WWE SmackDown Live comes waltzing back into our lives tonight (Jan. 22, 2019) from the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas, featuring the go home show to the upcoming Royal Rumble pay-per-view (PPV) scheduled for this Sunday night in Phoenix.
Advertised for tonight: Vince McMahon moderates a face-to-face between Daniel Bryan and AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade in a 2-out-of-3 Falls match, and more!
Come right back here at 8 p.m. ET when the SmackDown live blog kicks off once the show starts on USA. It will be below this line here. (REMINDER: NO GIFS OR PICS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION. OFFENDERS WILL BE BANNED.)
WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS AND LIVE BLOG FOR JAN. 22
Play me Old King Cole that I may join with you. All your hearts now seem so far from me, it hardly seems to matter now. And the nurse will tell you lies of a kingdom beyond the skies, but I am lost within this half-world... It hardly seems to matter now. Play me my song, here it comes again, time for me to liveblog this here pro wrestling show for you, folks.
The show opens with Becky Lynch making her entrance.
She says it’s good to be back in town and she’s got something to say. Wasn’t too long ago no one was paying attention to her, but now all of a sudden everyone has opinions on what The Man should be doing, but as far as she’s concerned, the only thing The Man should be doing is main eventing WrestleMania and slapping the heads off every single person in her way to get there!
That journey starts in five days at Royal Rumble, and she’s watched Asuka clean out NXT and steamroll her way here, and she’s one of the best in the world... but Becky is better. Asuka never beat her for a title, and the fact that’s not eating her up tells her everything she needs to know, and all of the rest of the women have been warming themselves on the fire she lit.
She’s taking her title back, having already dethroned the Queen and ready to break the Empress. She’ll walk through hell and do whatever it--
Enter Asuka. She gets in the ring and Charlotte Flair enters after before much can happen.
Flair talks about the Rumble, and how she’s beaten Sasha more times than she can count and beat the holy hell out of Ronda with Ken. You know, Kendo Stick. And then there’s Asuka, who Charlotte broke her undefeated streak, and Becky, The Man, who may have owned her the last few months, but get it straight, Flair’s owned the division for four years and she IS the main event.
Asuka takes the opportunity to attack Lynch, they brawl in the ring as referees swarm and try to pull them apart, soon joined by road agents Jamie Noble and 5-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion Adam Pearce to no avail as they continue to beat the holy hell out of each other! Becky throws Asuka over the announce table and finally allows herself to be backed off!
And so we go to break.
Back from commercial and they’re STILL brawling backstage with referees and road agents pulling them apart!
Mandy Rose vs. Naomi
Naomi attacks Mandy Rose during her entrance and referee Mike Chioda calls for the bell!
Naomi hammering slaps, Rose rolls to the floor and we go to break.
Back from commercial, Naomi with a kick, flying clothesline, Rose returns the favor for two and follows it with a choke over the ropes. Naomi explodes with the springboard roundhouse kick, forearms aplenty, Frankensteiner connects but Mandy back body drops her over the ropes. Kick to Sonya Deville when she tries to interfere and Rose puts her into the post...
Mandy Rose wins by pinfall with a lateral press.
Jimmy Uso comes to the ring to comfort his wife immediately.
Rey Mysterio gets a promo segment talking about his Royal Rumble victory and the attributes that allowed him to do it before pledging that he’ll do it again, but first he’s going to beat Andrade “Cien” Almas on an even playing field tonight.
Backstage, Shane McMahon pumps Miz up as they begin walking to ringside for the A-Lister’s match against Cesaro, after the break.
Back from commercial in time for entrances.
Cesaro vs. the Miz
Cesaro right in with uppercuts in the corner and along the ropes, hammering the Miz until referee Ryan Tran pulls him away! Karelin lift, side headlock, shot off, drop down, leapfrog... CAUGHT INTO A BACKBREAKER FOR TWO! Hard whip, trapped in the ropes, the A-Lister kicking at the hamstring but Cesaro gets away. Leg pick, figure four leglock is in! Slingshot dropkick on the escape, but Sheamus runs interference and Cesaro decks Miz with an uppercut as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Miz is escaping a hold with elbows and blocking punches on his way to firing his own back. Backing Cesaro into the corner, chest kicks ensue, into the running corner dropkicks! One, two, Awesome Clothesline! Axehandle off the top... SWISS DEATH! Cesaro with his feet on the ropes, Shane with the save and Sheamus blasts him into the apron!
Skull-Crushing Finale denied, Sheamus with a cheap shot, Gotch clutch...
Cesaro wins by pinfall with the Neutralizer.
