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WWE Smackdown Review 16/02/24

It’s another big show as we have the return of the Rock and Roman Reigns. Even if we don’t know what they are going to do, you know it is going to be something important and that is the right way to go. Other than that, we have more Elimination Chamber qualifying matches so let’s get to it.

The Rock arrived earlier today.

Match 1 Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Kevin Owens vs. Dominik Mysterio

Before the match, Dominik brags about how Judgment Day is going to dominate the Elimination Chamber and he is going to complete the sweep. Owens wastes no time in knocking him out to the floor, followed by an armdrag to put him n the floor again. Back in and Dominik gets in a few shots, only to be clotheslined down to cut him off again.

They head outside together this time, with Owens hitting a right hand and sending him into the steps. Cue R-Truth to look at Owens though and Dominik takes over, including the slingshot hilo for two as we take a break. Back with Owens fighting out of a chinlock and firing off right hands. Owens stomps him down and hits the running backsplash on the floor, followed by the Cannonball back inside.

The frog splash gives Owens two (that’s almost a surprising kickout) but Dominik grabs an X Factor of all things. They trade two Amigos each but Dominik misses his own frog splash. Owens is back with the Swanton for two (geez Dominik is getting to look strong here), only to get caught with a 619 for two more. The frustrated Dominik tells Truth to get him a chair, with the distraction allowing Owens to grab the pop up powerbomb for the pin at 14:11.

Official Result Kevin Owens wins

Rating: B-. It is astounding to see how much better Dominik has gotten in the last year or so and this was another example. This was a solid back and forth match with Dominik more than holding up his end. Throw in the fans loudly booing him before the match and it was quite the overall performance. Good stuff here and I was surprised by how well it went.

Drew McIntyre is here and says he has to win the Elimination Chamber to go on and win the World Heavyweight Title at Wrestlemania. LA Knight comes in to say not so fast and is ready to add McIntyre’s name to that Wrestlemania tombstone on his shirt. Things have to be broken up in a hurry.

The Bloodline arrives.

Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne are ready to win the Tag Team Titles, but Bate thinks they need a team name. Dominik Mysterio comes in to say the Judgment Day will beat them at Elimination Chamber, so Bate says they can beat Dominik and R-Truth next week. I have no idea why they can make this stick but that’s how wrestling works.

Match 2 Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Zelina Vega vs. Tiffany Stratton

Vega snaps off a hurricanrana to start before kicking Stratton out to the floor. An armdrag off the apron sets up a middle rope moonsault to Stratton. Cue Legado del Fantasma to ringside as we take a break. Back with Vega fighting out of a chinlock and the LWO coming out to even things up.

Stratton cuts off a comeback attempt with an Alabama Slam but Vega cuts off the Prettiest Moonsault Ever. They head outside where Vega is rammed into the barricade, where Legado’s Elektra Lopez offers a distraction. That’s enough for Stratton to deck Vega and hit the Prettiest Moonsault Ever for the pin at 8:19.

Official Result Tiffany Stratton wins

Rating: C+. I could have seen this one going either way and that made things a bit more interesting. Vega was firing off the offense here and Stratton kept up with her throughout, which is a good sign in one of her first main roster matches. Stratton seems like she could be quite the star around here and the fact that she transitioned from NXT to Smackdown rather smoothly (at least to start) is already giving me hope for her future.

The OC comes in to see AJ Styles, with Karl Anderson saying Styles has forgotten where he came from. The two of them have to be held apart.

Damage CTRL is coming for Bayley at Wrestlemania.

Match 3 AOP vs. Javier Bernal/Beau Morris

The rest of the Final Testament is here too. Akam throws Bernal down to start and everything breaks down, with the Super Collider (stereo powerbombs, with the non-AOP being rammed together before being slammed down) setting up a powerbomb/neckbreaker combination to finish Bernal at 1:02. Total destruction, as it should have been.

Official Result AOP Win

Logan Paul is ready to beat the Miz, win the Elimination Chamber and become a double champion at Wrestlemania.

We look at the Seth Rollins/Cody Rhodes segment from Raw.

Match 4 Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: The Miz vs. Logan Paul

Non-title. Paul talks trash to start and is promptly knocked down for his efforts. Miz sends him to the apron, where Paul comes back in with a high crossbody. The standing moonsault doesn’t quite connect but Paul grabs a Regal Roll to put Miz down again. A splits splash gives Paul two but Miz fires off the chops. Paul knocks him right back down and hits a splash on the apron as we take a break.

