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SmackDown RunDown Live (1/22/19): Get Out of Here, Chimel!


Narrator Voice: In the last episode, the recently rechristened Andrade picked up an impressive win against the Master of 619, Rey Mysterio. But the win was tainted thanks to Andrade’s cunning manager, Zelina Vega (why can she keep her last name tho?). Now that Vega’s banned from ringside and the match is now 2-out-of-3 Falls, how will Andrade escape this one? Find out on the next episode of Good Lucha Things Super.


Man, I can’t get enough of these two. I usually don’t care about rivalries without any proper storylines, but if the matches are these good, who the hell cares? Mysterio and Andrade should continue this rivalry until we determine the ultimate winner. Who’s up for a Best of Seven Series between these two with a future title shot on the line? Then after ending the series with a draw, they will be forced to team up and chase the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. Wait...


And hell, I ain’t even mad about the outcome of this match. Samoa Joe and Randy Orton ruining the party for everyone is just practicing their godforsaken right to be narcissistic assholes by denying us a conclusion to this match. This is still the go-home show for the Royal Rumble, after all. I was actually expecting everyone to come out and start throwing each other off the top rope, you know, as Rumble go-home shows do. A classy RKO frdsfsdfdfsldfnwer works too.


If you’re sick of seeing AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan cutting inaudible promos at the concession stand, you’re in luck. All it took for them to meet in the middle of the ring like normal wrestlers is for Vince McMahon himself to facilitate the face-off. And boy did the sparks fly when Styles and Bryan got handed working microphones. Styles dazzled everyone with snappy one-liners and quips, the perfect foil for the rambling WWE Champion.


Bryan, on the other hand, perfected the hippie-douche character who is technically correct but chooses to be a dick about it. D-Bry gave us a promo for the ages where he preached the truth in a way that made you hate him more than ever. The common pitfall for these types of characters is that people genuinely feel guilty or awkward about booing the one who’s morally right. Bryan removed that guilt using his raw, unfiltered passion and his overall nihilistic energy. You know the saying “Don’t shoot the messenger?” Bryan is practically inviting everyone to do the opposite. So fire away, people. Let’s boo this man to oblivion.
  

Speaking of good ol’ Vinnie Mac, what boggles my mind is Vince McMahon meddling with the storylines of his world champions and his contradicting treatment towards the world title challengers. Why is Vince dismissing Finn Balor on RAW while motivating AJ Styles to be more aggressive here on SmackDown Live? What does Styles have that Balor doesn’t? Is it the lustrous soccer mom hair? Both came from NJPW, and both are not WWE archetypes as far as I’m concerned. This baby boomer has totally lost it.


Becky Lynch started the show strong once again by boldly claiming she should main event WrestleMania 35. Then Asuka came out and shouted some stuff. Then Charlotte came out and incited the two to start brawling, as you do. Now everyone’s afraid that Asuka’s getting the shorter end of the stick in this storyline when she should get an equal share of the spotlight. This arrangement will actually do wonders for Asuka, provided she retains on Monday (Manila Time).


Think about it. Asuka winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship at TLC was technically a fluke. Becky Lynch didn’t lose any momentum even after losing the belt. The spotlight will always be on her. This is why Asuka attacking Lynch from behind this week was a nice touch. She didn’t necessarily turn heel at that point. Maybe she recognized the fact that her win will always be viewed as a fluke and she now felt the urge to prove herself and to everyone that her title win—and the clout she created thanks to her undefeated streak—wasn’t a fluke.


But a heel turn is a welcome development for Asuka’s reign. She has all the reasons to turn heel and it’s not like Creative will let Becky Lynch lose clean at Royal Rumble. Asuka’s babyface run didn’t really help her much in the main roster anyway and her short English promos could only bring her far enough. Having her the villain with a few words should elevate her stock further while covering that one weakness she has. Plus, we’ll get to see the cool demonic versions of Asuka’s face paint. Make it happen, Vince!


SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: What can I say, the Blue Brand knocked another go-home show out of the park. Am I supposed to say something else? The only people who will hate this week’s episode are the ones who somehow hate flippy lucha things. Those guys need to be eradicated, stat. The show had a great balance of great wrestling action and storyline progressions. They even gave the world title picture a proper in-ring segment. And no tacky Rumble brawl to end the show! Now that’s progress. Another A+ is in order.

The RunDown Cutting Board


  • For the nth time, let me just say how I’m head over heels for the Co-Besties storyline. They nailed it one more time with a great segment that made them more sympathetic and legitimized The Bar as a threat. From Miz trying to protect his partner to Sheamus kicking the life out of our favorite commish, Creative executed the perfect send-off to this storyline. I’ll be cheering my heart out when they finally claim the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.
  • SmackDown Live also did a great job hyping up Mustafa Ali with his “Eyes Don’t Lie” video package. They should do that with the other guys as well. Samoa Joe should thank Ali for making him look like the legit threat he should’ve always been.
  • Oddly enough, I also liked what happened with Mandy Rose and Naomi this week. I know it was a relatively short match and it’s not really a satisfying payoff, but it’s a good teaser for their eventual clash. I also loved the way Mandy Rose sold the snap hurracarrana from Naomi. Whoever said Rose can’t wrestle must be rolling on his sofa after seeing that move.
  • New Day won the night by shooing away poor Tony Chimel. “Do you see Edge here?” Can we please bring back Chimel? Let’s have him announce a new Superstar. “The PheNOOOOOOOmenal, AJ Styles!” Nope, doesn’t sound right.
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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