KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 2/13: Sami and KO don’t like Shane’s decision to have Corbin vs. Ziggler for a slot in their title match

By Wade Keller, editor

WWE Smackdown Live logo - new July 2016 (c)

FEBRUARY 13, 2018

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton


Tonight after Smackdown, the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-Show goes LIVE taking your calls for about 30 minutes starting within a few minutes of Raw ending. Call (347) 215-8558 as soon as Smackdown ends to participate. You can stream the show LIVE after Smackdown HERE even if you’re not planning to call. Just stand by until we introduce the show within a couple minutes of Smackdown ending.

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-The show opened with Dolph Ziggler coming out with the screeching noise and black screen, followed by Ziggler’s regular entrance theme as he walked out.

(Keller’s Analysis: Sorry, Bakersfield, you didn’t make the cut. It seems WWE is *ashamed* of running a show in your town. No on-screen graphic or acknowledgment by announcers of the city they’re in yet.)

-They cut to the announcers who threw to a clip of Daniel Bryan’s announcement last week at the end of the program stating that Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens would both get a WWE Title shot at Fastlane against A.J. Styles because Styles caused a DQ in the Owens vs. Sami contendership match. Byron then said Shane McMahon reacted to Bryan’s decision by adding the winner of Baron Corbin vs. Ziggler to the match to “make it more interesting.”

(Keller’s Analysis: So adding a fourth wrestler makes a title match “more interesting.” Okay. There’s high-concept booking for you.)

Ziggler stood in the ring as Baron Corbin’s music played. He didn’t come out. They cut backstage to a camera running down a scene of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens attacking Corbin. When they began to walk away, Corbin yelled, “That’s it?” Sami and Owens went back after him again. They threw him against what appeared to be a dog kennel. They said, “One down!” Ziggler threw off his shirt and looked ready to face the Sami & KO challenge. Graves said he’s ready for a seemingly impossible situation.

Sami and KO walked onto the stage. Sami walked over to the side of the stage instead. KO marched to the ring. Sami came around to try to get Ziggler from the other side. Ziggler caught on to the plan and ran over to meet Sami in the crowd (where a handheld cameraman just happened to be standing).

(Keller’s Analysis: WWE is so careful about so many little details, and so militaristic about proper terms and language on promos and commentary, but they’re so arbitrarily sloppy when it comes to taking you out of any suspension of disbelief when they have a cameraman stationed exactly where a supposedly impromptu brawl is taking place. Why do they care so much about certain things but not at all about other things, each of which are similarly important in the sense that little things all add up to something that can matter and make a difference?)

KO and Sami double-teamed Ziggler. Graves said KO and Sami don’t want anyone added to the Triple Threat match against Styles at Fastlane. They beat up Ziggler at ringside, then walked up the ramp. Corbin came out from the back and went after Sami and KO. Sami and KO got the better of Corbin, throwing him off the ramp and into the ringside barrier. They stood over him as two referees and producer Adam Pearce came out to warn them to stop.

(Keller’s Analysis: So this sets up two heels vs. two heels later, I assume, where if Baron and Ziggler win, they get added to the Triple Threat match.) [c]

-Announcers commented on a replay of the angle in the opening segment.

(1) SARAH LOGAN (w/Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott) vs. CHARLOTTE (w/Naomi, Becky Lynch)

The heels came out first. Then Charlotte. Then Charlotte was joined by Lynch and Naomi to even the odds at ringside, which the heel trio didn’t like. They cut to an early break as Logan huddled with Morgan and Riott at ringside a couple minutes into the match. [c]

(Keller’s Analysis: I’d have liked to hear from Charlotte and the Riott Squad with promos like Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt got on Raw two weeks ago to set the stage and get fans emotionally invested in the outcome.)

They stayed with the action. Charlotte was in control as they came back form the break. Logan eventually escaped a bodyslam and tackled Charlotte from behind and scored a two count. Logan grounded Charlotte for a while. When Charlotte fought back, she hit a forearm. Logan drove Charlotte face-first into the turnbuckle. Charlotte ducked a charge and sent Logan face-first into turnbuckle and then hit the Natural Selection for the win. Graves said you have to respect the fight Logan brought.

WINNER: Charlotte in 10:00.

-Shane approached Daniel Bryan backstage as Bryan was texting. He asked Bryan if he really thinks Sami and KO are the type of champion that should represent WWE as champion. He said he’s already talked to Corbin and Ziggler. He said they’re going to get their opportunity tonight despite being beat up. He said Corbin will face Owens and then Ziggler will face Zayn, and if either of them win they will be entered into the match, making it a Fatal Four-way or Fatal Five-way match. He said if Owens and Sami interfere in the other’s match, they’re out of the Fastlane PPV. There was zero crowd pop for Shane saying he was making them Fatal Five-way or Fatal Four-way matches.

