WWE SmackDown Recap time! Roman Reigns makes a big Universal title announcement – expected to be related to the Elimination Chamber – and Seth Rollins makes his return tonight. No matches advertised in advance as far as I know, just the two segments.
All the same, Jordan Huie aka the One Zeel One of 1Z1ProWrestling.com here for the live written play-by-play of the show as it airs. So watch this space for the WWE SmackDown Recap!
Roman Reigns’ music hits and his little group comes out to start the show.
As usual, a few minutes later they’re in the ring. Adam Pearce is also in the ring with a contract. Roman tells him he has no authority over him. He’s the sun, everything orbits him. Says he doesn’t wait on anyone, you wait on him. And he doesn’t wait on Edge. He saw Edge last week in this ring. Claims he got nervous.
Reigns says that he’ll beat Edge down so bad that we’ll have to put him on a Legend’s contract. He’s just gonna be the ambassador for WWE after that. Says Edge wants to wait until after the Chamber in hopes that he’ll somehow drop this title. Roman says Pearce has a contract for the Chamber. Pearce says he’s had the contract for a week but Heyman insisted they do it this way. Roman will defend in the Chamber just like Drew McIntyre.
Roman and Paul laugh at this and Reigns hands the mic to Heyman. He says he represents him. Mentions Roman’s deal includes agreements to be involved in all the mega shows including the Chamber. Says Roman has to defend AT the Chamber but nothing says he must defend IN the Chamber. Paul says put whomever you want in the Elimination Chamber, the winner will get a title shot on the spot!
Heyman says Pearce clearly doesn’t like this but what’s he gonna do about it, fire Roman Reigns this close to WrestleMania? What did they do without him last year? To his knowledge, it was the lowest attended WrestleMania of all time! I died laughing at that line. Pearce starts to respond, Heyman wants to cut him off but Pearce tells him to shut up.
Pearce starts announcing the people in the Chamber who he believes doesn’t have to qualify.
Jey Uso is one of them, as he took Roman Reigns to the limit. Pearce literally leaves the ring before saying his other name, Kevin Owens. Roman rushes to the outside to get in Pearce’s face, Heyman has to keep him back.
Backstage, Sonya Deville tells Pearce that was incredible standing up to Roman. Adam says he’s dealt with people like that before. They need to fill out the chamber fast. Deville suggests they make the upcoming tag match a qualifier, both winners enter the Chamber. Pearce likes it, and we go right to the match!
Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. King Corbin & Sami Zayn (Winners enter Elimination Chamber)
Sami in a promo on his way out complains about having to earn his spot. Says normally him and Corbin don’t see eye-to-eye but they both see the same injustice and they know what’s at stake, a shot at the Universal Championship! Sami says his camera crew is watching the ref like a hawk to make sure he doesn’t hand the Mysterios the win. Says WWE management would love for them to win since they’re the poster boys for expanding into the Mexican-American market but it’s not happening.
Rey and Dominik knock Sami off the apron at the bell. Rey duking it out with Corbin. Now Rey escapes a Powerslam, dropkick takes him to the ropes for a 619 but Sami trips Rey to the floor – eats an immediate Tope Suicida from Dominik! Rey back inside, ranas Corbin to the outside now, tope wipes them out! Mysterios into the ring to stand tall as we go to commercial break, WWE SmackDown Recap will resume!
And we’re back!
Corbin has Rey in a side headlock. Pulls him up for a Chokeslam but Rey with a rana sends him into the buckle! Sami tags in but Rey tags out as well. Dominik rolls inside for an axe handle. Ducks a line, Wheelbarrow Takedown, charging uppercut in the corner! Sami reverses a corner whip, Dominik with a boot up off a charge, leaps off the second rope for a Tornado DDT! Nearfall!
Dominik with Corner Ten Punches, taken to the apron but he takes Sami down with a shoulder thrust, hilo! Knocks Corbin into the ring, hilo to him as well! But Sami rolls him up for a nearfall. Ducks a line, Blue Thunder Bomb for a close 2 count! Dominik reverses a suplex with a snap neckbreaker, Corbin breaks up the pin!
He also attacks Rey and tries for End of Days but Dominik slips free, Rey with a West Coast Pop to Corbin! Drop toe hold takes him into the ropes, Double 619! Dominik charges Sami but gets an Exploder into the buckles for his troubles! Helluva Kick lands and Sami gets the win for his team.
Winner: Sami Zayn & King Corbin
Well we know the heels for the match.
Afterwards Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode go to Pearce and campaign for putting the SmackDown Tag Team Champions in the Chamber match! Sonya suggests the two of them be jammed into one pod. Says they can earn the spot in the Chamber with a tag match against the team of Cesaro and Daniel Bryan. Well, kinda telegraphing who’s left in the Chamber with this but that sounds fun.
