SmackDown prepares for the world title Elimination Chamber with TWO big preview matches! Hardy VS Bryan and Orton VS Ali, who gets major momentum?
- Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev w/ Lana VS The Good Brothers; Nakamura & Rusev win.
- Randy Orton VS Mustafa Ali; Orton wins.
- Triple Threat Tag: Carmella & Naomi VS Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville VS The IIconics; Rose & Deville win.
- Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan w/ Rowan; Hardy wins, by disqualification.
PLAY BY PLAY
Charlotte Flair heads to the ring!
The Queen “congratulated” her best frenemy, Becky Lynch, but the two ended up fighting again. As we know from last night’s Raw, Becky’s bad leg is the reason Stephanie McMahon questioned The Man’s ability to face the Baddest Woman at Wrestlemania. Becky fought Stephanie but would get suspended, and will remain suspended until she concedes and lets doctors check her knee. Charlotte says “The only thing more dangerous than ignorance is arrogance.” Becky’s arrogance got in her own way. She refuses to be checked by doctors and beat up Stephanie, and now she’s suspended. Hopefully “Becks” is thinking more clearly. She should see a doctor, go to some rehab, and hopefully be back for her match with Ronda. Charlotte “cheers” for Becky, just like the fans. Because Charlotte knows someone who is 100% right now, and would love to face Ronda at Mania instead.
Fans boo for Charlotte as she points at the sign, but then Becky appears?! She heads down the stairs and fans cheer Becky on. Charlotte says it’s one thing to take away Ric’s catchphrase, it’s another to steal Roman Reigns’ entrance. But Becky makes her way from crowd to barrier and to ringside. Security isn’t sure what to do, but Becky tells Charlotte to stop boring the fans to death. The Man is back on SmackDown! More like limping on SmackDown! One leg was good enough to stop Charlotte from winning the Women’s Rumble! But as the two frenemies argue, out comes Triple H! The Game has had enough of this. Becky was suspended, and should not be here. Charlotte rubs it in as HHH reminds her: see the doctor and get reinstated. As for Charlotte, shush and get out of the ring.
Charlotte takes her leave, and HHH has security take it easy. HHH reminds Becky of the suspension, and tells her that to go to Mania and fight Ronda, “it’s simple.” See the doctor, get cleared. But Becky doesn’t trust any of them to clear her. It’s not about trust, it is what it is. Get cleared, rest up, face Ronda. Simple as that. But until then, stay home. Becky asks how Stephanie’s doing. Did HHH make sure she’s medically cleared after Becky punched her out? Fans cheer Becky on but HHH keeps his cool.
HHH realizes he’s seen this over and over. He even bought into “all this The Man crap” like the fans did. But Becky’s not The Man. Becky’s just a self-destructive superstar afraid of failure. She can be smug all she wants but HHH sees that he’s right. Becky wants to be a martyr. That’s why when she “scratched and clawed” to the top, she found a way out by picking a fight. Becky knew it was suicide but she did it anyways! Becky blames everyone else, including the doctors. She says she was in “medical prison” but it was just an excuse. Becky is doing the same thing again. She scratched and clawed but she needs an excuse not to do it. Becky has a convenient excuse as her way out, when the truth is, Becky’s scared. She’s afraid to go to the doctors, and afraid of what they’d say.
HHH thinks Becky’s just fine, and this is all an act. Becky is afraid she can’t go to Wrestlemania, but the truth is she’s just afraid she can go and will have to face Ronda. Becky is afraid to face Ronda, and she’s afraid she’ll be exposed as a fraud! Fans boo but HHH continues to insist that Becky is afraid, in front of the whole world, that we’ll all see she fears Ronda. Becky SLAPS HHH! Fans cheer her on while HHH scowls face to face with her. Becky smirks as fans want that “One More Time!” She backs off for now, but how much of what HHH said is true?
Shinsuke Nakamura & Rusev w/ Lana VS The Good Brothers!