(Keller’s Analysis: That’s another way to get there.) [c]

-A Black History Month segment aired on the Montgomery Bus Boycott featuring a lot of women who took a stand and pushed the movement forward. Seth Rollins spoke about how he had heard about Rosa Parks, but didn’t know all of these other black women stood up for the cause, too.


Corbin was holding his ribs as the bell rang. Owens punched away at his ribs right as the match started. Corbin fought back with some forearms. Owens bailed out to ringside. They went back and forth for several minutes. Owens landed a cannonball in the corner at 4:00. They cut to a break. [c]

Back from the break, they showed Sami sitting and watching the match on a monitor. (Hey, someone sitting and watching! Just like I suggested last week.) Corbin charged at Owens at ringside, but Owens side-stepped him and Corbin ran into the steps. Owens settled into his obligatory mid-match chinlock. Owens climbed to the top, but Corbin got up and grabbed his throat. Then he landed a Deep Six. Owens came back with a superkick and went for a Pop-Up Powerbomb, but Corbin blocked it and then hit End of Days. The crowd counted along as Corbin got the three count. Sami was shown throwing a fit backstage.

WINNER: Corbin in 11:00, so Corbin enters the Fastlane WWE Title match.

-The announcers discussed the Top Ten List from last week including the relative placement of Bobby Roode to Randy Orton, plus the inclusion of Tye Dillinger. Graves said everyone wants to be respected and recognized by their peers. They hyped Roode’s U.S. Title Open Challenge up next. [c]

-Roode made his glorious ring entrance. He said he wants to be the greatest United States Champion in history, but in order to do that, he has to steal a tradition form a man he wants to surpass – John Cena. Boos. Roode smiled and said regardless of how you feel about him, he defended the title week after week. He said whoever accepts his challenge should come to the ring and meet him face to face rather than hitting him with an RKO Out of Nowhere. After a pause, Randy Orton came out to his music. “Be careful what you wish for, Bobby, because you just may get it,” said Graves. Phillips said that title has eluded Orton during his career. They had a face-off. Roode smiled and jumped up and down. Then Jinder Mahal came out.

NOTE: If you have questions or a reaction to tonight’s Smackdown, send it to for the Mailbag Segment of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast (#WKPWP) taped tonight and available a couple hours after Smackdown ends.


Jinder mocked Orton for finishing no. 9 in his peer rankings. He said he respects him, but the rest of the Smackdown roster thinks he’s peaked. Orton grabbed a second mic and told Jinder that he doesn’t give a damn about any top ten list. Jinder said after 16 years in WWE, he was ranked no. 9 by his peers, whereas Roode after six months was no. 5. Jinder asked if that bothers him considering all he has sacrificed. “You’re beaten by an arrogant newcomer,” Jinder said. Fans chanted “RKO!”

Roode said those are big words for a man who didn’t even make the top ten. Jinder was fuming. Roode said nobody respects him. Roode told Orton he has nothing but respect for him and everything he has done in the ring. Jinder huffed and puffed. Roode said the reason he’s only no. 9 is because everybody is getting sick and tired of being attacked out of nowhere. Orton asked if he means this. Then he gave Samil Singh an RKO Out of Nowhere. The crowd popped. Jinder took a swing at Orton, but Roode set up a DDT. Orton went after Roode. Jinder gave Roode his Khallas. Then one to Orton, too. He stood over both of them. Graves said he might not have the locker room’s respect, but he just commanded it from Roode and Orton.

(Keller’s Analysis: It was productive for Roode to actually get a chance to speak about something at some length and set up his mission statement. Doing it opposite the popular Orton might not work toward getting fans lined up behind either of them, though. Jinder helped in that regard. Roode addressed the obvious, which is why is a former WWE Champ like Jinder who didn’t make the list trying to stir trouble over Orton being at no. 9. This seems to set up – yes – yet another match with three or more wrestlers, though.) [c]

-Graves plugged that Ronda Rousey would sign her WWE Raw contract at the Elimination Chamber.

