Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn were booked for a singles match on WWE SmackDown this week. Roman Reigns wanted Zayn to take on Owens and end the 'KO problem' before Royal Rumble.
GUNTHER was booked to defend his Intercontinental Championship against Braun Strowman on the show. The two giant superstars were set to put on a memorable clash for the prestigious title.
Meanwhile, Sonya Deville tried to get a match against Charlotte Flair on WWE SmackDown. The two women got into a brawl and could likely meet for the title at the Royal Rumble.
Karrion Kross was also ready to take his rivalry with Rey Mysterio forward. Meanwhile, Bray Wyatt sent another stern warning to LA Knight.
It was another eventful episode of the show that pushed several rivalries. Take a look at the five things WWE SmackDown got right on this week’s show.
#5. GUNTHER retained the Intercontinental Championship on WWE SmackDown
WWE SmackDown kicked off with a match between GUNTHER and Braun Strowman for the Intercontinental Championship. The Monster of all Monsters started on the right foot and sent GUNTHER outside the ring.
He chased him and ran him into the barricades to keep control of the contest. The champion targeted Strowman’s arm and stomped on it to punish him.
Strowman tried to power out, but Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci took cheap shots at him from the apron. The Monster of all Monsters continued to hit some good moves and shake off his opponent’s attacks.
The two men traded lariats before GUNTHER got the better of Strowman. He set him up on the second rope and lifted him on his shoulders for a massive powerbomb for the win.
The match was good from start to finish, and WWE did well to protect GUNTHER on SmackDown. He has proven to be a top champion for over 200 days, and the victory will allow him to march on as a top force on the brand.
#4. Karrion Kross made life more difficult for Rey Mysterio
Rey Mysterio came out on WWE SmackDown to talk about his son Dominik. He said his son tried to ruin his Christmas and was now walking around like a criminal.
Rey said it broke his heart to see his son like that before he was interrupted by Karrion Kross and Scarlett. The two villainous characters walked out and taunted Rey for being a terrible father.
The Master of 619 attacked Kross and had the upper hand before Scarlett interfered. It allowed The Herald of Doomsday to lock the Kross Jacket and make the SmackDown legend pass out.
WWE is looking to keep the storyline between Rey and Dominik going even though they’re on different brands. It looks like a retirement match between the two is inevitable at this point.
Meanwhile, Kross could get a boost by working a few matches against Mysterio. It will help him stay busy on SmackDown and give him a chance to score cleaner victories.
#3. Bray Wyatt’s promo breathed some life into his storyline with LA Knight
Uncle Howdy surprised everyone by attacking Bray Wyatt on last week’s WWE SmackDown. This week, Wyatt came out to the ring and sat in a rocking chair to remind fans about his time as the leader of The Wyatt Family.
He issued a fair warning to his opponent for the Royal Rumble, LA Knight, and told him to run as the short segment ended. The creative team did well to make things quick and straightforward without stretching the segment too long.
The rivalry between Knight and Wyatt is finally picking up quickly. It took a long time for the feud to make sense, but now it is shaping up pretty well.
Knight will probably pick up a humiliating loss against The Eater of Worlds at Royal Rumble. It could cause a shift in his character going forward or get Wyatt off to a good start following his return.
#2. Raquel Rodriguez silenced Liv Morgan on WWE SmackDown
Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez had a confrontation backstage on WWE SmackDown. It led to a match between the two stars later in the show.
Gonzalez went after her opponent early and took her down with a big boot. Big Mami Cool sent her outside the ring and continued to beat her down before Liv got some offense in.
She sent Raquel outside and drove her into the ring post and the steel steps. Morgan tried to take advantage of her injuries, brought the table out, and tried to set it up. She set up Big Mami Cool on the table and dove to put her through it, but the former NXT Women’s Champion got away in time.
The two women continued to trade some strikes before Gonzalez hit a powerbomb on Liv in the ring and picked up the win. SmackDown did well to bring Gonzalez into the limelight again. She could be a great challenger for Charlotte Flair in the coming months.
#1. The creative team protected Sami Zayn from a defeat against Kevin Owens
Sami Zayn kept on getting bad news on WWE SmackDown. He was left alone to take on Kevin Owens and wasn’t happy with his former best friend for getting him in trouble repeatedly.
The two men met at the show's main event, and Owens tried to shake hands with Zayn, who was not interested. The Prizefighter punished Zayn with good moves before the heel rolled out of the ring.
The Master Strategist tried to hit a big dive outside the ring, but KO sent him into the barricades. The two men continued to trade their signature moves and tried to get the better of each other.
Zayn had the upper hand in the last moments of the match and set up Owens for the Helluva Kick before The Bloodline interrupted. The Usos and Solo Sikoa beat down The Prizefighter and hit him with the 1D as the referee called for a disqualification win for Owens.
Sikoa hit Owens with a Samoan Spike while it looked like Zayn didn’t know what to do. The Enforcer put the former Universal Champion through the announce desk as SmackDown ended.
It was an interesting way to end the match between the two stars. At one point, it looked like Zayn would lose the contest and give Roman Reigns all the more reasons to doubt him. Instead, The Bloodline shocked everyone by helping Zayn win. It looks like The Bloodline has other plans for The Master Strategist.