Smackdown – February 14, 2017

Date: February 14, 2017
Location: Honda Center, Anaheim, California
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Tom Phillips, David Otunga, John Bradshaw Layfield

There’s nothing in between us and Wrestlemania XXXIII at this point with Elimination Chamber out of the way. We still have some big TV to knock off first though and that includes one heck of a main event tonight. Bray Wyatt won the Smackdown World Title in the Elimination Chamber on Sunday but tonight he has to defend against former champion John Cena. Let’s get to it.

Long recap of Elimination Chamber kicks things off.

Here’s Bray with the title to open the show. After getting a chuckle at the YOU DESERVE IT chants, Bray says Sister Abigail told him this would never be easy. But now, after everything he’s gone through, he truly does have the whole world in his hands. Bray welcomes us to the era of Wyatt but here’s John Cena to interrupt him.

After waiting for the Roman Reigns levels of booing to cut him off, Cena congratulates Bray on becoming the new champion. John says Bray has already brainwashed the fans because they think he deserves it. Around here, you earn things instead of deserving them so now there’s a target on Bray’s shoulder. Cue AJ Styles to say that he’s already beaten Cena over and over so he wants his one on one rematch for the title right now. Bray seems willing but here’s Daniel Bryan to interrupt and make it a triple threat.

Dean Ambrose storms into the building wanting to fight Baron Corbin.

American Alpha vs. Ascension

Non-title. Gable wrestles Viktor to the mat to start and everything breaks down a few seconds later. Alpha is sent outside but come back in off the top with a double clothesline (old Steiner Brothers move) to take us to a break. Back with Gable fighting out of a chinlock, only to get kneed in the face for his efforts. There’s something to be said about getting hit square in the face to cut someone off.

Chad gets an armbar over the ropes for a breather but Viktor runs around the ring to cut of the tag. Not that it matters as Gable rolls over for the real hot tag. That means it’s time for the suplexes but Chad tags himself back in, leaving Jordan to miss a charge into the corner. Something like an H Bomb gets two on Chad but Grand Amplitude wraps up Viktor for the pin at 9:59.

Rating: C+. I liked this one more than I was expecting to as they’ve actually made Ascension feel a little more like a threat with just a few good performances. I know we’ve been told for years that wins and losses don’t matter but the last week or so is proof that just one fall can go a long way. Now of course we need some fresh talent on Smackdown and it’s WAY too late for this version of Ascension to work but it’s better than nothing.

Post match the Usos pop up on screen to say they’re coming for the belts. My goodness FIND SOME NEW CHALLENGERS. It feels like they’re the only real competition Alpha has had since they debuted.

James Ellsworth is trying to get Carmella to go to dinner when Ambrose comes in. Dean says Carmella is just using him so try online dating. Carmella tells Ellsworth to stand up for her so James kind of does so, only to have Bryan come in and grant Dean a match against Ellsworth for later tonight.

Dean Ambrose vs. James Ellsworth

And never mind as Baron Corbin drags Dean out to the stage. Deep Six into the production area gives us some sparks and Ambrose is out.

We recap Nikki Bella and Natalya fighting backstage at Elimination Chamber, including Bella being knocked into Maryse.

Nikki is in Bryan’s office with the boss saying things need to end. Natalya comes in and the arguing begins again. That quickly turns into a fight so Bryan makes it a falls count anywhere match for next week.

Baron says Dean isn’t WWE Champion because of him and now Dean is in the hospital because of him. That’s everything you need to know.

Dolph Ziggler is tired of people like Apollo Crews and Kalisto trying to take his spot. If he has to wipe out an entire generation to prove his point, so be it.

Mickie James vs. Becky Lynch

Feeling out process to start with Mickie going for the arm but getting reversed so Becky can take over on the mat. Back up and a shove puts Mickie on the floor, followed by an armbar on Mickie to copy Sunday’s tactics. They head outside again and it’s a double clothesline to take us to a break.

We come back with Mickie grabbing a chinlock before scoring with a flapjack. The Bexploder gets two on Mickie and a forearm puts her on the floor. James comes up holding her shoulder (which didn’t seem to actually hit anything in the crash) but of course she’s goldbricking, setting up a spinning kick to Becky’s jaw for the pin at 11:58.

Rating: C. The goldbricking might not be the most creative thing in the world but it does play up the idea that Mickie is a veteran who can use her experience to pull off something like that. I’m not wild on them splitting wins on back to back shows but it sets up what should be an entertaining third act.

Here’s new Women’s Champion Naomi, who says she was hurt at Elimination Chamber. It doesn’t matter though because she’s coming in to Wrestlemania with this title one way or another. Cue Alexa Bliss to say Naomi is just hiding from the pressure. Naomi could even have her own 30 for 30 special called The Lights Go Out. Bliss is feeling generous though and is giving Naomi a week to get ready for the rematch.

Black History Month video on Nelson Mandela.

TJ Perkins wants us to watch 205 Live.

Smackdown World Title: Bray Wyatt vs. John Cena vs. AJ Styles

Wyatt is defending and this is one fall to a finish. Bray does his entrance and runs into Luke Harper who gives him a pre-match beating. We take a break before the bell and come back with Cena loading up the Shuffle on Styles until Bray pulls him outside. AJ isn’t one to be shown up though and hits a big forearm out to the floor.

