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WWE SMACKDOWN TV REPORT
FEBRUARY 9, 2024
CHARLOTTE, NC AT SPECTRUM CENTER
AIRED ON FOX
REPORT BY ALEX McDONALD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Corey Graves, Wade Barrett
-They showed downtown Charlotte, NC as Corey Graves introduced the show. Triple H was shown in the back, Graves said he will address what happened last night at the Wrestlemania Press Conference in Las Vegas. They then showed a video package on the Wrestlemania Press Conference.
-After the video, they showed the graphic for Roman Reigns against Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania. Graves promoted the match.
-The camera panned the crowd.
-Triple H’s music played and he made his entrance. He was introduced as Paul “Triple H” Levesque. He entered the ring where Nick Aldis and Adam Pearce waited. Triple H stood in between them and made his way to the center of the ring with a mic in hand. The crowd chanted “Triple H”. He said it feels like they are on the Road to Wrestlemania. Triple H welcomed the crowd to Smackdown. He said they had an incredible kick-off event in Las Vegas last night. He said they took a hard left turn and the road is now on fire. Triple H said it feels really good, but he wants to clear up one thing. The crowd chanted “Rocky sucks”. He said he felt like there was confusion in the air, and maybe, some people don’t know their role. Triple H said he wanted to set the record straight because there were people that tried to assert their authority last night. He said those people don’t have any authority. Triple H said that he didn’t care where someone sits, the answers come from one person, him. He said that the main event of Wrestlemania XL will be Roman Reigns against Cody Rhodes for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Triple H said there are some people in the back that will be disappointed by the decision. He said some people won’t like the decision, but it doesn’t matter. Triple H welcomed the crowd to the Road to Wrestlemania.
-Nick Aldis took a mic and said that they now must shift their attention to Seth Rollins and the World Heavyweight Championship. He said they have collectively agreed that Rollins’ challenger will be determined in the Elimination Chamber. He said tonight will begin a series of matches that will determine the participants in that match. Aldis introduced Pearce and handed over the mic. Pearce pointed to the big screen and introduced the wrestlers that will attempt to qualify for the Elimination Chamber. He said there will be six matches over three events and it will start right now with A.J. Styles against Drew McIntyre.
(McDonald’s Analysis: I guess that eliminates the doubt? Triple H came off well here after last night. He needed that. I loved that he took the jabs at Rock throughout the promo. It’s a great nod to the awesome rivalry they had. It’s a shame that Triple H can’t go and they can’t have them face off one last time. Anyway, the whole thing is confusing. I wanted to see Rock against Reigns, but apparently, I wasn’t loud enough to get what I want, so we have Rhodes against Reigns, again. I assume there will be more twists and turns on the way to Mania, especially considering how much Triple H harped on the Road to Wrestlemania language.)
-Drew McIntyre made his entrance. McIntyre paused at the top of the ramp. He said he wanted to thank everyone. He said he wanted to thank everyone for buying his shirt to show that they feel the same way about C.M. Punk that he does. McIntyre mentioned how well his new shirt has sold. He said he wanted to talk about how happy everyone was with Cody Rhodes’ decision. McIntyre said he’s to thank and what happened last night will finish the story. McIntyre said he’s also going to save the World title. McIntyre said all he has to do is win the Elimination Chamber and he will give everyone a champion they can be proud of and a champion that’s best for business.
(McDonald’s Analysis: McIntyre is on a roll right now. I’m glad his heel run can be shared with the Smackdown audience. Good promo and that shirt is gold.)
-A.J. Styles made his entrance. They showed a graphic for Styles against McIntyre. Graves hyped the match for after the break. [c]
-Randy Orton arrived in the arena. Graves mentioned that Orton missed Wrestlemania last year, and he vowed not to miss this year’s event. Sami Zayn was then shown arriving. Graves said they would face each other in another Elimination Chamber Qualifying match later on.
-McIntyre and Styles were in the ring. L.A. Knight made his entrance. Knight made his way to the announce desk.
