An exclusive interview with Hall of Fame inductees nWo, a tag team gauntlet match to find out who will enter the Elimination Chamber last and a message for Hollywood John from Bray Wyatt made sure this episode of Friday Night SmackDown on Fox would be, for the most part, “too sweet” to miss. Welcome to the most must-see SteelChair review in history; welcome to… the SmackDown Review.
– Bayley & Sasha Banks defeated Lacey Evans & Naomi.
– Sheamus defeated Apollo Crews.
– Fire & Desire defeated Carmella & Dana Brooke.
– Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode won a Tag Team Gauntlet Match to determine the final team to enter the Elimination Chamber match.
Bradley’s Best Bits:
Opening this week’s show was A Moment of Bliss with the eponymous host and her tag team partner Nikki Cross who challenged the Kabuki Warriors for the Women’s Tag Team Championship before welcoming on their guests, the legendary nWo.
Whilst the interview seemed awkward at times, the trio were great at bouncing off one another almost as if they’d been doing this for years. That was until they were interrupted by General Zayn and his merry men. The unwelcomed men looked to antagonise the legends who were all but ready to throw down but for Braun Strowman coming in and chasing away Zayn and co to hype up the 3-on-1 Intercontinental Championship handicap match at Elimination Chamber this Sunday.
This segment may have seemed cheap and clunky to some, but it was a nice way to give some legends airtime whilst using them as a platform for Zayn to continue in his annoyance of rubbing people up the wrong way.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville have started to build momentum towards a possible Women’s Tag Team title opportunity after they picked up a win over the makeshift team of Carmella and Dana Brooke.
A devastating running knee from Rose was enough to seal the victory after her new interest Dolph Ziggler was able to distract their opponents at ringside, furthering the story of Otis’ affections for the Golden Goddess in the process.
The best segment of the night saw yet another hair-raising promo from Bray Wyatt as The Fiend looks to take on John Cena at WrestleMania.
A ready-made story since the emergence of the demonic character, Wyatt addressed his previous WrestleMania loss to Big Match John with Rambling Rabbit saying it was that match which has inspired Wyatt to challenge Cena once again.
This excellent promo directly addressed all of Wyatt’s previous failures that would follow that defeat to Cena and lead to a downward spiral for his character whilst also acknowledging his recent revival and how anyone that runs into him will either “hurt or heel”.
Another loss to a part-timer, however, could damage Wyatt again after so much effort going into rebuilding his character as one of (if not THE) most entertaining things WWE has seen in years.
A highly energetic tag team gauntlet match saw Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode earn their spot as the team entering the Tag Team Elimination Chamber match last after finally defeating an exhausted Heavy Machinery.
Otis seemed fired up after being rejected by Mandy Rose backstage which surprisingly saw the Blue Collar duo see off the New Day first, followed by the high-flying Lucha House Party, then The Usos and even current SmackDown Tag Team Champions Miz and Morrison (hey hey, ho ho).
The champions didn’t take too kindly to being eliminated and took their frustrations out on Otis and Tucker after being ejected from the match, hitting Tucker with an impressive looking Skull Crushing finale and top rope combo whilst also sending Otis flying through the timekeeper’s area.
Despite a second wind from Heavy Machinery, their duration in the match coupled with the assault from Miz and Morrison (hey hey, ho ho) was enough to weaken them for Dolph Ziggler to eventually sucker-punch Otis with a Superkick. Adding injury to insult for taking his love interest whilst Mandy Rose watched with concern backstage.
A lot of credit has to go to Otis and Tucker for their performance in this match. Whilst the other teams in the gauntlet had bags of their usual energy, and hit all of their key moves, these two aren’t exactly the most athletic of teams and managed to go the whole distance. What’s also important to mention is how hot the crowd were for them throughout the match too!
For Fox Sake:
The first match of the night saw Bayley and Sasha Banks return the favour and claim a win over Lacey Evans and Naomi. A crushing double knee in the corner from Banks to Naomi ensured that these two teams are now exchanging victories weekly.
With this now turning into a 50/50-back-and-forth-too-and-fro, the momentum seems to be fading from Naomi who returned at the Royal Rumble to a huge reception. It looks as though creative aren’t entirely sure what to do in regards to the SmackDown Women’s Championship and might be biding their time for a Sasha Banks turn on Bayley.
Sheamus beat Apollo Crews and the less said about it the better as it isn’t going anywhere at all.
Very disappointing to see that the Celtic Warrior went away for months, came back, and has immediately been stuck in a perpetual winning streak against the same two promising stars for weeks. It would be better placed on Main Event.
The upside is that another tag team could form from this to which Apollo and Shorty G could make an incredibly dynamic duo whilst Sheamus eventually goes on to be involved in the IC title picture.
Elimination Chamber Match Card:
– Daniel Bryan vs Drew Gulak.
– Andrade (C) vs Humberto Carrillo for the US Championship.
– Aleister Black vs AJ Styles in a No Disqualification match.
– The Street Profits (C) vs Seth Rollins and Murphy for the RAW Tag Team Championship.
– Miz and Morrison (C) vs The New Day vs The Usos vs Heavy Machinery vs Lucha House Party vs Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in an Elimination Chamber match for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
– Braun Strowman (C) vs Cesaro, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura in a 3-on-1 Handicap match for the Intercontinental Championship.
– Natalya vs Liv Morgan vs Shayna Baszler vs Asuka vs Ruby Riott vs Sarah Logan in an Elimination Chamber match to face the RAW Women’s Champion at WrestleMania.
All pics and videos courtesy of WWE