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WWE SmackDown: 1/28/2022

credit from: CBS Sports

It’s the final stop before the Royal Rumble payperview! With a solid match card for the SmackDown side on the show, how was SmackDown going to send the crowd home happy before the Rumble show? Well unfortunately, this week’s episode felt pretty lackluster compared to last week’s. However there were some enjoyable moments to say the absolute least. So let’s dive in and see what WWE had to offer in this final stop before the Rumble!

Segment 1: The Boss is BACK!

The show kicked off with the SmackDown women in the ring to talk about their goals for winning the Royal Rumble match. Even the SmackDown women’s champion Charlotte Flair joined the fray up until a familiar theme played. That’s right, Sasha Banks has made her return after being away from sometime!…. Why? The Royal Rumble is a day away, why spoil an actual legitimate surprise from the get-go? Well, regardless of that decision the women in the ring fought against one another with Banks being all alone in the ring. Really fun way to get the show started by building hype around the women’s Rumble match.

Match 1: Tag team match; Ridge Holland and Sheamus vs Ricochet and Cesaro. (Rating: 3/5)

Rematches in WWE are very common on a weekly basis, however I really can’t complain when these four really have good chemistry with one another. Since partnering up with Sheamus, Holland really has been booked pretty okay. He really does give off a younger Sheamus vibe, and Holland even started wearing a protective face mask since his nose was broken during this first encounter back at Day One earlier this month. The match was won by Sheamus and Holland after Ridge his Cesaro in the face with his protective mask and hit him with the Emerald Flowison finisher for the pinfall victory. Pretty good match, hope eventually this would lead to Cesaro possibly joining them in the future.

Match 2: Naomi vs Sonya Deville. (Rating: 2/5)

After what’s felt like an eternity, FINALLY Naomi was able to get her hands on Sonya Deville! Prior to the match starting, however, Sonya tried using her powers of authority to corrupt the referee who would be officiating their match together but to no avail. With how horrendous this storyline’s been, surprisingly these two actually do work well off one another leading to multiple false finishes on the part of Sonya. The match was thankfully won by Naomi after a Rear View followed by a split legged moonsault for the 1 2 3 pinfall victory! Afterwards Naomi took time to address the fans that she would be indeed participating in the Royal Rumble, which was followed (to no surprise whatsoever) by Sonya Deville also announcing her entrance in the Royal Rumble. Looks like this feud is not ending any time soon.

Match 3: Tag team match; The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss. (Rating: 2.5/5)

I guess Big E’s officially a SmackDown superstar now… yay. Now that isn’t a problem whatsoever, but the man was the WWE champion from September up until January 1st of this year and really didn’t drop a hint that he was even a tad bit interested in trying to attempt to reclaim the title he lost by the hands of Brock Lesnar. Needless to say, seeing him back with Kofi is always a good sight. Anyways, the match was won after Kofi and E hit the Midnight Hour on Madcap Moss to get the pinfall victory. Once again an all around okay match, but honestly seeing Big E going back to this position after being the WWE champion for five or so months really does seem bittersweet.

Final segment: “I can never forgive you for what you’ve done.”

To close the show once more, we’ve got former Shield brothers and opponents for the Universal championship at the Royal Rumble coming out and addressing one another before their match at the show. The history that both Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have with one another (and also Jon Moxley, formerly known as Dean Ambrose) has dated back since 2012 when the trio made their WWE debut as the Shield; this anti-authority, justice seeking and very powerful stable that is, without a doubt, amongst the top five greatest professional wrestling stables of all time. Following the break up of the group, both Rollins and Reigns have gained success from headlining WrestleManias to capturing world championships to even winning the historic Royal Rumble match itself. However I think this particular encounter that the two will be having will probably be the best encounter ever: because it marks a decade since the Shield had made their debut and ran rough shot on the entirety of WWE. Rollins, Reigns, Moxley: all three men being well established and decorated athletes in this new era of professional wrestling and with Moxley carrying AEW high and proud, Seth and Roman are carrying on not only WWE but SmackDown and Raw high and proud.

Final rating: 3/5