WWE Smackdown 1/1/21 Recap – It’s A New Year

Hey everyone, welcome to the Smackdown recap! Hopefully everyone had a safe and great New Year’s celebration as 2020 can officially kick rocks. 2020 is behind us (thank goodness) and we’re looking towards the Royal Rumble as our next PPV. Daniel Bryan has already announced that he’s entering the Rumble, hopefully we’ll get some more tonight.

Smackdown opens with an RIP Jon Huber graphic. It’s been about a week since his passing and I’m still absolutely gutted. I’m not going to make this about WWE vs. AEW, but if you have not seen the AEW Dynamite tribute show to Brodie Lee from this past Wednesday, you got to. As a fan, it was a tough night, I can only imagine what the performers, friends and family was going through. But my God, that was such a powerful and dare I say perfect tribute show. It’s just obviously unfortunate that it had to happen. RIP Brodie Lee, you left your mark on the industry the best way you could’ve and that’s by being a great person.

Video package showing Roman Reigns vs. Kevin Owens and their battles last week from TLC and Smackdown. Both matches rocked. Reigns has 2 wins over Owens but Jey Uso has played a huge factor in both.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbU1FCkUCbc

Out come Reigns, Uso and Paul Heyman for a chat. Reigns wishes the fans a happy new year. 2020 has been a tough year but Roman has made it work because everything he touches turns into greatness. Jey has knocked everything out of the park since he’s listened to Reigns. Kevin Owens’ music plays and Roman asks for it to be cut off.

Reigns says nobody cares about Owens and that he’s like a roach who won’t go away. In a great line, Reigns says Owens should be gracious enough for Owens’ big paydays for facing him and that he hopes he invested it well and gave his family a good Christmas. Owens says despite Reigns being Universal Champion, Owens is still standing so Reigns has failed and that he should be embarassed because Jey has helped him. Owens challenges Jey Uso to a match tonight and says that after it’s over, they won’t have anything to celebrate. Fun opening segment, setting up a solid-looking main event. It’s Reigns and Owens on the mic, it’s almost automatically good.

Recap of Big E. winning the Intercontinental Championship last week against Sami Zayn.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivwiwxS5IMg

BIG E. vs. BARON CORBIN

Sami Zayn is on guest commentary and is still wearing his “I AM THE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION” shirt. Big elbow from Big E. gets 1. Gator roll gets another 1 count. Clothesline gets 1 for Corbin. Corbin throws Big E. into the ringpost to take control. Big E. counters the slide-out Clothesline from Corbin and hits The Big Ending but in comes Sami to cause the DQ.

Post-match, it’s 3 on 1 as Zayn and the Knights of the Lone Wolf attack Big E. but out comes Apollo Crews to make the save. We go to commercial break.

BIG E. AND APOLLO CREWS vs. SAMI ZAYN AND BARON CORBIN

Joined in progress as Adam Pearce has made a TAG TEAM MATCH PLAYA off screen. Corbin catches Crews to stop Crews from a leaping attack and Zayn and Corbin take control. Knights nail a kick to Crews while the ref is distracted. Zayn takes offense to the Knights not listening to him. Big powerslam from Crews and he makes the hot tag to Big E. Big E. hits a trio of belly to belly suplexes and then the big splash. Corbin counters the Big Ending and hits Deep Six for 2. Corbin looks for a tag but Zayn is arguing with the Knights. Crews tags in as well as Zayn. Zayn nearly hits Corbin with the Helluva Kick. Corbin: “YOU ALMOST HIT ME!” Zayn: “Did I hit you, though?” Corbin and the Knights walk out. Enziguri followed up by a Atomic Spinning Powerbomb thing to get the win. 2.25/5 for the whole thing. Not bad, nice win for Big E. and Crews. Sami’s antics were pretty funny, as usual. Corbin also never took a pin or submission (MUST PROTECT THE BARON) so you gotta think he’s still gunning for Big E.

Tonight, we get Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks vs. Carmella and Bayley. Also, we get Daniel Bryan and Otis vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro.

