2/17 WWE SMACKDOWN TV RESULTS: McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Zayn in Montreal, Gunther vs. Moss IC title, McIntyre/Sheamus vs. Viking Raiders

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


FEBRUARY 17, 2023

Announcers: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett


-The show opened with a video recap of last weeks Smackdown Tag Team Championship match and the return of Jey Uso. The video showed the Usos’ victory, and their conversation backstage. It then transitioned to the conversation between Sami Zayn and Jey and their fist bump. The video finished with the closing segment of Smackdown when Paul Heyman told Jimmy Uso that, sometimes, you see things on TV that you don’t see live.

-The Smackdown video introduction played. After the video, pyro exploded on the stage in the arena and the camera panned the crowd. Michael Cole welcomed the audience to the show. He announced attendance of over 15,000 fans. The camera zoomed out to show the Elimination Chamber hung above the ring. Wade Barrett mentioned that twenty-four hours before the biggest match of Sami Zayn’s career, he’ll be here live tonight. They then showed a graphic to advertise Zayn’s appearance on the show later on.

-Natalya made her entrance. They then showed a graphic for the Women’s Elimination Chamber match tomorrow. Cole hyped the match and said Natalya has revenge on her mind tonight.

-Shotzi made her entrance on the tank. Cole threw to a video package on the beatings that have been doled out by Shayna Baszler and Ronda Rousey over the last couple of months. After the video, Cole mentioned that they broke Natalya’s nose and Shotzi’s arm.

-Baszler and Rousey made their entrance to a chorus of boos.


Baszler started against Natalya. Natalya charged and took Baszler down with a headlock. Natalya then transitioned to a waistlock. Baszler fought to her feet and went after the hand of Natalya. Natalya fought out and delivered a snapmare followed by a kick. Baszler tagged in Rousey. Natalya went to Rousey’s arm but Rousey reversed and took control. The crowd chanted “you can’t wrestle” at Rousey. Natalya flipped through the arm wrench and went for a quick Sharpshooter but Rousey escaped and tagged in Baszler. Shotzi tagged in. Baszler took control and took Shotzi to the corner and tagged in Rousey. Rousey hung upside down in the ropes and applied an armbar to Shotzi. Baszler tagged back in and set up the arm stomp but Shotzi rolled out and took Baszler down. Rousey tagged back in. Shotzi stopped Rousey from tagging Baszler and delivered a double underhook back suplex. Shotzi bridged into a submission but Rousey countered. Rousey grabbed a waistlock but Shotzi was able to dump Rousey through the ropes to the outside. Shotzi came through the ropes and took out Rousey with a dive. Natalya came around the corner and took Baszler down with a clothesline. Shotzi climbed to the top rope and dove to take out Baszler and Rousey. Natalya and Shotzi stood tall as they cut to break. [c]

Back from break, Baszler was in control of Shotzi. Shotzi fought up from a headlock but Baszler wrenched her back down and went after the arm. Shotzi fought back up as the crowd cheered her on. Shotzi reached for Natalya but Baszler held her back. Shotzi tossed Baszler off, but into her path of Natalya. Baszler cut Shotzi off again, then knocked Natalya off the apron. Baszler took Shotzi to the corner and Rousey tagged in. Shotzi tossed Baszler to the outside. Shotzi then came over the top rope and delivered a DDT to Rousey on the apron. Really cool spot. Baszler tagged in after Shotzi rolled in. Shotzi crawled towards Natalya but Baszler stopped her. Shotzi delivered a kick to Baszler then tagged in Natalya. Natalya took Baszler down then hit a German suplex. Natalya went for an Irish whip but Baszler reversed. Natalya hit the corner and Baszler charged with a knee but Natalya moved and hit a running powerbomb. Baszler went for the Kirifuda Clutch but Natalya backed her into the corner. Rousey made a tag and came off the top rope but Natalya moved. Natalya locked in a Sharpshooter and Rousey moved toward the ropes but Natalya pulled her back to the center of the ring. Baszler entered the ring and Natalya broke the hold and fought Baszler off. Shotzi tagged in and they set up a Hart Attack but Baszler pulled Natalya to the outside. Rousey countered Shotzi into an armbar and got the tap for the win.

