Smackdown started with Daniel Bryan in the concessions stands of the venue. He was shaming the food sold at a venue, saying that the food there fills a void. He says that similarily, cheering AJ Styles fills a void. He stole an hot-dog from someone eating nearby and threw it at his face. He went on to another guy and took his drink without a plastic top and spilt it on him. He then went over to the merchandise table and asked for a “Yes Movement” shirt, but couldn’t get one because they aren’t sold. He says he doesn’t want to fill the earth with useless plastic. That last part wasn’t a bad point.
He walked down the stairs to the ring while talking to the crowd. He said he is changing the world and said that people around him are weak. He ripped apart a fan’s AJ Styles sign while saying he will fill the world with “something the world can actually be proud of.” Once he made his way near the ring, R-Truth jumped him. Their previously scheduled bout began after the break. I thought this was a pretty good segment to start the show, to be quite honest. It was nice that we had the next segment before we went to the first break. A fast, but welcomed start to the show.
Daniel Bryan vs. R-Truth
In very short time Bryan won the match, ending it with a Running Knee. As Bryan was on the ramp, AJ Styles jumped him from behind. Security came in to try to break it up. A conveniently placed steel chair was beside the ramp, but Bryan got away before Styles could use it. As Styles was still talking to the security, Rey Mysterio came out. Like, this is the best way to pace a show.
Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali vs. Samoa Joe & Andrade “Cien” Almas
After the break, it was explained that all of the wrestlers in this match will be in the Royal Rumble match. Mysterio got a big reaction from the crowd when he was tagged in. Ali had a good combo of moves onto Almas after being tagged in. Ali did a Crossbody to the outside but was caught by Joe. Joe made Ali bounce off the commentary table and into the floor below the desk. The commentary team just happened to be out of the way the whole time. After the break, Ali reversed Almas’s corner stomp move and then tagged in Rey. Rey did a Springboard Huricanrana to start things off. After eliminating Joe, Mysterio did a Canadian Destroyer for a two count that Joe stopped. Mysterio gave Joe a 619, and then Ali did a 450 to Joe as well. Almas came back in and went after Ali. Ali dove to outside the ring onto Joe, and Almas reversed a 619 into a Hammerlock DDT for the win. This was a great combo at the end that clearly had the crowd unglued.
Rusev Calls Out Shinsuke Nakamura
After the break, Rusev was in the ring. He sadly talked about how Lana is at how hurt because Shinsuke Nakamura hurt her. Of course, he then called out Shinsuke. We see backstage where Shinsuke is sitting in the production room. He is there to show that Lana being hurt is not his fault. He shows a replay from last week where Lana fell off of Nakamura’s back after a kick from Rusev. Rusev didn’t buy this and went backstage to find Nakamura. While trying to find him he got jumped by Nakamura. Shinsuke squished him with a crate and then kicked him. Others came in to split it up, but Nakamura got one last knee in anyways.
Sheamus & Cesaro (The Bar) vs. Jimmy Uso & Jey Uso (The Usos)
Before the next match, the “Mean” Gene Okerlund tribute from Monday was played. The stipulation of this match is that if The Usos win they get a title shot. It makes no sense, but whatever. The Usos got a lot of offence in, with a moment where Cesaro got hit with a dive and went into the first row. After that, he got hit with a Crossbody in the ring. Sheamus got hit with a Superkick for a two count as the broadcast went to another commercial break.
Later on, Sheamus went to the second rope for a move but Jey Uso escaped and Superkicked Sheamus off the ropes. Cesaro went off the ropes and ate a Superkick as well. Before Jay went to the corner for the tag, Mandy Rose appeared on the stage in a towel. She asked Jimmy if she left her golden clothing in her hotel room. This distracted Jimmy, stopping the eventual tag. Cesaro hit the Neutralizer onto Jey Uso to end the match. I guess The Usos won’t be getting their title match. After the match, The Miz came out and introduced The Bar. He then tried to set up a Royal Rumble match against them for the tag belts. Sheamus gives The Miz a Brouge Kick, and then Cesaro accepts the match.
Backstage we saw Naomi find Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville and fight them. Jimmy came to break up the fight. This was the third pull apart brawl on the show. I don’t really have any interest in this, it just makes no sense.
After the break, we saw video packages for Lars Sullivan, Lacey Evans, Heavy Machinery, Nikki Cross & EC3. We also saw backstage that The Miz and Shane McMahon will team at the Rumble. Wait, so they don’t have to earn their title match but The Usos do?
Becky Lynch vs. Carmella vs. Charlotte
The final match of the evening was a triple threat match, with the winner getting a shot against Asuka at the Rumble. After the break, there was a nice spot where Charlotte was thrown back first onto Carmella who was already down. Late into the match, Charlotte did a Moonsault off the top rope onto the outside but everyone got out of the way. Lynch hurled Carmella across the floor right after. A Lynch tried for a Disarmer in the ring on Carmella, Charlotte did a Natural Selection off the ropes. Later on, Lynch got the Disarmer onto Charlotte but Carmella broke it up. Lynch put Carmella in a Disarmer for the win. Asuka came out to face off with Lynch after the match. This was pretty much expected, but at least they put on a pretty good match to officially make Lynch the contender. This wasn’t that bad of a Smackdown. The only segments that felt like they really dragged was the tag team part and the Rusev moment. Other than that, it was a fun viewing.