The Royal Rumble has come and gone and now the road to Wrestlemania is officially underway. Tonight was the episode of Smackdown Live after the Royal Rumble and overall the show was pretty good. The night was full of action and we’re being setup for some big things next week. Here are my three hits and misses of the week for Smackdown Live.
HIT: Kevin Owens vs Sami Zayn
After another controversial title loss, Kevin Owens and his pal Sami Zayn are back to the drawing board. They didn’t waste any time letting the world know it either when they interrupted Royal Rumble winner Shinsuke Nakamura and told him that he’s not facing AJ Styles at Wrestlemania, he’s facing them. They pleaded their case with Daniel Bryan. Bryan however tossed the duo a curveball and placed them in a number one contender match against each other next week with the winner challenging AJ Styles for the WWE Championship at Fast Lane in March. No doubt this is a big match and a reason to tune in next week. Not only do we find out who gets Styles at Fast Lane, but will this put an end to the recently reunited Kevin and Sami show? As we seen in the main event tonight, there was definitely some tension brewing between the two. Is it an act or is it legit? We find out more next week.
MISS: Tye Dillinger
Tye Dillinger picked the number ten for the Royal Rumble, but Owens and Zayn decided to ambush him backstage and steal his spot. Dillinger did plea his case with Shane McMahon tonight, but nothing really came of it. Well except Dillinger once again taking a loss to this time Baron Corbin. Dillinger could’ve been used instead in a variety of ways tonight in my opinion. For one, he could’ve came out during the opening segment and confronted Owens and Zayn for what they did. Maybe our main event could’ve been Dillinger and Nakamura vs Owens and Zayn. Another option would’ve been having Dillinger jump Zayn when he left Owens during the main event. Zayn would’ve been isolated and ripe for the picking. I feel like this storyline could’ve went somewhere. Granted it would’ve been small time compared to the big picture Zayn and Owens are focused on which is the WWE Championship, but it would’ve been nice to see Dillinger get something. Instead though Dillinger more than likely will go back to isolation and forgotten about.
Carmella didn’t win the Royal Rumble Sunday, but she does have another path to Wrestlemania should she choose to use it. The Money in the Bank briefcase. Tonight the Riott Squad jumped WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair and left her for dead in the center of the ring. This gave Carmella a window to try and cash in. Of course there was chaos at ringside and the ref gets knocked out of the ring. By then it was too late. Charlotte was coming to and Carmella decided not to cash in after all. It was nice though to see Carmella finally making it known that she is a threat to cash in at any time. Seemed like for how many months she was forgotten about. I really hope there are some more cash in attempts in the coming weeks on the road to Wrestlemania.
MISS: Charlotte’s Backup?
After how many weeks we’ve seen Charlotte Flair feuding with the Riott Squad with Becky Lynch and Naomi by her side and it’s no secret the Welcoming Committee don’t exactly care for the Riott Squad either. Tonight though something was different, Charlotte was alone. Once the Riott Squad were having their way, I was waiting for Becky Lynch and Naomi to make the save. Tonight though it didn’t happen. It was just kind of weird to me. Granted if Becky and Naomi would’ve made the save, then Carmella’s chance to cash in would’ve been reduced. However the way around that is Becky and Naomi could’ve chased the Riott Squad to the back leaving Charlotte alone in the ring for Carmella’s cash in attempt.
Rusev Day is huge right now with the WWE Universe and tonight Rusev was victorious in a fatal four way match against Zack Ryder, Jinder Mahal, and Kofi Kingston to receive a United States Championship match against Bobby Roode next week. Rusev and Roode were already cutting promos later in the evening about their match next week. This is exciting right here and fans are eating it up. This isn’t the same monster foreign heel Rusev going for the United States Championship, this is Rusev Day! Bobby Roode however has taken down all challengers thus far and he plans to turn Rusev Day into a Glorious Domination. This is yet another reason to tune into Smackdown Live next week!
MISS: Zack Ryder
To make a title prestige, you have to come up with prestigious challengers. Zack Ryder was eliminated in the first round of the recent United States tournament, how does he warrant consideration a spot in the fatal four way match tonight? Sure he’s a former United States Champion, but I feel he needs to win some matches before being awarded a number one contender match any time soon. He needs to build his stock back up. I also wasn’t thrilled to see Jinder Mahal in there again, but at least he lost in the finals so I’ll let that one slide. Rusev and Kofi of course are former United States champions so they were definitely worthy challengers. Imagine if we could’ve had Shelton Benjamin in that fatal four way, he’s a former United States Champion. Plus then he would’ve had Chad Gable in his corner joining in all the chaos outside with the other additions on the outside.
Well folks, that does it for the Chairman. I thought this was a good episode of Smackdown Live tonight. There’s promise here! I hope the good momentum keeps going forward. I’m ready for both Raw and Smackdown Live next week and I haven’t said that in awhile. With that, thanks for reading.