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Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Live Report! (1/16/18)

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All images courtesy of the WWE’s official Twitter

 

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • WWE United States Championship Tournament: Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers; Mahal wins and advances to the finals next week tonight on SmackDown.
  • WWE United States Championship Tournament: Mojo Rawley VS Bobby Roode; wins and advances to the finals next week tonight on SmackDown.
  • Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Naomi; Riott Squad wins.
  • WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Jinder Mahal; Roode wins and becomes the new US Champion.

PLAY BY PLAY

“Awwww LOREDO!” The New Day opens SmackDown!

Clap for your world famous four time champs, and feel the powah~!

Xavier Woods takes to the podium while Loredo chants “New! Day Rocks!” “Tonight, the Freedom of the United States is at stake.” Yo boy Woods takes on who? Who who who? “The self-proclaimed Modern Day MaharrrrrrrrrRRRRRRaja,” Jinder Mahal. Woods will defend the great principles that make America fantastic: Life, Liberty & the Power of Positivity! But one principle we forget is… Pancakes!

America has much in common with a pancake: individually, the ingredients are strong, but together they make for something good, delicious and unifying! That is what THe New Day is about. Remember: A Vote for Me, is a Vote for Three. THe best things come in threes: red, white & blue; three amigos; Home Alone movies, sorta. Mahal hates Home Alone and freedom. Mahal hates Americans! Is that the kind of man we want as US Champion? NO! Therefore, all who oppose Mahal, say nay. NAY! NAY! Neigh? NAY! Therefore, lend Woods your power to defeat Jinder Mahal and become the new W! W! E! U-Nited, States CHAMPION~!!

“Please welcome Sumil & Sanir, The Singh Brothers.”

Please welcome YOUR next United States Champion, Jinder Mahaaaaal~!

WWE United States Championship Tournament: Xavier Woods w/ The New Day VS Jinder Mahal w/ The Singh Brothers!

 

Both men have held gold in the past, but they still want more! Will it be the Modern Day Maharaja or the PhD in Positivity that moves on to the championship match?

The bell rings, the two circle, Mahal kicks Woods right in the face! He raises his hand while fans boo and jeer, then stands over Woods to talk trash. Mahal brings Woods up and rocks him with a right, then an ax handle. Woods is literally on the ropes as Mahal grinds in a knee. Mahal snapmares and drives in a knee, then a knee drop. Woods fights back with body shots, then runs, only to get run over by a back elbow. Cover, TWO, and the New Day coach Woods back up. Mahal puts him in a half-clutch to stretch him back but fans rally for Woods.

Woods stands up and fights back again, dropkick rocks Mahal back. Woods runs in but gets a back elbow again, and Mahal grins before giving a jumping ax handle. Cover, TWO, Mahal is still focused as we go to break.

SmackDown returns and we find Mahal wrenching Woods’ neck. Mahal has a half-nelson chinbar, but fans rally for Woods. Woods feeds off the “New! Day Rocks!” and gets to his feet. He fights back, jawkbreaker rocks Mahal, mule kick takes out one leg. Mahal stays standing to run Woods over again, cover, TWO. The New Day have faith in Woods, but Mahal keeps on him with heavy hands. Mahal chokes Woods on the ropes again, and backs off at 4 to do the same thing in a corner. Mahal drags Woods out for springboard knee drops and another grinding knee. He stops at 4, the New Day keep the Singh Brothers back. Pancake Attack!

Woods fights back, but Mahal snapmares Woods into a chinlock. The fans chant “We Want Pancakes!” while Woods endures the squeeze. Woods gets up, fights back again, and rocks Mahal with a haymaker. He whips but Mahal grabs ropes, body drop hotshot! Mahal keeps on Woods, Woods gets to the apron, Mahal goes out to put him under the apron skirt and choke Woods with it! The referee stops Mahal, but Mahal keeps going with ax handle chop. Woods falls tot he floor, Mahal goes into the ring to let the count begin. The New Day coach Woods up, he beats the count at 9! Mahal is upon him right away, he brings Woods up but Woods fights back again. He backs Mahal down with furious right hands, then whips corner to corner but is reversed hard into buckles. Mahal stretches Woods back again, to give crossface forearms on top.  Fans rally for Woods once more, Woods feeds off the energy, and gives more body shots. Mahal throat chops, but Woods boots back! Honor Roll meets a knee! COver, TWO! Mahal is furious but Woods is still in it as we go picture in picture.

