Smackdown Live 8/20/19 Results and Review

Last week, Smackdown Live ended with Daniel Bryan saying he will reveal the culprit in the attack against Roman Reigns next week. From Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA, a very suspenseful Smackdown Live show started with Randy Orton.

Kofi Kingston Confronts Randy Orton

The evening began with Randy Orton coming to the ring. On the previous night at RAW, Orton interfered in a New Day tag match, taking out the trio with the help of The Revival. We were told by the commentary team that Xavier Woods is not present at tonight’s show. Speaking of the commentary, David Otunga was replacing Corey Graves this week. He talked about how Kingston dodged their championship match at Summerslam. He then bragged about his attack on Monday, continuing with the “Kofi is stupid” tagline he’s been running with for a while. New Day music hit as his promo was wrapping up. In very Orton-like fashion, Kingston came from the crowd and gave Orton a Trouble In Paradise out of nowhere. When you thought Kingston was leaving, he took a steel chair and wedged an ankle of Orton between it. He went to the second rope but got distracted by The Revival, who came down to the ring. He teed off on Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson with a chair while Orton got away. The commentary described this segment like we’ve never seen Kingston like this, although isn’t that what we got at Summerslam when he snapped? It was an okay segment though.

Before the break, we saw a video package the recent situation between Roman Reigns, Daniel Bryan and Rowan. We were reminded that Bryan said he would come forward with the attacker this week. Honestly, this has been an interesting storyline so far. It’s had a legitimate cliffhanger for a week that I’ve been interested to find out about

Andrade w/ Zelina Vega vs. Apollo Crews (King of the Ring Tournament First Round Match)

In the first of two King of the Ring matches on this episode, Andrade faced Apollo Crews. Before the match, we were given the first televised announcement that NXT is moving to the USA Network on Wednesdays soon. The idea from people within the business was that it would be announced on Monday, and really that seems like the logical way to announce it, but whatever. Before the match, we saw Kevin Owens talking with Shane McMahon backstage. Owens was still torn apart about the 100k dollar fine he was given last week. Owens asked him to reconsider, to which McMahon said he will think about.

Starting off the match quickly, Crews gave Andrade a clothesline for a kickout. Isn’t that how a King of the Ring match started on Monday? Just like Monday, we got a replay of it seconds later as well. Andrade did double knees in the corner for a two count. Crews went for a rollup pin for a two count. Andrade did a hold while on the ropes. He went to the top rope but was hit with a dropkick on the way down. Crews caught Andrade outside the ring, but Andrade turned it into a huricanrana into a steel staircase as we went to break. I really liked that spot. Back from the break, Crews caught a crossbody. Crews hit a double knees for a two count. They traded strikes when they got back up. Crews did a jumping-clotheslines. Crews hit an Olympic Slam for another kickout. Andrade landed a boot after countering a move. He went to the second rope but was hit with a dropkick. Crews picked up Andrade but dropped him due to a hurt hand. Crews was thrown into a corner. Andrade tried for another double knees but Crews avoided it. Crews did a standing shooting star press after a few moves by both fighters. Crews tried picking up Andrade, but Zelina Vega held onto him from outside the ring. When they separated, Andrade hit a spinning back elbow. Andrade hit his Hammerlock DDT for the win. It’s weird how the commentators tout how good Andrade is (referencing how he made Rey Mysterio contemplate retirement), but don’t call out how he cheats to win. Even after the match they praised him.

Backstage, we saw Daniel Bryan and Rowan carry someone into a room with a towel over their head. After that, we saw Elias spot an undercover referee backstage. The referee told him that Drake Maverick was in a container. He made Maverick read a statement from Shane McMahon that suspended the 24/7 Championship for the night so that Elias could focus on his match.

A Moment of Bliss w/ Charlotte Flair

Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross hosted A Moment of Bliss with their special guest this week being Charlotte Flair. Bliss said that Flair asked to be on the show. Flair said she is the “Queen of all eras” and the “face of the Smackdown women’s brand.” Bliss claimed that “some would say” Bayley is the current face. After Flair explained why she thinks she’s better, Bayley came out to confront her. Bayley said Flair is angry that she isn’t the champ. Flair said she will restore the belt’s value when she beats her at Clash of Champions. Bayley accepts the challenge to face her at the PPV. She pushed Flair off of her chair and then left. Wow, easy night for Bliss and Cross. I don’t like Bayley being this very cocky character. It just doesn’t feel right on her, especially because of her track record as not being a super cocky character.

