WWE SmackDown Recap

[Jordan: I had an internet outage that lasted for about half a week, enough to make me miss the live Dynamite and SmackDown Recaps. However I did have a friend who was kindly willing to do the SmackDown recap on my behalf. The rest of this article is from him, and I give him my thanks!]

Edge’s music hits to open the show.

He says it’s great to be on Smackdown heading into Elimination Chamber. He’s got a lot of decisions to make…. he talks about both Drew McIntyre, the WWE champion, and Roman Reigns, the Universal champion, and their respective Elimination Chamber matches. He says he isn’t one to judge, being the opportunist and all… Roman’s making the smart play. Drew can lose his championship in an instant, while Roman will defend against a man who had to survive a chamber match. Two matches, thirteen possible opponents for Edge. So he’s going to stop flapping his gums, and start evaluating potential opponents for his main event of Wrestlemania, this is the biggest decision of his career.

Roman Reigns’s music hits. He comes out flanked by Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. There’s a staredown before Heyman presents Roman with a mic. Roman says Edge doesn’t have 13 to choose from, because there’s only one. And the one is a four time, could have been a five time, about to be a six time Wrestlemania main eventer. So Edge can pick A main eventer… or he can pick THE main eventer. Edge retorts that last week, Roman stood to Edge eye to eye and said that he saw fear… but Roman didn’t see fear. What he saw was Edge playing him like a fiddle, and he never realized it! Roman may want Edge to acknowledge him as the main event of Wrestlemania but he just can’t do that… just a couple of weeks ago, Edge saw Roman do something he hadn’t done before… lost his cool.

He may still be on the uptake, but it just confirms what Edge already knew… Roman NEEDS Edge to be the main event of Wrestlemania! AJ Styles walks out of the Elimination Chamber, AJ Styles and Edge is the main event. Drew McIntyre and Edge? Main event. Randy Orton and Edge? Main event. Kevin Owens? Kofi Kingston? That’s your main event. When Edge looks into Roman’s eyes? Edge sees he’s insecure. But don’t get him wrong, Edge will acknowledge one thing about Roman… he looks at him and sees a young man in his prime, firing on every cylinder! A generational talent, a long, wide open highway for him!

He respects him… he respects Roman’s family. But Roman has too much too soon, and he’s cracking under the pressure… and that’s pressure Edge hasn’t even applied yet! Edge hasn’t even FOCUSED on Roman yet! So what Roman needs to ask himself… does he really WANT Edge to expose the dents in his armor? Does Roman REALLY want Edge to focus on him? Edge tells Roman to check his ego, and think long and hard if that’s what he really wants…

Just as Edge demands an answer, Sami Zayn’s music hits.

Sami, accompanied by his documentary crew, comments that this is incredible. It’s one thing to be disrespected by WWE management every week as part of a clear conspiracy against him, but then to be disrespected by two of the biggest stars ever in the industry, that’s something else. He takes issue with Edge acting like it’s a foregone conclusion that Roman is his man at Wrestlemania. And Roman is so busy focusing on the threat of Edge, he’s not focused on the threat right in front of him… Sami Zayn.

Sami wants to explain something to both of them, management didn’t want him in the Elimination Chamber match, but he plowed his way in, and that should scare both of them. Sami says Edge was once the Ultimate Opportunist, but now he’s looking at the Master Strategist, and that should worry him. Roman Reigns… Tribal Chief, Universal Champion, respect. But Sami is the Champion of the People. And that should worry Roman. Sami wants his moment, he wants the camera on him as he points to the Wrestlemania sign, pointing at his destiny because make no mistake about it, Sami Zayn is going to Wrestlemani-

…Jey Uso cuts him off with a superkick. Roman and Edge continue staring each other down. Roman hands his mic and his Universal belt off to Heyman. It looks like they’re about to throw down… but Roman simply whispers some inaudible words to Edge before reclaiming his belt from Heyman, and that’s your Smackdown opening segment… Six man Bryan/Owens/Cesaro vs Corbin/Uso/Sami main event announced for tonight, as well as Ding Dong, Hello! With Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax coming later tonight.

Big E comes out to do commentary for Shinsuke Nakamura vs Apollo Crews.

When we come back from commercial, E is sitting on a couch with one of those foot washer things, he’s got headphones on and he’s eating a TV dinner, and there’s a minifridge with a fancy lamp right next to him. I feel like it’s some sort of social commentary that he’s got all this fancy stuff and is still eating TV dinners. Anyway, Big E berates Apollo as Nakamura comes out, saying he’s already had his shot.

Kayla Baxton interview Apollo backstage. She asks if his aspirations of claiming the Intercontinental Title have affected his friendship with Big E. Apollo respons, saying he’s always respected Big E, he’s always given him great advice, told him you can’t sit around and wait for opportunities, you have to make them happen yourself. And after doing that last week, E tells him to go back to catering and collect a paycheck. Offended that E sees him as a “charity case” now, Apollo comments that E never respected him, he’s never even taken the time to get to know the real Apollo Crews.