McMahon blindsides Sheamus into the steel steps and hammers him with punches! The same for Cesaro and he full nelsons the Swiss Superman into the ringpost! Clearing the announce table, setting Cesaro up, he climbs... AND SHEAMUS KNOCKS HIM OFF THE TOP AND INTO THE BARRICADE! The Celtic Warrior takes Miz out before he and the Swiss Superman get back to Shane and Brogue Kick his head off!
Setting Miz on the table... THEY POWERBOMB SHANE MCMAHON INTO HIM!
A video package for Mustafa Ali vs. Samoa Joe follows.
We see medics tending to Miz and Shane as Vince McMahon watches backstage as we go to break.
Back from commercial, Vincent Kennedy McMahon makes his entrance.
He says he’ll reserve comment on what just happened to Shane and Miz, but they’re gonna have a hell of a match on Sunday. Speaking of the Royal Rumble, that brings us to the WWE Championship match, where here and now AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan will go face-to-face. Bryan takes his time walking around the ring and Vince bids him enter but he gets on the mic and says he’s not falling for this trap and refuses to step in the ring with a sociopath.
He’s talking about the man who slammed him into a bunch of processed animal carcasses in the concourse, and he’s too embarrassed to step in the ring right now after he pandered to the people. He had a vision of the future with AJ Styles as WWE Champion, an ignorant, impotent, illiterate future, and he can’t allow that to happen. AJ uses his power to get fame and money but Dan uses his power for the greater good. (The greater good.)
Styles asks if the greater good is Bryan talking like a jackass, which gets cheers and Dan explains that the people want AJ to be champ because he makes them laugh and cheer and jump out of their seats, but he never once makes them think or feel guilty or feel bad about themselves. Bryan doesn’t care about their feelings, because he’s not the people’s champion, but rather the Planet’s Champion.
And the planet doesn’t need AJ Styles, but it does need him using his platform to be its voice. Styles says if the planet had a voice it be screaming at Dan to shut up, and he doesn’t remember him pedaling his bicycle to the arena, no he took a plane, and there’s a word for that, it’s fickle. Bryan says he’s embarrassed, but that’s not it, it’s fear.
AJ’s stood across from many opponents and he’s seen that look of fear on their faces and he posits Bryan is afraid of what will happen in five days, and he should be. He’s corrupted his morals for that one thing, the WWE Championship, but what happens when he takes it away? What will he have left? Nothing. Dan says the great Carl Sagan once said-- McMahon cuts him off and orders him to get in the ring.
Bryan says of course Vince doesn’t want to hear it because he and the entire baby boomer generation are the great parasites of this world. (Preach it, Dragon!) These people don’t realize he and his generation take and take and give nothing back, putting profit over the planet’s needs and they bow to him for it! It’s like a magic trick where they conceal all the debt they create and leave the people happy trading social media stuff while they hoard the wealth and power and the distracted people ignore it!
He’s created an environment for AJ Styles to become a hero, where his brand of ignorance-- McMahon growls for him to get in the ring but Bryan ain’t budging! Styles says if he wants a face-to-face it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the ring, and AJ heads out of the ring to attack! We got a brawl! Styles passing Bryan into the barricade, the announce desk, the steel steps, and back inside!
In position... Bryan dodges the forearm and lays him out with the Busaiku Knee after hiding behind Mr. McMahon!
Backstage, R-Truth and Carmella are walking and talking, about Truth’s plans to win the Royal Rumble and challenge for the WWE Championship. Ron doesn’t want Brock Lesnar to take him to Sioux Falls City, he’d rather challenge for Bobby Murphy’s Cruiserweight Championship. Mella points out there’s a weight limit and Truth storms off offended.
Carmella runs into Charlotte Flair and takes offense to her talk about winning the women’s Rumble earlier, saying she’s the gatekeeper at 30, but Flair says she’s confident she’s going to win.
Samoa Joe makes his entrance, his match will be after the break.
Back from commercial, commentary hypes up the premiere of Fighting With My Family at the Sundance Film Festival next week.
Mustafa Ali vs. Samoa Joe
Circling, Joe blasts Ali with punches and stomps in the corner, giving way to a choke. To the floor, big chop, drawing Mustafa up, trying to pass him into the post but he lands on his feet and hits a crossbody! Back inside, snap a kick off, right hands in the corner but all it takes is one punch from Samoa to take him off his feet! Pass into the corner, sidestep the lariat, springboard and Joe shoves him, sending Ali crashing to the floor and us off to break.
Back from commercial, Joe passes him into the corner and fires jab after jab until referee Danilo Anfibio backs him off. Ali crawling, reaching out in desperation as Samoa tells him he wanted this. Block a punch, return his own, again, again, right hands stagger Joe, whip reversed, back elbow into the corner enzuigiri and Mustafa topples like a redwood! Cover gets two, and into a standing neck crank.