Daniel Bryan w/ Rowan vs. Buddy Murphy

Backstage we saw Roman Reigns confront Buddy Murphy. Murphy said he thought it was Rowan who attacked him. Reigns said he will beat him up if he lies again. A week after he faced Reigns, Buddy Murphy faced Daniel Bryan this week. Before the match, Bryan called him a liar. Similar to Bryan’s Wrestlemania 28 match, he was distracted when the bell rang, and was hit right of the bat. Murphy hit a flying knee for a two count. He gave Bryan landed tons of kicks in the corner. Later, Murphy sent Bryan outside the ring with a clothesline then landed a dive over the top rope as we went to commercials. Back from the break, Murphy landed a dropkick off the second rope. He went to the top rope again, landing a double knees this time. Bryan put in a Lebell Lock and then transitioned into a Rings of Saturn. Going back to the Lebell Lock, Murphy put a foot on the ropes to save himself. Bryan started doing Yes Kicks. Murphy avoided a kick and landed one of this own. Murphy was hung upside down in the ropes and was given a dropkick to the head. Bryan put Murphy on the top rope and did a belly-to-back superplex for a two count. He did kicks to Murphy in the corner while screaming “Liar! Liar!” Murphy reversed a move, doing a superkick in the corner and a running powerbomb for a close kickout. They got up and traded punches. Bryan tried for a move but was reversed into a rollup. Murphy did a brainbuster after a few strikes, but Bryan put his foot on the rope to kick out. Rowan got on the apron. Murphy got distracted by Rowan. Bryan tried for a rollup but was thrown off and into Rowan. Murphy tried for a superkick but hit Rowan. Bryan tried for a roll-up but couldn’t get it. Murphy landed a knee and then a Murphy’s Law to win the match.

This was a very good match. I have no real issues with it. Maybe a few too many pin attempts, but the match was great overall. It wasn’t really clear why Rowan stayed on the apron for so long, or got on it in the first place. Maybe he just wanted a better view.

After the break, Buddy Murphy was going to get interviewed backstage. He was jumped before the interview got off the ground, with Rowan beating him up. Bryan screamed at him about being a liar the whole time.

Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder (The Revival) vs. Otis & Tucker (Heavy Machinery)

The Revival came out and challenged The New Day to a Championship match. Their promo was cut off by their opponents for this week, Heavy Machinery. Both Revival members had wrapping around their mid-section due to the steel chair attack earlier. Tucker and Wilder started the bout. Tucker put Wilder in a bear hug. He tagged in Otis, and passed Wilder to him, where he continued the bear hug. Tucker got tagged back in. They did dual vertical suplexes, holding their opponents high for a long time. We went to break after that spot. After the break, Wilder and Tucker were back in the ring. Wilder did a bulldog off a corner for a two count. Dawson got tagged in and tried for a senton but Tucker avoided it. Otis got the hot tag against Dawson. He spun around Wilder before doing a slam. He did a splash in a corner, and then did his famous caterpillar elbow drop. Otis tried for a compactor but got it broken up. Tucker took down Dawson but Wilder went for a rollup to get the win because of the predicament. It was a decent match but the finish made it fall flat.

Chad Gable cut a promo backstage about being called an underdog in the King of the Ring tournament. Behind him, his opponent Shelton Benjamin put a sign on a door. The sign said “You must be at least this tall to participate in the King of the Ring Tournament.” He didn’t find that too funny.

MizTV w/ Sami Zayn

We were given another reminder that NXT is moving to Wednesdays. In the next segment, The Miz hosted another episode of MizTV with Sami Zayn. In a two-hour show, two of these talk show segments feels like too much. Zayn admits early that he only wanted to be on this show so he could get TV time. He said there is people on Smackdown who needs his help. He brought Shinsuke Nakamura out. Nakamura said Zayn speaks for him. Nakamura kicked Miz in the groin, then did tons of knees. He did a kick in the corner and a Kinshasa to end the brawl. So I guess Nakamura is a follower of Zayn now, which is weird since Nakamura has a belt and Zayn is on a losing streak.

Elias vs. Kevin Owens (King of the Ring Tournament First Round Match)

We saw Daniel Bryan and Rowan backstage again. They went into the room where the disguised attacker was. They said Roman Reigns was on the way. Shane McMahon brought Kevin Owens back into the room. McMahon asked for an apology for laying his hands on him last week. Without hesitation, he apologized. McMahon said if Owens ever touches another WWE official he will be fired. McMahon refused a handshake before Owens walked off.

In the final match of the night, Kevin Owens faced Elias in the first round of the King of the Ring. Elias landed a shoulder tackle early on. Owens send Elias over the ropes, but avoided doing a dive as Elias ran out of the way. Elias threw Owens into a barricade before throwing him back in the ring. Owens did a cannonball in the corner of the ring for a two count. After this, Shane McMahon’s music hit and he sat at ringside. Owens did a frogsplash onto the floor during the commercial break. Later on, Owens did a dropkick off the second rope and then a senton. He tried for a pop-up powerbomb but Elias reversed it. Owens went to the second rope, but Elias put him on his shoulders and landed a powerbomb for a kickout. Both on the top rope, Elias was knocked onto the canvas. Owens tried for a Shooting Star Press but Elias put his knees up. Owens sent Elias outside the ring and then did a cannonball off the apron. Outside the ring, McMahon interfered. He took off his shirt and revealed his referee shirt. Owens was back in the ring and distracted, getting attacked by Elias. Owens tried for a stunner but was almost thrown into Shane. Elias went for a roll-up, with McMahon giving him a fast count to end it. Well, I guess that’s better than being fired.

