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WWE SmackDown Live results, recap, reactions (Feb. 26, 2019): Damn you, Vince

My goodness, what a roller coaster of a week in the WWE. Becky Lynch got arrested, Batista returned to beat up a 70 year-old man...and Kofi Kingston’s fairytale shot just became a nightmare.

The show opened with a contract signing for the Fastlane main event: Daniel Bryan vs. Kingston for the WWE Championship. Shane and Stephanie McMahon led us on a trip through Kingston’s career before calling him down to the ring. The New Day were all smiles as they did a lap around the ring high-fiving fans. Why wouldn’t they? They were getting the moment that they’d worked so hard for. Kingston was getting a singles match for the WWE Championship.

...Yeah. Was. Vince McMahon had other ideas, just as Kofi was putting pen to paper.

There’s something really interesting with Vince’s character these days. He showed up in December with the family to direct WWE into a new era where the fans were in charge, right? Well in just a few short weeks, he’s ripped two fan favorites from upcoming title matches.

And you could gripe that this “I’m taking you out of your title match” thing has already been done, but that’s partly why this segment was so awesome. Where Becky Lynch has rebelled and come out swinging crutches and all manner of weapons...Kofi hung his head in resignation. It figures, after all; it’s almost like he expected it. It was too good to be true for a guy like him.

“Why does this happen every time? You all should be disgusted!” Woods fumed as they walked back up the stage. They turned to face the ring and Big E added: “Eleven years this man’s put in for your family!”

The Power of Positivity has been tested before. But to this degree? And even worse, Kingston had to team with the man who took his place at Fastlane, a returning Kevin Owens. And I have no clue what to think about Owens at this point. On one hand, he’s been relatable and babyface-like in his promos. He uncorked a freaking Stunner to pick up the victory here, too. And yet...can you ever trust Owens? He said in a promo just last week that he’s remembered what he fights for before panning the camera to his son. Who’s to say he hasn’t been chirping in Vince’s ear this whole time?

Either way, this is an incredible plot twist and the implication is clear: KofiMania might truly become KofiMania.


R-Truth’s back, and he’s brought the US Open Challenge with him!

Our United States Champion was gone for a few weeks, but I quite liked his return to the screen. He came out in USA-themed gear and talked about being a little kid and wanting to be like his hero John Cena. A man he’s six years older than.

And you know what? That’s all the explanation I need. You just gotta roll with the Truth. He offered an Open Challenge and both Rey Mysterio and Andrade answered the call. And in times like these, a champion has to ask a very important question: What would John Cena do?

Fight both, of course!

The match was honestly fantastic. Andrade and Rey are just insane and Truth can more than hold his own with those guys. I enjoyed this far more than I really expected, and the best part might have been the two challengers’ reactions in defeat. Rey gave a bemused grin at getting rolled up by Truth and Andrade lost his damn mind that Mysterio cost him this opportunity. I think we need to find some sort of stakes for these two very soon, but I had no problems with any of this.

The Rest

The Hardy Boyz def. The Bar – UH HEY MATT HARDY GOOD TO SEE YOU TOO. Man, everyone’s back right in time for Mania. Matt makes Jeff Hardy so much more entertaining and this was a fun welcome back for the duo.

Ricochet and Aleister Black def. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rusev – I’m a bit puzzled where any of these four are supposed to be going, but who can honestly complain when Rusev’s dropping gems like “You damn rookies!”

This was another match where the quality of the wrestling was top-notch, despite it being booked like your usual WWE tag team match.

Charlotte Flair is the worst and I hate her – She gave a gloating promo on this show where she spoke aggravatingly slowly, called Lynch a criminal and Rousey a quitter, made charity work sound slimy, and essentially assumed she’ll be crowned Raw Women’s Champion on Monday. She’s the worst and you should all hate her.

(She rocks.)

The house that who built? - AJ Styles had a promo backstage where he said he’s his own harshest critic and that he’s disappointed with his recent performance. He turned it back towards positivity by the end, but Randy Orton sidled up to express...skepticism? Disdain? At any rate, expect these two to beef over who built what.

Lacey Evans’ nightly ramp walk – Is this supposed to be like Fandango’s debut? Because let me tell you right now: Fandango got heat because he was slimy and hilarious. Lacey’s just distant and arrogant. Not nearly as fun.

Great show. Still have no idea what’s gotten into WWE. Erik Rowan wore an Ensiferum t-shirt. I have no complaints.

Grade: A-

Cageside what the hell is in the water up at WWE HQ? Things have been awesome.

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