Welcome to the Smackdown Review for January 9, 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.
We now know that AJ Styles vs Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn will be a true handicap match at the Royal Rumble. Styles will face one of the two and the other can be taged in. Styles admited that the booking wasn’t fair, but woved to remain WWE Champion. Owens and Zayn intruppted and mocked the champion. Shane Mcmahon would then announce that the two best friends would face Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Randy Orton. It would be Danial Bryan who made another match for the Royal Rumble, as Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin will face the Usos in a best of three match. Bryan and Shane seemed angry at each other, but the blowout did not occur.
Mojo Rawley and Zack Ryder fought in the final first round of the US Championship bracket. This seemed to be a repeat of their previous encounter, but Ryder did manage to throw some more offense into the mix. The end was Rawley winning and staring down his next opponent, Bobby Roode, who was at ringside. The Rawley character is a success, as he has not left any of his intensity behind, but has used it in a more vicious manner. His match with Roode should show how he works with other wrestlers.
A Crime of Fashion
Aden Enlish and Rusev let us know that the Royal Rumble had been renamed the Rusev Rumble. The opponents were Fandango and Tyler Breeze. I was expecting a squash match, but the stars of the Fashion Files had a trick or two up their sleeve. It was Fandango pinning Rusev for the surprise victory. This was the right call, as English and Rusev do not suffer from a loss and Breeze and Fandango needed a victory after being destroyed by the Bludgeon Brothers. Here’s hoping we see more in ring action from the fashionable duo in the near future.
Match of the Night
Becky Lynch vs. Ruby Riott (Lynch wins by submission)
There appears to be no ring rust on Becky Lynch. Her match with Ruby Riott was hard hitting and easily the best match of the night. Everything looked like it hurt and the sound from the strikes were awesome. The crowd was caught up in the bout and Riott put on her best performance since being called up. Reversals and moves that went smoothly into other moves made this match flow and when the bell rung, I wanted more. With performneces like this, the Riott Squad might be the winner if the new three women group war.
The Ascension fared no better then their best friends against the Bludgeon Brothers. Zayn and Owens were punished in their match. Next week, the second round of the US Title Tournament begins. The Mixed Match Tournament will also start. If you have not watched the pair up videos, you are missing out