This was a good episode of Friday Night SmackDown. The highlight of the show was the tag match in which McIntyre and Sheamus defeated the Viking Raiders. It was also fun to see Bray Wyatt bring back the Firefly Funhouse. I feel like the Pitch Black Match is going to be fun to watch. The lowlight of the night was the match between Hit Row and Los Lotharios. The action wasn't great and it wasn't clear who you should cheer for.
This match and the MMM-LDF match drag down the score for the matches. Show structure loses points because these matches and the lack of a true main event disrupted the flow. The atmosphere was great but some matches didn't have great crowd noise. Storytelling loses points because some of the segments didn't have a ton of story to them. Production was good but the show didn’t have a theme.
On tonight’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown: a first-round matchup of a tournament to determine the next challengers for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Who will advance in the matchup of the Viking Raiders against Drew McIntyre and Sheamus? In another tournament matchup, Imperium faces off with the Brawling Brutes. And Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns make their title match official.
As the Bloodline enters, they all greet Sami Zayn in some way. Except for Roman Reigns, who snubs Zayn’s fist bump.
GREAT Drew McIntyre and Sheamus vs the Viking Raiders:
Michael Cole opened the match by expressing condolences to the family of Jay Briscoe, who had just passed away. Meanwhile, the Raiders attacked just as the bell rang. They ganged up on Sheamus in their corner, culminating with Ivar crushing Sheamus against the barrier. Later, Sheamus tagged in McIntyre for the first time after an Irish Curse Backbreaker. In the finish, McIntyre took out Erik with a Claymore and Sheamus pinned Ivar after a Brogue Kick.
Results: Drew McIntyre and Shemus by Pinfall via Brogue Kick
Matt Cookson WR Star Rating – 3.75 Stars
Sami Zayn told Roman Reigns he felt a little slighted that he didn’t know the Usos were going to interfere in his match with Kevin Owens. Reigns then kicked Zayn out of his locker room.
Raquel Rodriguez declared for the Royal Rumble match.
GREAT LA Knight:
LA Knight promised he would make Bray Wyatt wish he hadn’t come back to WWE. Then Knight won a squash match as Wyatt’s logo flickered on the titantron. After the match, Bray Wyatt came on the titantron, back in the Firefly Funhouse! Wyatt told Knight that he should be afraid and that whatever comes out during the Pitch Black Match is his problem.
Matt Cookson WR Star Rating – 3.5 Stars
AVERAGE Hit Row vs Los Lotharios:
Top Dolla yelled at Michael Cole for making fun of his failed aerial maneuver. The two exchanged blows but the power of Hit Row was too much. This was helped by interference from B-Fab. This distracted Humberto Carillo and allowed Ashonte Thee Adonis to pick up the win via a rollup.
Results: Hit Row by Rollup
Matt Cookson WR Star Rating – 2.25 Stars
A vignette is shown detailing the recovery of Cody Rhodes.
Braun Strowman announced his entry into the Royal Rumble.
GOOD Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville:
Flair requested that Sonya Deville confront her face-to-face rather than attack her from behind. Deville came, to a chorus of boos, and demanded a title match. Flair responded by offering a match to Deville. Deville attacked Charlotte from behind as Adam Pearce came out to scold her for jumping the line.
Matt Cookson WR Star Rating – 3.25 stars
Paul Heyman advised Roman Reigns that it is better to have Sami Zayn as an ally rather than an enemy. He didn’t use those words exactly, but the message was there.
A Lacey Evans vignette is played.
GOOD The Brawling Brutes vs Imperium:
Butch had Kaiser in an arm hold but Kaiser made the tag, allowing Imperium to gain momentum. Later, Giovanni Vinci had Butch set up for an Imperial Bomb but it was reversed thanks to help from Ridge Holland. Butch was then incapacitated by a Brainbuster outside the ring. This opened the door for Imperium to pin Holland after an Imperial Bomb.
Results: Imperium by Pinfall via Imperial Bomb
Matt Cookson WR Star Rating – 3.25 Stars
Paul Heyman told Sami Zayn that Roman wanted to see him.
Shayna Baszler declared for the Rumble and promised to rip her opponents apart in the process.
Karrion Kross promised to defeat Rey Mysterio and then would go on to win the Royal Rumble.
ABOVE AVERAGE Legado Del Fantasma vs Maximum Male Models:
MMM had the early advantage but LDF turned it around as each member jumped over the top rope to attack Mace and Mansoor. From there, LDF was in complete control of the match. A drop kick and a Russian Leg Sweep defeated the models.
Results: Legado Del Fantasma by Pinfall via Russian Leg Sweep
Matt Cookson WR Star Rating – 2.5 Stars
Roman Reigns apologized to Sami Zayn and Zayn reaffirmed his loyalty to the Bloodline.
GOOD Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens sign the contract for their championship match:
The segment started calmly enough, as Reigns came to the ring along with Paul Heyman and Solo Sikoa. Then, Kevin Owens showed up and stunned the champion. He laid waste to the Usos as well before powerbombing Reigns through the table. Sami Zayn chased off Owens and the show ended with the two staring at each other from a distance.
Matt Cookson WR Star Rating – 3.25 stars
This was a good episode of Friday Night SmackDown. The highlight of the show was the tag match in which McIntyre and Sheamus defeated the Viking Raiders. It was also fun to see Bray Wyatt bring back the Firefly Funhouse. I feel like the Pitch Black Match is going to be fun to watch. The lowlight of the night was the match between Hit Row and Los Lotharios. The action wasn’t great and it wasn’t clear who you should cheer for.
This match and the MMM-LDF match drag down the score for the matches. Show structure loses points because these matches and the lack of a true main event disrupted the flow. The atmosphere was great but some matches didn’t have great crowd noise. Storytelling loses points because some of the segments didn’t have a ton of story to them. Production was good but the show didn’t have a theme.
Matches: 0.5/1 Stars
Show Structure: 0.5/1 Stars
Atmosphere: 0.75/1 Stars
Storytelling: 0.5/1 Stars
Production/Theme: 0.75/1 Stars
Overall Rating. 3/5 Stars
Photo Credit: WWE
For inquiries about the rating criteria check out the article announcing the new system here: