SmackDown on Fox Episode #20
SmackDown Episode # 1,069
Vancouver, BC – Rogers Arena
We get our intro video followed by the pyro to open the show. The announcers hype up tonight’s matches as well as the date between Mandy Rose & Otis.
We open the show with a surprise unannounced edition of A Moment of Bliss. Alexa and Nikki talk about Valentine’s Day and Nikki wants to know Alexa’s celebrity crush and after a few teases Nikki blurts out that Alexa’s crush is Brad Pitt which gets a funny reaction from Alexa, Alex then asks Nikki her crush but Nikki tells her not to be nosey. They then bring out Carmella who talks about her past with Bayley and how they used to be best friends until Sasha came into the picture. Bayley comes out and says she was only friends with Carmella in NXT because she felt sorry for her. Carmella finally gets enough of Bayley and walks toward the ring for the opening match as we go to commercial.
Match #1: Bayley © vs Carmella (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
They lock up and Bayley pushes Carmella into the corner and then goes for a strike but Carmella moves out of the way. They go to lock up again, but this time Carmella ducks and applies a rear waist lock which Bayley is able to elbow out of. Bayley gets in a side headlock, but Carmella shoots her into the ropes only to be taken down with a shoulder block. Bayley rolls over Carmella when she tries a drop-down, but moments later Carmella connects with a hip toss and a shoulder block of her own that gets a 1 count. Carmella takes control of Bayley’s arm and is able to hang on when Bayley tries to roll through it, Bayley grazes the ropes with her foot before she is sent back down to the mat by Carmella who is in full control as she drops several knees onto the arm of Bayley. Bayley gets to her feet and is able to get to the ropes and then she grabs Carmella’s arm and ties it up in the ropes while she talks some trash.
Bayley beats Carmella down with some elbows to the back of the neck while continuing to trash talk, Carmella. Carmella finally fires back with a big slap that has the champion reeling, Carmella follows up with a couple of dropkicks for a 2 count. Bayley quickly takes control as she kicks Carmella in the gut and then slams her to the mat by her hair. Bayley makes a couple of nonchalant covers that Carmella easily kicks out of. Bayley slams Carmella’s head into the top turnbuckle and then stomps a mudhole in her. Bayley goes up to the middle rope, but Carmella cuts her off before she could attempt to jump off of it. Bayley takes Carmella right back down with a Saito suplex and then goes up top where she tries for a crossbody but Carmella had moved out of the way, Carmella then connects with a superkick that gets a 2 count. Carmella then takes Bayley for a spin with the Mella-Go-Round headscissors followed by a dropkick that has Bayley rolling out to the floor to take a breather. Carmella hits a tope suicida and then immediately rolls Bayley back into the ring so that she can come off the top and hit her with a crossbody and this one connects, but only gets a 2 count. Bayley retreats to the outside once again but when Carmella goes out after her Bayley flapjacks Carmella onto the announce table as we go to break.
As we come back from commercial Bayley has Carmella in a chin lock but after a few seconds, Carmella gets to her feet and hits Bayley with a jawbreaker to break the hold. Bayley tries to slam Carmella but Carmella counters and takes Bayley down with an Edge-O-Matic. Bayley gets to her feet and charges at Carmella, but Carmella gets a boot up and then connects with a couple of clotheslines and an atomic drop. Carmella sends Bayley face-first into the corner and then connects with a hurricanrana out of the corner. Carmella is in full control and is fired up at this point as she hits Bayley with the bronco buster in the corner. Carmella looks to go for the superkick but Bayley hides behind the referee and uses him as a distraction to hit Carmella with an elbow, but that isn’t enough to slow down the Princess of Staten Island as she fires away with a couple of running forearms. Bayley finally catches Carmella coming off the ropes and hits her with the Bayley to Belly but that is only enough to get a 2 count. Bayley measures Carmella in the corner and charges at her but Carmella is able to dodge the attack and then she throws Bayley out of the ring.
Bayley hangs Carmella throat first across the top rope and then goes up top, but once again Carmella cuts her off and then delivers a superkick. Carmella joins Bayley up top and hits her with a super hurricanrana, but that is still not enough to keep Bayley down. Both women trade pinfall combinations, however, none of them are enough to get the job done. Carmella hits Bayley with another superkick but Bayley rolls to the outside. Carmella rolls out to get Bayley only to be shoved into the ring post. Bayley rolls Carmella into the ring and goes for her finisher, but Carmella blocks it and tries for yet another superkick but Bayley saw it coming this time as she ducks, but Carmella takes her right back down with a drop toe hold to the mat and then Carmella locks in the Code of Silence and after a little bit of struggle Bayley escapes when she hits Carmella in the arm she was using to balance herself with. Bayley goes for a jackknife pin but Carmella tries to counter that back into the Code of Silence until finally Bayley rolls Carmella up and puts her feet on the rope which gives her the win.
Winner: Bayley via Pinfall Match Rating: ***1/4
After the match, Bayley attacks Carmella until Naomi runs out. Naomi and Bayley go face to face momentarily until Carmella attacks Bayley from behind and then the babyfaces both hit Bayley with superkicks.
Wow! Wow! Wow! I didn’t expect to enjoy this match as much as I did but these two put on a damn good match. This has to be the best match of Carmella’s career and I don’t think it’s any coincidence that her best match was against Bayley. I’m sure these two have wanted to have a high profile match of this quality for quite a while and they wanted to make the most of this opportunity. It really is amazing that six years later Carmella is the most talented and most popular member of the Enzo, Cass, & Carmella trio and to see how much she has improved since then is quite remarkable. I liked that they did bring up the Bayley and Carmella friendship during A Moment of Bliss and how Carmella blamed Sasha for changing Bayley.
It would be announced later in the night that Carmella will face Naomi next week with the winner facing Bayley at Super Showdown which was a bit surprising as I was expecting the match last year in Saudi to be a situation where they had the match just so they could check it off of the Women’s Revolution To-Do List, but it seems like they are going to try and have a women’s match on the card for every show now. I fully expect Naomi to be the one that challenges Bayley at Super Showdown and then perhaps a triple threat at Elimination Chamber before they start the assumed Bayley vs Sasha feud for WrestleMania.
We get a recap of last week when King Corbin went into the production truck and bullied one of the employees, we are told that Corbin has been fined and banned from competing on this week’s show. We then go to a commercial.
We then go to a Lacey Evans video from WWE Day Of where she talks about how for every match she keeps letters from her fans in her boot. We are told that next week Renee Young will have a sitdown interview with Lacey Evans.
As they were showing the graphic for the interview with Lacey Evans next week I had a crazy thought run through my brain which was what if WWE fool all of us and Cena’s actual match at WrestleMania is another mixed tag where he teams with Lacey Evans. They both have the whole Marine thing they can play off of and if WWE wants to make Lacey one of their top babyfaces in the women’s division then what better of a way to get her there than a rub from John Cena. While I do feel this is highly unlikely it was definitely something I felt worth mentioning.
Match #2: Sheamus vs Shorty G & Apollo Crews
Shorty and Crews both attack Sheamus in the corner before the bell rings.
Shorty starts the match out but is thrown into the corner but as Sheamus charges at him, Shorty moves and lays in several strikes on Sheamus including three capo kicks. Crews makes a tag and then hits a dropkick before he starts working on the arm. Shorty tags back in and comes off the top with an ax handle to the arm of Sheamus. Sheamus catches Shorty out of nowhere with a sledgehammer shot. Sheamus ties Shorty up in the ropes and delivers the Ten Beats of the Bodhran except this time it was more like twenty beats. Sheamus stares down Crews before going back over to Shorty, but Shorty starts firing away with forearms and then escapes a Finlay roll attempt into a sunset flip and then he tries to transition into the ankle lock, but Sheamus kicks him into his own corner allowing Crews to tag back in.
Crews gets in some shots before being backdropped over the top rope, but on the way down Shorty makes a blind tag. Crews hit a kick to Sheamus’s head and then Shorty crossbodies both Sheamus and himself over the top to the floor. Crews hit a moonsault off the apron taking down Sheamus. Crews rolls Sheamus back in and tags Shorty back in who hits a dropkick off the top rope. Crews tags back in and hits a standing shooting star press for a 2 count. Crews ducks a Brogue Kick from Sheamus that ends up knocking Shorty off the apron. Crews rolls Sheamus up in the schoolboy but he kicks out at 2. Sheamus sends Crews face-first into the middle turnbuckle and then hits him with the Brogue Kick for the win.
