Featuring qualifying matches for Elimination Chamber, this February 12th episode of SmackDown hosts the return of Seth Rollins.
We start off the show with Roman Reigns, and I swear, hearing his music makes me get sleepy, like Pavlov’s dogs salivating at the sound of a bell. He meets Adam Pearce in the ring, and proceeds to talk about Edge. He says that Edge is scared of him, because he knows that Roman would crush him. He says that Edge’s decision to wait until after Elimination Chamber to make his decision to who he’s going to face at WrestleMania is just a ploy to avoid Roman for as long as possible.
Pearce changes the topic, and tells Roman that he will be defending his title in the Elimination Chamber. Paul Heyman says that Roman doesn’t have to compete in the Elimination Chamber, but only at the pay-per-view. He says that the winner of the Elimination Chamber will get a match against Roman Reigns directly after the Elimination Chamber match. Pearce says he already knows who two of the competitors in the Elimination Chamber will be: Jey Uso and Kevin Owens. Roman gets in Pearce’s face in an attempt to intimidate him, but Pearce holds his ground.
Backstage, Pearce debates how to put together the Elimination Chamber match. Sonya Deville already has it covered, as she scheduled a match between the Mysterios and Sami Zayn and King Corbin, where the two winners will be entered into the Elimination Chamber.
Rey and Dominik Mysterio VS Sami Zayn and King Corbin
Rey starts off fast against Corbin, delivering kicks and a dropkick. He sets him up for the 619, but Sami pulls his legs out from under him. Dominik delivers a suicide dive to Sami as Rey hurricanranas Corbin over the top rope. The two Mysterios enter the ring and strike a stance as we go to commercial. When we come back, Corbin has a submission locked in on Rey Mysterio. Rey fights out, but Corbin grabs him for a chokeslam. Rey reverses it and sends Corbin into the turnbuckle with a headscissors.
Sami tags himself in and Rey tags in Dominik, who takes out Sami with a couple of back elbows and a tornado DDT for 2. He continues the assault with a series of spears in the corner and a Swanton. Corbin interferes, and he gets a Swanton as well. Sami grabs Dominik from behind for the Blue Thunder Bomb, but he only gets 2. Dominik regains control with a neckbreaker, but Corbin breaks up the pin and attempts the End of Days on Dominik. Dominik avoids it, and Rey strikes with a senton, before the two Mysterios deliver a double 619. Sami catches Dominik with an exploder suplex into the corner, and delivers the Helluva Kick to get the 3 count, sending him and Corbin to the Elimination Chamber.
Winners via pinfall: Sami Zayn and King Corbin
Match Rating: 3/5
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode catch Sonya Deville and Adam Pearce backstage, and they ask for a spot in the Elimination Chamber. Sonya tells them they can earn one by beating the team of Cesaro and Daniel Bryan.
Backstage, Reginald brings Sasha Banks some champagne as an apology for his words last week. He retains his stance that Sasha would easily beat Bianca Belair. I don’t know what his plan is here, saying that would only make Bianca want to challenge Sasha more.
Big E comes out to talk about how he’s put Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews behind him. Crews interrupts him, proving him wrong. Crews assumes Big E is offering an open challenge, and accepts. Big E says that he is offering a challenge to anyone but Crews. Crews chews him out for “not being a fighting champion,” and the two exchange some heated words. Big E says to bring out his next challenger, and Shinsuke Nakamura comes out.
Intercontinental Champion Big E VS Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship
We go to commercial, and when we come back, the match has started, with Crews at ringside. Nakamura strikes with some hard kicks and Good Vibrations, but when he goes for an attack in the corner, Big E strikes with a back elbow. He brings Nakamura to the apron and delivers a Big Splash, bringing Nakamura back into the ring to pin him for 2. Crews climbs the ring and distracts the champ, allowing Nakamura to deliver a kick to Big E.
He delivers a knee to the midsection of Big E, and then delivers a flying knee from the second rope for 2. He looks for the Kinshasa, but Big E counters it with a Big Ending attempt. Nakamura avoids that and delivers a kick, before going for the Kinshasa again. Big E catches him with a uranage for 2 before looking for the Big Ending. He doesn’t get a chance, because Crews enters the ring and delivers a dropkick to Big E, ending the match by disqualification.
Winner via disqualification and STILL Intercontinental Champion: Big E
Match Rating: 3.5/5
The entire locker room comes out to the ring to welcome back Seth Rollins, who’s got his old theme back. He’s exactly the same as he was when he left, incredibly egotistical and mildly delusional. He says that the thing that has changed the most while he was gone, is him. He says that he is now the proud father of a little baby girl, who has changed him and given him a new vision. He wonders where he fits in on SmackDown, and immediately answers himself, saying that he is the great leader that SmackDown needs.
The whole locker room gradually leaves ringside, as they’re uninterested in his “vision.” The only person left at ringside is Cesaro, but even he leaves, after telling Rollins that he hasn’t changed at all. Rollins charges out after Cesaro, attacking his leg and stomping him down. Daniel Bryan comes out and fends off Rollins, protecting his tag team partner.
Bayley VS Liv Morgan (w/Ruby Riott)
Liv starts off strong with a dropkick, but Bayley slows things down by whipping Liv into the turnbuckle and delivering some knees. Liv ducks a clothesline and delivers a dropkick to the back of Bayley, before delivering a missile dropkick for 2. Bayley goes to the outside to collect herself, and Liv follows her there, but when she tries to attack Bayley from off the steel steps, Bayley moves and she slams hard into the turnbuckles.