Backstage, Owens wants the fight with Jey Uso but Adam Pearce isn’t having it so he offers Owens anyone else so Owens wants Reigns instead. Pearce concedes and makes Owens vs. Uso.

Backstage, Big E. and Apollo are backstage. Big E. cuts a promo with a ton of easter eggs with Brodie Lee (“From Rome to Rochester, little Amandas and Nolans, 1967 Maple Leafs). Big E. announces an open challenge for next week and Apollo quickly accepts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4ZQVoYVhlg

THE RIOTT SQUAD vs. NATALYA AND TAMINA

Billie Kay is at ringside with Natalya and Tamina. Morgan hits a roll up for 2. Double dropkick to Natalya and in comes Tamina and Ruby immediately eats an upppercut. Double leg sweep by the Riott Squad for 2 on Tamina. Billie is now rooting for Riott Squad. Superkick (kinda) on Riott. Morgan hits a sneaky roll up and stacks up Tamina for the win as Kay celebrates. 1/5. Not much here, not really sure where the Billie Kay stuff comes in but I’m sure we’ll find out. Riott Squad keeps racking up the wins.

Recap of the triple threat Women’s Tag Team Titles match last week. Banks and Belair eliminated Bayley and Carmella but then fell short to Charlotte and Asuka.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVLPErPYw-U

SASHA BANKS AND BIANCA BELAIR VS. CARMELLA AND BAYLEY

Carmella and Bianca start it and Bianca is in control early with her power moves. Bayley in and eats a dropkick. Bianca hits a handstand kick onto Carmella and Banks hits Bayley with a cross body from the apron for 2 as we go to break.

Back from break and Bayley eats a boot from Bianca but Bayley knocks down Bianca with a clothesline for 2. Carmella tags in and hits some kicks to Bianca for 2 and they continue to work on Bianca’s arm. Bayley in for a roll up for 2. Bianca fights back with a vertical suplex but Carmella blocks the tag. Cradle by Bianca for 2. Carmella tries to lock in a Kimura but Bianca powers out and tags in Banks. Banks with a couple double knee strikes in the corner followed up by a running knee with Bayley breaking it up with a running knee. These ladies been watching some Kenny Omega, it looks like. Bianca extends the hair to Banks but it gets blocked by Bayley and Bayley hits a vertical suplex on the outside to Bianca. Back inside, Banks with the Banks Statement to Carmella but Reginald pulls out Carmella. Reginald is in the ring but he backflips his way out. Banks hits a knee to Carmella for 2. Reginald distracts again and that lets Carmella hit the Mella Buster for the win. 3/5. Distraction finish aside, this got good by the end of the match. I’m not really enthused for Carmella challenging Banks again but it is what it is.

Tonight, we get Owens vs. Jey Uso. Backstage and Reigns is upset that the match was made.

Out come The Street Profits as we go to break.

Backstage and Sonya Deville has returned and is walking backstage as everyone stares her down. Graves states that Deville has been re-instated.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apcfMpLJ1Ds

Back to the ring and they’re ready for the New Year’s Day Smoke-Tacular. 2020 wasn’t all bad as The Street Profits had a great run. The profits reveal a drumset and Dawkins plays a bit. It’s time for the 2021 predictions and Ford predicts that the “I WAS INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION” shirt will be the #1 shirt on wweshop.com and we see the clip from last week. Ford predicts that Dolph Ziggler will be nicknamed the Heartache Kid. Roode and Ziggler appear out of nowhere and attack the Profits. Roode with a chair shot to Dawkins and then smashes Ford’s leg into the post. Ziggler then hits Ford’s leg with a chair and then Roode adds another to the leg. Roode and Ziggler are wearing a shirt that says “Dirty Dawgs” on them so my dream name for them of RooDolph isn’t going to happen. Not a bad segment, but nothing too special either. There to re-establish Roode and Ziggler and that’s fine.

Back from the break and we see a recap of the previous segment. Backstage, Ziggler and Roode say the fun and games are over after being provoked for months. The Dirty Dawgs demand a rematch for the Tag Titles.