The King of Strong Style and the Bulgarian Brute both want the WWE United States Championship back from R-Truth, which is why they both beat him down after he beat them both in one night. Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson didn’t like them bullying Truth, and now will fight them both on his behalf. Will Gallows & Anderson be #TooSweet to beat, even for two former champions? Or will Rusev and Nakamura CRUSH as they give the Club a #Knee2Face?
SmackDown returns as Nakamura makes his entrance. Rusev and Lana make their entrance next, and we begin. Teams sort out and Gallows goes right at them both! Nakamura stays in and Gallows whips to run him over with an elbow. Tag to Anderson and Anderson whips. Nakamura reverses, swings a kick but hits the heel kick. Rusev tags in without warning and tensions start rising. Anderson rolls Rusev but Nakamura breaks it. Gallows rocks Nakamura but Rusev throws him out. Anderson uppercuts Rusev, then slingshot sentons onto everyone! The Good Brothers are in control while we go picture in picture.
Rusev and Nakamura stir while Lana looks on. Anderson fetches Rusev in and stomps away. He throws haymakers and puts Rusev in a corner for more stomps. Anderson throws up the Too Sweet then whips but Ruesv holds onto ropes. Rusev whips Anderson but runs into a boot. Anderson runs but into Rusev’s arms for a swinging side slam! Cover, TWO! Rusev keeps on Anderson with stomps of his own, then chokes him on the ropes. Rusev stops at 4 to then kick Anderson in the back! Anderson writhes while Rusev tells Nakamura this is how it’s done. He tags Nakamura and the two mug Anderson together. Nakamura puts Anderson into a corner and then gives him Bad Vibrations! Nakamura drags Anderson up onto the top rope, and runs in for the Top Shelf Knee!
Lana likes what she sees as Nakamura brings Anderson down for a cover. TWO, and Nakamura tags to Rusev. Rusev whips Anderson but Anderson kicks him back! Anderson heads for his corner but Rusev hits Gallows first. Rusev then heel kicks Anderson down, and taunts Gallows with Nakamura’s “C’MON!” Nakamura isn’t amused but Rusev covers Anderson, TWO! Tag and both Rusev and Nakamura toy with Anderson via kicks. Nakamura rams his knees in while we return to single picture. Nakamura drags Anderson up in a facelock and squeezes. Fans rally with “Too Sweet! Woop Woop!” Anderson fights back and chops Nakamura! Nakamura fires off a strike fest, but Nderseon counters with an uppercut!
Nakamura staggers and Anderson whips, but Nakamura reverses. Anderson dodges in the corner but Nakamura dodges back, Inverted Exploder! Nakamura wants to end this on his own, Kinshasa countered with a SPINEBUSTER! Fans rally up as both men head for corners, hot tags to Gallows and Rusev! Gallows rallies and roundhouses Rusev! He runs corner to corner for a big splash! Then the YAKUZA Kick! Nakamura runs into the Gallows Slam! Rusev dodges and double clotheslines take both men down! Lana shouts for Nakamura to get back in the ring but Nakamura refuses. She forces him to stand up but Anderson tags in. Jump kick! Gallows grabs Rusev but Nakamura revives to save Rusev! KINSHASA for Gallows, Shotgun Kick to Nakamura! MACHKA Kick for Anderson! Cover, Rusev & Nakamura win!
Winners: Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura, Rusev pinning
For one time only, they were successful! Rusev picks Nakamura up and raises both his and Lana’s hands in victory. But now that the truce is over, which one of them will reach the United States Championship first?
Mustafa Ali speaks.
“No one expects someone like me to survive someone as dangerous as Randy Orton.” No one expects him to survive the Elimination Chamber. But those expectations are wrong. The Viper goes to strike, and misses. The Beacon of Light survives to become WWE World Champion. Ali asks “What if”, but will he make his own expectations a reality?
Paige is here!
And like she did on Raw, she hopes everyone goes to see her autobiographical movie, Fighting With My Family. The story of the second-generation Anti-Diva will be told in theaters everywhere on February 22nd!
