Welcome to SmackDown Live! Coming to you from Corpus Christi, Texas, we open with a retrospective on Sunday Night’s Royal Rumble. We’re officially on the road to WrestleMania now, folks. It was a big night for SmackDown superstars, with Randy Orton taking the Rumble and Cena becoming a 16 time champion in a great match against AJ Styles.
It’s a tag team tonight! Jess and Steph, back as a team for another dual-brand PPV! This means the six+ hours of wrestling we’re about to endure – sorry, I mean enjoy – won’t be done alone by one of us who wishes desperately that they were asleep or drunk. Jess will take the SmackDown specific matches, Steph the Raw specific ones, and as Jess did the hour long Survivor Series match, it’s Steph’s turn to suffer, so she’s got the Rumble. Let’s do this.
Hello and welcome to SmackDown Live! Unfortunately, I have two and a half days off work and my body has decided to respond by making me ill, so there’s every chance that I’ll be a little extra critical of events tonight.
Welcome to SmackDown Live! Following TLC, we open on a video recapping the events that led to AJ Styles retaining his championship – James Ellsworth’s interference costing Dean his shot. AJ makes his way to the ring when we start things off for real, wearing a walking boot over his jeans. Is it bad taste to say that I hope this time he’s also wearing underwear? Probably.
Welcome to SmackDown Live! James Ellsworth is part of the opening sequence now, which is either new or I just haven’t noticed it before! The ramp is decorated with a number of tables, ladders and chairs in honour of the upcoming PPV of the same name. Renee Young starts us off in the ring, wearing a very cute leather jacket in preparation for a contract signing for the SmackDown Women’s Championship.
Welcome to SmackDown Live! We open tonight’s show with a recap of Survivor Series, and then Shane O’Mac comes out to talk to us. He reassures us first of all that he’s okay, even if Roman tried to Spear him right out of his shoes, before he goes on to give kudos where it is deserved to both RAW and SmackDown’s teams. Bray and Randy really brought it, despite being the ones he’d expect to collapse the team, but Dean and AJ really didn’t.
Well, we’re told that tonight, fantasy warfare gets real. Got to say, my idea of fantasy warfare doesn’t start with a two hour pre-show, but I’ve got a cup of tea in my hand, so I guess that’s some sort of English fantasy right there. Personally, my idea of fantasy when it comes to wrestling involves Seth Rollins doing Charlotte Flair’s entrance, complete with splits. It’s just a thing.