WWE SmackDown aired Tuesday (January 14), and if you missed it and need spoilers or just enjoy reading recaps and commentary, the Inquisitr has got you covered. The Blue Brand continued its storylines and set the stage for WWE’s big event, the Royal Rumble, which is scheduled for this Sunday (January 29).
Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper
The two guys were staring daggers at each other well before the opening bell, and once the match began, the guys started their slugfest. It didn’t take long before they were outside the ring, where Bray Wyatt was watching from a rocking chair. Wyatt ordered them back into the ring, and after some more slugging, Orton eventually got the win via pinfall.
Renee Young Interviews Mickie James
Renee asked Mickie why she (Mickie) has been dressing like Mexican wrestler La Luchadora (“The Fighter”), but Mickie didn’t answer. Instead, she gave her résumé.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) January 25, 2017
Just as the crowd was starting to turn on her, Becky Lynch charged into the ring. Mickie escaped but was ambushed backstage by Alexa Bliss and her crew.
Behind-the-Scenes Action: Carmella Takes James Ellsworth Shopping
For some inexplicable reason, WWE SmackDown producers thought fans would enjoy seeing James Ellsworth going shopping with Carmella. About all you need to know about this is that Ellsworth delivered a kind-of-funny one-liner.
“I haven’t shopped at a store this nice since my last court date.”
Mojo Rawley and the 10-Man Battle Royale
After this silly and useless shopping bit, the cameras were mercifully pointed back into the ring. Ten men battled for a spot in Sunday’s Royal Rumble. Rawley came out on top and earned a spot.
Bleacher Report wrestling writer Ryan Dilbert wasn’t impressed with the match.
“The match was too fast to successfully tell its story, though. The eliminations came at a rapid pace, leaving the audience too little time to digest it all. Plus, this was a reminder of how thin the SmackDown tag team division is. So many of these acts are ice- cold right now.”
Mid-Card Smack Talk: AJ Styles Calls Out John Cena
In what may have been the best match of the night, neither competitor did so much as swing a fist. Instead, a war of words took place between John Cena and AJ Styles. Styles wanted one final conversation with the 15-time world champion before they meet for Sunday’s pay-per-view event.
Styles had a couple of beefs. It seems that when Cena appeared on the Today show a while back, Cena disrespected Styles for referring to him as “the guy from Atlanta.” Styles also took exception to his placement on the Royal Rumble promotional poster.
— WWE (@WWE) January 25, 2017
It seems Styles believes that a man like himself should get a little more prominent placement on the poster. For what it’s worth, the fans seem to agree, says Philadelphia Inquirer writer Vaughn Johnson.
The two traded a few more barbs before giving away to the action in the ring. Clearly, the guys are trying to build some hype for the Royal Rumble match.
Kalisto vs. Dolph Ziggler
In one of the best moments of the night, Ziggler nailed Kalisto in the head while he (Kalisto) was in mid-air.
— WWE (@WWE) January 25, 2017
Ziggler then found a chair and was about to put the finishing touches on Kalisto when Apollo Crews showed up and chased him away. Ziggler won by a pinfall.
Naomi Returns to SmackDown to Take On Natalya
Backstage, Nikki Bella waylaid Natalya, leaving Naomi without an opponent. She then announced to the room that she’d take on anyone who wanted a beatdown. SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss showed up and started talking trash, but then she backed off.
The Main Event: Dean Ambrose vs. The Miz in Lumberjack Match for the Intercontinental Championship
In the main match of the night, the guys went back and forth, and whenever either one fell out of the ring, they were beaten down by the other guy’s crew. Eventually, the brawl made its way to the ring, but the refs got the upper hand and cleared everyone out. In the end, Ambrose won by pinfall.
Bleacher Report writer Ryan Dilbert was generally impressed with what he admits was mostly a placeholder for the big event this weekend.
“A whirlwind, high-octane bout was a smart way to lead into the Royal Rumble. This was a fresh take on the usual “everyone on the roster” brawl that often precedes that PPV, too.”
What did you think of Tuesday night’s WWE SmackDown?
[Featured Image by JP Yim/Getty Images]