He claims his ancestors are Nigerian Royalty. I have no idea if this is true or a gimmick, because it’s been five years since he signed and I still feel like -I- don’t know the real Apollo Crews. That aside, he says that if you spoke to them the way E spoke to him, he’d have lost his tongue. He claims Big E is intimidated by who he really is. And after he beats Shinsuke Nakamura tonight, he’s coming for what he deserves.

Apollo makes his way out. Commentary throws to Big E for his thoughts. E asks if he should be expected to hold his hand like it’s daycare. He rants about being stuck in the Apollo Abyss, he’s beaten this man over and over and he wants the next challenger. Puts over Nakamura as a living legend, that’s who he wants to focus on.

Apollo Crews vs Shinsuke Nakamura (A not stated outright but lightly assumed #1 Contender IC Title match)

Right. Wrestling matches happen on this show. I genuinely forgot for a moment. Anyway, bell rings, Apollo takes a swing at Shinsuke, Nakamura ducks and counters with a blow of his own. Nakamura brings some striking offense to Apollo, bounces off the ropes, Apollo ducks, Nakamura rebounds, Apollo jumps over him, Nakamura catches him on the way back with the arms around his waist, Apollo fights out of it. Apollo rebounds off the ropes and runs right into a knee. Nakamura jumps up and hits him in the chest with a falling knee strike, goes for a cover, Apollo kicks out at one.

Nakamura gives him a light kick and applies a chokehold as he stands Apollo up. Apollo pulls Nakamura’s hair, gets him in the ropes, and breaks the hold, whipping Nakamura into the ropes on the opposite side, delivers a beautiful dropkick. Apollo follows up with another low dropkick to a grounded Nakamura, pushing him out of the ring. Apollo taunts Nakamura, who tries to get back him, and nails him with ANOTHER dropkick, this time a sliding one, and Nakamura goes down again. Nakamura almost tips over E’s TV dinner tray on that one. Apollo stands Nakamura up and they brawl outside. Apollo irish whips Nakamura right into Big E’s commentary sofa and this time he actually does knock the TV dinner over, I popped for it. E stand up out of his footwash and dares Apollo to keep playing with him. We go to break.

We come back to Apollo suplexing Nakamura and going for a cover. Nakamura quickly kicks out. Shinsuke ends up on the ropes, Apollo grabs his leg, Shinsuke hits him with an enziguri that looked kinda sloppy. They bounce off the rope, Apollo swings a lariat and misses, Nakamura nails him with a flying kick. Apollo tries to recover and gets a knee to the chest for his troubles. Tries to get back up again… a kick to the shin takes him down. Again… kick to the torso. Seeing a trend here? Nakamura whips Apollo in the corner, tries for a knee, Apollo blocks it.

Nakamura rolls back, charges, and hits the Ishimori suplex on the apron, sliding to the outside. Tries to cover Apollo again, kickout at two. Nakamura hits the grounded Apollo with some stomps and kicks, rebounds off the ropes and runs right into a spinebuster from Apollo for a nearfall. They get into another brief striking battle and Apollo goes for a standing enziguri, connects. Nakamura stumbles but still keeps upright, Apollo picks up Nakamura in the military press which he gets out of, locks an armbar on his way down, turns it into a pin by wrapping the leg, and that’s the finish.

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura

Apollo attacks Nakamura from behind after the fact. Grabs him by the hair and chucks him out of the ring. E takes exception to this. Apollo follows up, jumping over the ropes and sending Nakamura into the barricade. E starts yelling at Apollo and Apollo finally turns his attention to E. E reprimands Apollo saying he lost. Apollo grabs the steel steps as E gets in his face and tells him it’s over. Apollo shouts at E to get out of his way. E insists he sets them down and walk away. This goes on for a while until Apollo finally puts down the steps. E still points for him to leave.

E walks away instead and tries to help the fallen Nakamura, and Apollo picks the stairs back up and clocks both E AND Nakamura from behind. Crews dumps Nakamura over the barricade. Apollo kneels down to E and says it’s not over until he says it’s over, and asks if he’s going to tell him to go back to catering again. E tries to grab Apollo’s throat but Apollo swats his hand away. He stands up, and it seems he’s about to walk away… but he kicks the steps over and throws them into the ring. Apollo stomps on E’s face before wrestling him to a standing position, roughly throwing him into the ring, too. Apollo shouts at the ref to stay back.

Apollo slides into the ring, standing over the grounded E. Apollo picks up the steps and the ref gets in his face and tries to push him away from E. E manages to roll out of the ring while this is going on. The ref continues to reprimand Apollo, who says he’ll put them down, threatening to throw them right where E fell… and makes good on it, dropping the stairs right on top of E. The ref is livid but the deed was done, as the camera moves to show E lying on his stomach clutching his head. Another referee goes to seek medical help. We go to break as Apollo smiles, seeming pleased with what he’s just done.

Well, Big E started this segment on a sofa with a TV dinner and he ended it being stretchered off. Quite the fall from grace. Seth Rollins’s music hits as E is being carried to the back.

