It’s the last show before the Royal Rumble so hopefully it will be a good one. The preview image on Hulu is Titus O’Neil pinning Stardust so I don’t know, you guys. Tonight we’re getting a MizTV with Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens, which should be great. We’re also getting Roman Reigns vs. the entire League of Nations, which is not so great.
Y2J kicks off the show to a big pop from the crowd. He welcomes everyone to Thursday Night Jericho and hypes up the Royal Rumble. We’re shown clips from Monday’s Highlight Reel with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. Jericho starts to say he’s going to win the Rumble but is interrupted by The New Day. Big E calls Jericho “Christoph.” They admonish Jericho for murdering Francesca the trombone. Xavier calls Jericho “Cristal.” Kofi calls him “Christobal.” These guys are great. Jericho makes fun of their unicorn horns. I really want a New Day shirt. Jericho gets the crowd chanting “Rooty tooty booty” and the New Day enter the ring. Jericho says he would like to take them on but The New Day have a six-man tag match right now with The Usos and Dolph Ziggler.
The New Day vs. The Usos and Dolph Ziggler
Dolph is sporting Uso facepaint. Jimmy starts off with Kofi and they exchange holds. Some fast and crisp work from both of these guys. Jimmy tags in Jay and they hit a double elbow drop. Kofi manages to tag out to Xavier. Jay hits a nice arm drag followed by some strikes in the corner and tags out to Dolph. Dolph gets a “New Day Sucks” chant going. Xavier powers Dolph into the corner and tags out to Big E, who hits a big belly to belly suplex followed by a splash for a two count. Kofi tags in and hits a big dropkick. The New Day takes control on Dolph with quick tags and double team moves. Kofi goes for an attack off the top rope but is met with a beautifully timed dropkick by Dolph. Dolph makes a hot tag to Jimmy who hits a corner splash on Kofi and then a lariat to Xavier on the apron. Big E interferes and The New Day regains control. The work over Jimmy on the outside during the break.
Back in the ring they nail Jimmy with their triple team kick attack where they continuously tag in and out while stomping on Jimmy. Mauro tells us that JBL has dubbed this “The Unicorn Stampede.” Big E makes a blind tag and surprises Jimmy with a big clothesline. Jimmy is able to create some space and Ziggler gets the hot tag. He clears the ring and hits a Fameasser on Woods. Xavier manages to dump Ziggler over the top turnbuckle and Ziggler takes a crazy bump to the outside. Jimmy makes the tag and prevents Xavier from tagging out while taking out Kofi and Big E. Ziggler and the Usos then hit Xavier with a triple superkick and Jimmy gets the pin. This was a fun, fast paced match.
Becky Lynch vs. Alicia Fox
Becky is sporting a cool new jacket. Ric Flair and Charlotte are on commentary to hype up the title match between Charlotte and Becky on Sunday. Great offense right off the bat from Becky and she gets a two count after a leg drop. They brawl on the outside and Fox hits Becky with an awesome bridging Northern Lights Suplex. Back inside, Becky regains control and hits a series of clotheslines on Fox. She then hits a jumping sidekick in the corner followed by a suplex. Fox goes for a clothesline but Becky reverses it into the Disarmer and gets the submission. She and Charlotte stare each other down. Another good outing from Becky and Alicia Fox looked good as well. It’s a shame they seem to only use her as a Bella sidekick or as a crazy person.
MizTV with Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens
The Miz starts off by talking about how grueling a Last Man Standing match is and is interrupted by Ambrose. Ambrose and Miz have some good back and forth. The Miz gets upset, lets Dean take over, and sits in the corner. Ambrose compares the Last Man Standing match to an amusement park and highlights the various rides, such as the apron that Owens likes so much and the ring steps, which he calls “The Bear Trap,” since Kevin Owens kind of looks like a bear. He calls the announce table “Memory Lane” because he has great memories of both going through the table and putting people through it. Owens comes out and disses Ambrose’s amusement park analogy, saying he’s more of a zoo enthusiast. He tells Ambrose how he’s going to knock him out and regain the Intercontinental Title. Ambrose invites him to come to the ring but before Owens can do that, The Miz attacks Ambrose from behind. He invites Owens to come in and join him for the double team. Owens comes down to the ring and makes like he’s going to attack Ambrose but instead nails The Miz with a pop up powerbomb. He tries to do the same on Ambrose but Ambrose hits him with a crossbody. He goes for Dirty Deeds on Owens but Owens slips out of it and out of the ring. Ambrose hits Dirty Deeds on The Miz and counts to ten along with the crowd. This was a good buildup for Sunday.
