Hey everybody, this is the Chairman. Sorry for the late edition of Smackdown Live hits and misses this week. I had my own bout with influenza most of the week and wasn’t fun by any means. I’m back in action though so let’s dig into what was good and bad about the Smackdown Live before this Sunday’s Royal Rumble.
HIT: Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles
The main event delivered for Smackdown Live this week when Styles had to wrestle in a gauntlet match basically. First he had to face Kevin Owens and then Sami Zayn right after. The match with Zayn and Styles was just a sample of what we’ll see this Sunday at Royal Rumble. I will continue and say this, but Sami Zayn is my breakout star of the year and this episode of Smackdown Live just proved it once again. Zayn earned a decisive victory over Styles just before the Royal Rumble with a Blue Thunder Bomb gaining all the momentum. Can you imagine Zayn and Owens taking the WWE Championship to Wrestlemania???
MISS: Kevin Owens booking?
I was a little confused on this. Kevin Owens is a top player in the WWE Championship picture and was made to look weak and pathetic in a matter of seconds by AJ Styles on Smackdown Live this week.The timing couldn’t be worse either, this was the show before Royal Rumble. Owens credibility as a threat has been squashed. Unless WWE is rolling with an angle to write off Owens as injured making the match Sunday for the WWE Championship just Styles vs Zayn I wasn’t a fan of how pathetic Owens looked in this spot here.
HIT: Shinsuke Nakamura vs Baron Corbin
Both of these superstars are confident that they’re going to win the Royal Rumble. They had a difference of opinion on the subject backstage so Nakamura told Corbin “let’s rumble tonight!!!” The match was made and the action was back and forth between the two. There were a few moments I thought Corbin was going to win, which would’ve set me off. Then just when Nakamura was measuring up the Kinshasa, RKO outta nowhere by Randy Orton. Orton then delivers an RKO to Corbin and lays both men out. All in all it wasn’t a bad booking decision. It keeps Nakamura and Corbin with some momentum before the Rumble and of course Orton gets the big momentum rub as well. I just don’t know what I’ll do if Orton wins the Rumble again this year…
MISS: Shane McMahon
Once again Shane McMahon is abusing his authority. This time he threatens to once again fire Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn if they are at ringside when it’s not their match. If Shane really wanted Owens and Zayn gone, then why doesn’t he just fire them today and be done with it? Why hasn’t he overrode Daniel Bryan’s booking of the WWE Championship match at Royal Rumble and pull Owens and Zayn off the card? This Shane McMahon authority figure feud Owens and Zayn just needs to end.
HIT: Bobby Roode teaming with New Day
The match against Rusev Day and Jinder Mahal was nothing to write home about, but the opening promo was entertaining. New Day continues pushing the pancakes, but seeing Bobby Roode wearing the United States Championship just feels right. The guy is a natural champion. I haven’t been a fan of his face run, but some reason cutting the promo with New Day it was somewhat working tonight. New Day of course botching the GLORIOUS catchphrase.
MISS: Last Second Royal Rumble Entrants
Not really sure why WWE feels they need to have random wrestlers announce their entry into the Royal Rumble at the last second. I always enjoyed it more when I didn’t know who was in the Royal Rumble like back in the day. On Smackdown New Day decides to enter the Royal Rumble? Tye Dillinger who nobody seen since getting eliminated in the first round of the US title tournament all the sudden declares a spot? I like Dillinger, but does anybody believe he has a chance to win? He’ll probably come out at TEN again and won’t make it for eleven. There are only thirty spots and the WWE roster is larger than ever. Makes you wonder why they haven’t brought the forty man Rumble back? Oh yeah, because there’s only one or two guys that have a legit chance. I rather WWE didn’t waste some of the spots on Dillinger and Titus O’Neill and save them for well anybody that is a credible threat to win it all. As in someone to take out the Big Dog and Super Cena. If all else, I rather see a blast from the past show up. Everyone always enjoyed when a legend would randomly enter the Royal Rumble. I’m curious how many superstars are pulling double duty as well. Will we see Seth Rollins, Jason Jordan, Braun Strowman, Sami Zayn???
RATING: 6 out of 10. Wasn’t a bad show by any means. The show basically accomplished what it needed to do. Set the table for this Sunday’s Royal Rumble.