SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE FRIDAY NIGHT SMACKDOWN PRIMER
FEBRUARY 26, 2021
TAMPA, FL. IN THE THUNDERDOME AT TROPICANA FIELD
AIRS ON FOX NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EST
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH.COM CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Michael Cole and Corey Graves
Match Results and Exclusives from Last Week
- Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Apollo Crews. Apollo attacked Intercontinental Champion Big E after the match, cementing his heel turn.
- Natalya & Tamina defeated the Riott Squad (Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan). Billie Kay emerged during the match and distracted Liv.
- 2021 Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair & Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks & Reginald defeated Bayley and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler.
- Rey Mysterio & Dominik defeated Otis & Chad Gable via DQ.
- Daniel Bryan & Kevin Owens & Cesaro defeated. Jey Uso & Sami Zayn & King Corbin.
Elimination Chamber Results Pertinent to Smackdown
- Daniel Bryan won the Elimination Chamber match to earn the right to face Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. He immediately had to face Reigns and lost. 2021 Royal Rumble winner Edge came out and pointed to the WrestleMania sign, indicating he would be facing Roman at the titular event. This was certified by fireworks going off after Edge did the pointing.
- As mentioned in Monday’s Raw primer, Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler defeated Sasha Banks & Bianca Belair to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship
Items Advertised by WWE
We’re past Elimination Chamber and on our way towards Fastlane, the last PPV before WrestleMania. WWE has three items advertised for tonight:
- Royal Rumble winner Bianca Belair to make her WrestleMania decision tonight.
- The Street Profits to battle Sami Zayn & King Corbin.
- Rey Mysterio & Dominik Mysterio once again take on Otis & Chad Gable.
My decision for the grandEST stage of them all!#WrESTleMania
Y’all ready? https://t.co/Ym5panDHF1
— Bianca Belair (@BiancaBelairWWE) February 26, 2021
WWE is advertising that Bianca Belair, winner of the 2021 Women’s Royal Rumble, will decide tonight which champion she will face at WrestleMania. Bianca has been teaming with Smackdown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks as of late and this past Sunday, unsuccessfully challenged Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship. Last week, they paired with Carmella’s sommelier Reginald to defeat the champs along with former Smackdown champion Bayley. Bianca had been embroiled in a feud with Bayley around the time of the Royal Rumble, and they exchanged victories on Smackdown over the period of a month.
Frank’s Analysis: I didn’t know that a sommelier was a wine steward. Thank you, Google, for that knowledge and also how to spell the word. As far as Bianca’s decision, the fact that she will appear on Smackdown indicates she’s choosing Sasha Banks doesn’t it? I don’t see Io Shirai from NXT appearing tonight like Rhea Ripley did to Charlotte on Raw last year. I don’t see Asuka either. Why do I see Bayley getting involved and challenging Sasha at Fastlane for old time sake, complicating Bianca’s decision?
Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) vs. King Corbin & Sami Zayn
The Street Profits are several weeks removed from losing the Smackdown Tag Team Championship to Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode. King Corbin and Sami Zayn are less than a week removed from participating in the Smackdown Elimination Chamber match for the right to challenge Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship. Last week, Corbin & Zayn were involved on the losing end of a six-man tag match mentioned earlier.
The Profits made their case to Sonya Deville on the Elimination Chamber kickoff show for a rematch against Roode & Ziggler. Sonya “sidelined” them recently to allow Montez to recover from an injury. They are back to business so to speak and will seek to further their case as they take on Corbin & Sami. They have had multiple issues in recent times including Corbin walking out on Sami during a tag team against Big E and Apollo Crews (speaking of issues) on the New Year’s Day edition of Smackdown:
Frank’s Analysis: It’s always hard to figure out what they’re doing on the tag team side of things. In theory I expect a Profits victory and more issues between Corbin and Sami, but hard not to rule out other shenanigans taking place.
Rey & Dominik Mysterio vs. Alpha Academy (Otis & Chad Gable)
The aforementioned teams will face each other in a rematch from last week. Smackdown Tag Team Champions Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler were on hand giving guest commentary. Otis & Chad Gable were disqualified when Chad entered the ring and ordered Otis to run the ropes before splashing Dominik. This exceeded the referee’s five count, causing the DQ. Dolph called out Otis & Gable for not following the rules. Here’s Otis & Gable in a WWE exclusive:
Frank’s Analysis: Gable has been all over the place for several years, but he’s so low on the card I suppose it doesn’t matter. I hadn’t had Otis pegged for a heel run, but I’m curious to see how it goes with Gable by his side. I still think Gable deserves better than to be a comedy figure, but we’ll see how this works out.
Other Expectations and Final Thoughts
Yesterday I had the pleasure of joining Pro Wrestling Torch assistant editor Zack Heydorn for his VIP show On the Canvas. We broke down the Johnny Gargano vs. Kushida match for the NXT North American Championship at NXT Takeover: Vengeance Day. I look forward to that show dropping. In addition, I will be recording the next edition of WWE Then and Now this coming Tuesday. Bruce Hazelwood, author of the PWTorch.com “Raw Alt Perspective” report will join me to break down No Way Out 2005 as we continue to revisit the time period where we transitioned from the Ruthless Aggression era to the John Cena/Batista/Edge/Randy Orton years.
As far as tonight, outside of what I mentioned I’m curious to see how they move forward with Edge challenging Roman Reigns and how Daniel Bryan may/may not be involved in the situation. Fastlane coming up is a factor and you wonder if Reigns will defend the Universal Championship, despite knowing Edge is on the horizon.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Thank you for reading!