2/14 Barnett's WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review: Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, Cesaro, The Shield, and The Wyatt's are featured with one week remaining until Elimination Chamber
By Jake Barnett
WWE Smackdown on SyFy Live Review
Taped 2/11 in Ontario, California.
[Q1] The Show opened to the arena and Michael Cole plugged the main event between Cesaro and Randy Orton. Daniel Bryan's music hit and he headed to the ring to a great reaction. Christian and Sheamus then made their entrances, followed by The Shield for the first match of the night.
1. Daniel Bryan, Christian, and Sheamus vs. The Shield: Rollins and Christian started, and brawled a bit. Reigns tagged in and he and Christian traded offense until Sheamus tagged in. Reigns and Sheamus did a little stare down and Sheamus opened up with some strikes. After a bit of back and forth, Sheamus hit a forward roll slam. He then drove a knee into Reigns and covered for a two count. Reigns turned things around with a back elbow and ragged in Ambrose.
Sheamus quickly took over on Ambrose with a clothesline and tagged in Bryan. He came in hot and hit a bunch of his signature spots. He attempted to lock Ambrose in the Yes Lock, but both Shield members entered, and then Christian and Sheamus, and all six men had a standoff mid ring...[c]
The crowd rocked a big Yes chant as Bryan tagged out to Sheamus. He hit his clubs to the chest on Rollins and tried to climb to the tope. A brief distraction from Ambrose allowed Rollins to knock him down to the apron, where Reigns hit a running dropkick from the floor. Reigns grabbed Sheamus and tossed him into the barricade, and then back into the ring for Ambrose. Dean hit some strikes and then tagged Rollins back in, who continued the beat down.
[Q2] Reigns tagged in and the heels continued to cut off the ring and force Sheamus to deal with all three of them. He got in a hope spot or two, but otherwise Reigns dominated. He got cocky and talked smack to Christian, which allowed Sheamus to hit a uranage. Rollins tagged in and tried to prevent the hot tag, but missed a running senton, and Christian tagged in. He went to work on all three heels, knocking Rollins and Reigns off the apron, and then hit a tornado DDT on Ambrose for a broken pin.
Daniel Bryan entered to rescue Christian, and took all all three Shield Members. He took out Reigns with a suicide dive on the outside, and then ate one himself from Rollins. In the ring, Sheamus inadvertantly hit Christian with a Brogue Kick, and then Reigns hit him with a spear. Ambrose covered Christian for the clean pin.
The Shield defeated Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Christian at 16:38.
Backstage, Vickie Guerrero was on the phone, and was then interrupted by Zeb Colter, who asked to be her Valentine. She told him to cut the act, and he begged off. He said he has one Real American in a title match at Elimination Chamber, but he'd like one for Jack Swagger as well. Vickie said he doesn't deserve one, since he's on a losing streak. Zeb said he'd earn one if it would make her feel better. Vickie made a number one contenders match for the IC title. It's a fatal four way between Swagger, Mysterio, Kofi Kingston and Mark Henry...[c]
My Take: A very fun match to open the show. It's hard to go wrong with these Shield six man matches, and they made the best of the talent in the ring here. Daniel Bryan is way over, the crowd loved Sheamus, and really enjoyed his stare down with Roman Reings. Christian seemed to be the odd man out here, as he is in the chamber, because we've been given so few reasons to take him seriously.
Backstage, Cesaro was interviewed by Byron Saxton. He said he people think he has no shot to leave the Chamber with the championship, but when he beats Randy Orton tonight, he will prove to everyone that he is ready. After that, he will be excited. Cole and JBL mentioned the Hall of Fame being carried on the WWE Network, and then aired Lita's WWE HOF video package.
My Take: Huge bucket of win for Lita going into the Hall of Fame. She was an important part of getting a lot of acts and angles over, along with herself, in the Attitude Era and beyond.
[Q3] Mark Henry made his ring entrance for the number one contenders match, followed by Rey Mysterio...[c]
A video package aired for a kaboom.org charity event with Kofi Kingston. Kofi and Jack Swagger were now in the ring for their fatal four way match. Big E was on commentary.
2. Jack Swagger vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Mark Henry vs. Rey Mysterio: Kofi and Rey worked together to take down Mark Henry early and send him out to take a powder. Kofi and Rey hit the ropes and Kofi hit a back elbow for a two count. Rey rolled through a sunset flip attempt by Kofi and kicked him in the face. Swagger got in the match and tripped Rey as he hit the ropes. Kofi dove on Swagger on the outside, and then Rey jumped on Kofi.
