RKO Outta Nowhere Sets Stage For The Royal Rumble

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WWE SmackDown

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The Jan. 22 edition of WWE SmackDown sent the blue brand into this Sunday’s Royal Rumble pay-per-view in style with several noteworthy moments and matches.

The pre-Royal Rumble edition of WWE SmackDown was an overall stellar show that offered the WWE universe a little bit of everything with the road to WrestleMania set to kick off this coming Sunday night.

Things are heating up on the blue brand and that bodes well for the next couple of months with WrestleMania 35 looming.  With that being said, let’s take a look at a few grades from the Jan. 22 edition of WWE SmackDown.

5. Opening Segment

The SmackDown Women’s Championship picture has been on fire over the past few months with captivating TV week in and week out.  That trend is continuing heading into the first pay-per-view of 2019, which will see a huge title match between two of the top women’s competitors in the world.

Asuka will defend her SmackDown Women’s Championship at the Royal Rumble against Becky Lynch, but the two didn’t feel like waiting until Sunday night to get in each other’s faces.  The Man opened up the show by proclaiming her superiority over The Empress Of Tomorrow, but Asuka wouldn’t take that lying down.  She came out and got in the face of Lynch before Charlotte Flair intervened.

Charlotte said that she would win the women’s Royal Rumble match and it didn’t matter who won between Asuka and Lynch.  But while The Queen was still talking, Asuka’s emotions got the better of her and she attacked Lynch.  The two began brawling around the ringside area before it eventually spilled over into the backstage area.

WWE officials had to separate the two backstage, but the point had been made and their upcoming match at the Royal Rumble should be filled with fireworks.  This was an action-packed way to kick off last night’s show and it really helped set the stage for what’s to come this Sunday night when the SmackDown Women’s Championship is at stake.

The Man vs. The Empress Of Tomorrow is getting even more interesting as time goes on, especially after last night’s impactful segment.

Final Grade: A-

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