SmackDown airs tonight (Feb. 3) with a live show from Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, South Carolina. This is the first SmackDown episode during the three week build towards Elimination Chamber, which takes place on Feb. 18.
What’s going on with Jey Uso?
Sami Zayn was booted out of The Bloodline last weekend at Royal Rumble after he smashed Roman Reigns in the back with a chair. The Tribal Chief was sadistically trying to end the career of a helpless and handcuffed Kevin Owens, but Sami finally did the right thing by choosing his longtime friend over his spot as the Honorary Uce of The Bloodline.
Even though most of the attention is on Zayn and Reigns right now, one of the most compelling moments of the angle focused on Jey Uso’s mental anguish following Zayn’s betrayal of the Tribal Chief. Jey turned his back on The Bloodline and walked out of the ring rather than join in on their beatdown of Sami, who Jey has grown to love like a brother. Jey was the very first victim of Roman’s gaslighting over two years ago. Is he finally starting to break free from Roman’s psychological manipulation?
A WWE Universal championship match between Reigns and Zayn is the no-brainer main event to book in Montreal at Elimination Chamber, where Zayn’s surging popularity will reach peak levels. We didn’t get any kind of follow up to this angle on Raw, so WWE needs to give us something worth chewing on tonight.
The title scene
SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair puts the gold on the line tonight against Sonya Deville, in a rematch from last month. As far as I can tell, Sonya has not won a one-on-one match on TV since April 2020, so the outcome here is as obvious as it gets. The more interesting thing to anticipate is how Flair will respond to Rhea Ripley calling her shot for a championship rematch with The Queen at WrestleMania.
The Usos are supposed to defend the SmackDown tag team titles against the winner of a tournament that concludes tonight with Imperium taking on the team of Braun Strowman and Ricochet. Strowman and Ricochet were added to the tournament last week even though they didn’t compete in the first round, mostly because Adam Pearce is a terrible decision-maker.
Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER set a Royal Rumble record last weekend and is just about untouchable on SmackDown, with wins over stars like Braun Strowman, Ricochet, Kofi Kingston, Rey Mysterio, Sheamus, and Shinsuke Nakamura. Which babyfaces are left to fall at the feet of the Ring General?
Bayley and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions IYO SKY and Dakota Kai are entirely preoccupied with their feud against Becky Lynch on Raw, so they probably won’t make an appearance tonight.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
– Bray Wyatt easily defeated LA Knight in a Mountain Dew Pitch Black match at Royal Rumble, and then Uncle Howdy jumped into the abyss and blew up. Will we hear from Bray (or Howdy) tonight and get an idea of what’s next for him in WWE?
– WWE thinks Ronda Rousey is such a big star that they didn’t want to book her to be one of 29 losers in the Royal Rumble match. Now that that event is out of the way, will Rousey show up on WWE television for the first time in 2023?
– Karrion Kross talked a big game for months but lost when it mattered in last week’s singles match against Rey Mysterio. Karrion followed up with a lackluster performance in the Royal Rumble match. He’s scuffling right now, especially if he can’t get his win back on Rey, who missed the Royal Rumble due to injury.
– Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez are booked in an Elimination Chamber match for a shot at Bianca Belair’s Raw women’s championship. Will they butt heads tonight before stepping into the chamber in Montreal?
– The Banger Bros were replaced in the ongoing tag team tournament after an attack from the Viking Raiders last week. Will Drew and Sheamus have to beat the hell out of Erik and Ivar one more time before disbanding as a team?
– Natalya returned to WWE at Royal Rumble looking for revenge on Shayna Baszler, who busted her nose late last year. Is a singles match on the way?
– The rest of the SmackDown women’s division might want to do something to stand out, considering there is still an open spot in the women’s Elimination Chamber match. Will Lacey Evans or Shotzi step up and kick someone’s ass?
– How much time will WWE commentators spend burying Top Dolla tonight?
What will you be looking for on SmackDown?
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