WWE Friday Night Smackdown results (2/23): Barnett’s review of LA Knight vs. Drew McIntyre, AOP vs. Street Profits, Bron Breakker’s debut, the final push for Elimination Chamber


By Jake Barnett, ProWrestling.net Co-Senior Staffer (@barnettjake)

WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Episode 1,279)
Taped February 16, 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah at Delta Center
Aired February 23, 2024 on Fox

“Earlier Today” Drew McIntyre, LA Knight, Liv Morgan, and Tiffany Stratton were shown walking backstage. Corey Graves and Wade Barrett joined the show on commentary, and Bianca Belair made her entrance in the arena. She was in street clothes for a promo. A video package aired that highlighted the women involved in Saturday’s Elimination Chamber match. Scratch that, Bianca walked down to join in on commentary. Liv Morgan made her ring entrance for the first match of the night. She was followed by Tiffany Stratton. 

1. Liv Morgan vs. Tiffany Stratton: Liv landed a punch, and Tiffany immediately escaped to ringside to regroup. She then attempted to leave, but Liv chased her down and threw her into the ring barricade and the steps. Back in the ring, Tiffany attempted a rollup, but Liv took back over with a backstabber. Tiffany got a boot up as Liv charged into the corner. She followed up with a running double stomp and covered for a two count. Tiffany then tossed Liv across the ring with a hip toss and then hit a lariat. Liv reversed a move and rolled up Tiffany with a crucifix pin for a two count. Tiffany rolled out to the floor…[c]

As the show returned, Tiffany was in control. Liv started a comeback with a couple of running shoulder blocks and some kicks. Bianca has been sitting at the commentary table but does not have a headset and hasn’t said a word. Liv landed a second rope diving codebreaker for a close near fall. Tiffany attempted a Prettiest Moonsault Ever after going back on offense, but Liv escaped. She was able to land a cartwheel Alabama Slam for a close near fall. Tiffany then dragged Liv back to the corner and attempted another Moonsault, but Liv popped up and landed an awkward powerbomb out of the corner for a near fall. 

Things spilled to the outside and Tiffany attacked Bianca to provoke her. It worked, as Bianca got involved and Tiffany sent Liv into her on the apron. She then rolled up Liv for the victory. 

Tiffany Stratton defeated Liv Morgan at 11:57

After the match, Tiffany gloated while Liv and Bianca stewed. Backstage, Drew McIntyre was interviewed and said he was at a critical point in his career. The World Title needed him and he needed the World Title, and if he didn’t win at the Chamber and at WrestleMania, it was all as worthless as CM Punk’s return to WWE. Bobby Lashley walked up and chuckled, and said he’s been laughing at all of Drew’s mockery of CM Punk. It’s almost as funny as WrestleMania 37 when he passed out in the Hurt Lock. Bobby then walked away laughing as Drew looked irritated…[c]

My Take: A solid match from Liv and Tiffany other than the corner powerbomb spot. It looked like Tiffany just didn’t release from the ropes and the timing got wonky. Bobby needling Drew was good. He really needs to be a heel and he’s positioned oddly right now. 

A video package aired for Cedric Alexander and Ashante “Thee” Adonis. Ashante wanted Cedric to dress sharper, but he kept coming out in outfits he hated. “Hours later” they were still arguing, until Cedric walked out in leather pants and a vest. Cedric thought he looked like Will.I.Am, but Ashante said he looked like money. They finally left to go out. After that video, Corey Graves introduced a recap video for last week’s segment with The Rock and The Bloodline that closed Smackdown, along with the Bloodline interference in the Cody vs. Drew match from Monday’s Raw. It also went on to cover Jimmy Uso costing his brother the Intercontinental Championship. 

Backstage, Roman Reigns was backstage with Solo and Jimmy about Monday’s Raw. Jimmy bragged about Bloodline chaos from Raw, and asked Jimmy who called the play to send him to Raw. He stooged on Paul Heyman, and Roman laughed before he revealed that he had called the play and that Jimmy had run it to perfection. Jimmy was happy when Paul Heyman walked up. He told Roman that Grayson Waller was there to see him. Roman told Heyman to bring him in…[c]

My Take: Lots of videos tonight, which is normal for a taped show.

Bron Breakker made his ring entrance for his debut Smackdown match. His opponent (victim) Dante Chen was already in the ring. 

