It’s Friday night and it’s time for Smackdown on FOX. Welcome to a special edition of Smackdown Synopsis brought to you by John Caul. Today, we review this week’s show, airing from The Ford Center!
We kick off with The Miz and Miz TV with his special guest, John Morrison. Miz starts off speaking on last week’s tirade as he apologizes for his actions against Kofi Kingston. But after all the apologies are done, Miz introduces Morrison to a resounding ovation and a welcome back chant.
Before Miz asks a question, we get a wonderfully crafted “sizzle reel” which shows some of his greatest moments.
You forget Morrison has been gone to a point he came back when Smackdown is back on Fridays. All jokes aside, as Morrison gets the mic, he outright makes a full heel turn and blames the fans for how Miz has become.
While calling the audience member a turd, out comes The New Day to interrupt. As much as the hype is there for Miz and Morrison, the tag champs are at the top of their game. You get Big E calling Miz a failed backend of a centipede to Kofi leaning on the You Suck chants. It’s gonna take Miz and Morrison sometime to click to be on the current champs’ level. After the commercial, we get a rematch of last week.
The Miz vs. Kofi Kingston
As much as the focus is on the ring, Big E and John Morrison on the mic is what makes this matchup interesting. Usual offense between the two with counters of Miz roll up to Kofi getting his clothesline reversed. Not sure if Vince or backstage is feeding Morrison lines, but his key point of “did you ask Kofi for a title shot” felt more distinct than it has in the past. Key point before commercial comes as Miz throws Kofi into Big E.
As we come back, both E and Morrison are on the side of the ring. Kofi starts up with his double chops, dropkick, and building momentum. Back and forth, Miz builds his momentum with knees to a idle Kofi in the corner. Kofi counters beautifully with a seesaw kick and tries to land a cross body but caught a kick to the leg and a figure 4.
— TDE Wrestling (@tde_wrestling) January 11, 2020
As Kofi grabs the rope to break the hold and rolls out the ring, Miz chases him and gets into the face of Big E. This leads to an epic parkour cannonball off the steps to Big E, which distracts Kofi who eats a Skull Crushing Finale for his trouble.
Another edition of Firefly Fun House airs as Bray Wyatt tells his fireflies he loves them. Wish I could tell him I love him too but I digress. While this seemed your usual episode of FFH, Bray speaks on The Fiend helping Daniel Bryan. He starts off stating how he “wanted you to remember” and shows flashbacks of when Bryan joined The Wyatt Family, which is probably the first time they’ve shown Wyatt’s past on air.
The remainder of the episode was a could miss.
Back from commercial, Elias serenades the crowd with a song focusing on the road to the Royal Rumble. Man time and time again Elias impresses in these performances: mentions a Lana/Lashley sex tape to calling out Lesnar. Not sure what to get out of it, but it was an interesting song, to say the least.
Before our next match, we have Otis and Tuckeyyy backstage looking get ready for a match. Mandy Rose shows up to give Otis a gift: a cake. Not a fan of this storyline. Reminds me a lot of Tajiri and Torrie from the Attitude era. But those two are legends; these two are far from it. Rose gets Alexa Bliss for her troubles.
Mandy Rose vs. Alexa Bliss
I will say this storyline with Otis, Rose has stepped up the aggression so that’s a plus. But Alexa Bliss is just a step ahead as evident from her counter slaps across the face. Turning point comes as Sonya Deville distracts Bliss giving Mandy enough time to hit that pump knee. As Bliss is hitting her double knees to a prone Mandy, Otis comes out to the ring which helps to distract Bliss and get Mandy a roll-up win.
Again, this storyline is uninteresting but if it gets Mandy Rose wins then so be it as we cut to Lacey Evans heading to the ring before going to commercial.
As we return, we are ready for the Sassy Southern Belle to get some advantage on WWE Women’s Champion Bayley by beating her partner-in-crime, Sasha Banks. As much as we wanted to see this match, we get treated to seeing the aforementioned champ on the Titantron informing us Sasha will not be attending Smackdown because she’s recording her rap album. I’d like to believe this, kind of, but it builds the character of who Sasha is. But Evans wasn’t here to do adlibs… she was ready for a fight and challenged Bayley to a title match. Bayley brings up Lacey’s ability to pander to the crowd, insulted her by calling her an overbearing mother and added that she is not Lacey’s “snot-nosed kid” which was the trigger as Evans headed to the back after the champ.
