05th Jan2019

WWE Smackdown Live – Jan 1st 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 a big main event to get to, so let’s do so.

Match #1: Samoa Joe def. Jeff Hardy to earn the final slot in the Fatal 5-Way Match

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After last week’s brawl that ended with Samoa Joe putting Jeff Hardy to sleep with the Coquina Clutch, these two rivals squared off once again, this time with higher stakes – the opportunity to compete for a WWE Championship Match later tonight. The bout was just as heated as their Christmas showdown, with Joe looking to submit Hardy early and The Charismatic Enigma seeking to unleash his rage on the submission expert. Despite being on the receiving end of some heavy-duty shots from Joe, Hardy still landed a Swanton Bomb.

However, Joe rolled to the arena floor after the move connected, drawing Hardy to ringside, as well. Joe trapped The Charismatic Enigma in the Coquina Clutch and nearly won the battle by count-out. Hardy beat the referee’s count, but Joe once again locked his foe in the clutch, and Hardy passed out in the hold. Joe had one win out of the way. Could he pick up the second later in the night and get a WWE Championship Match?

My Take: 3.5 out of 5 – This worked for me. The match was faster and fiercer than some of their other WWE contests, which is the way it should be when they fight each other. Both of these guys sold for each other and both men looked like big stars coming out of it, so that works for me.

Match #2: Sonya Deville def. Naomi

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

After Mandy Rose attempted to get Jimmy Uso under the mistletoe on Christmas night, Naomi was more than ready to get her hands on The Golden Goddess tonight. However, Mandy had more tricks up her sleeve, including donning a custom Usos t-shirt to infuriate Naomi. This allowed Naomi’s actual opponent, Sonya Deville, to slide into the ring. Naomi was ready to throw hands, regardless of the opponent, and took the fight right to Deville. But just when Naomi was about to take control of the battle, Rose grabbed the microphone and revealed a racy photo she had sent Jimmy earlier in the day. With Naomi blinded by rage, Deville took advantage by planting Naomi into the canvas with a devastating slam to pick up the victory.

My Take: 2.5 out of 5 – There wasn’t much to write home about, but the match had enough to survive scrutiny, so there isn’t any-thing to lament either.

Match #3: John Cena & Becky Lynch def. Andrade “Cien” Almas & Zelina Vega

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

The McMahon Family signed off on this mixed tag team bout during the commercial break, setting up a huge first-time-ever battle. The Man was ready to take on Andrade after she sent Vega retreating to her corner to tag “Cien,” but the rules of the match dictate Cena’s entrance into the bout, which Lynch made official with a hard tag to the 16-time World Champion’s chest. Vega distracted Cena, allowing Almas to go on offense against The Cenation Leader. “Cien” unleashed a flurry of high-flying attacks on Cena, with Vega doing her part behind the referee’s back. But Cena evaded Almas’ trademark double knees and put The Man back into battle.

Lynch hurled Vega around the ring with ease, nearly picking up the victory. And when Almas jumped back into the ring to save Vega from the Dis-arm-her, Cena was waiting to cut him off with the Attitude Adjustment and the devastating Lightning Fist. But before Cena could get the pin, The Man shoved him out of the ring and locked the Dis-arm-her on Vega to get the tapout victory. After the bell, John Cena offered a handshake to Lynch, but The Man was defiant in victory, offering four words to the 16-time World Champion: “You can’t see me!”

My Take: 3 out of 5 – This was a lot of fun and it was great to see Becky be booked stronger than John Cena. The wrestling was fine, but the story here was that Becky made Cena look like a chump, which may not be the best thing for him, but it gave her a lot of juice in the tank.

Match #4: (Main Event) AJ Styles def. Rey Mysterio, Mustafa Ali, Randy Orton & Samoa Joe to earn a WWE Championship Match at Royal Rumble

The following is courtesy of WWE.com:

All five Superstars threw caution to the wind right from the opening bell, with Team Blue newcomer Mustafa Ali going right after Samoa Joe, only to get slammed into the canvas. AJ Styles continued to show the aggression that Mr. McMahon witnessed last week, pummeling Randy Orton and Ali.

With Daniel Bryan watching from the backstage area, all five men threw everything they had at each other, taking flight and unleashing vicious strikes. As the bout reached its apex, it seemed Styles would not be a factor in the outcome, as Orton and Joe double-teamed him before Joe slammed him through the announcers table. Ali and Rey Mysterio then dazzled the WWE Universe with their breathtaking aerial offense. Ali nearly had the WWE Title Match secured, but Samoa Joe evaded The 054 and locked on the Coquina Clutch. Mysterio then took out The Samoan Submission Machine and Ali with a pair of 619s before being dumped by Orton. The Viper was seemingly seconds away from clinching a title bout after he planted Ali with an RKO, but Mysterio broke up the pin. A 619 to Orton looked to be Mysterio’s ticket to Phoenix, but Samoa Joe pulled him off the ring apron, giving Styles the opening to connect with a springboard 450 Splash to pin The Viper and earn the WWE Championship Match.

My Take: 4 out of 5 – Now this was a main event. The action was of every variety and stock. I could keep going on about this, but I’d rather just tell you that this was a great way to get to a predictable, yet anticipated, conclusion.

News Of The Night:

  1. The New Day will be in the Royal Rumble.
  2. Shinsuke Nakamura attacked United States Champion Rusev to continue their feud.
  3. Becky Lynch interrupted John Cena to start a feud of sorts, although it remains to be seen how far this whole thing will go.

Final Verdict: 3/5

There were a few excellent matches that made this worth watching. Smackdown feels like it’s being dominated by anti-heroes, which is a nice change of pace from the past decade. Let’s hope Smackdown keeps getting interesting on its way to Fox.

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