2. Bron Breakker vs. Dante Chen: Bron grabbed a single leg and slammed Chen. He then fired up and landed a shoulder block and a huge Steinerline lariat. Chen attempted a springboard move, but was cut down with a spear. Bron backed up and cut Chen in half with another spear for the win. 

Bron Breakker defeated Dante Chen at 1:19

Bron celebrated his victory on the ropes. Backstage, Judgement Day was interviewed by Kayla Braxton. Finn Balor said Dunne and Bate didn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell against them. Priest said after JD and Dominik do their work tonight, all they’d have to do is pick the bones. JD and Dominik then made their ring entrance. They will face Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne up next…[c]

My Take: Bron has big things ahead of him. It’ll be interesting to see what they do with him at WrestleMania.

Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro were discussing taking out Legado when they were approached by Elektra Lopez. She said the LWO was basically dead and their friend Rey Mysterio isn’t around to lead them anywhere. Elektra told them to make better choices with their loyalty next time, if they get a next time. She walked away and they were attacked from behind by Angel and Humberto. Santos Escobar then told him that they had betrayed him and abandoned him and this was now the price that had to be paid. LDF was ran off by Carlito, Zelina, and some WWE officials. 

In the arena, Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate made their entrance. 

3. Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne vs. JD McDonagh and Dominik Mysterio: JD and Tyler started the match. Bate got the early advantage with head scissors takedown that sent JD to the outside. Dunne and Bate then landed the double team maneuvers and Bate covered for a two count. JD pulled the hair to get back into the match and then tagged in Dominik. He landed a slingshot senton and covered for a two count. JD and Dominik worked a double team, but Bate quickly escaped and tagged in Dunne. 

He quickly entered the match and started twisting at the fingers and limbs of Dominik Mysterio. Bate tagged in, and was quickly dumped to the floor by a low bridge from McDonagh. Dominik then knocked Dunne off the apron. JD then landed a soccer kick on Bate from the apron…[c]

JD and Dominik continued the double team beating on Bate in the corner. Bate turned the momentum with a vertical suplex. He then made a tag to Dunne. JD then entered and immediately ate an enziguri. Dunne then stomped on his fingers and kicked him in the side of the head. He then delivered a release vertical suplex and made a tag to Bate. They went for a double team suplex, but Dom made the save. Bate gave Dom an airplane spin and dumped him from the ring. JD attempted a roll up on Bate, but ended up in an airplane spin himself. 

Dunne then tagged in and then landed Top Bins. They then landed a German Suplex and Lariat combo, but Dominik broke up the fail. McDonagh managed to land a standing spanish fly on Dunne for a two count. He then went for a Moonsault, but Dunne got the knees up. Things broke down and Mysterio ended up landing a 619 on Dunne. Bate managed to knock Dom from the apron. Dunne made a tag and they landed a Double Tyler Driver on McDonagh and got the win. 

Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne defeated JD McDonagh and Dominik Mysterio at 14:18

After the match, Priest and Balor ran into the ring, but Bate and Dunne ducked them and took out McDonagh and Mysterio on the ramp one more time before escaping. A men’s Elimination Chamber Match preview video package aired after the match. Backstage, Kevin Owens walked up to Logan Paul, Grayson Waller, and Austin Theory and ripped on them. He told Paul he hopes he can use the brass knucks on him in Australia, or better yet he hopes he gets arrested for trying to smuggle them into the country. After he walked away, the three men questioned why they hadn’t jumped him. Paul Heyman walked up and told Grayson Waller and Roman Reigns wanted to see him right now.

In the arena, The Street Profits made their entrance with B-Fab and Bobby Lashley. They will face AOP up next…[c]

My Take: A fairly paint by numbers match between the tag teams. Dunne and Bate have good in-ring chemistry, but they are still struggling to win over the live crowds in a big way. The audio is heavily doctored tonight so you can’t trust and of the TV audio for reactions.

Backstage, Dakota Kai was limping backstage and was assisted into the trainer’s room by WWE officials. AOP made their ring entrance with the rest of Final Testament. 