The Attacker Is Revealed

Backstage, we saw Roman Reigns arrive in the room backstage. They unmasked the person, who looked like a Rowan lookalike. Apart from balding grey hair, he had a similar face and the long ginger beard. All three of them stared at a confused Reigns as the show ended. So, quite a way to end it. Um, I guess Reigns’ emotion at the ended conveys mine as well: pure confusion. Going into next week it’s not as intriguing, but I’ll still be interested to see where they go from here.

This show had some pretty good matches. The best was easily Daniel Bryan versus Buddy Murphy and Andrade versus Apollo Crews. While this show had it’s flaws, it flew by pretty quickly.

WWE Smackdown Live 2/19/19 Results and Review

Smackdown came back on Tuesday after WWE Elimination Chamber took place on Sunday. Live from New Orleans, Louisiana, let’s look at this week’s Smackdown Live.

Smackdown Live started with Shane McMahon coming to the ring. As he made his way there, we were shown a video package about the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match. As Shane was talking about the show, The Miz came out. Miz said he had to get something off of his chest. He acted guilty about how they lost their tag belts on Sunday. Miz confessed that he used Shane. His speech eventually went into the idea of a rematch against The Usos. So it looks like The Miz is going to use him again. The Usos came out and trashed talked a little. Shane booked the rematch for Fastlane.

Aleister Black vs. Andrade w/ Zelina Vega

At RAW the night before there were many NXT wrestlers who got shown to the mainstream audience. It happened again this week but on Smackdown this time. The first match was between Aleister Black and Andrade. Andrade and Black were in a close battle for quite some time. Andrade tried for his Hammerlock DDT, but Black escaped and landed the Black Mass Kick to end the match. Not a bad match. Backstage we saw Johnny Gargano and Tommaso Ciampa being interviewed. Sheamus and Cesaro came over and told them to leave Smackdown. Gargano said that they are there to break the bar. This made Sheamus and Cesaro burst into laughter, and that was it. Kofi Kingston gave an olive branch that had pancakes on it to Jeff Hardy and AJ Styles as a way to apologize for being opponents on Sunday.

The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. #DIY (Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa)

The next NXT versus Smackdown Live was one between the previously mentioned Bar and #DIY. During this match Ciampa did a Sunset Flip off the second rope on Sheamus, but looked very scary. It looked like Ciampa nearly buckled his left knee with the move. It seemed to really scare the commentary team. Gargano put Cesaro in the “Gargano Escape” but Cesaro got out of it. Sheamus gave Gargano a knee off the top rope with help from Cesaro, but Ciampa broke up the pin attempt. Gargano was hit with a backbreaker from Sheamus for another two count. Sheamus was given a Superkick for a two count. Gargano tried for a roll-up and then tagged in Ciampa who did a roll-up to win the match. This caught Sheamus off guard because he was attacking Gargano in the corner at the time. An enjoyable match by all four. While I like these matches, I do feel that they can get sort of lame since they are basically special attraction matches.

Asuka vs. Mandy Rose w/ Sonya Deville

In the ring we saw Asuka get interviewed. She said that she’s ready for a challenge. Who answered her call? Mandy Rose. The match was made, but wasn’t for the title. Not even a minute into the match, Lacey Evans came out. She did he walk down the ramp, and then turn around and left. This actually distracted Asuka, giving Mandy an opening. She went for a pin attempt after putting Asuka into a corner, but wasn’t successful. Asuka landed a Shining Wizard later on for a two count. Rose faked a face injury to make Asuka let her guard down. She then shoved Asuka into a corner and then did a roll-up to win the match. Asuka was undefeated at one point in her career. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

Ricochet vs. Eric Young w/ Killian Dain & Alexander Wolfe

Ricochet versus Eric Young in the next match. Ricochet landed his 630 Splash to end the match. Of course, Ricochet had a good showing.

Kofi Kingston, Jeff Hardy & AJ Styles w/ Big E & Xavier Woods vs. Samoa Joe, Randy Orton & Daniel Bryan w/ Erick Rowan

The main event was a tag match including all members of the WWE Championship Elimination Chamber match. Daniel Bryan talked to the crowd on his way out. You could see huge welts on his chest from Sunday. Bryan says that his next opponent will be none of the men from the Chamber match since they’ve all been defeated. During this match Kofi had the crowd behind him (as he should to be honest). Kingston tried for a dive off the top rope but was shoved off by Bryan. Orton threw Kingston onto a commentary table, but it did not break. He did it again after a commercial break. Styles and Bryan were in the ring when Styles gave him a Calf Crusher. It was broken up by Samoa Joe, who was given a Twist of Fate. Orton slid Hardy out of the ring and then got clotheslined out by AJ. Bryan put AJ in an Labell Lock after a combination of moves. Bryan tried for a knee but got hit with a Pele Kick. Kingston got a hot tag but got dumped to the outside where many people were. Kofi came back in and did a dropkick off the top rope. He went to the top rope and did a dive to the outside onto Bryan and Rowan. Kingston landed a Trouble In Paradise to win the match. After the match Shane McMahon came out and booked Daniel Bryan versus Kofi Kingston for the Fastlane PPV.

