New year, new SmackDown. Yes, Roman Reigns still almost ate dog food, and yes, the Revival lost yet again (some things never change), but on Friday night, WWE rang in 2020 with a bang as John Morrison, Sheamus and the Usos all made their much anticipated returns to WWE programming. The returns couldn’t have come at a better time as all of these men are poised to breathe new life into a stagnant product and help SmackDown start the year off on the right note.
Johnny SmackDown Arrives
In 2007, former rivals, Miz and John Morrison, were teamed up with a chance to win the tag team championship from another unlikely duo, Matt Hardy and MVP. The two were victorious, winning the titles on an episode of SmackDown and soon after, were seen on screen as the best of buds. A successful team both inside and outside of the ring, Miz and Morrison’s claim to fame came in 2008, when they started the WWE.com exclusive, The Dirt Sheet. Lasting from 2008-09 and comprising of weekly episodes, The Dirt Sheet helped launch the stardom of the “Chick Magnet” the Miz and the “Shaman of Sexy,” John Morrison. It also gave us the tagline, “in life, there are winners and there are losers” as well as a slew of one-liners from Morrison including, “I’m John Morrison and all of Jay-Z’s 99 problems are me,” and “I’m John Morrison and and if I was in charge of the war on terror, we would already have won, and gasoline would only cost 50 cents a gallon.”
Why bring up a 10+ year old web exclusive show? Well because on Friday’s SmackDown, the Miz was in need of a friend and seemingly found one. Following his loss to Kofi Kingston and being serenaded out of the ring with chants of “you suck,” Miz was nowhere to be found when Cathy Kelley came by for an interview. Instead, popping the crowd, his locker room door was opened by Morrison, who simply said, “Miz doesn’t have anything left to say tonight,” before closing the door behind him. Fans of course already knew that Morrison had re-signed with WWE, marking his return to the company after an eight-and-a-half year absence, but the man of many ring names had kept quiet as to when he’d be re-debuting as well as which brand he would be on. And while nothing is official yet regarding him teaming with Miz again on a full time basis, a Miz and Morrison reunion could be exactly what SmackDown’s tag team division needs right now.
— John Morrison (@TheRealMorrison) January 4, 2020
A champion the world over, Morrison returns to WWE as one of the top stars in wrestling, having remade a name (well, many names) for himself across the globe. In WWE, Morrison is a former five-time tag team champion, three-time Intercontinental champion and one-time ECW World Champion. So while returning to pair with Miz is bound to excite most fans, a singles run for Morrison is very much an intriguing possibility as well. On SmackDown, there are many dream matches that await the 40-year-old superstar including bouts with Daniel Bryan, Roman Reigns, Cesaro, The Fiend and of course, Shinsuke Nakamura, who currently holds the title Morrison last won in 2009 prior to leaving the company a few years later.
No matter what WWE does with Morrison this time around, one thing is certain. The Palace of Wisdom is back in business. Be jealous!
The Brogue is Back!
It was the SmackDown after WrestleMania 35 that marked the last time fans saw Sheamus in a match. At the time, it was reported Sheamus suffered a concussion but the truth was far worse. Having dealt with a recurring neck injury for some time, Sheamus left the ring in April with an uncertain future. Rumors circulated that the Celtic Warrior may even have to retire much as Edge had to do as a cause of the same spinal stenosis injury. In early September 2019, Sheamus admitted that he had not been cleared by WWE to wrestle and was unsure if he ever would be. But that didn’t stop Sheamus from doing everything in his power to get back in the ring, mainly through his Celtic Warrior workouts which drew inspiration from the recovery process Tommaso Ciampa went through for his own neck injury.
By the end of the month of September however, Sheamus had been cleared to wrestle and in a vignette that aired in the last SmackDown of November, WWE announced he’d be back soon. Fans had to wait a little over another month to see the original Irish ass kicker return to their TV screens. On the first SmackDown of 2020, following a match between the Revival’s Dash Wilder and Shorty G, Sheamus returned to clear the ring of the Revival before laying the wrestler formerly known as Chad Gable out with a wicked brogue kick. It was official, the Celtic Warrior was back.
— Sheamus (@WWESheamus) January 1, 2020
Last known for his tag team act, the Bar, with Cesaro, the 41-year-old Sheamus is a four-time world champion, two-time United States Champion and five-time tag team champion. He is also a former Royal Rumble winner and King of the Ring winner. Sheamus has had a fantastic career for WWE and its not over yet. With Cesaro currently working with Nakamura and Sami Zayn, it seems unlikely the Bar will be reunited just yet. That means Sheamus is free to return to the singles scene which could include some world title matches. Or perhaps, a run in the midcard, as an IC title win would make Sheamus a grand slam champion.
Either way, the Brogue is back and SmackDown is going to be all the better for it.
Bloodline is Thicker Than Water
Despite having wrestled against them some 25 times during the era of the Shield, when the trio disbanded, Roman Reigns and the Usos were positioned more like the family they actually are and not the opponents they had been made to be. Reigns even became protective of his cousins which led to the occasional teaming with Jimmy and Jey throughout 2015. However, it wasn’t until 2016 when Reigns and the Usos were put together in a program, leading to the creation of a short-lived stable, the Bloodline.
As the Bloodline, Reigns and the Usos feuded against AJ Styles and his Club, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. It was one of Reigns’ best feuds at the time and one that also helped Styles as he ingratiated himself to his new fans in WWE. In addition, the feud marked the debut of Anderson to the roster and return of Gallows, who last wrestled for the company in 2010.
— The Usos (@WWEUsos) January 4, 2020
Now, it would seem that Reigns needs backup again as he’s been the victim of King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler‘s numbers game for several months. On Friday’s episode of SmackDown, Reigns teamed with Daniel Bryan against Corbin and Ziggler, but it was the Fiend who had the biggest impact. Interfering to continue his feud with Bryan, the Fiend made his presence felt. It was enough to distract Bryan and neutralize him leaving Reigns in a handicap situation. Equipped with handcuffs, Corbin and Ziggler once again looked to humilate Reigns by making him eat dog food…Yep, SmackDown. Anyway, they were stopped as the Usos stormed the ring, taking out both Corbin and Ziggler and helping Reigns to his feet. The final image of the night as SmackDown went off the air showed the reunited Bloodline standing tall in the ring.
While a full-fledged Bloodline reunion may not be the route WWE ultimately goes with this, Reigns could use some assistance right now and SmackDown could use something, anything to freshen up this Corbin/Reigns program. Adding the Usos even for a bit is enough to do that. Then of course, you have the tag team division. No doubt Jimmy and Jey will go back to dominating that soon and hopefully, rejuvenating the stale division. Alongside New Day, the Revival, a returning Miz and Morrison, the six-time tag team champion Usos are just what the blue brand needs right now.
Expect some classics as we return to the Uso Penitentiary.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Make sure to watch SmackDown on FOX on Friday nights, 8-10 PM, or on the WWE Network.