2/1/18 SmackDown Live – Heel moves from GM Daniel Bryan, USOs retain and Rusev Day gets cancelled – Josh’s Analysis

Well… There’s another okay show done with. Nothing too special, nothing bad either. Seems to be a bit of a trend starting with the weekly shows… my guess is that they are running out of ideas PewDiePie style, they’ve just not gotten to that self-aware stage yet.

The show opened with Shane and Daniel talking about the main event, Sami Zayn vs AJ Styles, and who was going to be at ringside. Again they doubt one another’s motives, and we end up with a main event that also has Kevin Owens at ringside as well as the commissioner and GM. This sent alarm bells ringing in my head as the story he was going to take precedence while the wrestling suffers due to it, as this is the way it is when making a match like this. Alarm bells that to me were justified.

Next up was the match of the night for me. Some amazing wrestling as we’ve come to expect from the USOs and the team of Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. The match was one that was back and forth and ended the way it should’ve with the USOs retaining. However, there was a rather large twist in the match which for me cements Gable and Benjamin as the next champions in the division.

The match initially was called in favour of the challengers. Chad Gable getting the pin off their joint finisher. However, another official came out to inform the match official that the two who were involved in the pin was not the two legal men.

This at the time of writing makes Chad and Shelton look slightly idiotic due to this mistake. However, you can argue that they get a pass due to them still being a relatively new team, and this fact also leans into them being possible contenders as they managed to get this close so early in their careers together.

Even better to come in the future from these two.

Xavier Woods vs Aiden English.

This match started with one of the best segments of the week with Rusev singing in an introduction to Aiden English. Pure comedy gold and Rusev Day is alive and well.

The match itself is one that was easily forgotten., however. There was the generic bit of interference from Rusev and The New Day, but other than that there’s not much to talk about, and Exavier moves on in the tournament… Except maybe the part when Rusev went to attack Exavier and was cut off by The New Day and sai “It was just a joke, I was joking,” that was quite brilliant.

Now I have been thoroughly enjoying the Bludgeon Brothers. I am a big fan of the Wyatt Family and so this being basically the same but without Brey, it makes sense that I’d like it. I also like Breezdango though, so seeing them squashed week after week it is disheartening seen as they were so close to the tag titles not too long ago.

The match was how you’d expect, massive squash in favour of the bludgeon brothers, and on the roll with the tag titles on their minds not too far down the line.

The Bludgeon Brothers. Well and truly on a roll.

The Welcoming Committee vs The Riott Squad.


These guys need work. The Riott Squad are quite good and they seem to be a good squad that could be a good stable given the right time, but the welcoming committee needs work.

The correct team won though, with The Riott Squad coming out on top.

Out waltzed Charlotte Flair and introduced Naomi and Becky Lynch to give them a good hiding, which makes sense considering they’re on the comeback, but The Riott Squad needs to come out on top if that’s the match they’re running with.

AJ Styles. The champ that runs the camp… Now the champ that’s lost two consecutive matches against either Kevin Owens last week ad Sami Zayn this.

the match itself wasn’t a bad one, but it had to of the best workers in the company in it, and so it’s slightly disheartening to see WWE prioritize the story here when the wrestling could’ve been so good.

The match was good don’t get me wrong, but the focus was all wrong.  The focus should’ve been on the to amazing wrestlers in the ring, but it wasn’t it was on Shane, and Daniel and Kevin at ringside, with this match ending due to a distraction for the second week running.

Daniel Bryan though was the main focus at the end of the match as they needed to decide the match for the Rumble. So, where a face would’ve said Sami and Kevin now need to wrestle and whoever wins gets AJ at the Rumble, Daniel went a little heel with what happened next.

The match for the rumble is now a two on one handicap match. The two of them against AJ Styles.

This is good for the feud that is building between the commissioner and GM as now we have an idea of who the face is and who the heel is, as in recent weeks the audience has seemed to be at odds as to who to cheer for. Now though, the lines seem to have been drawn. Daniel Bryan, siding ever so slightly, with the heels.

Question – Do you think Daniel can work as a heel with all the fan support for him and the charisma he has? He has before, and very well, so we shall see.

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