WWE SmackDown Recap: January 8, 2019
S19 episode 2 Aired on January 8, 2019

Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Carmella squared off in a Triple Threat Match to determine who would challenge SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka at Royal Rumble. Elsewhere, WWE Champion “The New” Daniel Bryan felt pressure from all sides as his recent actions began to come back and haunt him.

Still riled up after attacking “The New” Daniel Bryan just moments ago, R-Truth came out of the gates hot against the WWE Champion, bringing an offensive onslaught, but Bryan soon took control and put his opponent away with the Running Knee.

However, Bryan would quickly be on the receiving end of another blindside attack when AJ Styles jumped him from behind at the entranceway. The unrelenting Phenomenal One hammered away on his nemesis until security pried Styles off Bryan, allowing the WWE Champion to get out of dodge.

The Usos had a prime chance to get right back into SmackDown Tag Team Championship contention, as a win against The Bar tonight would earn them a future title opportunity.

The Usos brought their best against Sheamus & Cesaro and appeared to have the reigning champions reeling after a series of jaw-dropping dives and high-impact strikes. However, momentum shifted quickly when Mandy Rose, who has been trying to drive a wedge between Naomi and Jimmy Uso, arrived on stage in only a towel and flip flops, claiming that she had lost her gear and asking Jimmy if she had left it in his hotel room.

SNAP.

The Bar immediately capitalized on the distraction, as Sheamus knocked Jimmy off the apron and gave Cesaro the opening to connect with the Neutralizer on Jey for the win. Sheamus & Cesaro would have little time to celebrate, however, as The Miz arrived, congratulated The Bar on their big victory and then gave them the “opportunity” to defend their titles against him and his new tag team partner Shane McMahon at the Royal Rumble. The Bar didn’t seem too grateful to face an “untested, uncoordinated dysfunctional duo with daddy issues,” but then swiftly consulted with one another and accepted via Sheamus Brogue Kicking Miz in the face.

With the opportunity to challenge SmackDown Women’s Champion Asuka for the title at Royal Rumble, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Carmella squared off in a high-stakes Triple Threat Match.

All three Superstars brought their best in pursuit of locking up the coveted title match in Phoenix, Arizona. This raucous contest saw everything from Carmella silencing all her doubters by taking total control of the bout and pummeling her opponents, Flair connecting with a massive moonsault on both her foes and Lynch unleashing a blistering attack.

All three Superstars seemingly had their chances to secure victory, but The Man recovered from a vicious spear at the hands of Charlotte, and after Carmella dropped Flair with a kick, Lynch synched in the Dis-arm-her on The Princess of Staten Island to get the tapout victory, securing the SmackDown Women’s Championship opportunity against Asuka at Royal Rumble.

The Empress of Tomorrow arrived after Becky’s victory, and the two combatants faced off. Both women were spirited as they exchanged words and stared each other down, but one fact was vividly clear: Becky Lynch is ready for Asuka.

In other action … R-Truth ambushed “The New” Daniel Bryan to kick off SmackDown LIVE … Andrade “Cien” Almas & Samoa Joe def. Rey Mysterio & Mustafa Ali … and Shinsuke Nakamura blindsided Rusev in the backstage area.