(1) DREW McINTYRE vs. A.J. STYLES – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
The bell rang twenty-two minutes into the hour. Styles went right after McIntyre but McIntyre recovered and took Styles down with a big chop. McIntyre went for a suplex but Styles landed a big knee and escaped. McIntyre reversed a whip and charged but Styles landed an elbow. Styles came off the second rope but McIntyre caught Styles and slammed him. Styles went to the corner and McIntyre landed a big chop. McIntyre took Styles down with another chop but Styles fought back with chops of his own. Styles came off the ropes and McIntyre caught him with a backbreaker. McIntyre made the cover for a two count. McIntyre went to the arm of Styles. Styles fought out and landed a dropkick. Styles followed up with a chop block that took McIntyre down. Styles landed a kick then climbed to the second rope. McIntyre chopped McIntyre off and to the floor. McIntyre followed Styles to the outside and McIntyre tossed Styles over the barricade into the timekeeper’s area. [c]
Back from break, Styles and McIntyre traded chops before McIntyre took Styles down. Styles came off the ropes and spun into a DDT on McIntyre. Both men were down in the ring. They got back to their feet and Styles landed a series of strikes. Styles took McIntyre down then hit a sliding forearm. Styles set up for a Styles Clash but McIntyre countered and drove Styles into the corner. McIntyre landed a chop then lifted Styles to his shoulders. McIntyre climbed to the second rope with Styles. Styles got free and countered into a powerbomb. Styles made the cover for a two count. Styles lifted McIntyre to his shoulders but McIntyre got free and landed a Future Shock DDT. McIntyre kipped up but sold his knee. McIntyre measured Styles as Styles got to his feet. McIntyre counted down and charged but Styles moved out of the way. Styles locked in the Calf Crusher. McIntyre crawled to the bottom rope and broke the hold. Styles charged McIntyre in the corner and McIntyre lifted Styles to the apron. Styles tried a springboard but McIntyre knocked him to the floor. McIntyre followed Styles out. Styles landed a big kick. McIntyre tossed Styles over the announce table near Knight. Knight poured his water on Styles. Styles got to his feet and slapped the bottle away from Knight. McIntyre attacked and tossed Styles into the ring. Styles rolled McIntyre up but Knight distracted the ref on the apron. Styles knocked Knight off the apron but turned into a Claymore. McIntyre made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Drew McIntyre in 12:00 to advance to the Elimination Chamber
-They showed updated graphics for the Elimination Chamber with McIntyre added to the match.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Really good match. This felt like a fresh match-up and these guys worked really well together. I wish both of them could be in the Chamber, but based on the graphic, we’re going to have some less than desirable options in the final match. Good stuff and it felt like a big deal with a lot on the line. This is the best Styles has looked since coming back about a month ago.)
-Sami Zayn was in the back with Kayla Braxton. Kayla asked what Zayn thought of his odds. Zayn said nothing is certain in WWE. Zayn said he’s watching the window close fast, but he doesn’t have time to get emotional. He said he has to look at what is in front of him. Zayn said Randy Orton is in front of him tonight. Zayn said that even if he gets past Orton he’ll be in the Chamber with McIntyre, who he’s never beaten. Zayn said it’s not an easy path, but it is a path, so he’ll take it. [c]
-Pretty Deadly was on a pier. Kit Wilson showed Elton Prince his broken hand. Prince said that this is their time. Wilson said he’s ready. Prince said they need to show everyone what Pretty Deadly is all about. They said “Yes, Boy” as the camera panned out.
-Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate warmed up in the back. They then showed DIY talking strategy for their match. They showed a graphic for Dunne and Bate against DIY as Graves hyped the match. Graves then threw to a video recap of the segment with Bayley and Damage Ctrl last week on Smackdown.
-After the video, Bayley was shown arriving in the arena. Graves said we would hear from Bayley later on tonight.
-Bianca Belair made her entrance. Graves said we were going to find out who would join Becky Lynch in the Elimination Chamber.
