The John Report: WWE Smackdown 02/19/21 Review

The John Report: WWE Smackdown 02/19/21 Review

Welcome to this week’s WWE Smackdown review. It’s the last episode of Smackdown before the Elimination Chamber PPV this Sunday, February 21. This week’s show has a big six-man tag team match between six Smackdown wrestlers in the Chamber match. It’s Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro facing Sami Zayn, Jey Uso and King Corbin. At Elimination Chamber, the winner of their match will challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Title as well.

From the WWE ThunderDome at Tropicana Field in Tampa Bay, Florida, this is Smackdown for episode #1122. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present. Let’s get to it.

The show began with Royal Rumble winner Edge making his entrance as advertised on social media before the show. Edge was in street clothes as he entered the ring for a promo. The announce team of Michael Cole and Corey Graves were there to call the action.

Let’s Hear from Edge

Edge said that at Elimination Chamber on Sunday, Drew McIntyre is defending the WWE Title inside the Chamber while Roman Reigns gets to defend the Universal Title after somebody wins the Elimination Chamber match. Edge said that Reigns had it good because he got to face a winner after a Chamber match while Drew could lose the title in an instant. Edge said he’s sitting there thinking about what he’s going to do at WrestleMania because it’s the biggest decision of his career.

Roman Reigns, the Universal Champion, made his entrance with cousin Jey Uso and Special Counsel Paul Heyman with Reigns making his usual slow walking entrance. If you don’t watch Smackdown normally, the Reigns entrance usually takes about three minutes. It’s an intimidation thing. Reigns and crew got in the ring with Edge with some “you suck” chants.

Reigns said there is only one choice that is a four-time WrestleMania main eventer that should have been a five-time (last year) and about to be a six-time main eventer. Reigns wanted Edge to pick him. Edge said he can’t do that. Edge said that a couple of weeks ago, he saw Roman lose his cool. Edge noted that Reigns needs Edge to be the main event of WrestleMania. Edge said if he chooses Styles, McIntyre, Orton, Owens, Kingston or somebody else then that’s your main event. Edge told Reigns he sees a young man firing on every cylinder. Edge said he respects Reigns and his family. Edge said that he hasn’t even focused on Reigns yet. Edge wondered if Reigns wanted Edge to focus on him while telling him to check his ego and think about that long and hard. Edge asked if that’s what you want, but there was an interruption.

It’s Sami Zayn! The great Sami had his documentary crew with him. Sami claimed he was disrespected by two of the biggest stars in their industry. Sami said that Edge acts like it’s a foregone conclusion that Edge would face Reigns and Sami said that he is a threat right in front of them. Sami said that Edge, once upon a time he was the ultimate opportunist, but Sami is a master strategist. Zayn told Reigns that Sami is the champion of the people. Zayn pointed at the WrestleMania sign for his documentary crew, but then Jey Uso decked Sami with a superkick.

Reigns stared at Edge the whole time Sami did his talking. Reigns stepped towards Edge, put his hands behind his back and said something to Edge although we couldn’t hear what he said. Reigns backed away from Edge to end the segment.

Edge gets confronted by Roman Reigns and Sami Zayn: SmackDown, Feb. 19, 2021

Analysis: I liked the point that Edge made where he said that Reigns needs Edge to be in the main event this time because technically Edge’s match is the main event as the Royal Rumble, but there are also two nights of WrestleMania. Reigns made it clear that he wanted to face Edge and wanted Edge to choose him, but Edge is waiting to do that. As for Zayn, he was there to be an annoying heel that got kicked by Jey, who is his partner later in the show. It was fine as an opening segment.

The main event later is Kevin Owens, Daniel Bryan and Cesaro vs. King Corbin, Jey Uso and Sami Zayn. They are in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match. Plus, Bayley’s talk show with Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler as guests.

Big E, the Intercontinental Champion, made his entrance in his t-shirt and some pants, so he wasn’t in wrestling gear. He’s joining commentary for the next match.

(Commercial)

Big E was a guest on commentary on a couch with a plate of food and a foot massager. There was a clip from last week when Big E’s match with Shinsuke Nakamura ended early when Apollo Crews attacked Big E. That set up this week’s match.

