WWE Friday Night SmackDown hit the SyFy airwaves last night (Feb. 21, 2014) from Colorado Springs, Colorado, with a taped show featuring the go home episode to the upcoming Elimination Chamber pay-per-view (PPV) this Sunday night in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Click here for full results and the live blog from the show if you missed it. Let's get to reactions. These were written as the show moved along with real time reactions to everything that occurred hour-by-hour.
- Michael Cole referred to Daniel Bryan as "the people's favorite" and while that may well have been a one-time thing, wouldn't it be better to just run with that and try to make something out of it?
- You know SmackDown is WWE's actual wrestling show because they don't start with long-winded promos heavy on angles. They just get right to the wrestling. And, really, don't we far prefer Bryan vs. Jack Swagger as opposed to 15 minutes of Triple H talking?
- Although simple, there's nothing better than two wrestlers showing regard to strong psychology like Swagger and Cesaro working over Bryan's injured shoulder. That serves purposes for both tonight and this weekend at Elimination Chamber. You get the heat on Bryan so he can overcome later. The right call.
- The referee rolling his hands before throwing someone out? Best thing.
- Cesaro's a bad guy again? Got it!
- Christian's definitely a bad guy now? Got it!
- "The Shield are just three dominoes set up in line to fall." Bray Wyatt is the best talker in WWE right now and if the rumors are true that he will be working with John Cena going forward, we should all be giddy in anticipation of what he (and the WWE writers) will come up with for that feud. They've been working the hero angle for some time now and Cena is the ultimate in that regard. So much material. So much potential. Here's to hoping.
- Everything Cody Rhodes does is tight. Every movement has meaning and he doesn't waste any space while getting his stuff in. He's been attacking his offense with a vigor not seen earlier in his career. That comes from a mix of confidence and experience, which is why we shouldn't give up on guys too quick. If given time, guys greatly improve in the ring and while it takes a lot more than that to get over on a larger scale, at least we'll get entertaining work like this in the meantime.
- Did not notice Luke Harper's massive bald spot until now.
- There were way too many really great spots in the six-man, like Harper killing Rey Mysterio with a big boot to interrupt the 619, or Harper killing Mysterio by halting a hurricanrana on the outside via throwing his head into the barricade, or Bray blasting an unsuspecting Goldust as he was coming off the ropes. Just really good stuff all around.
- Realize we had Renee Young, Summer Rae, and EMMA in the same ring at the same time last night. Brilliant.
- Actually, two things about this dance-off segment: 1) Fandango in the background enthusiastically cheering on Rae thrusting and following the beat was the best thing and 2) It makes sense that WWE did this dance-off rematch on SmackDown so they could control the crowd reaction. Emma is starting to get over, but they badly need to put her in a match and let her really show her stuff.
- Lana has quickly become a new favorite Diva. Cannot wait to get her out on TV working her magic. Alexander Rusev? Not so much.
- Titus O'Neil's theme song is just about the worst thing you'll ever hear, maybe as god awful as Darren Young's "no days off" shirt. Or, maybe, as awful as the match O'Neil put on with Dolph Ziggler was. Think about that. O'Neil couldn't have a good match with Ziggler, who bumped big for him anyway. Then Young used a whistle to distract O'Neil so Ziggler could get the roll up win. This whole thing sucked.
- There isn't much of anything to say about Jey Uso beating Road Dogg in a straight singles squash outside of how great Billy Gunn was dragging his partner's carcas out of the ring.
- Christian got cheered during his entrance for the main event match against Sheamus. That's too good. Let's go ahead and decide who we like and who we hate, fans.
- The match itself was good enough, but it was definitely the kind of thing that requires personal preference, namely having some sort of affinity for one of the participants. An interesting decision here too, considering Randy Orton and John Cena were nowhere to be found on this show when they're arguably the two most important wrestlers working the PPV this weekend. I suppose the idea of getting over the two guys who haven't been put over even one bit up to this point makes sense enough.
The booking was fine but the wrestling didn't match up and this felt super underwhelming for a go home show to the last PPV of this era.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last night's show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?