The New Day began their New Year Celebrations after officially declaring themselves as part of The Royal Rumble. They mocked Steiner maths from the TNA segment. They mentioned they aimed to become the WWE Champions and then took a shot at Brock Lesnar for not showing up to work. The New Day make a sad announcement: no more pancakes. Doctors orders; apparently. SmackDown video highlights of January 1st 2019.
Big E was taking out pancakes from his diaper and throwing it to people; I found myself really hoping they didn’t eat it. Big E announced a Fatal-5-Way to determine Daniel Bryan’s opponent at Royal Rumble. There were going to be a qualifier to determine the fifth opponent. It was Joe vs Hardy.
Samoa Joe vs Jeff Hardy
Joe started off with a few stiff jabs and a kick to the calves of Hardy. He went for a leg lock right away and the referee separated the two. Joe continued to press until Hardy countered. He started slamming Joe’s legs on the ring post. Hardy elbowed Joe’s knees and went for a leg lock but Joe rolled out.
Back from a very brief break, Joe was in control, talking a bit of trash. Hardy went for the Whisper of the wind and caught him. Hardy hung upside down and Joe hit a low dropkick, coming close to a pin. Hardy caught Joe and hit the atomic drop. He hit the twist of fate before going for the Swanton Bomb and he landed it, but Joe rolled out of the ring.
Hardy rolled outside and Joe locked the coquina clutch. Joe made it in time but the referee restarted the count for some odd reason (a botch from his end, most likely). Hardy made it in before 10 but Joe instantly locked in the Coquina Clutch for the win.
Result: Samoa Joe def. Jeff Hardy and qualified for the Fatal-5-Way match
AJ Styles was backstage where Shane McMahon and Vince McMahon were sitting. Styles didn’t even look at Vince and said that maybe he should apologize, but he won’t. He told Vince that tonight in the Fatal-5-way match, he’s going to see the real AJ Styles.
He even teased attacking Vince again, but Shane stood up ready to retaliate. Vince stopped him and AJ walked out. Shane McMahon asked if Vince really wanted to see the real AJ Styles and Vince smiled and says yes. Shane told him to be careful what he wished for.
Nakamura plays the spoils on Rusev Day
Rusev was out, being interviewed. He talked about defending the US title with honour and pride, whi
le also being a bit cheesy with Lana. He turned around and ate a Kinshasa out of nowhere. Lana tried stopping Nakamura with a Rear Naked Choke and Nakamura fell right on top of her. He hit another kick and then a Kinshasa on Rusev.
A concerned Rusev checked on Lana, who was still down.
Naomi vs Mandy Rose
The referee had to hold Naomi back before the bell rang because she just couldn’t wait to get her hands on God’s Greatest Creation. Mandy Rose walked out of the ring and the bell rang. Sonya DeVille was in the ring instead. The match began finally but it was not the match that we were ready for. SmackDown video highlights of January 1st 2019.
Naomi vs Sonya DeVille
So a last-second change of plans saw DeVille take Mandy’s place. DeVille almost knocked Naomi out, but the former champion kicked out. DeVille had her locked in and Rose took the mic. She said that he couldn’t help but think of her husband and showed a picture she sent him. It was her wearing just a towel. Naomi got distracted and DeVille hit a new finisher that was a DDT reversed by Naomi. Confusing. SmackDown video highlights of January 1st 2019.
Result: Sonya DeVille def. Naomi
John Cena gets an unexpected call-out
John Cena said it has been one hell of a year. He bought a ticket to WrestleMania and regretted having those beers before his match against The Undertaker. He wrote a children’s book, spent 6 months in China and even made fun of his own hairstyle.
John Cena kept repeating “Why” before asking “Why am I here?”. He didn’t have a reason. He even referenced Nikki Bella leaving him and asked for someone’s music to hit so he has a reason. Becky Lynch answered the call.
Becky Lynch asked how it felt, expecting a man, but getting an answer from The Man. She said that while it’s great to be back, it was not so simple anymore. She said that she wasn’t just aiming to overtake Charlotte on the posters, but him too.
She said that she was The person to take his role. She then added that if he had a problem, Nikki Bella wouldn’t be the only one to drop him. They were then interrupted by Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas and Zelina Vega.
Vega said 2019 was Almas’ year and Cena wasted no time challenging them to a Mixed Tag match after saying that Becky could kick Vega’s a** herself.
John Cena & Becky Lynch vs. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas & Zelina Vega
Becky asked to start the match and Zelina Vega was in trouble right off the bat. Cena called for a tag and Becky begrudgingly let Cena in the ring. Zelina and Almas hit the Tranquilo taunt but John was not impressed. Almas caught Cena in a headlock.
Vega had Cena locked with her legs on the ropes while the referee looked away. Becky Lynch started talking trash to Almas, urging him to tag Vega in. Almas went for the double knees and Cena moved. He finally got the chance and tagged Becky Lynch in. The hot tag saw her slam Vega down and relentlessly press against her with kicks and uppercuts. She hit the Bexploder, practically ragdolling Vega.
Becky went for the disarmher but Almas interfered. Cena hit the Five Knuckle Shuffle and the new weird finisher of his, but Almas escaped the ring. Becky came in with the disarmher on Vega for the win. After the match, Cena wanted to shake hands with Becky but she waved, doing the ‘you can’t see me’ and left.
Result: John Cena & Becky Lynch def. Andrade ‘Cien’ Almas & Zelina Vega
Backstage, The Miz was pitching concept art for matching outfits to Shane, now that they’re a tag team. They were all awful designs and Shane didn’t want any part of that before the hilarious segment ended.
Asuka was confronted by Triple H, who praised her for being on a roll. Charlotte, Carmella, and Becky join them, demanding a shot at Asuka’s title.
AJ Styles vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe vs. Mustafa Ali vs. Randy Orton – Fatal-5-way to determine Daniel Bryan’s WWE title opponent at Royal Rumble
SmackDown video highlights of January 1st 2019
Ali went straight for Joe and Styles hit a backbreaker on Rey before taking on Randy. AJ sent Ali into the ring post but was taken out by Orton from the apron right after. Mysterio sent AJ to the outside before we saw a flurry of attacks performed one by one by our competitors in the ring. We returned from the commercial break to see Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio face off in the ring. AJ and Mysterio sent Orton outside before AJ threw Mysterio out too.
AJ Styles was sent through a table by Samoa Joe. Orton and Joe teased teaming together but had a staredown. Ali took out Joe and Mysterio took out Orton. Mysterio and Ali were the only two men standing.
They had a face off in the ring and Mysterio offered a handshake. Mysterio quickly took Ali’s back and they had a series of counters, getting the better of one another.
Ali got the better of Mysterio and then Samoa Joe. He came close to beating Joe with the 054 but Joe moved and locked in the coquina clutch. He pressed him against the ropes and since there’s no DQ, there was no rope break.
Mysterio hit Joe with a 619 and then Ali with a 619. Orton hit an RKO on Ali and Mysterio then got Orton with a 619. Joe cleared Mysterio from the ring and Styles took advantage and hit a springboard 450 on Orton to get the pin. SmackDown video highlights of January 1st 2019.
Result: AJ Styles is the new #1 Contender for the WWE Championship and will face Daniel Bryan at the Royal Rumble