WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS (2/2): McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on Reigns appearance, Bayley and Rhodes announce their Wrestlemania opponents

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


FEBRUARY 2, 2024

Announcers: Michael Cole, Corey Graves


-Corey Graves introduced the show as the camera showed the arena from the outside with fans filtering in.

-Roman Reigns arrived with Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, and Solo Sikoa. Graves said the aftershocks of the Royal Rumble are still being felt. A video recap of the Royal Rumble aired.

-After the video, Cody Rhodes was shown arriving to the building earlier today. Damage Ctrl was also shown walking around the arena before the fans arrived.

-Graves then introduced the show again as the camera panned the crowd.

(McDonald’s Analysis: It’s a small thing, but I really like all the different things they did here. The outside shot of the arena followed by Superstars in different times of the day showing up to the arena and being in different areas. It felt new.)

-Logan Paul made his entrance. The announce team was shown ringside. Graves introduced Wade Barrett as the new co-host of Smackdown.

-Paul stood in the middle of the ring with a mic. The crowd booed. He said he was going to be nice. He said if Alabama didn’t want him there, he didn’t want to be there either. Paul said Alabama sucks. He said he underestimated Kevin Owens. Paul said Owens made him fight. He said that Owens did more damage to him than Floyd Mayweather. Paul said Owens made him bleed and almost knocked him out, but Owens still lost and Paul is still the champion. Paul said he’s one of the toughest people on the roster. Paul poked fun at CM Punk and Seth Rollins’ injuries. Paul called himself the best and the United States Champion.

-Kevin Owens made his entrance to interrupt Paul. Owens had a mic and stood on the stage. Paul sat on the top turnbuckle in the ring. Owens said Birmingham seems like a great place to him. Paul started to talk. Owens cut him off and said no one wants to hear more from Paul. Owens said that Paul is an idiot. Owens said he got a moral victory. He said it would have been great to be U.S. Champion, but it felt better to knock out Paul. Owens said he needed to restore prestige to the title. He said to do that, he needs to beat Paul for it.

-Paul said that it was Owens’ one and only shot at the title. Paul said the brass knuckles were a set-up and he outsmarted Owens. Owens said this may be new to Paul, but he’s been around for almost ten years. Owens said he will do whatever it takes to win a match. He said he got caught and everyone was mad at the ref, but he did a great job. Owens said it was great work by the ref. Owens entered the ring. He said that he didn’t need brass knuckles to beat Paul. Paul said Owens was too close and he smells horrible. Owens said he bathed in Prime before he came. Paul said Owens got his title shot and Owens needs to focus on something else. Paul said he’s going to find a real challenger. Paul told Owens to worry about his match with Austin Theory while Paul talks trash on commentary.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I don’t think anyone expected this to be over after the Rumble, but this definitely confirms that. Good back and forth. These guys are more entertaining on the mic against each other than they are in the ring. Both are good, but something was missing from their match this past Saturday. Hopefully, the second one is a little better.)

-Austin Theory made his entrance with Grayson Waller at his side. Graves said that Paul would join commentary and the match between Owens and Theory would be after the break. [c]

-They showed a graphic for Cody Rhodes. Barrett said that Rhodes will make his decision tonight and announce who he will face at Wrestlemania.

(1) KEVIN OWENS vs. AUSTIN THEORY (w/ Grayson Waller)

The bell rang eighteen minutes into the hour. Owens took Theory down with a headlock. Theory tried to get free but Owens clamped down on the headlock. Theory finally shot Owens off and Owens took Theory down with a shoulder tackle. Theory ducked under Owens and Owens took him down with an armdrag into an armbar. Theory got to his feet and pushed Owens against the ropes. Owens got free and delivered a chop. Owens landed a right and Theory answered with a couple of his own. Owens knocked Theory down and went for a senton but Theory got his knees up. Theory stomped on Owens as Paul cheered him on from commentary. Theory choked Owens with the bottom rope. Theory punched away at Owens in the corner. Owens drove his knee into Owens’ throat before the ref broke it up. Owens recovered and whipped Owens into the ropes. Theory recovered and took Owens down. Theory went for a rolling dropkick but Owens moved. Owens landed a senton followed by a cannonball into the corner. Owens made a cover for a two count. The crowd cheered Owens on. They battled to the apron. Theory went for a suplex but Owens countered. Owens went for a powerbomb but Theory countered into a backdrop. Owens landed hard on the apron then rolled to the floor as the show cut to break. [c]

