King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode Interrupted Roman Reigns and The Usos
I honestly can't believe WWE decided to continue the feud with Reigns and Corbin. It ran its course a while ago, but I was sincerely hoping it was over after Reigns beat Corbin in that Falls Count Anywhere match at the Royal Rumble. Apparently not. It was bad enough that these two trios were going to clash again in the main event, but the "Loser Eats Dog Food" stipulation that was added here made matters that much worse. In short, this segment was as basic as could be.
John Morrison & The Miz def. The Lucha House Party, The Revival, and Heavy Machinery in a SmackDown Tag Team Championship No. 1 Contender's Fatal 4-Way Match
Wasn't there a SmackDown Tag Team Championship number one contender's Fatal 4-Way match a month or two ago with Mustafa Ali and Shorty G replacing Miz and Morrison? I guess it's better than Miz and Morrison beating The New Day in a non-title match and making them look weak in the process. Plus, this was an entertaining four-way with everyone getting their time to shine and the right team earning the title shot. I hate that Miz and Morrison might win their first set of tag titles together in over a decade in Saudi Arabia at Super ShowDown, but at least the segments leading up to it have the potential to be a blast.
Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross def. Fire and Desire
These two teams have been feuding for months and yet almost all of their matches have been completely forgettable. In fact, the bigger focus has been on the angle with Mandy Rose and Otis. We found out beforehand that they'll be going out on a date in two weeks on Valentine's Day, which couldn't be more perfect. The match was whatever, but it's possible this win will put Bliss and Cross back in the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship picture (assuming The Kabuki Warriors decide to finally show up on SmackDown again).
Braun Strowman def. Shinsuke Nakamura to Win the Intercontinental Championship
I'm not sure how this can be classified as anything but a glorified squash for Strowman. It was significantly shorter than I thought it would be for a championship match, but then again, maybe it benefited from being a fun little sprint. Sami Zayn and Cesaro attempted to interfere and help Nakamura retain the title but to no avail. Strowman capturing the Intercontinental Championship was inevitable, but I figured WWE would hold off until Super ShowDown, Elimination Chamber or even WrestleMania 36 to pull the trigger. Regardless, congrats to Strowman for winning a singles title after all this time, even if that title hasn't felt important in ages.
Elias Attacked Cesaro
Sami Zayn was shown complaining backstage about Nakamura losing the Intercontinental Championship to Strowman and was interrupted by Elias, who was performing in the ring. They went back and forth a few minutes before Zayn sent Cesaro out there to take Elias out. I thought they would face off in an impromptu match, but instead, Elias sent from packing relatively quickly and the bell never rang. Elias is getting over nicely as a babyface, but Cesaro has been beaten like a drum and thus a win over him would mean nothing for Elias.
Sheamus def. Shorty G
The match Sheamus and Shorty had on the Royal Rumble Kickoff show was solid but nothing worth writing home about. I was hoping they'd be given a chance to go all out here and have the barn burner of a bout we all know they're capable of, but no such luck. They did what they could in the three minutes they were allotted, but it was over before they could really get going. At the very least, Sheamus maintains momentum with the win and my guess is that he ultimately sets his sights on Strowman and his newly won title heading into WrestleMania.
Naomi Attacked SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley
Bayley claimed to have beaten everyone on SmackDown, only to be interrupted by Naomi (who returned in the women's Royal Rumble match on Sunday). The segment played out in predictable fashion, but that's not necessarily a negative. I don't believe they've ever collided one-on-one before, so this is a fresh feud I can get behind before Bayley likely defends her title against Sasha Banks at WrestleMania (assuming she's cleared to compete by then).
Roman Reigns and The Usos def. King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Yes, this is the exact same six-man tag team match we saw on SmackDown last week, and yes, the stipulation was stupid. It's been rumored for months, but instead of happening at the Rumble, we got it here. The match itself was fine but no different than their original encounter a week ago. Reigns and The Usos pouring the dog food on Corbin afterward was about as atrocious as you'd expect, but at least it may finally mark the end of their long-running rivalry (or so I hope).
WWE referred to this as "Super" SmackDown because of the Super Bowl airing on FOX this Sunday, but it was far from super. If anything, it was super embarrassing, specifically for that main event and its aftermath. Okay, so it wasn't that horrendous of a show and some stuff did happen (including the Intercontinental Championship changing hands and new contenders emerging), but I don't come away from this episode as satisfied with the direction of the blue brand as I was a few weeks ago. They can always get back on track on the road to WrestleMania, but they first need to develop new feuds in the midcard and main event scenes as Strowman vs. Nakamura and Reigns vs. Corbin have long overstayed its welcome.
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