WWE‘s Friday Night SmackDown returns with its first show after what was a very mixed bag of a Royal Rumble premium live event last Saturday. Whereas the Royal Rumble matches themselves were won by worthy and rightful competitors in Cody Rhodes and Rhea Ripley, the matches themselves felt rather lackluster outside of a couple of tidbits (all hail stamina God, Gunther). The Mountain Dew Lights Out Match between LA Knight and Bray Wyatt, however, might just be in contention for one of the worst matches this writer has ever seen. However, there was one major positive coming out of the Royal Rumble – the main event championship match between Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns, especially the fallout of said match, delivered on a supreme level and is potentially one of the best segments the WWE has done in decades. How does the Royal Rumble fallout affect tonight’s show? Let’s dive into the not so Ucey SmackDown Preview and find out.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Number One Contenders Match: Braun Strowman & Ricochet Vs. Imperium (Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci)
Ricochet and Braun Strowman have formed an unlikely alliance as of late. Even in the Royal Rumble, these two polar opposites combined to dismantle a number of opponents before ultimately being eliminated themselves. This team will result in the age-old WWE storyline of “can they co-exist?” but for now, it is a good side quest for the two of them to build some momentum on a bloated roster where they have been wandering aimlessly for quite some time. Their opponents tonight is the combined force of Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci, who form the tag team unit of the Imperium stable. With the winners set to go on to face The Usos (who, themselves, are might not be able to co-exist anymore) for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships, it is all to play for tonight.
WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship: Sonya Deville Vs. Charlotte Flair
Since returning to SmackDown and recapturing the SmackDown Women’s Championship a few short weeks ago, Charlotte Flair has become embroiled in a storyline with the former WWE official, Sonya Deville. Sonya has succeeded in gaining a number of failed title shots and tonight might just be her last one. Unfortunately for her, she is going up against the brick wall that is Charlotte, so enjoy Deville in the title scene while it lasts. Rhea Ripley might just be lurking in the shadows tonight.
In one of the best WWE storylines in decades, we will tonight learn more about what happened during the culmination of Royal Rumble last Saturday. Sami Zayn refused to hit his (already gruesomely decimated to the point of genuine concern about the man’s skull) friend, Kevin Owens, with a steel chair on the order of Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, and then proceeded to hit Reigns when his back was turned – no doubt triggering Roman’s PTSD from an equally famous chair shot about 9 years ago.
This led to Sami getting the beat down of his life at the hands of Roman, Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa. Jey Uso, who had formerly been Sami’s biggest detractor turned best friend, could not watch his friend be so utterly dismantled at the hands of his family that he walked out on them. Tonight, SmackDown will largely focus on Jey’s decision and where this will lead. Could we get the return of “Main Event” Jey Uso? Hopefully, yes. Jey has serious potential as a main event player, as displayed during his feud with Roman Reigns a couple years back, and now would be the right time to revisit that character. It’s going to be good, folks. Catch all the drama live on FOX tonight.
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