Theory had Owens in a headlock. Paul looked on from ringside. Owens fought to his feet and got free with a headbutt. Owens sent Theory into the ropes and took Theory down with a big clothesline. Owens yelled at Paul. Theory went after Owens but Owens landed chops. Owens knocked Theory down in the corner. He yelled at Paul again. Theory countered a whip and charged but Owens got a boot up. Owens followed up with a tornado DDT. Owens climbed to the top rope and came off with a Swanton Bomb. Owens made the cover for a near fall. The crowd cheered on Owens. Owens taunted Theory. Owens went for a Stunner but Theory kicked Owens away. Theory tossed Owens into the ring post and followed up with a rolling leaping neckbreaker. Theory made the cover for a two count. Theory took Owens to the corner and lifted him to the top rope. Theory blocked the superplex counter and landed a punch. Theory pulled Owens onto his shoulders and spun him into a slam. Theory made the cover for a two count. Waller jumped on the apron and distracted the ref. Paul handed brass knuckles to Theory. Owens landed a superkick to Theory. Owens knocked Waller off the apron. Owens got a hold of the brass knuckles and hit Theory with them. Owens made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Kevin Owens in 12:00

-Owens concealed the brass knuckles from the ref and chased Paul from the ringside area. Graves said this was a turnaround from the Rumble as Owens didn’t get caught this time.

(McDonald’s Analysis: The match was fine, but I feel like we’ve seen this on Smackdown fourteen times since Owens has come over. The brass knuckles thing is stupid. If a heel does it, he’s a cheater. If Owens steals the brass knuckles then the heel got what he deserved and Owens is smart? It’s dumb. He still cheated and the announcers should harp on that.)

-Rhea Ripley was shown arriving in the arena. Graves said she’s here to listen to Bayley’s decision after winning the Women’s Royal Rumble.

-They showed a recap of Naomi’s return at the Royal Rumble. Naomi was in the back. She held up a Smackdown contract. Tiffany Stratton appeared and said she also signed a Smackdown contract. She said she isn’t afraid to step up to the baddest woman in WWE. Stratton slapped Michin and walked off. Nick Aldis emerged from his office and held Michin back. Michin said she was going to get payback.

(McDonald’s Analysis: After watching the Rumble, I think WWE hired the wrong woman from TNA. I have a hard time believing that Naomi will go much higher than she did the first time around. With that said, I’m very excited to have Tiffany Stratton on Smackdown. I was impressed with her in the Rumble and Smackdown could really benefit from some fresh faces in the Women’s Division. I’m looking forward to this.)

-Pretty Deadly made their entrance. They showed a graphic for a Fatal Four Way Tag Team match. Graves said the match has title implications and he will explain more after the break. [c]

-Bianca Belair was in the back with Nick Aldis. Belair said if Bayley chooses Ripley, what does that mean for Iyo Sky. Paul interrupted. He wanted to talk about an opponent for his U.S. Title. Belair was offended. Paul congratulated Belair on her Hulu show and the cover of WWE 2k. Paul said Aldis should gain control of his show and focus on his top stars. Paul walked off. Aldis turned to Belair and said he was talking to a top star. Belair agreed.

-Legado Del Fantasma was in a restaurant. Santos Escobar said he sees his family and they have an unbreakable bond. He said there’s nothing more valuable to him than family. Escobar said they have been entrusted to carry the legacy of their families and the mantle of lucha libre. He said they need to eradicate the L.W.O. Escobar called for a toast to honor, loyalty, and Legado.

-Angel and Humberto made their entrance with Elektra Lopez. The L.W.O. was already on the apron as were Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate.

(2) PRETTY DEADLY (Kit Wilson & Elton Prince) vs. L.W.O. (Joaquin Wilde & Cruz Del Toro) vs. ANGEL & HUMBERTO (w/ Elektra Lopez) vs. PETE DUNNE & TYLER BATE

Graves said there would be a second four way on Monday and the winners of the two matches would have a Tag Team title match at Elimination Chamber. Dunne worked on the arm of Prince. Prince got free and tagged in Wilde. Wilde took down Dunne with a headscissors. Del Toro and Bate hit the ring and traded spots. They stood tall and stared each other down. The four heels attacked them from behind. All the men brawled in the ring. Del Toro and Humberto were left. Del Toro knocked Humberto to the outside. He tagged in Wilde. They hit double baseball slides to Angel and Humberto. Wilde dove off the second rope onto Angel and Humberto and Pretty Deadly. [c]

