SmackDown Live comes to us from Jacksonville, FL! The show kicks off with WWE Champion Daniel Bryan at the concession area of the arena chastizing people for eating the food and equating them to AJ Styles and his fans. He throws hot dogs and soda on undeserving fans then tears into them for buying AJ Styles merchandise. Bryan walks down to the ring through the crowd clowning fans as he walks. When Bryan makes his way to ringside he is attacked by R-Truth, his opponent in a match when we come back from break!
Daniel Bryan vs. R-Truth: A short affair with Bryan controlling the pace for much of the match. Although it was short, R-Truth continues to be an underrated part of SmackDown. R-Truth went running into the corner for an attack but Bryan sidesteps the impact. Bryan hits Truth with the Running Knee to get the win.
As Bryan is walking toward the back he is attacked by AJ Styles.
Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali vs. Samoa Joe & Andrade “Cien” Almas: This match really makes me want to see a Mysterio/Almas feud. Ali continues to look like he belongs on the main roster. Ali and Mysterio could make one hell of a tag team. Unfortunately, this one didn’t go their way. Ali was able to put Almas in position for a 619. Ali would take out Samoa Joe with a tope to the outside. When Mysterio attempted the 619, Almas blocks it and drops Mysterio with his Hammerlock DDT. Almas picks up the win, a huge one for his career.
Shane McMahon is pumped to be teaming with The Miz but he isn’t about to use his last name to give him and The Miz championship opportunities.
United States Champion Rusev is in the ring and he’s obviously not happy that his wife was hurt last week during an attack by Shinsuke Nakamura. Rusev calls out Nakamura but Nakamura is in a production truck. Nakamura has video evidence it wasn’t his fault that Lana got hurt but rather Rusev’s. In all fairness, maybe Lana shouldn’t have gotten involved. An angry Rusev goes looking for Shinsuke in the truck but gets jumped from behind. I’m guessing Shinsuke had a taped queued up baiting Rusev to drop his guard. Shinsuke drops Rusev with road cases until they’re separated by Jamie Noble and Adam Pearce. While the officials were helping Rusev up, Shinsuke takes the opportunity to hit him with a Kinsasha.
The Bar vs. The Usos: If The Usos can pick up the win they get a shot at The Bar’s Tag Team Titles at Royal Rumble. The Bar controlled most of the beginning portions of the match. A hot tag from The Usos really quickened the pace even when The Bar tried to take control back but the quickness of The Usos really made it seem like the match was in their hand. Suddenly the music of Mandy Rose hits and she prances out un a towel. Mandy wants to know if she left her gear in Jimmy’s hotel. A shocked Jimmy Uso gets taken out by Sheamus while Cesaro hits The Neutralizer on Jey for the win. Before the ring announcer can make the full announcement for the winners, he is interrupted by The Miz who wanted to make the announcement himself. Miz would also like to challenge The Bar for a shot at the Tag Team Championships at Royal Rumble. Cesaro questions The Miz because he and Shane are an unproven team. Cesaro says he should check with his partner Sheamus who Brogue Kicks Miz’s face clean off before accepting the challenge.
Backstage Naomi gets into a wild brawl with Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville that is broken up by Jimmy.
Daniel Bryan, well he has snapped.
Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Carmella: The woman who picks up the win in this one will face Asuka for the SD Women’s Championship at Royal Rumble. The match as great pacing, noting felt clunky. The downside was that Carmella is just placed in the match, the real money came whenever Charlotte and Becky locked up. Carmella did get a chance to shine locking Charlotte in the Code of Silence submission from a nice transition. Not for nothing but Carmella is really starting to put things together in the ring. She’s stringing her moves together nicely and even taking chances with a dive to the outside. The close calls really kept the crowd on their feet and glued to the match. Carmella got too cocky and got trapped in the Figure 8. Becky breaks it up but gets a Spear from Charlotte. Carmella disposes of Charlotte but gets caught in the DisarmHer from Becky and has no choice but to tap. A really fun match that lived up to the bill of the main event.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka comes down to the ring where she and Becky have a staredown to close the show. SmackDown has another great week of solid matches and solid storytelling. I wish Raw was on the same page.
What did you think of tonight’s SmackDown Live? Drop a comment below!