The New Day work to coach Woods back into this, even as Mahal stalks Woods. Woods fights back again, jabs and chops and chops and chops. Woods whips but is reversed, he kicks Mahal but Mahal lariats him down. Mahal rains down rights, then glares at The New Day. He stretches Woods again, but Woods sits up, so Mahal makes it an abdominal stretch. Fans rally, Woods slips out and hip tosses Mahal down! Jawbreaker from Mahal, and Mahal is again back in control. He taunts the New Day as he rains down more rights, as well as stomps. Woods crawls away, but Mahal is confident he has this in hand. He puts Woods back into the chinlock, then the seated abdominal stretch. The fans haven’t given up, they keep rallying. Woods struggles against Mahal, but Mahal uses his size and strength to keep him down. Woods powers up one more time, but Mahal kicks low. Mahal puts Woods in a corner and hoists him to the top rope. Mahal climbs up as we go back to single picture.

Both men are up on the top rope, Woods fighting back. He punches and headbutts, and Mahal goes down! Woods adjusts, takes aim, and hits a missile dropkick! The New Day and fans rally once more as both men stir. Mahal stands up first, but Woods revives to chop and punch. They brawl back and forth, and Woods gets the advantage. Another throat chop, then a whip, but Mahal misses and Woods is the one who rallies with forearms! Woods whips but is reversed again, Woods slips under for the roaring forearm! He takes aim, corner to corner but put on the apron. He blocks and punches Mahal away, Mahal denies the step-in DDT but takes the enziguri! Woods hurries and hits the Shining Wizard! TWO! The Singh Brothers distract, the New Day run them out of the arena! This leaves Mahal and Woods alone. Woods goes after Mahal, back suplex! He hurries to a corner now, and to the top rope. Tight-rope elbow drop misses! Mahal throws Woods into ropes, Woods is dazed. But Mahal isn’t done there. He calls for his finish, then drags Woods up to his feet. He puts on the cobra clutch, KALAS!! Mahal wins and advances to the finals! Will he truly be our next WWE United States Champion?

 

Baron Corbin has a message concerning the Royal Rumble.

“There’s a reason I’m called the Lone Wolf.” Corbin is built for the Royal Rumble, and its Every Man For Himself rules. “All I see is a ring full of potential victims and life-changing opportunity hanging in the balance.” Corbin vows this is HIS time to main event Wrestlemania.

 

Backstage interview with AJ Styles.

The Phenomenal One faces two opponents in his WWE Championship, where it’ll be three on one! Well, no, Styles explains his math. Sami Zayn is one opponent, and Kevin Owens is like two. Especially with that #YEPMovement. How about #NOPE? Sami & Kevin are like the two same people. Sami, Kevin, Kevin, Sami, Kami, Sevin. Wait, Kami & Sevin? He’ll use that from now one. Styles losing to #Kami so they can be Co-Champions makes him sick. But Styles got to this point in hsi career because he has overcome obstacles. He’ll make sure the made-up movement ends at the Royal Rumble. #Kami isn’t just facing anyone, they’re facing the WWE Champion. And SmackDown isn’t the #KamiShow, it’s the House that AJ Styles built. Styles has confidence to spare, will it see him through the Royal Rumble?

 

The women of SmackDown speak on the inaugural Women’s Royal Rumble match.

