This week’s SmackDown in a Nutshell asks a straightforward question: will the Tribal Chief be ready to rumble?
After last week’s Nutshell, that question likely needs no explanation…but in case you were asleep…
Yes, WWE went to RAW to poach a new challenger for Reigns. Considering the plans they have, along with the injuries and cuts…it is what it is.
And, Reigns and Rollins will be face to face, so it won’t take long to see if the Tribal Chief will be ready to rumble…and their match is just two weeks away.
With that said, it’s not all about the Tribal Chief and whether he will be ready to rumble. But, the Rumble will be a central theme, considering the timing.
There are but two weeks left until the Royal Rumble. We learned some intriguing entrants last week, and perhaps we learn more this week?
And…aside from the rumble matches…we need some other bouts. Here’s guessing we see some clarity for the rest of the card.
With that said…it is time for…
SmackDown In A Nutshell: Will The Tribal Chief Be Ready To Rumble?
Best Match of the night:
Not a match…but the final segment.
Rollins and Reigns was solid. Sold the match, and honestly if WWE had wanted, the two have enough juice this could have gone on for a bigger stage.
And, while they got confrontational, they didn’t get physical. Close, even with Jimmy and Jey…but nope.
Worst match of the night:
Aliyah and Natalya.
Like, yay, MONTHS after she was traded from NXT to SD, and then later officially drafted there, Aliyah made her singles debut.
However…the official match ran under 4 seconds (in WWE time) and set a record.
Star of the Night
I’d have to give it to Rollins more than Reigns.
Reigns was OK…but Seth Rollins was on point.
I hate to say it…but it seemed like Reigns definitely missed Heyman. Or, I missed Heyman with Reigns.
Spot of the Night:
Sheamus got creative with Ricochet.
Jobber of the Night:
Sami Zayn got to put over Johnny Knoxville…without Knoxville even appearing.
Zayn was supposedly about to attempt a stunt we might see on Jackass, but he chickened out. Until Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura made him hit the target anyways.
— WWE (@WWE) January 15, 2022
Upset of the Night:
Aliyah over Natalya, in a “new WWE record of 3.17 seconds”.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
First, I thought we’d see Aliyah’s debut in the ring on SmackDown finally.
She even made fun of her vomit issue.
Then Nattie was playing up her records, including fastest win…and attacked Aliyah before the bell.
She played possum, said she could really wrestle…and then pinned Natalya in a record time.
Botch of the night:
Not an in-ring one, but having WWE-specifically, Cole-call Aliyah a rookie? It’s mildly insulting to fans, I think.
Anyone who has paid attention is aware that she worked many years in NXT. Maybe new on SmackDown, but that’s really not making someone a rookie.
I mean…was AJ Styles a rookie when he debuted in the Royal Rumble?
Commentary of the night:
McAfee, noting that Boogs looked quite a bit like Freddie Mercury this evening.
LOL Moment of the night:
Jimmy and Jey doing ring introductions for the match to determine their next challenger was top notch.
Especially down to the final rule.
The competition was not great, but we get to see the Viking Raiders chase tag belts again.
Also…a week after we learned she’d be in the Royal Rumble, we got a visit from Hall of Famer Lita.
And…the coverage of The Shield makes sense, given the Reigns/Rollins match…but some are thinking the imagery is going to give us some Moxley/WWE reunion.
What if this is the forbidden door being put through the wood chipper and Moxley returns for a Shield reunion?! Highly unlikely with Punk’s words about them recently still cutting like a hot knife through butter. What do you think? https://t.co/BusFAcPAN1
— Superkick Stampede (@SuprkikStampede) January 15, 2022
Can’t say it is or is not due to the deep cuts…but those four teams trotted out to determine who best to next take on The Usos…just not good.
One team could be good, but is slapped together. The others…I mean there is promise, but it felt like an indictment of the tag division.
And, the winner of the most-dragged-out-storyline goes to…
Lita coming back, and at least teasing an actual comeback run. Could certainly see them putting something out there for WrestleMania.
Then again, we heard a few Stratus name drops…makes me think she’s in the Rumble too.
But for me the highlight was Rollins and Reigns, even sans Heyman.
The best part was watching fans on social media, as WWE tossed out Shield highlights …and people were speculating or dreaming that somehow, that Forbidden Door would bring Mox back to WWE.
After the final bell:
Well, with two weeks to go before the Rumble, we got to see if the Tribal Chief was ready to rumble.
Is he? Seems to be…was a bit weird without Heyman, but everything needs an adjustment.
Overall, not a bad SmackDown. If anything, I’d complain we had too much Naomi/Sonya, and not enough Rollins/Reigns.
And yet, we know the Tribal Chief is ready to rumble, in just two weeks.