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Cook’s WWE SmackDown Live Review 2.5.19

February 5, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Daniel Bryan Smackdown 2-5-19
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Cook’s WWE SmackDown Live Review 2.5.19  

Cook’s WWE SmackDown Live Review 2.5.19

-Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev beat Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (**)
-Randy Orton defeats Mustafa Ali (**1/2)
-Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville beat Naomi & Carmella and the Iiconics (**)
-Jeff Hardy beat Daniel Bryan via disqualification (**)

-Hello friends, Steve Cook back here with you for another week of SmackDown Live action. We’re on the Road to WrestleMania, and the WrestleMania sign is in full display so people can point to it. Tom Phillips, Corey Graves & Byron Saxton are at the announce booth.

-Greg Hamilton introduces Charlotte Flair to open the show. We see clips from Monday’s episode of Raw, where Becky Lynch got suspended & got kicked in the injured knee by Stephanie McMahon in self-defense. Charlotte points out that the only worse thing than ignorance is arrogance, and Becky’s arrogance led to her behavior that got herself suspended. She hopes Becky is healthy for WrestleMania, but she knows somebody that is 100% healthy & would love to face Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. She points at the WrestleMania sign, as The Man Becky Lynch appears in the crowd. It’s one thing to steal Charlotte’s dad’s catchphrase, but it’s another to steal Roman Reigns’ entrance! Becky makes it to the ring & starts talking down to Charlotte before “King of Kings” plays & Triple H appears. He tells Becky to see a doctor, and sends Charlotte to the back. He tells Becky it’s as easy as seeing the doctor and getting cleared. Becky doesn’t trust the system, but HHH says it is what it is. Until then, go home. Becky asks how Steph is, and if she’s medically cleared after getting punched in the face. Triple H sees through Becky’s “Man” act, she’s looking for a way out of this whole thing. She got a way out of it before Survivor Series & became a martyr & went to medical prison. A convenient excuse! She’s doing the same exact thing now. Another convenient excuse. She’s afraid to go to the doctor, and HHH doesn’t even think she’s injured. The truth is, she’s scared she can go to WrestleMania and face Ronda Rousey, and if she does, Ronda will expose her as the fraud she is. HHH suggests Becky fears Ronda, and Becky fires a slap in his direction. STAREDOWN! Becky exits stage right & heads back out through the crowd. We’ve got more questions than we’ve got answers for this whole situation, and that’s fine for me on the Road to WrestleMania. As much as I would like to settle in on Becky’s side of things, the Game did raise some valid points. As a wrestler himself, he has more than enough credibility to raise some insane schools of thought and present them as valid, as Triple H as the Cereberal Assassin often operated in some insane schools of thought. Becky walking off without really addressing the issues that Triple H keeps things going. We don’t think she fears Ronda, but unless she says it explicitly there’s still going to be some doubt out there.

Popeye’s 5 Dollar Boneless Wing Combo Tag Team Match: Good Brothers Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Artist Known as Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev (w/Lana): Karl with a dive out of the ring shows that the Good Brothers are bringing it all this week in honor of Good Brother R-Truth. I, for one, like the idea of Gallows & Anderson acting out in honor of babyfaces getting the shaft from evildoers. It’s not working out for Anderson so well during this commercial break as Rusev & Nakamura gain the advantage. How about Lana wearing matching clothing with Nakamura? An attempted Kinshasa meets a spinebuster, and Gallows tags in. A gallows Pole takes Nakamura down to the outside, where Lana can yell at him to come on. While that’s going on, we get a series of reversals, which leads to a Machka Kick and a win for Rusev & Nakamura. Corey Graves compares them to the New England Patriots, which I take to mean that we’re not supposed to like them. Most of this took place during the commercial break, which I took as an excuse to use the restroom. From what I could see, it seemed like perfectly acceptable wrestling. I hope Gallows & Anderson have other plans, as there’s clearly nothing for them here other than a job on TV once a month if they’re lucky. (**)

-Mustafa Ali cuts a promo, and Paige introduces a clip to her movie. Those of you old schoolers can guess which one I had more interest in watching. Paige, duh. Are you serious, bro?

-Next week we get McMiz TV with The Usos! Jimmy & Jey point out how Shane & Miz are trying to be like them. A pretty good backstage promo building up a talk show.

