After losing to Roman Reigns at TLC and again in a steel cage match on Christmas Eve, Kevin Owens was not ready to give up on his quest for world champion. This was evident in Friday’s version of SmackDown, where Owens once again invited Reigns for his cheese in need of his cousin, Ji Usu, to help him achieve victories in their previous matches.
Owens will get his wish and face Usu in tonight’s main event, claim the victory before continuing the attack after the match. As has happened repeatedly in his rivalry with Reigns, though, the numbers game will return to sting Owens and finish off another version of SmackDown.
Reigns, Oso beat Owens again
Roman Reigns opened the show with an in-episode trailer, talking about how everything he touches is now turned into gold, picking Paul Heyman and Ji Usu as evidence. Reigns said he saved Heyman from being disqualified by WWE while raising Uso to the best year of his career and a position as a true talent in the main event. Kevin Owens then interrupted him while Reigns objected, saying no one cares what Owens says after losing to him twice. Owens said his appearance on the show proves that Reigns and Oso failed in their attempts to destroy it. Owens said he didn’t want to do anything with Reigns tonight but he wanted Osu to be in the ring and he will demand that it happen later on the show. Owens made an emotional plea for Adam Pearce to conduct the match, and Pearce agreed, after initial hesitation. Reigns would ask Heyman to find out who he didn’t respect enough to allow the match to take place.
Kevin Owens def. Ji Osu via installation Yet amazing. The match was a brawl from the jump, but Owens took matters into the end and kept his attack focused on Oso’s leg. Owens will finish Uso with a stunning win before he turns to the camera to ask, “Where are you Roman?” He then proceeded to hit Usu, as he had promised earlier in the night, and attacked him and struck a stunner again. Owens shackled his hands to the ropes before hitting him with a super kick, all while continuing to invite Reigns to show some pride and save his family. Owens took Uso to the entrance ramp and was about to put Uso through a table when he attacked Reigns. Oso and Renz then worked on Owens with a pair of steel chairs and tossed him from the LED panel area in ThunderDome through the tables below to finish off the show.
While everyone involved continues to do well, there must be something different with the story at some point. Owens consistently puts himself in situations where he is outnumbered and takes obvious punches not actually doing anything to further the story. Yes, Reigns needs Uso to help him, and yes, Owens tries to get home that Reigns has gone cowardly because of this. But Owens saying this and then falling into the same traps every week doesn’t advance the story, nor does it make him seem particularly clever. However, the content would be solid if isolated. Degree B.
What else happened in WWE SmackDown?
Great defeat. King Corbyn by impeachment After interference from Sami Zain. Zayn was in the comment and ran to break the pin after Big E hit Big Ending on Corbin. Corbin’s Knights of the Lone Wolf also ran, attacking Big E until Apollo Crews ran to the rescue. This, of course, led to an instant match for the sign.
Big E & Apollo Crews relegated. Sami Zayn and King Corbyn cross-install After I hit Crews Zayn with a powerbomb sit-up tool. Zayn nearly hit Corbyn with a helluva blow after the crew ran out of the way. After the ensuing controversy among his teammates, Corbin Zane was left alone and the Crews quickly clashed with Powerbomb to win. Later in the show, Big E said it would release an open challenge for the Intercontinental title next week, which Crews accepted.
Riott def. Tamina and Natalia cross the installation When Lev Morgan installed Tamina with a fascia. Billy Kay was supposed to be a wrestler, but after getting in and supported by Tamina, she is pushed aside in Natalia’s favor. Kay tried to manage the team instead. As the momentum swung, Kai ran to the Riott squad. She kept switching sides until her engagement distracted Tamina and allowed Morgan to pose for Tamina for the win.
Carmella and Bailey defeated. Bianca Belair & Sasha Banks via installation After Carmella Banks hit with a face scrub. Banks shut down Carmella in a bank statement but Reginald intervenes to pull Carmella out of the ring. This led to a distraction that allowed Carmela to take out the banks in order to win.
Sonya Deville is back After losing Loser Leaves WWE at SummerSlam. It was announced that Deville had been reinstated and had been seen walking into the backstage area.
The Street Profits hosted Smoke-Tacular New Years Day. While making predictions for 2022, mocking the likes of Sami Zayn, Robert Rudd, and Dolph Ziegler, Rudd and Ziegler ran and attacked the SmackDown brand heroes, including the brutal attack on Montez Ford’s leg with a steel chair.
Daniel Brian and Otis defeated. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura by submission When Brian Nakamura put in a Label lock. Cesaro and Nakamura mocked Brian, Otis and Chad Gable while they were training the Royal Rumble earlier in the night, leading to the match. After some back and forth movement, Brian grabbed Nakamura at the end.
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