SmackDown recap & reactions (Jan. 13, 2023): The Bloodline’s pawn
Sami Zayn was tasked with eliminating Kevin Owens on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, an order given directly by Roman Reigns himself. He learned right away on the show, from none other than Paul Heyman, that he would be going it alone, since the rest of The Bloodline wasn’t even in the building.
And so he went alone, and he sure seemed to be giving it his all, and his all was sure to look like he was going to give a win. But just as he was setting up for the Helluva Kick, the dogs were unleashed, with Jimmy, Jey and Solo Sikoa hitting the ring to force a disqualification by going after Owens.
Zayn looked confused and a little unhappy. Again, he seemed eager to prove himself.
My read on this is that this was just another example of The Bloodline not really accepting Zayn the way he wants. They could have trusted him to do things themselves, and they didn’t. Instead, he feels more like a pawn here, the guy they sent to beat up to weaken Owens so they can run in and pick the scraps right at the end.
No triumph for Sami here.
They lift it up and then knock it down only to lift it up again. He’s in the cycle of manipulation and maybe this was the night he finally started to see it for himself after hearing Owens try to explain it to him a few times now.
However, there is still room to move, and it is clear that they are not ready for the separation just yet. But that was another good story.
I’ll be sure to stay tuned.
I’m giving this its own space because sometimes I really like it when Bray Wyatt gets a chance to get in the ring and talk like only Bray Wyatt can.
The flashbacks to the Wyatt we once knew really hit home for me, for reasons I’m not even entirely sure or can explain. I miss when Wyatt was twisting fairy tales with his tongue and telling us to “RUN” before we turned off the headlights. That boy felt so special, like a prodigious talent whose potential just needed to be unlocked.
Perhaps part of our fascination with Wyatt is that the potential has long been thought to have gone unrealized. There’s just something about this guy and I want to fully experience it. In a way it felt like getting back at her.
Here’s to hoping the future holds more like this.
All Others This show started with Braun Strowman challenging GUNTHER for the Intercontinental Championship. They had a good match, but it was pretty standard considering the participants and it certainly didn’t feel like they gave it their all. GUNTHER beat Strowman cleanly – there was some Imperium interference during the match, but it didn’t seem to affect the outcome – and left little room for a rematch. Maybe this is already over? It certainly doesn’t seem like they need to go back to her. Rey Mysterio is good and fed up with Dominik’s shit, but instead of letting his son push him, he’s moving forward by entering the Royal Rumble and trying to go big and win the damn thing. Of course, Karrion Kross interrupted to call him a bad father and then choked him when Rey responded with violence. This is doing a fantastic job of making me feel really bad for poor Rey. The guy is a legend, he deserves better than this, right?!? Liv Morgan took the taste out of Raquel Rodriguez’s mouth. Like, holy shit, dude! That was brutal! But it was also great because it showed us a new side of Rodriguez, who ditched her happy-go-lucky attitude to become good and angry and eager to remind everyone that she is the biggest and baddest woman on the list. She showed this by defeating Morgan in a singles match later in the evening, although she was immediately back to cheesing after doing so. However, they showed that it is there and that is some progress. Tegan Nox defeated Xia Li in a standard singles match. Li has been on TV a bit more lately, but they aren’t doing anything with him. They announced that a tag team tournament will begin next week to determine the next top contenders for The Usos’ SmackDown tag team titles (yes, they specified). Sheamus & Drew McIntyre will take on The Viking Raiders in the first round, based on the latter’s offense after last week’s show. They’re doing a lot of cinematic work to make Erik and Ivar cool, but even with Valhalla, I’m just not feeling it. Your mileage may vary. Sonya Deville wants her rematch with Charlotte Flair, so she campaigned for it for Adam Pearce — who indicated she’d have to win the Royal Rumble for the whole thing — and when that didn’t work, she just brawled backstage her. It was a pretty good draw. We’ll see if it ends with Deville getting another shot or if she really has traction in the Rumble.
This was a solid show.