Seth is wearing this ridiculous silver floral print open coat with matching pants. It looks completely ridiculous and I refuse to move on without addressing it.

So Rollins in his fucking ridiculous discount Playboy attire, I don’t even know what the fuck to call this, exclaims what a tragedy it is what happened to Big E, being betrayed by his friend. I’m trying as hard as I possibly can to take this promo seriously and I just can’t fucking do it because my eyes are transfixed on this abomination of a fashion sense, I worry this is just going to segway into a sleazy 70s porno at any goddamn minute… sorry, sorry. I’m trying, I really am.

So anyway Rollins relates to Big E being betrayed because last week, every one of his so called friends betrayed him. They turned their backs on him, walked away from him…. I would do all of that too to avoid being associated with people who dress like this- Sorry… And they betrayed him. and that’s a tragedy (like his clothing), so he understands Big E’s pain. And if you don’t believe that that’s a tragedy, they’ve got the proof and he’s rolling the footage.

We get a recap video of Seth’s return from last week, looking much, much better dressed than whatever the fuck this was supposed to be.
Back in the worst timeline where I’m supposed to take someone wearing clothing this fucking gaudy as a serious heel, Rollins recounts the emotional trauma Cesaro has caused him. Emotional trauma is a very fitting theme for this promo, just not in the way Seth intended. He’s still suffering, and it’s unacceptable, and I am trying my fucking hardest not to make any more cracks at his fashion sense that he’s setting me up for. It’s hard.

Anyway, it’s unacceptable for anywhere at the workplace, and he had to do something about it… Seth and his lawyers drafted up a formal complaint that has been delivered to WWE officials, legal action is pending. But they’re going to win. But Seth’s going to tell you WHY he did this. As he stated in his letter, months and months went into planning “our” big moment, his return to Smackdown.

AND IT WAS RUINED! Not by his friends, but by a bunch of losers and a bunch of cowards. and they ruined it because they’re afraid. They want to divide “us”, and they’re afraid, because there are already millions and millions (not even that many people watch WWE anymore, Seth) who have already embraced the vision for a better tomorrow, for a better Smackdown, and we will WIN, because we are strong. and we are powerful, and they’re losers. The biggest loser out of all of them is Cesaro. Because he took our moment, and he made it about him. He disrespected us, he patronized us…. he’s just going on and on, did they learn nothing about droning Seth Rollins promos from 2015?

Anyway, Cesaro stayed behind just to look Seth in the eyes and disrespect him. And what happened to Cesaro isn’t on his hands. As far as Seth’s concerned, he asked for it…. you know, I’d normally be excited about a feud between Seth Rollins and Cesaro, but this is one of the worst pitches for it you could possibly do. Oh, sorry, Seth’s still talking. Anyway, what happened to Cesaro is what’s going to happen to anybody who stands in “our” way. Anybody who follows in Cesaro’s footsteps. Because “we” are strong, we are powerful… we are winners… We get it already. Can Bryan come out to shut him up now? Nope. Embrace the vision, good night. Guess that’s how much Bryan cares about Cesaro, huh?

….So after that incredible segment I just adored with Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens is the latest entry in the “Edge talks to modern WWE talent backstage” club, but this time we’re actually allowed to listen in. Edge says he respects Owens and he’s a lot like him, he gets knocked down, he comes right back up for more. Owens appreciates the compliment and says that if anybody would get that about him, it would be Edge, because the last year, he probably spent obsessing and focusing on making his comeback, trying to make the Royal Rumble happen and preparing for that.

And Owens relates to that because the past two months have been hell…. he came this close to winning the Universal title three times, and every time Roman weasels his way out. The only thing Owens can think about is winning the chamber and finally beating Roman, and taking that title. After silently listens to Owens, Edge says he respects that and wishes Kevin good luck…. it’d be good to face him at Mania.

Meanwhile, Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville are helping the officials push E on the gurney… how has he STILL not arrived to a proper clinic after that droning Rollins promo and lengthy conversation with KO and Edge? Whatever, it’s a wrestling show. So apparently it took them 20 minutes or something to cart E into an ambulance. This kind of medical protocol concerns me. And… that’s it? Did we really need to see that, I think we got the idea when they moved him backstage on the stretcher…

So we’re back in the ring for The Riott Squad vs Natalya and Tamina and sometimes I forget this is a wrestling show and not Talking Smack. I firmly believe promos are an important part of any wrestling show but this is really getting ridiculous…

Riott Squad vs Natalya & Tamina

We start with Ruby and Tamina. Lock up, Tamina slams Ruby’s face into the mat. Ruby struggles to get back up, but eventually stabilizes and punches Tamina in the face. Ruby chops her, Tamina nosells. Ruby tries to go for another blow, but Tamina catches her and headbutts her all the way back into the corner… you think she’s overselling -just- a bit? Anyway, tag to Liv. Liv tries a few strikes that have absolutely no effect, Tamina grabs her by the leg and strikes her thigh with an elbow, sending her crumbling down. Tamina picks up Liv in the Fireman’s carry but Liv slides down. Liv attempts a sunset flip but Tamina easily shuts her down and picks her up by the neck.

