WWE Smackdown Live Hits and Misses 1.29.19 w/ The Chairman
The dust has cleared in Phoenix. We learned our Royal Rumble winners and Wrestlemania main events the past few days. The road to Wrestlemania is well under way and on Smackdown Live tonight we take our first steps.
HIT: The New Daniel Bryan’s Next Title Defense is Set
Daniel Bryan survived another title defense at the Royal Rumble thanks to Rowan. Yes, the Rowan known for wearing a sheep mask as a Bray Wyatt follower. Also known as the Bludgeon Brother carrying around a mallet and wrecked havoc in the tag team division for the better part of 2018. Now he’s embraced the recycling life style of the New Daniel Bryan. Bryan tonight decided to toss the WWE Championship in the trash and unveiled a new title belt made of wood, hemp, and other Earth friendly materials. This led to AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Mustafa Ali, and Samoa Joe all coming to the ring wanting a shot at the title. Bryan said none of them deserved an title shot, but Triple H decided Bryan would defend the title against all of them inside the Elimination Chamber. This is definitely exciting news, because we know Brock Lesnar isn’t defending his title inside the Elimination Chamber so we have a marquee match to get excited about. The seeds were planted tonight, now it’s time to sit back and enjoy the build.
MISS: Lack of Qualifying Matches
I’m fine with the superstars selected for the Elimination Chamber, but how about making them earn their spots. We could’ve had five awesome matches to fill anywhere from two to three weeks of Smackdown Live. Could’ve easily had Rey Mysterio, Andrade, Rusev, Shinsuke Nakamura, and R-Truth wrestle the five superstars that were awarded the Elimination Chamber spots. Also they let Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville just announce entry into the women’s Elimination Chamber match for the Women Tag Team Championship match where on Raw they’re having qualifying matches? Then again, they probably don’t have the women’s roster depth to put on that many qualifying matches so I’ll give them a pass in this one.
HIT: United States Championship Defenses
The United States Championship has been on the back burner of Smackdown Live, but lately it’s getting some recognition. Shinsuke Nakamura managed to win the title back from Rusev on the Royal Rumble preshow. R Truth tonight gets awarded a title shot for having his Royal Rumble spot taken away from him by Nia Jax and manages to win the title in a weird controversial pin. This prompted Rusev to come out and strangely turns heel in the process and bullies Truth into a match. Truth wins and then Nakamura and Rusev both form a strange alliance to attack R Truth. Needless to say it’s been forever since the United States Championship has been featured so it’s a good feeling.
MISS: Rusev Turns Heel and Aligns With Man Who Injures His Wife
I’m a little confused with all these heel turns this week. First on Raw they turned Elias heel and now Rusev??? Rusev had a huge following after the Rusev Day gimmick caught fire. Where they’re struggling to build legit faces and turning two popular superstars back to heels makes no sense. What makes less sense is how Rusev is all the sudden cool with Nakamura. First Nakamura has been the result of Lana being injured how many times. Not too mention Nakamura has just taken Rusev’s title two days ago. Now all the sudden it’s in the past and they form a weird alliance? Honestly I think they could be a interesting tag team if they go long term with this unit. However, with all the history between them it’s rather odd. Either or, they have a match with the rarely seen Good Brothers Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson.
HIT: The Man Finishes Her Huge Week
Becky Lynch had quite a memorable week. Sure it didn’t start off the best losing a title match against Asuka. Becky however managed to get into the Royal Rumble match and eliminate her nemesis Charlotte Flair to punch her ticket to Wrestlemania. Becky then crashed Raw and confronted the Raw women’s champion and made the match official. Ronnie of course couldn’t handle the fans turning on her in support of The Man, but she better get used to it because just about everyone is on the Becky bandwagon. Tonight Charlotte came out to get under the skin of The Man and Becky just sat there taking it all in before sucker punching Charlotte. This led to a brawl between the two and Becky leaving the arena with an injury she suffered at the Royal Rumble. It’ll be interesting to see where this story goes next, but count on Becky Lynch being a key part on the road to Wrestlemania.
MISS: Tag Team Division Fading
In what once was a proud tag team division has fallen quickly in 2019. The titles are now in possession of makeshift tag team Miz and Shane McMahon. Shane holding a title in 2019 is everything wrong with WWE. Then tonight on Smackdown Live you have the same old tag teams competing for a title shot at Elimination Chamber. The Bar, Usos, and New Day. Big surprise. Oh and they tossed in Heavy Machinery, but how come Sanity or Good Brothers didn’t get in this match? Gallows and Anderson at least have something going with Rusev and Nakamura (for a week). Sanity has been completely erased. Sanity members were active on Twitter tonight tweeting their displeasure as well. I think Heavy Machinery’s already had more appearance than Sanity on the main roster. Sure the Usos won the match, but the fact they have to wrestle Miz and Shane is sad. Last thing we need to see is Shane McMahon get the best of Jimmy and Jey Uso and it could very well happen next month.
With that, it was quite a random episode of Smackdown Live. I think the E has had alot of hours to fill this week and some things slide thru the cracks tonight. Hopefully they can refocus and get things back on track next week. With that, follow @ChairmanSV on Twitter and thanks for reading.