Bayley brings Liv back into the ring and pins her for 2, and keeps up the attack with stomps and a choke on the ropes. Liv fights back with a punch to the gut and a facebuster for 2. Bayley catches Liv when she goes for an attack off the second rope, and noticing that Liv is favoring her left arm, Bayley delivers a vicious armbreaker for 2. Bayley looks for the Faceplant, but Liv fights back with an enziguri and then the Jersey Codebreaker for a close 2, since the Riott Squads finishers don’t mean anything these days.
Billie Kay comes out with some resumes and tries to apologize to Ruby, but Ruby isn’t having it, and she tosses the resumes away. Some go into the ring, and while the ref is occupied picking them up, Bayley rakes the eyes of Liv and then hits the Faceplant for the victory.
Winner via pinfall: Bayley
Match Rating: 3/5
Backstage, Kayla Braxton interviews Daniel Bryan and Cesaro, who is still feeling the effects of Seth Rollins’ attack. It’s not stopping him from competing in his match later tonight, because as Daniel Bryan says, ‘that dude is tough.”
Alpha Academy VS Street Profits
Chad Gable starts off against Angelo Dawkins, who gravely underestimates his smaller opponent, with Gable matching his every wrestling hold and maneuver. The two trade arm drags, and Dawkins tags in Ford, who locks in an armlock on Gable. Gable looks to toss him away into the turnbuckle, but Ford flips away. Gable rolls him up for 2 and then tosses him with a deep arm drag. He locks in a painful armbar, but Ford is able to tag in Dawkins to deliver an assisted splash for 2.
Dawkins locks in a chinlock, but Gable fights out and tags in Otis, who runs through Dawkins with some shoulder tackles. He tosses Dawkins and Ford with some suplexes, before delivering an avalanche and the Caterpillar. He tags in Gable, and the two look to deliver a discus clothesline/German Suplex combo, but Ford pulls the ropes down, causing Otis to tumble to the outside. Gable rolls up Dawkins and dodges his spinning splash, but after a quick tag from Dawkins to Ford, he can’t dodge the Annointment/Frog Splash combo that gets the Street Profits the win.
Winners via pinfall: The Street Profits
Match Rating: 3/5
Sasha Banks comes out to talk about Bianca Belair, saying that there’s only one choice for her opponent at WrestleMania, Sasha. Belair comes out, telling Sasha that she isn’t the boss of her. For some reason, The Women’s Tag Team Champions, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, interupt her. They say that they’re on a roll, and they wonder why everyone is talking about Belair, and not them. Belair and Sasha roll some footage of the two tag champs losing last Raw.
This angers Jax and Bazsler, and they attack Belair and Sasha. It doesn’t work out for them however, as Sasha tosses Jax to the outside, and they deliver a Glam Slam/knee combo to Baszler.
Daniel Bryan and Cesaro VS Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode
Bryan starts out against Ziggler, who looks to out-wrestle the leader of the Yes! Movement. Bryan delivers a kick and tags in Cesaro, and the two deliver a double hip toss for 2. Ziggler immediately goes after the leg of Cesaro with a kick, and he delivers a dropkick for 2. He tags in Roode, who looks for a backdrop, but gets an uppercut instead. Cesaro tags in Bryan, who delivers the Yes! Kicks. Roode rolls up Bryan for 2, but Bryan transitions into the Yes! Lock.
Roode gets to the ropes and delivers a knee to Bryan, as well as a sucker punch to Cesaro. Bryan sends Roode to the outside and looks for a suicide dive, but Roode moves, and Bryan crashes into Cesaro. Roode and Ziggler toss their opponents into the steel steps, and King Corbin and Sami Zayn enter to hang out at ringside as we go to commercial. When we come back, Ziggler has a sleeper hold locking on Bryan. He seems close to escaping, so Ziggler tags in Roode to stomp down Bryan in their corner.
Roode delivers a lovely suplex to Bryan for 2, and tags in Ziggler, who delivers an elbow drop for 2. Ziggler stacks Bryan on the top rope and looks for a superplex, but Bryan shoves him away and delivers a missile dropkick. Ziggler tags in Roode, who shoves Cesaro off the apron to prevent Bryan from making a tag. Bryan rolls up Roode for 2 and delivers some uppercuts, but Roode catches him with a spinebuster for 2. He tags in Ziggler, and the two deliver a neckbreaker/powerbomb combo for a 2 count.
Ziggler goes for a Bronco Buster, but Bryan moves and tags in Cesaro who attacks both Ziggler and Roode with punches and uppercuts. He catches Ziggler with the Very European Uppercut for 2, and he looks to give him a Giant Swing, but Roode attacks his leg. Bryan comes in and delivers the running knee to Roode, and Ziggler delivers a Famouser to Cesaro for a near fall. He looks for a Superkick, but Cesaro catches him and delivers a backbreaker. He follows it up with a Giant Swing into a Sharpshooter, and Ziggler has to tap.
Winners via submission: Cesaro and Daniel Bryan
Match Rating: 3.5/5
After the match, Jey Uso comes in and slams a chair into the back of Cesaro. All heck breaks loose, but luckily Kevin Owens is here to deliver a Stunner to everyone in the ring. And yes, Michael Cole shouts “STUNNER!” every time. The show ends with Owens staring right into the camera, telling Roman that he’s coming for him.
SmackDown February 12
A fine show; I like that the Riott Squad are on the show weekly in a super fun storyline. But man, oh man, do they need to shorten Roman Reigns’ entrance.