Tamina tries a lariat but Liv folds up like a gymnast to duck it and I don’t think I’m out of line to say that’s more impressive than anything Tamina has done. But Tamina hoists Liv back up on her shoulders, Liv gets out of it again, Tamina tries to chop her, Liv bounces off the ropes and goes for a jumping kick but Tamina hits her right in the chest and sends her down to the mat. Tamina tags out to Nattie for reasons I can’t possibly comprehend, Tamina holds Liv up while Nattie kicks her in the chest, Nattie stands Liv up and drives her into the corner turnbuckle. Nattie with some strikes before being forced to back off by the ref. Nattie picks Liv up, bounces her legs off the ropes, tries to plant her face-down on the mat, Liv counters with a sunset flip for a nearfall. Nattie gets out of it, they run at each other, Nattie grabs the hair. Liv fights out of it and tags Ruby back in.

Riott Squad hits Nattie with a double dropkick, Ruby picks Nattie up by the head and drives her into the corner. Ruby with some strikes of her own before giving Nattie a snapmare to get her back in the center. Ruby ducks a clothesline, bounces off the rope, Nattie catches her and moves Ruby around a bit but doesn’t get what she’s going for… Ruby ends up grabbing Nattie and punching her in the gut. Nattie sends Ruby into the ropes and Liv tags herself in. Liv hits Nattie with a jumping DDT, Nattie kicks out of it. Billie Kay comes out to screw the Riott Squad out of a win again how many times can we do the same fucking joke over and over?

…Apparently not any more as she’s wearing a Tamina T-shirt and Natalya cat ears. Liv and Ruby stupidly turn their attention to her having learned nothing this past month or however long this gimmick has gone on for. Nattie rolls up Ruby from behind for a nearfall. Nattie tries to get Ruby in the Sharpshooter but Ruby pushes her into the ropes with her legs. Tamina tags back in, runs right through Ruby with a lariat and hits Liv right off the corner. Ruby hits Tamina with a dropkick and that’s the first time she’s sold anything this match.

Ruby rebounds off the ropes, Tamina catches her, hits what I can only describe as the worst looking Tour of the Island attempt I’ve ever seen in my life (it’s probably not actually trying to be that move, I don’t know what it’s called but it looked bad and that’s all you need to know) and there you go, at least Billie Kay can annoy someone else now, or she can keep annoying the Riott Squad and they’ll still look stupid for falling for it.

Winner: Tamina & Natalya

I don’t know who the hell they expect to buy into a Tamina monster push in 2021 or who even requested such a thing but whoever did, there you go.
Tamina and Nattie celebrate. Billie Kay gets in the middle of it and raises their arms in victory. Eventually Nattie shoves her and Tamina hits her with a superkick. Why did Liv and Ruby never do that?

We get a recap of Sasha Banks waving the green flag at the Daytona 500. There’s days I think Fox would be better off using Smackdown’s airtime to recap sporting events.

So after that’s done with NOW Edge is backstage with Corbin. I make no apologies about the fact that I would love to see this match happen and absolutely nobody else on the planet does. Corbin says this feels like the main event of Wrestlemania. (Yes.) Edge says that’s interesting. (YES.) Corbin agrees.

And what else is interesting is that Edge made his name right here on Smackdown. But things have changed, this is Corbin’s kingdom now. But he’ll give Edge some advice. The next time he sees someone walk up wearing a ten thousand dollar suit and a thirty nine thousand dollar timepiece, you bow down. Edge says that’s expensive and offers to show Corbin his timepiece. Corbin doesn’t believe he has one, but Edge insists and pulls out his phone. It says “8:54!” It’s actually been an hour into this show, there’s only been two wrestling matches, and there’s still some commercial breaks to go. We might have an issue here. Anyway, Edge notes that his “timepiece” even takes pictures. Corbin walks off frustrated. Ding Dong Hello is up next. Looks like we’re not going to be doing anything about not enough wrestling on the wrestling show anytime soon.

Bayley makes her entrance and knocks over the on-set plant. She says we’ll need to get a better plant next time but it’s okay. It’s time for the dos (second, because Michael Cole doesn’t know Spanish) episode of Ding Dong, Hello! Her guests are the Women’s Tag Team Champions, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax. Bayley opens the door for the champions. They try to walk “in” together but their combined bodies don’t fit. They keep insisting on trying as neither one wants to let the other in first. Eventually Nia pushes Shayna back and walks “in” herself. Shayna follows and doesn’t look happy about it. They both take a microphone from a stool, and Shayna takes the only seat Bayley has for her guest. They exchange frustrated looks. They start arguing but Bayley calls their attention.

As a former WWE Women’s Tag champion (the first) Bayley knows how taxing it is to be on all three brands, so she thanks them for being part of the show. Nia thanks Bayley for having them on and hopes she’s not mad she and Shayna took the titles from Bayley. Bayley insincerely responds that she’s not MAD, if anything she should thank her. Nia and Shayna winning those titles means she finally got rid of Sasha Banks, and she finally found herself. Look at this, she’s got her own show! She isn’t sure if they’ve heard rumors that she might be taking Ellen’s job… Nia’s heard of Ellen Degeneres, right?