The Usos speak.
“At Elimination Chamber, it’s the Usos taking on the tag team champs, Shane O’Mac and The Miz.” The Best tag Team in the World? No, there’s a man trying to make his daddy proud and one wanting to live a dream. That sounds like those two are trying to be Jimmy & Jey! But the Usos are different. They know how to struggle together. Do Miz & Shane? They know how to starve. Do Miz & Shane? They know how to be hot and cool at the same time. The Usos are their brother’s keeper, are Miz & Shane?! No, they don’t know. But they will. #McMizTV, Welcome to the Uso Penitentiary!
Randy Orton VS Mustafa Ali!
The Viper wants to strike while the Beacon of Light wants to shine. Both men will be part of the world championship Elimination Chamber match, but they’ll go 1v1 as the first preview tonight. Which man gains a huge lead going into that sadistic structure of steel?
The bell rings and Orton circles with Ali. They tie up and Orton powers Ali to a corner. Orton backs off so Ali CHOPS him! Ali throws forearms and more chops, but Orton kicks low. Orton shoves but Ali kicks him back. Ali runs but into a lariat! Orton stomps away on Ali over and over, then drags Ali up to hang him out to dry. Ali tumbles to the floor but Orton is right on him, back suplex to the announce desk! Orton drags Ali back to the ring and in for a cover, TWO! Orton keeps on Ali by pulling him back into a mounted chinlock. Fans rally up and Ali fights his way up. Orton knees low and whips Ali to a corner. Ali goes up and over and then runs, but into the spinning powerslam! Cover, TWO!
Orton drags Ali up and scrapes his boot off his face. Ali crawls to ropes but Orton is on him in the corner. Orton puts Ali up top then throws hands. Ali headbutts back! Ali stands up but Orton trips him up. Orton climbs up to join Ali, and hits a top rope SUPERPLEX! Cover, TWO! Ali survives and Orton is surprised, but we go to break.
SmackDown returns as Orton bumps Ali off buckles. Orton throws European Uppercuts then throws Ali down. Cover, TWO! Orton keeps on Ali with a chinlock but Ali endures. Fans rally up again and Ali fights his way up again. Ali throws body shots but Orton clubs him back. Orton whips but Ali flapjack dropkicks! Orton bails out but Ali pursues, only to walk into a kick. The referee tells Orton not to as he goes for another announce desk back suplex, but Ali slips out the back! Ali dropkicks Orton over the desk! Fans fire up as Ali leaps over onto Orton! Ali rains down rights and then stomps and he fires up with the fans! Ali drags Orton to the ring but Orton throws him in first. Orton catches his breath but Ali is on him with a kick!
Ali hits a SUPERKICK! And another SUPERKICK! Orton staggers about, Ali runs in corner to corner, but Orton puts him on the apron. Orton kicks Ali as he comes in, and drags him out. Ali fights Orton off to roundhouse Orton hard! Ali slingshots and somersaults, facebuster! Cover, TWO! Ali can’t believe how close he was right there! But Ali keeps himself going and fans fire up behind him. Fans chant “205! 205!” for the Heart of the Cruiserweights. Orton shoves Ali away but Ali uppercuts back. Ali hops up and fakes Orton out! Tornado DDT! Cover, TWO!! Ali was so close but he won’t slow down. Ali drags Orton to the drop zone and climbs back up. But Orton trips him up, into an RKO!! Cover, Orton wins!
Winner: Randy Orton, by pinfall
The Viper still strikes! Ali had heart but it wasn’t enough to survive. Will things be different when you add the other four great stars to the match?
Samoa Joe gets Orton outta nowhere!! Orton is in the Coquina Clutch and goes to sleep! Joe boots Ali out, too! The Destroyer stands tall and fans are divided. Will Joe destroy five other great superstars to finally become WWE World Champion?
