It’s our first SmackDown in a Nutshell of 2024, and New Years Revolution leads to the Royal Rumble.
Simple, but direct and honest.
Tonight’s show, dubbed New Years Revolution, is pretty stacked.
And, a couple matches on this loaded New Year’s special have Royal Rumble implications.
Specifically, the United States Championship #1 contender will be determined this evening.
And Roman Reigns will be in the building to see first hand…and you have to wonder if his cousin is on his mind as well.
Plus, I feel pretty safe in saying that there’s probably a few more happenings in Vancouver that will lead to the Rumble for some Superstars.
So with that said, it is time for…
SmackDown In A Nutshell: New Years Revolution Leads To Rumble
Let’s crack this one open and see what happens!
Best Match of the night:
Not the best, but better than you might expect, was Mia Yim and IYO SKY, for the title. This match was almost an afterthought on the card, but both women delivered nicely.
Not sure they quite had the crowd response you’d want from a title match…but…it wasn’t dead.
Kevin Owens and Santos Escobar was good too. Sadly, no Andrade yet.
Main event was solid, or better than solid. Crowd would have gone bananas if Nick Aldis made his fatal fourway declaration on a live mic, but it worked for us at home.
Worst match of the night:
I have no complaints about a match.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
But…that was mostly it. Not the best crowd, and if you searched X for posts during or about the show, that was not just my opinion.
Star of the Night
Can I say Nick Aldis? OK, one set of lines doesn’t make him a star…but it was really good.
Instead…give me Mia Yim and IYO SKY.
Or Tyler Bate and Butch.
Won’t be upset with either choice.
Spot of the Night:
It was early, but I did enjoy the perfectly timed shot Kevin Owens delivered to Logan Paul.
Tyler Bate is fun to watch. Ditto Pete “Butch” Dunne.
Jobber of the Night:
Really…did we have one tonight? I don’t think so.
Upset of the Night:
Heyman was as we went off air…and once the news hits Roman, I’d bet he will be too.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
We had heard they were coming back for months…and months…and months.
But finally, after years away from WWE, the Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering are back.
Have to admit, pairing them with Karrion Kross could be fun, and having that trio do battle with the Profits and Bobby Lashley is going to be interesting.
One curiousity here, of course, is that you’d expect both threesomes to be heel factions. Perhaps WWE gives in and flips Lashley and the Profits back to the face side.
Based on one night’s worth of fan reactions, I would say that this will happen.
LA Knight appeared to be busted open the hard way during that main event.
Botch of the night:
As much as I like seeing them back…I kind of feel like the actual reveal of the Authors of Pain was botched.
That said, I feel like one of them missed when charging Lashley. Made the best of it, it wound up working, but…could have gone better.
That said, the grouping of those five? Could do some scary fun things.
Commentary of the night:
Nothing great, but I do think Graves sold Ellering so well.
LOL Moment of the night:
Heyman’s face as Aldis got the last laugh.
Mia Yim had a bit of a wardrobe issue following her dive to the outside. We came back from commercial and it would seem as though he top could not be re-fastened…so someone tied it back together.
Butch has a partner, and it was not Sheamus…but rather an apparently graduating Tyler Bate. I dig it.
Nick Aldis has some plans for Ashanti “Thee” Adonis. My best guess…NXT.
But we shall see.
Barely a lowlight, but I feel like something was a touch off with the reveal of Ellering and AoP.
The crowd was a bit of a wet blanket tonight, or seemed to be, but that whole segment just felt like it could have been sharper.
Like…what would be the reasoning for Kross and Company having eyes on Lashley and the Street Profits. But I assume we will eventually find out.
Upshot is, best guess, Lashley, Dawkins and Ford are going to work as faces again. Otherwise, that segment really makes even less sense.
The number one contender matches delivered. I mean, the ending of the main event was far from clean, but it still worked.
Interesting that so much of that happened right in front of GM Nick Aldis. That said, Aldis dropped an off-mic bombshell to close the show.
Quietly, so too did IYO and Mia.
Paul Heyman said a lot…but didn’t quite say enough yet. But…I would say we are looking at a clash of cousins in early 2024.
While I complain about how things went down, I still am happy to see Authors of Pain and Paul Ellering back, and I am excited about them working with Kross.
After the final bell:
One thought comes to mind immediately.
With AJ, Orton and Knight in the fatal fourway for the title against Roman…did WWE just free up three spots in the Rumble?
Or will one or more of those three do double duty in a couple weeks? I mean, they could easily be dropped in the Rumble late.
If that match kicks off the show, I bet at least one lands a spot in the Rumble…but I would not hate this really freeing up spots for others (surprises!).
Otherwise, a really good first show of 2024…but in fairness, I do think RAW was better. The Rock is hard to beat.