WWE Smackdown Recap - 16/01/2018

The New Day open the show ahead of Xavier Woods vs Jinder Mahal in the United States Championship tournament. They cut a promo that, once past the unneccessary and unfunny deliberate overpronunciation of "Maharaja", goes over well with the crowd, although even as faces it's a peculiarly jingoistic, patriotic promo for The New Day. I get that Jinder's gimmick is generic anti-American heel but The New Day are better than promos praising "the red, white and blue".

Xavier Woods vs Jinder Mahal

Jinder bosses the early proceedings with a big boot and a leg drop putting him firmly in control. He keeps Woods in a chinlock while Big E tries to rally Woods by wafting pancakes in his direction. Of course. Jinder continues to dominate the match, Xavier tries to rally but Mahal levels him with a clothesline. The Singh brothers try to get involved for some reason so Big E keeps them at bay by throwing pancakes at them. Xavier barely beats a countout and the beatdown continues. Jinder Mahal really is just such a boring, slow, basic wrestler, jesus wept. Anyway Jinder gets annoyed at an attempted Woods comeback and, for a change, puts him in a rest hold. Woods gets out and lands a missile dropkick to create some separation. Woods hits a discus punch and a nice looking Enzuigiri followed by a Shining Wizard for a two count. The New Day chase the Singhs out of the arena but Xavier misses with his springboard elbow drop. Jinder hits the Khallas for the pin and the win. This was pretty much a twenty minute squash match and although technically sound, and with a couple of funny spots from Big E, it was boring as fuck. Jinder Mahal is in the final.
Rating: Three Mojos out of ten 

Bobby Roode vs Mojo Rawley

Byron Saxton shouts "Glorious" before Roode's music does and I hate him so much I might scream. Once Mojo is in ring, an even start gives way to Roode just about taking control. Mojo quickly flattens Roode with a flying tackle and berates the referee for being in the way. Heel Mojo is great, seriously; he's fairly limited in the ring but he's improving and he carries himself as such a smug, cocky bastard it's easy to dislike him. Bobby Roode, on the other hand, is an underrated babyface; it's interesting that he wrestles a style not TOO dissimilar to Jinder Mahal (slow, methodical 80s) but he sells very well and gets your sympathy well. Once we come back from break (hence my rambling) Mojo has Roode in an abdominal stretch. Roode escapes but misses an elbow drop and gets kicked in the face for his troubles. "Did I crack a rib, Bobby?" Rawley asks before shoulder charging Roode in the ribs. Nice touch. The crowd get behind Roode (noticeable in its absence in the last match with Woods) but Rawley cuts him off quickly until Roode dodges as Mojo storms at him, sending Rawley flying into the ringpost. Roode hits a Neckbreaker then a Blockbuster for a two count. Mojo counters the Glorious DDT into a painful looking pop-up slam for a REALLY close two count. Roode dodges Rawley's running forearm smash, hits the Spinebuster then the Glorious DDT for the win. Bobby Roode is in the final. That was a fun match, I enjoyed that. The Singh brothers attack Roode after the bell and Roode challenges Mahal to the fight tonight. Mahal shoots him down. Daniel Bryan comes out and decides to tell Jinder to fuck off, and that the United States Championship final will be tonight instead of next week. Cool.
Rating: Seven Mojos out of ten

AJ Styles cuts a generic backstage promo about the handicap match at the Royal Rumble, naming Owens and Zayn "Kami" and saying it's a 3 on 1 match because Zayn is one guy and Owens is two. Brilliant, more fat shaming. God I hate WWE. They must, MUST be better than this. Fat shaming isn't funny.

Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Naomi vs The Riott Squad (Ruby Riott, Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan)

Oh look, this match. Again. I genuinely couldn't care less about another match between these six and it is 2am, I'm going to bed and will pick this up tomorrow.

