Smackdown – February 19, 2021

Smackdown
Date: February 19, 2021
Location: Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Florida
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

It’s the go home show for Elimination Chamber and I’m really not sure how much more there is to add to the show. Most of the matches would seem to be set, but there is always room to add one or two more things. The main event this time around is a six man tag featuring all of the Elimination Chamber participants. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Edge to open things up. He has a big decision to make and this Sunday, things are going to get a lot clearer. You have the two World Titles on the line but Roman Reigns is being the smart one by facing the winner of the Elimination Chamber. That means there are thirteen possible opponents for Wrestlemania so he needs to start evaluating things.

Cue Roman Reigns, flanked by Jey Uso and Paul Heyman, for a pretty long entrance. Roman says there aren’t thirteen possible opponents because there is one main event. You have Drew McIntyre who is a main eventer, but Roman Reigns is the main event. Edge thinks Reigns is sounding insecure because he needs to face Edge to be in the main event of Wrestlemania. Whomever Edge faces is the main event, be it anyone from Raw or Smackdown.

Cue Sami Zayn to say he’s the real champion because he’s the champion of the people. As Sami asks his camera crew to film him pointing at the sign, Jey superkicks him down. Reigns stares Edge down and hands the title off to Heyman before opening his hands, seemingly in peace. Reigns walks over to Edge and whispers something in his ear (which we can’t hear) before leaving with Heyman and Uso.

Apollo Crews vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Big E., on his couch, is on commentary. Before the match, we get a quick interview from Apollo, talking about how he doesn’t like being told to go back to catering. Nakamura runs him over for an early two to start but Crews nails a dropkick to send Nakamura outside. That’s enough to send him into Big E.’s snack tray, which means the big staredown to send us to a break.

Back with Nakamura hitting his sliding German suplex out of the corner for two. Crews grabs a spinebuster for two but gets pulled into a cross armbreaker, which Nakamura turns into a rollup for the pin at 5:58. Not enough shown to rate but it was just a quick match to have Crews and Big E. out there.

Post match Crews jumps Nakamura again and goes for the steps but Big E. says that isn’t happening. Big E. tells Crews to go to the back but Crews jumps him from behind with the steps. Crews isn’t going back to catering and throws the steps and Big E. back inside. The referee intervenes and Big E. rolls to the floor, with Crews throwing the steps onto him (with the camera not showing the crash of course) to leave Big E. laying. Medics come out immediately and, after the break, Big E. is taken out on a stretcher.

I’m sure this sets up a title match, but wouldn’t it be better to have Crews win, get denied a shot because Big E. has beaten him time after time, and then attack anyway? This made him feel like even more or a loser than he was when Big E. beat him over and over and that’s not the best way to go.

As Big E. is wheeled out, here’s Seth Rollins to say that was a tragedy, just like what happened last week. We see everyone walking out on Rollins last week, which earned Cesaro a big beating after the segment. As a result, Rollins has written a formal protest to WWE because everyone ruined last week out of fear. There are already millions who have embraced the vision for a better future, but the biggest loser is Cesaro. That’s why Cesaro was taken out last week. Everyone should embrace the vision, unlike that loser Cesaro. Embrace the vision. This is really the best they have for Rollins?

Edge comes up to Kevin Owens in the back and says that he understands what it’s like to have to keep getting back up. Owens appreciates that because he has come close to winning the Universal Title time after time over the last few months so now it is all he can think about. They appreciate the idea of facing each other at Wrestlemania.

Big E. is taken to the ambulance.

Riott Squad vs. Tamina/Natalya

Neither gets an entrance, as they shouldn’t for the sake of saving some time. Riott chops away at Tamina to start before handing it off to Liv for some kicks of her own. Morgan’s springboard something is knocked out of the air so it’s off to Natalya to strike away. Riott comes back in for a Codebreaker into an STO for two as Billie Kay, in a Tamina shirt with Natalya ears, comes out. That’s enough of a distraction for Tamina to hit a swinging Rock Bottom to finish Riott at 3:03.

Rating: D+. This was the latest match between one team thrown together and another team who isn’t likely to make it to the title scene anytime soon. Instead, The Riott Squad is the kind of team that only exists for the sake of putting other teams over. The women’s tag division is awful right now, but that has been the case for a pretty long time now. Just keep throwing teams together I guess, because it’s not like the division is going to mean anything anytime soon.

Billie comes in to celebrate with them and gets laid out.

Edge runs into King Corbin, who says he’s the main event of Wrestlemania. Corbin talks about a $39,000 watch but Edge holds up a phone, which tells the time and takes pictures.

It’s time for Ding Dong Hello with Bayley, who says it’s episode dos, which means two in case you’re like Michael Cole and don’t speak Spanish. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler are the guests and come in through the door, with Jax talking about how Bayley shouldn’t be upset that they took the titles from her. They’re glad Bayley got rid of Sasha Banks, because Banks is such a waste of time. Like, almost as bad as Bianca Belair.

Cue Reginald, who says Banks is like a fine wine and the two of them are like a boxed wine. He thinks Belair and Banks could take the Tag Team Titles so here’s Banks to interrupt. Banks doesn’t like Reginald speaking for him but promises to beat Belair at Wrestlemania. Cue Belair to say not so fast and issue the six person tag challenge.

