2/12 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell’s review of Roman Reigns’ announcement regarding the WWE Universal Championship, the return of Seth Rollins, Elimination Chamber developments

By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,121)
Tampa, Florida at Tropicana Field
Aired live on February 12, 2021 on Fox

[Hour One] Michael Cole welcomed viewers to the show and was joined on commentary by Corey Graves… WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns headed to the ring along with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso. Footage aired of Edge stating on Raw that he would wait to announce his WrestleMania decision until after the Elimination Chamber.

“WWE Official” Adam Pearce stood in the ring and was eventually joined by Reigns and his crew. WWE piped in “you suck” chants. Reigns took issue with Pearce standing in a corner of the ring and called for him to meet him in the middle. Reigns said Pearce has no authority over him and is simply there to wait on him.

Reigns said he doesn’t wait on Pearce nor Edge. Reigns claimed that Edge looked him in the eye last week and got scared because he knows what he would do to him. Reigns said he would beat Edge down so bad that the company would have to put him on a legends contract. Reigns said he would hold the championship as long as he wants to.

Pearce announced that Reigns will defend the WWE Universal Championship inside the Elimination Chamber, just as Reigns wanted. Reigns handed the mic to Heyman, who said that Reigns’ contract says he has to be at big events such as the Elimination Chamber, but it doesn’t say that he has to defend the title inside the Chamber.

Heyman called for an Elimination Chamber match with the winner getting an immediate shot at Reigns. Pearce was unhappy. Heyman asked what he was going to do about it. Heyman said Reigns didn’t appear at last year’s WrestleMania and it was the lowest rated WrestleMania.

Pearce said he had some work to do and there would be qualifying matches. He said there were two wrestlers who earned spots in the match without qualifying. Pearce said the first man took Reigns to the limit, then announced it was Uso. Pearce left the ring and said that the second man who didn’t need to qualify was Kevin Owens.

Reigns left the ring and went face to face with Pearce at ringside. Heyman followed and tried to talk down Reigns. Roman eventually backed off while his entrance music played…

The broadcast team hyped the Elimination Chamber match. They also hyped the return of “The Architect” Seth Rollins… [C]

Powell’s POV: The usual good opening segment along with the hooks of qualifying matches for the Chamber match. With Edge stating that he will wait until after the Chamber event, it seems likely that WWE will wait until Fastlane to establish the challenger who will challenge the champion that Edge doesn’t choose to face at WrestleMania.

Cole hyped Sasha Banks serving as the honorary starter for Sunday’s Daytona 500 race…

Backstage, Sonya Deville praised Pearce for standing up to Reigns. Deville suggested a tag team qualifier with Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. King Corbin and Sami Zayn with the winning team both qualifying for the Chamber match…

1. Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio vs. King Corbin and Sami Zayn in an Elimination Chamber qualifying match. Before the match, Zayn cut a promo while his documentary crew followed. He complained about having to qualify for the Elimination Chamber match, and said WWE officials would love to have the Mysterios win. The Mysterios jumped out to a quick start heading into an early break. [C]

Cole credited Triple H with inventing the Elimination Chamber and said it was presented by Eric Bischoff in 2002. The Mysterios hit a double 619 on Corbin, then Rey cleared him to the floor. Dom charged Zayn, who performed an exploder suplex. Zayn followed up with a Helluva Kick and scored the pin…

King Corbin and Sami Zayn defeated Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio in 7:30 to qualify for the Elimination Chamber match.

Powell’s POV: The broadcast team emphasized that Corbin and Zayn are both in the Chamber match along with the previously announced Kevin Owens and Jey Uso. So there are two spots left to fill.

Pearce and Deville were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor when Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler entered the room. They tried to play up the idea of how excited everyone would be if the Smackdown Tag Team Champions were in the Elimination Chamber match. Pearce and Deville booked them in a qualifying match against Daniel Bryan and Cesaro for later in the show…

Intercontinental Champion Big E made his entrance… [C] Footage aired of last week’s segment involving Bianca Belair, Sasha Banks, and Carmella…

Reginald was shown walking backstage with a glass of champagne on a tray when he encountered Sasha Banks and Kalisto. Banks said Reginald should show her respect. Reginald said he was sorry for what he did and it would never happen again. Banks was flirty as she asked if he was telling the truth when he said she could beat Belair. He said there was no doubt in his mind. Banks took the champagne glass and drank. Reginald turned and smiled…

A sponsored recap aired of Big E beating Apollo Crews and Sami Zayn in a Triple Threat to retain the Intercontinental Title last week…

Big E stood in the ring said he was still standing, much like Tom Brady on a celebratory boat parade. “Tom was wobbly, he was,” E said. He recalled vowing to be a fighting champion. E started to say that he was putting Crews and Zayn behind him, but he was interrupted.

