Date: January 15, 2019
Location: Legacy Arena, Birmingham, Alabama
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips
We’re getting rather close to the Rumble and that means it’s time to hammer home some final details before the pay per view. While I can’t imagine anything as big as last night’s change on Raw, there’s always the chance of something big happening. We also have Andrade Cien Almas vs. Rey Mysterio set for tonight, which should be fun. Let’s get to it.
Becky Lynch arrives and says everyone knows if she’s ready for Asuka. She’ll answer it in the ring though. She walks forward and sees Heavy Machinery making a pancake and egg shake as a disgusted New Day watches. Becky drinks it instead and says it’s a little weak. As I said a few weeks back: that’s a very Becky thing to say.
Here’s Becky to say how hard it is to run this division. That’s why Asuka isn’t here, because this is hard. There are people who say she’s all hype, but she delivers every single time. Now if you want to talk about hype, look at Asuka walking into last year’s Wrestlemania unstoppable and losing. Then Asuka fell off the radar and couldn’t beat the same woman that Becky has beaten or months. But now she’s not ready for Asuka?
This brings out Asuka to say Becky is like a bee with no sting. After the Rumble, Becky will be out of Charlotte’s shadow but into Asuka’s. This brings out the IIconics to say Becky is a bossy bully and Asuka isn’t acting like a champion should. It doesn’t matter how Becky and Asuka act anyway because they’re going to win the Royal Rumble, win the Women’s Tag Team Titles, and then make Wrestlemania ICONIC! Becky throws out the challenge and we take a break.
Becky Lynch vs. Peyton Royce
Becky is in jeans. An early Disarm-Her attempt sends Peyton to the ropes so Becky leg lariats her down. A backslide gives Becky two and she grabs an armbar as we see Lacey Evans watching from the back. Peyton fights up and gets in some kicks in the corner, followed by the chinlock. Becky sends her outside but a Billie distraction lets Peyton score with a clothesline as we take a break. Back with Becky fighting out of another chinlock before a Thesz press takes Peyton down for some right hands. There’s the Bexploder into the Disarm-Her for the tap at 9:51.
Rating: D+. Nothing much to see here but it did its job well enough. At least the IIconics are still around, which is more than has been the case in recent weeks. They’re fine for roles like this and can be the annoying duo for a long time going forward. Asuka vs. Becky is starting to feel personal, which is exactly where it needs to go.
Post match Asuka yells a lot and drags Billie in as we have a second match.
Asuka vs. Billie Kay
Non-title. Asuka kicks her in the head and grabs an armbar with a stare at Becky. The Asuka Lock makes Billie tap at 46 seconds.
Post match Asuka and Becky yell at each other….and here’s AJ Styles? The women leave and AJ jumps the barricade to head up the steps. Back from a break with AJ in the concourse at the concession stand. Last week Bryan said these people weren’t healthy and happy but they look happy to him. Eat what you want if it makes you happy. If you want a hot dog, go get yourself one. These people are no different than the ones in Phoenix, where AJ is getting the title back. Off to the merchandise stand now, as AJ grabs some shirts and throws them into the crowd. Cue Bryan for the brawl until security breaks it up. More good stuff.
The Usos are at a photo shoot when Jimmy gets a package. It’s their anniversary tomorrow so Jimmy thinks it’s an early present. Jey opens it up and finds a rose with a note. The message says that she’s been a naughty girl and needs to be locked up in the Uso Penitentiary, signed Mandy. There’s a hotel room key included and Jimmy says he’s not sure what he’s doing. This is interesting, even if I think you know where the payoff is going.
Samoa Joe walks to the ring and sees EC3 posing in front of a mirror.
Andrade (yes Andrade, who has lost his Cien Almas) says he used to idolize Rey Mysterio but it’s time to start thinking about the future. He wins tonight, and then wins the Royal Rumble.
Samoa Joe vs. Mustafa Ali
Joe jumps him before the bell and sends Ali hard into the post for a knockout. No match. Joe goes to leave but comes back and beats Ali up even more. He goes to leave again but comes back again, this time for a powerbomb, but Joe opts to throw Ali into the barricade instead. Note that the light on Ali’s vest never went out, meaning that’s a high quality product.
Sonya Deville isn’t sure if Mandy Rose should give Jimmy Uso her room key. Mandy knows how scandalous it is and it’s all being done because she hates Naomi. Breaking up their marriage sounds like a good idea to her.
Rey Mysterio is on his way to the ring and gets freaked out by Nikki Cross.
Samoa Joe says that was just a preview for the Royal Rumble. He’s entering for the first time and is hunting anyone who gets in his way.
Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade
Rey starts spinning around to start and armdrags Andrade into the corner. A headlock slows Andrade down a bit more and the hold hits the mat. Andrade is right back with a hammerlock and wrenches Rey down to really stay on the arm. The arm gets sent into the corner and the armbar goes right back on. Rey sends him outside with a headscissors but Andrade slides back in where he has to duck the 619.
