Kevin Owens Needs a Friend, Sonya Deville Is Back, More WWE SmackDown Fallout
Friday Night SmackDown rang in the new year with a bang. It was an action-packed night for the blue brand when all things were possible. Champions were in action, and familiar, hungry challengers made their mark.
January often brings out the best in WWE wrestlers, who know that WrestleMania season is on the horizon. This makes for some special moments as fresh faces step up more than ever before.
Kevin Owens has been bringing his absolute best lately, and he did so again Friday, opening the show with passion and closing it by refusing to give up. However, in his war with Roman Reigns and Jey Uso, it is about time he got an ally.
Sasha Banks is a champion with plenty of competition, but it was unclear who would fight her next. Carmella made her mark by pinning the champ, earning a future second chance at the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Sonya Deville made a welcome return to WWE, teasing what was to come from her. Everyone will need to look out as one of WWE's best rising stars is ready to take the leap, especially The Legit Boss.
Apollo Crews earned a shot at the WWE Intercontinental Championship by helping Big E defeat the formidable duo of Sami Zayn and King Corbin. Next week, he will have a chance to prove he deserves so much more than he has gotten recently.
This night was massive for many Superstars, hinting that 2021 could be a special year for WWE as fresh faces look to make lasting marks.
Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens Rematch Only Works If KO Finds a Friend
On Friday, once again, Kevin Owens went after Roman Reigns. The Tribal Chief laughed at the idea that KO could defeat him. This led to Owens vs. Jey Uso in the main event which saw KO earn a dominant victory. Afterward, Reigns and Uso dumped KO off the ThunderDome.
While WWE feuds rarely end after just one match, Owens is at such a disadvantage against Reigns that is makes little sense to continue building to another clash. It only works if KO can even the odds by enlisting the help of someone else.
It was not that long ago Owens was teasing going after the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. However, he could not find an ally. If someone were to help him get Uso out of the way, this would sell the opportunity for one last fair match between KO and Reigns.
Since it is unlikely Owens will defeat The Tribal Chief, setting someone up as his friend naturally transitions KO into the tag team scene. Owens and his mystery partner can finally give The Street Profits fresh challengers.
Daniel Bryan would make the most sense, but he seems poised to win the men's Royal Rumble. Kalisto could use the rub, but he may not be a big-enough name. The most interesting options would either be Seth Rollins, returning with a new mindset, or a healthy Jimmy Uso.
Apollo Crews Could Benefit from Working with Big E
Big E was supposed to fight King Corbin, but Sami Zayn got involved. This set up Apollo Crews to make the save. Crews managed to pin the former WWE intercontinental champion in the consequent tag team match. To show his gratitude, E gave his friend a title match next week.
This is a big break for Crews, who has been out of the ring for months. Despite his rebuild on Raw in 2020, WWE still struggles to use the talented former U.S. champ properly. It is possible that he will never get the opportunities he deserves.
He and E make for a fascinating in-ring pairing. Both are big, muscular men with deceptive speed. They have the strength to match one another. If Crews can look like a true challenge to the champion, he should remain on television as an ally for a while.
With certain top stars like Seth Rollins and Rey Mysterio not appearing currently, it makes sense to give a shot to the underutilized talent on this roster. Few are more misused than the man who will finally get another title shot next week.
Despite Clean Loss, Carmella Is Still Only Challenger to Sasha Banks
Carmella and Bayley continued their dominant showing as a team Friday, working together to fight Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. While The EST had a chance to stand out through her unmatchable power, Reginald saved The Untouchable One, who hit the Mella Buster for the victory over The Legit Boss.
Typically, WWE sells rematches by giving the challenger pinfall victories over the champion in tag team action. This was an obvious set up that is the right move for the blue brand. While Carmella recently lost clean to Banks, she is still the best woman to challenge the champion right now.
The SmackDown women's division is still developing anew. The brand's tag team division is more impressive than the single division, with Bayley and Carmella notably working well off each other.
Until Belair is ready, no one else is set up well to fight Banks. She has put Bayley behind her. Natalya has barely been a factor on television. Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan have tag team gold aspirations. Sonya Deville returned to action Friday.
The chemistry between Banks and Carmella needs to be capitalized upon. Given Asuka does not seem poised to defend the Raw Women's Championship anytime soon, SmackDown needs to hold down the fort with this great rivalry.
Sonya Deville Returns Just in Time for WrestleMania Season
Sonya Deville has returned. The dangerous former MMA fighter left WWE for a time following her match with Mandy Rose at SummerSlam. Her return is welcome, especially on a roster that needs one more major heel.
Before she left, Deville was on a tear. Her work in the ring and on the mic was the best it had ever been. While Carmella may be the immediate answer to challenge Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair is the brand's rising star, Deville has to be in the conversation soon.
Her talent is unquestionable after carrying Mandy Rose to the highest heights of her career. This is a woman who can lead a brand, but she has not had the chance. After so many months away, she has to be hungry to get back to doing what she loves.
It is good to know she has put what she can behind her and is ready to dominate again. WWE needed her, perhaps more than just about anyone else on an extended leave.