Apollo Crews was interviewed by Kayla Braxton prior to his match. Crews said that Big E gave him great advice by telling Crews you can’t wait for opportunities, you have to go after them after yourself. Crews claimed that Big E hasn’t gotten to know him and that his ancestors are Nigerian royalty. Crews said that he is coming after what he deserves.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Apollo Crews

Crews was in control early on with a dropkick and then he kicked Nakamura out of the ring. They were near Big E’s couch area with Nakamura landing near Big E. Crews grabbed Nakamura and whipped Shinsuke into Big E, who got up to dare Crews to keep testing him. That led to a break one minute into the match.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Crews hitting a suplex for two. Nakamura came back with an enziguri kick and a jumping kick to the head. Nakamura with a kick to the chest along with a sliding German Suplex for two. Big E talked about how Crews’ time is done and we should be talking about Nakamura more. Crews came back with a spinebuster for a two count. Crews with a jumping enziguri kick, Nakamura came back with a takedown using the arm and hooking the legs of Crews for the pinfall win after six minutes.

Winner by pinfall: Shinsuke Nakamura

Analysis: **1/4 The work was fine, but it was a short match where we only saw about three minutes of it. Nakamura didn’t win in a decisive manner, so Crews was a bit protected with that finish. The main reason the match was kept short is because of the post match angle.

After the match, Crews hit Nakamura with a forearm to the back. Crews sent Nakamura to the floor and Crews whipped Nakamura into the barricade. Crews picked up the steel steps, but Big E got in his way and Big E told Crews to put down the steps and walk away. Crews reluctantly put the steps down, then Big E checked on Nakamura, so Crews hit Big E with the steel steps to the back. Crews with a clothesline on Nakamura over the barricade. Crews told Big E it’s not over until he says it’s over. Crews wondered if Big E would tell him to go back to catering again. Crews threw the steel steps into the ring as the referee tried to stop him, but he wasn’t very successful at doing that. Crews sent Big E into the ring with Big E selling the back injury. The referee stopped Crews from hitting Big E again, so Big E rolled to the floor. Crews put the steps down by dropping them onto Big E on the floor although we did not see the steps actually hit Big E. That was the idea, though. There was medical personnel that went down to ringside to check on Big E. That led to a break.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Apollo Crews: SmackDown, Feb. 19, 2021

Analysis: There’s the official heel turn for Crews, which wats teased for several weeks now. It’s the classic heel turn for a guy that was frustrated by his inability to win some recent matches, so he does the cheap attack to make himself feel better. Big E has beaten Crews multiple times and looked past him, so Crews felt like he was justified in his attacks. I think Crews will do well as a heel and I look forward to his development.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of what happened before the break.

Big E was shown getting taken out of the arena on a stretcher by medical personnel and referees. There’s the second stretcher job on WWE TV this week since Kyle O’Reilly on NXT left on a stretcher after that show.

Let’s Hear from Seth Rollins

Seth Rollins made his entrance while Big E was being wheeled to the backstage area. Rollins did a promo in a ridiculous suit talking about how what happened to Big E was a tragedy. Rollins said last week was a tragedy when his friends walked out on him.

Rollins called for a replay from last week. They aired the promo from last week as a reminder of what happened including Rollins attacking his buddy Cesaro.

Rollins said that was emotional trauma and he’s still suffering. Rollins said that it’s unacceptable at the workplace or anywhere, so he had to do something about it. Rollins said he filed a formal complaint with his lawyers saying that legal action is pending. Rollins said months and months went into planning his return to Smackdown. Rollins complained that it was ruined by a bunch of losers, cowards and they ruined it because they’re afraid. Rollins claimed they want to divide them because they know there are already millions of them out there that have already embraced a vision for a better tomorrow and a better Smackdown. Rollins said that they will win while adding that they are losers. Rollins claimed that the biggest loser is Cesaro because he took their moment, their homecoming and Cesaro made it about him. Rollins said that Cesaro stayed behind just to disrespect Rollins with Seth saying that Cesaro asked for what happened to him. Rollins claimed that will happen to anybody who stands in “our way.” Rollins said that we are strong, we are powerful, we are winners, he said thank you and goodnight. Rollins went backstage.

Analysis: The Rollins heel character is very over the top and this was no different. I thought Cesaro would show up to attack him as payback from last week, but there was no sign of him. It was a monologue from Rollins that went on a bit too long although I do enjoy his heel promos. I’m looking forward to Rollins vs. Cesaro as a PPV match whether it’s Fastlane or if they can also do it at WrestleMania as well. It will be great for Cesaro’s progress as a face.