All three men got up, and Mark Henry made like he was going to attempt a suicide dive, until Swagger entered the ring and hit a low tackle around his knees. He followed up with a Swagger bomb and Henry rolled to the outside again. Swagger and Rey then went back and forth until Rey reversed out of a suplex attempt and hit a face buster. Kofi Kingston broke up a pin attempt. Kofi then sent Rey into the ring post and went to work on Swagger.
He hit a boom drop on Swagger and fired up the crowd. Kofi avoided a distraction by Mysterio, but Swagger met him up on the top rope. Henry then approached Swagger from underneath and grabbed him for a powerbomb. Henry then hit a big clothesline on Kofi, but got hit with a chop block by Swagger. Jack then applied the patriot lock, but couldn't get the submission. Rey hit 619 on Henry's gut, and then Kofi hit Trouble in Paradise to put the big man down. He rolled to the outside again.
Swagger, Rey and Kofi did a double german spot with Swagger as the anchor. Swagger tossed Kofi from the ring, but Rey tripped him onto the second rope for 619. Kofi jumped back into the ring and hit Trouble in Paradise on Rey. He then used both feet to shove Mark Henry into the announce table at ringside. As Kofi tried to skin the cat, Swagger grabbed him for the patriot lock. After a struggle, he tapped out to give Swagger the win.
Jack Swagger defeated Mark Henry, Kofi Kingston and Rey Mysterio at 8:26.
[Q4] After the match, Cole and JBL plugged a Raw is Betty video package for next...[c]
My Take: A well wrestled match from all four men, and I like the fact that they had a nice long match on television to establish an Intercontinental Championship Match. It doesn't mean much yet, but I could see a nice feud between Big E and Swagger develop if they give them a little creative effort and time on TV.
A video package aired that showcased Betty White's night on Raw. It focused heavily on the attempted prank on Betty White by the New Age Outlaws, which backfired. Bad News Barrett's music hit, and he rose form the stage on a gigantic podium with his hashtag on it. Barrett asked for decorum and said tha today is the day we Americans celebrate Valentine's day. American Women are going to gorge themselves on chocolate and candy and gain several pounds overnight, and when they wake up tomorrow they will be ashamed of what they see.
Cody Rhodes and Goldust made their entrance for an eight man tag for next...[c]
Rybaxel made their ring entrance. Footage was shown of the Uso Brothers beating Rybaxel on Raw.
[Q5] 3. The Usos and The Rhodes Brothers vs. Rybaxel and The New Age Outlaws: Goldust and Billy Gunn started, and I had a High School flash back. They went back and forth and Road Dogg and Cody tagged in quickly. They went back and forth as well, with Rhodes finally slowing down the pace with a clothesline. Jimmy Uso tagged in, and the Uso Brothers hit some double team offense. Jey remained in the ring, but couldn't keep Road Dogg down. He hit a kick to the gut and tagged in Curtis Axel.
Axel took control of the pace and stomped and used arm holds to keep Jey on the mat. Ryback tagged in, and they continued to isolate Jey in their half of the ring. He hit a back elbow and a big press slam, and then backed Jey into the heel corner...[c]
Jey was still trapped on the wrong side of the ring as Billy Gunn took his turn with punches and stomps in the corner. Billy missed a splash in the corner and both men crawled for tags. Jimmy hit a superkick on Ryback to knock him off the apron, and sent Axel to the floor with an elbow. He hit a Bubba Bomb on both Road Dogg and Billy Gunn, and then hit a butt splash on both in the corners. The match broke down after Axel broke up the pin. Everybody ended up on the outside after a series of splashes from the apron, and Jimmy Uso pinned Road Dogg with a splash from the top.
The Usos and The Rhodes Brothers defeated Rybaxel and the New Age Outlaws at 11:37.
Backstage, Renee Young interviewed Randy Orton. He said the Authority has always had his back, and he now realizes these challenges were to make him a stronger Champion, and not weaken him before the Elimination Chamber. He said Cesaro think he can beat him tonight, but he's not going to get Randy Orton, he's going to get the Viper, so his statement has no merit.
My Take: Another fun match that showcased The Uso Brothers. It seems like this might have been better served happening two weeks ago when they needed to begin selling Elimination Chamber. Even if they make these matches on Monday, I'm not sure what it adds to the show.
