Hello, everyone! Welcome to the Smackdown Recap! Tonight is the official go home show for TLC (oh, my!) on Sunday. Hopefully we get some more build up on the blue brand leading into the big show on Sunday. We’ve also got a Smackdown Tag Team Championship match between The Street Profits vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode (how is this team not named Roodolph?). Let’s get to it!
Smackdown opens with a video package showing what happened the previous week between Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens.
Live from The Thunderdome.
Kevin Owens is out first and there’s some tables, ladders and chairs around the ring. Kevin’s not waiting and calls out Reigns out…and then starts cutting a promo. Owens says he’s afraid of what his own family will think of him after he beats up Roman on Sunday. Owens says that Reigns’ family knows he’s a a hypocrite and it’s pathetic. Owens says Roman’s not the head of the table but he’s a coward.
Paul Heyman appears on screen. Heyman says that Owens is a masochist for coming back after the beating he took last week from Roman. Further than that, Owens is a martyr and that makes him a dangerous competitor. Owens cuts off Heyman and says he’s had enough of Heyman and he’s coming to find Roman as we go to a commerical break.
Back from commercial break and Owens is backstage while The Totally Not Authority Figure But Totally Authority Figure Adam Pearce tries to stop him (I gotta come up with a more catchy name). Reigns’ music hits and he’s heading to the ring while Owens watches on a monitor.
Reigns says that Owens is telling everyone he’s a bad guy but all he’s doing is the things that makes him THE guy. Reigns says he’s going to give Owens the chance to acknowledge him as The Tribal Chief and if he doesn’t, he’s going to end him. Owens comes out and Jey Uso attacks him from behind (which the camera missed like 90% of…yikes). The beatdown is on as Reigns joins in. Officials come down to try and stop the beatdown. Reigns and Uso walk away. Solid segment overall, but I feel this feud has been all Reigns and it makes me feel like Owens doesn’t have much of a shot going into TLC (I mean, let’s be real, he doesn’t). Owens is crazy, though, so I at least expect their match to be pretty strong.
We go to commercial break. The Tag Team Titles are on the line next. After the break, we get a replay of the beatdown from Reigns and Uso. Cut to the back and Reigns thinks Owens doens’t understand and that he’s not going to stop coming. He urges Jey to go take him out.
WWE SMACKDOWN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
The Street Profits (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Actor Clark Duke (I’m not sure who this is) is presenting the Tag Team of the Year Slammy next week and he’s a fan of the Profits. Quick dropkick from Ford gets a 2 count. Back suplex and then a moonsault. Roode knocks Ford off the top rope to the barricade to take control as we go to break.
Back from the break and Ziggler is in control. Russian Leg Sweep for 2 for Roode. Ziggler with a dropkick to the gut for 2. Ford goes for a tag but is dragged back into the RooDolph corner. Ford counters a double team attack and tags in Dawkins. Dawkins on fire and dominates and hits the spinning Stinger Splashes to both. Roode fights back, tags in Ziggler and Ziggler hits a a big time Fame-Asser after a leaping off Roode’s back. Dawkins with The Anointment on Ziggler. Dawkins tags Ford, Ford hits the Frog Splash for 2 as Roode breaks up the pin. Roode’s legal and tries to roll up Ford with the tights pulled. Ford reverses into a roll-up with a handful of tights for the 3! Street Profits retain! 2.75/5. Not a bad match, solid action but kind of a lame finish that I feel like might set up a rematch soon. All 4 guys are pros, they put on a solid formula tag match.
Post-match, RooDolph are angry at referee Charles Robinson and Robinson chews them out and says they’d get suspended if they push it. Dang, Lil Naitch throwing around his authority like he’s Adam Pearce!
Later tonight, we will see a Champagne Toast from Carmella to Sasha Banks. Also, Bayley vs. Bianca BeLair. Kevin Owens is walking backstage with Pearce and a referee and Uso smacks him with a chair from behind. Owens fights his way back to his feet as we go to commercial break.
Kayla Braxton is backstage and interviews Bianca BeLair. Bianca says Bayley isn’t a role model and runs her mouth too much. Bianca is going to shine tonight.
RIOTT SQUAD VS. BILLIE KAY AND TAMINA
In a pre-taped promo, Liv and Ruby make fun of Billie Kay and contemplate her possible tag team partners. Billie Kay, with resume, reveals Tamina as her tag team partner. Tamina dominates early but the Squad counter back on Tamina. Clothesline gets 2 for Tamina. Kay makes the blind tag as Tamina hits a Samoan Drop on Ruby. Kay covers for 2 as Liv breaks up the pin. Ruby tags Morgan in, Squad hit a combination Flatliner plus missle dropkick on Kay for the win. 1/5. Nothing much here but hey, a little bit of development in the women’s tag team division at least? Some development is better than none.
Up next: Carmella’s Champagne Toast.