WINNER: Ronda Rousey & Shayna Baszler in 12:00

-Baszler and Rousey celebrated in the ring.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Fine TV match but nothing special. I was surprised at the crowd support for Shotzi and Natalya. On top of that, this crowd really hated Rousey, huh? Is that a Canadian thing? Anyway, Shotzi and Natalya got a lot more offense than I expected. Shotzi had some cool spots and looked good here. It’s a shame she can’t be more consistent and really mean something in the shallow pool that is the Smackdown Women’s Division. The right team won here and I actually liked the finish with Rousey finally getting a shot at the armbar and Shotzi having no choice but to tap. Good use of time to showcase these four.)

-They then showed a graphic to hype Zayn’s appearance later in the show. Afterwards, they showed a picture from War Games this past November. Barrett said that we’ll revisit Zayn’s highs and lows with the Bloodline after the break. [c]

-Cole and Barrett sat ringside. Cole said that Zayn will attempt to take the title from Roman Reigns tomorrow at Elimination Chamber. Cole then threw to a video package on Zayn’s initial involvement in the Bloodline after Wrestlemania last year. The video then showed Zayn helping the Bloodline in numerous ways over the months. The video then showed Kevin Owens’ warnings about the Bloodline. They then showed some of Zayn’s tough times in the Bloodline culminating with his trial on Raw. After the video, Cole asked where it all went wrong, and he said they would show us later tonight.

-Hit Row was in the ring. They did a rap. Top Dolla said that Bret screwed Bret and they can’t wait to leave Canada tomorrow. B-Fabb said they can’t wait to “maple leave”. Suddenly, the lights went out and the opening chords of Bray Wyatt’s music played. Wyatt in a mask and Uncle Howdy appeared on opposite ring aprons. Wyatt removed his mask and they attacked. Wyatt put a Mandible Claw on Top Dolla and tossed him over the top rope. Wyatt then put a Mandible Claw on Ashante the Adonis and tossed him to Uncle Howdy who delivered a Sister Abigail.

-Wyatt took a mic and told the crowd they’re welcome. The crowd chanted “thank you Bray”. Wyatt then said that tomorrow, whoever wins the match between Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar, should run. The camera cut away quickly.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Great use of Wyatt and Howdy here. Really smart move to have them end that terrible rap and take out Hit Row, who no one likes anyway. Besides that, the message to Lashley and Lesnar is interesting. Is it possible that Lashley and Lesnar could actually team up against Howdy and Wyatt for Mania? If not, I like that Wyatt mentioned he’s only going after the winner. I don’t know why he would care, but I guess that’s how he’ll decide? Oh well, I’m interested to see if he gets involved tomorrow.)

-Drew McIntyre and Sheamus were in the back getting pumped up for their match. [c]

-They showed pictures of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs parading around town with their Super Bowl WWE Championship.

-Cole threw to a video recap of last week’s Fatal Four Way match and Madcap Moss’ victory.

-Moss was in the back with Emma. He said no one thought he would win. Emma said that she knew he would win because of his physique and no one moves like Moss. Moss said no one thinks he can win tonight. Moss said he knows he can and he’ll shock everyone. Emma and Moss then said that Moss is a superstar.

-Ariel Helwani was in the crowd. He said the buzz in the city is insane. He said that Montreal is ready to see our guy, Sami Zayn, tomorrow night.

-Drew McIntyre and Sheamus made their entrance. Cole said that they have a score to settle tonight. Barrett said that we may have a banger headed our way.

-The Viking Raiders made their entrance with Valhalla. Cole mentioned that McIntyre and Sheamus beat the Raiders in Smackdown Tag Team Tournament, and the Raiders attacked Sheamus and McIntyre before the second round.

(2) DREW McINTYRE & SHEAMUS vs. VIKING RAIDERS (Erik & Ivar w/ Valhalla)

Ivar started against Sheamus. Sheamus tried a Brogue but missed, then Ivar missed a spin kick. Both men went to the outside and brawled. McIntyre and Erik brawled as well. Sheamus sent Ivar back into the ring and they battled for a second before Sheamus clotheslined Ivar over the top rope and down to the floor. Erik hyped Ivar up on the outside as Sheamus and McIntyre stood tall in the ring. [c]

