Welcome to the Smackdown Review for January 23 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. And since the Mixed Match Challenge has started, I will review who won this weeks match up.
The Ballad of Zayn and Owens
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens looked very sure of themselves five days from their handicap championship match at the Royal Rumble. Saying that there was no way that AJ Styles could beat them, the positioned themselves as standing up for themselves. This brought out a very angry Styles, who proceeded to mock “Kami”. The heels then showed footage that Styles has no one to blame but himself. Then then challenged him to fight both of them in back to back matches. Daniel Bryan came out, but Styles accepted before he could speak. Bryan would later revel he was not going to make the match. Styles had a huge mountain to climb right before the Rumble.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Baron Corbin decided not to wait until Sunday to take out their aggression on each other. The match was fast paced, and Nakamura made Corbin look like an absolute beast. However, The Artist began to gain momentum and was getting ready to finish the Lone Wolf off. Nakamura sprinted from the corner, only to be met halfway by Randy Orton and the RKO. Orton then turned on Corbin and hit another RKO. Orton has been teasing a heel turn for a little while and this was the perfect segment to reintroduce the Viper to the WWE audience.
Liv Morgan took on Naomi as her fellow Riott Squad members looked on from ringside. Naomi was her usually exciting self, but Morgan showed she had a few tricks in her bag as well. She brought back the Matrix slide, made famous by Trish Stratus. One fantastic exchange was Morgan ducking Naomi’s kicks until she got caught. Morgan has the look, but tonight she also showed that she might have the moves as well. A strong showing in the Rumble would benefit her and the Riott Squad.
Match of the Night
AJ Styles vs. Sami Zayn (Zayn wins by pin fall)
Styles vs. Owens was over in a matter of seconds, as Styles made Owens tap out. He would not release after the bell, which brought out a furious Zayn to beat on the champ. What followed was an aggressive and angry Zayn who would not let Styles get any offense going. When Styles finally had Zayn on the ground, he continued to attack an injured Owens who was being attended to at ringside. This lack of focus would allowe Zayn to hit his finshing move and pin Styles. If this Zayn is the one who shows up on Sunday, we might witness the first ever Co-Champions.
Mixed Match Challenge Week 2
Big E & Carmella vs. The Miz & Askua (Askua and Miz win by submission)
After two weeks, it seems that Raw has the stronger teams. This match was awesome as Big E came out dressed in Carmella’s singlet, and the Miz and Askua smiling at each other. The action, as expected, was all about Big E and the Miz. Miz tried everything, but Big E kept hitting the big moves. When Carmella was tagged in, she wanted nothing to do with Askua. One funny moment was when Carmella tried to give Askua a big foam L. Askua acted flattered, then tore it to shreds. Carmella did have one impressive move, super kicking Askua so hard the crowd gasped. It went down hill from there, as Askua applied her submission and the Miz stopped Big E from breaking it up. This event has been fantastic.
Chad Gable was able to pin Jay Uso in one on one action. Bobby Roode teamed up with the New Day, a paring I hope is not a one off. Ty Dillinger announced for the Royal Rumble, and I swear if he does not enter as number 10… Royal Rumble is next and I can not wait