[Q6] Darren Young and Damien Sandow were in the ring. Titus O'Neil was on commentary. Footage was shown of the Prime Time Players break down from a couple of weeks ago.
4. Damien Sandow vs. Darren Young: Young hit an atomic drop early and sent Sandow to the outside. Young talked trash to Titus and Sandow took advantage and tossed him into the barricade. Young reversed a hip toss attempt into a pin and go the surprise win over Sandow.
Darren Young defeated Damien Sandow at 1:08.
Post-match, Young and O'Neil brawled, and Titus's clothes got ripped to shreds. He got hot and tossed the ring steps around and was held back by a referee. He eventually walked to the back as Young celebrated. Following the match, a WWE Network tutorial video was shown with the Bella Twins. Cole explained some more after the video about pricing and where to sign up. Fandango made his ring entrance...[c]
My Take: WWE has done a horse shit job of explaining that the WWE Network is internet based and will not be compatible with Cable and Satellite Networks. This is one area where it is safe to never overestimate the intelligence of consumers. There are a lot of people from older generations who watch WWE Programming who will abandon the idea of ordering the network if they feel it's too much of a hassle to watch.
[Q7] The Miz was at ringside for the next match.
5. The Miz vs. Fandango: Fandango turned Miz inside out with a clothesline early. They traded offense back and forth without anyone in particular taking control. Fandango hit a nice dropkick, but Miz flipped out of a suplex attempt and fired up with a few clotheslines. Miz hit the reality check, but couldn't follow up with either a figure for or a skull crushing finale. Emma and Santino entered, and Summer confronted them at the ramp. They shoved each other and Emma took her down. The distraction allowed Miz to hit the skull crushing finale for the victory.
The Miz defeated Fandango at 3:04.
After the match, a video package for Black History Month was shown that focused on wrestling legend Bobo Brazil. After the video package, Cesaro made his ring entrance. Video was shown of Triple H's interview with Michael Cole on Wednesday that put Cesaro over as the dark horse in the Elimination Chamber match...[c]
My Take: Poor Emma. She deserves better than to be saddled immediately as a comedy act. She's too talented in the ring for that.
[Q8] Randy Orton made his ring entrance after the break for the main event.
6. Randy Orton vs. Cesaro: Cesaro went for a quick pin, but Orton kicked out and rolled to the outside to regroup. Orton then tried for a pin of his own, but escaped to ring side before Cesaro could get his hands on him. Cesaro took Orton down, and used his leverage to turn Orton into position for a pin. He held on to a gut wrench, and picked Orton up for a suplex. Cesaro hit a strong european uppercut in the corner, and Orton rolled to the outside. Orton took over on the outside, and tossed Cesaro into the barricade twice and then hit a clothesline...[c]
Orton back suplexed Cesaro onto the barricade, and then tossed him into the announce table. Orton tossed Cesaro into the ring and covered for a near fall. Orton and Cesaro traded European uppercuts mid ring, and then Orton clotheslined Cesaro to the outside. Ceasro fired back on the outside with a huge clothesline to get himself back in the match. Orton went for a rope DDT, but he reversed into a Cesaro Swing attempt. Orton wriggled free, but Cesaro got it a second later for sixteen revolutions.
Orton had rubber legs, and Antonio Cesaro went for the Neutralizer. Orton countered out and hit a Powerslam on Cesaro as he came off the ropes. Orton then hit a hung DDT, and looked at the WrestleMania sign. He then pointed to the sign, which is generally a harbinger of bad news. Orton then fired up for an RKO, but Cesaro countered with an uppercut. He then hit a vaulted European uppercut for a 2 9/10ths near fall. Orton hit a head butt to the chest when Cesaro tried to pull him to his feet, and covered for a near fall of his own. Orton bounced Cesaro off the ring post form the apron, and then went for a superplex. Cesaro countered with a sunset flip powerbomb, and then hit a discus european uppercut, and finally a Neutralizer for the clean pin on Orton.
Cesaro defeated Randy Orton at 13:14.
My Take: Huge win for Cesaro and a fantastic performance all around from both men in the main event. Orton sold big time for Cesaro and made his offense look fantastic. Orton continues to look weak heading into next week, which gives WWE a lot of booking possibilities for Elimination Chamber. Overall, this was an action heavy show that did quite a bit to build both the main event and undercard programs. Hopefully this continues on both Raw and Smackdown next week, as WWE has a lot of work to do in order to sell Elimination Chamber.
Do you have questions, comments or concerns? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @barnettjake.
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