WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 7

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2022

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from January 7

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    Credit: WWE.com

    The fallout from WWE Day 1 dominated Friday's SmackDown as WWE champion Brock Lesnar confronted returning universal champion Roman Reigns.

    What went down when The Beast Incarnate, reunited with Paul Heyman, came face-to-face with The Head of the Table just five days after what was supposed to be their latest, greatest battle?

    The WWE Universe found out Friday with an episode of SmackDown that also featured The New Day battling The Usos in a street fight.

Match Card

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    • A confrontation of champions: WWE champion Brock Lesnar confronts returning universal champion Roman Reigns
    • Street fight: The New Day vs. The Usos
    • Rick Boogs vs. Sami Zayn

Roman Reigns Kicked Off SmackDown

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    Credit: WWE.com

    "When you're in isolation, you do a lot of thinking," universal champion Roman Reigns said as he addressed the WWE Universe upon his return from a positive COVID-19 test. "The two people I never want to see again...are Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman."

    Almost as if on cue, Lesnar and Heyman interrupted, drawing a huge ovation as he made his way into the arena. 

    Lesnar wasted little time issuing a challenge for a title vs. title match, to which Reigns declined. He said he won't do business with someone who does business "with trash like Paul Heyman."

    Heyman, still torn between his charges, asked The Beast not to talk to Reigns like he was. That allowed The Tribal Chief to rock his rival with a Superman Punch before taking off up the ramp.

          

    Grade

    A

         

    Analysis

    Lesnar issued a challenge for the enormous title vs. title match we all speculated upon when he won the WWE Championship at Day 1, and Heyman continued to tell the story of an advocate/special counsel torn between two men who have helped define him in recent years.

    This might not have produced much more than that, but it didn't have to.

    Heyman's crisis of conscience has been one of the best stories in wrestling over the last year, and it appears as though it will remain a major aspect of this feud moving forward.

Rick Boogs vs. Sami Zayn

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Prior to his match with Rick Boogs, No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship Sami Zayn confronted Johnny Knoxville backstage about his entry into the Royal Rumble match on January 29.

    Back in the arena, Zayn battled Boogs, who entered alongside IC champion Shinsuke Nakamura. 

    Boogs tossed his opponent around the ring with exploder suplexes, but the conspiracy-minded heel seized control of the bout during the break. The guitar-playing babyface fought back into the match, dropping to his knees, then standing back up before flattening Zayn with a suplex.

    A distraction by Nakamura on the floor allowed Boogs to score the win.

    After the match, Knoxville snuck up from behind Zayn and threw him over the top rope in a sneak peek of things to come at the Royal Rumble.

         

    Result

    Boogs defeated Zayn

         

    Grade

    C

         

    Analysis

    Boogs is really good in bursts and an energetic babyface who can rile the crowd up. He gets the crowd involved in what he does and is perfect in the role he currently fills.

    Zayn is an extraordinary heel, a great character who excels in any position on the card. He can hang on the mic and in segments with Brock Lesnar one week, then share the ring with Johnny Knoxville and not lose anything by being thrown over the top rope.

    He's great, Boogs is hella fun, and this was a solid and inoffensive segment.

Charlotte Flair's Royal Rumble Announcement

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    Credit: WWE.com

    SmackDown women's champion Charlotte Flair made her way to the ring to address the WWE Universe and threw to a video package announcing competitors in this year's Women's Royal Rumble, including:

    • WWE Hall of Famers The Bella Twins
    • WWE Hall of Famer Lita
    • Michelle McCool
    • Kelly Kelly
    • Impact Wrestling Knockouts champion Mickie James

    Flair then announced that she will also enter the match, becoming the first champion to win. She would then choose which woman she wants to defend her title against at WrestleMania.

    This brought out Naomi, who confronted Flair. The Queen questioned what Naomi has done to earn a match against her, to which Naomi smacked her, setting up a match after the commercial break.

         

    Grade

    A

        

    Analysis

    The segment earned its grade the moment Mickie James was announced for the Royal Rumble and was acknowledged by Pat McAfee as the reigning Impact Wrestling Knockouts champion.

