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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
FEBRUARY 14, 2020
AIRED LIVE ON FOX
Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves
-Cole introduced the show and touted a sellout crowd of 14,382. Graves hyped the main event tag match with Miz & John Morrison vs. Roman Reigns & a mystery partner. They showed Mandy Rose and Otis and talked about their Valentine’s Date. Graves hyped that Hulk Hogan would be on the show via satellite later and noted he’s a Hall of Famer.
-They went to “A Moment of Bliss” with Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross on the stage. They talked about their celebrity crushes. Nikki said hers was Brad Pitt, but it sounded like Brad Putt, which Graves pointed out. He wondered if he was a famous golfer. Cross introduced Carmella as their guest. Carmella danced out. Bliss said she is happy for Carmella, but some might say her victory is surprising because they haven’t heard much from her lately. Carmella said people love surprises. She said she’ll shock Bayley later when she becomes Smackdown Champion and reminds everyone why ‘Mella is Money. Bliss brought up a social media spat between them. Then they flashed pictures on the screen of the two getting along during happier times in the past. Bliss asked what happened. Carmella said, “Sasha happened.” She said it sucks because they were such good friends. She said it hurts Bayley doesn’t want to be her friend. Bliss began to react when Bayley interrupted.
Bayley came out looking exasperated. She said at one time, she saw something in Carmella and she thought she could show her the ropes and how to be a role model and leader. Bliss was going to interrupted, but Bayley cut her off and called her pipsqueak. Bayley bragged about beating Bliss and Cross in a handicapped match last summer. “That’s how I know nobody can touch Bayley.” Carmella stood up and asked, “Really?” She said she’s willing to put her money where her mouth is. She said it’s time to do this right here, right now. She marched to the ring as her music played again. Cole said Carmella just put Bayley on the spot. Bayley walked to the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: Bayley was better here as a heel than usual. Everyone else played their roles well. All in a all, a solid opening segment playing up their past to set up the match and put heel heat on Bayley.) [c]
(1) BAYLEY vs. CARMELLA – Smackdown Title match
The bell rang after the break. A few minutes in Bayley went for a top rope bodyblock, but Carmella ducked and then landed a superkick for a two count. Carmella then landed a top rope crossbody block for a two count. Bayley rolled to the floor. Carmella went after her, but Bayley lifted and dropped her face-first over the announce desk. [c]
Back in the ring Carmella rallied with clotheslines (which Bayley was bumping early for) and an atomic drop (that didn’t really look like it did anything). To his credit, Graves said he’s not sure how much of that landed. Carmella played to the crowd and then dove at Bayley in the corner. Bayley ducked behind the ref to avoid being kicked and then elbowed Carmella as she sprung from behind the ref. Carmella made a quick comeback, but Bayley surprised her with a sudden Bayley-to-Belly for a believable near fall. Bayley waited for Carmella to stand, then charged with a knee. Carmella moved, then threw Bayley to the floor. Bayley yanked Carmella’s neck over the top rope. Graves said Bayley is cagey. Carmella knocked Bayley off the top rope and then kicked her in the head. Bayley slumped over. Carmella took her to the mat with a huracanrana for a near fall. Carmella scored two leverage pins, but Bayley came back with a backslide attempt, which turned into a small package. Carmella kicked out and superkicked Bayley. Bayley again rolled to ringside. Fans booed. Carmella applied a Code of Silence a minute later. Bayley escaped, but gasped for breath. Bayley leveraged Carmella down as a counter to another Code of Silence and put her feet on the ropes for illegal leverage to score the pin.
WINNER: Bayley in 13:00 to retain the Smackdown Title.
(Keller’s Analysis: Nicely constructed match, with some up-and-down execution. The crowd was into it, and the near victories for Carmella clicked with the crowd.)
-Bayley attacked Carmella from behind afterward. Then she grabbed her title belt. Cole asked if those are actions of a champion. “That’s supposed to be your role model,” he said. Naomi then came out with a new pronounced hairstyle. Carmella and Naomi kicked Bayley and sent her to the floor onto her back. Naomi’s music then played.
-Cole plugged the Daytona 500 on Fox. Then they went to the announcers on camera who threw to a video package on King Corbin beating up a guy in the TV production truck and then pouring a beverage on a fan at ringside last week. A Tweet was then shown that WWE management fined Corbin an undisclosed amount of money and suspended him from competing on Smackdown this week.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to see WWE actually following up on actions by a heel against non-wrestlers that would be cause for some sort of discipline.)
-They plugged the mystery partner tag main event. [c]
-They showed postcard shots of Vancouver, B.C.
-They replayed what happened with Naomi, Carmella, and Bayley earlier. Then backstage Kayla Braxton interviewed Bayley, who was throwing a tantrum backstage. She said the next time she defends her title, it’ll be at Super Showdown and she doesn’t care who her opponent is because nobody can touch her.
