Match Ratings For 1/22/2021 WWE Smackdown From Sean Ross Sapp

Opening

Best believe I obnoxiously cackled when Roman Reigns called Adam Pearce a PUSS on network television. He says Pearce is Owens' bitch and his bitch, too. Reigns calls out Pearce for saying that his body hurts. Reigns says he's been doing this every day for years and he's not complaining about it. Reigns says "card subject to change" is for losers, not for him. Heyman laughs, and Pearce gets in his face. Paul Heyman challenges Adam Pearce to a one on one match. Pearce agrees.

Jim Crockett Jr Passes Away At The Age Of 76

This was one of the best promos in recent WWE memory, and maybe the best of Reigns' career. Backstage, Reigns tells Heyman that he has to go through with it because of how it reflects on him.

Charlotte Flair & Asuka defeated Riott Squad (w/ Billie Kay)
5.5/10

Why isn't this a Women's Tag Team Title match? If not this, what? Why are Natalya & Tamina "in the mix?" They've lost tag team matches repeatedly, whether with one another or Billie Kay. The match itself is awesome. I wouldn't expect any different. But if the tag team champions are going to win, WHY WASN'T IT A TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH!? What would it have hurt to have made it a title match? The stupid decision almost overshadowed the good work to me, because even on the company's good show, they do weird stuff that doesn't make sense. Riott Squad rule, and they have great chemistry and should be the tag team champions. Billie Kay costs Ruby Riott the match and apologizes backstage. Riott Squad are mean to her backstage. Billie gets them into the Royal Rumble, but Ruby says Billie isn't in the Riott Squad.

Cesaro defeated Dolph Ziggler
5.5/10

Daniel Bryan is excited for the Royal Rumble, and says he's never won one and wants to. Cesaro comes out and touts beating Bryan and winning the Andre the Giant Memorial battle royal. Bryan wants to fight, but Cesaro hilariously rejects it. Instead, Ziggler accepts an open challenge. Cesaro kicks out of a Zig Zag, and ends up winning with the Neutralizer. They're heating him up for the Royal Rumble, it appears. I dunno if it'll make me think he's going to win.

Sami Zayn chained himself to the barricade in protest.

Sasha Banks defeated Reginald (w/ Carmella)
6/10

Sasha Banks is going after Reginald, but he keeps running and flipping away. What they're having Reginald do right now is exactly what I wanted WWE to do with Lio Rush as Lashley's manager. He gets on everyone's nerves, but nobody can catch him. He just flips out of everything.

This match was just flat out entertaining and good. There were a couple of amazing escapes, and the transition into the Meteora was unbelievable. This kind of thing won't work all the time, but for what this was supposed to be, it was perfect.

Other stuff

  • Kevin Owens is doing a promo in his car because he can't get in the building. He tells the story of his tattoos and why he won't go away.
  • Street Profits bring Sonya a congratulatory fruit basket. They want THEIR rematch. Where on earth is this "we want our rematch" stuff coming from? They stopped doing those in 2018. Sonya saying "you all will get a rematch because you were dominant, long-reigning champions" was good enough without making less sense of their show! Sonya says they'll let Montez heal up.

Intercontinental Title
Apollo Crews vs. Big E (c) via DQ
5/10

This is really hard hitting and good, until Sami Zayn runs in and hits Apollo Crews. This makes sense, and if it leads to a triple threat, so be it.

Obstacle Course

Gable helping with the obstacle course is great. I dunno if them making Bayley look like a weak dork is so great, though. Bayley adds hurdles for Bianca. Bianca has to fireman's carry Otis and DOES IT. Then she dunks on Bayley and wins. Bayley throws a basketball at Bianca and attacks her and throws Bianca into the basketball goal.

King Corbin defeated Dominik Mysterio
5.25/10

This is going to be Dominik's first match since November, his first match on Smackdown ever, and his first singles match since September. Dominik Mysterio is in really good hands with Baron Corbin. I liked everything about that match. The contrast of styles plays really well in this and Corbin gets his win via the protected End of Days. Rey had told Dominik that if he lost, they had to try things his way.

Adam Pearce vs. Paul Heyman

Heyman comes out and feigns an injury, and says the card is subject to change. Roman Reigns comes out. Wow! We're getting a Royal Rumble caliber level match right here on Friday Night Smackdown! Pearce fights back and Reigns ballshots him. Kevin Owens comes out and attacks Reigns and hits a Stunner. We don't often see Roman Reigns beat up on Smackdown. Pop up Powerbomb through the table.

Rating Guide
10- Perfect, 9- MOTY Territory, 8- Excellent, 7- Great, 6- Good, 5- Average to above average, 4- Slightly below average, 3 or below: Poor

Each match starts at a 5 and slides up and down based on entertainment, execution, time, environment, reaction and stakes. The ratings are in no way an indication of a "star rating," which is a completely different system. A standard, non-offensive "TV match" lands at a 5. The gap between 5.75-6 is generally the largest, with anything reaching 6 being recommended viewing.
These are opinions, and incredibly inconsistent ones that may change upon a second viewing, or sitting on the match for a period of time. Don't take them too seriously, and have (and share) your own!

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