Smackdown – January 29, 2019

Date: January 29, 2019
Location: Talking Stick Resort Arena, Phoenix, Arizona
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

It’s the final night in Phoenix and that means we should be hitting the ground running. Last night’s Raw wasn’t too bad and hopefully we get a good show out of the blue side. We need some #1 contenders since the Royal Rumble winners are going after the Raw Titles and with Elimination Chamber coming up, there are some free spots open. Let’s get to it.

We open with a long recap of Becky Lynch winning the Royal Rumble and then challenging Ronda Rousey last night on Raw.

Here’s Becky to open things up. A lot has been happening in Phoenix and while the first part of the Rumble didn’t go well, she didn’t fold after a loss like Rousey. She’s coming for the title and is very proud of moving from the pre-show of last year’s Wrestlemania to this year’s main event. The fans cut her off with a YOU DESERVE IT chant before Becky says that she saw doubt in Ronnie’s eyes last night and now she’s going to break Rousey’s arm at Wrestlemania. If Rousey doesn’t walk into Wrestlemania believing that, she’s going to be carried out knowing it.

That’s a great line but here’s Charlotte to interrupt. Charlotte is proud of Becky, who somehow won the Royal Rumble without being in it. Maybe Becky learned something from her after all, because Charlotte brought her to the main event. Becky slaps her in the face and leaves, only to have Charlotte chase her down for the attack. Charlotte whips her into the barricade and the bad knee gets banged up again. Agents break it up in a hurry. It’s pretty clear where this is going and that’s fine.

US Title: R-Truth vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura is defending. Before the match, R-Truth says he isn’t sure what happened at the Royal Rumble. He was rapping, and then he was taken out. However, he’s getting this as a consolation prize for not getting into the Rumble. I’ve heard worse ideas. Nakamura kicks him down at the bell and hits a reverse exploder suplex. Kinshasa is countered into a Lie Detector that slips off into something like an armdrag to send Nakamura to the floor.

Back with Nakamura hitting his running knee in the corner for two. The Landslide is countered into a small package… give Truth the pin and the title at 5:22! That was a rather strange ending as it seemed that they didn’t intend for it to end there, with Truth still wrestling after the pin. Not enough shown to rate, but it wasn’t much anyway.

Post match Rusev comes out, saying he won the title from Nakamura because it deserved better. If that’s the case, it’s not good enough for Truth either. A shove from Carmella to Lana is enough for a title match right now.

US Title: R-Truth vs. Rusev

Rusev is challenging and we’re joined in progress with R-Truth caught in a chinlock. Back up and R-Truth gets a quick rollup out of the corner for the pin to retain at 1:16.

Post match Nakamura jumps R-Truth again and Rusev joins in, because the solution to a popular face is to turn him heel all over again, just a few months after turning him face in the first place.

We recap the opening segment.

Becky leaves, saying she can’t get hurt any worse.

R-Truth is checked on but says he’s fine.

Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe

Before the match, Zelina Vega comes out to say that Rey got her barred from the ring last week because he can’t focus on anything. That allows Andrade to come in from behind for the beatdown, including Three Amigos and the hammerlock DDT. No match.

The Good Brothers ask Rusev what was up with that. R-Truth just beat Rusev and Nakamura back to back and didn’t deserve that. Rusev says to mind their business back in catering. A tag match is set up and Nakamura comes in to accept the challenge. Rusev says they’ll team together one time and Nakamura better not screw him over.

Clip from the premiere of Fighting With My Family.

Here are Shane McMahon and the Miz for a chat. After sucking up to the fans a bit, Shane gives us a video tribute to their time as a team (that doesn’t make things any better). Back in the arena, Shane talks about how Miz has one major motivating factor in his entire life, so here’s Miz dad in a Miz jersey. Papa Miz says he loves his son and is proud of him, setting up a big hug. Now though, we need to find some new #1 contenders, which is what we’ll be seeing later tonight.

Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are announcing their entrances into the Elimination Chamber match for the first ever Women’s Tag Team Titles. Mandy isn’t worried about Naomi and we see a clip from Tough Enough in 2015, with Naomi saying she wasn’t sure if the Tough Enough girls, including Mandy, were ready to take this. Mandy in particular was called out for being weak, and that’s why she wants to ruin Naomi. She was so crushed by what Naomi said that she developed a complex, to the point where her boyfriend left her. Naomi ruined her relationship so Mandy wants to end Naomi’s. That’s uh, rather over the top.

New Day vs. Usos vs. The Bar vs. Heavy Machinery

Elimination rules. Otis shoves people around to start and shrugs off Kofi’s kicks. Kofi tries a slide between the legs but Otis sits down on him for a smart move. Big E. comes in for some gyrating but Otis vibrates, setting up stereo shoulders. Neither can get an abdominal stretch so they try the shoulders again. It’s off to Knight for a double belly shot to the head and we take a break. Back with Corey giving us Mandy updates as Sheamus chinlocks Jimmy. That’s broken up and Jey comes in to clean house as the pace picks up.

Everyone else gets knocked off the apron in a hurry and there’s the running Umaga attack, only to have Jey sent outside. A powerbomb/top rope double stomp combination gets two on Sheamus with Cesaro making a save. Big E. Cactus Clotheslines Cesaro to the floor, leaving Kofi to take the Compactor for the elimination at 7:51. The Usos low bridge Heavy Machinery to the floor but Cesaro tags himself in to break up the double dive. Jimmy gets dropped onto the announcers’ table and we take a second break.

Back with Knight hitting a side slam on Cesaro but Sheamus breaks up a hot tag. As Corey and Saxton bicker over Mandy, the hot tag brings in Otis to clean house with some running splashes in the corner to Sheamus. Otis hits the Caterpillar on Sheamus but Jimmy tags himself in for a high crossbody to Knight. Sheamus tags himself in as well though and the Brogue Kick gets rid of Heavy Machinery at 16:52. Not that it matters though as a superkick into the Superfly Splash gives the Usos the pin and the title shot at 17:22.

Rating: B-. I’m hoping Heavy Machinery gets to be a team that actually goes somewhere on Smackdown, because this division is dying for some fresh blood. There’s no reason to believe that’s going to be the case, but it certainly needs to happen. The same three teams have been around forever now and that has to change at some point.

Here’s Daniel Bryan, sporting a black eye, to change the WWE climate. He asks who won on Sunday, and after waiting for the BECKY chants to die down, Bryan says the people and their children all won. Bryan is the planet’s champion and now someone has seen the light. That person came out for the greater good on Sunday, so here’s Rowan, carrying a bag over his shoulder.

Bryan praises Rowan as an enlightened man of the Earth and his intellectual peer. However, Bryan calls himself a hypocrite because he carries around this title. A trashcan is brought into the ring as Bryan calls the title a symbol of both excellence and excess. This title was made from a cow who did nothing wrong, and Bryan thinks she should be called Daisy. Bryan thinks Daisy had the ability to feel immense job, but she didn’t get to feel it long enough. The title is thrown into the title because it’s trash. Fans: “GOODBYE DAISY!”

Rowan pulls out the new title, which is rather….wood looking. The new title is made of hemp and carved from an oak, with the fans being more interested in the hemp. This brings out AJ Styles, who asks if Bryan smoked the prototype of that belt…..and here’s Randy Orton to cut them both off. Back from a break with Jeff Hardy in the ring and Mustafa Ali coming out.

Before he can say much, Samoa Joe comes out to say he’s here to put a champion to sleep. Jeff can pretend that he’s at an AA meeting and shut up while Joe is talking. Ali got choked out last week, and Joe wants to know how Wendy is doing. The fight is on as Bryan shouts that he’s going to be champion forever because no one is getting a title shot. HHH pops up on screen to announce Bryan defending the title in an Elimination Chamber match next month to end the show.

Overall Rating: C+. This was an episode where the wrestling wasn’t the point (though it was fine) as most of the show was spent building up things for later. We already have two title matches set for Elimination Chamber and we’ll be seeing a tag match next week. I’m liking the direction things are going in, and if we get a great Elimination Chamber show out of it, so be it.


R-Truth b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Small package

R-Truth b. Rusev – Rollup

Usos b. The Bar, Heavy Machinery and New Day – Superfly Splash to Sheamus

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