Top 2 things that went right on the Jan. 14 episode of SmackDown

WWE, Seth Rollins (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
WWE, Seth Rollins (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images) /

This week’s episode of SmackDown — which emanated from Omaha, Neb. — focused primarily on building to the Roman Reigns vs. Seth “Freakin'” Rollins Universal Championship match for the Royal Rumble.

Aside from that, the company also teased an interesting potential match for WrestleMania 38 and…did other stuff to fill the two-hour runtime, some of that stuff was good, some was not. For now, let’s discuss the good.

These are the top two things that went right on the Jan. 14 episode of SmackDown.

Hyping up Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins

Throughout Friday’s SmackDown, WWE aired several video packages chronicling the storied history between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns ahead of their clash for the Universal Title at the Royal Rumble.

Aside from offering up a painful reminder of how quickly time flies, the videos made the upcoming Reigns/Rollins match feel like a legitimate main event clash. It’s still telling that it took moving someone over from Raw to give Reigns a compelling non-Brock Lesnar opponent and yes, WWE still hasn’t thought up a good reason why Rollins is getting this title shot, but those seem like secondary concerns for most fans and WWE did give those folks reason to be excited.

The closing segment with champion and challenger will vary depending on your tolerance for stuff like this, but Reigns and Rollins traded some good barbs before the Usos showed up to try to attack Rollins (Rollins used his agility to escape).

Lita returns

It was nice to see Lita back in the WWE, and the Omaha crowd apparently felt the same way given the pop the Hall of Famer received when her music hit. The former women’s champion took part in an in-ring interview with Michael Cole (WWE should consider using this format more often) and cut a solid, to-the-point promo about wanting to win the women’s Royal Rumble and headline WrestleMania.

Of course, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair interrupted, and her interaction with Lita went about how you’d expect: Flair talked trash and called Lita old, Lita responded with a washed reference, the two argued back and forth for a bit, and Lita hit Flair with a Twist of Fate.

Next. WWE SmackDown Results Jan 14: Reigns/Rollins face-to-face & WWE match record broken. dark

This was by-the-numbers stuff, but it at least gave fans a reason to invest in the Rumble beyond “hey, this person could be in it!” and it possibly set up a dream match for WrestleMania 38.