Commercial break, WWE SmackDown Recap will resume when the show does.
When we come back we see a replay of Bianca whipping Reginald.
Sasha is, talking to Kalisto again, that’s curious. Reginald comes up to them and Sasha says he should show her some respect. Reggie apologizes, says he’s deeply out of line and he won’t do it again. Sasha says he meant it then when he said she’d beat Bianca. He says absolutely. Sasha accepts the glass.
Big E makes his way out and we see some of his recent highlights.
E says last week he defended his IC Championship and the odds were against him. But somehow he’s still standing! When he won the title he made a vow to be a fighting champion. Like the bond between hair follicles and gorilla glue, a vow that is strong. As he puts the Sami Zayn and Apollo Crews behind him;
Crews’ music hits. He says he thinks E is about to make an open challenge and he doesn’t see a better man for the job so he accepts his challenge! Big E says he’s kinda right, he was about to make an open challenge to anyone, anyone but him! Crews says a fighting champion is supposed to take on all challengers. E gets in his face and I think we’re supposed to hear him but it takes a while for them to properly mic them. E berates him for begging for chance after chance.
Big E says the two of them are done, bring out his next challenger. And Shinsuke Nakamura’s music hits!
WWE Intercontinental Championship: Big E (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Nakamura in control as we join the match in progress. Charges, E with an elbow drops him. Takes him to the apron, battering his chest. Big splash nailed! Crews with a distraction, Shinsuke attacks from behind. Takes him up top for the charging knee to the ribs! Up on the second rope, Flying Knee for a nearfall! Nakamura stalks for a Kinshasa, E catches him for the Big Ending but Nak escapes. Charges again but E with the Uranage for a narrow nearfall! E with some claps as Nakamura rises, Crews rushes into the ring for a dropkick to Big E for the DQ.
Winner: Big E (by DQ)
Rushed through, obviously just a bit of a preview match.
Seth Rollins’ return is coming up and the whole roster is spilling to the ring for our next segment. Commercial break, WWE SmackDown Recap will be back!
Rollins’ BURN IT DOWN intro and music returns!
He comes out still looking like his current gimmick though. Into the ring he says it feels good to be back in the ThunderDome, feels good to be back in this ring, it’s where he belongs.
Seth says a lot has changed since he sacrificed himself at Survivor Series. But the thing that changed the most has been a surprise because what changed the most, is him. As most of you know he’s recently become a parent for the first time, he’s becoming the proud father of a beautiful, perfect baby girl. She’s changed his life in ways he never could’ve dreamed of. It’s given him a new perception, a new vision.
He looks around the ring and sees some of the most talented performers in this industry! He looks at Smackdown and wonders, where does he fit in? After some reflection, the answer is very clear. He is the great leader that SmackDown needs to push it into the future and make it greater than it already is. Success and leadership isn’t about what you can do for him, but what he can do for you! As he says this, everyone just leaves.
Rollins keeps talking anyway about how he can be their leader, their teacher, their father and mentor! Says all you have to do for a better tomorrow, for a better SmackDown, all you have to do… I wished so much that he would say “Bolieve” but no, it’s “Embrace The Vision”.
Seth looks around and notices there’s one man left, and it’s Cesaro. He says he knew he’d get it, he knew he’d understand! But Cesaro shakes his head and leaves as well. Seth gets pissed and rushes out of the ring to attack Cesaro from behind! He clobbers him against the ramp until Daniel Bryan rushes back out to send him away.
Bayley vs. Liv Morgan
Morgan with a dropkick out of the gate. Bayley takes over quick though and batters her in the corner. Liv with a floatover, eats an elbow. Matrix duck, drop toe hold to the ropes, dropkick to the back. To the second rope, Missile Dropkick for a nearfall! Bayley powders, Liv goes out there, charges and leaps off the steps – Bayley sidesteps and Liv lands HARD in the barricade! Bayley tosses her into the ring, cover for a nearfall!
Liv side-steps a corner charge, Springboard Bulldog for a 2 count! Wants a Lucha Arm Drag but Bayley nails her out of the air, Shoulderbreaker! Liv’s arm is in a lot of pain after the barrier spot. Cover for 2. Liv surprises her with an enziguri, Single Knee Codebreaker for a nearfall! And since we’re having too good of a time with this match out comes Billie Kay to pester Ruby Riott at ringside. Ruby tosses the resumes to the floor, Bayley nails Liv off the distraction and hits her Playmaker for the win.
Good match with a dumb finish, which might as well be WWE’s tagline.
Cesaro and Daniel Bryan with a quick interview backstage, Cesaro vows they will qualify for the Chamber.