-They went to the announcers at ringside. Cole talked about the Natalya vs. Lacey Evans match in Saudi Arabia. Then he threw to a video package on Lacey Evans. Cole said Renee Young will conduct a special interview with Lacey next Friday in Phoenix, Ariz. on Smackdown.
-They showed Otis getting dolled up for his date, combing his hair. He returned a Mandy text with some hearts. Tucker walked up to him. Otis said Mandy is running late, which gives him more time to get ready, but also more time to be nervous. Otis asked Tucker if he’s crazy to think Mandy might actually like him. Tucker said if Mandy deserves you, she will like him for all he has to offer. Otis said, “Tonight’s the night!”
-Sheamus made his ring entrance. [c]
-A commercial showed media touting the premiere week of the XFL and hyped the weekend game on Fox.
-A commercial hyped Raw, showing a clip of Shayna Baszler biting Becky Lynch.
(2) APOLLO CREWS & SHORTY G vs. SHEAMUS – Two-on-One match
Crews and Shorty attacked Sheamus before the bell. Crews kicked Sheamus on a backdrop attempt, then Shorty blind-tagged in and knocked Sheamus to the floor. Crews then landed a moonsault off the ring apron and threw Sheamus back into the ring. Shorty hit a missile dropkick. Crews landed a standing shooting star press for a two count. Sheamus kicked Shorty in the face to knock him off the ring apron when Crews ducked. Sheamus then took over on Crews. Fans chanted “Brogue! Brogue!” Then Crews stood and turned around, meeting Sheamus’s boot. The director showed close-ups of fans cheering him, which was an odd choice for a supposed heel.
WINNER: Sheamus in 4:00.
-Kayla interviewed Carmella backstage. She said she doesn’t want a handout, but she deserves as rematch. She looked at the camera and asked WWE management and Fox to give it to her. She promised she’d become the next Smackdown Champion.
-They showed Mandy Rose arriving for her date at a restaurant.
-They showed Hulk Hogan prepping for his interview in front of a wall of his own merchandise. [c]
-Cole plugged that Keith Lee would be on WWE Backstage next Tuesday on FS1. Graves plugged the Super Showdown main event The Fiend vs. Goldberg. They threw to a video package on Goldberg. Graves said he might be the next Universal Champion.
-Cole then interviewed Hogan. He got what sounded like a mild and mixed reaction from the Vancouver crowd. He talked about the NWO being honored at the WWE Hall of Fame. “That’s really strong,” he said. He said Hulkamania set the business on fire, and the NWO took it to a whole new level. Cole brought up Goldberg, one of his top rivals when he was in the NWO. He asked him whether Goldberg has a shot against The Fiend in two weeks. He said he’s been in the ring with Goldberg, and he told The Fiend to try to survive. The Fiend interrupted.
-Bray Wyatt walked onto the Firefly Funhouse set and tore off his shirt like Hogan and flexed like Hogan. He wore a t-shirt that said, “Not cool to eat your friends.” It had a picture of Buzzard eating Ramblin’ Rabbit. He said he’s been taking his vitamins. The pig showed up. Bray said he’s talking with his buddy about Hogan about eating right, something he wouldn’t know about it. Bray offered the pig chocolate and then fed it to him. “I hope it’s not too sweet!” he said. Bray giggled. Hogan said he’s a funny guy, but when he gets in the ring with Goldberg, that’s no joke. He wished him luck. Bray said he doesn’t need luck because he has a Fiend. “If you’re not careful, brother, please remember there can always be room for one more.” Hogan said he’d see him in Tampa for the Hall of Fame. Bray showed a framed picture of Hogan. Bray waved and said he’d see Goldberg very soon.
-Graves plugged the mystery partner tag team match later. They showed Otis getting ready for his date with Mandy. He had roses. Tucker gave him a final pep talk. [c]
-A This Week in History segment aired. They showed The Rock on Feb. 14, 2011 returning to Raw after seven years away. Rock gave Cole a hard time at ringside and told him it doesn’t matter what he thinks. Cole noted that Simone Johnson, Rock’s daughter, has signed to train as a wrestler.
-Cesaro and Sami Zayn stood mid-ring. Sami had a ukulele. He said he was going to perform a protest song in the tradition of great protest singers like Bob Dylan and Billy Bragg. He asked for silence. Sami tried to get the right pitch going. As he was about to play – with Cesaro standing next to him holding a cowbell ready to join in – Elias interrupted. He walked out and introduced himself. He said he was in the back taking a nap, but he got a phone call from a friend who said he had to stop this. He said Sami is trying to use him to make a name for himself. He said there is a universal truth that WWE stands for “Walk With Elias.” Sami asked who the hell he thinks he is interrupting their protest concert that the world is waiting to see. Elias said that’s why he’s out there. He said he’s staging a counter protest. Sami said on any other night, he’d have his security guards throw his ass out of the building and rough him up a little bit too. He told security to let Elias enter the ring. Elias entered the ring. Sami told him to listen close. Cesaro rang the cow bell obnoxiously and off-beat. Fans overrode Sami’s playing by singing, “Ohh, Walk with Elias.” He told them to shut their mouths while he exercises his free speech. He demanded some respect.