Kevin Owens was shown backstage wearing a Bivens Enterprises shirt. Yeah, Malcolm Bivens! Watch NXT, my friends. Edge walked up to Owens saying that he appreciates that Kevin keeps getting back up. Owens said he knows can understand what Owens has been doing. Owens said that the last two months it’s been hell because he’s come close to winning the Universal Title three times, but Roman finds a way to get out of it. Owens said now he’s focused on winning Elimination Chamber so he can beat Reigns for the Universal Title. Edge wished Owens good luck and said it would be good to face him at WrestleMania. Owens agreed and said thanks as Edge left.

Analysis: Two good Canadian babyfaces showing respect. I like to see that.

Big E was shown on the stretcher with WWE Official Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville helping him get into the ambulance. I was expecting an Apollo Crews attack there, but no sign of him.

(Commercial)

The wrestlers were in the ring for a tag team match as the show returned from break.

Natalya and Tamina vs. Riott Squad (Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan)

Tamina overpowered Riott with a headbutt. Morgan with kicks, but Tamina smashed her elbow into the knee. Morgan went for a springboard attack, but Tamina knocked her down. Natalya tagged in and drove Morgan into the turnbuckle. Morgan countered a move into a forward roll for two. Riott tagged in for a double dropkick on Natalya. Riott with a running forearm, then punches, Morgan made the tag and the Riott Squad did a double team knee attack into an STO trip. Billie Kay showed up in attire to support Natalya and Tamina. Riott was distracted, so Natalya got a rollup for two. Tamina back in, Riott with a kick to the head, but then Tamina caught Riott and Tamina hit a swinging Bossman Slam style move for the pinfall win after three minutes.

Winners by pinfall: Natalya and Tamina

Analysis: *1/2 A decisive win for the heel team of Natalya and Tamina to show that they could be a dominant tag team. What WWE needs are more babyface women tag teams though, so I would like to see the Riott Squad booked better in the future.

Post match, Kay tried to celebrate with Natalya and Tamina. That was a bad idea because Tamina decked Kay with a superkick to end this.

Analysis: Poor Billie continues to be rejected by the women’s wrestlers on Smackdown week after week.

They showed a clip from the Daytona 500 on Sunday with Sasha Banks there to wave the green flag as the official race starter. It was on Fox just like Smackdown, so that’s why it happened. Banks said it was an honor to be there.

Edge was shown backstage looking at his phone when King Corbin showed up to talk to him. Corbin said that this feels like the main event of WrestleMania. Corbin claimed he was wearing a $10,000 suit and a $39,000 timepiece watch while telling Edge to bow down to the king. Edge showed his timepiece, which was the clock on his phone and Corbin left in disgust.

Analysis: Great move by Edge. I used to wear a watch all the time until I got a cell phone in the early 2000s and never felt the need to wear a watch again. Sorry, watch supporters. I was one of you for a while. Oh, and I don’t see Corbin in a WrestleMania main event. Sorry pal.

The set was being made for Bayley’s talk show at the top of hour two.

(Commercial)

Ding Dong Hello Hosted by Bayley

Bayley was in the ring hosting her talk show that had a door in the ring as part of the set since Bayley’s catchphrase is “Ding Dong, Hello.” Bayley introduced her guests Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax, who were already in the ring and walked through the door. Nia and Shayna are the Women’s Tag Team Champions.

Bayley thanked them for being a part of her show tonight. Jax said she hopes that Bayley isn’t mad that they took the titles off her. Bayley said that losing the titles with Sasha Banks let her find herself. Bayley claimed she might be taking Ellen’s job. Jax and Baszler ripped on Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. Jax said that Sasha is worse thinking she is the sexiest thing on television and Jax claimed she was (heels lie?). Jax said that she won’t take orders from “The Boss” Sasha Banks.

Reginald the sommelier showed up wearing a Carmella saying that he can’t let them slander the name of Sasha Banks. When Reginald got into the ring, Jax got in his face. Reginald said that if Banks chose to team with Bianca Belair against Jax and Baszler then the current champions would be former champions. Cole wondered what Reginald was doing since he’s the sommelier for Carmella.

Sasha Banks made her entrance as the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Bayley told Banks to use the door, but she did not just like Reginald did not use the door. Banks told Reginald he can’t speak for her. Banks said that this Smackdown Women’s Title means she makes the rules and that this women’s division revolves around her.

