WWE 'SmackDown' results and reactions from last night (Feb. 22): The Road to 'WrestleMania' begins

Complete results and reactions for Friday's (Feb. 22, 2013) episode of WWE "SmackDown", the fall out show to Sunday's (Feb. 17) "Elimination Chamber 2013" PPV event, featuring a series of great matches from "The Blue Brand's" roster. We got the reactions right here!

WWE SmackDown returned last night (Feb. 22, 2013) from Biloxi, Miss, with a taped show on the SyFy channel featuring the fallout show to the Elimination Chamber and the start on the Road to WrestleMania.

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

To the reactions!

  • Alberto Del Rio opened the night calling out Jack Swagger for his and Zeb Colter's xenophobic remarks about immigrants demanding handouts. Depending on what happens down the road with Swagger -- more on that later -- this looks to be an old-fashioned good guy vs. bad guy feud. And that works perfectly. The beauty of WWE is that it can reach into any style of story and present it in the ring. I love what The Rock, CM Punk, John Cena, The Shield, Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon, etcetera, are doing over on Monday Night Raw. It's a huge, winding story that has taken control of the entire show. But sometimes small and simple works just as well. Swagger and Zeb are fighting for hatred. Del Rio and Ricardo are fighting for justice. They will be fighting over the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania 29. The story may start to show some strain after six weeks. But for now, this is a great start.

  • It was weird to be sitting in a time warp where we know Jack Swagger was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana, but everyone on our screen has yet to find out. I was unsure exactly how WWE would play the whole situation. Right now, though, it seems like business as usual. Swagger segments and match weren't cut. The show still closed on him and Del Rio engaged in a stare down. I have no doubt that if it wanted to, WWE could have cut him out entirely. If Swagger is going to face punishment for his actions, it will have to come soon.

  • This was a strange episode of SmackDown; It was pretty much a two hour version of Main Event. Five matches -- okay, four plus a Divas match -- all getting the long form treatment. All very good and entertaining. Not much plot development outside the World Heavyweight Championship picture, and even that was minimal. I'm certainly not complaining. It was just an odd thing to see.

  • Alberto Del Rio took on Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett in a Champion vs. Champion matchup. It was a strong showing for both men, and an entertaining match overall. Ricardo Rodriguez always seems to be one of the highlights of any Del Rio match. Him taunting Wade before hightailing it around the ring was something I could watch over and over. Swagger would come out before the bell, and eventually made his way down to try and distract Del Rio. The World Heavyweight Champion would still manage to pull out the victory via Cross Arm Breaker. It furthers the main event feud, and at least Wade is eating a pin to close the show instead of meandering in the midcard.

  • Randy Orton interrupted Del Rio's opening promo and demanded he be allowed the chance to punish Swagger for rolling him up at the Elimination Chamber. Booker T came out and obliged his wish. It was a fun -- albeit somewhat repetitive -- match. Orton does have a tendency to go back to the same spots over and over, but it wasn't anything to really complain about. Swagger looks to be getting better in the ring, and it's nice to see him work a non-squash. Swagger would eventually win on a rollup, which fits with how he won at Elimination Chamber (Feb. 17). Maybe this wasn't a must see, but certainly a strong television match.

  • Sheamus and Damien Sandow put on another great match between them for round number 37. Seriously, these guys have faced off on about two Main Events, on Raw, on a previous SmackDown, and I'm pretty sure on Saturday Morning Slam. I'm not complaining about the matchup. It just seems that WWE sometimes forgets that there are other options available. I'm also not a fan of Sandow eating Brogue Kicks on a consistant basis, but it is what it is.

  • Look at The Miz put on a perfectly acceptable match against Cody Rhodes! Easily his best showing of late, and it looks like he's finally starting to find his way around the ring. How he does against an opponent he hasn't faced half a dozen times remains to be seen, though.

  • Kaitlyn & Layla went over Tamina Snuka & Aksana in some Divas tag team action. It's a shame that WWE is pushing strong female workers together with women who don't know what the hell they are doing. Aksana needs to stay as far away from the ring as possible. The celebration between the faces saw Layla looking longingly at Kaitlyn's Divas Championship, possibly hinting at the next feud. Maybe a good heel turn will drive some interest into the Divas division.

  • Cody Rhodes and Kaitlyn shared an awkward segment where the Divas Champion commented that she enjoyed Cody's facial hair, and he informed her that it's called the "love 'stache." That is a power couple I can get behind.

All told, this was a a pro wrestling fan's type of SmackDown. No garbage, minimal behind the scenes segments, and a show full of entertaining matches. As hard as it is to keep up with WWE's bi-polar product, the good times are often very, very good.

Grade: B+

What say you, Cagesiders? How did you enjoy WWE's Friday night offering? Let me know how right -- or how wrong -- I am in the comments.

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