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SmackDown RunDown Live (1/15/19): Hyping Up The Future


So it’s the third episode of 2019 for SmackDown Live and we already have a candidate for Match of the Year. How awesome is that? As if last week’s showcase wasn’t enough, Rey Mysterio and Andrade Last Name Redacted delivered yet another masterpiece of a match. It’s lucha libre at it’s finest. Which begs the question: How in the blue hell did this match fail to secure the main event spot? Andrade's body bounced off the floor, for crying out loud! Talk about a major oversight.


Imagine if this match was given the main event treatment and was given a few more minutes to build more action. The closing moments of the show would be Andrade No Surname having his arms raised as the victor, making the win a stronger statement. The future is here, people! Mr. Five Star’s actually out here delivering on his potential, or as Michael Cole likes to put it, Andrade works as advertised. It took them a while, but WWE is finally placing their faith on him. But it’s not enough to put him in the main event, apparently.  



And is it a coincidence that WWE decided to cut his name to just Andrade right before this seemingly random match? Whether you liked the name change, it did its purpose of making Andrade Sin Apellido the talk of the town. Personally, I don’t see the need to shred any part of his name. And if they really wanted to cut it, I’d suggest keeping “Cien” Almas or just make his moniker El Idolo his official ring name. Andrade is the type of name that needs a surname. Just sayin’. I bet we’ll all get used to it eventually. Remember when Elias had a surname?



While The Man wasn’t the main attraction of this week’s episode, Becky Lynch still wowed everyone with a strong opener. From gulping that disgusting concoction (Xavier Woods: "The egg shell’s still in there!") from Biscuits and Gravy to sucker punching Peyton Royce, Becky electrified the crowd with her mere presence alone. That’s how you know she’s on another level. It’s good to see that WWE is acknowledging that they have a megastar in their hands.  



Now you might think Asuka, the champion, got overshadowed by The Man’s star power this week. I wouldn’t necessarily agree. For one, Asuka beat Billie Kay quicker than Becky beat Peyton Royce. Despite her faded “hype,” it’s good that Asuka is still as OP as she was a year ago. But the thing is, her hype is pretty much dead by now, so of course someone like Becky will outshine the champion. This is why Asuka needs to retain at Royal Rumble somehow. She can’t be the face of the women’s division because of the language barrier, but she can still be built as one of the best competitors the division is currently offering.



Hyping up the stars requires some collateral damage. It sucks that Peyton Royce and Billie Kay have been relegated to punching bags for the stars, but it’s not like we have a choice. I really hope they win the Women’s Tag Team Championships at Elimination Chamber as payment for helping the top women of SmackDown Live look strong. I can’t think of a better team to win the titles, except for maybe the Riott Squad.  



And as much as I’d want to hate on the birthday bash segment for stealing the spotlight from Mysterio and Andrade, I can’t ignore how well-executed that segment was. You know what it made it great? It’s too wholesome! It’s safe to say that Miz is a babyface now, right? I didn’t feel like either one of them will turn on each other anytime soon. Miz and Shane McMahon just became a team everyone could root for, thanks in part to the way their storyline was executed. And we thought it’s going to be a vehicle for a Shane heel turn. Don’t be negative, people.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: What I love most about this show is that it gave us a lot of GIF-able moments. Case in point, this glorious sucker punch courtesy of The Man herself.


That alone could earn this week’s episode a high grade. Also, the MOTY candidate match and the joyous birthday bash segment solidified the A grade this week’s episode just earned. There were some fun moments sprinkled throughout the show. And hey, the NXT call-ups were also there, I guess. It’s another solid show in the books for the Blue Brand. What else can we ask for?

The RunDown Cutting Board

  • Samoa Joe’s beatdown of Mustafa Ali was just lovely, thanks to Ali’s incredible selling. Don’t you just miss this version of Joe who just destroys people and not play mind games with his opponents?

  • So everyone’s freaking out about the Jimmy Uso and Mandy Rose hotel room segment. It’s not my cup of tea, but at least the raunchiness was justified by the storyline. Compare that to Alexa Bliss’ random topless segment solely dedicated to horny 15-year-olds. But trust me, there’s nothing to worry about. The Attitude Era is long dead, let’s move forward and be better people.
  • My issue with Mandy Rose is her leap of logic in doing all of these. Breaking up the marriage of someone she can’t stand seems to be overkill, don’t you think? Imagine what she’s capable of when someone actually wronged her. Also, Jimmy could’ve sent his brother Jey, who looks exactly like him, to the hotel room and made her think he’s Jimmy. That’s a less awkward way to set up an ambush, I think.
  • Somehow, AJ Styles didn’t learn the lesson of using a microphone when cutting a promo at the concession stand. Is it really that hard to slap in a lapel mic or hold a microphone?
  • Also, this adorable exchange between AJ Styles and Asuka regarding that weird stare he gave her.
  
Photos from WWE.com

*****

Ricky Jay Publico (@NitPickRick) is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A frequent Botchamania binge-watcher, he claims to have memorized the chronological order of Royal Rumble winners, but fails to remember who won in 2004. He writes stories about life and nonsense.

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