WWE Smackdown #1014
January 22 2019
We’re in Wichita, Kansas at the Intrust Bank Arena. Hosts are Tom Phillips, his four-hour airline rager*, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton.
*I hope he doesn’t face fuck the shit out of his co-hosts on this show. I know WWE has been reaching for some edgier content of late but that would be taking it too far.
Promo Time: Becky Lynch
Remember when Steve Austin was so mega-over that they always started the show with him cutting a promo. Uh huh.
I don’t know if she’s done this before but Becky points out she should be main eventing WrestleMania. Yep! The route on paper is Lynch beating Asuka and defending that title in the main event. However, the far bigger draw would be her winning the Royal Rumble. So I’m interested to see how WWE goes about business on Sunday. She’s interrupted by Asuka as that remains the profile match for Sunday.
The crowd are very rowdy here and Lynch is super over. WWE are doing the right thing in trying to make sure she drags the division up with her. Charlotte Flair joins us to give an appraisal of the situation. She seems to feel it doesn’t matter who wins because she’s winning the Royal Rumble and the main event at WrestleMania belongs to her. Asuka takes her frustrations out on Becky and they have a pull-apart while Charlotte walks off smirking. The master manipulator. I’m glad Smackdown has three women who are main event over and they can all go. It’s quite the turn up for the books.
Naomi vs. Mandy Rose
This is happening because Mandy tried to fuck Jimmy Uso because she hates Naomi so much. That’s commitment to a feud. I’d personally rather the women left that degree of sexuality at home but hey, this is Vince McMahon’s company and that’s how he sees women. What are you going to do? Convince a billionaire who always gets his own way that he’s wrong? Good luck with that. Anyway, Mandy takes advantage of Sonya distracting, runs Naomi in the ring post and pins her.
Final Rating: *1/4
Video Control gives us a word with Raymond Mysterious tells us he lasted over an hour in 2006 Royal Rumble so he knows he can do it again. Rey also feels better about beating Andrade tonight because Zelina Vega is banned from ringside.
The Miz vs. Cesaro
Miz wrestled Sheamus in slacks last week so logically it’s Shane’s turn to wrestle Cesaro? I guess he is in charge of the show but still. If he wants to be taken seriously as a tag team wrestler he should pull his weight. Incidentally I hope the team does work because I want them to get one of those compound team names. I want them to be called, wait for it, The Shiz. Somehow we’ve now got Miz out there doing Daniel Bryan spots, getting a pop for it, and Bryan is a heel. It feels like we’re in an alternate universe. Sheamus cheats for his boy and Cesaro beats Miz with the Neutralizer. Shane McMahon, the best pure striker in his own mind, comes to the rescue.
In a wonderful turn of events Shane crashes and burns into the guardrail and eats a beautiful Brogue Kick.
Ahhh, fuck you Shane. Eat shit.
Final Rating: *
Promo Time: Vince McMahon
He’s out here to oversee the pre-Rumble face-down between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan. Tree-hugging hippy Bryan refuses to enter the ring with a sociopath. I’m into this feud because AJ Styles totally strikes me as the kind of guy who’d go out hunting deer with his buddies and spending the night by a campfire drinking Coors Light and complaining about libtards ruining ‘Murica for all the good, Jesus praising Conservative white folk. Likewise I can see Daniel Bryan, super vegan, representing the left and calling out anyone and everyone for eating meat and daring to use a plastic container. The weird thing is, there’s no way Bryan should ever be the heel anywhere other than Trump’s America. He’s doing a wonderful job. Daniel that is, not Trump, he’s doing a fucking horrible job.
Anyway, Daniel declares himself the planet’s champion and Styles calls him a coward. When Bryan starts into Vince McMahon and blames him for ruining the planet with his “wealth hoarding”. Bryan avoids AJ until hiding behind Vince opens up the window to nail Styles with the Busaiku Knee. This was good. The match will be good. Bryan’s character has blossomed into a genuinely hateable, but ethically correct, man of the vegan people.
Video Control takes us backstage where R-Truth says he’ll win the Royal Rumble and challenge Bryan or AJ. “Not Brock Lesnar?” asks Carmella. Nope! Carmella calls herself the Gatekeeper because she’s coming out at #30. Charlotte Flair shuts her down.
Samoa Joe vs. Mustafa Ali
Joe murdered Ali before their match last week could happen. So Ali, former cop, is back out here to get some justice against the Samoan wrecking machine. Good luck with that copper. Ali learned from last week and when Joe goes to hurl him at the post he leaps onto the apron and comes flying off. The trouble is, Joe isn’t this big immobile lump that Ali can flip around. Joe absolutely destroys Ali in the corner with his mobility. Ali is pleasantly creative in using his speed and Joe can occasionally turn the clock back with his own versatility. It’s a really good little match. Ali goes up top but Joe drags him down into the Coquina Clutch and that’s it. I enjoyed this! Both guys are benefitting from their brief series. Ali is showing his size isn’t an issue and Joe is coming across as an even bigger beast.
Final Rating: **3/4
2/3 Falls Match
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade
This week’s wrinkle is not only the falls stipulation, CMLL lucha rules baby, but also that Zelina Vega is banned from ringside.
This is their third interaction after a cracking tag match a few weeks back and then a great singles match a week ago. The chemistry they have is clear but it’s Andrade who’s killing it here. I love that he’s the up and comer keen to prove himself to the veteran and Rey is keen to prove he can still go. A double whammy of mega-effort. Andrade hits a powerbomb off the ropes for 1-0 with some of the crowd crushed because they forgot it was 2/3 falls.
Rey struggles back to his feet and gets creamed with a powerbomb, first move in the second fall, but valiantly kicks out. Rey pulls another Canadian Destroyer out of his ass and Andrade absolutely head-spikes it for 1-1.
The Destroyer is such a great leveller because I now believe that Andrade is genuinely rattled and both men have a shot at winning.
This incredible sunset flip powerbomb into the rail is incredible. I love Rey breaking out the West Coast Pop too, rather than that springboard splash…and Andrade still kicks out! I love it. They do another insane spot with a sunset flip bomb where Andrade flips out of it. The crowd reaction for when Rey gets his foot on the rope to survive the Hammerlock DDT is so great. The crowd don’t want the match to end. They make a balls out of a flying rana roll up but other than that the match is brilliant. It’s all the indie madness you see hitting the PWG main events but it being done in a WWE arena makes it surreal almost. The finish sucks as Samoa Joe runs back out here and kills Rey with a powerbomb on the apron for the DQ. A shame really as the match was incredible.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Another great episode of Smackdown. A fine go-home show for the Rumble and I’m fired up for that show despite not having seen RAW in months.