Okay I'm back and refreshed after a solid, erm, thirteen hour sleep. No, you're depressed. Anyway Charlotte and Liv Morgan start proceedings, and Charlotte immediately just starts dominating proceedings, embarrassing Morgan. Ruby Riott is tagged in and Charlotte continues to take the piss, wrapping her legs around Riott's neck and flipping her over onto her back five times in a row. Lynch is tagged in, then Naomi, as the faces continue to dominate the match at their own pace. Eventually Sarah Logan is tagged in and she takes control for the heels, literally throwing Ruby Riott on top of Lynch for a one count. Riott resumes control of the match, locking Lynch in a headlock then whipping her to the floor when she tries to escape. Liv Morgan is tagged in and she sits on the top turnbuckle having a party while her teammates just chuck Lynch right into her knee. Morgan mocks Lynch as she recovers on the mat, with Morgan lying down and resting her head on her palms laughing at Lynch. Morgan is good at being a heel, I want Lynch to get up and kick her fucking head in for that.  Lynch almost makes the tag but Morgan stops her by pulling her back by the hair. Logan is tagged in but Lynch throws her to the outside; Logan runs back in and knocks Charlotte and Naomi off the apron to stop the tag. It doesn't last though and Naomi gets the hot tag, running roughshod over Liv Morgan who was tagged in too. Naomi hits a springboard crossbody for a pinfall broken up by Logan, who gets Speared into oblivion by Charlotte for it. In amongst the chaos, Riott hits Naomi with a kick to the face on the apron, sending her straight into Liv Morgan's path who hits a Codebreaker for the pinfall and the win. That was a decent enough TV match, nothing special but watchable and with the right result because the Riott Squad needed a win badly. I never knew Liv Morgan's finisher was a Codebreaker. You learn something new every day. Morgan is a fucking irritating heel, she's really good at it.
Rating: Five Mojos out of ten 

The Usos cut a promo where they say Benjamin and Gable don't know which of them is which, but it doesn't matter because whichever each of them are they'll win anyway. Or something. Anyway Benjamin and Gable attack from behind, because of course they do. The officials who charge in call for medical help, which the Usos don't give a fuck about. They get up and take care of themselves.

Bobby Roode vs Jinder Mahal (Singh brothers barred from ringside)

Apparently Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are at ringside for this match, as it's the final of the US Title match. If this ends in shenanigans I will be fucking livid, hopefully it's just to keep the Singhs from ringside. Once we come back from a backstage skit with Rusev Day and Breezango, both competitiors are in the ring. Again, this match is for a Championship. Ridiculous. Once the match gets underway, Roode is still selling the injuries from his earlier match/beatdown and Jinder roars at the championship, before Roode takes charge with a few punches and chops. Mahal kicks Roode in the ribs and Roode sells it like they're being broken; Mahal focuses on them. Good continuity. Roode gets dropped onto the top of the barricade then put back in the ring so Mahal can pull his ribs against the turnbuckle. Instead of really capitalising, Mahal puts Roode into an abdominal stretch. I refer you to what I said earlier, Mahal is just SUCH a boring wrestler. Shane McMahon looks thoroughly unarsed that one of his main babyfaces is apparently getting potentially career ending rib injuries. Thanks, boss. Roode rallies, landing a sunset flip for two, but Mahal immediately hits a Superkick for a two count of his own. Does Jinder normally do Superkicks? Roode sends Mahal to the outside to gain a bit of rest time, before landing a running clothesline off the apron. Roode goes to the rop rope and goes for the crossbody, which Jinder rolls through into a pin for a two count. Roode hits the Blockbuster and gets a two count before both competitors hit a clothesline to the other. Roode hits the Spinebuster, but Jinder reverses the Glorious DDT into a pin attempt. Roode kicks out, Jinder goes for the Khallas and Roode reverses it into the Glorious DDT for the pinfall. Bobby Roode is the United States Champion. Another boring as fuck Jinder Mahal match, saved by Roode's again underappreciated babyface work.
 Rating: Four Mojos out of ten 


That was... alright. Two matches lasting 35 minutes total in a 2 hour show is FAR too much time for a wrestler as big a heat vacuum as Jinder Mahal, and the show lagged noticeably because of it. Bobby Roode was the saving grace of the final, but his victory in the tournament as a whole begs the question; why the hell go through the trouble of a whole tournament when we're quite clearly just ending up where we were two months ago, back at Bobby Roode vs Dolph Ziggler? Smackdown is booked terribly.

The show was okay but if you missed it, just watch the quick highlights because you really didn't miss anything of serious note other than Roode is US Champ now.