Winner: Sheamus Match Rating: **¼
This match was fine and I liked that the babyfaces were smart enough to take advantage of the two on one factor before the match began. I would like to congratulate Apollo Crews as he is now on a 2-week streak of appearing on SmackDown, let’s see if the streak will continue next week. That’s all I have to say about this match as there wasn’t much to it.
We come back from the break to the announcers hyping up the match between Goldberg and The Fiend at Super Showdown before going to a video package highlighting Goldberg’s career.
We then go to Hulk Hogan who is joining us via satellite just like Goldberg last week. Hogan talks about his Hall of Fame induction alongside Kevin Nash & Scott Hall as part of the NWO. Hogan is then asked about Goldberg’s chances at Super Showdown and says that The Fiend better watch out for the power of Bill Goldberg.
We are then interrupted by the Firefly Funhouse where Bray is mocking Hogan as he is playing air guitar on his belt. Bray says that he has been following the advice of Hogan as he has been training and saying his prayers, Huskus shows up and talks about wanting to get in shape like Hogan but instead, Bray offers Huskus a piece of candy that is just too sweet. Hogan cuts in and says that Bray may have jokes, but Goldberg is no joke. Bray says he isn’t worried about Goldberg because he is The Fiend and if Hogan doesn’t watch himself he will end up on the Firefly Funhouse wall. Hogan abruptly leaves the interview and says he will see Wyatt in Tampa at the Hall of Fame.
The Hogan part of this segment was pretty much what you would expect as he said brother a lot and then put over the babyface Goldberg for his match at Super Showdown against The Fiend. Hogan then talks about how he has been in the back and felt the vibes of The Fiend and they are scary and powerful, however, I don’t believe Hogan has even been around since The Fiend character debuted so not sure what vibes he was getting. Then we got to the fun part of this segment as the old NWO style “The following announcement has been paid for by” comes on the screen only this time it is paid for by the Firefly Funhouse. This was the first Firefly Funhouse segment that I have enjoyed in quite a while.
It seems like they are going to work Hogan in somehow at either Super Showdown or WrestleMania as there is going to be a payoff to the threats Wyatt made toward Hogan, I’m guessing he is either going to be in the corner of either Goldberg or The Fiend’s Mania opponent or perhaps he could be a special referee in one of those matches. As long as Hogan’s involvement ends with him putting over Wyatt then I am completely fine with it, but I don’t want The Fiend putting the Mandible Claw on Hogan only for him to Hulk up right after and we end up with another Hogan must pose moment.
As we come back from break we get a This Week in WWE and it features The Rock’s return back in 2011, this would be a lead in to allow the announcers to talk about The Rock’s daughter Simone Johnson joining the Performance Center.
We go to the ring where Sami Zayn & Cesaro are wanting to have a protest concert due to being victimized by Elias, Braun Strowman, and all of the fans. Zayn gets in key so he can perform the song but before he can begin Elias comes to the ring. Elias says he is staging a counter-protest, Zayn says that he usually would have security throw Elias out but he believes in free speech and actually wants Elias to hear his song. Zayn continues to try and sing his song but every time he does the crowd drowns him out with the sing-song chant of “Oh Walk with Elias”, eventually the crowd simmers down enough for Zayn to start but then Cesaro gets carried away with the cowbell which leads to a “We want Cowbell” chant and by this point, Zayn is getting frustrated so Cesaro just ends up throwing the cowbell out of the ring. Zayn threatens to end the concert if the crowd doesn’t shut up. Zayn and Cesaro start beating down Elias until Strowman runs in for the save as he runs through Zayn’s security on his way to the ring. Strowman chases Zayn and almost gets his hands on him when one of Zayn’s security guards hits Strowman and this distraction allows Zayn to retreat. Strowman chases the security guard into the ring and then he and Elias biel the security guard over the top rope and send him flying into the other security guards at ringside.
I enjoyed this segment more than the previous ones involving Zayn and his boys against Strowman and/or Elias. Vancouver loves them some Elias as he was over big time with this crowd. The cowbell part was pretty funny as they played off the SNL skit featuring Will Ferrell and Christopher Walken. The height that the security guard got on that biel over the top was quite impressive.
We come back to a video hyping the return of John Cena on the 2/28 episode of SmackDown.