Is this happening? Kingston is legitimately big with the crowd, and he’s getting some real wins. I’m ready to see this match. I don’t think that Kofi will legitimately win because this has all been so short term, but I’m excited to see what they can do in the next week weeks and in their match at the PPV.

This show felt somewhat lame. Like sure the NXT dudes are putting on good matches, but WWE needs more than just good matches to keep me interested. They need storylines that go along with them, which none of them really had. The main event was fun, and helped further build Kingston as a fan favourite.

Sign up for e-mail updates when articles are posted:


WWE Royal Rumble 2019 Results and Review

It’s time to review what is easily my favourite show every year. Of course I am talking about the Royal Rumble. Along with the men’s and women’s Royal Rumble matches, the third biggest match on the show was Brock Lesnar versus Finn Balor, who is replacing Braun Stroman after Stroman angered Vince McMahon on RAW three weeks ago. On the Smackdown brand, AJ Styles was challenging for the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan. Also, Asuka faced Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship. Let’s start with the pre-show matches.

Bobby Roode & Chad Gable vs. Rezar w/ Drake Maverick & Scott Dawson

At the analyst desk for the Royal Rumble Kickoff was Johnathan Coachman, Beth Phoenix, Booker T and Jerry Lawler. After 45 minutes of the pre-show, we had our first match. The match that kicked off the show was an odd one. Since Akam, one-half of The Authors of Pain is injured, he teams with Scott Dawson from The Revival for a tag match. I can only assume this is to remind people that AoP exists. There was some sort of stipulation announced that if Rezar and Dawson won they would both get title shots for their teams or something. Early on there seemed to be issues with the team of Rezar and Dawson as Rezar gave a shocked expression when he was involuntarily tagged out. Roode was on a roll late in the match, hitting a Blockbuster. Dawson pulled the tights during a roll-up but it didn’t help him. Rezar got hit with Dawson’s move by accident and then was taken out of the ring by both Roode and Gable. With the help of Roode, Gable hit a Moonsault on Dawson to end the match. This was a dumb match. Why bring back Rezar while his partner is injured just to lose? The finish didn’t feel like it was proper, and the bad chemistry between Rezar and Dawson existed but wasn’t really shown enough, especially at the end.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev (WWE United States Championship Match)

The first championship match of the show was Nakamura versus current champion, Rusev. During this match Nakamura wore a very red outfit. Rusev was dominant early on, clotheslining Nakamura out of the ring after a couple of suplexes. He then threw Nakamura towards the steel stairs, but Nakamura dodged it and came back with a kick. He threw Rusev into a barricade and then kneed him in the chest. Back in the ring, Rusev got hit with a knee in the corner for a two count. Rusev got himself back together and got on a roll. He landed a Spin Kick off the ropes for a two count after a combo of moves. They must have cut to Lana 20 times during this match. Nakamura escaped an Accolade attempt and landed some kicks. Was there a “kicks only” stipulation for this match that I missed? Rusev landed a Matchka Kick and than a slam move which got turned into an Armbar by Nakamura. Shinsuke turned the Armbar into a Triangle Choke, and then a Guillotine when Rusev tried escaping. Rusev landed a Suplex to finally escape. The pin attempt following it got a very close count. Nakamura went to the turnbuckle after a near fall and took off a pad. Lana got on the apron and tried to let the ref know. Nakamura got in her face, and Rusev tried to attack him during this. Shinsuke dodged Rusev, and hit Lana instead. This distracted Rusev, letting Nakamura hit a Kinshasa to win the match. This match could have cooled down on the kicks. It’s hard to tell if the crowd is quiet or they are just hard to hear.

Kalisto vs. Akira Tozawa vs. Hideo Itami vs. Buddy Murphy (WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match)

The final pre-show match was a fatal-four-way for the Cruiserweight Championship. Early in the match there was a nice move where Tozawa dove to the outside and hit Kalisto, who Huricanrana’d Murphy. Later on Murphy did a dive onto all three opponents. Hanging off the second rope Murphy was hit with a Huricanrana and seemingly planted his head in the canvas. Murphy landed a Powerbomb onto Kalisto but Tozawa broke up the pin. Kalisto gave Itami a Salida del Sol for a two count. Murphy gave a good knee to Kalisto as he was coming off the ropes. After a combo of moves against Itami he hit Murphy’s Law for the win. This match had some good stuff in it, with a lot of impressive spots.

