Every Day is A New Opportunity to Celebrate Rusev Day – Smackdown Live Recap and Reactions – Jan. 30, 2018


Daniel Bryan has launched some kind of superstar voting system, which I still don’t fully understand yet but will explain in greater detail when it makes more sense.  I guess it makes sense for Daniel Bryan to be the one pushing it, since he’s one of the rare examples of the voice of the people changing the opinions of those making booking decisions.  We can hope.

The Road to Wrestlemania, Take Exit for Fastlane

Nakamura kicks off our broadcast, reminding us that at Royal Rumble he put a knee in everyone’s face.  He’s interrupted by Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, who have a grievance about the outcome of their handicapped title match, and think they should get another opportunity at the belt before Nakamura does.  AJ comes out to tell them they are losers, and he doesn’t see why they should get any more opportunities, but he’s more than willing to face them in tag team action by partnering with his current Wrestlemania dance partner.  Sami and Owens walk away from the challenge, but are soon met in the back by Daniel Bryan.

Bryan reminds them AJ doesn’t have the authority to make matches, but he does, and he wants to see that tag match.  He also thinks they should get another opportunity, so next week they will face each other for the Number One Contender spot to challenge AJ Styles at Roadblock just before Wrestlemania.

Later in the evening, the looming match between them seems to create tension between Zayn and Owens, and Zayn eventually abandons the corner and leaves Owens to fend for himself.  Owens stays on top for a bit, but eventually the hot tag brings Nakamura in to take Owens out with a Kinshasa.  AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura def. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

Live Every Day Like Its Rusev Day!

It’s Rusev Day…..Just Like Every Day

A Fatal Four Way match will determine the Number One Contender to face Bobby Roode for the United States Championship in a week’s time.  The contenders:  Rusev, Kofi Kingston, Zack Ryder and Jinder Mahal.

I won’t lie to you, going into this I just assumed that they’d end up giving the win to Jinder.  He’s really worked his ass off this past year, gotten booed relentlessly in the process and kept his head up about the whole thing.

But, in a move that proves they are indeed listening to us, at least some, Rusev gets the win with the Accolade on Kofi Kingston and will challenge Roode next week.

The Rest of the Show

  • False Alarm:  Charlotte was interrupted mid-promo by the Riott Squad, who beat down on the Queen.  Charlotte, strangely enough, got zero aid from any of her so-called friends.  While laid out in the ring, F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S.  Carmella runs out of the backstage area with a referee in tow, it’s finally time for that cash in.  Unfortunately, she goes for a dropkick on the champion as she starts to stir, but missed and kicks her own referee through the ropes and to the floor.  It takes him so long to recover that Charlotte is coherent in the ring.  Carmella thinks better of wasting her opportunity, sliding out and running off with her briefcase still very much intact.
  • The Usos cut a promo, not saying they are the best tag team, but that they are the best tag team in the WWE.  The fanboy in me told myself this was a direct acceptance that The Bucks of Youth are better than they are.  As the Usos are wrapping up, The Bludgeon Brothers make their way out for their scheduled squash match against a pair of local talent.
  • For some reason the Fashion Police were served up as fodder for Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable.  I won’t acknowledge this any further.
  • Baron Corbin def. Tye Dillinger with the End of Days, stemming from a combination of frustrations in the backstage area leading to Dillinger poking fun at Corbin for losing his Money in the Bank briefcase.  Dillinger should have been given a win here en route to a date at Fastlane against either Zayn or Owens.


It was fine.  While I wasn’t necessarily thrilled about Dillinger taking the loss, the fact that that match directly played off the events of Royal Rumble was a pleasant surprise.  There was some highly questionable graphics going on during this episode as well, and we will just assume that they’re going to stop because someone has to realize they were ridiculous so I won’t worry with ranting about it for much longer.  I’ll give it a B-.  I liked cash-in tease a lot.