1/17 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Roman Reigns vs. Robert Roode in a tables match, Bayley vs. Lacey Evans in a non-title match, Big E vs. John Morrison, Kane appearance 

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown on Fox
Aired live on January 17, 2020 from Greensboro, North Carolina at the Greensboro Coliseum

[Hour One] The show opened with a memorial graphic for Rocky Johnson, who died on Wednesday at age 75… The AC/DC opening aired (you all all breathe it)… Pyro shot off on the stage… The broadcast team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves checked in and hyped the previously advertised matches…

Kane made his entrance dressed in his mask and gear. Kane spoke about the Royal Rumble match and said as the holder of the record for most eliminations, he understands how important the match is. He spoke of watching his opponents go over the top rope while he watched their hope fade away as they came closer to hitting the ground.

The Firefly Funhouse theme interrupted Kane and then Bray Wyatt appeared on the big screen from the Funhouse. He called Kane a big red bully and gave him a moment to tell everyone he was sorry. A clock ticked, then Wyatt gave up on the apology. He showed off Ramblin’ Rabbit, who was attached to an IV of carrot juice, and said he was recovering nicely.

Wyatt noted that Kane’s picture was on the wall behind him and said that means The Fiend an Kane got it on. Wyatt got serious and said he’d never forgive Kane, then added “and neither will he.” The lighting in the arena changed and eventually it went dark. When the lights returned, Kane stood at ringside while the red lighting was used.

The Fiend crawled out of a hole in the ring. Kane turned and spotted him from the floor. “What took you so long?” Kane asked. The Fiend turned and was met by a running knee from Daniel Bryan, who was dressed in street clothes. Bryan beat The Fiend back into the hole in the ring. Smoke came out from the hole and Bryan ended up with a dreadlock in his hand.

Graves asked if The Fiend could regret what he turned Bryan into. The lighting returned to normal and then Bryan led the crowd in a Yes chant. Kane entered the ring and led more Yes chants while Cole called it an impromptu reunion of Team Hell No…

The broadcast team hyped the previously advertised matches, and said New Day was coming up after a commercial break… [C]

Powell’s POV: A good opening segment with Kane and Bryan being the first wrestlers to outsmart The Fiend character. We’re having some server issues with the free version of our website, so some of you will be seeing this later than usual. My apologies and hopefully the wait wasn’t too long.

Kayla Braxton spoke with Bryan and Kane backstage. Bryan said people credit The Fiend with being great at mind games, but he’s best at disappearing. Bryan wondered how you beat someone who disappears. Bryan said he had a good idea and admitted it may not be a very good idea. Bryan challenged The Fiend to face him in a strap match at the Royal Rumble. Bryan got fired up about being finished with the mind games and The Fiend disappearing down the hole when he gets him in trouble…

Powell’s POV: A well delivered promo and yet you had to turn your brain off a bit. For starters, I don’t remember The Fiend escaping through the hole very often. And even if my bad memory is getting the best of me, it’s not like there’s a lot of space under the ring for him to hide.

1. Big E (w/Kofi Kingston) vs. John Morrison (w/The Miz). Kingston debuted his new blonde hair. Morrison caught E with a kick and then worked him over with punches. Morrison went to the floor and threw a kick to the back of Big E, then pulled him to the edge of the apron and performed a neckbreaker onto the floor. [C]

Big E came back with a couple of belly to belly suplexes. E went for a third suplex, but Morrison thumbed him in the eye. Later, Miz climbed onto the apron to protest the ref’s count. Kingston pulled Miz down and shoved him into the ring post. Morrison went to the top rope, shrugged his shoulders, and performed a corkscrew dive onto Kingston. Big E was about to hit Morrison from behind, but Miz pulled Morrison out of the way. A short time later, Morrison his his Starship Pain finisher and scored the pin…

John Morrison beat Big E in 8:50.

Powell’s POV: A nice match with Morrison’s athletic approach and Big E’s raw power meshing nicely. The broadcast team played up the idea of Miz and Morrison having New Day’s number, which is a logical approach to take as they work toward a tag title match.

The broadcast team checked in from ringside and Cole said they received some breaking news during the commercial break regarding the tables match. If Reigns wins, he picks the stipulation for his match with King Corbin at the Royal Rumble, and Corbin will pick the stipulation if Roode wins…

Powell’s POV: I guess the broadcast team is the last to know. WWE announced the stipulation for the tabes match this afternoon.