Back with Miz slugging away and grabbing a Downward Spiral for two, followed by a Codebreaker out of the corner for the same. Miz tries the Figure Four but Paul grabs the ring skirt, leaving the referee distracted. That’s enough for Paul to poke Miz in the eye and hit his own Skull Crushing Finale for a rather near fall, meaning it’s time to get frustrated.

Miz’s Figure Four sends Paul over to the ropes and then out to the floor, where one of his goons hand him the brass knuckles. Miz breaks that up but Paul kicks the rope for a low blow on the way back in. The big right hand sets up something like an STO to give Paul the pin at 12:40.

Official Result Logan Paul wins

Rating: B-. There is a history between these two and that made the match feel more important. Paul’s rise continues with another good match, though I could definitely go for less of his goons interfering. Ignoring that the people are interchangeable, it’s the same stuff so often and that gets rather dull. At least Paul won though, and the lineup inside the Chamber is strong enough that he can lose without taking a major hit.

Tiffany Stratton brags to Liv Morgan and Bianca Belair, the latter of whom isn’t impressed. Jade Cargill comes in to tell them all to shut up. Nick Aldis pops in and we pan over to see Bron Breakker next to a contract (not clear if it has been signed), just like Cargill’s (signing again not clear).

Paul Heyman is talking to Grayson Waller, who seems rather interested.

Match 5 Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match: Naomi vs. Alba Fyre

Isla Dawn is here with Fyre, who takes Naomi down into the corner to start. Naomi slides up and slaps her in the face, setting up a splits splash for two. They go outside with Naomi hitting a bulldog onto the steps as we take a break. Back with Naomi sending her into the corner and hitting a high crossbody for two.

Fyre is able to send her into the buckle though and a wheelbarrow faceplant gives Fyre two of her own. The Gory Bomb is countered though and an interfering Dawn is kicked down. A headscissors driver sets up a reverse Rings of Saturn finishes Fyre at 9:20.

Official Result Naomi wins

Rating: C+. This was just a step above a squash for Naomi, who more or less rolled into the Chamber. It didn’t help that Fyre was a replacement after Shotzi’s injury, which is kind of a shame as she is more than talented enough to get a run of her own. If nothing else, let Fyre and Dawn win some tag matches, as they’re both just sitting around doing nothing at the moment.

Dakota Kai begs Bayley to protect her from Damage CTRL. Bayley isn’t sure because she doesn’t know who she can trust and says she can’t do this right now.

Nick Aldis announces that Bron Breakker has signed with Smackdown and brings him out to sign the contract live.

Here’s what’s coming on next week’s show.

Here is the Bloodline for the big chat. After Roman Reigns says his catchphrase, he calls the fans in Salt Lake City idiots who don’t get how big this is. It’s the biggest night ever in WWE because tonight, the Rock is officially part of the Bloodline.

Cue the Rock and the Hollywood is strong with this one. Following a break, Rock says this is an all time indoor attendance record for Utah. That’s right: the record for the largest collection of trailer park trash he has ever seen.

Rock loads up the FINALLY…..the people’s lives have meaning and they’ll have a story to tell their 50 wives. These people have brought out a side of the Rock that you haven’t seen in years but it has always been in here.

You had the biggest Wrestlemania main event ever and you flushed it away for CODY. What is Cody’s story? He lost last year and now he wants a rematch.

Apply that to sports. Should the 49ers get a rematch after losing the Super Bowl? Michael Jordan crushed the Utah Jazz and they moved on to get back to the top but the people here don’t get it because they are spoiled entitled crybaby b******. The Bloodline’s story is just beginning but the people here DO NOT get to sing along with the Rock as he hits the catchphrase to end the show.

This cemented the Rock’s heel turn (I’m assuming him picking the 49ers losing to the Chiefs and the Jazz losing to the Bulls, both of which were rematches of recent finals, wasn’t a coincidence) and having him officially join the Bloodline while explaining the heel turn makes good sense.

Overall thoughts

Much like Raw, this was about setting up a bunch of Elimination Chamber participants with one big segment included. The wrestling was good enough but what mattered here was how important things felt. That has been the case for the last few weeks as made things that much better.

It was another good show where the big stuff felt important but the rest of the stuff was far from bad. Things will get even bigger after Elimination Chamber but they’re making that show feel important as well, which is a hard trick to make work.


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