WWE SmackDown Spoilers: January 19, 2016
First up is Chris Jericho again, this time to talk about the Royal Rumble, which he is convinced he can win. His promo is cut short by the New Day, still upset that Jericho destroyed their beloved trombone, Francesca. That discussion brings us to a six-man tag match to open the action for the evening.
Quite honestly, Jericho’s involvement in this most recent run for Y2J in WWE has been lacking. His flopped role as partner for Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose against the Wyatts was only the first of several disappointing appearances in recent months.
The Usos/Dolph Ziggler def. The New Day
A triple Superkick leads to the victory for the faces, a tough loss for the Tag Team Champions.
For the Usos, recent weeks have given credence that they could once more obtain the WWE Tag Team titles at Royal Rumble, and that wouldn't be all bad. As great as The New Day is, we need to see someone else hold those belts to give the division more credibility. As for Ziggler, it's always nice to see him win, but it'd be even nicer to see him have some direction.
Becky Lynch def. Alicia Fox
The victory comes via submission for the LassKicker, who has been a real role lately.
Despite an awkward accent at times, which can't be helped, Lynch has been great on the microphone to match always solid work in the ring. She has proved the perfect hard-working face to match up with Charlotte’s “Flair for Cheating” heel persona. A victory by Lynch to become Divas champion at Royal Rumble doesn't seem out of the cards at this point.
After the Divas match, The Miz sets up to host Miz TV with Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose as guests. The three men discuss Owens and Ambrose’s Last Man Standing match at Royal Rumble with Ambrose’s Intercontinental Championship on the line. Not surprisingly, the segment ends with Miz taking finishers from both men.
Sunday’s match could instantly push Ambrose and Owens into the conversation for one of the best Intercontinental title feuds in WWE history, but that comes with a risk. If the match fails to meet lofty expectations, it could affect the two men negatively.
Bray Wyatt def. Ryback
Ryback may be “the Big Guy,” but Wyatt is the biggest monster on the block right now.
While Ryback will likely get a solid run in the Rumble on Sunday, it will be interesting to see what direction he takes after that. Not long ago, he was Intercontinental Champion, but that push has essentially disappeared. Now, Ryback has resorted to working with the Social Outcasts and jobbing for the stars.
Titus O’Neil def. Stardust
The bigger, more athletic talent gets another big victory here. Titus is emerging as a star on the face side, and this feud has been entertaining and enjoyable. He could have a real future as a champion for WWE, both in the ring and in pop culture, if the company will just pull the trigger for him.
Stardust, meanwhile, seems to be treading water, and it could be time for him to make the much-discussed switch back to Cody Rhodes. His performance as the painted, eccentric extension of his brother’s Goldust character has been solid, but the story may have run its course.
Roman Reigns def. League of Nations (DQ)
This match was always destined to end in a brawl, and that's exactly what happens. Rusev, Barrett, Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio were always meant to hurt Reigns ahead of Sunday’s Royal Rumble, when Reigns’ World Heavyweight Championship will be on the line in the 30-man battle royale.
After the disqualification, the Usos come down to help Roman against the LoN, but the Wyatts add to the confusion. They work to clear the ring as the show ends.
The Wyatts have officially been placed as the company’s top heels, and it was about time. With all the size and skill in that faction, it needs to be booked as a force to be reckoned with. Beating down Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar this week has shown us that Bray is a real threat to win the Rumble match Sunday.
The annual match seemed destined to have Reigns or Lesnar as victor, so it's nice that we aren't 100 percent sure who will win at this point. This time a year ago, everyone knew Reigns was the planned winner for the event, and that helped ruin the night for fans and talent alike. Here's to hoping we’re oblivious to the very end this time around.