Ryback vs. Bray Wyatt
The Wyatts are coming off their beatdown of Brock Lesnar in the final segment of RAW on Monday. Bray is being built up as a credible threat to win the Rumble and the title but I just don’t see that happening. Ryback gets the momentum early but Wyatt stops him with a big uppercut. Ryback counters with a Thesz press and slams Wyatt to the mat repeatedly. Wyatt rolls to the outside and then slams Ryback back first onto the apron. Wyatt has the momentum in the ring when we come back from the break but Ryback hits a huge powerbomb out of the corner and then hits Wyatt with a pretty sloppy looking superkick. Ryback goes for a splash off the top rope but Wyatt gets out of the way. Wyatt hits a slam on Ryback followed by a senton and gets a two count. Wyatt does his taunt in the corner and charges Ryback but Ryback counters with a spinebuster. He hits the Meathook clothesline and goes for the Shell Shock but Rowan pulls Wyatt off while Harper distracts the ref. Ryback goes after Wyatt on the outside and is met by Strowman who slams him into the ring steps. Bray pulls Ryback into the ring and hits him with Sister Abigail to get the pin. This was OK. I still don’t buy Bray as a potential Rumble winner but I do think it’s important to keep the Wyatts looking strong as a credible heel stable.
Titus O’Neil vs. Stardust
I’ve lost count of how many times we have seen this match. These guys do their best to keep things fresh and exciting but there’s just not really a story here. Titus hits his power moves and Stardust manages to get a comeback going after a DDT and a two count. He goes to top rope but Titus counters with the Clash of the Titus and gets the win yet again.
Before the break they show Kalisto getting ready for a promo. A woman is showing him what looks like a script. I really don’t see what the point of that is. After the break Kalisto is interviewed by Rene. He brings up his heroes such as Mil Mascaras and Rey Mysterio. He says he will regain the U.S. Title on Sunday. Alberto Del Rio interrupts and is joined by the League of Nations. They gang attack Kalisto and leave him laying on the floor as they head out to face Roman Reigns.
Roman Reigns vs. The League of Nations
Roman comes down first and delivers a promo about his upcoming title defense in the Royal Rumble match. This was all right. People trash Roman’s promo skills but I think he’s improving. Sheamus starts off for The League of Nations. He can’t get any headway against Reigns so he tags out to Rusev. Ranallo has again been doing a great job on commentary, actually calling the action and putting over all the wrestlers. The League of Nations takes control as Rusev gets Reigns into his corner and The League of Nations gangs up on Roman. Rusev tags back out to Sheamus, who continues to beat down Roman. Roman counters a running tackle attempt by Sheamus with a big clothesline. Sheamus manages to tag out to Rusev but Roman is building his comeback and manhandles Rusev with a series of clotheslines and a flying forearm. Roman goes for a Superman Punch but Sheamus, Del Rio, and Barrett grab him in the corner. The entire League of Nations gangs up on Roman and the ref rings the bell for the DQ.
The Usos come out to make the save but The League continues to overpower them. Roman comes back and takes out Rusev with a Superman Punch and hits a spear on Sheamus. The Wyatts then appear and surround Roman in the ring. Roman tries to fight them off, taking out Harper and Rowan. Strowman throws Roman outside the ring and Roman is double teamed by Harper and Rowan. They toss Roman back in the ring and Strowman hits a big slam. Bray hits Sister Abigail on Roman and we end the show with The Wyatts standing tall yet again.
This episode of Smackdown wasn’t as good as the previous two weeks overall but I thought the end was a pretty good way to finish off before The Rumble as we saw most of the big names duke it out. They are really pushing The Wyatts heading into this but I think it’s a bit too little, too late. We’ll see what happens on Sunday!