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Good evening everyone! It’s the go home show for SmackDown. From here, the blue brand will be rumbling on toward Phoenix and Sunday’s Royal Rumble. We have the final hype for the women’s and men’s Royal Rumble matches. There’s a face to face summit between champion Daniel Bryan and challenger AJ Styles, moderated by Vince McMahon. As if that weren’t enough, and like last week’s main event wasn’t insanely good enough, tonight we get best two out of three falls between Andrade and Rey Mysterio. Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see how things shake out!

Best Match of the night:

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For the second week in a row, this goes to Andrade and Rey Mysterio. Even with the end-of-match interference (which works in the context of hyping the Royal Rumble), the first two falls made this match exceptional. Seriously, not sure how these two top things, unless we see them enter at one and two on Sunday and duel throughout the Rumble itself, ahead of very late eliminations.

Worst match of the night:

Naomi and Mandy Rose was forgettable. For a match that should have been so emotionally charged and all that, the match was a major disappointment.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Becky

Shane O Mac

Fickle

619

This is awesome

Star of the Night

I have to give this to Andrade and Rey Mysterio again. They really put on a great match.

Spot of the Night:

At first, I figured it would be Andrade’s top rope power bomb (and, to be fair, the whole sequence leading up to it). That was top, until Mysterio countered out of another power bomb attempt and flipped Andrade in a move that I really can’t describe in a manner that does it justice. Suffice it to say, that spot was just awesome, and it earned Rey his first fall.

Then Mysterio pushed things even further-he did his slide under the bottom rope, into a sunset flip of Andrade into the ringside barrier.

Sure, some of the action between Miz and Shane and The Bar was good, but they just did not compare to the main event action.

SmackDown In A Nutshell: Rumbling On Toward Phoenix

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Shane McMahon and Miz certainly were on the wrong side of a beating from The Bar, weren’t they?

Well, Joe is on a warpath isn’t he? For a second straight week he destroyed Mustafa Ali. This time he went further by interrupting our otherwise exceptional main event by destroying Rey Mysterio, and putting a hurting on Andrade at the same time.

That was topped when, as Joe delivered his seemingly show-closing promo, another Rumble entrant-Randy Orton-delivered an RKO out of nowhere and closed things out.

Botch of the night:

There was a botch in what was otherwise a great main event. Rey was going for something off the top rope, I believe a crucifix or something similar, and there was a miscue and it didn’t land right or well. The pair recovered and made it work, but I’d doubt very much that it had been planned.

LOL Moment of the night:

The backstage bit with New Day was funny, but R-Truth still takes the cake, talking about if he wins, not letting Brock Lesnar take him to Sioux Falls City or whatever he was babbling on about. And that’s our 30th man in…for now.

Noteworthy Moment:

I will say that the Daniel Bryan-AJ Styles summit, moderated by Vince McMahon, did kind of disappoint. It ended well enough I suppose, but it just felt like it could have been better. I could also argue if it should have gone off in the main event slot. As good as Andrade and Mysterio were, and the point of hyping the Rumble…the world championship should get top billing more often than not.

Overall lowlights:

Was really disappointed by the Naomi/Mandy Rose match. Not that I had high hopes for it, but it should have been better than that.

I would have liked to have seen more Rumble entrants get involved in that final segment, but part of that is lost because of the hard end that SmackDown has had (RAW too). That said, based on the way things went, you figure the top four of SmackDown should be (or, at least, ought to be) Mysterio, Andrade, Samoa Joe and Randy Orton.

Overall highlights:

The main event delivered for the second straight week.

McMahon was better tonight than he was on RAW.

The closing sequence following the main event was decent too.

After the final bell:

All in all, a solid go home show. I think RAW had a better one than SmackDown, but both were effective. Both brands made their cases for being set for the Rumble come Sunday. It’s all over but the fighting now.

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