Becky Lynch vs. Asuka (WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship Match)

Opening the PPV was Becky Lynch versus Asuka. Early on in the match Asuka was kicked off the apron, landing flat on the floor. Outside the ring Lynch did a Beckslpoder onto the barricade. Lynch went off the second rope and was hit with a knee. Asuka landed a close count after a hit attack. Asuka went off the top rope but Lynch avoided her, and then hit a Rock Bottom for a two count. Lynch fell into an Armbar and almost escaped but then got put in an Asuka Lock. Lynch rolled to the ropes to get out. Back on the apron, Asuka gave Becky some sort of Suplex onto the floor. Becky made it back into the ring before the ten count. They traded slaps in the ring until Asuka landed a spinning kick for a two count. The fight found its way onto the top rope, where Lynch landed a Super-Becksploder for a two count. Asuka dodged a Leg Drop off the top rope into an Asuka Lock. Lynch did a Disarmer and then turned it into an Asuka Lock of her own. Asuka got out and then did a kick. After a chain of moves Asuka did a Chokehold to retain. I thought Lynch would win, but she didn’t. This match had good moments but felt like it wasn’t always entertaining. Like I mentioned before the crowd sounded dead, which didn’t help this match.

The Miz & Shane McMahon vs. Sheamus & Cesaro (The Bar) (WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match)

The next match was for the Smackdown tag titles. Right off the bat Sheamus was caught off guard was Shane speared him. Outside the ring Cesaro was put on a commentary table for an Elbow drop but got out of it. Instead, Shane did an elbow drop to Sheamus, who was standing. Late in the match Shane got a hot tag and did a ton of moves, including his horrible punches. Shane was going to give both members of The Bar a Coast-To-Coast, but Cesaro caught him and did his spinning move. Shane put in a Triangle Choke which Sheamus broke up by going off the ropes. The Miz went after Sheamus but was given a Clothesline outside the ring. Sheamus got tagged in, and then the team did a Double Team move for a two count. Sheamus tried for a Brouge Kick but The Miz shoved Cesaro, letting him get hit with it. The Miz gave Sheamus a Skull Crushing Finale, and then Shane surprisingly hit a Shooting Star Press to win the match.

Sasha Banks vs. Ronda Rousey (WWE RAW Women’s Championship Match)

After the Smackdown Women’s Championship match started off the show, the RAW women’s title match was two matches later. Near the start the fight went to the outside where Ronda punched a ringpost because Sasha dodged a strike. Sasha landed a dive and then put Ronda back in the ring. After a Double Knees in the corner Sasha got a two count. After Ronda dodged another Double Knees she tried for a Pipers Pit which was turned into an Armbar. She turned it into a Banks Statement, which Rousey eventually got out of. Rousey landed a Pipers Pit. Rousey was really selling her injured arm from the ringpost spot. Rousey went to the top rope, and Banks went up to it as well. Banks landed a Superplex for a two count and then went right back into another arm move. Ronda did Judo Throws and then got thrown outside of the ring. Rousey put Banks in a move outside the ring after catching a dive. Banks tapped out of this but that didn’t matter since they were outside of the ring. Banks put Rousey in a Banks Statement and used part of her attire to choke Rousey. This was transitioned into an Armbar which Rousey escaped and turned into a Gutwrench Powerbomb. She then landed a Pipers Pit to win the match. This was a good match in my opinion. It’s wild to think that Rousey debuted at the Rumble a year ago and put on a match like this only a year after.

Women’s Royal Rumble Match

The first Royal Rumble match of the evening was the women’s one. Beth Phoenix was a guet commentator for this match. #1 Lacey Evans was the first entrant, starting against #2 Natalya. Evans did a promo before the match started. #3 Mandy Rose was the next entrant. Evans missed a Moonsault while Mandy was coming out. Natalya gave both of them a Sharpshooter. #4 Liv Morgan. Morgan charged at Natalya and was thrown out. Evans gave both Mandy and Natalya a Bronco Buster. #5 Mickie James. #6 Ember Moon. #7 Billie Kay. Kay refused to get in the ring once arriving. She told the English announcing team that she was waiting for Peyton Royce. #8 Nikki Cross. Cross attacked Kay at ringside and then did a Crossbody off the top onto everyone in the ring. #9 Peyton Royce. Royce went in and tried to aid Kay. They teamed up on Nikki Cross. #10 Tamina. Tamina gave Nikki Cross a Frogsplash.

#11 Xia Li. Mickie James was kicked off the apron and eliminated by Tamina. #12 Sarah Logan. Ember Moon resisted elimination by having her feet hung on the bottom ropes. Nikki Cross was taken out by The Iiconics. Cross came off as very weak in this match. #13 Charlotte Flair. Xia Li was taken out with a kick from Charlotte. #14 Kairi Sane. Sane gave Logan an InSane Elbow Drop. #15 Maria Kanellis. Kanellis was hit with a Spear from Charlotte after doing a dance or something. #16 Naomi. Naomi and Mandy fought early on since they are currently in that homewrecker story. On the apron Naomi kicked Rose and then shoved her to the floor. Naomi was almost taken out by Rose but got onto the barricade, and then jumped to the steel steps. Rose shoved her eventually, eliminating her anyways. Charlotte eliminated Lacey Evans. #17 Candice LeRae. #18 Alicia Fox. After Fox gave a few people dropkicks Maria Kanellis tried forming an alliance. This worked, as they both worked on Sane. Maria stomped on Alicia’s hat, which made her freak out. This was a comedy spot that fell flat. Maria was eliminated shortly after #19 Kacy Catanzaro. #20 Zelina Vega.