But now Daniel Bryan comes out. Joe wants at the Planet’s Champion, but Big Red comes out to back him up. Rowan is the bodyguard for the champ, and Bryan heads to the ring. His match with Jeff Hardy isn’t until the main event, so what does he wish to say to the WWE Universe beforehand?
Samoa Joe speaks.
“See tonight, we learned a lesson.” Physics works a little bit differently for Joe. For every action there is an opposite and overwhelming reaction. Orton learned about that reaction. Tonight was retaliation but Elimination Chamber will be about devastation and evisceration, but also justification. The ends justify the means, because the end will be Joe holding that title up high. “See you then, boys.”
SmackDown returns to Daniel Bryan and Rowan in the ring.
The New Bryan holds up that very title Joe speaks of. Bryan is also “The Favorite Son of Washington”, to which the fans agree. Fans cheer his name and Bryan finally gets to talk to people who understand his mission. Bryan knows the people of the great state of Washington are intelligent, smart people who know we need change. But Bryan speaks to a global audience, and those people don’t understand their crass, selfish behaviors only destroy their minds, fatten their bodies, and kill this planet we all live on! Those people fill their emptiness by stuffing their faces with “deep-fried animal carcasses”, just going from day to day. Washington knows Bryan fights an uphill battle. “But that is why I have created this” new symbol. It is something for people to rally behind.
The old title was a symbol of excellence, but also of excess. This sustainable, organic title is both a symbol of excellence and of change! But there are people threatened by that change. Rowan says that everyone who knows the story of Galileo that great minds like theirs are often considered “dangerous” just for their ideas and their good intentions. People fear that, and they especially fear Bryan. Bryan holds the organic title, and everyone will try to silence him! “How dare you ‘What’ my good friend”. Bryan says they try to silence him back he’s not their champion. Bryan serves something greater than money and fame, he serves the planet! “The suits” don’t like that. They never wanted Bryan as champion, which is why he’s in an unfair match for his title. It’ll be Bryan and five others in the Elimination Chamber!
Bryan was in the Chamber, and knows what it takes to win. That reinforces how dangerous this situation is. Bryan shares footage for those who don’t know. Two men start, four wait in pods, but only one survives all the way to the end. Bryan lists his opponents: AJ Styles, Randy Orton, Mustafa Ali, Samoa Joe, and Jeff Hardy. Those five will be inside the Chamber with Bryan, and they all want to take the title backwards! Bryan won’t allow that! The people need Bryan as champion! The ignorant masses need Bryan as champion! And most of all, the planet needs the New Daniel Bryan as THE WWE World Champion!! Washington agrees with that! But despite his mission and despite his resolve, will Bryan survive and keep his organic title all the way to Wrestlemania?
Backstage interview with Jeff Hardy.
The Charismatic Enigma watched what Bryan just said. Bryan has disrespected the title like no other. Hardy can’t change Bryan’s mind, so he’ll just wait for their match tonight. Then he’ll do it again at the Chamber. But AJ Styles comes in and knows Hardy, being here as long as he has, isn’t really going to be the guy to represent the title’s legacy. Well Styles’ legacy shows he can’t beat Bryan. Did Hardy miss that big bald yeti in there with them? If Styles had gotten the job done, things wouldn’t be this way. Hardy promises that after settling things with Bryan, he and Styles will settle things in the Chamber!
Triple Threat Tag: Carmella & Naomi VS Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville VS The IIconics!
The FABULOUS Glow forms out of a desire to make history! However, they’ll be joined by the duo formerly known as Absolution, as well as the BFF’s, Peyton Royce & Billie Kay. Naomi is not going to stand for the Golden Goddess’ fake sob story from Tough Enough! This match will give us just a sample of the Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber match, which team from Team Blue will gain major momentum going into that match?
SmackDown returns as Peyton & Billie make their entrance. The IIconics obviously would love to have those brand new titles around their waists, because it would mean things coming full circle. As for Sonya and Mandy, they know the FABULOUS Glow is in way over their heads. The IIconcis are funny, but you don’t laugh your way to victory. The duo of #Fire&Desire are the only other women to have Chamber experience. Everyone else should just step aside now. As for the grudge between her and Naomi, Naomi hasn’t beat her yet, so she’s doing something right. Sonya and Mandy make their entrances, and we begin.
