WWE Friday Night SmackDown advertised a grudge match between Shinsuke Nakamura and Jey Uso, Rey Mysterio vs. King Corbin and follow-up to last week’s surprise No. 1 Contender Adam Pearce, who is now begging Roman Reigns to reconsider facing him at Royal Rumble. Pearce and Reigns were announced for a contract signing.
Last week’s broadcast of SmackDown was up in viewership, garnering 2.120 million viewers.
- January 8, 2021—2.120 million
- January 1, 2021—2.013 million
- December 25, 2020—3.303 million
- December 18, 2020—1.030 million viewers (FS1 Broadcast)
- December 11, 2020—2.206 million viewers
WWE Friday Night SmackDown—Key Competition
- Mainstream Cable News Coverage
Pro Wrestling Bits—Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton Bring out the Worst in Each Other
WWE SmackDown Total YouTube Viewership this past Friday 6,112,582 views (Up from 4,440,142)
- Most-Viewed: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Adam Pearce (1,540,660 views)
- Least-Viewed: A Look Back at Roman Reigns’ Assault on Kevin Owens (173,633 views)
- Median Viewership: 421,908
WWE SmackDown Results—Friday, January 15, 2020
Jey Uso def. Shinsuke Nakamura
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Jey Uso talking about how he’s going to win the Royal Rumble, and headline WrestleMania, and beat Drew McIntyre or Goldberg reminds me of a 5 year old when you ask them what they wanna be when they grow up.
It’s crazy that we live in a time where losing a Gauntlet Match can get somebody over more than the Intercontinental Championship or Money in the Bank ever could.
Shinsuke Nakamura returning to his old music and Cesaro nefariously heading to ringside before the break all but confirmed Nakamura’s babyface resurgence.
Michael Cole had a great point about Cesaro being nowhere to be found as Nakamura was getting beaten down by Uso and Roman Reigns last week.
Cesaro declaring for the Royal Rumble is like me declaring I just bought a Powerball ticket.
Natalya def. Liv Morgan
Billie Kay, who dressed like a punk rock fan, is the funniest clout chaser in all of wrestling.
I’ll give it two weeks before Billie Kay is dressed in Pink, waving the flag for Natalya.
Baron Corbin def. Rey Mysterio
Corey Graves was all over Dominik Mysterio on commentary, and he isn’t nearly developed enough as a talker to keep up.
Please don’t tell me WWE is teasing a split between Rey Mysterio and Dominik before the pair have their feel-good moment of winning a tag team championship. Father’s day is just a few short months away!
“Ding-Dong, Hello!” with Bayley, Featuring Bianca Belair
The second I saw the production team setting up for this segment I had already decided it was better than Wednesday’s “Waiting Room” segment with Britt Baker.
After weeks of feuding, Bianca Belair and Bayley seem more like friends having a disagreement than rivals.
Bianca Belair wrecking an obstacle course could actually get her over even more.
Cesaro def. Daniel Bryan
WWE is booking a subplot to Shinsuke Nakamura’s babyface run, which is Cesaro failing as a singles star at the same time. At least, that’s what I thought before Cesaro (somewhat) surprisingly sprung the upset.
This match was described as a “purists dream,” which could also code for “ratings killer.”
Daniel Bryan is doing Yeoman’s work by jobbing for one middling WWE Superstar after another.
Apollo Crews def. Sami Zayn
WWE constantly books black wrestlers to hang out with each other with zero explanation of how they became friends, yet when Apollo Crews is chillin in Roman Reigns’ locker room, Michael Cole is all like “Since when are THEY friends?!”
Big E had his own couch and was taking very arrogant jabs at Apollo Crews. I pray this isn’t the start of a heel turn, which actually seemed impossible considering his amazing Ghostbusters cardigan.
I can’t wait to see Sami Zayn’s documentary when it is complete because he’s going to have some great points.
Adam Pearce vs. Roman Reigns—Contract Signing
Hopefully neither of these contracts have Kevin Owens’ name on it, because if so—and this is a bait-and-switch—Paul Heyman deserves to (kayfabe) lose his job.
Jey Uso (”get yo’ ass up!”) and Paul Heyman (“you’re so damn passive-aggressive”)
Adam Pearce’s microphone turned on him by cutting in and out during an otherwise good promo.
Kevin Owens replacing Adam Pearce makes me so much less excited for this match.