Back in and a low forearm gets two on Bray but Cena comes back in for the running shoulders to the champ. The AA is countered into a failed Sister Abigail attempt though as Styles comes in with the forearm. Cena plants AJ with the AA for two, followed by Sister Abigail getting the same on Cena with AJ making the save.

Back from a break with AJ slamming Bray onto the announcers’ table and dropping a leg to put him through the wood. Cena throws AJ in for another AA but tries a third and gets reversed into the Calf Crusher. That’s reversed into the STF but Bray comes back in with the backsplash for the last second save. AJ is sent outside and another AA gets two on the champ. The Styles Clash gets the same on Cena and all three are down. Back up again and AJ is sent outside, leaving Bray to grab Sister Abigail for the pin on Cena at 14:05.

Rating: B+. They were spamming the finishers like few matches you’ll see these days but at least Wyatt won in a really solid TV match. The fact that Bray pinned Cena clean with his finisher is a great sign and exactly what should have happened here. Cena isn’t losing a thing here and Wyatt gets another big fall on his resume. Well done indeed and they even managed to make me buy some of those near falls, which I really didn’t expect coming in.

Post match here’s Randy Orton for the big staredown. The fans cheer for Orton as Bray says not to listen to it. Orton says he won’t fight Bray for the title at Wrestlemania because he pledges loyalty to Wyatt. Bray says that means Orton has the keys to the kingdom and the double pose ends the show.

Overall Rating: B-. Good show here for the most part as they kept me wanting to come back next week (no not for Nikki vs. Natalya 2, which isn’t even big enough to earn Roman numerals) and gave us a hot main event. This was a big step up from Sunday and you can see a mixture of upcoming TV plus Wrestlemania plans forming. I liked the show here and that’s encouraging coming off a hot Raw.


American Alpha b. Ascension – Grand Amplitude to Viktor

Mickie James b. Becky Lynch – Spinning kick to the head

Bray Wyatt b. AJ Styles and John Cena – Sister Abigail to Cena

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  • wnyxmcneal

    I liked the triple threat, but the kicking out of finishers was ridiculous

    • Magoonie

      Agreed. I mean it’s a triple threat so you don’t need to have anybody kick out of finishers, you just have the third guy break up the pin.

  • zahidf

    Well, thats two straight Wyatt pins on Cena clean in 2 days…

    • ziggaman730

      dont worry the anti cena crowd will still claim thats not enough.

      • taabr2

        Since going into part-timer status Cena has allowed AJ to pin him thrice versus the two he got on AJ which includes a tag match. Cena jobbed to Dean Ambrose clean on TV and allowed Bray to pin him twice in the span of three nights. Also include in these were 2 three-ways where Cena could of avoided the pin. Cena is FAR from being one of the worst top guys when it comes to putting others over.

        • brak_attack

          On top of that, announcers never mention the victories Cena has over Kevin Owens, but whenever Owens comes out they’re sure to note how he beat Cena clean in his first match. Sometimes the wins back are unnecessary, but a lot of the times I think fans make a bigger deal of that than anybody else.

  • GoodOldBoz

    The ‘You Deserve It’ chant is just UGH

    • squiremarr_

      It has mutated into my most hated chant ever.

      • GoodOldBoz

        It’s godawful.

    • taabr2

      I have come around it now, “you deserve it” and “this is awesome” have turn from smarky chants to regular features for crowds. But “TEN,TEN,TEN” still fucking annoys me.

      • GoodOldBoz

        I hate all of them

    • Stan Ford

      It’s OK in extremely limited circumstances. Like, I had no issue with Bryan getting one.

      Naomi? She didn’t scratch, claw, struggle and finally convince them to run with her. She’s black, it’s February, the division only has like 5 people in it and she’s losing it at WM.

      Bray? OK, yes, the guy playing the character, he deserves it, but the character is the only sorta supernatural gimmick they have besides Taker and he’s a heel. Let’s pay attention to the show we’re watching.

      • Topher0820

        I know it’s not exactly the Daniel Bryan story, but didn’t she voluntarily demote herself to NXT to get better in the ring, then retool her character/entrance and is getting over? Jeez can give some degree of credit instead of “cuz she’s black”

        • brak_attack

          I think it’s also telling how often the actual wrestlers go out of their way to publicly congratulate a person after winning the title. It gives a real indication of how hard they’ve worked, how much they’re respected, and how well liked they are. It seemed like all of the females were really happy that Naomi won and I was actually shocked by how many people broke character and expressed how happy they were that Bray Wyatt won.

        • Stan Ford

          I don’t remember her ever going back to NXT. I believe you may be thinking of Cameron.

          I mean, she’s improved in the ring. I have no problem with her.

          I just find it extremely suspicious that she gets vaulted from the least important woman in the division to champion in one match during Black History Month.

          Who knows? You might br right. Guess we’ll know for sure when we see where she is post-WM.

          • Topher0820

            HA you’re right it was Cameron.