A video package focused on the Reigns vs. Corbin feud…

Backstage, the Usos spoke with Reigns about the potential match stipulation and one of them suggested the loser eats “dog-ish.” Reigns said he wouldn’t say what his stipulation would be… [C]

Cole hyped the NFC Championship game coverage for Sunday. They also congratulated Fox studio analyst and former head coaching great Jimmy Johnson on being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame…

Powell’s POV: Wait, they’re still playing football even though the Minnesota Vikings lost last weekend? What’s the point?

2. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso vs. “The Revival” Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder. Late in the match, the Usos took out both Revival members with double superkicks. One Uso took out Dawson with a suicide dive, then the other Uso performed a top rope splash on Wilder and pinned him…

The Usos beat The Revival in 5:00.

Powell’s POV: A solid television match. It’s just a shame that we never got the hot Usos vs. Revival feud that could have revitalized the Raw tag brand. Instead, we got Ucey-Hot and other shenanigans. They could still have a strong feud on Smackdown, but I’d selfishly prefer to see The Revival leave once their deals expire. I don’t play favorites between the companies, but the main roster push for Dawson and Wilder never really materialized despite some forgettable tag title runs and their terrific run in NXT.

Backstage, Braxton approached the Revival and said they must be frustrated. They spoke of making a change. There was commotion in the distance that turned out to be Lacey Evans and Bayley brawling while Sasha Banks was down on the ground next to them. The brawl was broken up. Banks sold an ankle injury…

Powell’s POV: Are they ever going to have the Evans vs. Banks match? Fox advertised it for the show two weeks ago, WWE advertised it for last week, and it’s once again advertised for this show.

Cole narrated a video recap of the Mandy Rose and Otis storyline…

Backstage, Sonya Deville asked Mandy Rose if Otis would be in her corner tonight. Rose said she could ask, but she didn’t know if he would say yes. Deville said she had a feeling that Otis would say yes if Mandy made the request…

Banks was seated on a medical table while Bayley said she would turn Evans into a stay at home mom. Adam Pearce entered the room and said Bayley would take Banks’s place in the match against Evans. Pearce said it would be a non-title match and would be up next… [C]

3. Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley vs. Lacey Evans in a non-title match. Cole ran through Evans’ impressive military history.

[Hour Two] Cole noted that Evans’ daughter Summer was in attendance. Evans performed her springboard moonsault, but Bayley put her knees up. Evans ended up at ringside. Bayley sold right knee pain as she left the ring, then ran and delivered the same right knee to the head of Evans. [C] In the end, Evans caught Bayley with a Woman’s Right and then pinned her…

Lacey Evans beat Bayley in 11:30 in a non-title match.

Powell’s POV: This felt like it went longer than necessary and they lost the crowd to some extent. I assume this will lead to a title match at the Royal Rumble.

New backstage interviewer Alyse Ashton was introduced by name and graphic and then interviewed Shorty G. She brought up Sheamus attacking him. G said Sheamus’s tough guy act wouldn’t work on him. He spoke about embracing who you are. Sheamus interrupted and acted like he couldn’t see G at first. Sheamus said he heard Shorty squeaking from across the room, but he couldn’t see him. Sheamus patted G on the head. Shorty tackled Sheamus and they were quickly pulled part. Shorty walked away while Sheamus fumed and tipped over a table…

Cole hyped WWE Backstage and advertised Becky Lynch as Tuesday’s guest…

Braun Strowman was interviewed by Braxton backstage. Strowman announced that he will be in the Royal Rumble match, then said he wants his shot at the Intercontinental Title…

Elias was introduced by the ring announcer and stood in the ring with his guitar. Elias started to sing a song about walking in Greensboro, but he was quickly interrupted by Shinsuke Nakamura’s entrance theme. Nakamura, Cesaro, and Sami Zayn walked onto the stage. Zayn said what he had to say was far more important than what Elias was doing.

Zayn declined to give Strowman his title shot and said they dictate the terms and it wouldn’t be happening with the Royal Rumble match just nine days away. Zayn pointed at Nakamura and reminded viewers that he won a Rumble match. Zayn said every member of the roster was being put on notice. Zayn said he made his point and told Elias he could go back to doing whatever it is he does.

Elias told Zayn to stick around because he just came up with a song called “Sami Zayn needs to shut his damn mouth.” Elias started to play his guitar, but Zayn cut him off before he could sing. Zayn asked the fans if they thought Elias was funny. He told Cesaro to show the fans what they do to funny guys.

