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Good evening (or good morning) folks! It’s our first live SmackDown Live of 2019! This one is likely going to be heavy on the action setting up the Rumble. The annual January PPV is first out of the gate, and it hits us in just under three weeks from Chase Field in Phoenix. New SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka needs herself a number one contender. We have no SmackDown tag team title match. We do know that AJ Styles will be challenging Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship, however. It’s reasonable to expect a lot of tonight’s action will be focused on filling in those blanks, so without any further delay, let’s crack open this Nutshell!

Best Match of the night:

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I have to go with the main event here. It was the triple threat match between Charlotte, Becky and Carmella, with Becky Lynch earning her rematch. It was a very good match, and it’s nice to see the women get yet another main event. Carmella was sort of the odd woman out here, and she did take the loss. Leads me to believe she was mostly in the match just to take the loss.

Worst match of the night:

The Daniel Bryan versus R-Truth match…well it was not much of a match. Done in under five minutes, it was more a vehicle to get AJ Styles to attack the champ. That, in and of itself, is not a horrible idea. However, right now, Truth is the number thirty guy in the Rumble (though I think everyone expects him to somehow or other be bumped from the match when the time comes). I just wish that a guy they handed number thirty to, would be presented as a credible or competent adversary.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Rusev Day

this is awesome

Star of the Night

On a night she punched her ticket for the Royal Rumble, I’ll give this one to new number one contender Becky Lynch.

Spot of the Night:

There were a few nice spots tonight. Love what Ali brings to the ring

Jobber of the Night:

I could go with R-Truth. Or I could go with Carmella. I am not decided on either, so we could go with the both of them. Kind of ironic, isn’t it?

Also might as well give a nod to the poor sap who got the honor of being doused with soda by Daniel Bryan.

Upset of the Night:

I suppose some might say having Andrade “Cien” Almas pin Rey Mysterio is a big deal. In reality, it’s a smart move to have Rey put Almas over.

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

Daniel Bryan flipping out, throwing the soda and all.

Styles channeling his dark side, as Vince McMahon had asked him to do.

SmackDown In A Nutshell: Setting Up The Rumble

Noteworthy Moment:

Well, the Mandy Rose-Uso drama continues, with Rose costing the Usos a shot at a future tag title opportunity. However, The Miz came down, challenged The Bar to a match at the Rumble against he and Shane…got laid out, but got the match.enging for, or defending, the world championship.

SmackDown In A Nutshell: Setting Up The Rumble

Becky Lynch earned her rematch. Not sure what this means for the rumors of her winning the Rumble and taking on Ronda Rousey, however.

Overall lowlights:

Not a fan of how the number thirty guy in the Rumble looks so not important now. Might as well have given that golden ticket to Mike Kanellis.

Overall highlights:

Hard not to enjoy New Daniel Bryan.

Liking AJ Styles

Liking angry Rusev even more.

It will be interesting to see where they take Becky Lynch’s character next.

After the final bell:

As expected, a solid show to set up the Royal Rumble. The title matches are effectively locked in, and they all show promise. I suppose I could knock a lack of a live tribute for “Mean” Gene, but they did cover it and replayed the very good video from last night, so it’s not as though they ignored it.

Now that the key matches are set, it gives SmackDown a couple weeks to really build them up further. It’s a good chunk of the card to be excited for.

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