#21 Ruby Riott. Ruby Riott came out with Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan, who were eliminated previously. They pulled Charlotte out of the ring (still in the match) and then teamed up on her. They did the same thing to Fox. Vega went under the ring on the other side. Fox was thrown out of the ring by Ruby. Candice was Powerbombed into a barricade, brought back into the ring and then eliminated. #22 Dana Brooke. Kairi Sane was eliminated by Ruby Riott. They kept cutting to Vega who was smugly hiding under the ring. #23 Io Shirai. Shirai went after The Riott Squad immediately, who were beating up Sane at ringside. Shirai landed a Moonsault off the top rope to the trio. #24 Rhea Ripley. Catanzaro was given a Baseball Slide to the outside but did a Handstand to the corner and got back in the ring. This match felt like a Best of John Morrison and Kofi Kingston with all of these close call eliminations. She was eliminated only moments later. #25 Sonya Deville. Ripley kicked Brooke out of the ring. Vega poked her head out of the ring again but this time Hornswoggle came out as well. Hornswoggle chased Vega, making her get into the ring and get thrown out by Ripley. #26 Alexa Bliss. Up to until this point Charlotte felt like the only person who had a realistic chance of winning. Deville was eliminated after getting hit with a punch from Bliss. #27 Bayley. Bayley took out Ruby Riott and Rhea Ripley. Not sure where the rest of the Riott Squad went. #28 Lana. Lana was playing up her injury from Rusev’s match. She had to get checked by medical staff halfway down the walkway. #29 Nia Jax. On the way to the ring Nia Jax attacked Lana and her leg. Jax caught a Moonsault from Io Shirai and threw her out of the ring. Shirai sort of folded when hitting the floor. Natalya was thrown out shortly after. #30 Carmella.

Carmella earned her #30 sport because she won the second season of the Mixed Match Challenge. Becky Lynch came out and negotiated with Fitt Finlay, and replaced Lana in the match. Bliss and Ember battled on the apron for some time. Bliss did a leg sweep to take out Moon. Bayley and Carmella teamed up to eliminated Bliss, but got clotheslined by Nia Jax right after. Charlotte kicked Carmella off the apron, making it only four left. Jax picked up Bayley and the got kicked, making her drop Bayley out of the ring. The final three were Jax, Lynch and Charlotte. Charlotte lifted Nia Jax and then dropped her. Charlotte put Jax on the apron, and then Lynch pushed her off the apron since she was outside the ring. Lynch was pushed by Jax which made her fall and get hurt. Just before Charlotte’s hand was raised, Lynch came in and the match continued. Charlotte targeted the injured leg frequently. Charlotte went over the ropes after charging Lynch, and then was hit, making her fall the floor. Becky Lynch won the Women’s Royal Rumble.

I enjoyed this Rumble. I thought it was good that they laid off the legends since they were a big focus of the women’s Rumble last year. Instead they gave many spots to NXT wrestlers. I thought the stars or potential contenders for the Rumble were a little too stacked at the end of the list. In the first ⅔ of the Rumble, Charlotte was the only real big name that came out. Lynch was the right one to win, as she will most likely challenge Asuka.

Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship Match)

The WWE Championship was in the unfortunate position of cool-down. In this match Styles started bleeding through his nose. Bryan got a close pin attempt after a good looking Dragon Suplex. Later on, Bryan stopped a Springboard 450 by putting his knees up, and then put on the Lebell Lock. During the match Erick Rowan came to the ring. The ref was taken out, which gave Rowan the opportunity to give Styles a Chokeslam. Bryan pinned Styles to win. This was very disappointing. For one, the match placement was horrible. Also, the match was way too long and the crowd didn’t like it.

Finn Balor vs. Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman (WWE Universal Championship Match)

Right off the bat Balor jumped Lesnar as he had his back to him. Balor eventually lost control of the match, with Lesnar throwing him around. Lesnar took apart a commentary table, but then was rammed into it by Balor. Balor did two dives to the outside at one point, with the second one looking really good. Back in the ring Finn tried for a Coup de Grace, landing it, but Lesnar kicked out. Lesnar put in a Kimura right after, with Balor tapping. After the match he beat up Balor further. This match also felt like it didn’t have a ton of hype behind it, but didn’t have the cold reaction that Bryan versus Styles got. This was okay, I guess. Lesnar won, which is predictable. They kept it short, which was nice.

