Hello and welcome to this Valentine’s Day edition of Friday Night Smackdown! This episode is being brought to us from Ontario, California.
The show opens with the announcement of our main event for tonight. Michael Cole says that WWE World Heavyweight Champion will be competing against Cesaro. Why did they drop the “Antonio”? I can’t complain that much, at least Cesaro is being featured in the upper card.
Daniel Bryan’s music hits to kick off Smackdown with a six man tag team match. Christian then comes out followed by Sheamus. Cole speaks about how these three men will be competing against each other in the Elimination Chamber match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The Shield makes their way to the ring through the crowd.
Six Man Tag Team Match – Daniel Bryan, Christian, and Sheamus vs. The Shield (Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose): Rollins and Christian start off the match. Michael Cole talks about how he likes to call Rollins the “architect” of the Shield. I would love to ask Michael Cole why he likes to call him this. It makes zero sense. Unless the Shield is going to start a construction company of course. Rollins quickly tags in Reigns. Cole puts Reigns over as holding the Royal Rumble record for most eliminations. Christian tags in Sheamus. Reigns and Sheamus stare each other down and start fighting back and forth. Sheamus then gets Reigns up on his shoulders and hits him with a Rolling Firemen’s Carry. Reigns gains the advantage with some knee strikes to Sheamus’ gut. Reigns tags in Ambrose. Sheamus then gains the advantage on Ambrose and tags in Daniel Bryan. Bryan moves into his comeback sequence with the running forearm, runner dropkick, and a hurricarana off the top rope. Bryan gets Ambrose in the Labell Lock. Reigns and Rollins run into the ring to break it up. Bryan breaks the hold as Sheamus and Christian enter the ring. We go to commercial break as there is a standoff between both teams.
When we return from commercial Seth Rollins has Daniel Bryan in a headlock and Bryan appears to be “Hulking up” and raising one arm up and down as the crowd chants “YES! YES! YES!”. Rollins Irish Whips Bryan into the corner. Rollins dives for the Stinger Splash and misses. Bryan tags in Sheamus. Sheamus is taking it to Rollins. Sheamus gives Rollins a running high knee. It’s weird because Cole says “shades of Triple H”. Triple H is getting to that stage of his career where he is talked about as a “legend”. Sheamus gives Rollins the repeated clubs to the chest. Sheamus goes to the top rope. Ambrose tries to cheap shot Sheamus and Sheamus knocks him off the apron. Rollins then catches Sheamus off guard with a dropkick knocking Sheamus off of the top rope. Rollins tags in Reigns and Reigns hits Sheamus with the running dropkick as Sheamus is draped over the bottom rope. This for my money is the coolest move in the WWE right now. I love it. It makes me like Roman Reigns so much more than I ever thought I would.
Reigns beats Sheamus down on the outside. Sheamus gets back in the ring and Ambrose and Rollins take their turns beating Sheamus down. Reigns makes his way back in the right and beats Sheamus down. Reigns starts taunting Christian and Daniel Bryan. Sheamus catches Reigns off guard and hits Reigns with the Irish Curse Backbreaker. Sheamus tags in Christian as Reigns tags in Ambrose. Ambrose and Christian go back and forth. The match is really picking up here with the crowd getting fired up for Christian. Christian hits Ambrose with a Tornado DDT and pins Ambrose for 2 as Reigns and Rollins break up the pin. Daniel Bryan climbs the top rope and jumps off dropkicking Reigns and Rollins. Bryan then exchanges kicks to Rollins and Reigns. Daniel Bryan misses the last kick to Reigns and Reigns counters into a power bomb like hold. Bryan counters this back into a hurricarana to the outside. Bryan bounces off the ropes running after Rollins and ducks as his suicide dives to the outside attacking Reigns. Rollins then follows that up with a suicide dive of his own at Bryan. Christian hits Ambrose with a reverse DDT for a 2 count. Sheamus then hits Rollins with a Brogue Kick. Christian goes for the Killswitch. Ambrose reverses. Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick on Ambrose, Ambrose ducks and Sheamus hits Christian. Reigns then takes advantage by spearing Christian. Ambrose pins Christian for the 3 count. *** ¼
WWE is pushing Reigns so hard. I wish it was Rollins or Ambrose that was going to get the huge push post-Shield break up, but I appreciate the way the WWE is pushing Reigns slowly and through things that matter like eliminating 4 wrestlers in a Survivor Series match up, and breaking the Royal Rumble record for most eliminations, and such. These are things that the WWE normally passes over as unimportant, but they should utilize to give WWE a “real sport” feel all of us hardcore fans beg for. These Shield matches will be sorely missed when they break up. These have been the best six man tag matches WWE has put on for a number of years. Maybe ever.