Nia brushes it aside and agrees that the best thing Bayley did was get rid of Sasha… she’s just so fake and phony. Because this talk show totally isn’t. Shayna adds that Bianca’s just as bad and mocks her gimmick. Bianca thinks she’s stronger than Nia, tougher than Shayna? Shayna doesn’t know who raised Bianca, but somebody led her wrong. Nia agrees that Bianca’s bad, but Sasha’s worse, walking around like she’s the sexiest thing on television… look at her! Look at that sexy hole. No, of course we aren’t over that yet.

Sasha calls herself the boss! Do you really think Shayna and Nia are going to take any orders from her? Nia would sooner squash her like the little bug she is. She tries to elaborate but Reginald’s incredibly french accent cuts her off, taking issue with Nia’s slander of Sasha. Sasha Banks is like a 96 bottle of… um, some very rich and expensive wine I’m assuming, I have NO idea what he said, but it’s apparently a very bold and timeless flavor. But Nia and Shayna are more like boxed wine. Weak and disposable. Reggie rolls into the ring (and fixes the plant), and Bayley asks him to use the door if he’s going to interrupt her show.

He seems to have no intention to despite Bayley’s insistence. Nia backs Reggie against the ropes and calls him Little Man, asks if that’s a challenge. Reggie tries to backpedal and says all he was trying to say is Sasha is the greatest champion in the world. And if she chose to tag with her “side chick” Bianca Belair, Nia and Shayna would be former champions. Nia gets in his face but Sasha’s music hits. Sasha walks to the ring as Bayley yells at her to use the door, idiot. Sasha ignores her.

Sasha boops Reggie’s nose and says that he doesn’t EVER speak for her, makes sure he understands. And as for Nia and Shayna, whether or not they like it, she IS the boss. And the women’s championship means that she makes the rules. And at Wrestlemania, Bianca will choose to face her, because the women’s division revolves around Sasha.

Out comes Bianca, who immediately berates Reginald for calling her Sasha’s side chick. Bianca corrects Sasha’s earlier claim: Winning the Royal Rumble makes HER the star of this division. And people don’t revolve around Bianca, they get beat by her. She tries to say something about Wrestlemania, but Sasha wants to squabble with her and Reggie gets between them to try and stop it. He insists that they are all on the same team.

They shouldn’t be fighting with each other. They SHOULD be fighting with Nia, Shayna, and Bayley. How about the three of us take on the three of them? Nia demands a ref get out here, she’s sick of Reggie’s mouth and wants to put him in his place. Lots of incomprehensible arguing follows. Match is made official during the break.

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

Match starts with Shayna and Bianca locking up. Shayna gets Bianca in a side headlock, Bianca picks up Shayna to get out of it. Bianca charges Shayna and gets behind her, easily wrestles her down to the mat. Bianca picks her back up, Shayna smacks Bianca with a back elbow to escape. Bianca knocks Shayna down with a lariat, Bianca taunts the heels before standing Shayna back up and pulling her into her corner, Sasha tags herself in. Shayna runs towards Sasha but Bianca holds her arms back… Bianca elevates Shayna and Sasha knees her right in the neck. Reginald flips himself into the ring and tries to high-five his teammates. They want none of it and tell him to get back on the apron.

While they’re distracted, Nia runs into Sasha from behind. Nia whips Sasha into the corner, tags in Bayley who happily kicks Sasha in the stomach. Bayley grabs Sasha’s head and clubs the back of it, and again. She holds Sasha down on the ropes, forcing a ref count. Bayley backs off. Bayley drags Sasha into her corner by the foot, Shayna tags in. Shayna takes the leg and drops an elbow on Sasha’s knee. She takes hold of her boot and bends the ankle back. Sasha sells it while Reggie looks on worried about her. Shayna lifts up Sasha and drives her knee into the mat. Sasha rolls over and screams in pain.

Shayna grabs Sasha by her neck, pulls her back into the corner, Nia tags in and Shayna holds on, throws her into Nia. Nia plants Sasha on her back. Nia covers her, nearfall. Nia throws Sasha into the corner, Sasha uses the ropes to get out of the way, Nia runs into the buckles. Sasha knees Nia in the face, Bayley slides through the ring, right through Sasha, to the outside, and takes out Bianca. On her way back Sasha, lying on her side, takes Bayley out with a kick.

Reggie reaches out for a tag but Nia takes Sasha by the hair. Sasha pulls down Nia by the head, sending her back, and the tag’s made to Reginald. Reginald confronts Nia but is taken aback by her size, and presumably also her hole. Reggie tries to make peace and Nia wants none of it. Nia and Reggie eventually lock up. Nia shakes her head and shoves her face into Reggie’s sending him flying back, calling that a headbutt would be generous but the last thing I want is Nia Jax delivering stiff headbutts anyway.