Back from break and we have champagne and the sommelier in the ring. Carmella says she’s about to drink champagne that has more digits than our phone numbers. Is that with our area codes or what? If not, million dollar champagne doesn’t sound worth it to me. Carmella says Sasha might be a gifted athlete but Sasha can’t get DQ’d again on Sunday as Sasha has to prove to everyone she’s the best. Carmella says Sasha is going to lose and and will fall into turmoil. It’s champagne time, Carmella tries one and out comes Sasha. The sommelier goes to the ramp and Sasha appears in the ring. Bankes tosses champagne into Carmella’s face and puts her into the Bank Statement. Huge slap from Banks to the sommelier but Carmella smashes another champagne bottle across Sasha’s back. Carmella stands tall. Not going to lie, this wasn’t a very good promo from Carmella. It’s one of those long-form promos where none of what she says sounds convincing and it’s not necessarily her delivery as the problem. At least when Carmella was “The Queen of Staten Island,” she had a character trait to distinguish herself. Now, she’s just champaign drinking blonde baddie (kinda similar to Chris Jericho minus the entertainment). We’ll see how the match goes at TLC.
Later tonight, we got the 1st Annual Sami Awards.
In the trainer’s room, Owens is being treated but Jey Uso jumps him and slams him through a table. Not Kevin’s best night.
OTIS VS. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA
Recap of the growing pains between Otis and Chad Gable. Otis fights out of Nakamura’s cluthces and hits a slam for 2. Big apron knee from Nakamura followed up by more in the ring. Otis powers up after taking a few kicks from Nakamura. Clothesline from Otis followed by a discus clothesline. Otis goes for the Caterpillar but Gable stops it and shouts at him to do a suplex. Roll up from Nakamura gets 2 but Otis hits an exploder suplex. Vader Bomb gets the 3 count for Nakamura. Whoa. 1.5/5. Action was all right but this was short. Nakamura losing in short order is kinda shocking, but it is what it is.
Backstage, Sami’s making sure everything is planned right for the Sami Awards. Sami walks away and Big E. comes up a table with Sami’s assistant there and starts laughing.
Weirdest Happy New Year commercial ever airs for WWE. Yeah.
Otis and Gable are backstage and Gable asks Otis why he didn’t hit the Caterpillar. Otis seems confused a bit by Gable’s teachings.
It’s time for the 1st Annual Sami Awards. Sami says the Slammy Awards have taken a bit of a hit lately and are about corporate favorites. We take a look at the 2020 year in review, which takes a look back at Sami’s moments of brilliance, showing his wins over the year. The first Sami Award is Comeback of the Year. Edge and Reigns had good comebacks but Sami wins the Sami Award! Sami’s surprised by his win. The next Sami Award is Match of the Year, which is Sami vs. Jeff Hardy vs. AJ Styles from Night of Champions. The final Sami is Superstar of the Year. And the Sami goes to…Big E. Big E. comes out to make a speech for his win. Big E. thanks Notre Dame for hopefully covering the spread. Sami interrupts and Big E. attacks him. Big E. throws Sami down the ramp and he slides down the ramp in a pretty funny visual. Goofy segment but Sami’s great.
Kayla Braxton interviews Bayley backstage. Bayley doesn’t like Bianca bragging and says she should be humble. Bayley’s gonna put Bianca on the map.
BIANCA BELAIR VS. BAYLEY
Bianca shows off her athleticism and power early on but Bayley hangs her up on the ropes. Dropkick and a kip up for Bianca, but Bayley counters back by wrenching Bianca’s arm on the apron as we go to break.
Back from break and Bayley is in control but Bianca smashes her into the steps. Multiple shoulder tackles in the corner along with a bit of a stalling vertical suplex with squats for Bianca. Springboard into a standing moonsault for Bianca for 2. Two backbreakers gets Bianca 2. Bayley knocks Bianca of the top rope and tries to go for a suplex with squats as well but Belair counters to a suplex for herself. Spinebuster gets 2 for Bianca. Bayle goes for a roll up with her feet in the ropes but gets caught by the ref. Bianca tries for the same for 2. Bianca goes for a powerbomb but Bayley rakes the eyes. Bayley hits the Rose Plant for the 3. 3.25/5. Hmm, I dunno if Bayley winning was the right result but she’s been losing a lot lately so getting her back into the win column is a good thing. But I feel like Bianca is someone that could use a ton of wins to get her going. This match was definitely fun as it felt like a big showcase for Bianca before eating the pin.
Out comes Roman Reigns with Jey Uso and Paul Heyman as we go to commercial break. We’re back and Roman’s wondering why Kevin Owens is trying to blow his opportunity. And out comes Kevin Owens. Uso runs down the ramp but eats a couple chair shots. Owens in the ring and brawls with Reigns but Uso attacks to help Reigns hit the Spear. Couple chair shots to Owens as Uso sets up a table in the ring. Uso hits a spinebuster on Owens through a table. Reigns then hits a Samoan Drop on Owens through another table. Reigns then buries Owens (hey, it’s true!) with a bunch of pieces of table, ladders and chairs. Reigns, Uso and Heyman walk up the ramp and Kayla tries to interview them backstage. On the monitor, Owens begins to rise from the rubble. Owens says nothing will keep him down. Owens says he’s going to take the Universal Title or die trying as Smackdown fades to black.
Overall rating: C+. Lots of focus on the Reigns/Owens storyline and that’s what made this show very good. Again, I’m not buying into Owens winning the Universal Title on Sunday but he’s obviously proven to be resilient and proven to be babyface worth rooting on. Their match on Sunday should be a fun one. The rest of the show was fine with a couple solid matches and segments building up both TLC and some other acts along the way (like the women’s tag division, Big E. vs. Sami and Otis/Gable). I wasn’t a big fan of the Carmella promo segment but I’m more than willing to give Carmella more time. Solid show this week, if not spectacular.