Bianca Belair also entered in her wrestling gear saying she is not anybody’s sidekick. Belair said that her winning the Royal Rumble means that she is the star of this women’s division. Banks didn’t like that. Belair said that people don’t revolve around her, they get beat by her. Reginald said that they are all on the same team and told Bianca/Sasha to fight with Jax/Baszler. Reginald suggested a match with him teaming with Sasha and Belair against Jax, Baszler and Bayley. Jax told a referee to get out there. That led to a break.

A “Ding Dong, Hello!” confrontation leads to an impromptu match: SmackDown, Feb. 19, 2021

Analysis: A WWE talk show leading to a match. It happens often. I find it strange that they keep involving Reginald in Sasha Banks segments, but I guess the bosses like putting Reginald on the show. After those two had a match, the idea was that Reginald respected Sasha. Bayley was pretty funny during this segment yelling at people to use the door to enter the ring. That was my favorite part of it.

(Commercial)

Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair and Reginald vs. Bayley, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler

Four of the six had wrestling gear on while Bayley was wrestling in socks and Reginald had dress shoes on. Belair with a shoulder tackle on Baszler, then Banks tagged in and hit a rising knee on Baszler while Belair held Shayna. Reginald jumped into the ring like a dumbass, Jax tagged in and attacked Banks to knock her down. Bayley beat up with kicks and punches. Baszler tagged in with a kneebar followed by Baszler driving the knee into the mat. Jax with a body slam on Banks. Jax charged, Banks moved and Banks kicked Baszler. Bayley pulled Belair off the apron. Banks with a jawbreaker on Jax and Reginald tagged in with Reginald stopping because he acted like he was afraid of Jax. They locked up in center ring with Jax shoving Reginald into the mat. Jax with a shoulder tackle on Reginald. Jax sent Reginald into the turnbuckle, then Reginald avoided a charge and then Jax ran over Reginald with a body attack. Reginald avoided a leg drop. Banks and Belair pulled Baszler off the apron to prevent a tag. Reginald jumped into Jax’s arms, Banks and Belair dropkicked Reginald onto Jax and Reginald covered Jax for the pinfall win after five minutes. Jax kicked out right after the pin, but it was too late.

Winners by pinfall: Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair and Reginald

Analysis: *3/4 That was a unique match. They don’t really like booking man on woman violence, so that’s why Reginald’s offense consisted of two women dropkicking him onto Jax for the pinfall win. It wasn’t that interesting to me, but I get wanting to do something different for a change. I assume we’ll get Banks vs. Belair at WrestleMania and it’s only a matter of time until they get here.

Cesaro was interviewed backstage by Kayla Braxton. Cesaro said he heard what Seth Rollins said earlier in the show. Cesaro said he was respecting Rollins and hoping for the new Seth to come back. Cesaro said he’s known Seth for years, he was hoping to see Seth come back and be a leader, but instead, he came back as the same smug, condescending SOB that he was before. Cesaro said he’ll get even with Rollins. Cesaro talked about how he’s excited about his six-man tag tonight, the Elimination Chamber and then going on to face Roman Reigns for the Universal Title. Edge showed up saying that Cesaro has that grit that Edge has been talking about. Cesaro said he’ll see Edge in the main event of WrestleMania for the Universal Title. Cesaro left.

Analysis: I think Edge and Cesaro could have a great match someday. It won’t be WrestleMania, but I hope it happens at some point.

Rey Mysterio entered with his son Dominik for a tag team match.

(Commercial)

The Smackdown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode were on commentary for this match. They were drinking out of red solo cups that The Street Profits tend to use.

Rey and Dominik Mysterio vs. Chad Gable and Otis

Gable with a waistlock takedown, Dominik came back with a suplex across the ring and a dropkick. Otis tagged in with a running shoulder tackle on Dominik. Rey tagged in with a senton splash onto Otis. Rey jumped into the arms of Otis, who caught Rey and did a front slam like Mark Henry. Otis with a splash. Gable in the ring instructing Otis and the referee Jessika Carr called for the DQ because Gable was in the ring too long. Otis hit a running splash on Rey. This went about two minutes.

Winners by disqualification: Rey and Dominik Mysterio

Analysis: 1/2* A bad finish that you don’t see in WWE often. A DQ for a guy not leaving the ring after five seconds is very rare. I thought they could have come up with something more creative here. Otis did look dominant at least, so that’s good for Otis.

