WWE SmackDown recap & reactions (Jan. 14, 2022): God mode

WWE spent the entirety Friday night smackdown This week’s broadcast of clips from the past show the deep history between world champion Roman Reigns and his Royal Rumble competitor, Seth Rollins. They turned the scene together at The Shield, Rollins flipped the set, and fought in the main event of the big show, the full nine.

Now, they’re back at it again.

But it feels… I don’t know, forced? rushed? weak?

After all, this happened when Adam Pierce simply decided that Rollins would be the man to challenge Reigns for his title at WWE’s next major pay-per-view event because his bosses said he needed to. Sure, having such a rich track record helps, but the alignment of their characters makes for a strange viewing experience as a fan.

Both are evil! Who the hell am I supposed to cheer on here? Why do I really care so much who wins?

In his first in-ring encounter since the announcement, Rollins focused on the fact that he’s ahead in the singles matches against Reigns while Roman said that’s the past and that he’s in “God mode now.” That’s a pretty badass streak, no doubt, and both are a lot better now than they used to be, but, again, who would I cheer for?

When Reigns decided to dig deeper into his insults, telling Rollins if he wanted someone from the Rollins family with actual star power to direct the Royal Rumble title even though he was going to call Seth’s wife, it was a success. But how much of a hit can it be when they are both in the heels?

It’s also unfortunate because I don’t want it to end with Rollins’ transformation. He’s great in his current role. It all felt weird, which is unfortunate because this could have been really fun if they had released the story in a timely manner. Only now was not that time.

At least the match will be an absolute bang.


I love Sami Zayn.

This clip was the climax of Sammy, the debut of a new show he called “INZAYN” that was supposed to do “Jackass” better than “Jackass” could do himself. He would accomplish this by having two of the guys roll down the fairway, up a slope, which would then cause him to jump over the ring and land on the other side in front of the commentary desk.

They decorated her with napkins, and McAfee was eagerly waiting for him. It was perfect!

Then Zayn spends his cute time, pumping himself up, trying to make sure it’s safe, then checking it again, and then just going and stopping so he can check it in again. I couldn’t believe it really pissed me off because he didn’t make the attempt.

That’s why I liked this so much.

Once you see the setting, you know it won’t actually do it. I mean come. It was very clear. But he’s so good, he got me going with him that I explicitly wanted him to do the thing that would clearly lead to some form of injury, enough that I was legitimately angry when he wouldn’t.

Thus, he was glad Shinsuke Nakamura came up with his knee to the skull and the dependable Rick Boggs was there to throw him over the top rope at the center of the goal anyway.

Sami Zayn is amazing.


all the rest
  • The Usos have a way about them but WWE actually allowed them to show some scope in their show’s opening promo, and the result was a very entertaining piece as Jimmy presented all the teams in Fatal 4-Way to determine their next competitor. It was fun! We need more fun in WWE. It was the match that followed, all while The Usos was commenting on the blast. The Vikings invaders emerged victorious and they will receive a future title.
  • Sonya Deville once again reminded Naomi that she hates her and might take her Royal Rumble entry too far, one thing or another. its area? “You act like the main character when you’re just an extra person.” Later they did a bit where Naomi tried to manipulate the heat to get Sonya to take off her jacket so she could jump on her but instead Adam Pierce gave her another shot at Charlotte Flair next week. Yeah, I still don’t know what’s really going on here, I still think it’s annoying that they didn’t bother to flesh out the story.
  • They brought the character of “Natalia, the Guinness World Record holder” to TV and really did a great job on the clip they booked it for. Nati pledged a record four by defeating Aaliyah, a bundle of nervous energy in her first singles match in a SmackDown match, in just over three seconds. So he jumps to poor high before the match starts, lowers her and I’m almost out, then backs off until the match starts and she can score a quick pin. Instead, Alia, who begged the referee to allow the match to go ahead, rolled Natalya and clocked the number three in a record-breaking three-second record. It was a very good way to use Nattie’s new character to get a new lovable face in the women’s department who is supposed to be about to get more TV time. Really well done all over here.
  • Lita is back! She appeared on this show in a nice surprise — well, she was promoted briefly beforehand, but only back in the day — and made it clear that she thought she’d gotten another round in on it. Whether that’s the case or not, I mostly appreciate that rather than using her as a legend to fill a spot in the match, they gave us some real background to her Royal Rumble appearance and reason to cheer for her beyond just being a returning legend. With Sasha Banks injured, Lita’s last run for a few matches with Charlotte Flair looks like a good time too. They did a good job of putting that here, and I absolutely love seeing it.
  • Sheamus defeated Ricochet in a good match. There isn’t much to be said about it other than that.
  • Madcap Moss defeated Kofi Kingston after the latter announced that he would indeed be in the Royal Rumble this year. And now we are waiting to see what kind of cool save he will do. That’s still a thing, isn’t it?

This was a very good offer.

B-grade

Your turn.

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