The FABULOUS One and inaugural Ms. Money in the Bank promises to make history again. The Queen of Harts is going to use her “cat-like reflexes” to prove she’s the Best there is, the Best there was, and the Best there ever will be. Tamina says that every woman on Raw will fly, when she throws them over the top rope. Lana will not let herself be ridiculed, and will rename it the Ravishing Rumble. Naomi promises all 29 other women will #FeeltheGlow! Ruby Riott is all about chaos, and no one will stop her. Sarah Logan is #KentuckyStrong enough to bring the fight. Liv Morgan is here not for friends, but for history, and #LivForever. The Lass Kicker Becky Lynch was the inaugural SmackDown Women’s Champion, but will be the last woman at the Rumble, aka the Last Woman Standing. Which woman from which show will take history into their hands and win this match’s prestigious premiere?

 

WWE United States Championship Tournament: Mojo Rawley VS Bobby Roode!

The Modern Day Maharaja already has a spot in the finals, will it be Killer Instinct or the GLORIOUS One joining him?

The bell rings, Roode and Mojo stare down as fans cheer for the GLORIOUS One. They tie up, Mojo powers Roode right down to the mat, then pie-faces him to a corner. Mojo waits for Roode to come back out, they tie up, and Roode puts on a headlock. Roode shifts to a waistlock, then a takedown, and then toys with Mojo before striking the GLORIOUS Pose! Mojo rushes in, but Roode catches him in a headlock. Mojo powers Roode to a corner, breaks then rushes in again. Roode dodges and chops back, Mojo shoves him away, but the two collide. Cover, ONE, so Roode puts Mojo in a headlock. Mojo endures, Roode shifts to block the ropes. They stand up, Roode maintaining the headlock, then shifting to the waistlock. Mojo elbows back and rocks Roode. Mojo whips Roode then goes perpendicular to hit the POUNCE!

Mojo argues with the ref, the official was in his way. He keeps his cool enough to take the frustration out on Roode in a corner. The referee tells Mojo to bring it out so Mojo does, to headbutt Roode. Mojo trash talks Roode, but Roode comes back with kicks and haymakers. Mojo knees low to slow Roode down, then puts him back in that corner. Roode still fights back but takes a stiff body shot. Mojo shoves Roode all the way out and then taunts “Glorious” to get back in. Mojo goes out instead, and POUNCES into Roode, sending him shoulder first into the barriers! The Killer Instinct is real as we go to break.

SmackDown returns, and Mojo puts Roode in a standing abdominal stretch. Fans rally while Mojo hammers fists into Roode’s ribs. Roode endures the hold, pries his way out, and hip-tosses Mojo down. Roode goes for an elbow drop but Mojo dodges, then boots Roode right down! Cover, TWO, but Mojo keeps focus.

“Did I crack a rib, Bobby? Did I?” Mojo stands Roode up for shoulder tackles into the corner, then throws Roode to the mat before pointing to the title belt. He puts Roode into a seated abdominal stretch now, and hammers more fists in. Roode endures again, fans rally again, and Roode stands up but Mojo hits him with body shots. Mojo drags Roode up and whips him into a corner, then gives a corner clothesline. He goes into the three-point stance, and rams his shoulder into Roode again. Mojo goes again, but Roode evades to send Mojo into post! Both men recover, both men stand up, and Roode is the one swinging hands now. He rocks Mojo with haymakers, then whips but is reversed. Roode still rallies with lariats, then fires up as he goes into a corner for a big clothesline, and a neckbreaker! Roode hops up to the second rope, GLORIOUS Blockbuster! Cover, TWO, but Roode keeps focus. Even with his ribs bothering him, Roode grabs Mojo and wants the finish. Mojo counters with a fireman’s carry drop! TWO! Mojo cannot believe that! He’s at a loss for what to do next, so he puts Roode in a corner and bashes him against the buckles again and again. “Glorious, huh?” Mojo runs, but into boots! Roode hops up, jumps over Mojo, SPINEBUSTER! The fans fire up, they feel it coming. GLORIOUS, DDT!

