The January 8, 2019 Edition of Smackdown Live is a Professional wrestling television show of the WWE's Smackdown brand, which took place on January 8, 2019 at the PPG Paints Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.
WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan kicked off SmackDown LIVE in the concourse of Jacksonville’s Veterans Memorial Arena, insulting the WWE Universe (going as far as pelting them with food and drinks) as well as his Royal Rumble opponent, AJ Styles. However, Bryan’s tirade was cut short when R-Truth popped up out of nowhere to get retribution on the WWE Champion after Bryan assaulted him on Christmas night. Truth was quickly separated from The Beard, but he wouldn’t have to wait long to get his hands on Bryan, as they had a scheduled match … and it was next!
Still riled up after attacking “The New” Daniel Bryan just moments ago, R-Truth came out of the gates hot against the WWE Champion, bringing an offensive onslaught, but Bryan soon took control and put his opponent away with the Running Knee.
However, Bryan would quickly be on the receiving end of another blindside attack when AJ Styles jumped him from behind at the entranceway. The unrelenting Phenomenal One hammered away on his nemesis until security pried Styles off Bryan, allowing the WWE Champion to get out of dodge.
Two super pairs were formed as Andrade “Cien” Almas teamed with Samoa Joe to take on Rey Mysterio and SmackDown LIVE’s newest sensation, Mustafa Ali.
All four Superstars have crossed paths in recent weeks and will compete in the Royal Rumble, setting the stage for an explosive tag team bout tonight. Mysterio and Ali used their dynamic and explosive arsenals to keep Almas and Joe reeling in the early goings, but Joe and Andrade neutralized their opponents as the contest progressed. Rey and Mustafa refused to stay down, but were often put there, such as when Joe caught a flying Ali on the floor and chucked him right over the announcer’s table. Still, in the match’s pivotal moments, it appeared that Rey and Ali were closing in on victory, but with Joe and Ali both downed on the outside, Almas countered a 619 and dropped The Ultimate Underdog with his signature Hammerlock DDT for what was arguably the biggest win of El Idolo’s career.
United States Champion Rusev had one thing on his mind walking into Jacksonville tonight: Crushing Shinsuke Nakamura for injuring with his wife Lana last week.
Nakamura seemingly had no interest in facing The Bulgarian Brute face-to-face, however, and he appeared on the TitanTron from a SmackDown LIVE television truck and forced an engineer to replay the footage of The Ravishing Russian being dropped during Rusev and Nakamura’s altercation last week.
Realizing that Nakamura wouldn’t meet him in the ring, the incensed Super Athlete stormed to the truck to get a piece of The King of Strong Style. Just as he arrived, however, he was ambushed by Nakamura, who repeatedly rammed a production crate into the United States Champion. Nakamura appeared to make his exit at the behest of WWE officials, but he suddenly sprinted at Rusev and knocked out The Bulgarian Brute with a Kinshasa.
The Usos had a prime chance to get right back into SmackDown Tag Team Championship contention, as a win against The Bar tonight would earn them a future title opportunity.
The Usos brought their best against Sheamus & Cesaro and appeared to have the reigning champions reeling after a series of jaw-dropping dives and high-impact strikes. However, momentum shifted quickly when Mandy Rose, who has been trying to drive a wedge between Naomi and Jimmy Uso, arrived on stage in only a towel and flip flops, claiming that she had lost her gear and asking Jimmy if she had left it in his hotel room.
The Bar immediately capitalized on the distraction, as Sheamus knocked Jimmy off the apron and gave Cesaro the opening to connect with the Neutralizer on Jey for the win. Sheamus & Cesaro would have little time to celebrate, however, as The Miz arrived, congratulated The Bar on their big victory and then gave them the “opportunity” to defend their titles against him and his new tag team partner Shane McMahon at the Royal Rumble. The Bar didn’t seem too grateful to face an “untested, uncoordinated dysfunctional duo with daddy issues,” but then swiftly consulted with one another and accepted via Sheamus Brogue Kicking Miz in the face.
With the opportunity to challenge SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka for the title at Royal Rumble, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Carmella squared off in a high-stakes Triple Threat Match.
All three Superstars brought their best in pursuit of locking up the coveted title match in Phoenix, Arizona. This raucous contest saw everything from Carmella silencing all her doubters by taking total control of the bout and pummeling her opponents, Flair connecting with a massive moonsault on both her foes and Lynch unleashing a blistering attack.
All three Superstars seemingly had their chances to secure victory, but The Man recovered from a vicious spear at the hands of Charlotte, and after Carmella dropped Flair with a kick, Lynch synched in the Dis-arm-her on The Princess of Staten Island to get the tapout victory, securing the SmackDown Women’s Championship opportunity against Asuka at Royal Rumble.
The Empress of Tomorrow arrived after Becky’s victory, and the two combatants faced off. Both women were spirited as they exchanged words and stared each other down, but one fact was vividly clear: Becky Lynch is ready for Asuka.
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Daniel Bryan defeated R-Truth (4:11)
- Samoa Joe & Andrade “Cien” Almas (w/ Zelina Vega defeated Mustafa Ali & Rey Mysterio (12:39)
- The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) defeated The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (14:18)
- Becky Lynch defeated Charlotte Flair & Carmella by submission in a Triple Threat Match in a #1 Contendership Match for the WWE SmackDown Women's Championship (16:11)
Other on-screen talent
R-Truth ambushed “The New” Daniel Bryan to kick off SmackDown LIVE
Daniel Bryan v R-Truth
Andrade Almas & Samoa Joe v Mustafa Ali & Rey Mysterio
Shinsuke Nakamura blindsided Rusev in the backstage area
The Bar v The Usos
Becky Lynch v Carmella v Charlotte Flair
- WWE Smackdown Live #1012 at CAGEMATCH.net
- WWE Smackdown Live #1012 at WWE.com
- [Smackdown #1012 on WWE Network]