PWTorch editor Wade Keller presents a special Thursday Flagship edition of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast featuring a WrestleMania 36 Preview with ex-WWE Creative Team member and professional stand-up comedian Matt McCarthy.
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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
JANUARY 24, 2020
DALLAS, TX. AT THE AMERICAN AIRLINES CENTER
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH SPECIALIST
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
Arena, Top 10 Moments of Last Week’s Show
WWE Smackdown returns to the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX. for the first time in a little under two years. The arena opened in 2001 and home to the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and the NHL’s Dallas Stars. WWE has been a frequent guest here with Raw, Smackdown, and PPV events including….wait for it…the one and only Great Balls of Fire show in 2017. Oh, you know you just loved the name of that PPV, and it was a pleasure reminding you of it!
Here is the YouTube clip of the top 10 moments of last week’s show:
WWE is advertising the following for tonight.
What’s in store when Daniel Bryan and Bray Wyatt come face to face before Royal Rumble?
Major Six-Man Tag Team Match sets the stage for Royal Rumble: Roman Reigns & The Usos vs. King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Matches and Segments
Contract Signing for Strap Match: Universal Champion Bray Wyat and Daniel Bryan
Last week on Smackdown, Kane returned to Smackdown and talked about his history in the Royal Rumble. Universal Champion Bray Wyatt interrupted from the Firefly Funhouse and reminded him of their history. A brief clip of their feud from 2013 played where Bray defeated Kane at SummerSlam and was “taken away” by the rest of the Wyatt family. Moments later the lights dimmed, Bray’s horror music played, and he appeared from under the ring. Kane wondered what took him so long. Following that, Daniel Bryan appeared out of nowhere and gave him his running knee. Bray retreated to the hole in the ring, and Bryan pulled out some of Bray’s dreadlocks.
Later on, claiming that Bray disappears all the time, Bryan challenged Bray to a strap match for the Universal Championship he was already challenging for at the Royal Rumble. Yesterday, WWE announced on their Twitter account that Bryan and Bray will sign the contract for that match tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: Greg Parks and I talked about the dreadlocks being pulled and all the hair stuff with Bray and Bryan on Wrestling Night in America this past Sunday. Other than speculating that Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake could be involved in this feud I have no idea what they’re going for. With a show heavily written by Vince McMahon, it’s hard to figure out where things are going and frankly, one should not even try as it’s not worth the effort. As far as the contract signing tonight, we’ve seen these time and time again. The only difference here is does Bray actually come to the ring and have a traditional signing or do it from the Firefly Funhouse.
Six-Man Tag Team Match: Roman Reigns & The Usos vs. King Corbin & Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode
Last week on Smackdown, Roman Reigns defeated Robert Roode in a tables match to earn the right the pick the stipulation for his match with King Corbin at the Royal Rumble. He decided on Falls Count Anywhere. During the match Corbin came out and Dolph Ziggler got involved as well. They were triple-teaming Reigns when the Usos came out for the save.
Everyone has been involved with each other one way or another since the Usos returned to Smackdown to start the new year. Tonight, we get the six-man tag that was fairly easy to predict was going to happen. Reigns teams with his cousins the Usos to take on Corbin & Roode & Ziggler. Mind you, prior to the match last week, Corbin said he wanted a match where he could humiliate Reigns and take him out of the Rumble. Here’s a little Twitter trash talk:
Looking out to the @WWE Universe and picturing all the places I could beat Corbin at Minute Maid Park. #RoyalRumble #FallsCountAnywhere pic.twitter.com/ptU58TUuHW
— Roman Reigns (@WWERomanReigns) January 19, 2020
OH MUHH GERRDDD!!!
Same matches every week!
THIS IS WHY WCW WILL ALWAYS BE #1!!! (ps: 1st time ever)
*comments muted* https://t.co/qIcKLeZchP
— Nic Nemeth (@HEELZiggler) January 23, 2020
Frank’s Analysis: The Kansas City Chiefs are in the Super Bowl, so maybe Corbin goes easy on Reigns? He should be happy after all. I don’t know what to make of Ziggler talking about “same matches” as he’s done this before on social media. (He’s not wrong though.) Other than that, this is just a logical step in the story of this overall feud.
Royal Rumble Additions
Since last week, the following wrestlers have been added to the men’s Royal Rumble:
Smackdown: Braun Strowman, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, Big E, Kofi Kingston
Raw: Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe, R-Truth
Thus far only five spots remain. I would surmise we’re going to get a couple of NXT wrestlers such as Matt Riddle and North American Champion Keith Lee. I wouldn’t be surprised also to see a participant or two from NXT UK just to showcase that brand. Tyler Bate and Jordan Devlin come to mind, but that’s just a guess if they’re even going to use anyone from that show. I can’t figure anyone from 205Live, a show which should just not exist anymore.
Only one addition has been made to the Rumble and that’s Natalya from Raw. That leaves 25 spots still open. It’s really no secret that if you’re not injured, and you’re active on the Raw or Smackdown roster, you’re going to be in the match. Look for a lot more participation from NXT and NXT UK on the women’s side and also some people from the past. I would think we could expect Beth Phoenix at the very least.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
John Morrison (with the Miz) defeated Big E (with Kofi Kingston). Here’s him and Miz in a WWE.com exclusive. Good lord I love Morrison, but he is still so awkward on the mic:
The Usos defeated the Revival. Here’s the Usos in a WWE.com exclusive:
Lacey Evans defeated Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley in a non-title match. She was supposed to take on Sasha Banks, but it got switched to Bayley. This Sunday at the Royal Rumble, Lacey challenges Bayley for the title.
Shorty G continued to embrace who he is. Sheamus made fun of him for being short. They go one-on-one at the Royal Rumble.
Braun Strowman declared himself in the men’s Rumble, and still wants an Intercontinental Championship match with Shinsuke Nakamura.
Elias started another song and was interrupted by Sami Zayn and Nakamura. They attacked Elias and Strowman came out for the save.
Alexa Bliss defeated Sonya Deville. Mandy Rose jumped into Otis’s arms. Here’s Heavy Machinery in a WWE.com exclusive:
Maybe it’s me, but I don’t feel as if WWE has done enough to promote Sunday’s show. It just feels there and not a big deal, when it’s probably their second biggest PPV of the year next to WrestleMania. Perhaps there’s just do much wrestling to watch that it’s all lumped together, and the build is there, and I just missed it. At any rate, when the Rumble arrives, I know I’ll be fired up. Let’s see how they build towards the show tonight.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!