WWE Smackdown Live Highlights 1.1.19 w/ The Chairman

Another holiday, another taped episode of Smackdown Live. More than likely everybody knows what happened before the show aired being we live in the social media age. Being I was pretty busy myself on New Year’s Day, let’s just get right to the highlights of this show before we return to normalcy next week.


Daniel Bryan’s Opponent at Royal Rumble 

It was announced that there would be a fatal five way match to determine who would earn the right to challenge Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. AJ Styles, Mustafa Ali, Randy Orton, and Rey Mysterio were the first four, but the fifth spot was up for grabs between Samoa Joe and Jeff Hardy. Their rivalry continued on for another week and it was Samoa Joe choking out Hardy to earn the final spot. Now to me personally the whole concept of having this match was odd because since Ali pinned Bryan in a tag team match, wouldn’t he automatically be deemed worthy for the title shot? In the end though there was alot of twist and turns figuring out who was going to secure the victory and it was AJ Styles. AJ Styles is getting another shot at Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble. Alot of us here at HTC were speculating it’d be Rey Mysterio or Mustafa Ali with his recent rise. However it appears they’re taking a major player in Styles out of  the Royal Rumble match possibly and giving him Bryan one more time. It should definitely be a good match, but what happened to freshening things up? I’m seeing the same old, same old here.


The Man Meets The Face

To those that lived under a rock, John Cena made his return to Smackdown Live. Cena was oddly enough confronted by Becky Lynch. This definitely gave me a reason to check out Smackdown Live knowing Becky Lynch has been on fire the past few months. They had a brief exchange before being confronted by Andrade “Cien” Almas and Zelina Vega. Eventually this led to the good old fashioned mixed tag team match. Cena looked like he was ready to put Almas away, but Lynch threw Cena out of the ring. The Man then quickly locked Vega in the Disarmer to get the win. Becky Lynch will not let anyone take her spotlight. Later in the show, Asuka was talking with Triple H about an opponent for Royal Rumble. Becky definitely wasn’t letting Charlotte Flair or Carmella stealing her opportunity there either. Triple H said they’d had to think it over. There was a leak recently already advertising Asuka vs Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Live Women’s Championship, but everything regarding that was stomped and quietly swept away. We’ll have to keep watching to see who faces Asuka at Royal Rumble.


Rusev Day Celebration Cancelled

Rusev won the WWE United States Championship last week on Christmas or Rusev Day, pending who you ask over Shinsuke Nakamura. Rusev being a multi time United States Champion was ready to take on 2019, but his old rival Nakamura wasn’t having any of it. Nakamura attacked Rusev and was looking for a knockout blow with the Kinshasa, but Lana jumped on Nakamura. This of course doesn’t end well for Lana when she gets knocked down during the segment. Rusev of course checks on Lana and pays for it with a Kinshasa from Nakamura. More than likely a rematch is happening between these two.


There were a few minor segments as well sprinkled in this episode, but it’ll be nice next week to return to Smackdown Live instead of Smackdown Taped. Hopefully over the course of the holiday break WWE is able to get their creative juices following and presenting us with a better product, especially on the Raw side of things. With that, check my latest thoughts out on Twitter @ChairmanSV and if you want to write about wrestling feel free to inquire on Twitter @HTCWrestling and with that, thanks for reading and have a Happy New Year!!!