The hammerlock DDT is countered into a rollup which is countered into another rollup for two on Rey, with Andrade saying it was that close. That’s fine with Rey as he kicks Andrade in the head and hurricanranas him to the floor but Andrade doesn’t let go, meaning it’s a sitout powerbomb on the floor as we take a break.
Back with Rey speeding things up again and hitting a hurricanrana, followed by a tornado DDT for two. Rey gets caught on the top but is fine enough to hit a nice looking hurricanrana to take Andrade from the apron to the floor. A seated senton off the apron takes Andrade down again and we take a break. Back with Rey getting two off a Code Red until Almas kicks him in the face for the same.
Andrade’s double moonsault gets two but Rey is right back with something like a running Canadian Destroyer to drop Andrade HARD on his head for two more. The 619 is blocked so Rey settles for a crucifix driver for two instead. Now the 619 connects but a Vega distraction lets Andrade crotch Rey on top. The hanging hammerlock DDT finishes Mysterio at 20:36.
Rating: B. This was a very fun match, assuming you can ignore Rey’s knees being torn and wrecked every time he takes a step. They’re doing a good job of making Almas look like a star here and that’s exactly the point. Mysterio is one of those guys who could lose every match he has for the rest of his career and still be a legend so it’s not like losing a competitive and entertaining twenty minute match is going to hurt anything.
We recap the Mandy/Jimmy stuff.
Jimmy goes to the hotel room where Mandy is in a robe. She says the time to play hard to get is over and takes off her robe to reveal some lingerie, which again is about the same as what she wears to the ring. Jimmy says no and reaches out a hand to hold her back, as a photographer pops out to take pictures. Mandy laughs off the idea that she wanted Jimmy because this is all about destroying Naomi. Mandy: “She will never be as hot as me.”
Once Naomi sees the photos, she’ll be destroyed. Jimmy doesn’t seem shaken and walks away. As he leaves, Naomi comes in and beats Mandy down, proving that there are intelligent people in wrestling. Mandy fights back and knocks her into a wall before leaving. Jimmy comes in to help Naomi up as she said this isn’t over.
We look at the unveiling of the Women’s Tag Team Titles.
Royal Rumble rundown.
Here’s Miz for a big celebration of Shane McMahon’s birthday, complete with cakes and presents. Miz introduces Shane for a birthday dance as Shane is rather energetic, as usual. Miz has two cakes for him, including a little chocolate and vanilla, though one of them has a picture of Miz and Shane on it.
That brings us to the first present, the Jordan 33 sneakers, with Shane (known for his love of sneakers), listing off every feature. Next up is a video tribute to Shane, who then talks about always wanting to be Tag Team Champions. Now his first pick was Andre the Giant but he’s happy to walk into the Rumble this Sunday (or next Sunday) with Miz as his partner.
Miz then leads the crowd in Happy Birthday but here’s the Bar to interrupt. They say Vince was invited to this whole thing but he doesn’t care enough to actually show up. Shane didn’t like the Bar attacking Miz last week so let’s have Sheamus vs. Miz tonight. Miz is in a suit but Shane says he wore a suit when he won the Best in the World tournament. That’s enough for Miz and we’re on.
Sheamus vs. The Miz
Joined in progress with Miz (in suit pants) hammering away but getting sent to the apron for the forearms to the chest. White Noise is countered into a rollup to give Miz two so Sheamus knees him in the ribs. The Skull Crushing Finale is blocked but Miz avoids a charge into the post and hits some running dropkicks. Sheamus gets in another shot so Cesaro gets on the apron, allowing Shane to throw him through a cake at ringside. Miz grabs a rollup for the pin at 4:03.
Rating: D. I like both guys but this is much more about Shane than anything else and that’s not going to work. He’s turning 49 years old today and is somehow getting a title shot at the Royal Rumble. I’m not sure how that’s supposed to work, but he’s a McMahon so that’s what matters. The Shane portion of the show ate up about half an hour, which is way more than Shane could ever need. Just please don’t let this lead to Shane getting another big Wrestlemania spot, even though you know it’s going there.
Post match Sheamus beats on Miz with Shane making the save. The Skull Crushing Finale plants Sheamus and Miz is surprised that Shane helped him. Shane goes up top as Miz grabs a cake, which is driven into Sheamus’ face off the Coast to Coast. Shane is banged up to end the show.
Overall Rating: C-. That last quarter really hurt thins and there wasn’t much of a way to fix it. The Mysterio vs. Andrade match was good but it’s not good enough to make up for half an hour of the Shane and Miz Show. The rest of the show was fine enough with Bryan vs. AJ being good stuff and the Mandy/Naomi story being good enough soap opera drama which thankfully didn’t include Naomi being an idiot. I liked most of the show but that focus on Miz/Shane has me worried for the future.
Becky Lynch b. Peyton Royce – Disarm-Her
Asuka b. Billie Kay – Asuka Lock
Andrade b. Rey Mysterio – Hanging hammerlock DDT
The Miz b. Sheamus – Rollup
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