As expected this was just another clever plan for Bayley, as she blindsided Evans from behind.
After bashing Evans’ head off the door and production crate, Bayley told her to “go put your mom jeans on” and go home. This hit another trigger. Evans battled back and went for the Woman’s Right but Bayley escaped as the ref held her back.
As we head backstage, Daniel Bryan is being interviewed in regards to his upcoming Royal Rumble and becoming the next Universal Champion until Firefly Funhouse’s Rambin’ Rabbit shows up attempting to tell Bryan how to win in two weeks. But soon enough as our furry friend tells Bryan “The Fiend’s secret on how to win”, Bray grabs his mouth and makes sure to tell the kids of the fireflies that “snitches get stitches.” This is probably one of the funniest and realest comments I’ve ever heard on Smackdown and WWE television in general. Up next, Braun Strowman gets his chance to handle his ongoing situation with Sami Zayn, Cesaro and the Intercontinental Champion, Shinsuke Nakamura.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Braun Strowman
This was a pretty brutal match but that’s expected between Shin and Braun, whose power advantage dominated majority of the match, but that ringside help came into play as Strowman was on the outside. With the most annoying character in WWE, Sami Zayn distracted The Monster Among Men, Cesaro was able to push Strowman into the digital post. This set up a dropkick from Nakamura to Strowman, sending him over the ringside barricade. Shenanigans aside, this match was a great set -up for a future title match. Cesaro tried to come in with a chair and got caught by the referee, eating a running body block for his troubles. This led to Zayn sliding the Intercontinental Championship in for Nakamura to use. As Strowman ducked the shot, he hit the running powerslam for the W.
Strowman has been floundering since joining Smackdown, but a nice Royal Rumble 2020 opener, and a title win should put him and the title back on track. We go to commercial and prepare for our main event.
As we return, there’s a late Christmas gift for Bryan as he walks into the locker room to a present.
As he opens it, you see what’s left of Ramblin’ Rabbit. I don’t know about anyone else, but this has been the best development of a storyline that WWE has done a long time because the symbolism has been great from step 1.
Before we got our Smackdown main event match, Roman Reigns comes out to cut another one of his passionate promos which have been better and better as we see a more real version of the former champion. A key here, which was a nice touch by Reigns, he stated he was done being embarrassed by Corbin and Ziggler. He didn’t need the help of his friends this time, he needed the help of his family which was a great nod to the previous version of this story; the formation of the Bloodline.
After he subsequently called his shot as the next winner of the Royal Rumble, King Corbin interrupted him and claimed Reigns has been scared of him. He also put his bid in by joining the field of stars in this year’s Royal Rumble and main event WrestleMania. That quickly became an afterthought as Roman challenged Corbin to a match at Royal Rumble which led to the King accepting, adding he would put handle Roman and his “two little bitches.” I don’t care what anyone says, Corbin is officially a top tier heel and this feud with Reigns has only solidified that greatly. This abruptly lead to Jimmy and Jey landing a couple of tope’s to start this main event match.
King Baron Corbin & Dolph Ziggler vs. The Usos
With all the moving parts in and outside of the ring, this match was expected to be exciting and all over the place. Even with The Revival interfering, which got them a Superman Punch in one shit for their trouble, this was one of the better main events in Smackdown’s short FOX history. Usual offense between these two including the Usos best comparison to a Superkick Party. But as all things WWE, the match was called off as Reigns became easily provoked by Corbin on the ringside, laying him out with a Spear as the match ended in DQ.
Roman cleaned house before clearing the announce table to put Corbin through it with a powerbomb. However, he was attacked from behind by the returning Robert Roode laying him out a Glorious DDT, completing Corbin’s King Court once again.
That advantage seemed perfect for Corbin as Jimmy was laid out with a Deep Six and Jey ate a Superkick from Ziggler for his trouble.
Roode’s motivation after Reigns fueled his Spinebuster on top of the unforgiving announce table, which was followed up by Ziggler’s best Shawn Michaels impersonation with an Elbow Drop that sent Roman crashing through the table.
Smackdown ends with Robert Roode, Dolph Ziggler, and King Corbin standing tall under a buried Roman under the announce table to close the show. This was one of the better tailored episodes of Smackdown in a while. Outside of wanting Sheamus, who did cut a promo earlier in the night, to actually do his promo inside the ring or give Shorty G a shot at redemption, the build was perfect towards Royal Rumble.