Vickie Guerrero is in the back on the phone with someone as Zeb Colter walks into the room and gives Vickie a box of candy and asks her to be his valentine. Colter states he has one Real American getting a title shot (Cesaro), and asks that Jack Swagger be put into a title match. Vickie tells him she will give Swagger a chance to earn a title shot. Vickie sets up a four way match later tonight between Swagger, Mark Henry, Rey Mysterio, Kofi Kingston and with the winner will be the #1 contender for the Intercontinental Championship.
Cole announces an 8 man tag team match for later with The Brotherhood teaming up with The Usos as they take on Rybaxel and The New Age Outlaws.
We come back from commercial with Byron Saxton in the locker room with Cesaro. Saxton asks Cesaro if he is excited to compete for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the Elimination Chamber. Cesaro declares that he will defeat Randy Orton tonight and then go on to win the WWE title. Then he will be excited. Cesaro is so good and deserves to be a main eventer already.
Cole and JBL announce that the Hall of Fame ceremony will be shown in his entirety on the WWE Network. This is going to be a hit for the network. Jake Roberts’ speech will be a great moment to witness. After all he has gone through to recover from his addictions. Jake Roberts should be an inspiration.
We go back to the ring where Lillian Garcia declares the next match as a Fatal Fourway Match for the Intercontinental Championship.
Cole narrates a video package of WWE building a playground for an elementary school near the site of WrestleMania 30. Its things like this that make the WWE going PG matter. PG works and it’s awesome that they can reach out to the kids that look up to these superstars.
Fatal Fourway #1 Contenders Match – Mark Henry vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger: Big E Langston is a guest commentator for the match as he talks about each potential contender for his IC championship. Mark Henry dominates early until Kofi and Rey double team Henry. Kofi and Rey are in the ring by themselves as they stare each other down with the crowd getting behind them both. It is rare in the WWE that we see two superstars that haven’t competed against each other, but these two have remained baby faces their whole careers, so this is interesting. Rey and Kofi show off their quickness with some counters and reversals. Swagger gets back in the ring until Rey and Kofi work together again to get Swagger out of the ring. Kofi then attacks Rey with a clothesline. Kofi then takes a swan dive to the outside on Swagger. The Rey comes out of nowhere to take Kofi down with a senton. Henry stands alone in the ring. Swagger runs into the ring to take out Henry’s knee. Swagger hits Henry with two Swagger bombs. Instead of going for the pin Swagger does the “We the People” taunt. Kofi attacks him from behind.
Rey sets Swagger up for the 619 and Swagger counters with a clothesline. Swagger is hitting Rey with repeated knee strikes in the corner. Rey gets up on the top rope and hits Swagger with a senton and then a head scissors take down. Rey then hits Swagger with a bulldog and pins Swagger. Kofi breaks up the pinfall. Kofi and Rey have another exchange until Kofi Irish Whips Rey into the ring post. Kofi then hits Swagger with the Boom Drop and calls for the Trouble in Paradise. Swagger tries to give Kofi a vertical suplex off the top rope until Henry power bombs Swagger instead. Kofi jumps off the top rope and chops Henry. Henry then clothelines Kofi. Swagger then takes down Henry from the back of the knee and locks in the Patriot Lock on Henry. Henry kicks Swagger off of him. Rey then hits Henry with the 619 to Henry’s gut. Kofi then hits Henry with the Trouble in Paradise. Swagger then German Suplexes Kofi as Kofi German Suplexes Rey Mysterio. Rey then goes for the 619 on Swagger.
