WWE 'SmackDown' results and reactions from last night (Feb. 15): To The Elimination Chamber!

Complete results and reactions for Friday's (Feb. 15, 2013) episode of WWE "SmackDown", the go-home show to Sunday's (Feb. 17) "Elimination Chamber 2013" PPV event, featuring the final confrontation between Alberto Del Rio and The Big Show, the final hype between The Rock and CM Punk, and a preview of "SmackDown's" Elimination Chamber Match. We got reactions right here!

WWE SmackDown returned last night (Feb. 15, 2013) from Little Rock, Arkansas, with a taped show on the SyFy channel featuring the road to the Elimination Chamber.

If you missed the show, or just want to go back and read the live blog again, click here.

Let's get to the reactions!

  • The go-home show is the traditional place where you convince the fans that they need to purchase the following pay-per-view (PPV). For whatever reason, be it apathy or incompetence, WWE has shifted away from that model. For the past few months -- hell, it's probably been at least a year since I've seen a good one -- the shows leading into a PPV have usually failed to live up to that hype. Last night, though, we actually had what felt like a true go-home show. The Big Show came out to open the show and reminded the WWE Universe that Del Rio has never pinned him. It's an obvious point, but one that bears repeating. Del Rio has two wins in Last Man Standing Matches, and he used some underhand tactics to get those victories. Usually a straight one-on-one match is a deescalation of a feud. In this case, though, it actually plays into the storyline perfectly. Del Rio will now have to fall the giant to retain. No tricks. No gimmicks. Just David vs. Goliath. It's a tale as old as time, but it's one worth telling again and again. I'm excited for this match on Sunday.

  • I know we say this every other day, but The Big Show has been killing it since turning heel. I don't want to over do the love. On the other hand, he deserves all the credit in the world. So, let's just say Show is amazing, and leave it at that for now.

  • Also amazing? The Big Show vs. Chris Jericho. I would not hate seeing that match agaaaaaayyn.

  • Speaking of weak go-home shows -- yes that segue would have been better without The Big Show love -- what the hell happened to The Rock these past few weeks? I'm not setting unreasonable expectations, because I've seen him do better a month ago. He was killing it against CM Punk! Now he's just meandering around in his promos. They're not bad, per se, just...very average. He hit the main points -- Punk's a spoiled brat, Rocky will whoop his ass this Sunday and go to WrestleMania 29 as WWE Champion -- but didn't really go much beyond that. A shame, really.

  • Part of the problem? Having Punk on the Titantron "via satellite." There really is no reason why that needs to happen. It's impossible to work off the crowd when you are behind the scenes. Punk's promo about being the "real champion" and restoring the title to it's rightful owner was beautifully done. But it really took something off the fastball when it's not in the ring, or on the ramp.

  • Still though, Rocky and Punk's average is better than most wrestlers' best. I know I just spent 200-300 words trashing it, but I just have high expectations between those two. Sometimes they deliver, sometimes they don't. Tonight was an off night. Even still, I really wish this feud could continue going into WrestleMania 29. It is far better than what we are going to get.

  • Did you know that Mark Henry is an absolute beast? I don't care that his skills are being big and looking intimidating. Those are essential skills in pro wrestling! There are a lot of big guys who don't know how to scare the crap out of the audience. Henry may be in the twilight of his career, but 'tis a beautiful sunset that I will watch with excitement.

  • Something I really hope I get to talk more about in the coming weeks is the beauty that is Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter's xenophobia. I cannot convey how much I love this angle. The mere fact that WWE is pushing The Miz as an Uber-American against Antonio Cesaro's foreign heel, while at the same time having Swagger and Colter spew pure hatred, is just perfectly played. I'm not sure if WWE is trying to have a deep, philosophical conversation about patriotism taken too far, or if the promotion is so tone deaf that it fails to comprehend the irony that is present. All I know, is that this is something you need to watch.

  • Stepping away from my Political Science degree and into my markitude, I love that Jack Swagger is just killing guys in the ring. Yes, it goes against everything I'm supposed to stand for. But watching a squash match is just entertaining to me, and I'm not going to hide from it. Kill Swagger Kill.

  • The Miz defeated Cody Rhodes via Figure Four. I feel like I need to say that, but I'm not going to expand on it.

  • I lied. I just have to ask this; remember that time when Team Rhodes Scholars broke up, and people assumed that either Cody Rhodes or Damien Sandow would be getting a singles push? Yeah, that's not going to happen. Maybe you still have hope, but hope has left me a long time ago.

  • Let me say that Tamina Snuka vs. Layla was a surprisingly solid match. Yes, it was a Divas match. And yes, it wasn't the cleanest match I've seen. But it was entertaining, and made Tamina look strong going into her match against Kaitlyn at Elimination Chamber.

A damn good episode of SmackDown this week, dear Cagesiders. Thoroughly enjoyable, hyped the PPV well, and not a bad segment in the night. It may not have been perfection, but it was damn good.

Grade: B+

What say you, Cagesiders? Am I giving too much love to the show, or not enough? Let me know how correct -- or how widely off base -- I am in the comments.

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