Post match, Gable pulled Rey to the side and then Otis hit a splash off the middle ropes onto Rey. Gable was so proud of Otis, who celebrated his cheap attack. Cole said it was out of character for Chad and Otis as they replayed the huge splash from Otis. Gable was so happy about it.

Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio vs. Otis & Chad Gable: SmackDown, Feb. 19, 2021

Analysis: I guess this means it’s a heel turn for Otis and Gable? Sure. It was a few months ago when Tucker turned on Otis, then Tucker moved to Raw and neither guy did anything after that. Now Otis has turned heel (I guess) with Gable. There is a lack of long-term planning here.

Daniel Bryan was shown warming up with Edge showing up to say thanks to Bryan and Bryan asked for what. Edge said that Bryan fought for his comeback and that inspired Edge to come back as well. Bryan talked to Edge about how Bryan was going to win the Elimination Chamber, beat Roman Reigns and then he could face Edge at WrestleMania. Edge called it a dream match. Bryan said it would be long overdue.

Analysis: That would be a dream match. Maybe later in the year, they can do it because Edge vs. Reigns is likely the plan for WrestleMania. I think Edge and Bryan would have an incredible match whenever they do it.

(Commercial)

After the match, Rey Mysterio was helped to the back by his son Dominik.

Daniel Bryan and Cesaro were shown backstage talking about their match. Kevin Owens showed up wondering if they wanted to speak about their match. Bryan and Cesaro went over multiple times where Owens turned on tag team partners. Bryan had a good name saying “there’s a big name missing” while adding that “I should have made a list.” Owens said that last week he decided to strike first, but tonight they don’t have to worry about a Stunner. Owens said on Sunday, they might have to worry about a Stunner or two or three. Cesaro said at least he’s honest with Bryan wondering if Owens is really honest.

Analysis: Bryan’s list comment was in reference to…Chris Jericho. Well done by Bryan and whoever came up with that dialogue. That was pretty funny because that was a memorable turn by Owens.

Carmella was looking in a mirror. Reginald showed up with a glass of wine. Carmella got mad at him for being late with the wine. Carmella said that she wasn’t mad because she knows he will do the right thing. Carmella spit out the wine, poured it on Reginald and claimed it was disgusting. Carmella told Reginald to get her another classic.

This Sunday at Elimination Chamber, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are defending the Women’s Tag Team Titles against Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair. That’s because of what happened earlier in the show.

Analysis: That is the fifth match on the Elimination Chamber card as of now. It’s nice of WWE to remember to add another match to the show.

The heel trio of Sami Zayn, Jey Uso and King Corbin entered for the main event tag team match. Edge also entered to join commentary for the match.

(Commercial)

This week on Talking Smack with Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman, the guests are Apollo Crews, Jey Uso and Reginald.

The babyface team made their entrance with Daniel Bryan up first followed by Cesaro and Kevin Owens. These six men are in the Elimination Chamber match. The winner of that match faces Roman Reigns for the Universal Title that same night.

Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Kevin Owens vs. King Corbin, Jey Uso and Sami Zayn

Bryan started with Jey with punches, then Cesaro tagged in for a double team body slam and Corbin tagged in Zayn rather than face Cesaro. Cesaro held Zayn for Bryan to deliver a kick and uppercut. Zayn knocked down Bryan with knees to the ribs. Corbin worked over Bryan with knees and punches while Edge talked about how he fought his way back to get back to moments like this at WrestleMania. Cesaro tagged in with kicks against the heels. Cesaro with repeated uppercuts on Zayn that sent Zayn out of the ring. Zayn was tossed into the ring by his own partners leading to the Cesaro Swing on Zayn. Cesaro sent Zayn into the corner, Corbin got the tag and Cesaro tried doing the swing to Corbin and struggled a bit until they collapsed on the mat. That led to a break.

