SmackDown Recap (Jan 13, 2023): Pawn Dynasty
Sami Zayn has been tasked with taking out Kevin Owens on this week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, an order that came directly from Roman Reigns himself. He found out soon after on the show, none other than Paul Heyman, that he was going it alone, since the rest of The Bloodline wasn’t on the premises.
And so he went alone, and certainly seemed to give it his all, and all he had was confident that he would win a victory. But as he was preparing for the Helluva Kick, the dogs were unleashed, as Jimmy, Jey and Solo Sikoa hit the ring to force a disqualification to go after Owens.
Zayn looked confused and a little upset. Again, I felt he was eager to prove himself.
My reading on this is that this was just another example of The Bloodline not actually accepting Zayn the way he wanted to. They could have trusted him to get things done by himself, but they didn’t. Instead, he feels like a pawn here, the guy they sent out to beat to weaken Owens so they could run and finally pick up the scraps.
There is no victory for Sami here.
They lift it up, then tear it down just so they can lift it up again. He’s in the loop of manipulation and this may have been the night he finally started to see it for himself, having heard Owens try to explain it to him several times now.
However, there is still room for wiggle, and it seems clear that they aren’t quite ready to break up just yet. But that was another good story.
I am sure you will stay tuned.
I give this her space because sometimes I really enjoy when Bray Wyatt is given the chance to get in the ring and talk like only Bray Wyatt.
The throwbacks to Wyatt we used to know really hit me, for reasons I’m not entirely sure or can explain. I miss when Wyatt would spin tales with his tongue and tell us to “run” before he turned off the electric lanterns. That man felt very special, like a supreme talent, whose potential only needed to be unlocked.
Perhaps part of our fascination with Wyatt is the long-held feeling that the potential was unfulfilled. There is just something to this guy, and I want to experience it fully. This felt like going back to that in a way.
Here’s to hoping the future holds more like this.
all the rest
- This show began with Braun Strowman challenging Gunther for the Intercontinental Championship. They played a good game but it was a bit ordinary looking at the players and I certainly didn’t feel like they gave everything they had for it. GUNTHER beat Strowman cleanly – there was some Imperium interference during the match, but it didn’t seem to affect the outcome – and left little room for a rematch. Maybe this is already over? They certainly don’t feel like they need to go back to it.
- Rey Mysterio is good and he’s tired of Dominic’s bullshit but rather than letting his son pit him, he moves forward by entering the Royal Rumble and trying to make it big and win the damn thing. Naturally, Karrion Cross interrupted to call him a bad father and then choke him when Ray responded with violence. This does a great job of making me feel really bad for poor Ray. The young legend deserves better than this right?!?
- Liv Morgan slapped her bait out of Raquel Rodriguez’s mouth. Like, holy shit, dude! That was brutal! But it was also great because it showed us a new side to Rodriguez, who sheds her smiley-happy attitude in order to have the goodness, angst, and passion to remind everyone that she’s the biggest and baddest woman on the list. She showed this by defeating Morgan in a singles match later in the evening, though she went straight back to cheese after doing so. However, they have shown it exists and this is some progress.
- Tegan Knox defeated Xia Li in a standard singles match. Lee has been on TV recently but they do absolutely nothing with her.
- They announced that a tag team tournament would begin next week to determine the next top contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles from The Usos (yes, they did). Sheamus & Drew McIntyre will take The Viking Raiders in the first round, based on the latter attacking the former after last week’s show. They do a lot of cinematography to make Eric and Ivar great but even with Valhalla, I just don’t feel like it. Your mileage may vary.
- Sonya Deville wants to get back into the match with Charlotte Flair, so she campaigned for Adam Pearce – who indicated she’d need to win the Royal Rumble for all of it – and when that didn’t work out, she brawled with him backstage. It was a very good breakup. We’ll see if it ends up with DeVille getting another shot or if she’s already snapped at the Rumble.
This was a strong show.