Who will be taking on The Fiend for The Universal Championship at The Royal Rumble PPV next month? Will Sami Zayn ever wrestle again? And, will Otis and Mandy Rose finally break the sexual tension? At least 2 of these questions were answered on the final episode of Friday Night SmackDown on FOX in 2019. Here are the results and what will be taking place going forward into a new decade for the blue brand. Welcome to the most must-see VultureHound review in history; welcome to… the SmackDown Review.


– Braun Strowman and The New Day defeated Cesaro, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura.

– Carmella defeated Mandy Rose.

– Daniel Bryan vs The Miz in a No. 1 Contender’s Match ended in a double disqualification.

– Sasha Banks & Bayley defeated Dana Brooke & Lacey Evans.

– Daniel Bryan defeated King Corbin & The Miz in a No. 1 Contender’s Match.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7HLQ1VdFhM]

Bradley’s Best Bits:

A triple threat match between King Corbin, Daniel Bryan and The Miz to decide the number 1 contender for Bray Wyatt’s Universal Championship was set to open the show. However, there was twice a change of plans which meant this story became the narrative for the entire show.

As King Corbin was making his way to the ring for the opening match, he declared that he will not be taking part as he already defeated Roman Reigns and deserves to be respected as the true heir to the Universal Championship. As Reign’s music played, Corbin fell from his sedan and was set upon by the Big Dog before escaping through the crowd.

This, of course, cast doubt over the triple threat no. 1 contender’s match. This meant The Miz and Daniel Bryan went one-on-one for the right to face the Fiend only for Corbin’s security to cause a double disqualification when they attacked both competitors. Corbin confirmed he orchestrated the attack in order to re-insert himself back into a triple threat match for the night’s main event.

When we finally got to the main event, the trio worked fantastically well together. Miz and Bryan’s natural chemistry lent itself to Corbin who was equally very comfortable working with the 2 WWE stalwarts. There were some great exchanges that saw the 2 fathers team up to eliminate Corbin only for the 2019 King of the Ring winner to then dominate them physically once they turned on each other. Eventually, it would be Daniel Bryan that would earn the right to face The Fiend again at the Royal Rumble after he submitted The Miz with the LeBell Lock. Following his victory, Wyatt appeared from the Firefly Fun House and invited Bryan to once again “let him in”.

Corbin’s relentlessness as an annoying heel continued superbly last night. Whilst his feud with Reigns is far from over, this story worked well to build up his character as a detestable toad. It also allowed the show to have a continued narrative throughout the episode and helped further the multifaceted triangle between Wyatt, Bryan and Miz. Seems as though we’re set for more of the same next year!

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSNzcy71wyo]

Despite losing to the team of Bruan Strowman and The New Day, we finally got to see Sami Zayn in action again even if it was limited. Teaming up with his friends, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro, the trio took charge of this 6-man tag match early on by isolating Kofi Kingston from tagging in the much larger Strowman. Cesaro was particularly impressive, but when isn’t he?

The tables did eventually turn once the tag was made. Strowman looked dominant and it took some heel antics at ringside from Zayn and Cesaro to slow him down. Yet, Kingston levelled the playing field whilst the ref was distracted by hitting Nakamura with the New Day’s pancake platter which allowed Strowman to hit his powerslam for the win. The babyface trio then celebrated by getting Strowman to channel his inner Big E by doing a little wiggling of his hips. A fun end to a fun match.

A Moment of Bliss made a return last night hosted by the eponymous Alexa Bliss and her bestie Nikki Cross. Their guest, the now babyface Lacey Evans, was less than impressed with Sasha Banks for taunting her child and was out to prove a point. The Sassy Southern Belle was in a no-nonsense mood as she put down the mic and stormed to the ring for her tag-team match with Dana Brooke against Banks and SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley.

Before the match could get underway, the heel duo had attacked Dana Brooke which lead to Evans brawling with the pair outside the ring. Once we returned from the ad break, the heels were in charge, demonstrating their cohesion until Evans received the hot tag and sparked into life. In the end, Sasha Banks would claim the win for her team as she caught Brooke in the Bank Statement. It’s good that Lacey is picking up some momentum even in defeat, but Bayley and Banks are still yet to come up against a convincing credible threat.

For Fox Sake:

Carmella looks as though she is poised to be the next one to take on Bayley for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. The Princess of Staten Island came out to pyro for her entrance and saw off Mandy Rose fairly quickly. The match itself did not set the world alight and raises questions on the overall quality of the blue brand’s women’s division.

Considering ‘Mella has now picked up back-to-back wins over Fire and Desire and given Lacey Evans’ back and forth with Sasha Banks, this could be indicative of a renewed push for the former SmackDown Women’s Champion. I didn’t think I’d find myself saying this but maybe the number one contender should actually be Lacey Evans. She deserves it for her recent improved performances.

All pics and vids courtesy of WWE.

By Bradley Tiernan

"Wrestling is better than the things you like" - John Oliver

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