Prince had Wilde in a headlock. Wilde fought to his feet. Prince took Wilde back down. Wilde reached for Dunne but Prince held him back. Prince went for a suplex but Wilde landed on his feet. Wilde got free and tagged in Dunne. Dunne took out all the heels with kicks. Dunne stepped on the hands of Prince and then landed a kick. Wilson entered and went for a suplex on Dunne. Dunne landed on his feet and Dunne landed a kick to Wilson. Dunne took down Wilde. Pretty Deadly hit Bad Apples on Dunne. They made the cover but Bate broke the count. Bate spun Prince around. Dunne made the cover but Angel and Humberto broke it up. Angel and Humberto took down Dunne with a double team. Del Toro and Wilde knocked Angel and Humberto to the outside. Lopez jumped on the apron but Zelina Vega pulled her down. Wilde and Del Toro hit dives on Angel and Humberto. Wilson and Dunne were in the ring. Dunne pulled at Wilson’s fingers. Bate tagged in. They hit a double suplex on Wilson and Bate made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate in 8:00

-Graves said they will face the winner of Raw’s four way match and the winner will head to Elimination Chamber.

-Graves announced that Michin would face Stratton later on. A graphic accompanied the announcement.

-Graves and Barrett sat ringside. Graves threw to a video recap of Damage Ctrl’s appearance on Raw this past Monday. The video showed their interaction with Rhea Ripley and Nia Jax’s attack on Ripley. Jax told Bayley that she could choose Iyo Sky because Ripley won’t make it to Wrestlemania.

-Sky, Asuka, and Kairi Sane were in the back. Sky told them not to worry about it because Bayley is done, tonight. Asuka, Sane, and Sky laughed and walked off. Bayley emerged from the restroom showing that she heard the whole thing. Bayley stood with her arms crossed and looked betrayed. [c]

-They showed video of Philadelphia and promoted Wrestlemania. Afterwards, Graves threw to a video package centered around Cody Rhodes’ Rumble win and his interaction with Seth Rollins this past Monday on Raw.

-Rhodes was in the back with his dog. Barrett asked who Rhodes would choose and said we would find out later tonight.

-Nick Aldis and Adam Pearce were in the ring.


-Damage Ctrl made their entrance. Graves said Bayley is polarizing, but Bayley called her shot and made her dream come true. Barrett put over how long Bayley was in the Rumble.

-Damage Ctrl entered the ring. Bayley shook hands with Aldis and Pearce. Graves asked who Bayley would choose to face at Wrestlemania. The crowd chanted for Bayley. Bayley smirked and got a mic. Bayley said she’s almost done it all at Wrestlemania. She said she’s defended all three titles and hosted, but this year is different and it’s special. Bayley looked at Damage Ctrl. She said she didn’t get here on her own. She said she had a lot of ups and downs but she wasn’t alone. Bayley said she had her girls and they supported her. Bayley said they were there for the car rides and in the locker room when things didn’t go as Bayley planned. Bayley called Damage Ctrl the greatest women’s faction of all time. She said they were family. Bayley said when she thinks of Wrestlemania she thinks of moments and magic. Bayley said she thinks of being the best and to be the best, she has to beat one of the best. Bayley said that brings her to Rhea Ripley. She said she could pick a different fight. She said sometimes it isn’t about a championship, it’s personal. Bayley said that sometimes it’s about proving yourself and proving people wrong. Bayley said sometimes you have to prove people wrong. Bayley asked if Damage Ctrl was done laughing. Bayley spoke Japanese. She said she learned it from listening to them talk behind her back. Bayley said she wanted Damage Ctrl to be the best and wanted to do it together. Bayley said they see nothing in her. Bayley yelled at Sky. Asuka and Sane attacked Bayley from behind. Sky cheered them on. Bayley was in the corner. Bayley pulled something from under the ring. It was a pipe. Bayley attacked Damage Ctrl with the pipe. Asuka and Sane bailed out of the ring. Sky held up the title and looked at Bayley in disbelief. Bayley said she would see Sky at Wrestlemania.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Good stuff. I didn’t like the emotional part at the end. I get why they did it and it made sense, I just think they could have done without it. Bayley is hurt and wants Damage Ctrl to know that. Bayley came off great when she spoke Japanese and Asuka, Sane, and Sky sold it well. I just wish Bayley would have continued with that confidence instead of breaking into the emotions. It’s a total nitpick because the segment worked as a whole. Bayley broke from the group and now needs to show why she’s a babyface. This is much better than her being kicked out of the group and being a lame babyface because the heels didn’t want to be her friends anymore. They could have gone that route and they didn’t. That’s a positive sign. Good segment and I’m looking forward to seeing the build to this match between now and Wrestlemania.)