    That is so far out of the realm of normal for WWE that it instantly makes fans sit up and take notice, questioning what her involvement in the match might mean for the company's future relations with other promotions.

    Naomi's appearance setting up a match with Flair is predictable, if nothing else. An immensely talented wrestler who has earned more championship opportunities and high-profile opportunities, her in that position is hardly a bad thing.

Naomi vs. Charlotte Flair

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    Credit: WWE

    Naomi battled Flair to the floor, controlling the pace of the action and outwrestling the SmackDown women's champion. An appearance by WWE official Sonya Deville and the announcement that the match could not end by count-out allowed Flair to attack from behind, seizing control of the bout.

    When Naomi made it to the ropes, presumably forcing Flair to break the Figure Four, Deville revealed the match could not end by disqualification. Flair delivered a standing moonsault for two. Naomi answered with a Bubba Bomb into a rollup for her own near-fall. 

    Naomi countered out of a powerbomb attempt with a facebuster, but Flair recovered, brought her opponent off the ropes and delivered Natural Selection for the win.

         

    Result

    Flair defeated Naomi

         

    Grade

    B

        

    Analysis

    Flair and Naomi had a fun match that showcased some strong in-ring chemistry between the two, even if some spots didn't hit as crisply as one would expect.

    The story of Naomi looking to prove herself as a title contender, only to be constantly cut off and undone by the crooked Deville.

    It will be interesting to see if Naomi picks up where Toni Storm left off, leading to at least one championship encounter with The Queen.

    Given how much fans love Naomi, and despise Flair, it is arguably the hottest option at the writing team's disposal.

Happy Talk and The Viking Raiders vs. Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss

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    Credit: WWE

    Happy Corbin made his way to the ring for this week's Happy Talk. After recapping Madcap Moss' attack on Drew McIntyre back at Day 1, he introduced The Scottish Warrior.

    Or so we thought.

    Moss made his way to the ring, dressed as McIntyre. He mocked his rival's Scottish accent and claimed McIntyre was milking a neck injury to avoid facing Corbin. The Viking Raiders hit the ring, clearing the heels and setting up a tag match.

    Erik and Ivar started the match hot, overwhelming the opposition. The heels seized control, and despite a comeback attempt by the Raiders, Moss dropped Erik with the Punchline for the pinfall victory.

         

    Result

    Moss and Corbin defeated Viking Raiders

        

    Grade

    C-

        

    Analysis

    Moss and Corbin do the best they can with what they're given every week, but this stuff is just more cringeworthy than anything. It's not good, the matches that ensue because of Happy Talk are rarely good, and no one ever really comes off better for having been involved.

    Kudos to Moss, who has made the most of the opportunities given to him, including the Scottish accent he was asked to mock here. 

Street Fight for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles: The New Day vs. The Usos

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    Credit: WWE

    The SmackDown tag team titles were up for grabs in the night's main event, a street fight in which The Usos defended against The New Day's Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods.

    The fight spilled up the ramp, then into the crowd as the legendary rivalry between the two teams wrote its latest chapter.

    Late in the match, Kingston and Woods mounted a comeback and introduced a table to the match. The Usos cut them off, rocking both opponents with superkicks. Ultimately, The Usos retained, driving Kingston through said table with the 3D for the win.

    After the match, Roman Reigns was seen watching from his locker room when Adam Pearce's choice for his next opponent entered: Seth Rollins. The Revolutionary laughed hysterically as the show went off the air.

        

    Result

    The Usos defeated The New Day to retain

        

    Grade 

    B+

        

    Analysis

    New Day vs. The Usos is a match that will almost always result in a great show. While this match fell just short of that, it was still a strong main event. The brawling was subdued compared to street fights elsewhere, but the chemistry between the opponents and their established history with each other helped make up for it.

    The implementation of the 3D to The Usos' arsenal is a great choice and gives them something they can hit as a unit to put opponents away with. It's different than the splash and superkick and freshens up a move set that can always use it.

    Especially after a decade of dominance.

    The show-closing angle, with Rollins revealed as Reigns' next challenger, was a great cliffhanger and creates interest in next week's show. That The Tribal Chief vs. The Visionary is a relatively fresh match only helps with the excitement.

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