Men’s Royal Rumble Match

The main event of the evening was the men’s Royal Rumble match. #1 Elias was the first entrant. He was going to perform for the crowd, but was interrupted by #2 Jeff Jarrett. Elias asked Jeff if he wanted to do a duet with him. Before it start Elias attacked Jeff, making the match start. Elias smashed his guitar on Jarrett’s back and then threw him over the ropes. #3 Shinsuke Nakamura. #4 Kurt Angle. Angle came out to a good reaction. #5 Big E. Nakamura kicked Angle on the ropes and took him out. #6 Johnny Gargano. #7 Jinder Mahal. Mahal was accompanied by the Singh Brothers. Mahal was eliminated very quickly by Gargano via kicks. #8 Samoa Joe. Big E was thrown out by Joe. #9 Curt Hawkins Hawkins came in and out of the ring making weak attacks. He got caught in a Cohena Clutch from Joe, but escaped it because of Elias. Hawkins went under the ring. #10 Seth Rollins. Elias was eliminated by Rollins because he was holding onto a corner post but then got his hands hit.

#11 Titus O’Neil.  When running out to the ring Titus was cautious to avoid falling. O’Neil went under the ring because he saw Hawkins, and then chased Hawkins into the ring and then went over the ropes. Hawkins celebrated, but was thrown out right after. #12 Kofi Kingston. #13 Mustafa Ali. Ali dropkicked Nakamura off the top rope and to the outside. Ali was thrown into a corner by Joe brutally. #14 Dean Ambrose. Kofi got thrown to the outside but avoided elimination by keeping his feet on the apron and rolling to the stairs. Ambrose eliminated Johnny Gargano. #15 No Way Jose. No Way Jose came out with his big conga line. When coming in the ring he was eliminated immediately, possibly breaking the Santino record. He barely missed a beat, partying with the conga line to the back. #16 Drew McIntyre. McIntyre headbutted No Way Jose and threw around a few conga line members on the way to the ring. He took out everybody when entering the ring. #17 Xavier Woods. Kofi avoided elimination by giving Xavier a Sunset Flip but keeping one foot in the air. Xavier held on to Kofi, putting him on the stairs. Once entering the ring they were both taken out by Drew McIntyre. #18 Pete Dunne. Dunne had a good combo of moves on many guys when coming in. #19 Andrade. #20 Apollo Crews.

#21 Aleister Black. Black eliminated Ambrose with a kick. #22 Shelton Benjamin. Joe was thrown out by Ali after being hit with a very nice kick from Benjamin. #23 Baron Corbin. Crews was eliminated by Corbin. #24 Jeff Hardy. Corbin threw out Black, catching him off guard. Dunne almost did a finger breaking spot on Corbin but was hit with a kick from McIntyre. Drew threw out Dunne after. #25 Rey Mysterio. Corey Graves talked about how Rey has had a “career resurgence” as of late, as if Rey was in a slump recently. #26 Bobby Lashley. Bobby Lashley was accompanied by Lio Rush. Lashley was thrown out the match very quickly, and the took Seth out of the ring from the bottom rope. Rush and him took apart commentary tables. Seth was Chokeslammed through the English table. #27 Braun Stroman. Stroman took out Corbin since he costed him the title shot that he was supposed to have. He took out Benjamin shortly after. #28 Dolph Ziggler. Jeff Hardy was eliminated at Ziggler came out. Ziggler immediately eliminated McIntyre. #29 Randy Orton. There was a four man Superplex spot involving Rollins, Andrade, Stroman and Mysterio. #30 R-Truth.

While coming out Nia Jax attacked R-Truth. Nia Jax took R-Truth’s spot. Jax took out Mustafa Ali. She turned around and had a face off with Randy Orton. He tried for an RKO, but was shoved against the ropes by Jax. Jax told Rey to do a 619 but then caught him when running. When Rey was held by Jax she was Superkicked. She then was hit with a 619 and then an RKO. She was taken out shortly after. Orton gave Rey and RKO and then eliminated him. Andrade took out Orton right after. Ziggler and Andrade were duking it out until Stroman came back in the ring. Rollins gave Stroman a Frogsplash. Stroman took out Andrade, making the final three Stroman, Ziggler and Rollins. Stroman threw Rollins and Ziggler over the ropes but they hung on. Stroman charged at them, which eliminated Ziggler. Rollins tried flipping Stroman over but he escaped the perdicament after Chokeslamming Rollins. Both guy went over the top rope and fought on the apron. Stroman was shoved into the post, kicked him and then did a Curbstomp to eliminated Braun Stroman. Seth Rollins won the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble Match.

This match was okay. I was hoping that there would maybe be one or two more surprise entrants that weren’t NXT wrestlers. One small production thing that ticked me off was how they never showed the entrance stage when someone’s music hit. They would only ever show the stage after someone appeared, like it was a WWE video game.

