20th Feb2019

WWE Smackdown Live – 19th Feb 2019: 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 NXT’s biggest stars invading Smackdown to…make money…I think. Screw it. As long as Rian Johnson doesn’t show up to call people that didn’t like his plot-hole ridden Star Wars: The Last Jedi “man-babies” (never-mind the fact that those people make it possible for him to not have to get a real job) then we should be fine. By the way, Steve Carell annoys the $#!@ out of me, even though I really like him. All right, let’s wrestle.

Match #1: Aleister Black def. Andrade

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Following his incredibly impressive showing against Elias last night on Raw, former NXT Champion Aleister Black made his SmackDown LIVE debut against a Superstar with whom he shares considerable history from their time in the black-and-yellow brand: Andrade. With Zelina Vega lurking at ringside, the two Superstars picked up right where they left off in NXT, with both pushing the pace in an edge-of-your-seat thriller. Black shined through yet again with his impressive and diverse skillset, recovering from Andrade’s dreaded Running Double Knees and connecting with his Black Mass spinning heel kick to amass his second impressive victory in as many nights.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was solid all the way through, but it was a bit too brief for my taste. I’d have liked to have seen the more ambitious version of this match, but I suppose a random fight between the two works just fine.

Match #2: Tommaso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano def. The Bar

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

Continuing the run of emerging NXT talent making an impact were NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa & NXT North American Champion Johnny Gargano, who were rekindling their former #DIY partnership for the second straight night after besting Raw Tag Team Champions The Revival on Raw. Ciampa & Gargano continued to fall back into their old rhythms, fluidly taking the fight to The Bar, who are arguably the most dominant tag team in WWE over the past several years. Sheamus & Cesaro weren’t here to play anybody’s fool, however, and they attempted to slow Ciampa & Gargano’s dynamic attack by implementing their size and strength advantages. In the clutch, it appeared that Gargano & Ciampa were reeling. The Bar had done great damage to Ciampa’s knee, and Gargano was seemingly on dream street, but a surging Ciampa made a shrewd blind tag, rolling up Cesaro and catching him off-guard for the three-count.

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a good, spirited bout that gave #DIY a chance to work with a fine team in The Bar. It’s weird to see Gargano and Ciampa fight Claudio Castagnoli, despite the fact that he’s stuck being called Cesaro now. Everybody looked good wrestling against each other and while this was a bit slower than you’d like it to be, at least you got to see them together at all.

Match #3: Mandy Rose def. Asuka

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

With SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka clamoring for a new challenge, Mandy Rose heeded the call, saying that Asuka, who some say has been lost in the shuffle as of late, could learn something from her about how to stand out. The Empress of Tomorrow and God’s Greatest Creation were all set to square off, but soon after the bell rang, Lacey Evans arrived, walked down the entranceway, smirked in the face of Sonya Deville and then left. Evans’ arrival puzzled Asuka, allowing Mandy to take advantage in the early goings. However, Asuka battled back, seemingly overwhelming The Golden Goddess with her barrage of strikes. Yet, when Mandy pretended that there was something wrong with her eye after eating a knee from the SmackDown Women’s Champion, she was able to catch Asuka off-guard for a nanosecond, but that was all it took, as Mandy flung Asuka neck-first into the ropes and rolled her up for an incredible upset victory.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – This was good for what it was, but Mandy just feels like a step down from the kind of athlete Asuka should be fighting. Keep in mind, Mandy is getting pretty good, but a Pay Per View match between the two doesn’t seem like the best idea for the Smackdown Women’s Champion. It was nice to see the upset victory for Mandy and I hope that this push is some-thing that doesn’t come back to bite her in the ass later. Vince has a habit of punishing those he pays attention to a few months after he takes an interest in them.

Match #4: Ricochet def. Eric Young

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The final NXT standout to make his SmackDown LIVE debut was Ricochet, who took on SAnitY’s unpredictable leader Eric Young. Ricochet picked up right where he left off last night on Raw, dazzling the WWE Universe with his unbelievable athleticism and aerial mastery. The One and Only took Young’s best and fired back full force, taking out the meddlesome Killian Dain and Alexander Wolfe before connecting with his dazzling 630 Splash for an incredible win.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – There wasn’t any-thing bad here, but it was a bit disappointing that the match was more of a demo reel for Ricochet, rather than a full match that both guys could have benefitted from. Young was the Impact World Champion at one point, but you’d be hard-pressed to remember that now, since we hardly ever see him on TV anymore. Ricochet looked great and this match ought to be an indicator that Vince is going to give him a chance to succeed, hopefully. Over-all, this was fun, but it deserved more time to really stand the test of time.

Match #5: (Main Event) Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy def. “The New” Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

With everyone eyeing the opportunity to face WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan at WWE Fastlane, AJ Styles, Jeff Hardy & Kofi Kingston took on The Planet’s Champion, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe in thrilling Six-Man Tag Team action in the main event of SmackDown LIVE. Though all six Superstars battled through the treacherous Elimination Chamber Match just two nights prior, the competitors fought at a furious pace while looking to make a major impression en route to WWE Fastlane, except for Bryan, who made it clear prior to the match that he didn’t think anyone from this contest was worthy of facing him in three weeks, as he had already defeated them all. However, after a brutal contest that saw everything from Orton twice dropping Kofi on the announcer’s table to a Twist of Fate to a LeBell Lock, Kingston pinned Bryan for the second time in two weeks, putting the WWE Champion down with the Trouble in Paradise for the win. The WWE Universe roared in approval, but the good news was just beginning for a euphoric Kingston. Moments after The Dreadlocked Dynamo’s monumental victory, Shane McMahon arrived to inform everyone that Bryan’s WWE Fastlane opponent had been decided … and his name, yep, is Kofi Kingston.

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This turned into an excellent match that saw Kofi continue his run of new popularity. It’s a shame that all six of these guys aren’t being allowed to be as popular as they can be, because when you look at the names involved, you’d think the crowd would be cheering themselves to death. The action was fine stuff and I hope that all of these people get used to their full potential in the future. Having this many main eventers in one match at one time is some-thing really special and even though Vince has made it a common practice, a six-man match between some of the best in the world is not a bout to be taken lightly by either a promoter or a spectator.

News Of The Night:

1. Kofi Kingston is wrestling Daniel Bryan for the WWE World Title at Fast-Lane.

2. Shane McMahon and The Miz get their re-match for the Smackdown Tag Team Titles at Fast-Lane against The Usos.

Final Verdict: 3/5

This was a solid show that made some excellent attempts to build toward Fastlane, but not at the expense of Wrestlemania.

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