Reggie stares fearfully at Nia who taunts him and calls herself expensive wine. Reggie charges at her and Nia blocks him, sending him tumbling. She grabs Reggie by the hair, stands him up, throws him into the corner and runs at him, but Reggie smoothly escapes. Bounces off the ropes… and runs right into Nia, pushing him back down with her palms.

Nia throws Reggie’s body around and goes for a leg drop. Reggie evades. Nia… sells this badly for some reason like she did it on the apron again, I guess she hurt her hole again. Goddammit they make these jokes so easy. Anyway. Nia sells her hole while trying to crawl to Shayna to make a tag, Reggie also backing away. Sasha and Bianca pull Shayna off the apron together and ground and pound Shayna collaboratively. Nia stares and watches this happen like an idiot and throws her hands up to do nothing about it… Reginald tries to hit Nia from behind with an aerial attack but Nia catches him. Nia gloats but Bianca and Sasha knock her down with stereo dropkicks.. Reginald is still on top of Nia and that’s a cover, three count for the win.

Winner: Reginald, Bianca Belair, and Sasha Banks

If you’re going to do “actual” intergender matches down the line, the men should be allowed to perform offense on the women. Having said that, I would be dishonest with everyone if I said I didn’t appreciate how creative they’ve been around this issue with Reginald, and the gimmick works for his character anyway. I would like to see him graduate from being a stunt performer in the women’s division someday, I think this guy has a lot of talent and can be more than that but we’ll take things as they come. Anyway the babyfaces celebrate as Nia looks stunned. There’s another joke about Nia Jax’s hole in there and I’m not clever enough to make it.
Backstage with Kayla, she comments on the shocking victory before introducing Cesaro.

Kayla asks about that amazing promo by Seth Rollins that didn’t drag on at all. She tries to reiterate his words before Cesaro cuts him off, saying he doesn’t need it repeated, he heard every single thing. Seth thought he was out there patronizing him? No, he was out there respecting him. Just like everyone else, he was hoping for this new Seth Rollins. He’s known Seth and his potential for years, we all know his accomplishments, and that’s what the locker room was hoping for.

He had this huge chance to come back and make an impact as the leader they know he can be. Instead, he came back as the same smug, condescending SOB that left. That’s why everyone left, and Cesaro has not forgotten his cowardly attack, and swears to get even. But enough of the past. Into the future, he needs to keep his momentum rolling, right into tonight’s 6-man. winning the Elimination Chamber this Sunday, and defeating Roman for the Universal Championship.

Camera zooms out to show Edge. Seriously, he’s not going to wrestle ALL of these guys. Anyway, Edge doesn’t know what’s gotten into Cesaro lately, but he’s into it. He talks about grit, the dirt under your fingernails, not many still have it around here. Cesaro appreciates the compliment and says he won’t forget it, and he knows what’s next after he wins the Universal title. Cesaro says he’ll see Edge in the main event of Wrestlemania.

Rey and Dominik are up next, going up against Alpha Academy. Roode and Ziggler on commentary.

Roode & Ziggler are sipping out of solo cups. Cole is about to ask about the red solo cups normally used by the Street Profits. Dolph says they’re just having a good time, but says the Profits are in their rear-view mirror when Cole mentions them by name.

Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs Alpha Academy

Gable catches Dominik from behind and takes him down to the mat. Dominik rolls through and gets back to a vertical base. The camera cuts away at a really awkward time as we come back to see Gable suplexing Dominik. Gable tries a German suplex on Dominik, Dominik flips out of it. Gable runs towards him and Dominik catches him, but only tossing him up a bit. Dominik hits Gable with a dropkick as Gable gets back to his feet. Dominik kips right back up but Gable’s had enough and tags out to Otis.

The big man comes in and runs right through Dominik, Rey tags in and headbutts Otis in the gut to create an opening. Over the ropes he goes and hits Otis with the seated senton. Bounces off the ropes and tries a crossbody, Otis catches Rey. Otis slams Rey to the mat and then flattens him with a splash. Dominik tries to run in to stop it but Otis nails him with a double axehandle to the chest. Gable gives orders to Otis, Otis follows and hits Rey with a running splash, then… Um, the bell rings…? What…?

Winners: N/A

…Oh okay, apparently this week it’s illegal for your tag partner to stay in too long. I… think? I’m really not even sure, they’re so inconsistent and stupid with these finishes sometimes I can’t keep track so uh, I think Rey and Dominik won by DQ but this finish made no goddamn sense no matter how many times I tried watching it back to understand what happened so let’s go with that. Anyway after the match Gable sets up Rey for a splash from the top rope, calling it a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Otis crushes Rey with a splash. I guess Alpha Academy are heels now and I have absolutely no idea what just happened. Alpha Academy celebrates and I guess we’re done with that segment. Cut to Bryan preparing for the main and guess what, Edge is back. Seriously? Four different backstage Edge segments on one show? I don’t mind these in small doses but it’s just getting obnoxious now. Can we give backstage Edge a rest and focus on giving proper finishes that actually make sense to the matches you do on TV? No? I didn’t think so but I had to try.