Sami and Cesaro tried again. Cesaro got a little too into it. Sami: “I need a lot less cowbell.” Sami strummed some more as fans chanted, “We Want Cowbells!” Cesaro threw his cowbell down and waved his arms that he was done. Fans booed. Sami strummed his ukulele some more. Cesaro clapped instead. Fans sang “Ohh, Walk With Elias.” Sami threatened to cancel the concert if they didn’t shut their mouths. Fans loudly chanted “Yes!” He asked if they thought this was a joke. When Cesaro made a move toward Elias, Elias fought back. Sami and Cesaro double-teamed him. Braun Strowman’s music played and he marched out for the save. Braun plowed through Sami’s security guys and went after Sami. A security guy stepped in the way, so Elias and Braun tossed him over the top rope onto three other security guys on the floor. Sami and Cesaro had retreated up the ramp by then.
-Kayla approached Naomi backstage. She said she’s tired of Bayley, and what happened to Carmella was unfair, but she wants the title shot because Bayley has never beat her. She said she is the next Smackdown Champion.
-They showed Mandy at the table. Graves asked what’s wrong with Otis, leaving Mandy waiting like that. “This is going to be a disaster!” he said. [c]
-A vignette advertised John Cena’s return to Smackdown in two weeks.
-Cole said he had breaking news that Bayley would be defending her title at Super Showdown. Next week, Carmella and Naomi would wrestle, winner facing Bayley. Cole also announced Goldberg would be at Smackdown live in Phoenix, Ariz. next week.
-A video package aired on the Otis-Mandy interactions in recent weeks.
-Otis showed up at the restaurant and strutted in. Dolph Ziggler got to the table first and put his hand on Mandy’s shoulder. He sat at the table and Otis saw them talking. Otis dropped his roses and got sad and angry, then turned and walked out.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was the totality of the payoff to that long-running build-up?) [c]
-Miz and Morrison made their ring entrance. They mocked the Usos, and said they weren’t there, and said they’re having their cousin Reigns fight for them. Miz said they are the greatest tag team of the 21st century.
-Reigns made his ring entrance. Then they aired a recap of the Reigns and Usos rivalry with Corbin, Miz, and Morrison. Then Daniel Bryan came out, revealed to be Reigns’s mystery tag team partner. Cole said Bryan and Reigns have had issues, but they share in common that neither can stand The Miz. Corbin walked down the steps amongst fans and held up a ticket. Reigns looked on as Corbin made his way to the front row. [c]
(Keller’s Analysis: Has there been an episode of WWE TV with less wrestling through the first hour and forty-five minutes than this one? Two matches so far.)
(3) ROMAN REIGNS & DANIEL BRYAN vs. MIZ & MORRISON
Reigns opened against Morrison. They showed Corbin sitting in a comfortable high-backed chair at ringside. Bryan landed a dive on Miz a minute later, then leaped off the top ope with a missile dropkick at Morrison in the ring. He kipped up and played to the crowd. Fans chanted “Yes! Yes!” Bryan threw a series of Yes Kicks to Morrison. Fans chanted “Daniel Bryan!” next as he took Morrison off the top rope with a huracanrana. Morrison yanked Bryan over the top rope to the floor to take over. Miz shoved Bryan hard into the ringside barricade. Reigns walked over to stop any more illegal actions from Miz. He noticed Corbin in the front row. Miz charged Reigns from behind. Morrison did a twisting flip dive over the ringpost onto Reigns and Bryan at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
The heels isolated Bryan after the break until Bryan avoided a Morrison top rope splash. He hot-tagged in Reigns who went to work against Miz aggressively, including ten clotheslines to Miz in the corner that fans counted along to. Reigns then kicked Miz in the mouth. Reigns smiled and played to the crowd. He set up his Superman Punch. Miz ducked and tagged in Morrison. Morrison landed a springboard roundkick for a two count. Reigns knocked Morrison out of mid-air a minute later with a Superman Punch. He played to the crowd again and then set up a spear. Morrison kicked him and then tagged in Miz. Miz hit the Skull Crushing Finale. Bryan broke up the cover and then knocked Morrison off the ring apron. Bryan then set up a dive, but Miz kicked him as he charged. Miz then mocked Bryan as he set up a Yes Kick. Fans yelled, “No! No! No!” Reigns caught Miz with a Superman Punch. (And by “caught,” I mean missed by six inches. Yikes, that was awful.) Cole said, “Roman didn’t get all of it, but I think he got enough of it.” Reigns then speared Miz and pinned him.
WINNERS: Reigns & Bryan in 13:00.
-Corbin entered the ring and hit Reigns with his scepter. Corbin then celebrated on the stage on his throne as the show ended.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Strange episode with only three matches and a weak payoff to the Valentine’s Day date.