– This week’s WWE SmackDown in Orlando saw Xavier Woods to defeat Aiden English to advance to the second round of the WWE United States Title tournament. Woods will now face Jinder Mahal on an upcoming SmackDown episode. As noted, Mojo Rawley vs. Zack Ryder in a first round match has been confirmed for next Tuesday and the winner of that will go on to face Bobby Roode. The winner of Roode vs. Mojo/Ryder will face the winner of Jinder vs. Woods in the finals of the tournament at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. Below is video from last night’s Woods vs. English match on SmackDown:
– This week’s blue brand show also saw controversy in the SmackDown Tag Team Title match as The Usos retained over Chad Gable and Jason Jordan. The Usos’ retained after Gable and Benjamin were crowned new champions at one point. The match was re-started after a second referee came out and used a replay to show that the the legal man was not pinned. Gable reacted to the finish with this tweet:
What a joke.
— Chad Gable (@WWEGable) January 3, 2018
– Basketball Hall of Famer Karl Malone was at ringside for last night’s SmackDown in Orlando at the Amway Center. Malone made his in-ring pro wrestling debut at WCW’s Bash at the Beach 1998 pay-per-view, teaming with Diamond Dallas Page for a loss to Hulk Hogan and fellow hoops legend Dennis Rodman. You can see Malone at SmackDown in the GIF below:
— WWE (@WWE) January 3, 2018