Cesaro headed to the ring and fought with Elias. Nakamura followed, then Zayn joined in on the beatdown. Strowman’s music played and he came out and cleared the heels from the ring…

Cole set up a video package on Rocky Johnson. The fans applauded and chanted “Rocky” after the video played… [C] Cole hyped that stupid football game featuring that stupid football team for Sunday on Fox…

4. Sonya Deville (w/Mandy Rose) vs. Alexa Bliss (w/Nikki Cross). Otis was not in Deville’s corner initially, but Heavy Machinery made their entrance just before the opening bell. Rose climbed onto the ropes for no apparent reason. Cross shoved Rose off the ropes and she fell into the arms of Otis and then smiled. Deville was distracted by this and ended up being rolled up and pinned by Bliss…

Alexa Bliss beat Sonya Deville in 1:45.

Powell’s POV: I must admit that I’m getting a kick out of the Rose and Otis pairing. I assumed Deville when I saw that she was facing Bliss, because they probably would have put Cross in her place if Deville was going over.

Robert Roode was shown prepping for his match when King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler entered the room and gave him a pep talk about facing Roman Reigns. Roode said he waited six weeks for the opportunity and would put him through a table. Corbin pondered the possibilities of the stipulations he could come up with, including taking Reigns out of the Rumble match or making him bow down…

Powell’s POV: Hey, Corbin, go with the stipulation that keeps Reigns out of the Royal Rumble match.

An ad for Raw hyped the Rusev and Liv Morgan vs. Bobby Lashley and Lana, and Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio in a ladder match for the U.S. Title… [C] Cole recapped the opening segment with The Fiend, Kane, and Daniel Bryan…

The broadcast team announced that The Fiend vs. Bryan in a strap match for the WWE Universal Championship is official for the Royal Rumble. They also announced Sheamus vs. Shorty G, and Bayley vs. Lacey Evans for the Smackdown Women’s Championship for the Rumble…

Greg Hamilton delivered the introductions for the main event and explained the rules of a tables match. Reigns was introduced first. Roode ran out and attacked Reigns from behind. The bell rang while both men were at ringside, so the referee and/or timekeeper rewarded the heel for being a dick…

5. Roman Reigns vs. Robert Roode in a tables match. In a shocking twist, Reigns recovered within the opening minute and had Roode down at ringside. Reigns grabbed one of the many tables set up at ringside, but Roode cut him off and slammed his head into the ring steps. Reigns returned the favor. Roode came back and ran Reigns into the ring steps.

Roode pulled a table out from underneath the ring and slid it into the ring. Reigns caught Roode with a Drive By kick. Reigns waited for Roode to get up, let out a war cry, and then took a lap around the ring before going for a spear, which Roode sidestepped, causing Reigns to crash into the timekeepers area. King Corbin was carried to the ring on his platform going into the final break. [C]

Corbin stood on the stage. Reigns set up a table in a corner of the ring. Dolph Ziggler interfered and hit Reigns with a superkick. The Usos showed up and took out Ziggler with a double superkick, then placed him onto the broadcast table. The Usos performed a double splash off the barricade and drove Ziggler through the table. In the ring, Reigns speared Roode through the table in the corner to win the match.

Roman Reigns defeated Robert Roode in 11:05 in a tables match to earn the right to pick the stipulation for his Royal Rumble match against Baron Corbin.

Corbin threw a fit on the stage. Reigns said the Rumble will be held at a huge baseball stadium. He said that he’s going to kick Corbin’s ass all over the stadium and announced the stipulation as a falls count anywhere match…

Powell’s POV: The main event was a typical Reigns match. I thought they might go with a loser eats dog food match or something kinda out there rather than a fairly basic stipulation. Overall, Smackdown was decent by Smackdown standards. Dot Net Members will hear my audio review of his episode coming up shortly. Let me know what you thought of the show by assigning it a letter grade in our weekly post show poll. Have a great weekend.



The Best of The Boom features Jim Ross joining Jason Powell in this May 9, 2018 discussion regarding his relationship with Vince McMahon, why Vince sticks with Roman Reigns, how Triple H has changed over the years, and more. New episodes of the Boom are typically available mid-week...


Readers Comments (6)

  1. On the long list of tired-ass bullshit that WWE does constantly, someone defeating the champion in a non-title match leading to a title match is the most tired-ass bullshit I can possibly think of at this point.

  2. Jim, whilst I agree with the sentiment… it does get someone over, as a threat to said title.. sure, it’s lazy, but then again, it’s the WWE.. Let’s go 49ers!

    • It only gets someone over if it’s something random, not something that happens 3-4 times per title per year.

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