Anyway, Edge puts Bryan over for fighting to get his career back. And that inspired him to think that maybe he could, so Edge says thanks. Bryan’s glad Edge is back, and if he wants to find a way to express his gratitude, he thinks he’s got an idea… Edge has a big decision coming up, Bryan wants to make it a little bit easier. If he wins the chamber and beats Roman Reigns, Bryan asks Edge to choose him to face at Mania. Edge says some might call that a dream match. Bryan says some might call it long overdue. Edge hopes Bryan’s right and leaves him to his business.

We come back to break to see Dominik helping Rey up after the attack form Otis… man even typing that sentence is kind of surreal.

Rey is helped to the back and we cut to Bryan and Cesaro talking right before KO joins the party. Kevin asks his team about strategy.

Bryan explains that him and Cesaro were just talking that, and asks Kevin what they should do if they get stunner’d in the middle of the match. Cesaro sarcastically argues they don’t have to worry about that because Owens never turns on his friends. Bryan laughs and plays along and retorts with what happened to Kofi when he dressed up as the Big O. Cesaro adds that he turned on Sami that one time… no, three times. Or is it four, five…? And there’s a big name Bryan’s missing… he should have made a list!

Kevin’s had enough and says he gets it. Especially after last week. But when he came in last week, he saw a fight fight and he thought he saw Bryan and Cesaro coming for him… so he struck first. But they don’t have to worry about that tonight, because they’re a team, and Owens really wants to win, so no need to worry about a stunner tonight. He nods and starts to leave, but adds they should worry about Sunday. That’s when they might get a stunner. Or two, or three, maybe four…?

Cesaro remarks that at least he’s honest. Is he, Bryan asks?

Cut to Carmella admiring herself and fixing her hair backstage. Reginald shows up with a glass of wine on a silver platter. Before he can leave, Carmella asks where he was just now. What took him so long to get this fine glass of wine for her? Reginald claims he had to make sure it was the perfect serving temperature. Carmella isn’t buying it and asks Reggie if he wants to play games. Reggie claims there’s no games. Carmella asks Reggie if he really thinks he didn’t see him out there in the earlier segment.

Reggie tries to plead his case but Carmella shuts him down. Carmella says to relax, she’s not mad. She understands. And she knows he’s going to do the right thing. He doesn’t seem to get it. Carmella reiterates, and adds that if he doesn’t… well, let’s just hope it doesn’t get to that. Carmella takes a sip of wine… and quickly spits it out, asking what this is. Is he seriously serving that to her?! Calls it disgusting as she throws the wine in his face, demanding another glass.

And with that, it’s time for the main event.

Sami Zayn, King Baron Corbin, & Jey Uso vs Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, & Kevin Owens:

Edge comes out for commentary during entrances.

We start with Bryan and Jey locking up. Jey gets Bryan in the corner. Strikes to the gut, then the head. Ref makes him back off. Bryan gets an opening and pulls Jey back by the head and retaliates with some of his own strikes in the corner, pulling Uso into his corner when ref makes him back off. In comes Cesaro. Bryan and Cesaro work together to flip Jey over on his back. Cesaro forces Jey into the corner and Jey reluctantly tags in Corbin. Just when it looks like Cesaro and Corbin are about to lock up… Corbin goes back to the corner and tags in Sami. Sami berates Corbin on his way in and doesn’t seem too eager to fight Cesaro, keeping his distance from him.

Finally he goes for him, but misses contact, and Cesaro grabs him from behind, wiggling him over to his corner.

Bryan tags in and Cesaro restrains Sami. Bryan nails Sami with some combination strikes and sends him down to the mat. Stands Sami back up and delivers an uppercut. Sami backs into the corner, Bryan twists his arm to make him stand, tries to irish whip Sami into the ropes, Sami reverses, Bryan goes for a shoulder tackle but it looks like he gets the worst of it as Sami catches him with a closed fist. Sami tries to get Bryan back up but Bryan gets him with a back elbow, sending Sami away.

Zayn tries again to pull him up by the arm, this time kneeing Bryan in the side. Picks him back up and hits Bryan with another knee! Sami tags in Corbin and my god Dunn is having an off night even for his standards, he’s picking literally the worst times to cut away so forgive me if I’m off on a few things here. So Corbin comes in, stands Bryan up, and makes him eat a right hand. Corbin puts Bryan’s upper half through the ropes and uses his knee to apply pressure to Bryan’s back, forcing a ref count.

Corbin backs off, picks Bryan back up and nails him with a knee. Then another strike to the head. Corbin roughly tags Sami Zayn in. Sami and Corbin start arguing and Bryan retreats to tag in Cesaro, who comes charging at Corbin with a right hand to drive him into the corner, kicking him in the face! Sami misses Cesaro with a lariat, Cesaro punishes him with an uppercut. And another, and another… whips him back into the babyface’s corner, and a running uppercut to Sami this time! Then to the opposite corner, and another running uppercut! Back and forth, and the fourth makes Sami crumble to the mat!

