WWE Smackdown Results
January 16, 2018
Report by Mike Killam for ProWrestling.com
No video package and no 20-minute long opening monologue between authority figures tonight, as The New Day makes their way down to kick off Smackdown Live with a little in-ring action! There’s a podium set up in the ring like a political debate and Xavier Woods begins to plead his case to be United States Champion, as the other two start throwing pancakes at the audience. They mock Jinder Mahal’s “Maharaja” gimmick and Woods asks the fans if they want a champion who hates the United States and the Home Alone film franchise.
U.S. Title Tournament Semifinal Match
XAVIER WOODS vs. JINDER MAHAL
Jinder wasted no time connecting with a sick looking kick to the side of the head as soon as the bell rang. He followed up with quick knee drops right on the head and slowed things down with a side headlock, driving knees into the back of Woods. The former WWE Champion remained in complete control through a commercial break, as the New Day members tried to rally their brother back into the match. The crowd broke out into a “we want pancakes” chant, but Jinder dropped him hard over the top rope to do some damage to the ribcage.
After about eight minutes Woods fired off with wild rights and lefts, his first offensive attempt in the entire match, but he was quickly thrown into the corner and dropped back into a side headlock. He tried for the Honor Roll out of the corner but ran into a stiff knee strike from Mahal, as they cut to yet another commercial in this opening contest… If you were in the ring with a former world champion and you couldn’t get a single offensive ability off in ten minutes, why in your first opening would you try for a DDT that requires an unnecessary somersault?
After the break, now 26 minutes into this show, Woods finally mounted a comeback with quick kicks and the Honor Roll, which connected this time. One of the Singh brothers tried to sneak his way into the ring to help Jinder, but Big E scared him off and The New Day chased them up the ramp and to the backstage area. Jinder took advantage of the distraction to throw Woods neck-first into the bottom rope, knocking him out cold. He screamed at the crowd, hit the Khallas and this one’s over.
Winner: Jinder Mahal