Roode wins! Glorious and tenacious, can Roode keep Mahal from becoming the US Champion? Speaking of, The Singh Brothers attack!! They go right at Roode now that the match is over, doing the dirty work for their Maharaja. They run away before anyone comes to Roode’s aid, but Mahal grins ear to ear. “Next week, I put a GLORIOUS end to your charade on my way to becoming the next United States Champion!” Roode calls for a mic of his own. He responds to Mahal by saying “We don’t have to wait until next week. Why don’t we do this tonight!?” The fans want it just as badly, but Mahal simply grins and says “No!” They do this as planned, so that Roode can have one full week to think how bad he’ll be embarrassed.

However, SmackDown General Manager Daniel Bryan appears. Bryan also smiles, as he says, “Ladies and gentlemen, we will have the United States Championship match, TONIGHT!!” Loredo responds with “YES YES YES!” Has Mahal stuck his foot in his mouth? Or has Roode bitten off more than he can chew?

 

Randy Orton speaks on the Royal Rumble.

Most people prefer the calm before the storm, and the quiet to help focus their minds. The Viper, as a two-time winner, instead embraces the chaos and noise. It’s where he is at his best, and why the Rumble is his match. Thirty men for themselves, friends becoming enemies, all for the most coveted prize in the WWE> Orton will become a three-time winner, and he will main event Wrestlemania.

 

Six Woman Tag: The Riott Squad VS Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair & Naomi!

Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan & Liv Morgan wanted this match after the Squad leader lost to the Lass Kicker. Can #RoyalGlowFire make it a streak this close to the Women’s Rumble match?

Clearly all the women are ready to fight from the get-go. The bell rings and it’s The Queen of Flair to start against #LivForever. The two tie up, Charlotte shoves Liv down then dares her to get back up. Liv does, only to get thrown down again. Charlotte gets the waistlock and then the slam, to a cover, ONE. Charlotte keeps hold of Liv, brings her down again for another cover, TWO. Liv cannot escape, Charlotte whips so she kicks Charlotte back. Liv taunts, Charlotte chops! Charlotte chops some more, Liv screams, Charlotte German Suplexes Liv to the ropes! Liv scrambles and tags Ruby Riott in, but Charlotte is ready. She sweeps the legs, jumps over Ruby’s, then snapmares Ruby into a headscissors. Charlotte throws Ruby around like that a total of three times, then kip-ups to boot Ruby down. Ruby can’t get away, either, Charlotte brings her over for Becky to tag in. The Squad panics as Charlotte chops and Becky gives a European Uppercut. Charlotte gives another chop, Becky clobbers Ruby with a forearm smash, and then Becky tags in Naomi. Naomi runs, sliding clothesline, then tags Becky while Ruby rolls out. Becky takes aim from the apron, then jumps for a flying forearm. The Squad regroup with their leader while we go picture in picture.

Ruby checks her chin while Becky backs off. They go at each other again, Becky puts Ruby in the ring, then denies the tag. Ruby elbows back, runs but Becky throws her out. However, Sarah Logan got the blind tag and comes in, but Becky is ready with back kick and whip. Sarah puts Becky on the apron, Becky knocks her away and then knocks Liv down as she comes over to attack. Sarah pounces on Becky upon reentry then stomps a #KentuckyStrong mudhole into her. She backs off at the referee’s request, then gives Becky one big stomp. Sarah sits Becky down, sliding knee strike! Cover, TWO, Sarah tags Ruby. Ruby becomes a human weapon for the back senton toss! Ruby covers, TWO, so Ruby puts Becky in a chinlock. Becky endures the squeeze, and the thrashing, while fans rally for her and we go single picture.

Fans chant “Let’s go, Becky!” which upsets the Squad. Becky feeds off the energy, but Ruby throws her down by her hair. Tag to Liv, and Liv climbs up as Ruby brings Becky up. Liv prepares her knees, and Ruby throws Becky right into them. Liv then takes that for a tornado facebuster, TWO!

