WWE Smackdown 1013
January 15 2018
We’re in Birmingham, Alabama. I was so enthused with last week’s Smackdown I’m back for more. Can I bring myself to watch RAW yet? Heeey, one step at a time now. The show kicks off backstage where “Stonecold” Becky Lynch turns up. You can tell she’s famous now, she can turn up after the show starts. She blows off the interviewer and then makes Heavy Machinery and the New Day look like a bunch of dorks. These people are all disposable! There’s only one Man.
Promo Time: Becky Lynch
She storms right out here to address the crowd, the title situation and how hard it is to be The Man. She points out everyone is trying to be as good as her but they can’t do it. After running Asuka down for choking at WrestleMania last year she’s joined by the incumbent champion and the crowd chant for Becky. This little tiff is interrupted by the Iiconics but Becky decides to challenge either of them to a fight.
Becky Lynch vs. Peyton Royce
Becky doesn’t even bother wearing gear. She’s got trainers, jeans and a t-shirt on. It’s a wonderful display of ‘not giving a fuck’.
Meanwhile Asuka watches from ringside and Lacey Evans is watching from backstage. She’s yet to be confirmed to either brand. The execution in this match is frankly awful. They don’t click in the slightest. Peyton being out of position for a couple of spots that leave Becky looking stupid. The dropkick inside-out is so bad. They’d have been better off just having Becky squash her. Worst still is they hit commercials and have Peyton grind away during the whole thing. As soon as we’re back Becky gets Disarmer and a tap out.
Final Rating: *
Post Match: A keyed up Asuka jumps in there and screams in Japanese at Billie Kay. When Billie doesn’t figure it out she gets dragged in there.
Asuka vs. Billie Kay
As with Asuka on NXT she’s way above Billie’s talent level and beats her with the Asukalock in a minute or so.
Final Rating: NR (Squash)
Post Match: AJ Styles is out here. WWE is being very weird about making the male and female talent interact of late. It doesn’t make any sense to segue from Becky vs. Asuka to AJ doing whatever he’s doing out here. Promoting the consumption of junk food apparently. What a coincidence that WWE are getting their babyface to sell hot dogs the week President Trump served McDonalds at the White House.
This continues until Daniel Bryan shows up for a scrap. Oh god, there’s mustard everywhere and it’s that mustard that comes in a bucket. David Starr would be scarred for life.
Elsewhere Jimmy Uso gets a gift of roses in a box from Mandy Rose. The note attached is all spicy because women are sex objects. “It’s a hotel room Use, whatcha gonna do”. “I don’t know”. You don’t know? You don’t know? Is he legitimately tempted to go and fuck Mandy at this point? Elsewhere EC3 flexes. Elsewhere Andrade (no longer “Cien” or Almas) is prepared to beat Rey Mysterio’s ass and advance to the Royal Rumble. And win the WWE title at WrestleMania. Hey, sounds like he’s got it all together.
Samoa Joe vs. Mustafa Ali
This never gets going as Joe attacks ahead of the bell and puts an almighty beating on Ali. The bit where he pulls his mask off has an awesome sell on it. Ali screams like light hurts his eyes. Ali takes two brutal spots into the ring post and he’s dead.
Final Rating: NR (no match)
Video Control takes us backstage where Sonya Deville is trying to talk sense into Mandy Rose.
Apparently this whole thing is Mandy trying to ruin Naomi’s marriage because of their feud. That’s pretty outrageous. Couldn’t she just, and I’m just spitballing here, beat her in a wrestling match? It’s a little worrying how quickly WWE has slid back into objectifying women this week. Mandy is less of an issue because it’s her character but the nudity thing with Alexa Bliss on RAW was the opposite of empowerment and they know it. Keep the bullshit back in the Attitude Era please.
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade
I always knew WWE would drop part of Andrade’s name but it’s not the part I expected. “El Idolo” is talented no matter what he’s called but a change might actually suggest they’re serious about pushing him now.
They’re very clear about Andrade’s name change as they repeatedly say it in the opening minute. I’m pleased that the crowds are responding to lucha-libre and Rey’s name is surely helping that.
This match is all about Andrade though. He’s here and he’s making a statement. Beating Rey doesn’t mean anything. That’s a booking decision. Matching Rey hold for hold, pace for pace. That’s a statement. Like when Rey rana’s Andrade out of the ring and he lands on his feet, with Rey still attached, and counters into a powerbomb on the floor. I’ve seen several guys in recent years do this with Rey (Scurll, Ospreay, guys in Mexico) but Andrade is doing it on national TV. The flying rana off the top rope to the floor is wonderful stuff and it’s amplified by Vega going nuts at ringside. For Rey it’s a throwback and I really appreciate him busting his ass to get the next generation over. He could have come out there and took a few spots but he wants to match Andrade and Andrade is a great wrestler at the peak of his powers. They even throw out another Canadian Destroyer for shits and giggles. And a Code Red. And a Crucifix Bomb. Zelina interferes and Andrade hits the Hammerlock DDT of the ropes for the win. Absolutely fucking stunning match. I’m going 4.25 on this but it is arguably even better than that.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Video Control takes us to the hotel where Jimmy Uso pays a visit to Mandy Rose. Why?
Jimmy Uso has to be the dumbest motherfucker in the world. A photographer runs in, which is hilarious because it will reveal a TV cameraman in the background. Mandy points out these photos will destroy his life but Jimmy walks out and Naomi walks in and beats her ass. So it was all for nothing. At least we get to the fight, which was the whole point I guess. The angle didn’t make any sense though.
Shane McMahon’s Birthday Bash
This is the main event. I suppose there’s no way to follow that Andrade/Rey match.
Miz is really hard to adjust to as a babyface. Because of years of him being heel it’s so hard to relate to him. He’s still a bit of a jerk. I’m waiting for the hammer to fall. The Bar interrupt proceedings and they banter back and forth until Miz ends up in a match with Sheamus despite wearing a suit.
The Miz vs. Sheamus
There is a cake out here, which means someone is going into it. I don’t make the rules. This is wrestling. Cesaro gets put through a cake, and the table its on and while Sheamus is distracted Miz rolls him up for the pin. Then you’d better believe Shane runs in there and beats Sheamus up. God, I hate him so much.
Final Rating: *1/2
Smackdown is the kind of show I can see myself watching on the regular. It’s an easy watch. It’s not too long and there is minimal shit because they don’t have three hours to fill. It helps that they’re churning out matches like that sick tag last week and Andrade/Rey this week. Admittedly this week leaned heavily on that one singles match but they have a few angles that are worthwhile and Smackdown actually has me a little hyped for the Royal Rumble. We’re on the Road to WrestleMania baby! I love WrestleMania season. I’m still not watching RAW.