4. Akam and Rezar “Authors of Pain” (w/Final Testament) vs. Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins “The Street Profits” (w/Bobby Lashley and B-Fab): Ford started the match against Akam. Ford landed some dropkicks but quickly got stuffed and shut down. Rezar tagged in and continued the abuse. He scrambled for a tag and Dawkins entered with a dropkick of his own. Rezar still didn’t leave his feet, so they had to improvise with a double team shoulder block. Dawkins suplexed Ford into Rezar, who had to scramble and make a tag to Akam. Dawkins dumped both men to the floor, and then landed a flip dive over the top rope onto both AOP members…[c]

AOP was in charge as the show returned and had cut off Montez Ford in their corner. He started a comeback and knocked Rezar off the apron. Dawkins hot tagged into the match and landed some strikes and a twisting neckbreaker for a two count. Akam fired back with a big boot and made a tag to Rezar. They landed a lariat and russian leg sweep combo, but Ford broke up the pinfall. Akam tagged back in and they set up for a double team powerbomb, but Dawkins escaped. He and ford landed a Super Blockbuster aon Akam, but Rezar broke up the pinfall. 

Ford and Akam remained in the ring. After ducking a lariat, Ford landed a kick to the head. He climbed up top but distractions led to Kross knocking Ford off the ropes. A brawl broke out on the floor, and Kross launched the elbow of Lashley into the ringpost and then hit the elbow with a chair. AOP then landed their Neckbreaker and Powerbomb combo on Ford and got the win. 

AOP defeated The Street Profits at 11:31

After the match, some replays of the final minutes aired and the Final Testament celebrated on the stage. Backstage, Dakota Kai was having her knee checked out. Bayley walked into the room and asked to speak to her. Dakota told Bayley that Damage Ctrl attacked her in the locker room. Bayley said she should have known this would happen, and that they wouldn’t get away with it. Dakota said she would earn back her trust, and they would make them pay. 

My Take: Bayley losing her skepticism and getting stabbed in the back feels a little predictable, but it might not be a bad thing if it’s executed well. Final Testament vs The Hurt Profits is the feud to nowhere. I don’t see how anyone is benefitting from this at the moment.

Video of the Elimination Chamber Press Event was shown. Backstage, Grayson Waller entered The Bloodline locker room. Roman told him he wanted to tell him something, but it’s for his ears only. The camera cut away before Roman could speak again. Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes on the Grayson Waller Experience was advertised for Elimination Chamber, along with the rest of the known card. 

In the arena, LA Knight made his entrance for the main event. He was followed by Drew McIntyre…[c]

Carlito vs. Santos Escobar in a street fight was advertised for Smackdown next week. Bobby Lashley was shown backstage getting ice on his elbow. Drew McIntyre walked up and told Bobby he would pray for him. Drew McIntyre then made his entrance for the main event. Before the match could begin, Logan Paul made his entrance to sit in on commentary. 

5. Drew McIntyre vs. LA Knight: Drew pushed around Knight early on with his power, but Knight quickly turned the tables with some strikes. He landed a neckbreaker and some boots in the corner. McIntyre shifted the momentum of the match with a Glasgow Kiss. Knight avoided a slam from Drew and dumped him to the floor. He followed up with a diving lariat from the apron. Drew fired back with an overhead suplex. Kevin Owens then appeared from the timekeeper’s area and sat in on commentary as well. Drew used a slingshot to sent Knight into the ring support structure…[c]

My Take: Chicanery inbound.

Drew remained in control and made a cover after a kick to the chest for a two count. He then landed some chops and basically threw Knight across the ring from a vertical suplex position. Drew landed some knife edge chops, but ate a big boot running into the corner. Knight started a comeback with some punches and a Manhattan drop. He then landed a DDT and covered for a two count. 

McIntyre fired back with a lariat and climbed the top rope. Knight leapt to the top rope and delivered a superplex for a near fall and both men were down for a while. McIntyre recovered and landed a Future Shock DDT. He lined up for a Claymore but Knight moved out of the way. On the floor, Knight slammed McIntyre into the announce table a dozen times. McIntyre eventually tossed Knight into Kevin Owens, who attacked in return and caused a disqualification. 

The match was called off at 11:43

An all out brawl broke out after the match. Knight landed a BFT on Drew. Owens landed a Stunner on Logan Paul. Lashley hit spears on both LA Knight and Kevin Owens. McIntyre popped back in to land a Claymore on Lashley, and Randy Orton interrupted a celebrating Drew McIntyre with an RKO to close the show. 

My Take: A decent match to close the show, with the fairly predictable non-finish and show closing brawl. Orton got a big reaction for his RKO, so I think you’d have to call it a success. Overall, this show was a decent final push for Elimination Chamber and checked off a few boxes in furthering some of the WrestleMania stories. I’d call it slightly above average for a taped show, but the numerous video packages and time-killing segments along with a lack of significant appearances from Reigns and The Rock will probably lead to a significant downturn in viewership from last week.


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