Teams sort out and Sonya starts with Carmella. They tie up and go around and Sonya knees Carmella to the mat. Sonya trash talks the IIconics then tag in Mandy. Mandy kicks Carmella but Carmella gets a waistlock. Mandy slips around but Carmella wrenches the arm. Carmella brings Mandy down and tags Naomi. Mandy runs away to tag in Billie! Naomi settles for kicking Billie and hitting a snapmare. Naomi hits a sliding lariat while Sonya keeps Mandy safe. Fire & Desire watch Naomi closely while we go picture in picture.
Naomi drags Billie up and tags in Carmella. The FABULOUS Glow double moonwalk and DDT! Cover, TWO! Carmella keeps on Billie but Billie pulls hair! Tag to Peyton and the IIconics stomp a mudhole into Carmella. The referee reprimands them but they let up and Billie feeds Carmella to Peyton’s heel kick! Billie covers, TWO! The IIconics throw a hissy fit and Billie drags Carmella up. Billie kicks at Mandy and Sonya to keep their tags away. But Mandy still gets in! Mandy takes Carmella and tags in Sonya. Mandy suplexxes and Sonya hits a shining wizard! Cover, TWO! Sonya keeps on Carmella and rams her into the corner. Tag to Mandy and they both stomp away. But Carmella shoves Mandy and Peyton tags in off her!
Peyton goes after Carmella with a snapmare and chinlock. Carmella endures and fans rally up. Carmella gets up but Peyton puts her in the IIconics’ corner. Tag to Billie, double team bulldog to the knee! Cover, TWO! The IIconics are furious but Peyton tags in. They both mug Carmella and then trash talk Mandy. Carmella fights back and crucifix rolls Peyton! TWO, FABULOUS Kick knocks Peyton down! Both women crawl and fans rally up. Billie tags in and drags Carmella way, but Carmella shoves her back. Mandy tags in and clubs Carmella down. Mandy trash talks Naomi and brings Carmella over for mudhole stomps. She wrenches Carmella into a standing abdominal stretch. Fans rally while Mandy grinds an elbow in.
Carmella fights out and hip tosses Mandy off! Carmella runs but is caught! Mandy pushes but Carmella dodges, hot tag to Naomi! Mandy tags to Sonya before running around. Naomi gets caught but roundhouses and heel kicks Sonya! They run, springboard enziguri! Sonya tags out to Peyton but Naomi gives Peyton a leaping jawbreaker! Billie runs in but is thrown and dropkick’d out! Naomi has Peyton and throws her at Mandy! That’s a tag! Naomi drags Mandy in by her hair and rains rights! Fans fire up with Naomi as she grounds ‘n’ pounds! Peyton come sin but Eats DaFeet! And the Rear View! Mandy butterflies Naomi to a piledriver! Cover, Mandy & Sonya win!!
Winners: Fire & Desire, Mandy Rose pinning
The newly renamed Absolution take the win amidst the chaos! Will they be able to do the same when the Raw tag teams are thrown in?
Andrade Almas speaks.
“It’s not about the leyenda, the Legend of Rey Mysterio.” Zelina Vega comes in to say Mysterio is just a fable, a myth. He’s in the past. But what El Idolo did was stamp out that legend. Not because he wanted to, but because he needs to. Mysterio can try to stop Almas, “but you can’t fight fate.” The Legend of Andrade begins with Mysterio’s end. Will Almas end the King of Lucha Libre on the Road to Wrestlemania?
WWE and SmackDown celebrate Black History Month.
Superstars go to the National Civil Rights Museum to learn of all the powerful moments in the struggle for ethnic equality. Martin Luther King Jr. is an inspiration to all peoples, may his dream live forever.