In general the Royal Rumble had a lot of good stuff. There were some matches that didn’t do as well as they could, with only some of that being their fault (match placement, etc). I know it most likely won’t change so there’s no point in complaining about it, but the show was just too long. Even if it’s great wrestling, more than five hours of it is asking for a lot of viewers.

Smackdown Live 11/13/18 Results and Review

This week Smackdown started by doing something that they don’t do often as the opening of the show: play a clip of RAW. It all made sense though because on RAW was when the Smackdown women’s roster invaded RAW. After the recap the commentary team confirms the already broken news about Becky Lynch being injured during the segment. They pose the question of who will fill in Lynch’s spot in her match on Sunday. I could sense during the day that they would hold off on reporting the story until Smackdown because it made sense.

AJ Styles came to the ring after this announcement. Styles was there to talk about his Champion versus Champion match against Brock Lesnar this weekend. He said that he fights Lesnar at Survivor Series for the second year in a row this year. He realised while talking that Paul Heyman had entered through the crowd. Announcer Mike Rome was persistent at keeping the mic away from Heyman until Styles told him to give Heyman a mic. After both exchanged words, Daniel Bryan came out to the ring because his name was mentioned in the conversation. Bryan said that if AJ mentioned his name again he would get punched in the face. AJ did just that and got punched in the face. Shane McMahon came out and tried breaking up the brawl. The brawl was broken up by the time we went to commercial break.

After the break Bryan was arguing with Shane backstage. Styles and the many referees separating them came in seconds later. Shane shouted over everyone saying that he will book a WWE Championship match for later in the show. But why? Bryan lost completely clean only a few episodes ago. What gives him another shot? Because he punched the champ in the face?

Andrade “Cien” Almas w/ Zelina Vega vs. Jeff Hardy

The first match of the evening was Andrade Almas versus Jeff Hardy. Before the break Almas was kicked out of the ring by Jeff after doing his tranquilo pose. Hardy hit the Twist of Fate followed up by a Swanton Bomb to win the match. This was a very short match. This wasn’t a bad match, but to show how insignificant it was, as the replays were rolling Corey Graves was back to talking about AJ Styles. The Miz is now sole captain of the Smackdown team, with Bryan off the team. The Miz added Jeff Hardy to the team and took Rey Mysterio off the team since Rey was Bryan’s pick when he was co-captain. Paige didn’t let this fly immediately, saying that for Rey to be taken off the team The Miz has to beat him in a match. As a reminder, these two just fought on October 23, AKA three weeks ago.

The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

When The Miz made his entrance he walked out with a copy of The Marine 6: Close Quarters like how Toru Yano enters with his DVD. Late into the match The Miz did a Powerbomb for a two count. Mysterio was on a roll and went for a Frogsplash but The Miz put his knees up to reverse it. The Miz did a roll-up for a two count, then Rey did a roll-up of his own to get the three count. Mysterio stays on the team. After the match Randy Orton tried sneak attacking Mysterio. Rey avoided it but The Miz found himself caught in the crossfire, with Orton RKO’ing him. After the match we got a sneak peek of USA Network’s show “Real Country.”

After the break Paige brings out the Smackdown live women’s roster. Paige brought out Becky Lynch after everyone was in the ring. Lynch said that she has to pick who will replace her. She makes Charlotte take the spot, then they hugged afterwards.

Sheamus & Cesaro and Big Show vs. The New Day

Sheamus, Cesaro and The Big Show faced The New Day in the next match. Mid-way through the match Xavier Woods did a missile dropkick off the top to Cesaro then gave Kofi Kingston a hot tag. After a series of moves involving everyone in the match, Kofi did an SOS for a two count. Big Show got tagged in and KO punched Kofi as he was coming down from the top rope to end the match. Backstage we see The Usos give Smackdown Live shirts to The Colons, The Good Brothers and Sanity. It’s interesting that the Survivor Series matches forces the bookers to use people who otherwise would be out of work.

Daniel Bryan vs. AJ Styles (WWE Championship Match)

The main event of the evening was Daniel Bryan versus AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. The match started quick with Bryan being thrown outside the ring in the first minute. Styles did a forearm off the top rope onto the floor before the broadcast went to a break. After the second break Bryan was closing in on a win. He landed a Hurricanrana off of the top rope for a two count. Bryan did a Belly-to-back Superplex off the top rope moments later for another close count. Styles tried a Springboard 450 but Bryan put his knees up. Bryan then transitioned into a Yes Lock which Styles escaped by getting to the ropes. Styles tried for the Calf Crusher in the center of the ring but Bryan reversed it into an Armbar and then another Yes Lock. Styles escaped the Yes Lock and put Bryan into the corner. Styles tried for the Phenomenal Forearm, but Bryan dodged it making Styles run into the ref. As the ref was down Styles got kicked in the groin. Bryan hit a running knee to become the new WWE Champion. After the match Bryan continued his beatdown on Styles. Looks like heel Bryan is back. I was expecting Bryan to win, but by no means was I expecting a heel turn here.