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WWE SmackDown: 1/21/2022

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It’s time again for WWE’s Friday night television show known as SmackDow. With the Royal Rumble approaching more and more closely, the build up between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns has certainly reached its peak tonight. Apart from how amazing the build up to this feud has been, how did the rest of the show go? Well, let’s find out!

Segment 1: 500+ Days

The show opens up with the SmackDown tag team champions, Bloodline’s Usos as they introduced the Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Out comes the champ and a video package was played to emphasize that Reigns is currently the longest reigning Universal champion, surpassing Brock Lesnar’s reign by a good 100 days give or take. Roman has certainly deserved to break the record and personally I do see him hold this championship for at least close to another year. After the video package aired, out comes Seth Rollins and made an interesting challenge to the Usos: in which if the Usos lose to Seth and a partner of his choosing then the Usos are banned from ringside during the Universal title match at the Rumble but if the Usos won then Seth would forfeit his title opportunity. The challenges were accepted on both sides with Seth’s partner being Kevin Owens.

Match 1: Kofi Kingston vs Madcap Moss. (Rating: 2/5)

This was a pretty okay match for the most part. Of course Happy Corbin accompanied Moss and was in his corner so it was fitting for Kofi to also have backup. But it wasn’t King of the Ring winner Xavier Woods, instead it was Raw’s Big E. The match was won by Kingston after hitting the Trouble In Paradise and afterwards both Big E and Happy Corbin ran into the ring and got physical against one another.

Match 2: Aliyah vs Natalya. (Rating: 1.5/5)

A bit of a longer match this time around compared to last week’s record breaking bout. Aliyah really has a lot to bring to the table and should showcase her talent with the right opponent and even though Natalya is also talented in her own right, these two women do not mesh well whatsoever. Aliyah won the match after Natalya got disqualified due to attacking the rookie continuously without attempting to beat the 5 count. Overall, the match wasn’t that great and I’m hoping that this doesn’t become yet another rematch at the upcoming payperview.

Match 3: The Viking Raiders vs Los Lotharios. (Rating: 2.5/5)

This was actually a fun match, of course favoring the Viking Raiders. However Angel Garza and Humberto Carrillo did put up a really good fight and did use their speed to their advantage, though it didn’t last long. The match ended with the Viking Raiders hitting a powerbomb and World’s Strongest Slam combination, incapacitating both Lotharios. As Michael Cole pointed out on commentary, this was the most dominant that both Erik and Ivar have ever been, since possibly their days down in NXT. Really hopeful that apart from how amazing their match with the Usos will be that the Vikings end up becoming the new SmackDown tag champions.

Match 4: Naomi vs Charlotte Flair (Rating: 1/5)

Yet again continues the saga of “Sonya Deville screws Naomi out of a opportunity.” Naomi was once again granted a chance to face Charlotte Flair to get the opportunity to get a future SmackDown women’s title match, however Sonya felt the need to become the special guest referee. Naomi actually managed to hit her Rear View finisher on the champion but as typical heel special guest refs go, Deville paid no attention to the pinfall made by Naomi. The match ended screwjob after Charlotte locked in her Figure 8 Leg Lock finisher and Deville ringing the bell almost immediately after Flair locked in her submission. The chemistry between Naomi or Flair is there; it’s untapped and I’m certain that both women could work well off against one another but with the on-going Naomi/Sonya feud has not only dragged on but it’s also made the former champion’s booking look rather poorly than anything. Next week Naomi will get to face Deville one on one but I’m sure in some sort of way the match doesn’t become a match and end almost as immediately as this champion’s contender match.

Main Event: Tag Team Match; Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins vs The Usos. (Rating: 3.5/5)

Without a doubt this was the match of the night. Both Rollins and Owens work well together as a tag team and have real good chemistry, certainly not as much as the Usos have with one another but still a pretty well oiled machine of a team. Kevin and Seth worked as the faces in this match with the crowd being behind both men, which certainly does put the nail to the coffin that Rollins is a tweener. The match ended with Rollins hitting a Curb Stomp on one of the Usos but immediately after Seth connected the move Roman Reigns slid into the ring and hit a Superman Punch on Rollins; ending the match in not only in disqualification but with the added stipulation of both Usos being barred from ringside in the Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble. SmackDown this week certainly felt weak compared to its Monday Night Raw counterpart but it was still an okay show regardless of the minuscule drop in quality.

Final rating: 2.75/5