Bianca Belair/Reginald/Sasha Banks vs. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler/Bayley

Banks strikes away at Baszler to start and manages to take her down, but Reginald comes in for the stretching and then leaves. Jax takes Banks down so Bayley, in street clothes, comes in to stomp away. Baszler starts working on the leg but Jax misses a running splash in the corner. We settle down to Nia yelling at Reginald about how she isn’t the boxed wine. Reginald starts picking up the pace with the dodges, only to get run over again. Bayley and Baszler beat on Banks outside as Nia catches Reginald’s crossbody. A double dropkick to the back puts Reginald on top of Jax for the surprise pin at 5:05.

Rating: D+. I’m still not sure where they’re going with this whole thing but it’s still weird to see men and women in the same match. Jax losing doesn’t mean anything anymore after how things have been going for her in recent weeks, but this was certainly a strange way to go with everything. Throw in the fact that it might be a one off deal and it’s even weirder.

Cesaro feels sorry for Seth Rollins, who had the chance to come back as someone new but then did the same thing he did before he left. There is time to deal with Rollins later, because Cesaro need to go win the Elimination Chamber and then the Universal Title. Edge comes up and Wrestlemania is teased.

Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio vs. Alpha Academy

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode are on commentary, where they insist that they are not ducking the Street Profits. Dominik can’t get very far by trying to wrestle Gable so it’s off to Rey vs. Otis. That goes badly for Rey as well as it’s a World’s Strongest Slam into a big splash. Instead of covering, Otis hits a splash, followed by a few more, which is a DQ at 1:30 when Otis won’t listen to the referee telling him to stop.

Post match Rey is destroyed some more, including a middle rope splash.

Edge and Daniel Bryan bond over bringing their careers back to life. Bryan appreciates that and thinks Edge can thank him by challenging him after Bryan wins the title on Sunday.

Post break, Rey is very slowly helped to the back.

Daniel Bryan, Cesaro and Kevin Owens discuss how often Kevin Owens has turned on people. Bryan: “There have been so many times. I should have made a list.” Owens says they won’t have to worry about a Stunner tonight. Just worry about it on Sunday. Or maybe two, three, four. Cesaro: “At least he’s honest.” Bryan: “Is he?”

Reginald brings Carmella some wine and tries to hide the fact that he was in the match earlier. She’s not mad, because she knows he’ll do the right thing. Or else. Carmella drinks the wine, deems it disgusting, and throws it in his face.

Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair are getting a Women’s Tag Team Title match on Sunday.

Sami Zayn/King Corbin/Jey Uso vs. Daniel Bryan/Kevin Owens/Cesaro

Edge is on commentary as Bryan forearms Uso into the corner. Cesaro comes in for a double slam so Jey bails over to Corbin for the tag. A few shots to the face mean it’s off to Bryan to uppercut Sami into the corner as well. Corbin comes back in for some knees to the ribs but it’s right back to Cesaro to clean house. Some uppercuts put Sami on the floor but Corbin throws him back in like a good partner. That’s fine with Cesaro, who can’t quite get the Swing. Instead Corbin comes back in and gets Swung into a commercial.

Back with the Swing continuing (now that’s a well done editing trick) but Cesaro gets sent outside and thrown over the announcers’ table. Paul Heyman has joined commentary as Cesaro gets beaten up in the corner, including some choking from Corbin. Uso comes back in and hammers away, allowing the tag back to Corbin to continue the hammering away.

Cesaro finally gets in a shot to Corbin and the hot tag brings in Bryan, which Cole and Heyman ignore to keep bickering. Everything breaks down with Owens hitting the Cannonball off the apron to Uso. Zayn rolls Bryan up for two and hits the Blue Thunder Bomb for two with Cesaro making the save. Corbin knocks Cesaro outside as Bryan butterfly superplexes Zayn down, setting up the YES Lock for the tap at 13:07.

Rating: C+. This was fun, though it wasn’t like it means anything other than some minor momentum for Sunday. I like Bryan getting a little push, as they really could go in a bunch of different ways for the Chamber. Bryan is certainly one of them, but it’s not like there is any secret to the fact that this is all about Edge vs. Reigns at Wrestlemania in the end.

Post match the Parade of Finishers is on, with Edge getting in a spear on Uso but getting speared down by Roman Reigns to end the show (note that Reigns just sticks his hand out so Heyman can hand him the title, because that’s what Reigns sees him as being good for).

Overall Rating: C. The reason this show worked out so well was that it didn’t drag. They kept things moving and got to the point, even if they are still trying to hide the fact that Reigns vs. Edge seems all but carved into stone for Wrestlemania. I’m not sure what a lot of the other people are going to get to do, but they had a nice build up to Sunday, which is a nice start on the way there. Good enough show, and it did a nice job of advancing a lot of stories.

Results

Shinsuke Nakamura b. Apollo Crews – Cradle

Natalya/Tamina b. Riott Squad – Swinging Rock Bottom to Riott

Bianca Belair/Reginald/Sasha Banks b. Nia Jax/Shayna Baszler/Bayley – Crossbody to Jax

Rey Mysterio/Dominik Mysterio b. Alpha Academy via DQ when Otis continued attacking Rey

Daniel Bryan/Cesaro/Kevin Owens b. Jey Uso/King Corbin/Sami Zayn – YES Lock to Zayn