Is anyone ready for Asuka?
The Empress of Tomorrow is finally SmackDown Women’s Champion, but she’s looking for a challenger. Even after losing for the first time at Wrestlemania 34, she kept fighting fiercely, and has the prize she’s always been after. She continues to be a terror to her opponents, will anyone work up the courage to meet her in the ring?
Jeff Hardy VS Daniel Bryan w/ Rowan!
As the Charismatic Enigma said earlier, he won’t worry about having an intellectual discussion with this New Bryan, he’ll just beat some sense into him! Will Hardy make Bryan and the organic title OBSOLETE already?
SmackDown returns again as Bryan returns to the ring. He gives Rowan the belt for safekeeping, and the match begins. Fans rally up as the two circle. They tie up and Bryan gets a headlock to hammerlock. Hardy gets to the ropes and Bryan backs off. They circle again and fans echo “DELETE! DELETE!” Hardy headlocks Bryan but Bryan powers out, only for Hardy to run him over. Things speed up and Bryan knees Hardy low! Bryan throws EuroUppers on Hardy, then kicks in the corner. Bryan runs corner to corner but into Hardy’s slingblade! Hardy splashes for the cover, TWO! Hardy puts Bryan in a corner for a bump then whips to back drop! “DELETE! DELETE!” and Hardy rams shoulders into Bryan. Hardy whips but Bryan reverses. Bryan runs in to hit a dropkick! Then another! And another!
Hardy’s down and fans fire up for Bryan. Bryan drags Hardy out and goes after the legs in a deathlock. Bryan rams a knee into Hardy’s back, and brings Hardy up for a Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Hardy endures but pops out to a cover, TWO! Bryan kicks Hardy at the ropes and from both sides. Bryan drags hardy up to whip but Hardy holds ropes. Hardy boots Bryan and then dropkicks him out! Hardy wrecks Bryan with a dropkick then slips out the side. He prepares to go around the way, but Rowan stands in his way. Bryan takes advantage and trips Hardy onto the steel steps! Hardy goes down hard while we go to break.
Smackdown returns once more, and Hardy endures a hammerlock. “DELETE!” echoes out as Hardy fights back. Hardy runs but into Bryan’s drop toehold! Bryan stomps away on Hardy then goes after the arm. Bryan pulls and twists the arm and then stomps the hammerlock! Hardy clutches his arm while Bryan hooks his nose. Bryan drops a knee and then an elbow, then covers. TWO, but Bryan keeps his cool. Bryan drags Hardy up with an arm wrench, then whips Hardy corner to corner. Hardy reverses but Bryan goes up and over. Things speed up but Hardy gets Bryan with the atomic drop and leg-splitting leg drop! Dropkick and cover, TWO! Hardy keeps his cool while getting feeling in his bad arm. Bryan and Hardy slowly stand and start throwing hands.
Hardy haymakers and Bryan EuroUppers. They go back and forth and Bryan gets an edge. Hardy goes to backslide but then shifts to the Twist. Bryan powers out but Hardy tosses him out! Hardy goes tot he apron for a leaping lariat! Hardy drags himself up and takes off the shirt. He drags Bryan up and in, then climbs up top. Bryan’s in the drop zone and fans fire up, but Bryan rolls away. Hardy hops down but walks into another drop toehold! Bryan kicks the ropes to jam Hardy’s jaw! Cover, TWO! Bryan grimaces as he aims at Hardy. He gives Hardy the No Kicks over and over, but Hardy ducks the buzzsaw! Twist of Fate! Hardy positions Bryan and heads up top! Swanton Bomb!! Cover, but Rowan drags Hardy off! Rowan throws Hardy into steel steps!