-They showed a graphic for a six man tag with the Final Testament against Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits. Graves said the match would be after the break. [c]

-They showed a recap of the previous segment. Graves said they have their first match for Wrestlemania as Sky will defend the title against Bayley.

-Final Testament made their entrance.

-Bobby Lashley and the Street Profits made their entrance.

(3) FINAL TESTAMENT (Karrion Kross, Akam, & Rezar with Paul Ellering & Scarlett) vs. BOBBY LASHLEY & STREET PROFITS (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford)

All six men brawled in the ring. Dawkins dumped Rezar over the top to the outside. Ford dropped Akam with a kick. Dawkins took out Rezar with a tackle. In the ring, Lashley slammed Kross. Lashley put Kross in the Hurt Lock but Scarlett jumped on Lashley’s back. B-Fabb appeared and took out Scarlett. Lashley took Kross down with a spear. Kross fell to the outside and regrouped with the rest of the Final Testament. Lashley and the Profits stood tall in the ring.

WINNER: No Contest in 1:00

(McDonald’s Analysis: They really don’t want us to see this match. I still feel like this was another bait and switch. They’ve advertised this match twice now and not delivered anything. I assume it’s because they have no idea who should win when they finally do it, but they should have figured that out ahead of time.)

-Aldis was in the back with Bron Breakker. Aldis went over a contract with Breakker. Pearce appeared and told Breakker not to sign until they talk on Monday. Breakker said he would keep the contract and see Pearce on Monday. Jade Cargill appeared. She said Aldis invited her and asked if it was a bad time. Pearce told Aldis to be careful and walked off.

-Tiffany Stratton made her entrance. They showed a graphic for Stratton against Michin. Barrett and Graves hyped the match for after the break. [c]

(McDonald’s Analysis: Stratton got a really muted reaction. That’s a shame. She’s talented and has a lot of potential. Hopefully they’ll give her some screen time over the next few weeks and she can endear herself to the Smackdown audience.)

-Barrett hyped Cody Rhodes’ decision for the main event segment.

-Stratton stretched in the ring.

-Michin made her entrance with the O.C. She slapped hands with them and made her way to the ring alone. Michin stared down Stratton on her way down the aisle.


The bell rang twenty-three minutes into the hour. Michin went right after Stratton. Michin slammed Stratton into the top turnbuckle then whipped her hard into the opposite corner. Michin mounted Stratton and got a one count. Barrett called Stratton a natural. Michin slammed Stratton with a gutwrench. Michin hit a suplex and made the cover for a two count. Stratton kicked Michin off and rolled to the outside. Stratton sold her back. Michin went to the apron and went for a kick but Stratton grabbed her foot and pulled her down. Stratton celebrated as the show cut to break. [c]

Stratton was in control. She took Michin down and made the cover for a two count. Stratton taunted Michin. Michin blocked a slap and landed a punch. Michin followed up with a chop and a series of strikes. Michin took Stratton down with kicks and then a big dropkick. Michin followed up with a neckbreaker. Michin punched Stratton in the corner. Michin landed double knees in the corner and made the cover. Stratton broke the count with her foot on the bottom rope. Michin went for a kick but Stratton blocked and took her down. Stratton hit an Alabama Slam and made the cover for a two count. Stratton lifted Michin to her shoulders but Michin got free and landed a couple of kicks. Stratton took Michin to the corner and lifted her to her shoulders. Stratton slammed Michin and hit a moonsault for the win.

WINNER: Tiffany Stratton at 8:00

-They showed a replay of the moonsault and Graves and Barrett talked up Stratton.

-Rhodes was in the back. He started to walk toward the ring. Graves said he would make his Wrestlemania decision after the break. [c]

-Graves promoted the tag match for next with Bate and Dunne against the winner of the Raw four way. Barrett said we will hear from Nick Aldis regarding Logan Paul’s next opponent, next week.

-Aldis and Pearce were in the ring.

-Roman Reigns’ music played. He made his entrance with Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, and Solo Sikoa. Reigns posed on the apron as Graves touted the length of Reigns’ title reign. Barrett said the title run is almost super natural. Reigns entered the ring and posed with Heyman, Jimmy, and Sikoa as pyro exploded.