Street Profits come to the ring for their first match since losing the tag titles. That’ll be up next on WWE SmackDown Recap after the commercial break!
Street Profits vs. Chad Gable & Otis
Gable starts with Dawkins. Gable with a waistlock, Dawkins with an immediate reversal. Chad with a Drop Toe Hold into a Front Facelock. Dawkins tries to spin out but Gable hangs on. Pulls him up, Snapmare of a fashion, deep arm drags exchanged! Ford tags in. Gets taken to the corner, Ford with a leap frog over Gable and several backflips, screams he’s back! Gable with a pinning combo though for 2, arm drag into a deep arm bar.
Ford escapes, Dawkins tags in, big shoulder tackle. Chinlock. Gable fights up, hip toss, Overhead Belly To Belly to the big boy! Tag to Otis who gets a few shoulder tackles! Pancakes Ford when he runs in, tosses him from the ring! Exploder to Dawkins! Corner avalanche, and here’s the Caterpillar. Gable tags in, they prepare their double team but Ford low bridges Otis to the floor. Dawkins escapes, sunset flip but Gable stacks him up for the nearfall! Sidesteps a spinning clothesline in the corner, but Ford tags in, Dawkins plants Gable and Ford hits From The Heavens for the win.
Winners: Street Profits
Nice match. Really wish they’d let Gable and Otis get some more wins though, there’s something there with this team if they would just try.
Sasha Banks in the ring starts to cut a promo about she likes Bianca but it’s about time she gives us her decision, of course Bianca Belair interrupts. Says Sasha isn’t the boss of her. Rapidly, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler emerge. They say their egos are so big they can’t believe they can fit in the same ring. Two time tag champions, they should have the attention, they’re on a roll.
To counter, Sasha shows a clip of Shayna losing to Naomi, which of course occurred immediately after Lana beat Nia Jax in a Tables match.
Yes, my friends, it’s a “MY HOLE” replay.
Nia is furious at their mockery. The heels go for an attack, Banks and Belair avoid this, Sasha takes Shayna down, Bianca gets Nia to the apron, Sasha on the outside trips her right onto her hole. Nia is trying hard not to yell it again. They hold Shayna in place for a high kick. Faces send the heels running and stand tall.
WWE SmackDown Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode vs. Cesaro & Daniel Bryan (Non-Title) (Winners get into the Elimination Chamber)
Bryan and Ziggler start, Dolph takes over quick and Cesaro has to tag in but Dolph gets him with a dropkick. Tag to Roode who batters Cesaro around the ring. Whip, Cesaro with an uppercut to block a back body drop. Tag to Bryan, Yes Kicks ensue! Roode with a roll-up for 2 but Bryan takes him into the Yes Lock until Roode grabs the ropes for the break. Bryan takes Roode to the outside, Tope Suicida but Roode sidesteps and Bryan nails Cesaro! Bryan gets thrown into the steps. Sami Zayn and King Corbin emerge as we go to commercial break, WWE SmackDown Recap will conclude when we return.
As we come back, Bryan is trying to fight out of a Dolph sleeper. But Ziggler takes him to the corner, Roode tags in and stomps him against the buckles. Suplex for a 2 count. Roman Reigns watching from his office. Dolph with a big elbow drop for a nearfall. Ziggler takes Bryan up top for a Superplex, Bryan sends him to the mat though. Roode makes the tag first and keeps Bryan from tagging out, Daniel starts a comeback but runs into a MAIN EVENT SPINEBUSTER for a nearfall!
Tag champs hoist Bryan up for a Sit-Out Powerbomb/Neckbreaker combo for a nearfall! Bryan finally escapes, Cesaro gets the hot tag now, huge uppercuts to Dolph in adjacent corners! Right hand to Roode, Very European Uppercut to Ziggler! Nearfall. Cesaro wants a Giant Swing, Roode with a chop block, Bryan with a Buisaku Knee to Roode, Dolph nails Bryan, Fameasser to Cesaro for a nearfall! Superkick caught, Argentine Backbreaker! And there’s the Giant Swing into the Sharpshooter! Dolph taps.
Winners: Daniel Bryan & Cesaro
Solid stuff, a little surreal to see Cesaro on such a winning streak.
But as they celebrate, Jey Uso takes a chair to Cesaro’s back! Zayn and Corbin pull Bryan out of the ring and stomp him on the outside. But when they converge on the ring, they turn on each other with Corbin attacking Jey, Sami attacking Corbin. Bryan catches Sami with a Buisaku Knee as Cesaro goes in to nail Jey, but finally out comes Kevin Owens and he hands out Stunners to the whole field.
In a familiar scene, Owens sits on a chair to look into the camera and tell Roman he’s not going away. And that’s the show.