Erik beat on Sheamus and tagged in Ivar. Ivar pulled Sheamus to his knees and went for a neck wrench. Sheamus fought to his feet as the crowd cheered him on. Ivar stopped Sheamus in his tracks and took him to the corner. Ivar hit a series of elbows then took Sheamus over to Erik and tagged Erik in. Erik pulled at Sheamus’ mouth then hit him with a forearm. Sheamus fought up from his knees but Erik cut him off with a forearm. Ivar tagged in and charged Sheamus in the corner. Sheamus fired out of the corner and took Ivar down with a huge clothesline. Sheamus crawled toward McIntyre and tagged him in. Erik tagged in as well. McIntyre met Erik with a pair of clotheslines followed by a back elbow then a belly to belly throw. McIntyre then hit the neckbreaker and kipped up. McIntyre went for the Future Shock DDT but Erik fought McIntyre off. They traded blows then McIntyre caught Erik coming off the ropes with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. Ivar tagged in and charged McIntyre. They collided and McIntyre tagged in Sheamus. Sheamus charged Ivar in the corner but Ivar took Sheamus down with a big kick. Ivar climbed to the top rope but Sheamus cut him off. Sheamus followed Ivar up and delivered White Noise off the second rope. Both men were down as they cut to break. [c]

Sheamus and McIntyre delivered stereo Ten Beats as the crowd counted along. McIntyre charged Ivar in the corner but Ivar caught him with an elbow. McIntyre recovered and slammed Ivar. Sheamus tagged in and came off the top rope with a knee. He covered Ivar for a near fall. Erik tagged in and charged Sheamus but Sheamus caught Ivar with a slam. Sheamus measured for a Brogue Kick but Erik caught Sheamus in a powerbomb position. Erik fell in a botch, but he recovered and delivered the powerbomb. Erik climbed to the middle rope and leapt but Sheamus caught him with a knee. McIntyre tagged in and measured Erik. He counted down but Ivar pulled Erik out of the ring. McIntyre ran the ropes and dove over the top to take out both Raiders on the outside. McIntyre measured Erik in the ring again. Valhalla jumped on the apron and distracted McIntyre. Erik made the tag to Ivar in the meantime. Erik took down McIntyre and handed McIntyre to Ivar who was on the second rope. Ivar slammed McIntyre off the second rope and made the cover. Sheamus made the save, then battled with Erik. Ivar went to the top and leapt off to hit a splash on McIntyre for a near fall. Erik tagged back in. The Raiders lifted McIntyre but Sheamus came in and hit a Brogue Kick on Ivar. McIntyre hit the Claymore on Erik and made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Drew McIntyre & Sheamus in 17:00

(McDonald’s Analysis: About what I expected from these two teams. I actually liked their match a few weeks ago a little better, but that doesn’t mean that this one was bad. McIntyre and Sheamus should have won, and they did, but they just seem like a rudderless ship at this point. Are they a team and going after the Usos or are they just teaming together because they’re friends? They’re both capable of so much more and they’re just stuck in this weird limbo right now. The Viking Raiders are made to look like a threat, but it ends up being an empty promise because they always lose. It’s an odd spot for both of these teams because all four of them are talented but it’s just not their turn right now. I’ll be interested to see what’s on the horizon for them as Mania approaches.)


-McIntyre and Sheamus celebrated. Cole said they are in gear for Wrestlemania season.

-Cole and Barrett were shown ringside. Cole threw to part two of the Sami Zayn story. The video showed Zayn stopping Roman Reigns at Royal Rumble. The video then shifted to Reigns giving the chair to Zayn and Zayn’s betrayal of Reigns and the Bloodline. The video then showed the beatdown on Zayn afterwards and Jey’s walk out. After that, the video shifted to Zayn’s attack on Reigns two weeks ago on Smackdown. The video then focused on Zayn’s challenge and Reigns’ acceptance after another beat down of Zayn. After the video, they showed a graphic for Zayn’s appearance later in the show. Barrett hyped his appearance.

-Asuka’s music played and she made her entrance. Cole called Asuka the favorite in tomorrow’s Elimination Chamber. They then showed a graphic for Asuka against Liv Morgan. Cole said that Carmella stirred the pot on social media, which led to this match. Cole hyped the match for after the break. [c]

-Kayla Braxton welcomed Rey Mysterio. She threw to a video from last week when Santos Escobar and Rey Mysterio exchanged masks. Kayla called it a special moment that they shared. After the video, Mysterio said he knew it meant a lot to Escobar. Mysterio said that competition and respect mean a lot here. Karrion Kross appeared with Scarlett. He echoed the word respect. Kross said he wanted to be a father but when he saw the lack of respect Dominik has for Mysterio he reconsidered. He said that Mysterio hides his face in shame because he’s a pathetic excuse for a father. Kross then said that’s just Scarlett’s opinion. Kross told Mysterio to do something more. Kross then said tick, tock and walked away.