Winner: Jeff Hardy, by disqualification
Rowan feeds Hardy to Bryan for the Labell Lock! Hardy endures but it doesn’t matter, this is all to punish him! But then Samoa Joe attacks Rowan! Joe gets Bryan in his Coquina Clutch!! Bryan fades out, but here comes Orton! Orton and Joe brawl, but Orton gets the edge! Joe hits back but Ali appears to leap and hit a missile dropkick on them both! Ali DIVES onto Joe! Then Ali DIVES On Rowan, only to be caught! Rowan CHOKE SLAMS Ali on the announce desk!! But here comes Styles! The Phenomenal One sees all his targets around the ring, and gives Orton a Phenomenal Blitz. He denies the RKO to PELE Orton out! Styles sliding knees Joe! Phenomenal Forearm for Hardy! But once again, Bryan and Rowan retreat. Styles will get his chance in the Chamber, but will finally he take Bryan down?
Backstage interview with Bryan & Rowan.
Bryan is FURIOUS! What was going on out there? And why is Kayla Braxton waiting behind the scenes? Well, Rowan helped him survive again. No, Rowan is Bryan’s friend and intellectual equal! Bryan won, Bryan will win, because Bryan IS the greatest!! Rowan isn’t a bodyguard, they’re peers! Does no one understand that?! All those guys interfered, but why? Because they know they can’t get the title. They won’t get the title because Bryan will be the champion forever! It’s what the planet needs! No one else seems to understand that! Bryan’s rage subsides, and both he and Rowan take their leave. Will Bryan be able to keep his cool and keep the title inside the Elimination Chamber?
A pretty solid SmackDown to follow the odd Raw from last night. The opening segment revolving around Charlotte, Becky and the coming match with Ronda all went rather naturally to my estimation. Charlotte puts her hat in the ring for her replacing Becky, but Becky obviously doesn’t care about any suspension. HHH reinforces the idea that Becky needs to get checked out, but his way of spinning is a valid point if Becky weren’t the Face in this story. And Becky is definitely the Face in the story, because fans love her. And her slapping HHH only makes fans love her more! But things are still on course per what I’d guessed, and we might even have a quick match of Charlotte VS Nia to determine which one will be the substitute, just to keep things going while Becky is “suspended”.
I’m a little disappointed in how SmackDown’s done their side of the Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber. Instead of being the Land of Opportunity, it’s the Land of Entry by Default. They didn’t think to get more women going on SmackDown, like Lacey Evans and who even knows. But they do adjust for it by giving us a pretty good Triple Threat Tag match. Good to know Sonya and Mandy have a new tag name we can all call them by, and it makes some sense for them to go over. Mandy gets the better of Naomi tonight but that likely means Naomi gets to be the one to eliminate #Fire&Desire in the Chamber. They’ll have their true blow-off later, perhaps Fastlane, but in the end, it’s a shame there wasn’t something more to SmackDown’s side of the overall story.
Nakamura and Rusev did very well against Gallows & Anderson. Obviously they’re going to be enemies again as they go after R-Truth, but perhaps there is mutual respect between these two now. I wouldn’t be surprised if they, like The Bar before them, found a way to work together as a team even after this. Those two as a team might help freshen up the SmackDown Tag Division. “McMiz TV” with the Usos next week will be interesting, and the Usos’ promo tonight was great. Their match at Elimination Chamber should be really good, and I still feel Shane and Miz will retain all the way to Mania. There’s talk of a post-Mania Shake Up, so maybe things will freshen up more as new teams are brought over to compete with Miz and Shane.
Ali VS Orton was great, and Ali is doing great in looking strong while still losing. He also got a pretty sizable black eye, but that should be fine after a week. Joe attacking them was great, as was his promo after. Joe VS Orton should definitely happen as a full program, Orton doesn’t need to do his “hero hunting” story anymore. Hardy and Styles had a good little promo backstage, and I wouldn’t mind seeing that story on the way to Mania over Styles VS Orton. Bryan and Rowan have a good promo and Washington really does love Bryan. Between his match with Hardy, him getting away during the brawl, and his surprise backstage interview promo, Bryan had a great night. Add on how he has that personal take on the world title belt and a sidekick, Bryan is definitely finding a way to retain.
My Score: 8.3/10