The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly from WWE Smackdown 01/08/2021

By: Frank Hyden

Smackdown last night featured a few title matches, including a big title change. Let’s get to the rundown.

BAD- Roman Reigns and Adam Pearce segment

First off, I can’t stand how long it takes Roman to get his ass into the ring. The show starts with his music playing, which is already enough to get some people to change the channel, probably. He’s only been back a short time but he’s already overexposed. He’s routinely in 3-4 segments per show, being the abrasive and cocky heel. To be fair, Drew McIntyre is in the same boat (as is Randy Orton) on RAW but Roman always gets over on everybody. Anyway, some of this is what a heel is supposed to do but back to the entrance thing.

I look at the clock and it’s been 5 minutes since the show started and he’s just gotten into the ring. So it’s taken him 5 minutes to walk his ass down that short ramp and get in the ring. I know there’s a lot of division in the country right now, and has been for a long time, but one thing most people can agree on is that we hate having our time wasted. Whether you want to see more wrestling or see more angles, promos, etc., you want to see something, not some guy slow-walking to the ring like a 90 year old.

Now, I’ll give Roman credit for his promo work, he’s done pretty good with it. We all know he’s going to hold the belt until at least WrestleMania, though. Wrestling logic would dictate that Kevin Owens will make his return at the Royal Rumble, win that match, challenge Reigns at WrestleMania, and win the title there. This is Roman, however, so there’s at least a 50-50 shot that he retains the belt there.

Anyway, this segment with Pearce saw a lot of talking and Roman throwing his weight around and he put Pearce into the Gauntlet Match later to determine who faces Roman at the Royal Rumble. Gee, I wonder who’s going to win that?

GOOD- Big E beat Apollo Crews

This was a pretty good match, they haven’t done much with Apollo lately and Big E just won the belt so you knew Apollo wasn’t going to win, but they still put together a decent match. It originally ended in a draw from a double pin but then Apollo slapped Big E and they had another match. Big E won with his Big Ending finisher, which I really wish he would change but whatever. Nothing great but it was good enough.

GOOD- Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler beat The Street Profits to become Smackdown Tag Team Champions

This should have been the main event of a show. The Gauntlet Match tonight is a fine main event, but title matches should always main event. I don’t care whether it’s the Cruiserweight belt, the Women’s Tag Team belts, or the Intercontinental belt, title matches should always be in the main event. They could have kept the Gauntlet Match in the main event slot tonight if they wanted to, and switched this match to next week’s main event. Or it could have been last week’s main event, instead of Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso.

This is especially true because it was a title change. Yes, I find The Street Profits to be cringey more often than not, but they held the titles for a long time. This is a big deal, and should be treated as such. This was also a good match, no surprise there. The only thing I didn’t like was the lack of Glorious music for the heels, they used Ziggler’s music everytime. Other than that, this was really good. I hope they have a long run with the belts, being chased by several teams.

GOOD/BAD- Adam Pearce wins the Gauntlet Match

Sonya Deville has joined Pearce as his assistant and Billie Kay want to join The Riott Squad. I like them both so give them more screen time, sounds good to me. As for the match, it started off a little weak as Sami Zayn was immediately eliminated by Rey Mysterio with a 619 into a splash. That makes Sami look really weak but it kind of fits so I’ll give it a bit of a pass. Shinsuke Nakamura was out next and he made Mysterio tap out to an armbar. Again, quicker than a normal match but they were at least given a little time. King Corbin was next and he and Nakamura had a good match going, with Shinsuke picking up the win with the Kinshasa. Daniel Bryan was next and he built momentum and it looked like he would win until Shinsuke caught him with the Kinshasa and pinned him as well.

This is when things fell apart. Nakamura had all this momentum, we were eating it up. Hell, it was almost a face turn. Then Roman’s music hit and he slowly walked to the ring with Jey Uso, Paul Heyman, and Adam Pearce. Sidenote- Michael Cole had a stiff shot at Pearce as they were making their way to the ring. Corey Graves was talking about how Pearce hadn’t wrestled in years and had never wrestled in WWE, then Cole said that’s because he was never good enough to wrestle in WWE. Damn man, why the stiff and unnecessary shot?

Anyway, every other match had started right away but now they were all just standing around as Jey Uso got into Shinsuke’s face. He then attacked him, which should have drawn an immediate disqualification. Jey hit him with the Superkick then Roman hit him with the Superman Punch and laid him out. Then Jey hit Pearce with a Superkick and they dragged him onto Nakamura. Roman then told the ref to start the match and they listened for some reason, and Pearce won and will face Roman at the Royal Rumble. What the hell? Since when does Roman have this power? When did Roman turn into the wrestler version of Mr. McMahon? Why don’t they realize that the reason Mr. McMahon was so entertaining was that he regularly got his comeuppance from Stone Cold Steve Austin? People don’t want to see multiple segments per show of Roman sticking his -censored- down people’s throats. That gets old real quick. I don’t know, maybe other people like this more than me?

Comments and suggestions can be emailed to me at hydenfrank@gmail.com and you can follow me on Twitter at @hydenfrank

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