-The Bloodline stood in the center of the ring as the crowd booed. Reigns requested a mic from Heyman and Heyman handed it over. The crowd chanted for Rhodes. Reigns said he would get to him. Reigns asked the crowd to acknowledge him. He was met with a mixed reaction. Reigns said he doesn’t like to recap, he likes to move forward. He said there were things said on on Monday that he can’t let slide. Reigns said that Seth Rollins said he has the title. Reigns said he beat everyone competing for that title, so they should be his number twos. Reigns called it the loser bracket title. Reigns said that Rollins called himself the guy. Reigns said you can’t run around in your wife’s clothes for two years and be the guy. Reigns said that Rollins called himself the workhorse, but he broke his back after three months of carrying Raw. Reigns said he does, in fact, work ten times less than Rollins, but he also makes ten times more money. Reigns said that Rhodes is an idiot. He said Rhodes has values and all that crap. He said Rhodes doesn’t care about the money. Reigns said that he won’t beg Rhodes like the other guy. He said Rhodes could be the best number two, or he could take a crack at number one again.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Reigns was an ass about it, but nothing he said was a lie. The last line is the truth about the two titles. Rhodes can beat Rollins and cement himself as the number two, or 1A, or he could beat Reigns and be the undisputed top guy. It’s a good point, and I’m surprised WWE actually drew attention to it.)

-Cody Rhodes made his entrance. Graves asked who Rhodes would choose. [c]

-Rhodes finished his entrance and stared down Reigns. They stood opposite each other. Reigns smirked as Rhodes got a mic. The crowd chanted for Rhodes. Rhodes asked the crowd and Reigns what they wanted to talk about. Reigns stared Rhodes down. Rhodes said he imagined their conversation a little more private. Rhodes asked if he and Reigns could have the ring to themselves. Reigns obliged. Jimmy and Sikoa exited. Rhodes said he talked to friends, family, and legends this week. He said Reigns cheated him. He said he had Reigns and he thinks Reigns knows that. Rhodes said that Rollins made a lot of good points this week, but he was wrong about one thing. Rhodes pointed at the title and said Rollins called it the Hollywood title, and he was wrong. Rhodes said that’s the same title that Bruno Sammartino held and the same one that was taken away from his father, Dusty Rhodes. Rhodes said that Reigns has said that everything is his. Rhodes asked if finishing the story was taking the title, or taking everything from Reigns. Rhodes said he’s going to make it clear. Rhodes said he wants the title and he wants everything. He said he’s coming for Reigns, but not at Wrestlemania. The crowd booed. Rhodes said he took counsel. He said one of the people he talked to, knows Reigns very well.

-The Rock made his entrance to a loud reaction. Rock paused at the top of the stage. Rock pointed to the goosebumps on his arm and made his way to the ring. Rock posed on the second rope and the crowd cheered.

(McDonald’s Analysis: I can’t believe this is finally going to happen. I’m glad it’s not a repeat. I wonder how much Punk’s injury played into this, but either way, I’m happy with the outcome. They did a great job transitioning to this, and Rhodes didn’t look small or big-footed in any way.)

-Rock hugged Rhodes and whispered something to him. Rhodes turned and left the ring. Rock watched Rhodes walk off. Rock finally turned and looked at Reigns. Reigns stared back and clutched his title. Reigns put the title over his shoulder and Heyman exited the ring. Rock stared daggers through Reigns. Reigns stared back. Rock and Reigns walked slowly toward each other. They stopped and stared again. The crowd chanted “this is awesome”. They came face to face as the show went off the air.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Anyone that thinks this was a bad move needs to watch that staredown and listen to the crowd. This is the right move. Again, maybe Punk’s injury forced this, maybe it was the plan all along. We’ll all hear and read fifteen different things this week, but we probably won’t know for sure for quite a while, if ever. They handled this perfectly. Cody didn’t lose anything from this being handled this way. The worst news is that we get him against Rollins, again. That’s the only downside and that downside comes with something that will be a great match. That’s not the worst downside. The way this was booked, no words, just the moment, was absolutely perfect. I personally, am very happy with this decision. We have time for Rhodes and Reigns and finishing a story later. This may be our last chance at this moment and the big match this will be. There’s only so many generational dream matches left, let’s do the possible ones before they’re not possible anymore.)

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