As Rey runs at Swagger to deliver the 619 Kofi hits Rey with the Trouble in Paradise instead. Henry yanks Rey out of the ring as Kofi pins Rey. Kofi then dropkicks Henry. Kofi skins the cat back in the ring but Swagger grabs Kofi’s ankle and puts him in the Patriot Lock. Kofi rolls out of it. Kofi goes to hit Swagger with the Patriot Lock and Swagger catches Kofi in the Patriot Lock again forcing Kofi to tap out. ***
This was a really good back and forth match from all four men. It was interesting to see Kofi and Rey Mysterio fight it out. Henry was good in his role as the powerful big man. Swagger and Kofi had a nice exchange at the end of the match with Jack countering Kofi into the Patriot Lock.
Cole says that after the commercial break we will see a recap of Betty White on Raw. It wasn’t entertaining the first time it appeared on Raw. It isn’t entertaining now. Smackdown has always been the Raw recap show. This doesn’t make any sense. No one watches only Smackdown and not Monday Night Raw. Shouldn’t Raw recap Smackdown to entice people to go and watch the “B Show”?
Bad New Barrett then is on his raised podium. Barrett then says he has bad news about Valentine’s Day. Barrett says that women in America are going to gorge themselves on Valentine’s Day chocolate and won’t like their reflection in the morning. When will Bad News Barrett end? Barrett was better in the ring knocking people out with his ELBOW thing.
Cole then runs down Randy Orton’s recent gauntlet of matches against the 5 other Elimination Chamber participants. Orton lost his first match to Daniel Bryan, defeated Christian, lost to John Cena, then he faces Cesaro tonight and Sheamus this coming Monday.
Eight Man Tag Team Match – The Brotherhood (Goldust and Cody Rhodes) and The Uso’s (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. Rybaxel (Ryback and Curtis Axel) and The New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn): We start off with a recap of the Rybaxel vs. Uso’s match from this past Monday complete with Billy Gunn’s diarrhea problem. When will WWE learn that this kind of sophomoric comedy is not actually funny?
We start off with Billy Gunn and Goldust. JBL makes a comparison of The Rhodes Brothers to Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks. This comparison was another sad attempt from a WWE commentator to use a pop culture reference and incorrectly identify it as matching a WWE superstar’s current predicament. These attempts should stop. Now.
Cody Rhodes is working over Road Dogg as he tags in the Jey Uso as the Uso’s double team Road Dogg. Curtis Axel then makes his way enter the ring gaining the advantage with a dropkick to Jey Uso. Axel works Jey over in the corner. JBL and Cole discuss how Axel has all of the intangibles and that he hasn’t broke through yet because he is missing “something”. So true. Ryback makes his way into the ring and Cole asks JBL if he’s ever read Ryback’s twitter. Ryback works Jey over. We go to commercial.
Back from commercial Jey Uso and Billy Gunn are crawling to their respective corners to tag in their partners. Jey tags in Jimmy and Jimmy gets the tag and goes nuts on everyone. Jimmy then tributes his dad with smashing his back into both of the New Age Outlaws. This is a cool way to tribute his dad without having to do an embarrassing Stink Face. Cody then takes flight and hits Axel with a cross body to the outside from the top rope. Ryback throws Cody into the guardrail. Goldust then hits Ryback with a Rolling Senton. The Uso’s then hit Road Dogg with a double super kick. Jimmy Uso flies to the outside and hits Gunn, Ryback, and Axel with a cross body. Jey Uso then hits Road Dogg with a diving splash for the 1,2, 3. **
Renee Young is in the back with Randy Orton. Renee asks Orton if he feels The Authority is unfairly treating him by forcing him to wrestle these gauntlet matches. Randy then says no it is not unfair because the Authority wants to see the “viper” and tonight the “viper” is what Cesaro is going to get.
A vignette airs for Alexander Rusev.
Damien Sandow is in the ring across from Darren Young. Titus O’Neil is on commentary.