Apollo Crews walked out with a mic in hand. He said he could read E and knew that he was going to issue an open challenge. Crews said he takes E to the limit every time, and he accepts his challenge. E said he was going to offer an open challenge to anyone but Crews. Crews said E is supposed to be a fighting champion who takes on all challengers.

Big E and Crews spoke face to face and the camera picked up their conversation. Crews said he wouldn’t shut up as long as E had the title. E said they were finished, then raised his mic and called for his next challenger. Shinsuke Nakamura made his entrance… [C]

2. Big E vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship. The match was joined in progress and Apollo Crews watched from ringside. Nakamura went for a Kinshasa, but E beat him to the punch with a uranage slam for a near fall. Big E went for the Big Ending, but Nakamura slipped away. Crews dropkicked Big E for the DQ finish…

Big E beat Shinsuke Nakamura by apparent DQ in 3:15 of television time in an Intercontinental Championship match.

Powell’s POV: This should lead to Crews having issues with Big E and Nakamura, as it also cost Nakamura his shot at the title. I’m enjoying the slow Crews turn.

Another Seth Rollins video package aired… A large number of wrestlers headed to the ring while Cole hyped Rollins as coming up next… An MLK video aired for Black History Month… [C]

Seth Rollins made his entrance to his “Burn It Down” entrance music and received pyro. Rollins walked out wearing in a leather suit and headed to the ring, which was surrounded by most of the Smackdown wrestlers. WWE piped in cheering fans to give Rollins a babyface reaction.

Rollins said it felt good to be back in the ring and said it’s where he belongs. Rollins said a lot has changed since he sacrificed himself at Survivor Series. Rollins said the thing that has changed the most is him. Rollins said he recently became a parent for the first time. “I am the proud father of a beautiful, perfect baby girl,” he said.

Rollins said his daughter has changed his life in ways he never could have dreamed of and it’s given him a new vision. Rollins said that he was surrounded by some of the most amazing performers in the industry. He questioned where he fit in. Rollins said that after a lot of self-reflection, he realized that he is the great leader that Smackdown needs to make it even greater than it already is. The wrestlers walked out on Rollins.

[Hour Two] Rollins said he can be the mentor. “All you have to do for a better tomorrow, for a better Smackdown, all you have to do is embrace the vision,” Rollins said with a smile. Production piped in boos. Cesaro was the last man standing at ringside. Rollins pointed to him and said he knew that Cesaro would understand his vision. Cesaro indicated that Rollins was wrong, then walked out on him.

Rollins left the ring and clipped the knee of Cesaro near the bottom of the entrance ramp. Rollins beat on Cesaro while yelling that he would never live up to his potential without him. Several referees tried to intervene. Daniel Bryan ran out and hit Rollins, who scurried away and then stared at Cesaro and Bryan from a distance…

Powell’s POV: I enjoyed the Rollins’ segment. The Messiah act was cold when he took time away. It seems like what he’s doing now is similar, but having fresh opponents in Cesaro and Bryan can only help.

An Elimination Chamber video package aired… Bayley made her entrance for a match against Liv Morgan… [C] Cole hyped the Daytona 500 for Fox… Riott Squad made their entrance…

3. Bayley vs. Liv Morgan (w/Ruby Riott). Footage aired of Bayley beating Riott last week and Billie Kay’s interference supposedly backfiring. Natalya and Tamina were shown watching the match on a backstage monitor. Bayley went to ringside. Morgan tried to leap from the ring steps onto her, but Bayley moved and Morgan crashed hard into the barricade.

Morgan performed a Codebreaker for a good near fall. Billie Kay came out with her headshots and annoyed Riott, who took some of her headshots and tossed them. Some of the headshots ended up in the ring. As the referee cleared the headshots, Bayley raked the eyes of Morgan, then performed her finisher and scored the pin.

Bayley beat Liv Morgan in 3:45.

After the match, Cole blamed Kay for Morgan losing. Graves claimed she was trying to apologize. Bayley smiled at Kay and then celebrated her win…

Powell’s POV: More of the same with Kay, who actually has a defense in this case, as it’s not her character’s fault that Riott threw the headshots into the ring.

Backstage, Kayla Braxton spoke with Cesaro and Bryan. Cesaro said he would be able to compete in the tag team qualifier. Bryan said they were two world class competitors who were bound by respect…

Cole hyped Banks serving as the honorary starter of the Daytona 500, then set up footage of “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins hanging out at the Daytona 500 earlier in the week. They gave driver Chase Elliot a WWE Title belt, and he gave them a helmet in return…

Ford and Dawkins made their entrance while a pre-taped promo aired. They still want the smoke… [C] Cole congratulated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for winning the Super Bowl. They showed Antoine Winfield Jr. (Gophers!) celebrating with the WWE Championship belt… Otis and Chad Gable made their entrance while pre-taped footage aired of Otis training. Gable turned a smoke machine on him while asking him to show how bad he wants the smoke…

4. “The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins vs. Chad Gable and Otis. Cole said the Profits love to have fun and entertain, but they are all business inside the ring. Gable performed a Caterpillar on Dawkins and then tagged in Gable. Otis ran the ropes, but Ford held the top rope down, causing Otis to tumble to ringside. Ford tagged in. Dawkins powerbombed Gable, then Ford hit his top rope frogsplash and scored the pin.

