha House Party by pinfall to become the new No. 1 contenders to the SmackDown tag team champions.
This match was a mess of fun ideas. Lucha House Party shined in the crispest and most impressive moments of the match while others were not able to look quite as clean. Morrison especially tried a little too hard to keep pulling off something impressive.
It was ultimately the only right decision for The A-Lister and Shaman of Sexy to emerge victorious. They have already defeated both healthy members of The New Day. It was just a matter of getting to the tag team title match.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross
Backstage, Mandy Rose thanked Otis for helping her in the women's Royal Rumble. The big man asked her on a date, and she accepted for Valentine's Day.
While Fire and Desire looked like a completely cohesive team again, it was not enough against the former tag team champion. Sonya Deville could not save God's Greatest Creation forever, and Rose fell to the Purge into Twisted Bliss.
Bliss and Cross def. Fire and Desire by pinfall.
Another week brought another rushed and forgettable match between these two teams. It is about time The Goddess and her best friend move on to bigger and better things. Perhaps they can go after The Kabuki Warriors again.
Rose and Otis has been fun consistently, but it has not been as fun to watch God's Greatest Creation regress in the ring. Her coordination and focus feel off lately.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Braun Strowman
Sami Zayn did his best alongside Cesaro to keep Shinsuke Nakamura in this match. Braun Strowman, though, refused to be stopped. After The Critic of the Critics exposed the turnbuckle, The Monster Among Men threw The Artist into it and hit a running powerslam for the win.
Backstage, Zayn tried to explain to everyone the injustice that had just transpired, but Elias interrupted him with a concert in the ring. The Swiss Superman went after The Living Truth only to get kicked clean out of the ring by Elias.
Strowman def. Nakamura by pinfall to become the new WWE intercontinental champion.
While the match was not great, the moment more or less made up for it. Strowman managed to finally win his first singles championship. The Monster Among Men has long deserved gold that he could not get. Now he gets a chance to run with the Intercontinental Championship.
Meanwhile, Zayn's duo is falling apart. Nakamura no longer has a title to make him seem more relevant. Cesaro cannot catch a break in any scenario. It may not be long before The Critic of the Critics' team becomes a distant memory.
Sheamus vs. Shorty G
Shorty G attacked Sheamus during his entrance to embarrass The Fella. While The Celtic Warrior recovered, the shorter man seemed to have his number. The Celtic Warrior stopped him just short with a Brogue Kick.
Sheamus def. Shorty by pinfall.
Certainly, this was an entirely unnecessary rematch, but Sheamus and his first rival in his return made the most of the moment. Shorty is much better than his win-loss record would indicate. He made clear that Sheamus is a big threat by pushing him but still falling short.
It will be interesting to see who The Fella goes after next. There are plenty of men in WWE he could have stellar matches with that he has not faced before.
Naomi Interrupts Bayley
Bayley gloated over her win against Lacey Evans. She wanted Charlotte Flair to come out and challenge her. Instead, Naomi arrived. She made clear The Role Model had never beaten her. Bayley attacked her supposed challenger first, but Naomi sent her running.
Bayley vs. Naomi is certainly an interesting proposition. It is rare WWE has a fresh matchup between established foes so far into their careers, but these two have never fought each other one on one. If they can deliver, this could be Naomi's moment to take the next step.
While The Sassy Southern Belle proved herself worthy of her Royal Rumble match, she was not the type to elevate the SmackDown Women's Championship. This feud could if both women step up their game to meet each other.
Roman Reigns and the Usos vs. King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
In a physical six-man tag team match, The Usos and Roman Reigns had control throughout. They managed to take out Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode before The Big Dog rolled up King Corbin for three.
As The King tried to escape, Reigns caught Corbin with a spear. He was then strung up on the turnbuckle with handcuffs before the faces dumped dog food on him.
Reigns and Usos def. Corbin, Ziggler and Roode by pinfall.
Corbin vs. Reigns has been a long arduous feud. Hopefully, this is the end of it. The six-man tag team match was much better and did not include Michael Cole saying the words "somebody is going to eat dog food." This whole thing was terrible even if the wrestling was fine.
The dog food idea was terrible the first time, and the revenge did not feel great. It was just weird. This is the rivalry that potentially is setting up The Big Dog to go to the main event of WrestleMania.