I will never get how SmackDown and Raw are produced by the same person.
So on Monday, Shane McMahon announced all of the participants for the Raw men’s Elimination Chamber match with no fanfare, and most of the people not deserving a spot. Jeff Hardy has many losses, as does Miz, as does Randy Orton as of late. Aside from the fact that Kofi Kingston is on the same show but they don’t care about him being a former champion anymore.
A three hour show had zero qualifying matches, while a two hour show was full of them. Explain to me how this makes sense.
SmackDown once again did it right. Not too shocking anymore. SmackDown made multiple stars to be featured in their Elimination Chamber match. I want to see them in the match. With the exception of two of them, I’d like to see any of the rest win. One of them is most intriguing, and I’ll mention that in a moment.
Let’s get to the main hits and misses of this show. For a full rundown of SmackDown, check out the live blog by Rev. Claire Elizabeth!
Roman Reigns started the show by telling Adam Pearce he doesn’t run SmackDown because it’s all Reigns’ control.
He that Edge is scared to face him, and he’s not dropping the title until he’s ready to. Pearce said that Reigns would be defending the Universal title in the Elimination Chamber, but Heyman said nowhere does it say Reigns has to defend inside the Chamber, just at the Chamber show.
Instead, the winner of the Chamber match will get an on-the-spot title match. Pearce put Kevin Owens and Jey Uso in the match and then announced qualifiers for the rest of the evening. Reigns jumped out of the ring and got in Pearce’s face to intimidate him and backed off at Heyman’s request.
Alright! I wanted SmackDown to get the Elimination Chamber match because there are more men deserving of the main title picture. Now, having them face Reigns right after that match? Clearly the easy W for Reigns, but we’ll see if they get squashed, or get the true come from behind babyface treatment.
What a match we had for the main event.
Cesaro is suuuuch a great hot tag, even nursing some injuries which we’ll get to in a bit. The other winners of a qualifying match came out (I’ll keep it spoiler free here) but didn’t interfere.
Cesaro did the swing on Ziggler and Bryan took out Roode, and Ziggler tapped out. I liked seeing some people picking up important wins tonight. This is how you make and keep stars at a high level. Wins matter!
Then Jey Uso appeared OUTTANOWHERE and everyone got involved, until Owens came out and cleared house. A good ol’ fashioned Stunner party.
They showed Reigns in the back looking annoyed and shaking his head that he may have to face him once again.
I’m one of the few that are fine with another rematch, only because Owens has not had a clean loss yet. Technically Elimination Chamber will likely not be clean regardless of who it is, unless Jey Uso ends up winning. He’s the most intriguing winner. I’d been wondering when they were going to go back to the family rivalry, and when Jey would start to snap out of his trance. Maybe it’s coming soon?
Man was this an incredible segment before the match.
Big E talked about how he was ready to move on from Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews, but Crews decided to come out and once again answer the open challenge. This time, E said no and told Crews to go to the back and collect his paycheck.
Woof. Crews did not take that well. The best part of this was the off mic argument both were having before E’s opponent, Nakamura, came out. Crews said he’ll always be after E as long as he has the Intercontinental title. Such a great moment between both men.
So E and Nakamura started wrestling and Crews stayed out at ringside cheering Nakamura on. Crews went to the apron and E chased him off. Nakamura struck E with knees and went for the Kinshasa and E powerslammed him. E went for the Big Ending and Crews came in and interfered to cause a disqualification.
Crews said he won’t give in as long as Big E has the title, and he backed up his words. Normally I don’t go for the DQ but in this context, it actually makes sense. Apollo is going to do whatever it takes to get under E’s skin. Make things make sense, and suddenly annoying things are much less annoying.
Making fun of someone’s hole
Sasha Banks came out and said that the E-S-T needs to choose M-E, which prompted Belair to come out.
She knows of Sasha’s accomplishments but told The Boss that she isn’t The Boss of her. Suddenly the women’s tag champions came out and Jax and Baszler were complaining about no one talking about their win at the Royal Rumble. Belair and Banks both showed clips from Raw of the “my hole” incident and Baszler losing to Naomi, which led to a brawl with the babyfaces standing tall.
Okay, so WWE decided to un-censor “my hole” (heh) and bring it into the show. I think the good way of doing it would be what they did here, by not having Nia say it every single time. Implying the words by her wincing in pain and grabbing her lower back works for me.
Bianca and Sasha looked great here, but I don’t think there should be a tag title match out of this. The women’s tag titles do not need to be involved in a feud with a main title championship every single time. This was a fine segment and maybe if they were to do the tag title match, things could break down between the babyfaces which would then lead to Bianca officially choosing Sasha.
On paper that looks good, but how would it play out?
By the way, Bianca Belair’s husband dancing with Sasha Banks when she entered? That was weird.
Seth Rollins is burning it down again
Seth Rollins returned and so did “Burn it Down!” He mentioned becoming a father for the first time and his baby girl changed his life and given him a new vision. Where does he fit in on a show with great talent and potential? To be a leader for all! (So basically nothing has changed.) He asked everyone to embrace the vision, and everyone left. Except Cesaro. Cesaro just shrugged and said that he didn’t change a bit.
Irate, Rollins attacked Cesaro and beat him down on the ramp. Bryan and referees came to separate them, and Rollins walked away. I was worried that this beatdown would make Cesaro the weak link and would cause he and Bryan to lose their qualifying match and I’m extremely thankful that wasn’t the case.
Sami Zayn and King Corbin defeated Rey and Dominik Mysterio
Early on, Dom dove out of the ring to Zayn and looked like he slammed his head on the announce table but seemed to be okay. That was scary and he sold it wonderfully. Almost too well. For the most part, Corbin and Zayn dominated until Dom had a sprint with Zayn. Dom had a great Tornado DDT. Graves kept pushing Dom and Rey dissension from weeks prior. Honestly was what made me think they were going to win, but Zayn hit the suplex and Helluva Kick to win! It’s so nice to see Sami Zayn picking up victories.
Street Profits defeated Alpha Academy
Um okay so a match I did not expect to need is Angelo Dawkins vs. Chad Gable at some point. A mat based clinic between them every time they were in the ring together. Then Otis tagged in and did big hoss things. It’s just now that I realized that Otis and Gable are a great pairing. Tez did his frog splash from the heavens to pick up the victory. That is just incredible to witness every time.
Bayley defeated Liv Morgan
Well it was obvious we were going to get Liv and Bayley after Ruby and Bayley happened. Morgan started off hot and dominated the first minute and chased Bayley out of the ring so she could regroup. Morgan had a really cool looking… I guess you could call it springboard facebuster for a near fall. She was favoring her left arm before that and Bayley took advantage. Then Billie Kay got her resumes in Ruby’s face and that led to Ruby throwing the resumes behind her into the ring. So the referee was tied up with that and Bayley raked Morgan’s eyes and pinned her.
And it’s at this point I’d have attacked Billie Kay or just ignored her because she’s getting too involved in this business after clearly being told to go away multiple times. I love Billie in this role but constantly interrupting and causing losses for the Riott Squad is not good. But, how can you really blame Billie here? Ruby needed to ignore all that, or go along with it just to shut Billie up.
What were your thoughts, Cagesiders?