-The New Day walked out to their entrance and entered a ring with table mid-ring filled with pancakes. Kofi Kingston said it’s Fat Tuesday, and Big E was going to celebrate by eating 108 pancakes in eight minutes. Big E shoved a bunch into his mouth, but there was no syrup or butter and he kind of stalled out. Then Shelton Benjamin and Chad Gable walked out onto the stage. Gable said, “Wow. This is great guys. This is awesome.” He said when he was training for the Olympics, this is exactly what I imagined he’d be part of. Shelton said he thinks what they’re doing is great. “What you guys have done for pancakes is astronomical.” He suggested they take that on the road. Shelton said they can leave the Smackdown Tag Team Division to “a couple of serious contenders.”

Kofi responded by picking his nose. Xavier asked if they’re not serious competitors as Big E gyrated his hips. Xavier said they set the record for the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Title reign. He asked who even wants to see Gable & Benjamin as champion. “Nobody!” they shouted together. Gable told them to “shoosh!” Hilarious. He asked if they actually have a serious side. He picked up a pancake and threw it onto the mat. Shelton said they didn’t like that. Shelton then threw another on the mat. New Day looked very upset as Gable and Shelton laughed uproariously. Big E pulled a tray of pancakes off the table and told them, intensely, “Don’t you touch our cakes!” Gable said they had some news for them: “Nobody likes pancakes.” The fans booed. Shelton said they’re eating waffles from now on. Big E said, “No you didn’t!” Xavier and Kofi held him back. Phillips said they’d wrestle next. [c]

(3) SHELTON BENJAMIN & CHAD GABLE vs. NEW DAY (Big E & Kofi Kingston)

On a split screen during the break, they showed workers clearing the ring of pancakes and the tables. The match began. Gable eventually made a hot-tag to Shelton, but the ref didn’t see it and disallowed him. As Shelton protested, Kofi dropkicked him from behind. The ref made Gable stay in the ring. As he protested, Big E picked him up and then Kofi leaped off the top rope with The Midnight Hour for the win.

WINNERS: New Day in 6:00.

-Renee Young asked Ziggler what he’s been up to since abdicating the U.S. Title. Ziggler said he’s been more selective in picking his spots. He said it’s about doing what he was put on this planet to do – perform in this ring. He said no one is better than him and no one will outshine him. He said the reason he is back is to do the one thing that eluded him his entire career – he wants to main event WrestleMania. “And I’ll be damned if I don’t walk in there as WWE Champion.”

(Keller’s Analysis: Ah, the return of Ziggler yelling during his promo and talking about being a great performer, with no reference to wanting to actually win matches. At least he stated at the end a new mission – to headline WrestleMania. And to do that, he has to win matches.) [c]

-A promo aired of the Usos backstage with big red and blue words flashing on the screen of words after they said. Then the Bludgeon Brothers walked up and bashed the TV screen that was showing the video with sledgehammers. Unlike 20 years ago, no shattered glass and broken knobs and plastic casing. Instead, a light thin piece of plastic fell off the flat screen and floated to the floor.

-Backstage Owens told Sami he can’t let him down and lose his match. Sami said Owens already let him down. Sami said there is “no ‘we’ in this championship match.” He said it’s every man for himself.

-Sami made his ring entrance. Then Ziggler made his ring entrance. [c]

-Byron said Riott Squad just challenged Charlotte & Naomi & Becky to a six-woman tag match which will take place next week in Phoenix, Ariz.


Graves pointed out (the absurd) rules of the WWE Title match at Fastlane in which Sami can pin KO and then Sami becomes champion without Styles needing to be involved in the finish. Graves defended Bryan’s rationale because after a mistake by a referee, he was just trying to make things right. Byron took Shane’s side. Graves pointed Byron toward “that Kool-Aid over there.” [c]

They showed KO watching the match on a monitor backstage. The announcers noted that he can’t help Sami win to keep Ziggler out of the match because that would cost him. Ziggler blocked a Fameasser attempt, but he went for it again and hit it for a near fall. Sami landed an Exploder Suplex off the top rope. Both were slow to get up. Sami catapulted Ziggler head-first into the ringpost a minute later. Sami set up a Helluva kick, but Ziggler side-stepped him and hit the Zig Zag for a believable near fall. (Not sure how I feel about Ziggler coming back so quickly from going head-first into the ringpost.) Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Graves acknowledged it. Graves called the crowd “the California Faithful.” (So they’re allowed to say California, but not Bakersfield.) They showed KO getting excited backstage as Sami rallied. Sami went for another Helluva kick, but Ziggler superkicked him and scored the three count. “It is now a Fatal Five-way!” said Phillips excitedly.

WINNER: Ziggler in 17:00.

NOTE: If you have questions or a reaction to tonight’s Smackdown, send it to for the Mailbag Segment of the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast (#WKPWP) taped tonight and available a couple hours after Smackdown ends.

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