“The Street Profits” Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins beat Chad Gable and Otis in 4:50.

As the Profits were celebrating on the stage, Sasha Banks made her entrance. The Profits danced to her entrance theme and ended up dancing with her for a moment before heading backstage while Banks headed to the ring… [C]

Powell’s POV: Smackdown sure seems to be light on heel tag teams at the moment. I assume that Jimmy Uso will rejoin his brother once he’s healthy, so that will help. Meanwhile, will the Bianca Belair character will be upset with Banks for dancing with her husband Ford?

Sami Zayn and Sasha Banks were advertised as the guests for Saturday’s Talking Smack…

Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks stood in the ring. She said everyone is talking about Bianca Belair and her decision because we are on the road to WrestleMania. Banks said she likes Belair a lot, and said she’s like a big little sister. She said there’s only one choice for the EST and it’s her.

Bianca Belair made her entrance and told Banks, “I see you.” Belair entered the ring and said she likes Banks too, but she’s not the boss of her. Banks smiled. Belair said it’s her time and she’s enjoying every second of it. Belair said everyone is thinking about her WrestleMania decision.

WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler made their entrance. Jax said that it’s amazing that Banks and Belair fit in the same ring together given the size of their egos. Baszler boasted that they became two-time champions at the Rumble and asked why no one is talking about that. Jax said they are on a roll.

Banks said she heard rumors that Jax and Baszler were going to show up. She had footage played of Baszler being pinned by Naomi. Banks said that wasn’t the footage she was talking about. Jax said she wouldn’t dare. Belair called for the production team to roll it. Footage aired of the “my hole” spot in Jax’s match against Lana.

Jax attacked Belair. Banks worked over Baszler while Jax went after Belair. Banks and Belair ended up tripping Jax, causing her to fall on her ass. They also performed a double team move on Baszler…

Daniel Bryan and Cesaro were shown talking backstage… Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler made their entrance to their wonderful new entrance theme… An ad for Raw listed Drew McIntyre vs. Sheamus vs. Randy Orton vs. AJ Styles vs. Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz in a gauntlet match, and Miz TV with McIntyre… [C]

Powells POV: No friction over Banks dancing with Ford. Rather, it looks like they will be going with Banks and Belair challenging Jax and Baszler. We all know how much WWE loves quarreling singles wrestlers as tag team champions before they meet in a singles match, so I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a title change. Either way, the fact that I’m thinking there could be a title change makes the finals of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament feel less predictable. I didn’t think WWE would go with a heel vs. heel match, but if they are going with a title change then it’s possible that Dakota Kai and Raquel Gonzalez could beat Ember Moon and Shotzi Blackheart to win the tournament and the title shot at Sunday’s Takeover.

5. Smackdown Tag Champions Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler vs. Daniel Bryan and Cesaro in a non-title Elimination Chamber qualifying match. The entrances for Bryan and Cesaro were televised coming out of the break. The heel duo ran Bryan and Cesaro into the ring steps. King Corbin and Sami Zayn walked onto the stage. [C]

Corbin and Zayn were at ringside coming out of the break. Bryan was isolated by the heels. Cesaro took a hot tag and Cole praised him as being one of the most underrated sports entertainers, and added that he has a motor that doesn’t quit. In the end, Cesaro performed the Swing on Ziggler, then put him in the Sharpshooter and got the submission win…

Daniel Bryan and Cesaro beat Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler in 11:15 in a non-title Elimination Chamber qualifying match.

After the match, Jey Uso hit Cesaro with a chair from behind. Corbin and Zayn attacked Bryan at ringside, then attacked Uso. Zayn turned on Corbin and ran him through the ropes and into the post. Bryan hit Zayn with a flying knee. Kevin Owens’ entrance music played and he came out and delivered Stunners to Corbin, Bryan, Cesaro and Uso.

Reigns and Heyman were shown watching on a television backstage. Owens set up a chair and sat down in the ring. Owens looked into the camera and told Reigns that he’s coming for him. “I’ll see you real soon,” Owens said to close the show…

Powell’s POV: A good tag team main event with a post match angle designed to get over the “every man for himself” approach in the Elimination Chamber match. I’m not big on tag team qualifiers for a singles match, but I still enjoyed Smackdown. I will have more to say in my weekly same night audio review for Dot Net Members coming up shortly. Let me know what you thought of the show by giving it a letter grade below. Join John Moore on Sunday night for his live review of NXT Takeover Vengeance Day.

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