(McDonald’s Analysis: That was a cool segment with Escobar and Mysterio. I don’t think that makes Escobar a face or anything, but I like the respect aspect and adding some depth to that character and the importance of the masks in Lucha Libre. Kross has been way better than I expected in this Mysterio feud. At this point, I’m more interested in him than I thought I would be and I think Levesque and the writers are doing a good job of playing to his strengths. With that said, I hope these guys have a match and blow this thing off at some point so we can see what they actually think of Kross.)

-Liv Morgan made her entrance. Cole mentioned that Morgan enters her record fourth Elimination Chamber tomorrow. Carmella joined commentary.


Asuka took down Morgan. Asuka extended a hand but pulled it away when Morgan went to shake. Morgan hit some strikes on Asuka but Asuka snatched her and delivered a suplex. Asuka made a cover for a near fall. Asuka went to Morgan’s arm. Raquel Rodriguez walked down the ramp and came around the ring to confront Csrmella. Nikki Cross appeared as well and hugged Cole. Cross then climbed on the announce desk and chanted for Rodriguez and Csrmella to fight. Cross moved to Barrett’s lap. In the ring, Morgan hit an Oblivion off the top rope on Asuka. Morgan made the cover and Asuka kicked out at two. [c]

Back from break, Asuka was in control. Morgan fought up but Asuka cut her off. Morgan sent Asuka to the corner and then hit a running back bump. Asuka countered with a big kick and made the cover for a near fall. Cross sat on the announce desk and asked Cole to be her best friend. Carmella called her weird. Asuka kicked at Morgan in the ring. Morgan screamed at Asuka for more. Morgan got back to her feet and slapped Asuka. Asuka laughed. Morgan hit a punch but Asuka hit a series of strikes. Morgan countered with a big kick. Morgan charged Asuka in the corner then went to the top rope. Morgan came off with a missile dropkick. Morgan went for Oblivion but Asuka countered. Asuka missed a kick and Morgan rolled Asuka up for a near fall. Asuka countered into an armbar and Morgan tapped out.

WINNER: Asuka in 8:00

-Carmella entered the ring and hit Asuka with a kick. Natalya then took out Carmella. Cross entered and took out Natalya. Rodriguez came in and hit a Tahana Bomb on Cross. Rodriguez helped Morgan to her feet. Morgan delivered Oblivion as Rodriguez looked up at the Chamber. Asuka entered and took out Rodriguez with a kick. Morgan and Asuka stared each other down. Morgan left the ring and Asuka stood tall.

(McDonald’s Analysis: What a mess all of that was. What they showed of the match was good, but they chose really odd times to focus on whatever the hell Cross was doing at ringside with Cole. Just hokey and terrible. Carmella on commentary was enough, there was no reason to do any of the rest of this. It made Asuka and Morgan look like a joke. They’re half right, but they still shouldn’t make that the focal point. Asuka got the win and the obligatory brawl ensued after the fact. Asuka stood tall at the end, which, by WWE logic means she’s not winning tomorrow. I think that’s a red herring and don’t read into it. I think she’ll win anyway and buck the conventional trend.)

-Cole threw to Ariel Helwani in the crowd again. He said it’s been thirty years since Montreal won the Stanley Cup. He said if Zayn doesn’t win the crowd will lose it.

-Gunther was in the back with Imperium and Megan Morant. Gunther said he doesn’t care about what Moss had to say. He said some encouraging words from his girl doesn’t mean anything. Gunther said that he’s dominated for 250 days and just like everyone else, Moss will fall to the Ring General.

-Gunther made his entrance with Imperium. Cole touted his reign at 252 days and called it the longest reign of the twenty-first century. Cole then hyped Gunther on Corey Graves’ podcast. Gunther posed in the ring as they showed a graphic for his match against Madcap Moss. Cole hyped the match for after the break. [c]

-Madcap Moss made his entrance with Emma. Cole mentioned that no one expected Moss to win last week.

-Formal ring introductions took place.

(4) GUNTHER (c) (w/ Ludwig Kaiser & Giovanni Vinci) vs. MADCAP MOSS (w/ Emma) – Intercontinental Championship Match

Moss went for a takedown but Gunther stopped him and took Moss to the corner. Gunther delivered a chop. Gunther begged off and Moss charged and tackled Gunther. Moss took Gunther to the corner and drove his shoulder into Gunther’s gut. Gunther recovered and took Moss down with a headlock. Moss fought to his feet and shot Gunther off the ropes. Gunther took Moss down with a shoulder tackle. Moss attacked Gunther with strikes. Gunther and Moss traded shoulder blocks then Gunther came off the ropes with a big boot and covered Moss for a near fall. Gunther went back to the headlock. Moss went for a back suplex, but Gunther fought him off. Moss took Gunther over then sent him to the corner. Moss hit a running shoulder to Gunther’s gut again. Moss charged again but Gunther caught Moss with a headlock. Gunther came off the ropes and Moss countered with a spinebuster. Moss then ran the ropes and hit Gunther with a shoulder tackle that sent him to the outside. [c]

