Welcome to the Smackdown Review for January 2, 2017. For both this and Raw, I will go over what the big talking points were, pick the match of the night, and look ahead to the next show.
One Match, Two Endings
Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin got their shot at the Tag Team Champions the Usos. What started off as a fast paced match suddenly came to a quick end as Gable was able to score the pin and win his team the gold. after the match, a second referee came out to reverse the decision. It seems that Benjamin was the legal man and the match was restarted. The Usos were able to start off hot and pin Benjamin wfor the win. It seems that the controversy of this match will lead to a rematch, probably with a 2 out of 3 falls stipulation.
Up Up Down Down
Xavier Woods was the next match in the bracket for the US Title. His opponent was Aiden English, and both men had their respective partners in the corner. Woods relied on his speed while English went for brute power. In the end, the elbow drop was enough to earn Woods the W and advance to face Jinder Mahl. It was cool to see two men who are primary in tag teams face each other in singles competition, It is also a testament to English and Rusev that they had a large part of the audience cheering for them, even against the crowd favorite New Day.
Return of the Lass
The Riott Squad faced off against the team of Tameria, Carmella and Natalya in a six women tag match. In this match, the story was power vs power with Sarah Logan and Tamina. Logan may not be as big as Tamina, but her moves look like they are delivered with fury. After the match was won by the Riott Squad, Charlotte came with Namoi. This was not the only guest, as Becky Lynch also made her return. The Lass Kicker went on a tear and judging by the crowd’s reaction, she is the favorite woman to win the Rumble not named Askua.
Match of the Night
Sami Zayn vs. AJ Styles (Zayn wins by pin fall)
The complexity of this match changed from the beginning of the show. In the first segment, Shane McMahon announced that since Kevin Owens would be allowed at ringside, he would be too. Danial Bryan also was going to be present for the match. Sami Zayn and AJ Styles are the perfect opponents for each other, their styles blending together. Things did not fall apart until the very end, when Shane again distracted Styles at a critical moment to let Zayn hit his kick and score the win. Styles, livid, demeaned a match with both men. Bryan obliged, and made it a handicap match for the Royal Rumble and the title. Calling it a handicap and not a Triple Threat match makes me think their is something in the rules that Shane and Styles won’t like.
Breezedango was destroyed before their match against the Bludgeon Brothers even began. Next week, Mojo Rawley and Zack Snyder will meet again in the final first round tournament for the US Title. We might also find out what type of match Bryan has in store for the WWE Championship.