WWE SmackDown results and recap: What's old is new again

The January 15, 2022 episode of WWE SmackDown featured some build towards Royal Rumble and a few entertaining matches to boot.

Roman Reigns (L) and Seth Rollins face off on WWE SmackDown. [Image: WWE]
By Shayne Dias | Jan 15, 2022 | 2 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The latest episode of WWE SmackDown aired live from the Chi Health Center in Omaha, Nebraska. And of course, the show was built around promoting the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.

That naturally meant that SmackDown’s main event match for that night took center stage. Universal champion Roman Reigns faced off in a verbal battle with former Shield brother Seth Rollins.

Throughout the episode, WWE aired clips of their past and the ups and downs of their relationship. That they have such a rich history, however, only underscores how rushed this match feels.

After all it is only happening because WWE official Adam Pearce absolutely had to make a match for the Royal Rumble. Nothing else. Both are even heels, which makes their interactions all the more confusing; who should we cheer for?

I guess the answer would be “whoever you want to” but it is clear Rollins is playing more of a face in this feud. Which is weird, because his entire character is a delusional, maniacal bad guy.

But the interactions are still decent, especially since both are good on the mic. Reigns’ line of being in “God mode” was amazing. His dig at Rollins’ supposed lack of starpower was also good.

But it feels forced. And that’s because this match – good as it will be from an in-ring perspective – is just that.

WWE SmackDown – full results

  • Sami Zayn debuted a show segment called “INZAYN” which saw him attempt a stunt that he – predictably – pulled out of. This was a dig at Jonny Knoxville, the ‘Jackass’ star who threw Zayn over the rope last week. Entertaining stuff all around.
  • Viking Raiders won a Fatal 4 Way featuring Cesaro and Mansoor, Los Lotharios and Jinder Mahal and Shanky to become SmackDown tag team title #1 contenders.
  • Aliyah beat Natalya in record time with a schoolboy pin. The pre-match segment saw Natalya debut a character tweak where she bragged about being a Guiness Book of World Records record holder. It’s fun as gimmicks go, but let’s see what it leads to.
  • Lita is back! The Hall of Famer feels like she has one more run left in her. To make that point, she hit Charlotte Flair with a Twist of Fate. Like where this is going.
  • Sheamus beat Ricochet in a decent match.
  • Madcap Moss beat Kofi Kingston in a match that happened.
  • Naomi and Sonya Deville jawed off, with the latter eventually getting a rematch next week. Again, this feud is just… there.

Solid show overall. The directions of the fueds seem clear, even if some of the feuds can use more work.

Grade: B+

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