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The WWE Smackdown Reaction for 1/28/22

wwe smackdown naomi sonya deville

Welcome to the WWE Smackdown Reaction, where I offer my take on this week’s show in Kansas City for the last show before Royal Rumble.

As always, you can check out John’s full in-depth review here. Speaking of Royal Rumble, check out our TJRWrestling team preview of the Royal Rumble right here.

We kick off the show with Promo Time with Charlotte Flair after the “Are you ready?” opening video. I couldn’t tell you the last time that aired. Flair is explaining the Royal Rumble rules to us. Shayna Baszler came out to new music for the interruption. Aliyah 3:17 is up next to convey her excitement over her first Rumble match. Natalya then comes out to add nothing of value. Shotzi continues the interruption parade before Sasha Banks made her return to Smackdown. Everybody then fights and Sasha ends up standing tall in the ring. This was your typical “I’m going to win the Rumble” spot that might have gone a tad too long. Personally, I would have saved the Sasha Banks return for the Rumble itself, but I get why they did it here. The match is lacking in announced star power so far.

Our opening contest is the Day 1 rematch between Ridge Holland/Sheamus and Cesaro/Ricochet. The match was pretty good as the opener. Holland could have put a tad more effort into catching Ricochet when he did the somersault dive out of the ring but Ricochet seemed okay. Holland is going to use the faceguard gimmick and they could have found one that actually fit him. The faceguard kept coming apart on him. Holland used the faceguard on Cesaro to pick up the win for his team. I just wish Cesaro and Ricochet were used better. They need some wins.

The Royal Rumble by the numbers video played. It was excellent. Check it out when you can.

Naomi finally takes on Sonya Deville in our next match. The match was really good. I was surprised that Naomi had the upper hand as much as she did. Deville was impressive with that suplex slam spot. The result was right as well, with Naomi picking up the decisive win. This was the perfect blow-off to the most pointless feud on Smackdown. Deville comes back out after the match with her “WWE Official” jacket on and enters herself into the Royal Rumble, to the shock of nobody. I guess there’s an elimination for Naomi. I think we’ve finally figured out what the whole point of this is, to return Deville as an active competitor.

Sami Zayn’s In-Zayn is up next and it has a new format. They’re trying it as a podcast talk show. His first guests are Jinder Mahal and Shanky. This flops and Rick Boogs introduces himself before playing Shinsuke Nakamura to the ring for their scheduled tag match with Mahal and Shanky. Nakamura kicks Zayn out of the ring and the match is next.

We join the tag match already in progress and it didn’t appear we missed anything. Boogs looked like a boss in the ring, finishing off Shanky with his Boogs Cruise finisher (a pumphandle powerslam). That looked really impressive.

Kayla Braxton is backstage welcoming Big E back to Smackdown. Wait, what? Big E does the usual New Day spot leading into their music playing for their match with Madcap Moss and Happy Corbin. The tag match was your standard tag team match. It was longer and a bit more back and forth than the previous one. Big E got the hot tag and cleaned house. New Day picked up the win after the return of the Midnight Hour finisher. I’m hoping Big E is just here until King Woods heals up. I had called for big things for Big E in the Royal Rumble preview.

Main event time is the Face to Face with Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Rollins gets off to a slow start but gets into full Riddler mode. Reigns brushes off everything Rollins said except for The Shield break up. I guess that’s still real to him. The promo work was great between both of them. Reigns went to leave, but missed a Superman Punch (because Rollins avoided it) to close out the show.

 

Let’s take a look at tonight’s highs and lows.

The Highs

Naomi finally got her comeuppance on Sonya Deville. Let’s just hope that the inevitable Rumble elimination is the conclusion to the feud. That was a great blow off match.

The Rollins/Reigns Face to Face was really good as well. It was the perfect way to end the hype to the match. I think the build for this match was better than the Brock/Reigns Day 1 match.

The Lows

They had 27 days to fit Ridge Holland for a protective mask and it just kept coming apart. Hopefully he just drops the gimmick. The mask didn’t look all that good on him.

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You can find me on Facebook or Twitter (@ciscowebwiz76) with any comments or discussion.

That’s all I’ve got, until next time.