Ms. 201 taunts Becky as she brings her up, but Becky fights back with body shots. Liv shoves, Becky slips under but Liv yanks her down by her hair. Tag to Sarah, she stomps away on Becky before putting on a half-straitjacket clutch. Fans rally again, Becky rolls then arm-drags Sarah off. Sarah is right on her again with the shoulder tackle! “You want out?!” Sarah goes to throw Becky but Becky throws Sarah over the top rope, a la the Royal Rumble. Becky crawls but Sarah scrambles, Sarah knocks Charlotte off the apron. She scoops Becky but Becky slips out, clothesline knocks Sarah down! Both women crawl for their corners, hot tags to Liv and Naomi! Naomi rallies, springboard roundhouse to Liv! Naomi calls for #GlowTime as she kicks away at Liv, then a dropkick! Liv scrambles to a corner and puts Naomi on the apron, Naomi roundhouses her away. Naoim takes aim, springboard crossbody! Sarah breaks the cover, but Charlotte SPEARS Sarah down and out. Naomi grabs Liv, Liv slips out and feeds her to Ruby’s swing kick. Then Liv Code Breaker, the Riott Squad wins! The Women’s Rumble may be Every Woman for Herself, but can teamwork ensure these three make it far in the field of 30?

 

Backstage interview with The Usos.

The SmackDown Tag Team Champions Jimmy & Jey will defend their titles in a 2-out-of-3 falls match. Do they agree with that decision? They ask back, how did “these two fools” become a team in the first place? Tag Tinder? Gable is playing rebound, Jordan has moved beyond him, but it won’t be the same for Gable. Gable & Benjamin can’t even tell Jimmy & Jey apart! Not that it matters, they’ll know who they are. Welcome to– an ambush from Gable & Benjamin! “Boys, don’t worry. We know exactly who you are.” “Former, champions.”

 

SmackDown reviews how AJ Styles ended up in a Handicap Championship Match.

The Phenomenal One ended up in the middle of the feud between the #YEPMovement and Shane McMahon, which helped Kevin Owens win a 1v1 match against him. Then, things got “crowded at ringside” as Kevin Owens, Shane McMahon and even Daniel Bryan were present for the main event of Styles VS Sami Zayn. Things grew tenser between Shane and Bryan, and that allowed Sami to pin Styles, too! Styles blew his top and said it might as well be 2v1. Bryan actually agreed to that idea, and there you have it. Will this out-of-control grudge cost the WWE Championship its integrity?

 

Shinsuke Nakamura speaks on the Royal Rumble.

“Thirty men. One destiny. One winner. Me.” The King of Strong Style is ready to rumble, YAO!

 

SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon heads to the ring!

Shane O’Mac wants to be present for this important title match main event, and has even banned the Singh Brothers to keep things clean between the finalists!

 

WWE United States Championship: Bobby Roode VS Jinder Mahal!

Not only will this match happen before the Royal Rumble, it’ll happen tonight! This match is also so important that Daniel Bryan has joined Shane McMahon at ringside.

The bell rings, the two men tie up, but Mahal powers Roode to a corner. Mahal breaks late but clean, and roars at Roode. Roode circles with Mahal, but sees the cheap shot coming. Roode fires haymakers and chops, then chops Mahal in a corner. Mahal hits back at those battered ribs, then stomps on Roode in a corner. The referee has Mahal back off again, Mahal drags Roode up and to another corner. Roode resists and fights back, to then bump Mahal on buckles. Roode goes up for corner punches, getting all ten. He then whips Mahal, but Mahal kicks him away. Mahal runs in but Roode dumps him out. Roode recovers then goes out to pursue. Mahal rams Roode into the LED apron! Then the steel steps ribs first.

Roode clutches his torso while Mahal drags him up, to suplex and gordbuster Roode onto the barriers! The Maharaja has control and the fans boo while we go to break.