Ali fights to his feet, body blows, Joe with knees to back him into the corner, whip, sidestep the charge, right hand, rolling thunder X-Factor leaves both men down and out! Mustafa slinging dropkicks, Samoa falls to the floor, suicide dive leaves Joe staggering away! Huddled up against the timekeeper’s barricade, back body drop, land on his feet, Lou Thesz Press off the barricade into mounted punches on the floor!
Back inside, Ali meets him with a rising sesries of kicks, springboard tornado DDT... NOPE! Dragging Joe into position, Mustafa heads up top but Joe cuts him off and locks the Coquina Clutch on, dragging him to the middle of the ring and falling back...
Samoa Joe wins by submission with the Coquina Clutch.
Andrade “Cien” Almas is shown warming up backstage to send us to break.
Back from commercial, commentary hypes up the Royal Rumble and shills for the WWE Network in the process.
We see the New Day backstage watching tape of Royal Rumbles past when an interview rolls up to ask if they’ll eliminate each other. Xavier Woods says every year a new interviewer asks the same question, and Tony Chimel rolls up. They shoo him off and tell him Edge isn’t here so he can go home, and continue saying they know that if one of them wins the Rumble, they all win the Rumble.
E says they’re gonna dog walk everyone in the Rumble this week, and Kofi’s real down all of a sudden, wondering if this is the year he doesn’t have a crazy evasion. They manually lift his chin up and he gets an idea.
Andrade “Cien” Almas vs. Rey Mysterio (2/3 Falls Match)
Circling, Almas in with a boot, a club, whip, back elbow and a shove, Mysterio with a front kick, rolling solebutt, up in La Atlantida but he turns it into a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and slingshots over the ropes to snap a Frankensteiner off the floor and send us to break!
Back from commercial, Mysterio gets back body dropped to the apron and snaps an enzuigiri off. Slow to capitalize, springboard seated senton, off the ropes, duck the lariat, springboard crossbody but Almas cuts him off in mid-air with a dropkick for a two count! Hammerlock applied, Rey reverses, Yoshi Tonic for a nearfall of his own! Dropkick into a wheelbarrow, Andrade reverses to a victory roll pin!
Up to the second, Cien picks the leg and Mysterio’s knee gets caught! Up top, Rey cuts him off this time, jockeying for position... ANDRADE BLOCKS A FRANKENSTEINER AND HITS AN AVALANCHE POWERBOMB OFF THE TOP DAMN ROPE! THAT’S A FALL!
Andrade “Cien” Almas earns the first fall by pinfall with an avalanche powerbomb.
Almas stalking, pacing while referee Jason Ayers ensures Mysterio can continue. He calls for the match to continue, kick to the gut, slingshot powerbomb... SO CLOSE! Up for another powerbomb, Rey counters...
Rey Mysterio earns the second fall by pinfall with a flip piledriver.
The score evened up, we head to break.
Back from commercial, Mysterio slides under a charge and Almas goes crashing to the floor! Off the ropews, the low suicide dive, Cien catches him but Rey manages to ram him into the barricade and follow it with a leg-feed enzuigiri. Back inside as referee Jason Ayers counts, off the ropes... SUICIDE DIVE SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB INTO THE BARRICADE!
Back inside to capitalize, moving slow, the wear and tear of the match grinding both men down, springboard hurricanrana... ALMAS KICKS OUT! Jockeying for position over the ropes and Almas locks a cross armbar in with Rey tangled in the ropes! Hammerlock, throw him into the turnbuckles, another attempt but Mysterio blocks, back body drop to the apron, Andrade with a forearm.
Caught with a front kick in the ropes, sunset flip, Almas lands on his feet... POWERBOMB INTO THE RINGPOST! Back inside, drawing him up, hammerlock DDT... REY GOT HIS FOOT ON THE ROPES! Andrade fired up, Mysterio down and out, Fujiwara armbar applied in the middle of the ring! Wrenching it in, Rey rolls around but can’t escape! Desperate, screaming agony, so close to tapping, Mysterio pops his hips and gets to his feet, roll through into a test of strength, flip off the top goes awry and Cien covers him for two!
Electric chair, Mysterio snaps off a Poison Frankensteiner... SO CLOSE! Springboard Frankensteiner sets Almas on the second, off the ropes, 619 connects! Calling for it, Samoa Joe is here... APRON POWERBOMB! AYERS CALLS IT!
Rey Mysterio wins the third and final fall by disqualification, winning the match.
Joe takes Cien out as well and returns to Rey, choking him out with the Coquina Clutch in the middle of the ring!
Samoa gets on the mic and says he told us he came here to make a statement, and what you see in the ring tonight is exactly what he’ll do to the other 29 Superstars in the Royal Rumble, because his name is Samoa Joe-- RKO OUTTA NOWHERE!
Randy Orton stands tall.
That’s the show, folks.