Smackdown – February 18, 2022

Date: February 18, 2022
Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Corey Graves, Michael Cole

We’re taped this week as the roster is in Saudi Arabia for this weekend’s Elimination Chamber. That can make for some interesting shows as the crowd might have to be brought into things a bit more. It’s also the go home show for Elimination Chamber, meaning we are probably in for a lot of hype. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Adam Pearce is in the ring for a contract signing for Charlotte/Sonya Deville vs. Ronda Rousey/Naomi. Everyone comes to the ring and Sonya says she knows how to do this. They immediately start arguing and yelling over each other, because that’s how women interact in WWE. Sonya and Charlotte both sign but Naomi threatens to turn the table over if they don’t stop stalling.

Hold on though because Sonya has a stipulation. A few days ago, Rousey said that she could beat Sonya with one arm tied behind her back, so that’s what she is going to have to do. Ronda is down with that and signs, as does Naomi, and the fight is on. Charlotte has a contract thrown at her and Sonya getting kicked in the head, sending them running off. They kept this short and that might be a good thing.

Sheamus isn’t happy with Ridge Holland losing to Ricochet and wonders if Holland is getting any of this. Tonight, Sheamus will lead by example.

Sheamus vs. Ricochet

Ridge Holland is here with Sheamus. Ricochet starts fast and strikes away before sending Sheamus outside. That means a running flip dive through the ropes but Sheamus is back with a knee choke in the corner. A suplex drops Ricochet and we hit the chinlock. Ricochet fights up and takes it to the floor, only to be fall away slammed over the announcers’ table.

We take a break and come back with Sheamus pounding away until Ricochet manages a tornado DDT. The standing shooting star press sets up a non-running Lionsault for two and Ricochet is getting frustrated. Sheamus grabs an Alabama Slam and goes up top, only to get caught with a super Spanish Fly for a close two. Holland tries a distraction but Ricochet is waiting on him, meaning Sheamus’ surprise Brogue Kick misses. The Recoil gives Ricochet the pin at 10:54.

Rating: B-. That is almost a relief to see as Ricochet gets a win without any major shenanigans. This felt like it actually meant something and that is a lot more than I would have expected. I have no reason to believe that this is Ricochet turning the corner, but at least he won a single match and that is great to see.

Post match Sheamus yells at Holland and shoves him down.

We look back at Rick Boogs “accidentally” getting electrocuted last week on InZayn.

Sami Zayn takes no responsibility for what happened to Boogs last week. Zayn talks about what has happened to him over the last year as we recap the entire conspiracy. Tonight, he makes up for it by getting the Intercontinental Title back.

The Undertaker is going into the Hall of Fame. Well that was expected.

Long Undertaker Hall of Fame video, set to Sad But True by Metallica and American Bad*** by Kid Rock. This of course features all kinds of classic clips and almost every major star talking about what a legend Undertaker is.

Long video on Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg for Reigns’ Universal Title at Elimination Chamber.

Jey Uso vs. Ivar

Jimmy Uso and Erik are here too. Ivar goes with the power to put Jey up against the ropes to start but a superkick cuts that off. The chinlock goes on but Ivar fights up without much effort. The Bronco Buster in the corner sets up a top rope splash to crush Jey, which draws in Jimmy for the DQ at 2:37.

Post match the Raiders clear the ring and get their headgear back.

We look back at Drew McIntyre telling Madcap Moss that their Elimination Chamber match will be falls count anywhere. Moss looks scared, which is usually the case when a big sword is involved.

Here is Drew McIntyre for a chat. He talks about how he used to live near New Orleans and found out that the only people who can drink with the Scots are people from around here. McIntyre has spent a lot of great time around here, but now he is getting ready to go face Madcap Moss in Saudi Arabia.

Since the match is anything goes, McIntyre can do anything from hitting him in the face, sending him into electrical equipment or drowning him in the Red Sea. McIntyre even asks fans to send him ideas on what to do to Moss because he has a 20 hour flight. Cue Moss and Happy Corbin, with Moss promising to laugh all the way home. They make fun of McIntyre’s neck but he promises to make the laughter die at Elimination Chamber. That hashtag idea is smart, as it’s always a good idea to engage the audience in some way.

Shinsuke Nakamura wants to kick Sami Zayn in the face.

Intercontinental Title: Sami Zayn vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

Nakamura is defending and they take turns driving each other into the corner to start. Sami gets in a shot to the ribs but Nakamura fights back with kicks and knees. Another knee has Zayn down but the knee from the apron only hits floor to put Nakamura in trouble. We take a break and come back with Zayn grabbing a chinlock. Nakamura fights up so Zayn mocks the NAKAMURA chants and hits a clothesline for two.

Another chinlock doesn’t work either, as Nakamura gets out and hits the sliding German suplex for two of his own. Sami is right back with a Michinoku Driver (which dropped Nakamura on his head) for two more and they head outside. Nakamura kicks a diving Sami out of the air but his running knee hits the steps.

We take another break and come back again with Zayn working on the leg. Nakamura fights back but gets his leg kicked out again, setting up the Blue Thunder Bomb to give Zayn two more. Zayn pounds away in the corner and mocks Nakamura’s COME ON but the kick in the corner is blocks. That means Nakamura can kick him in the head and again against the ropes (in a callback to their classic Takeover Dallas match). Kinshasa is loaded up so Sami rolls outside to avoid being kneed in the face. Sami trips him down and rams the leg into the post, setting up a hard kick to the knee for the pin and the title at 18:12.

Rating: B. This was a long match with Zayn getting smart by taking away Nakamura’s greatest weapon. That made for a good story throughout as Nakamura couldn’t strike away at Zayn, who hung in there long enough to beat him. They had to change the title here as Nakamura had held the thing for six months without doing much of anything with it. Zayn has his conspiracy theory deal and this is as good of a payoff as there was for the whole thing.

Booker T. met with some children at a community center in Dallas as part of Black History Month.

Aliyah is very proud of Ricochet for being Sheamus. Ricochet is so excited by his win that he almost sounds like a human being. With Ricochet gone, Sami Zayn comes in to brag about his own big win.

Video on the men’s Elimination Chamber match.

Here are Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman for the big final showdown with Goldberg. Reigns tells New Orleans to acknowledge him and tells Heyman to celebrate him. Heyman says this is the best part of his day because standing next to greatness is spiritually orgasmic. He talks about how you might not have gotten to see some greatness in person, including Drew Brees….who meant nothing because he played for the New Orleans Saints.

That means a WHO DAT (Saints chant) chant, which doesn’t please Heyman that much. Heyman: “The eleventh commandment on the Island of Relevancy: thou shalt not interrupt the Wise Man’s promo.” Heyman promises Reigns will keep the title tomorrow but here is Goldberg to interrupt. Goldberg picks up a mic and then drops it, leaving Reigns to say he was going to give Goldberg one last chance to acknowledge him. That doesn’t seem likely as Goldberg gets in Reigns’ face and says Reigns isn’t next. When it comes to the Universal Title, Goldberg is next. Staring ends the show. Whatever gets Goldberg out of here the fastest.

Overall Rating: C+. You had two matches of note and both of them were quite good, but the st of the show was lacking to say the least. Now in this case, that is a lot more acceptable for two reasons. Not only was this the go home show with the final push towards Elimination Chamber, but it was also the second two hour show in front of this same crowd. What we got was good, but you could tell they were clipping a lot of corners to keep the crowd from getting totally burned out.

Ricochet b. Sheamus – Recoil
Ivar b. Jey Uso via DQ when Jimmy Uso interfered
Sami Zayn b. Shinsuke Nakamura – Kick to the knee



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