Sami rolls out of the ring and back to his feet, Jey Uso and Sami start arguing. Corbin joins the argument, but it doesn’t last long as Jey helps Corbin throw Sami back in the ring… Cesaro gets Sami in the swing position… and around he goes! Cesaro flings Sami into the heel’s corner and Corbin tags in. Corbin runs right into the swing position, but Cesaro can’t seem to do it properly… he tries to soften him up with some kicks, Corbin folds his arms behind his head like you see guys do all the time, and Cesaro does a little better this time… but he still can’t seem to handle the weight or size of Corbin and just kind of crumbles in the corner with him. So that didn’t go as planned as we cut to break.

Oh nevermind, we’re back from break and Cesaro is swinging Corbin around with relative ease!

I legitimately thought Cesaro tried and just wasn’t strong enough, guess he just needed to get the right positioning. Cesaro steps through and tries to get the sharpshooter on, but Corbin struggles to his corner and Jey Uso tags in. Cesaro knocks Uso off the apron, Corbin tries to sneak behind on Cesaro but Cesaro catches him with an uppercut. Jey pulls Cesaro out of the ring by the boot and sends him over the announce table!

Jey grabs Cesaro by the head and rolls him back in the ring. Jey gets back in with him. Jey dropkicks Cesaro in the heel’s corner as Paul Heyman joins the commentary booth, accepting apologies for not inviting him earlier. Jey tags Sami in, and Jey and Sami hold Cesaro down and start beating him up. Sami gets Cesaro on the ropes, pushing his knee down on Cesaro’s shoulder. The ref forces him off and Sami waves to Bryan and Owens. Sami throws a punch at the fallen Cesaro. Now Cesaro is surrounded by the heels in their corner. Sami gets another blow in. Corbin holds his hand out and Sami makes the tag.

Corbin pulls Cesaro out to the center of the ring, Corbin plants Cesaro with a back suplex.

Edge argues with Heyman on commentary while Corbin pulls Cesaro back up, driving a knee into his midsection. Corbin whips Cesaro into the turnbuckles and he falls to his hands and knees. Corbin holds Cesaro up and delivers a kick to the gut. And another, and another… and a punch to the head. Corbin gets reprimanded by the ref and argues with him. Corbin tags in Jey Uso. Corbin dags Cesaro by his boot and directs Jey to kick Cesaro in the face. Cesaro gets to his feet, Jey tries to hit him in the face, Cesaro blocks and delivers the uppercut!

Jey drives Cesaro back in the corner, delivering some strikes before sending him into the corner turnbuckles again! Sami starts yelling at Cesaro saying he doesn’t look like the pound for pound strongest man in WWE. Jey helps Cesaro back up and sends him right back down with a clothesline. Jey starts choking Cesaro out. Owens and Bryan reach out to tag. Jey stops softening up Cesaro and runs to the babyface corner to punch Kevin Owens in the face!

Owens is hot but Jey gets out of there quickly, flinging Cesaro back into the heel’s corner. Corbin starts raining down blows on Cesaro’s head.
Jey tags Corbin in. Corbin delivers another blow to the head, then whips him into the corner pads. Corbin goes for a running blow and misses. Cesaro goes off the ropes for a corkscrew uppercut to Corbin! Corbin tags to Sami, Cesaro tags in Bryan. Bryan does the Shining Wizard to take out Jey Uso. Gets right in Sami’s face to deliver some strikes! Backs Sami into the corner, Bryan goes for the irish whip, Sami reverses, Bryan in the corner, backflips off the top rope to dodge Sami.

Sami misses with a lariat, Bryan runs under, rebound with the clothesline and Sami goes down!

Bryan hits the running knee in the corner, hits Sami with the Yes kicks. Hurricanrana on Sami to send him to the center of the ring! Cover attempt, and Jey Uso breaks it up. Owens comes in, Uso tries to fend him off with a superkick, Kevin catches it and counters with his own superkick! Jey falls out of the ring, Owens takes him out with a cannonball off the apron! Yes kicks to Sami Zayn, Sami dodges the last one and rolls Bryan up with the schoolboy, Bryan gets out of it. Sami hits the Blue Thunderbomb,

Cesaro breaks it up. In comes Corbin to grab Cesaro! Corbin dumps Cesaro over the top rope and follows him to the outside, but Owens takes out Corbin. Sami goes to the top rope in the corner. Bryan rushes over and punches him, climbs up to fight him up top. Bryan gets his arms under Samis shoulders, suplexes him off the top! Bryan holds onto Sami’s arm and immediately turns it into the Yes Lock. Sami squirms and quickly taps!

Winner: Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, & Kevin Owens

Bryan celebrates in the ring. Corbin gets him from behind and hits him with the End of Days. Owens gives the Stunner to Corbin! Sami gives the Exploder Suplex to Kevin! Cesaro with the Pop-up Uppercut to Sami! Jey gives the Superkick to Cesaro! EDGE GIVES THE SPEAR TO JEY USO! ROMAN REIGNS SPEARS EDGE! Smackdown goes off the air with Roman standing tall, and Smackdown sure ended on a higher note than it started.

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