Throughout the night we would get quick little segments showing Otis getting ready for his date with Mandy Rose which saw him being very nervous about the date but calming down after a couple of pep talks from big “brother” Tucky. We also saw Mandy arrive at the restaurant where she would be waiting for Otis. We are also shown a video package that showed everything that led up to this date between Otis and Mandy. Once Otis enters the restaurant he checks his breath and slicks his hair back, but while he is doing this Dolph Ziggler shows up and sits down at the table. When Otis walks into the dining area he sees Ziggler sitting with Mandy and this hurts his feelings as he drops his roses and walks out as we go to commercial.
Ouch! I feel so bad for poor Otis as did the rest of the crowd in the Rogers Arena. I will give kudos to the person who booked this as they took Ziggler from a guy that nobody cares about and are tired of seeing and made him into one of the biggest heels in the company in the span of three minutes as now everybody wants to see Ziggler get his ass kicked by Otis. I wonder if they have enough material to make this feud last until WrestleMania as it could be a match that could go on early in the night or even as the main event of the pre-show that people would actually be both interested and invested in seeing and it doesn’t have to be take up much time as they could have a nice pay off with Ziggler having his ass handed to him in a 7-8 minute match.
I am interested in two things going forward with this feud, the first is where will Mandy end up as I could see her going either way as they could make her an even bigger heel than she already is and have this whole thing end up being a set up by both her and Ziggler just to humiliate Otis or she could finally solidly align with Otis and become one of the biggest babyfaces in the women’s division. The other thing I’m interested in seeing what role the ancillary characters (Tucker, Robert Roode, & Sonya Deville) will play into the feud, perhaps Mandy turns babyface and we get a split of Fire & Desire that leads to a 6 person mixed tag with Heavy Machinery & Mandy vs Ziggler, Roode, & Sonya at WrestleMania.
It’s crazy how I have more to say about this story than I do anything else happening on SmackDown, especially when you factor in that when Heavy Machinery came up to the main roster everyone including myself had just dismissed them as just another comedy team but here we are months later and Otis is involved in a story that is a major hit despite a lot of everything else on SmackDown being total misses.
We come back from commercial to Michael Cole hyping up the fact that WrestleMania will be in Los Angeles next year in the new SoFi Stadium.
We are set for our main event, but first Miz and John Morrison come to the ring and cut a promo on The Usos not being there and also said that The New Day will find out they are the best tag team of the 21st Century.
Roman Reigns comes out alone and then we get a video recap of last week where Reigns challenged Corbin to a Steel Cage match at Super Showdown. Daniel Bryan comes out to be Reign’s mystery partner. We then see King Corbin making his way down through the fans with a ticket in hand as he will be watching from ringside while wearing the entire King costume.
Match #3: The Miz & John Morrison vs Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan
The match is already in progress as we come back from the break as we see Reigns take Morrison down with a shoulder block. Morrison gets up and hits a few kicks to the leg of Reigns and then tries to work on the arm but is taken down with a clothesline. The camera keeps cutting back and forth between the action in the ring and Corbin sitting at ringside which becomes aggravating because I want to see what is happening in the match not what Corbin is doing at ringside which is nothing. Reigns has Morrison the corner driving his shoulder into Morrison’s mid-section. Reigns tags in Bryan and then whips him toward Morrison’s direction so Bryan can hit him with a running dropkick in the corner.
Bryan takes Morrison down with an uppercut and then knocks The Miz off the apron. Morrison reverses an Irish whip and goes for a clothesline, but Bryan ducks and then dives out onto The Miz with a tope suicida. Bryan then takes Morrison down with a missile dropkick off the top rope. Bryan is fired up as he hits Morrison with the Yes Kicks which get him a 2 count. Bryan then sets Morrison up on top and hits a super hurricanrana. Bryan charges at Morrison in the corner but this time Morrison is able to move out of the way and get out to the apron where he locks in a body scissors on Bryan that he uses to pull Bryan over the top and to the floor. On the outside Miz sends Bryan into the barricade and this brings Reigns over but after Reigns gets distracted by Corbin in the crowd Miz attacks him from behind and then Morrison dives over the ring post and hits a tornillo that takes down both Reigns and Bryan. Corbin is trash-talking Reigns from the crowd as we go to commercial.
