MYSTERIO AND ANDRADE STEAL THE SHOW!
It was Shane McMahon’s birthday! Those NXT call-ups show up to do… very little again. And Andrade “Cien” Almas loses his surname. And here was us wrestling fans, thinking it was his lack of push, direction and storylines that were keeping him from getting over. Turns out it was his name. Oh, Vince – you’ve done it again! I am Luke, press the subscribe button, leave a comment below I can reply to – and vote in the poll above my head to let me know what you thought of this show. Where you can choose from SmackDamn,SmackTastic, Smack Bang in the Middle, SmackDowner, and A Smack in the Face. This is the 15th of January 2019 – I did say 2019 this time, right? – edition of Smackdown Live… in about 4 minutes.
Becky Lynch Is Ready For Asuka
The show opened with Becky arriving in a car, where she then walked past Xavier, Kofi and Big as they observed NXT Call-Ups Otis and Tucker of Heavy Machinery making a smoothie made out of pancakes, egg, ham and other plunder. Becky tasted it and said it was slightly too weak for her, and strutted to the ring. This was a much better way to debut the comedy characters of Heavy Machinery than making Otis look like he was a horny goblin turned on by those lovely looking Women’s Tag Titles.
Becky then cut a promo about how WWE has tried to copy and paste her character onto other wrestlers – and was then interrupted by Asuka – who delivered a promo that clearly someone in the back didn’t like as they had Corey repeat it verbatim as The IIconics came out. Having lost all their matches and barely getting meaningful TV time in 2018, IIconics got shockingly little heat for their promo about winning the Royal Rumble and tag titles. If only they could just lose their surnames, that would get them over.
Becky def. Peyton
This led to a match between Becky and Peyton which The Man wrestled in her street clothes which added a level of realism to the segment which is often missing when wrestlers cut promos in their gear because they know it’s going to lead to a match. After tweeting that she wanted to wrestle, Peyton and Becky got a decent amount of time in-ring – but it never really got out of second gear – with Becky getting the submission win with the Disarmer. Lacey was seen watching backstage drinking. Again, a better debut that talking about hats to Mickie and Dana randomly on Raw.
Asuka def. Billie
Seemingly annoyed that her promo was repeated by Corey, Asuka cut her next promo entirely in Japanese and it was so much more awesome. She then grabbed Billie for a match, which she quickly won with the Asuka Lock – but not before she also locked in the Disarmer while staring directly at Becky. This was a cool segment that effectively put over both Becky and Asuka, and really elevated their Royal Rumble title match.
AJ Loves Hot Dogs
AJ cut a promo in front of a concession stand – which looked like a totally genuine concession stand – saying that fans can eat, drink and buy whatever they want. Daniel attacked from nowhere, leading to AJ putting him through a table – covering him in mustard. At least it wasn’t mayonnaise… because he’s vegan, you see…
Samoa vs. Mustafa (No Contest)
After walking past a posing EC3 – wait should I just call him E to get over my laboured and unfunny joke about Andrade losing his surname? – Samoa attacked Mustafa before their match and beat him up around ringside. He later told Kayla backstage that he would win the Royal Rumble. This was a great segment that builds a mini feud going into the Rumble match, it put over Samoa as a complete killer and got across that Mustafa is an underdog who has to overcome the larger bully. Thumbs up all round.
Andrade def. Rey
And in easily the best match of the night and likely the whole week on WWE, the newley surname-less Andrade defeated Rey in a corking TV bout. This had everything you would expect from these two and so much more – including a sit out powerbomb on the floor, a hurricanrana from the top rope to the apron to the floor, and a Canadian Destroyer. And because this is WWE and piledrivers are rarer than rocking horse poop, it feels fresh to see that move busted every once in a while. Zelina ran interference, allowing Andrade to pick up the win with a Hammerlock DDT from the top rope. While I would have preferred a clean pin, it would be nitpicking to complain about it.
And I hope you enjoyed all this positivity, as it’s mostly downhill from here.
Mandy Tricks Jimmy, I Guess?
Earlier in the show, Jimmy of The Usos was given a present by Mandy which contained her hotel room key. We then saw Mandy tell Sonya her plan is to ruin Naomi’s marriage because she hates her. This led to a segment that can only exist in the world of WWE. Jimmy went to the hotel room, Mandy revealed an outfit that covered up more of her than her wrestling gear , Peter Parker jumped out of nowhere to snap some pictures and run away, Mandy revealed her plan to Jimmy and said that Naomi would be devastated when she saw the pictures, but it turned out Naomi was in the room all along, and the two brawled with Mandy getting the better of the exchange before running into the bathroom while Jimmy returned to help up his wife. This was… well it was awful. It was poorly shot, poorly acted, poorly staged and utterly baffling. Why does Mandy hate Naomi this much? Why did this segment have multiple camera angles? Why did both Jimmy and Mandy leave work early? How did Mandy know to leave the building and get to the hotel room before Jimmy did? How long was Naomi hiding in the room? How did Naomi even get into the room? Why did Mandy run into the bathroom where she’s effectivly trapped herself if Naomi wanted to continue fighting. This was… well it was awful. It’s the sort of WWE segment that insults the intelligence of its audience, and falls apart as soon as you put on element of thought into it.
It’s Shane’s Birthday
And the main event of the show – no really it was – saw Miz throw Shane a birthday party which featured a not too subtle plug for some new Air Jordans. And it wouldn’t be a Shane segment without a botched line – where he said he couldn’t wait to win the tag titles with Miz “THIS SUNDAY” when the Rumble is actually two weeks away. The crowd sang happy birthday when The Bar came out to make fun of them…
Miz def. Sheamus
…Leading to Miz defeating Sheamus in a standard match when Sheamus was distracted by Cesaro falling through a table with a cake on it. Shane then hit a Coast to Coast dropkick on Sheamus as Miz held up a cake. So, a Coast to Cake?
Let’s be honest, this show fell off a cliff after the Andrade/Rey match. And it was a really good show up until that point. And while they were still pretty poor, the NXT call-ups were better presented here than they were on Raw – though it’s questionable how despite being on the same show, Nikki and Sanity did not have a segment together. The final half hour or so left a bad taste in my mouth, but the opening 2/3s were so good that this week’s Smackdown Live is still getting a SmackTastic. But a low one. That Mandy segment was awful.