SmackDown returns to Mahal bending Roode against a steel post. The referee counts, Mahal lets up, but he then swings Roode right into the post from the apron. Mahal gets in the ring to stop the ring count, then runs to blast Roode off the apron and into the barriers. Fans jeer as Mahal stalks and stomps Roode before putting him in the ring. Mahal goes after the ribs with an abdominal stretch, just like Mojo earlier tonight. Fans cheer for Roode, rally for him, and Roode slips out to punch back. Roode backs Mahal down, then runs, but into a kitchen sink knee! Mahal adds a dropkick, covers, TWO. Mahal keeps his cool, he stomps Roode and goes after the ribs. He places Roode by the ropes, for springboard knee drops. The referee reprimands and counts, Mahal backs off at 4. Roode tries using the ropes for safety, but Mahal brings him away to clobber with haymakers. Roode hits back, jabs and chops, then he runs, but the jumping knee strike brings him down. Cover, TWO, Mahal grows frustrated. He still grins, he has control of Bobby as he stomps away on his gut. Mahal drives a knee into Roode’s back, then stretches him in a half-surfboard. The fans rally again, Roode turns and stands up, but Mahal hits low again. Roode fights back, more punches and chops, but his whip is reversed. Even so, Roode sunset flips over, TWO! Mahal boots Roode! Cover, TWO! Mahal is shocked this time, and furious. He drags Roode around to give him crossface forearms like he did Woods. Mahal gives a running kick to Roode’s ribs, then grinds a knee into the ribs in a corner. The referee keeps reprimanding him but Mahal keeps going after the ribs. Fans boo and jeer, but Mahal doesn’t care. Roode elbows him back, then ducks the swing to clothesline Mahal out! Roode catches his breath, then goes to the apron. He takes aim at Mahal and gives a leaping lariat tot he floor. Roode drags Mahal into the ring, then goes to the top rope. Roode jumps, crossbody rolled through, TWO! Bryan and Shane like what they see as Mahal goes after Roode again.

Roode hits back, they brawl in a corner, but Roode gets a knee up. Mahal goes to the other corner, Roode fires in for the clothesline and neck- no, no neckbreaker, but Roode does boot Mahal away. He hops up to the second rope, takes aim and GLORIOUS Blockbuster hits! TWO! Roode clutches his ribs, stands up, and goes for more. Mahal denies the DDT, Roode rolls through but Mahal sits, TWO, double clothesline! Both men stir and get separation. Roode goes into the corner but Mahal elbows him away, then runs out into the SPINEBUSTER! Fans fire up and give Roode his second wind. He drags Mahal up, but Mahal rolls, TWO! A low kick, cobra clutch on, but Roode slips out to the GLORIOUS DDT!! Roode wins and is the NEW United States Champion!! And as such, Bryan and Shane present him with the US Championship belt for him to hold high over his head! The champion is GLORIOUS, long may he reign!

 

My Thoughts:

No offense to Roode, but while SmackDown was good, it was a bit short of GLORIOUS. Especially when the only match outside of the US Championship tournament tonight was yet another Six Woman Tag, like there has been so often on both SmackDown and Raw. The individual semifinal matches were both good, though I feel Mahal is still the weak-link in all this. His dominance of Woods was not paced quite as smoothly as it could’ve been, there were moments where Woods could’ve turned the tide but then didn’t just so Mahal could look strong. Mojo VS Roode was much better planned out, and as we know, it was all to feed Roode’s underdog triumph over being beat up going into the main event. It’s great to see Roode get a main roster title after it felt like WWE was spinning their wheels, but between the “impromptu” finish to the tournament and the question of what Dolph Ziggler is going to do, something feels off. I feel this might just end up being a set-up to rehash the Razor Ramon VS HBK Rightful Intercontinental Champion ladder match, with Ziggler returning to claim he wants his title back even though he gave it up in the first place.

The only other things from tonight’s SmackDown that were different as well as interesting were the various promos. The Royal Rumble participant promos were alright, with Orton and Nakamura probably giving the best for the men’s, and Becky still giving the best in the women’s. I did enjoy Styles’ promo on Sami & Kevin, and now we can all refer to them as #Kami. Next week’s go-home can give #Kami a chance to respond, but I don’t think they’ll need another match since there’s not anything new they can do there.

My Score: 7.9/10


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