Moss and Gunther traded strikes. Gunther got the better of the exchange with three chops in succession. Moss went down on the third. Gunther set up for a powerbomb but Moss countered and went for a neckbreaker. Gunther blocked then went for a suplex but Moss countered. Moss ran the ropes and Gunther caught him with a sleeper. Moss countered with a back suplex. Moss ran the ropes and took Gunther down with a shoulder tackle and made the cover for a near fall. Moss picked up Gunther and went for a front facelock but Gunther blocked and hit a chop. Gunther went for a vertical suplex but Moss blocked and hit a suplex of his own. Moss hit a Punchline neckbreaker and covered Gunther, but Gunther kicked out. Barrett said it was the first time someone has kicked out of that move from Moss. Moss stayed on the attack but Gunther countered again and delivered a huge chop. Gunther went to the top rope but Moss cut him off. Moss climbed up to the second rope but Gunther chopped Moss down. Gunther went back to the top and Moss leapt up to meet him. Moss lifted Gunther and hit a fallaway slam off the middle rope. Moss made the cover for a near fall. Moss charged Gunther but Gunther caught Moss coming in with a sleeper. Moss tried to fight out but Gunther transitioned in a powerbomb and covered Moss for the win.

WINNER: Gunther in 10:00 to retain the Intercontinental Championship

(McDonald’s Analysis: Moss got a lot more than I thought he would, but he looked really good here. Gunther did his usual excellent job and he really helped Moss shine. This is probably the best match that Moss has had on Smackdown and that’s another feather in the cap for Gunther. I love the story of Gunther’s matches where he can absorb his opponents onslaught and take their best shot, but eventually, Gunther is just too much. It’s great every time. Gunther is the man and is doing more for the IC title than anyone in recent memory. Gunther has elevated the title and that’s how it should be. Now that he’s elevated the title, maybe that title can help elevate someone else down the road.)

-They showed a graphic for Sami Zayn. Cole said that Zayn will rally the troops after the break. [c]

-They showed post card shots of Montreal and the Montreal Canadiens NHL team.

-Cole and Barrett hyped segments for next week’s show. They included a Firefly Fun House, a face off with Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley and a match between Karrion Kross and Rey Mysterio.

-Sami Zayn’s old music played and he made his entrance to a loud ovation from the crowd. Zayn walked to the ring fired up and climbed on the corner as the crowd cheered and sang his music. The music stopped and the crowd chanted “Sami, Sami”. Zayn stood in the ring and soaked it all in. The crowd then chanted “Ole, Ole”. Zayn looked overwhelmed. Zayn grabbed the mic. The crowd continued to cheer. The crowd then chanted “you deserve it”. Zayn had a tear in his eye as he looked around. Another “Sami, Sami” chant started. Zayn started to lift the mic to his mouth but another “Ole, Ole” chant started. Zayn finally lifted the mic and wiped the tears from his eyes. Yet another “Sami, Sami” chant started. Zayn lifted the mic and the audio cut out as the crowd chanted what I assume is “f— you Roman”. Zayn lifted the mic to his mouth and spoke. He said that this time of year, everyone points to one thing. He gestured to the Wrestlemania sign. Zayn said they say it’s the most important show and that’s true, but tomorrow night, for him, is once in a lifetime. Zayn spoke French to Reigns. Zayn said tomorrow isn’t just Reigns against Zayn. It’s Reigns against Zayn and the entire city of Montreal. Zayn said that tomorrow night, Reigns is going down.

-They showed a graphic for Reigns against Zayn at Elimination Chamber. Cole hyped the match for tomorrow night.

(McDonald’s Analysis: This was more about the moment than the actual promo and that’s fine. We still haven’t gotten the promo from Zayn that a lot of us have been asking for, and we still didn’t tonight. I thought it was a possibility, but after seeing the crowd reaction, this was probably the best and really, only, way to go. I highly doubt Zayn will win, but, could you imagine? I’m interested to see what the atmosphere is like in the arena tomorrow night when Reigns makes his entrance and these two are nose to nose. Should be a good night of wrestling with an emotional main event.)

-Talk to everyone on the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post Show with Zack Heydorn in just a few minutes.-

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