Damien Sandow vs. Darren Young: Cole recaps Titus attacking Young and splitting up The PrimeTime Players. Titus said “This wasn’t about Darren Young. This was about sending a message to the WWE that the PrimeTime Players are done.” What a stupid phrase. The only feud O’Neil as ever had in the WWE that could be worth note and O’Neil flushes it down the toilet. How it is not about Darren Young?
Damien Sandow shoes Young his vicious side by controlling the majority of the match until Young rolls him up for the quick pin. N/A
Post-match Titus attacks Darren Young from behind until Darren Young gains the advantage and rips Titus’ pants off. This feud could be so much better than this silly nonsense.
Michael Cole then introduces the Bella Twins explaining how to use the WWE Network. 2013 was the year that WWE taught everyone how to download apps on their smart phones. 2014 is going to be the year WWE teaches everyone how to use a streaming website. Ugh.
Fandango then makes his way to the ring with Summer Rae.
Fandango vs. The Miz: Why is this match happening? Smackdown is usually the show with the good wrestling matches on it and very few segments. But, it seems like they just keep cramming random matches into each episode with little substance. It’s turning into a giant episode of Main Event. And what is the Miz’s gimmick? He walks down to the commentating booth during random matches to complain about not having a match on the show, then he buries both wrestlers that are in the ring. Then the Miz gets a match on Main Event and Smackdown? To what point?
Anyways. Fandango and The Miz wrestled for a bit until Santino and Emma interrupted. Summer Rae slapped Emma and then Emma retaliated with throwing Summer Rae down. The Miz then hits Fandango with the Skull Crushing Finale for the win. N/A
The Bobo Brazil Black History Month video package then airs. This is the same video package that aired on Raw. There must not have been very many African Americans that wrestled in the WWE. They keep showing the same packages. Oh wait! There have been plenty! Why not show a different tribute on Raw, Main Event, and Smackdown?
Cesaro’s music hits. As he makes his way to the ring they air a clip from Cole and Triple H’s weekly interview series where Triple H puts over Cesaro as a true threat to win the Elimination Chamber match.
Randy Orton vs. Cesaro: The two men start off fast and Cesaro catches Orton in a schoolboy roll up for a town count. Orton gets out of the ring and paces around. Orton gets back into the ring and rolls up Cesaro for a two count. Then Orton goes back outside to gather himself. Cesaro grapples Orton on the ground and deadlifts Orton into a back drop. Cesaro pins Orton for another two count. Cesaro Irish Whips Orton into the corner. Orton comes out of the corner with a clotheline. Cesaro regains the advantage with some signature uppercuts. Orton dominates Cesaro on the outside of the ring. Orton back suplexes Cesaro on the top of the guardrail. Orton slams Cesaro’s face on the commentating table. Orton rolls Cesaro back into the ring and pins him for a 2 count. Orton has Cesaro in a chinlock as the crowd chants “We the People”. I don’t like all of this “Turn Cesaro babyface” talk. Why? He is the perfect snobby heel. What about Cesaro makes anyone think “face”? Cesaro has the talent to do it, but he is a way better heel.
Cesaro then proceeds to do the Cesaro swing to Orton, swinging Orton around 18 times. Cesaro sets Orton up for the Neutralizer. Orton counters into a powerslam. Orton hits Cesaro with the Hanging DDT. Orton points at the WrestleMania sign signaling his future. Orton sets up for the RKO on Cesaro. Cesaro counters and hits Orton with an uppercut to the back of Orton’s head and then hits Orton with the Very European Uppercut. Cesaro pins Orton for a 2 count! Almost a big win for Cesaro. Orton gains the advantage and battles it out with Cesaro on the top rope. Cesaro counters with a sunset powerbomb and then hits Orton with the Neutralizer for the win! ***
Is the WWE actually going to push Cesaro? What a dream come true for internet wrestling geeks that Daniel Bryan and Cesaro will be main eventers. If only CM Punk didn’t bail.
This was another episode of Smackdown with some really good/entertaining matches, very little segments or storylines being continued. The WWE needs to use Smackdown better. Use it as a way to fill in the small gaps in storylines. Make it more watchable and make it more must see. Have something big happen and then showcase it on Monday Night Raw so it makes fans want to watch Smackdown every week too.