WWE SmackDown reactions: Reigns and Lesnar face off, Royal Rumble entrants announced and more

The latest episode of WWE SmackDown featured a segment with Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, as well as Royal Rumble storylines being advanced.

Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar square off on WWE SmackDown. (Image: WWE)
By Shayne Dias | Jan 8, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

WWE SmackDown returned to our lives with their latest episode on January 8 (Saturday). The show largely featured some build towards the Royal Rumble event, WWE’s first major show of the year.

But the show was largely built around the return of Roman Reigns. The Universal champion missed the Day 1 event after contracting COVID-19.

However, he was back on the show to address his newest – and in some ways – oldest rival, Brock Lesnar. Of course, there was also the added intrigue of seeing Paul Heyman, the now former special counsel for the Tribal Chief, line up alongside Lesnar again.

And what a moment it was. Heyman was practially in tears professing his love for Reigns, something that grated with Lesnar. And the two would eventually come to blows, with Reigns leaving Lesnar flat with a Superman punch.

The intrigue here is interesting, mainly because there’s a feeling this could still all be a big ruse from Reigns and Heyman. And he did nothing at all but stand by as Lesnar was brought down by the Big Dog.

The good thing is, there’s plenty of time for this to play out. Lesnar and Reigns are, according to reports, pencilled in for a WrestleMania showdown. That means there’ll be plenty more twists and turns for us to get.

Let’s look at the rest of the show and how it all played out.

WWE SmackDown full results

  • Jonny Knoxville entered the Royal Rumble after tossing Sami Zayn over the top rope. What’s more, Zayn also lost to Rick BOOGS, which seems surprising. Zayn is technically the #1 contender for the Intercontinental title; wouldn’t giving him a few wins make more sense?
  • Speaking of the Rumble, a number of entries for the women’s match were confirmed. This included Hall of Famers The Bella Twins, as well as Impact Knockouts champion Mickie James. What’s more, her Impact title was referenced! On WWE TV! Madness.
  • Speaking of the women’s wrestlers, Naomi and Charlotte had a long match the former lost. The reason? Because authority figure Sonya Deville kept interfering and changing the stipulations. Good match but not sure the feud between Deville and Naomi is doing much for certain fans. The lack of stakes is baffling; maybe if they address that it becomes better?
  • Madcap Moss did an impersonation of Drew McIntyre. That… happened. Moving on.
  • The Usos and New Day had another tag match, with the former team won. That too happened. It was arguably one of their worst matches till date.
  • Seth Rollins was announced as Roman Reigns’ universal championship opponent for the Royal Rumble. Now this we can get behind. Moment of the week was Rollins humming the old Shield tune while knocking on Reigns’ door.

Good show, even though portions of it dragged at times.

Grade: B

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