WWE SmackDown Results: Andrade's Renewed Push and Biggest Takeaways from Jan. 15
The January 15 episode of SmackDown Live continued the build to Royal Rumble while introducing some new elements and reigniting a push for one of the most talented Superstars on the roster.
Andrade scored an enormous victory over Rey Mysterio, Mandy Rose antagonized Naomi and paid for it, and Becky Lynch continued to establish herself as the undisputed Man on Tuesday nights.
Throw in some more head-scratching Shane McMahon-Miz nonsense and you have some major takeaways from the USA Network presentation.
Andrade Shakes Off Rough Patch, Finds New Life in Feud With Rey Mysterio
Andrade scored a huge victory over Rey Mysterio Tuesday night, capitalizing on a momentary distraction from Zelina Vega and delivering a hammerlock DDT from the top turnbuckle to pin the former world heavyweight champion.
The win, coupled with last week's pinfall on Mysterio in tag team action, represents a return to relevancy for a Superstar whose main roster run had gone the way of so many other NXT call-ups.
Now with momentum on his side, Andrade is heating up at the right time, on the Road to WrestleMania and just before the Royal Rumble spectacular.
Mysterio is an iconic Superstar whose name alone lends credibility to the men who work with him. Beating him, especially this early in his return to WWE, still means something. El Idolo gains considerable legitimacy by picking up consecutive wins over the masked luchador.
The key now is to build on it.
WWE Creative did Andrade a considerable disservice by starting and stopping his push this past summer. He descended into mediocrity and spent months dissatisfied with his position in the company.
It owes him—a Superstar whose performances have never really wavered since his promotion to SmackDown—a consistent push that begins with this Mysterio program.
Soap-Opera Storyline Gives Naomi vs. Mandy Rose Different Edge
Too often, those outside of the championship picture in WWE are left to engage in droll, one-dimensional storylines that do little to create any excitement or genuine connection with the audience.
That is why despite some...less-than-stellar acting, the soap-opera storyline involving Naomi, Jimmy Uso and Mandy Rose is such a breath of fresh air.
It is a complete departure from everything WWE has attempted to do from a creative standpoint over the last few years, and that is not a bad thing.
Creating a story for Rose and Naomi by putting the latter's husband between them is a great way to keep The Usos relevant while they are out of the tag team title picture, and it creates heat for the women's feud rather than having them wrestle a series of rematches every week.
We have seen love triangles before on WWE programming, so this is nothing new. The sexuality of Rose may be the opposite of what fans have come to expect from the women's revolution, but it sets her apart from the rest of the roster, which is something it needs as the talent pool continues to expand.
Love it or hate it, the storyline has given fans something different to sink their teeth into. Variety on any wrestling show has never been a bad thing, and this continues that trend.
Becky Lynch Rightfully Dominates Top of the Show
The first half hour of Tuesday's show was devoted to Becky Lynch and her upcoming showdown with Asuka over the SmackDown Women's Championship.
Blowing past Kayla Braxton, shutting down New Day and Heavy Machinery by chugging a protein shake they wanted no part of, and hitting the ring like the star she is, The Irish Lass Kicker established herself early and often.
Her victory over Peyton Royce not only continued Lynch's roll, but it also elevated Royce's status on the show through a strong, hard-fought match.
The face-to-face and exchange with Asuka added tension to their title bout and created more excitement and intrigue for it come the Royal Rumble on January 27.
Lynch has been the breakout star of the brand for the last six months. She has found a character for herself that works, the crowd loves her, and the attitude she brings to the product has enhanced it exponentially.
There is genuine excitement for her and a connection with the audience that so many others have struggled to make.
As 2019 continues, and Lynch receives these opportunities to be such a massively important part of the show, her star will grow and her role in the company will exceed any and all expectations, to the benefit of the sports entertainment empire.
Shane McMahon Story a Waste of The Miz, The Bar
The Shane McMahon nonsense that has ensued since Crown Jewel in November has proved little more than a waste of The Miz and, now, SmackDown tag team champions The Bar.
Tuesday, a lengthy show-closing angle saw McMahon and Miz humiliate Sheamus with a cake used to celebrate Shane-O-Mac's birthday. It was childish and stupid and devoted entirely too much time to McMahon when there are Superstars such as Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura who cannot buy television time.
Yes, WrestleMania time means a return to prominence for McMahon, but his ongoing storyline with Miz is underwhelming, and a main event slot on SmackDown Live, when there are other stories and matches that could use the spotlight, feels like a total waste of everyone involved.
Miz should be involved further up the card, working with guys who can actually benefit from his incredible heel act. Sheamus and Cesaro should be mixing it up with the criminally underutilized Sanity, who cannot sniff anything meaningful from creative.
As for McMahon? Randy Orton isn't busy, is he?