Thursday, November 30, 2023

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Winners & Losers: SmackDown 01.22.21

This week’s SmackDown certainly showed out when it comes to the women as they were all over this show. We had two matches, an Ultimate Athlete Obstacle Course, and some more names added to the Royal Rumble match.

Let’s get right into the first match which saw the Women’s Tag Team Champions Asuka and Charlotte Flair take on The Riott Squad in a non-title match. This was a perfect time for Liv Morgan and Ruby Riott to show that they should be the next tag team champions.

Asuka & Charlotte Flair defeated The Riott Squad

A big focus on Billie Kay‘s involvement with The Riott Squad would yet again be a downfall for the team. Kay once again tried to prove her worth by being in the corner of her punk rock idols. Her efforts to “help” the team became futile on more than one occasion. The biggest downfall was when she tried to help but the distraction of the referee caused Ruby Riott to not get the three count as she had Asuka rolled up for the pin. This allowed Charlotte Flair to eventually get the final tag and hit her Natural Selection on Riott to get another victory.

After the match, Kay apologizes backstage to the squad. She tries to make up for it by telling them she spoke to Sonya Deville and got Liv Morgan and Riott booked in the Royal Rumble match. Kay offers to start helping them prepare as she could pretend to be Bianca Belair or Carmella in order for them to throw her over the top rope. Riott interrupts by letting her know there is no “us” and that it was just better when it was the two of them.

Next up, we have a match between Sasha Banks and Reginald. Last week, Banks says that Carmella can have another shot at her title but she wants a match with Reginald first.

Sasha Banks defeated Reginald

This match was more fun than expected. Reginald clearly is very athletic and they did a nice job with playing the two against each other. He tried to butter up Banks with a rose before the match started which was a charismatic gesture but The Boss wasn’t buying it.

Despite the incredible acrobatics from Carmella’s sommelier, there was no way that the SmackDown Women’s Champion was going to lose to him. She won by submission as she locked in the Bank Statment which sent a huge message to Carmella who was at ringside enjoying her champagne through it all.

Although not officially announced, we can hope these two get a rematch at the Royal Rumble one week from Sunday.

Bianca Belair defeated Bayley

Last week Bayley laid down a challenge for Bianca Belair in the form of an Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course. Of course, the EST will never back down from a challenge so she accepted and looked forward to it.

Bayley would do the course herself first which was no surprise. She had the course finished in one minute and twelve seconds. This of course was with avoiding the wall climbs, going over the smallest hurdles in the world, and doing a fireman’s carry with Chad Gable instead of Otis. The Role Model then made some adjustments to the course for the EST to take on. Higher hurdles and having to list Otis on her shoulders had Bayley thinking the task would be much harder for the world-class athlete.

Belair still breezed through the course and even had some one-on-one b-ball with Bayley before dunking the ball through the hoop to win. She won with 17-seconds remaining. Showing her poor sportsmanship, Bayley would attack Belair afterward at ringside.

Along with The Riott Squad, Tamina has also been added to the Rumble match. This brings the count up to 12-women and almost half the participants have been announced.

The full list so far is:

Let’s get into the Winners and Losers of the week:

WINNER: Bianca Belair

I just see a big win coming for her and like most people, I really hope it is the Rumble. This obstacle course segment had me worried as I was expecting it to just be a wasted moment but in my opinion, it was done pretty well. I much rather have just had a match between the two but I guess they are waiting for Belair to get a match win over on Bayley. With that being said, Belair getting the win from this segment was a positive step forward.

WINNER: Sasha Banks

Another moment which I was worried about going in. As always Sasha makes every moment entertaining and I thought the match between her and Reginald was entertaining. Hopefully, we get Sasha and Carmella at the Rumble because if we only have the women’s rumble match to represent the women then that’s the only thing to look forward to.

LOSER: The Riott Squad

Although I am thoroughly enjoying their interactions with Billie Kay, they seem stuck. For the longest time now they should have been the tag team champions. Having them win this non-title match would have propelled them forward to just that. The booking for the tag team title is all over the place as it is and I think if an actual fully realized team were to win the belts it would bring it into focus.

What did you think of this week’s SmackDown? Who were your Winners & Losers? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Be Kind.

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