(Commercial)

The match returned with Cesaro doing a much better version of the Cesaro Swing on Corbin. Jey tagged in, Cesaro knocked down Corbin and Jey tossed Cesaro over the barricade into the chairs. Paul Heyman was also on commentary. Zayn drove his knees into the back of Cesaro against the ropes. Corbin with a belly-to-back suplex on Cesaro. Corbin whipped Cesaro into the turnbuckle. Jey tagged in, Cesaro hit an uppercut and then Jey whipped Cesaro into the corner for a sternum bump by Cesaro. Jey with a clothesline on Cesaro followed by punches. Corbin whipped Cesaro into the turnbuckle, Cesaro moved out of the way and Cesaro hit a corkscrew uppercut off the ropes. Bryan tagged in against Zayn with a dropkick on Jey on the apron and Sami was legal. Bryan with a running clothesline on Zayn followed by a running corner dropkick. Bryan with a hurricanrana off the ropes. Jey broke up the pin, Owens with a superkick on Jey. Owens with a cannonball on Jey on the floor. Zayn with a rollup on Bryan for two. Zayn with a Blue Thunder Bomb on Bryan for two as Cesaro broke up the pin. Corbin tossed Cesaro out of the ring. Zayn went up top, Bryan went after him and hit a double underhook suplex off the top. Bryan slapped on the Yes Lock on Zayn, who tapped out after 13 minutes.

Winners by submission: Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Kevin Owens

Analysis: ***1/4 A very good main event tag team match. Bryan picking up the win was nice to see because Bryan needed a win after losing several matches in recent weeks. It was interesting that Owens never tagged into the match. I figured he would be the one to get the hot tag leading to the win, but it was Bryan getting the last tag for the team and Bryan beat Zayn to get the win. Cesaro did well as the face in peril for most of the match. I didn’t think the heel side was going to win this match anyway, so it’s not a shock that Zayn got beat here.

Post match, Bryan was doing the “YES” chants and Corbin hit the End of Days slam on him. That set off a series of moves with Owens hitting a Stunner on Corbin, Zayn with an Exploder Suplex on Owens, Cesaro uppercut on Zayn, Jey superkick on Cesaro, Edge with a Spear on Jey and then Reigns with a Spear on Edge. Reigns stood tall with the Universal Title over a fallen Edge. Cole drove home the point that it’s Elimination Chamber on Sunday, then the Universal Title match and then we might learn who Edge is challenging at WrestleMania. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: Fun ending to the show with a lot of big moves. They’ve booked those kinds of endings for decades. It’s a nice tease for WrestleMania. We don’t know for sure if it’s Reigns vs. Edge, but that’s the plan as far as the reports go, so this was a nice way to set that up with Reigns dropping Edge with a Spear to end the night. I expect Reigns to retain at Elimination Chamber and maybe Edge gets his Spear payback at that point, which can lead to Edge announcing his WrestleMania intentions against Reigns. That works for me.

Bryan, Owens & Cesaro vs. Uso, Zayn & Corbin: SmackDown, Feb. 19, 2021

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Daniel Bryan
  2. Edge
  3. Apollo Crews

 

The Scoreboard

6.5 out of 10

Last week: 7

2021 Average: 7.03

 

Final Thoughts

This was just a solid episode of Smackdown, but there was nothing special about it. They put a lot of focus on the SD Elimination Chamber match with promos, backstage segments and a lengthy main event, so in terms of that match, they did build it well. Daniel Bryan made Sami Zayn submit in the main event and then that led to a lot of big moves by wrestlers with Roman Reigns standing tall over Edge to end the night. It’s a nice WrestleMania preview without officially telling us that’s the official WrestleMania match, but we could find out on Sunday. That final sequence with all the big moves after the main event was excellent, so they ended in a strong way

I thought the Apollo Crews heel turn was really well done. The way he attacked Big E and Shinsuke Nakamura was very cheap, but also effective in terms of making Crews look like a threat as a heel. I was less impressed with the heel turns of Otis and Chad Gable if that’s what they did against the Mysterios. I just thought that was booked weird with a poor match finish. The mixed tag match with Reginald pinning Nia Jax was an odd choice, but I guess they felt the need to do something different with that leading to a Women’s Tag Team Title match at the EC PPV on Sunday.

It wasn’t a strong episode of Smackdown in terms of matches, but some good story progression and a lot of talking throughout the show.

The next WWE pay-per-view is Elimination Chamber on Sunday, February 21. Here’s what we know so far.

WWE Championship Elimination Chamber Match: Drew McIntyre (c) vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus (#6)

Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match: Kevin Owens vs. Jey Uso vs. Sami Zayn vs. King Corbin vs. Cesaro vs. Daniel Bryan

Universal Championship Match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Smackdown Elimination Chamber Match Winner

United States Championship: Bobby Lashley (c) vs. Keith Lee vs. Riddle

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler (c) vs. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Raptors and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email [email protected]

Twitter @johnreport

Personal Facebook and TJRWrestling on Facebook