We come back to see that Miz & Morrison have cut the ring in half and are keeping Bryan in their corner. Miz & Morrison hit their old finisher where Miz would catapult Bryan onto Miz’s own knees and then Morrison would slingshot over the top and hit Bryan with an elbow while Bryan is still bent across Miz’s knees, this would end up getting a 2 count. Morrison applies a grounded cobra clutch, but Bryan gets to his feet and delivers a jawbreaker that gets Morrison to release the hold. Morrison tags in The Miz and they send Bryan into the ropes but he hangs on and then backdrops Morrison to the outside. Bryan tries to make a comeback with some punches but Miz connects with a knee to the gut and then throws Bryan over the top rope, but he lands on the apron and then immediately goes up top only for Miz to crotch him up there. The Miz taunts Reigns before going back to work on Bryan who he tries to hit a superplex on but Bryan blocks it and then slides between the legs of The Miz and this time it’s Miz who gets crotched on the top turnbuckle. Morrison makes a tag on Miz who has become tied in a tree of woe position in the corner. Morrison cuts Bryan off from making a tag by knocking Reigns off the apron.
Morrison picks Bryan up and we get an awkward moment where Morrison isn’t sure what to hit next as he keeps moving Bryan into different positions for different moves before finally deciding just to slam him to the mat from the fireman’s carry position, but he follows this up with a nice running knee to the face which gets a 2 count. Morrison goes up top and looks to hit a 450 splash, but Bryan moves and Morrison crashes to the mat. Both Bryan and Miz make tags to their respective partners, Reigns comes in a house of fire with his series of clotheslines and then a right hand that knocks Morrison off the apron. Reigns hit the 10 clotheslines in the corner and then the running big boot which Miz does a good sell job for. Miz sidesteps an attempted Superman Punch and gets Reigns in position for the Skull Crushing Finale, but Reigns backs him up (which allows Morrison to make a blind tag) and then throws him over his head to break the hold. Morrison hits a Chuck kick on Reigns that gets a 2 count and then he hits Reigns with the running knee strike but once again Reigns is able to kick out at 2. Morrison gets Reigns in position for the Starship Pain, but before he can leap up Reigns grabs him and rolls him up and then attempts to hit the one-armed sitout powerbomb, but Morrison rakes the eyes and gets out of Reigns’s grasp. Morrison goes for another Chuck kick but Reigns catches him in mid-air with a Superman Punch and then goes for a Spear but Morrison blocks it with a boot to the head and then he falls back to tag in The Miz.
Miz finally hits Reigns with the Skull Crushing Finale only for Bryan to break up the pinfall attempt. Bryan knocks Morrison off the apron with a running dropkick and then looks to dive out onto him, but instead Miz lands a big boot on Bryan. Miz mocks Bryan’s Yes Chant and then charges right into a Superman Punch from Reigns and then Reigns follows up with a big Spear that is enough to put the A-Lister down for the 3 count.
Winner: Roman Reigns & Daniel Bryan via Pinfall Match Rating: ***
After the match, Corbin runs in and hits Reigns in the neck with his scepter before heading up the ramp where his sedan is set up despite him being banned.
Wow it’s so refreshing to see Reigns in a match that doesn’t involve Corbin, Ziggler, or Roode although it would’ve been even better if we didn’t even have to put up with Corbin in the crowd, I get they have to build up the 4,356th match between the two. I found it odd that Miz & Morrison are now focussed on The Usos when their match at Super Showdown is against The Usos and it was even stranger that New Day wasn’t anywhere to be found on this episode of SmackDown. It’s really nice that Morrison is back in the WWE as I have always found his matches to be really fun to watch even though there are times when some of his offense doesn’t hit as cleanly as it should.
This episode of SmackDown was very heavy on progressing stories through promos and backstage segments rather than in-ring action as we only got three matches this week when we usually get four to five matches, but two of those three matches really delivered. The women’s title match was the highlight of the show and is my highest rated SmackDown women’s match of the year. I thought the segments involving Mandy and Otis were really good and look forward to where the story goes next and can’t wait to see Otis get his hands on Ziggler.
That’s it for this week but next week I’ll be back with the go-home episode of SmackDown for Super Showdown where we will have a sit-down interview with Lacey Evans, a number one contender match between Carmella & Naomi, and to top it off Goldberg will appear live and I’m guessing The Fiend will pop up through the ring mat and try to drag Goldberg into the hole.