1/15 WWE Smackdown On-Site Report: Fans taunt Bryan with plastic straws, EC3 and Heavy Machinery wrestle off-TV, post-TV happenings including Styles-Bryan, Styles pays tribute to Stone Cold



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WWE SMACKDOWN ON-SITE REPORT
JANUARY 15, 2019
BIRMINGHAM, ALA.
REPORT BY GREG WOOD, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT

ATTENDANCE: The arena holds around 14,000. The upper deck was tarped off and there were some empty seats around the hard camera, so I’d estimate 6-8,000.

PRE-SMACKDOWN MATCH

(A) Heavy Machinery beat The Colons. I was surprised at the crowd reaction Heavy Machinery got. The people were into it. They had a good mix of comedy, but their style feels serious with their size and power moves.

(B) EC3 beat Aiden English. EC3 was pretty over with the crowd. It was a pretty quick match. They went back and forth a little bit. EC3 kind of gave us a snub when he came out and seemed to ignore the fans, so I thought he might be a heel. But after the match he interacted with the fans more, so it seemed like he was a babyface. It was overall hard to tell.

SMACKDOWN NOTES

-Becky Lynch got the best pop of the night by far. Asuka got a nice pop when she came out, too. She wasn’t booed even though she was opposing Lynch.

-The Becky vs. Peyton Royce match felt like it dragged. The crowd got kind of quiet. The match didn’t get over very well. We were all waiting for someone to get thrown into Asuka at ringside, but it didn’t happen.

-When A.J. Styles walked up the steps, during the TV commercial, they just turned the lights down and aired videos. Then after the commercial, they showed in the concourse on the big screen.

-Fans were cheering for Samoa Joe. Mustafa Ali got a nice pop, too, but Joe overall got a better reaction.

-The crowd was absolutely into Andrade vs. Rey Mysterio start to finish. It was the match of the year so far. It was hot. Fans fell right in line cheering Rey and booing Andrade. There were a lot of “619” chants. The crowd seemed to respect Andrade that they weren’t upset he won, though.

-When the hotel room skit aired, there were a lot of parents with small children and you could feel it wasn’t something they were interested in. Other people were focused on it. It felt out of the ordinary for the PG era. Personally, I wouldn’t have wanted my five year old son to see that. I think among many adults, though, there was intrigue over what Jimmy was going to do. When Naomi entered the picture, fans were into that. They wanted Naomi to get her.

-The crowd was into the Shane McMahon birthday bash. Miz came out and they went to a commercial. Miz stood in the ring during the break. Shane then high-fived everyone on his way out. After The Bar came out and they went to another commercial, Miz and Shane played to the crowd. Everyone was waiting for someone to go through the cake on the table. You could feel the anticipation. It seemed to end quickly, and I wasn’t expecting that to be the main event.

-They had the crew quickly clean up the ringside area in anticipation of 205 Live.

205 LIVE NOTES

-Lio Rush pinned Lince Dorado after a frog splash. Good match.

-Buddy Murphy did an open challenge, and Humberto Carrillo answered the challenge. Fans chanted that they didn’t know who he was. Murphy won after a long match, maybe about 20 minutes. Drake Maverick earlier said he was introducing a new roster member tonight.

-They announced Tozawa vs. Kalisto vs. Hideo Itami for next week.

DARK MATCH

(1) A.J. Styles beat Daniel Bryan via DQ. Bryan called everyone stupid and got big heat when he made fun of Alabama for losing to Clemson. He tried to leave before the match started because Styles didn’t deserve an opportunity in Alabama. Styles chased him down and threw him into the ring. Bryan low-blowed Styles for the DQ. Styles low-blowed him back and then hit a Styles Clash. Styles then did a Stone Cold tribute. He asked the crowd if they want to see him give Bryan a Phenomenal Forearm, give him a Hell Yeah. Then he called for bottle waters. Someone tossed them to him. He drank them like Stone Cold.

-Styles threw his shirt to the crowd. Two dads yanked on the shirt. It looked like it was going to escalate. Finally someone let go. His son cried. I pointed out to Styles that this kid was upset and crying. Styles stopped and asked which kid. He then noticed this five or six year old was crying. Styles picked up the kid into the ring and gave him a hug and talked to him. The kid had his own title belt. The kid held it up. It was really cool what Styles did there.

OTHER NOTES

-We sat front row. Being so close, and hearing the guys talking was fascinating. The production guys were coming out and talking to security giving them the rundown. We sat right by the ring steps, so we were front row center for everyone going to the ring and we could boo and cheer them. We got high-fived and also snubbed. It’s going to be hard to go back because you get up that close and you feel like you’re part of the show. What you say they hear. You make eye contact. We taunted Daniel Bryan with plastic straws that we brought and he gave us a look and called us “stupid.” We paid $458 per seat, but we got a commemorative seat, a grab bag, and an autograph with it. I’d do it again. This is a tradition I do with my brother. We have a rule that if there’s a show within four hours, we go.

-Prior to the last two weeks with this Mandy Rose, I had been lobbying my wife to let my son go to a show with me. My wife wasn’t on board. I told her it wasn’t what she rememberered from 20 years ago. I told her it was kids everywhere. Tonight she watched when we were sitting on TV, and now I agree with her I couldn’t bring my young son to this show. It took a step back. I know some people don’t mind, but for the case I am trying to make, they didn’t help me.


RELATED: 1/14 WWE Raw On-Site Report from Memphis: What happened off live TV including Drew mic work after main event, two tag matches taped for Main Event, most common merchandise on fans, Cena fans cries

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