DANIEL BRYAN AND OTIS vs. SHINSUKE NAKAMURA AND CESARO

We get a clip of Bryan, Otis and Gable training for the Royal Rumble by using their hips. Cesaro and Nakamura interrupt and laugh them off. Bryan and Cesaro start off (YES!) and Bryan hits a quick monkey flip. Bryan goes for the tope suicida on Cesaro but gets caught and thrown up into an uppercut as we go to break.

Back from the break and Nakamura is in control of Bryan. Elbow drop gets a quick 2. Cesaro hits a Bossman Slam (little nod to Brodie) for 2. Apron knee gets 2 for Nakamura. Bryan sends Nakamura over the top rope and Bryan hits the hot tag to Otis. Big suplex from Otis followed up by a discus lariat and a big splash in the corner. Caterpillar elbow drop and the pin is broken up by Nakamura. Otis tries the Vader Bomb and misses. Nakamura in and gets flapjacked by Otis. Bryan in with a big sunset flip for 2. Superkick by Nakamura gets 2. Nakamura rolls through for a cross armbreaker and Otis breaks it up. Bryan hits the running knee to Cesaro, Nakamura rolls up Bryan for 2. Bryan locks in the Yes Lock to Nakamura for the tap out and win. 2.75/5. Some sloppiness aside, this was fun. Nakamura and Cesaro keep slipping in the tag ranks, sadly, but they’re still putting on good matches.

Backstage, Heyman tells Reigns that Pearce made the match. I guess they didn’t watch that part on the monitor in the back.

The Dirty Dawgs, Billie Kay and Jey Uso will be on Talking Smack.

Next week, Big E. vs. Apollo Crews for the Intercontinental Title.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tl8c9tgbFME

KEVIN OWENS VS. JEY USO

The brawl is on as soon as the bell rings. Big clothesline on the outside followed up by a senton by Owens. Senton in the ring gets Owens a 2 count. Owens goes after the bad leg of Jey. Owens tells Jey that he’s gonna pay but it’s not even his fault. Jey fights back with a few right hands. Stunner attempt but Jey hits a superkick. Jey leaps off the steps but eats a superkick (kinda) by Owens as we head to break.

Back from break, Jey and Owens are on the top rope and Owens falls. Jey tries for the splash but lands on his feet but grabs the bad leg. Stunner gets the win for Owens. 1.5/5, shorter match than I expected but not bad. Owens feasting on the bad leg was the story and it was told well.

Post match, Owens hits a Stunner on Jey. Owens gets on the headset and tells him to come protect his family. Owens handcuffs Jey to the ropes and Owens hits a superkick. Owens goes after Jey’s leg even more and Reigns still won’t come out. Owens keeps calling out Reigns but no dice as Owens pounds on Jey. Owens unlocks Jey and heads up the ramp and smashes Jey into the led screens. Another superkick to Jey and Jey lands on a few tables near the entrance ramp. Owens prepares a dive but Reigns shows up behind him and throws him into the Thunderdome screens. It’s now 2 on 1 as they fight higher up the Thunderdome. Multiple chair shots follow from Reigns and Jey. Owens tries to fight back but it’s no use as Reigns throws Owens into the screens multiple times. Reings then throws Owens off the set through the tables near the ramp in about a 10-foot fall as we fade to black. Okay, that’s a hell of a post match then. Big time bump from Owens to end the show with Reigns standing tall. This feud has really been awesome. Owens is a lovable babyface, Reigns is a detestable heel and they wanna beat the crap out of each other for the Universal Title. Sometimes it’s just that simple.

OVERALL: C+. Not the greatest show and certainly a downgrade from last week’s banger but that was to be expected. Some decent wrestling on the show but we also built up some Royal Rumble stuff, too. I imagine Reigns faces Owens in a Last Man Standing match, you can pencil in Street Profts vs. Dirty Dawgs for the Tag Titles and Banks vs. Carmella seems likely. Lots of rematches we gotta get those out of the way before the narrative towards Wrestlemania heats up. Fun show, if not spectacular.

Thank you for reading!

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