23rd Jan2019

WWE Smackdown Live – Jan 22nd: Results & Review

by Nathan Favel

smackdown-2018-logo

Welcome to this week’s Smackdown Live review, right here on Nerdly. I’m Nathan Favel and we have the big card before the Royal Rumble event, so let’s see if it turned out well enough.

Match #1: Mandy Rose def. Naomi

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After Mandy Rose spent several weeks attempting to ruin Naomi’s marriage, The Golden Goddess and The Glowing Superstar squared off on Smackdown LIVE ready to let the fists fly. With Naomi seeking payback after Mandy left her laying in a hotel room last week, The Glow was shining bright in the early portions of the contest, charging up the entranceway and waylaying God’s Greatest Creation with a barrage of strikes before the opening bell. Naomi continued the onslaught, forcing Mandy to retreat at the onset of the contest. However, The Golden Goddess soon found her spots and threw several counterstrikes at Naomi. Sonya Deville grabbed Naomi’s foot when the referee was distracted after being bumped into by Rose, allowing Mandy to smash Naomi into the ring post and roll her up for a major victory. Jimmy Uso hit the scene to attempt to console his wife, but her glow had clearly been dimmed by the defeat.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was a good match that didn’t have the urgency that you’d want from a grudge match, but it had the athletic appeal that any good match should have.

Match #2: Cesaro def. The Miz

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Following the chaotic, cake-filled battle between The Miz and Sheamus a week ago, The A-Lister suited up again tonight to take on Cesaro, just five nights before Miz & Shane McMahon try to defeat The Bar for the SmackDown Tag Team Titles at Royal Rumble. With their partners in their corners, Miz and Cesaro whaled away on one another, and Miz seemed to be gaining some steam in the match’s pivotal moments, but Cesaro caught Miz with a brutal uppercut and tried to use the ropes as leverage. This led to Shane swatting Cesaro’s feet off the ropes, but The Celtic Warrior dropped him. Sheamus then kicked The Miz behind the referee’s back, allowing The Swiss Superman to connect with the Neutralizer for the win. After the bout, an enraged Shane attacked Sheamus and temporarily took down him and Sheamus. However, when it was clear that Shane-O-Mac was setting up Cesaro for his signature elbow drop from the turnbuckle through the announcer’s table, Sheamus recovered and brutally threw Shane off the top rope, sending him crashing into the barricade below. The Bar then dropped Shane with a Brogue Kick, Miz with an onslaught of strikes and then catapulted Shane onto Miz who was laying on the announcer’s table. Miz & Shane were down, and The Bar were standing triumphant. Was this a precursor of things to come this Sunday?

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was pretty good, but it was a level below what they’ve done together before. Cesaro is still one of the best, but he needs a jolt of life put into him in order for any singles match to move the needle. Miz did fine, but his offense always feels like old news, since he follows the same formula every time. Over-all, this was about what you’d expect and there’s nothing bad about that, despite it being as interesting as watching paint dry.

Match #3: Samoa Joe def. Mustafa Ali

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Samoa Joe savagely attacked Mustafa Ali before the bell prior to their scheduled match last week, but Ali refused to stay down, instead eyeing a match with Samoa Joe tonight on the blue brand. SmackDown LIVE’s newest sensation was fearless in the face of The Samoan Submission Machine, bringing the fight to him with his dynamic offense and unyielding resolve. The relentless Ali seemingly had Joe on the ropes when he was able to string together some of his signature dynamic offense on the big man, getting him reeling with a series of strikes and a massive DDT out of the corner. In crunch time though, Ali was looking for the 054, but Joe was able to swat him down right into the dreaded Coquina Clutch. Mustafa hung on for as long as he could, but, inevitably, had to tap out, giving Joe the pivotal win heading into the Men’s Royal Rumble Match this Sunday.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a lot of fun, but it didn’t get to go as far as it should have. Joe and Ali have lots of chemistry that reminds me of Joe’s matches with Chris Sabin in Total Non-Stop Action Wrestling. Ali has been a great fit for Smackdown so far and I hope they have a plan for him. Over-all, this match was another nice bout between the two that should whet the appetite for what they can really do with each other for the rest of the year.

Match #4: (Main Event) Rey Mysterio def. Andrade in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Following their thriller last week, Rey Mysterio and Andrade collided in a 2-out-of-3 Falls Match, and unlike last week, Zelina Vega would not be able to get involved, as she was barred from ringside. The Superstars dazzled the WWE Universe yet again with a match that was enthralling and strategic in equal measure. The first fall was decided when Andrade unbelievably powerbombed Mysterio off the top rope to pick up the three-count, but Mysterio fired back with an absurd flipping piledriver to secure a fall of his own. And then, with it all on the line, it appeared Mysterio was closing in on victory when he hit the 619 and got in position to Drop the Dime, but Samoa Joe blindsided Mysterio and decimated him with a powerbomb onto the apron. The Samoan Submission Machine doubled down on his efforts by ramming Andrade into the ring post and refocusing on Rey, savagely applying the Coquina Clutch. Joe grabbed a microphone and roared that he planned on doing this type of damage to every man that crossed his path in the Men’s Royal Rumble Match this Sunday, but he was met with a blindside attack of his own when Randy Orton struck suddenly with an RKO outta nowhere. Orton then put up three fingers, perhaps suggesting that he would win his third Royal Rumble Match this Sunday night.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This was an excellent match that is the latest in what has quickly become a great series of matches between two of the best luchadors in wrestling history. Andrade is having the best matches of his WWE career here and Rey continues to look the best he’s looked since World Championship Wrestling closed in 2001. I could go for more of these matches, but it would be nice if they would avoid $#!@ finishes during matches.

News Of The Night:

  1. Randy Orton attacked Samoa Joe to the crowd’s delight after Joe had attacked Rey Mysterio.
  2. Mustafa Ali cut an excellent promo on Samoa Joe.
  3. The Bar attacked The Miz and Shane McMahon.
  4. Asuka and Becky Lynch had a great brawl.
  5. Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles had a weird promo that led to a brawl.

Final Verdict: 3.5/5

The wrestling was good to great, but the promos actually did a good job of setting up the Royal Rumble event, but not necessarily the Royal Rumble match itself.

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