With the New Year comes change, and the same can be said for WWE television. In an attempt to shake things up on Thursday nights, WWE Thursday Night SmackDown has moved to the USA Network, the same channel that airs WWE’s flagship program, WWE Monday Night Raw. The first instance occurs tomorrow night, January 7. Unlike WWE Raw, SmackDown rarely airs live. We already know that there were two WWE title matches taped Tuesday night, including Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens and Charlotte vs. Becky Lynch. John Cena makes a return to SmackDown as well. If you can’t wait until SmackDown airs on Thursday, the full results are detailed below.
Also, given Vince’s announcement on WWE Raw, an updated preview for the Royal Rumble and the Rumble Match itself is included below.
WWE Thursday Night SmackDown spoilers
Note: The following contains full spoilers for the January 7 episode of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown.
This week’s episode of WWE SmackDown was taped in Laredo, Texas, on Tuesday, January 5. As confirmed by Wrestling Inc., the commentary team consisted of Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton, and new on-air talent Mauro Ranallo.
- The show begins with John Cena coming to the ring, telling WWE United States Champion Alberto Del Rio that he wants a rematch since their previous title bout ended due to interference from the League of Nations. ADR refused to grant Cena the rematch and taunted the leader of the Cenation before the first match started.
- Kalisto defeated Alberto Del Rio in a non-title match.
- The Miz comes out to try to do a MizTV segment, but he is interrupted by The New Day. As The New Day begin to talk about Chris Jericho’s recent return, they are interrupted by Dolph Ziggler. Eventually, Goldust, R-Truth, and Neville all get involved, resulting in the next match.
- Dolph Ziggler, Neville, Goldust, and R-Truth defeated The New Day and The Miz in an eight-man tag match. After post-match shenanigans, “The Showoff” came out on top.
- Charlotte defeated Becky Lynch and retained the WWE Divas Championship. As Bleacher Report confirmed, the win came with an assist from “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair.
- Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens for the WWE Intercontinental Championship ended in a double count-out.
WWE Royal Rumble 2016 update
On Monday, Vince McMahon made the announcement that for the first time ever, a WWE champion would have to defend his belt in the 30-man battle royal that headlines this year’s Royal Rumble event. With the Rumble Match stakes at the highest they have been since 1992, when Ric Flair won the vacated WWF Championship, more names have been added to the official list of Royal Rumble Match entrants for 2016.
That list currently includes the following talent.
- Roman Reigns (current WWE World Heavyweight Champion)
- Dolph Ziggler
- Chris Jericho
- Bray Wyatt
- The Big Show
- Braun Stowman
- Luke Harper
- Erick Rowan
- Curtis Axel
There have also been rumors that Triple H and/or Brock Lesnar could enter the Rumble Match, possibly as a surprise entrant. It is also assumed that the WWE’s biggest draw, John Cena, will be in the match as well. The New Day has talked about a new rule that applies just to them, so it can be assumed they’ll also join the match.
The Royal Rumble will air live on the WWE Network Sunday, January 24 at 8 p.m. EST.
This episode of WWE Thursday Night SmackDown will air at 8 p.m. EST on the USA Network. Replays of this episode of WWE SmackDown can be streamed on-demand starting Friday with a Hulu Plus subscription.
[Image via WWE]