Mustafa Ali vs. Randy Orton: Orton even cut a backstage promo earlier about how little he cares about Ali, which seems like a passive-aggressive way of admitting that he cares. Being a passive-aggressive person myself, I know these things. He busts out his trademark back suplex onto the announce table that has crippled Singh brothers. CHINLOCK! RKO working this boy over like he tried to cross the border. Well, not that harshly. He does hit the Cowboy Bob superplex for a near-fall. Orton takes the offense during the commercial, Ali comes back right after & they’re fighting outside behind the announce table. Back in the ring, Ali blocks the draping DDT with a well-placed kick & gets another one for a near-fall. Randy was hoping for that RKO out of nowhere, but Mustafa saw it coming, paused, then hit the tornado DDT for two. But then Randy gets it out of the corner when Mustafa goes up for the 054 & gets the victory. Orton had quite the size advantage here, and he’s not really used to working with smaller guys other than Rey Mysterio & Daniel Bryan, but he did the best he could here making Mustafa look like a threat. Solid action here, and I don’t need to tell you that Mustafa losing to Randy Orton doesn’t hurt him. (**1/2)

-Speaking of outta nowhere, Samoa Joe comes down and decides to choke out Orton! He knocks Ali out of the ring too and walks tall. Daniel Bryan makes his entrance with Joe in the entranceway, but the presence of Rowan keeps things from getting out of hand there.

-Fortunately, Joe gets promo time after the commercial. Short and sweet, and he’s the most believable man on this or any other roster.

-We’re in Washington State this week, and they believe in Bryan’s way of life. He’s totally milking this for all its worth. The global audience doesn’t get it. Dopamine & whatnot. He’s created the 10 pounds of Hemp for people to get behind. It’s a symbol of excellence, and a symbol for change! Rowan gets some time to spread his intelligence. Bryan is the planet’s champion. The suits back there don’t like it. They never wanted him to be the champion. He introduces an Elimination Chamber video to establish the dangerous environment he’ll be walking into as champion. The opponents want to take the championship, and put it back on a leather strap and take it back into the past. Everybody needs Daniel Bryan as WWE Champion, and who the hell am I to argue?

Jeff Hardy tells Dasha Fuentes that nobody has disgraced the WWE Championship like Bryan has. He’ll shut him up later on tonight. AJ Styles questions that Jeff is the guy to do that, and Jeff questions his ability to question it.

Carmella & Naomi vs. The Iiconics (Billie Kay & Peyton Royce) vs. Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville): Lots of smack being talked by the heel teams prior to this match. Look at Mandy working that abdominal stretch on Carmella. Naomi tags in & Sonya gets to eat all that offense until Peyton tags in. Rose hits the Moneymaker, and gets the three count on Naomi! Big win for Mandy here, and during Black History Month no less. (**)

Andrade & Zelina Vega talk about how Rey Mysterio is a fable & a myth.

Asuka gets a video this week! This is a step up from last week, but I have a sneaking suspicion that her title match at WrestleMania will be relegated to the Kickoff Show & we will be asked to swallow it because of the Raw title match & the tag team title match.

Jeff Hardy vs. WWE Champion Daniel Bryan (w/Rowan): I’m not sure I would call this a dream match, but it’s definitely one of those matches we never thought we would see during certain years. Bryan dominates early, then the second Hardy gets an advantage, Rowan intervenes on the outside. Eventually we get Hardy on the offense, but by the time he works around to the Swanton, Bryan moves out of the way, then gets the advantage on the other side. Yes kicks, but Hardy recovers. Swanton Bomb, Rowan yanks Hardy out of the ring & we get a DQ. Joe reappears & chokes Bryan out! Randy Orton comes down for revenge from earlier, then Mustafa Ali comes down to get claw slammed on the announce table by Rowan. AJ Styles gets music! He hits that Phenomenal Forearm on Hardy because it’s every man for himself in the Chamber. I feel like there’s an extra gear for both of these guys that they didn’t quite get to, and would eventually if they have more matches with each other. I can see their wrestling styles meshing, but I can also see these guys not meshing at all on a personal level due to completely different life experiences. These things take time. (**)

-Bryan yells at Dasha backstage because he’s the best, the greatest & the WWE Champion. He & Rowan are intellectual peers. The planet needs Daniel Bryan as WWE Champion forever, and nobody understands it other than he & Rowan.

-AJ Styles celebrates in the ring as we fade to black.

-Thanks for reading!

The final score: review Average
The 411
I felt like the wrestling for this episode was pretty blah, but it's all about laying the seeds for the Elimination Chamber, or in the case of the opening segment with Charlotte & Becky, WrestleMania. In that case, I thought SD Live did their job this week. As far as the actual in-ring goes...it was just kinda there.

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WWE Smackdown, Steve Cook