clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE SmackDown Live results, recap, reactions (Jan. 22, 2019): Champion of the Planet

Daniel Bryan, he’s our hero, takin’ Baby Boomers down to zero!

Haha...okay, WWE. As a Millennial, how can you possibly ask me to hate Daniel Bryan for his performance on this episode of SmackDown? Also – TAKE THAT, BABY BOOMERS! NOT SO FUN TO BE BLAMED FOR STUFF, HUH?

A “Face to Face” confrontation between Bryan and AJ Styles was advertised for this show, but Bryan was much more comfortable to stay outside the ring and to preach on a myriad of topics. They included processed meat, climate change, income inequality, and a condemnation of capitalism, social media, and the already mentioned Baby Boomers.

My god, it was glorious.

As you can imagine, neither Styles nor Vince McMahon were impressed. Styles was able to hit back, of course. He accused Bryan of being a hypocrite, essentially. How else would the champ have gotten to the arena than by plane? And if that’s the case, then Bryan’s what he’s been calling fans for weeks: fickle.

And if Bryan wasn’t going to join him in the ring, then Styles had no issue with taking the “face to face” confrontation to the champion. Bryan tried to flee, but Styles caught him and hit him with a barrage of strikes. The fight eventually rolled back to the ring, but as Styles prepared for a Phenomenal Forearm, Bryan hid behind Vince McMahon. Styles had to cut his move short and ran straight into a Basaiku Knee from the champion.

I just...I dunno man. Maybe some of it’s my own political leanings – and god forbid, let’s stay away from actual political discussion – but Bryan’s reaching that point where his heeling is so entertaining that I can’t help but root for him. I hope he comes out for the Royal Rumble match adorned in organic, vegan, non-GMO tweed ring gear or something.

Or, you know. Take that fickle thing to the extreme and make him a robe out of palm leaves and give him a crown of thorns. All I know is that I’m enraptured with what Bryan’s doing these days.

More Lucha 2: Electric Boogaloo

I asked. I received.

I have so many things that I’d like to gush about in regards to Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade, but I’m going to keep it to as concise as I can. WWE is killing it with Andrade. Last week’s match was just a wrestling clinic, you know? It was an exhibition of wrestling prowess and I didn’t feel like Andrade really wrestled as a bad guy. The most villainous thing to happen in that match came from Zelina Vega, right?

Well, she was banned from ringside for this Two out of Three Falls match. And that put the spotlight solely on Andrade.

For the first two falls, we got more of last week’s delightful medicine. Andrade and Mysterio can trade ridiculous moves all day, man. Andrade secured the first pin fall by countering a Frankensteiner on the second turnbuckle, pulling Mysterio back into a powerbomb position and – I KID YOU NOT – stepping up onto the top rope to hit a freaking Avalanche Powerbomb.

These two are nuts.

Mysterio tied it up quickly, however, as Andrade went for another Powerbomb and got caught with a Canadian Destoyer. Again, they’re nuts.

But here’s where WWE made something special of this clinic. With his back up against the wall – and in direct defiance of Mysterio’s earlier promo about earning respect – Andrade flipped the switch and went fully heel. Andrade leveraged the ropes to hit an armbar on Mysterio, Powerbombed him into the ring post on the outside, and MY GOD HE MOCKED EDDIE GURRERO’S SHIMMY.

It’s precisely what Andrade needed. For the back and forth to the finish, Mysterio got 619 chants and Andrade was booed, a stark contrast from the beginning of the match.

Of course, Samoa Joe and Randy Orton prevented us from having a real finish which is another great decision. We can revisit Mysterio and Andrade after the Rumble to find a clear winner. But man...more freaking lucha, please.

The Rest of SmackDown Live

Becky Lynch and Asuka brawl – In a clear continuation of Asuka’s claim last week, Lynch talked trash to the champ and Asuka brought the fight. There wasn’t much to this, but did there really need to be? Lynch vs. Asuka; sign me up.

Mandy Rose def. Naomi – I liked the small promo video leading right into the match. Gave this one an almost PPV feel, didn’t it? I bet some writer was so proud of the “tables turned on the temptress” line, too.

Rose won the match thanks to a ref distraction and outside interference from Sonya Deville. Naomi was pissed off at the result, and I’d bet good money these two are going to have some sort of angle during the Rumble.

Cesaro def. The Miz – So, online wrestling fan. Could you ever imagine the day where the Miz is getting cheered against Cesaro? 2019’s a trip, huh?

I thought that this was the right decision. The Bar needed a bit of clout after that birthday cake thing and denying the crowd an elbow from Shane McMahon’s a great way to generate some ill will.

Samoa Joe def. Mustafa Ali – WWE is now adding their promotional flair to the darkened alley promos that Ali used to cut on social media. The result was AMAZING. It’s the eyes, man. The eyes tell you all you need to know...

I love everything about Ali right now and I’m so happy that WWE’s giving him a chance to shine. He was the right guy to take the fall for Joe and he’s got great things coming down the line if WWE keeps pushing all the right buttons.

SmackDown Live is on fire. Daniel Bryan blames the Baby Boomers.

Grade: A

To the Royal Rumble, Cageside!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats