Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke in a Triple Threat Tag Team match
This episode of SmackDown started with Daniel Bryan who was standing in the backstage area when the Miz approached him and said that he needs to avenge what “the Fiend” Bray Wyatt did to his family. He added that he would want to take everything away from Wyatt what matters to him and told Bryan that he should beat Wyatt for him and everybody else.
After the typical SmackDown intro got aired, Bayley and Sasha Banks came out ahead of their match to hold a little promo. Bayley mocked the idea of fans living up to their resolutions for the new year. Lacey Evans and Dana Brooke interrupted them as they made their entrance. They slowly made their way to the ring while Evans said that she would like to show her daughter and the WWE Universe that she could stop the bad guys. Suddenly, Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross came out together and Bliss asked if they would even belong into this match as there were personal issues between the two teams. Cross answered that they would do as they want to win back their WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
The match itself was not that interesting and in the end, Evans hit Banks with the Woman’s Right followed by a Senton from Brooke who then pinned the Boss.
Opinion: Bliss and Cross weren’t really needed in this match as they said ahead of this match. I’m not sure why Evans didn’t get the pinfall for her team since she is the one in the feud with the champ, but I don’t think that this will lead to something for Brooke. Not a great start to kick off the show.
Backstage segments and Shorty G vs. Dash Wilder (w/ Scott Dawson)
In the backstage area, Mandy Rose approached Otis, wished him a happy new year and asked if his mum would have made anything special for the holiday. Otis answered that she should ask Dolph Ziggler. Rose asked if he would have seen it and Otis explained that he didn’t but his mum did. Rose apologized, but Tucker appeared and explained that he and Otis would have to go as they would have a match.
Kofi Kingston and Big E approached the Miz backstage and wished him a happy new year. Kofi recapped what a great decade the Miz had and offered him a fist bump. The A-Lister didn’t accept and once more talked about the Fiend violating the sanctity of his home. He slammed the plate with pancakes down which Kofi and Big E had with them. Kofi said that the Miz would need a way to take out his frustration and added that he would accept the challenge. Then, Elias was in the centre of the ring and held a short concert. He sang about his hopes for 2020 as he, for example, would want to see Sami Zayn getting punched and Shane McMahon getting sent to Raw if he returns.
Backstage, Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder were shown as they complained about their 34th Street Fight against the heavy Machinery. Shorty G showed up and said that he would have heard about what they talked. He explained that he embraced who he is, and it was the best decision of his life. The Revival made bad jokes about him, but Shorty G explained that he wouldn’t care about them anymore. Wilder brought up the idea of a match between G and one of them. Shorty G challenged Wilder for a fight which he accepted and after a commercial break, this one took place.
The match didn’t even take three minutes as then Shorty G applied the Angle Lock for the win. Dawson (who was on commentary) entered the ring as the Revival beat up G. Suddenly, Sheamus’ music hit, and he came out. Dawson and Wilder left the ring and Sheamus hit G with a Borgue Kick.
Opinion: So, it looks like the Miz would turn heel once again? He really doesn’t get rid of the Fiend topic while Elias’ songs are not as good as they were in the past as it’s a completely different mood when he sits on a stool and performs relaxed his songs. The return of Sheamus is great even though I’m not sure what I should think about a feud between him and Shorty G. Normally, he will bury G.
Kofi Kingston (w/ Big E) vs. The Miz
So, due to their discussion in the backstage area earlier in this episode, this match now took place. It did not even take four minutes as then Kofi went for the SOS which the Miz avoided and tried to perform the Skull Crushing Finale. Suddenly, Kingston countered the finisher into a rollup for the three count.
After the match, the Miz attacked Kofi from behind, Big E entered the ring to run off the A-Lister who then stood on the ramp and received “you suck”-chants.
Then, Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan were standing at the backstage interview set together with Cathy Kelly. Bryan explained that he would be the only one who didn’t change after facing the Fiend and added that he would win the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble. Reigns noted that he would win the Royal Rumble match to main event WrestleMania by challenging Bryan for the championship. Reigns told Bryan to be ready who answered that he would be always ready.
Backstage, Cathy Kelly knocked on the locker room door of the Miz to get an interview, but instead, John Morrison came out of the locker room and explained that the Miz wouldn’t have anything else to say tonight.
Opinion: As earlier mentioned, this is now the heel turn of the Miz. So, really every superstar who faced Wyatt became a heel (except Bryan). The return of Morrison is great as SmackDown hasn’t got enough depth in their roster.
Otis (w/ Tucker) vs. Drew Gulak
Ahead of the actual match, Drew Gulak presented a PowerPoint presentation to explain why Rose would never date Otis. Logically, Otis attacked Gulak and then the match kicked off which Otis was able to win after less than three minutes. During the match, we already saw Dolph Ziggler backstage discussing with Rose and Sonya Deville while they were watching the match and Rose told Ziggler to apologize.
Opinion: So, this storyline will continue and I’m curious where this will lead. Will Rose and Otis really start a romance and which role has Ziggler in that all?
Braun Strowman vs. Cesaro (w/ Sami Zayn & Shinsuke Nakamura)
The match took almost nine minutes and we saw the stuff which we expected as Sami Zayn tried several times to distract Braun Strowman who also showed his run around the ring as he gave Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura running shoulder tackles. In the end, Strowman performed the Running Powerslam and Cesaro was finished.
Immediately after the pinfall, Nakamura entered the ring to give Strowman a Kinshasa.
Opinion: So, they clearly want to set up a match between Strowman and Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship with which I’m totally fine, but I hope that they take away Cesaro from this stable and give him a push as a singles wrestler.
Daniel Bryan and Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler
These four men performed a good match as Ziggler and King Corbin perfectly worked as heels. Suddenly, as Bryan showed off his offence against Ziggler the lights went to the typical red lightning of the Fiend. Wyatt was at ringside and Bryan hit him with a dive to the outside. They fought for a few moments at the ringside before Wyatt applied the Mandible Claw and threw Bryan into the timekeeper’s area to then apply the hold once more. The lights went out again and as they turned back on, the Fiend was gone and Bryan left on the ground what meant that Reigns was alone against Corbin and Ziggler.
They handcuffed the Big Dog to the bottom rope and once more brought out dog food. Suddenly, the theme of the Usos played and they came out. Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso fought off Corbin and Ziggler to then free Reigns.
Opinion: While it was no surprise that the Fiend would get involved what means that this match ended in a no-contest, the return of the Usos was really surprising. A good ending to finish the show.
In this episode, we hadn’t that much high-class wrestling as the main focus was on the four returns of Sheamus, Morrison, Jey and Jimmy. I’m sure that these four men will refresh the whole show as SmackDown has really not that much depth in the roster. However, I’m looking forward to the way they introduce Morrison as it seems that he and the Miz are a tag team.