            I called you out on the race thing… then mix up the 2 black female wrestlers. Thats actually pretty funny…

            I do think a bigger factor is playing up the “hometown” angle for Orlando

  • GoodOldBoz

    A Battle Royal for the number one contendership at Wrestlemania, huh? I remember when we had those in January and called them The Royal Rumble!

    Seriously, for the supposed biggest title in the company at the grandest stage of them all, one Battle Royal on Smackdown really doesn’t seem major enough. We’ll see where they go with it though

    • Buster Abbott

      Harper wins the battle royale, and suddenly Orton joins the match to make it a triple threat (and ostensibly ‘protect’ Bray)

      • Classy Mike C

        Seems the logical way to go, but Harper in the World Title match at Mania (not even the Universal Title, but the actual Sammartino/Hogan/Austin belt) might be the most unlikely person to challenge for the belt on such a large stage ever

        • taabr2

          Agreed, after him comes Bundy.

      • GoodOldBoz

        This is probably what will happen.

      • Peter

        While that is a cool storyline, there is no way that ends with anything other than Randy winning the title at WM. And I would much prefer Bray retaining and Bray needs it too. So far, he basically got his ass kicked for three consecutive WrestleManias.

      • itwastyped

        Luke Harper challenging for the world title at Mania? Lame… will probably happen

        • Magoonie

          I dunno, I’ve really been digging Harper and it helps push him to being a legit main eventer. Also the Triple Threat idea sounds better than just Orton vs Wyatt. I’m glad that (so far at least) they haven’t gone with Randy having tricked Bray this whole time.

          • itwastyped

            I don’t mind Harper, but would like to see him establish himself as a singles act and develop his own character before challenging for the title at Mania of all places. If he’s beefing the king Wyatt then he should stop acting/dressing like a Wyatt himself IMO

  • Empian

    Good to see Cena taking the pin and not Styles.

    Cena is bullet proof and while Styles is getting there he isn’t just yet and didn’t need pinning again.

    • Cena will probably beat Bray a million times after he comes back after WM anyway.

  • GoodOldBoz

    Is a Battle Royal on Smackdown announced one week in advance really prestigious enough for the WWF Title at Wrestlemania?

    • zahidf

      I see it as it being a last minute thing because Orton refuses to cash it in on Bray, and Smackdown needs a title match.

      • itwastyped

        Well yeah, that’s the kayfabe explanation

  • TheDJR

    Really enjoyed the main event, Bray looks good as champion, hopefully he retains at WM.

  • gooched

    So what exactly are they going to do with the smackdown women’s title leading into WM? Are they really keeping Lynch off the card? If they are doing a 4 way for the raw title, why not find some way to get lynch in nia jax’s spot. It’s not like the brand split meant anything before this, and at least having the “4 horsewomen” in a fatal four way feels like an actual WM match. The smackdown one is still a mess.

    • Stan Ford

      My guess is Mickie/Bliss/Becky/Naomi.

      Becky’s getting in there somehow. She’s one of SD’s top names and is probably their #2 if not #1 female merch mover.

  • Stan Ford

    Not to be a stickler, but it was established in 1999 that if the winner of the Rumble is unable or unwilling to take his shot at WM, the runner up gets the shot instead. Kayfabe, that title shot should go to…

    *checks Rumble 2017 results*

    So, a battle royal next week? That’s pretty cool.

    • Heidenreich

      Can’t Orton just challenge Owens for the Raw title?

      • Vyolynce

        This year they were pretty explicit that this wasn’t the case: you get to challenge your brand’s champ and that’s it.

        Of course, they also didn’t make contingencies for what would happen if UT (who is not on either roster officially) or Tye Dillinger won but that wasn’t even the worst logical problem with the Rumble this year. Presumably they would have been the only guys who could choose, though.

      • Stan Ford

        I guess not? I mean, they make all this shit up as they go along anyway and they need to get that belt on Goldberg so they can get it on Lesnar so that ???????????????, so I guess the rule of the current brand split is no cross-brand Rumble challenges.

    • Daniel Swinney

      I’d think it would have to go to the next guy from the winning brand, so that would be… Bray Wyatt? Hmm that doesn’t work, so then… well damn it’s the Miz.

  • The Polish Hammer

    “John says Bray has already brainwashed the fans because they think he deserves it. Around here, you earn things instead of deserving them so now there’s a target on Bray’s shoulder.”

    So in a matter of seconds, Cena trivializes Bray’s win (uh, he pinned you and AJ in the chamber, doesn’t that count as “earning it”?) and strongly implies that the fans’ chants don’t mean anything.

    And the powers that be can’t figure out why he gets booed?

    • brak_attack

      I totally agree with you on the “you have to earn it” portion, but I don’t think the whole brainwashing thing is a big deal. Trying to explain why the big bad heel is getting cheered by the audience and tying it into the heel’s character isn’t the worst thing in the world.

  • That Triple Threat was a good match but relied too heavily on finisher-kickout. The AA is ded.

    The Corbin/Ambrose situation is simple and intense. I’m looking forward to it escalating.

    Alexa sounded like Trish so much during the promo it was slightly unnerving.

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