-Michin made her entrance. She posed with the O.C. before making her way to the ring on her own.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson have one of the best gigs in the company. They come out, pose, walk away, and get paid. You can’t beat that.)
(2) BIANCA BELAIR vs. MICHIN – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
Belair lifted Michin to her shoulders. Michin got free and landed kicks that took Belair down. Michin made the cover for a one count. Michin took Belair down again and went for another cover. Belair rolled to the outside. Michin went to the apron and landed a running kick. Belair was down on the outside as the show cut to break. [c]
Belair charged Michin in the corner but Michin moved and Belair hit the ring post shoulder first. Belair landed a punch to Michin and Michin responded. They traded punches before Michin took Belair down with a clothesline. Michin stayed on the attack and landed a neckbreaker. Michin went for a cannonball in the corner but Belair moved. Michin charged Belair again and Belair moved as Michin hit the corner. Belair used a backbreaker then went for a handspring moonsault. Michin got her knees up but Belair caught herself. Belair took Michin down and made the cover for a two count. Belair took Michin to the corner and drove her shoulder into the gut of Michin. Belair mounted Michin and rained down punches in the corner. Michin got free and slammed Belair into the ring post. Michin followed Belair up and delivered a superplex. Michin made the cover for a two count. Michin went for a kick but Belair countered and pulled Michin to her shoulders. Michin got free and landed Eat Defeat that sent Belair to the outside. Michin followed Belair out and rolled her back in. Michin set up for a Styles Clash but Belair reversed with a back drop. Belair delivered the K.O.D. and made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Bianca Belair in 8:00 to advance to the Elimination Chamber
-They showed the updated graphic with Becky Lynch and Belair in the Chamber.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Strong match. They gave Michin a lot here. They’ve really done a solid job with her over the last month or so. WWE needs some depth in the Women’s Division and building up women like Michin is a good way to get there. She’ll never be a major threat, but she doesn’t have to be a complete jobber either.)
-Bayley was in the back walking toward the arena. Wade Barrett said she would be out next to address her departure from Damage Ctrl. [c]
They showed news clippings about last night’s Press Conference.
-Triple H was in the back. Bron Breakker entered the room. Triple H said he’s been impressed with Breakker and wants to see what he can do at this level. Breakker said he wanted to pick Triple H’s brain for advice on where to go. Triple H began to answer but Paul Heyman appeared. Triple H asked Breakker for a moment with Heyman. Breakker walked off. Heyman called Breakker a talent. Triple H asked Heyman what he wanted. Heyman said he can see that Triple H needs some space. Heyman said he would come back next week and he’ll be with Roman Reigns and The Rock. Triple H said he was looking forward to it.
-Bayley made her entrance.
-They showed the graphic for Bayley against Iyo Sky for the WWE Women’s Championship at Wrestlemania. Barrett hyped the match.
-Bayley stood in the middle of the ring with a mic. The crowd chanted for Bayley. She said they made her a little better for coming out here. Bayley said she’s had a hard time putting the words together to explain what happened last week. Bayley said part of her wants to believe it didn’t happen at all. She said she thought the crowd thought she had it coming. She said she may have had it coming. Bayley asked the crowd if they were cool. The crowd cheered. She said the crowd stuck with her all these years and everyone knows her heart for this. Bayley said that Damage Ctrl meant everything to her. Bayley said Damage Ctrl was her family and she always put them ahead of herself. Bayley said she gave and gave but all they did was take. She said she thought they would be happy for her after she won the Royal Rumble. Bayley said they stopped talking when she entered a room and laughed behind her back. Bayley said she’s been in that situation too many times to not learn her lesson. She said Sky is going to learn the hard way.
-Dakota Kai ran to the ring. She said she’s been texting Bayley all week and didn’t know that was going to happen. Bayley said Kai knew the whole time and sided with the rest of Damage Ctrl. Kai said she was put in a tough spot. She said she always believed in what Bayley created. She said Sky did too until Kairi Sane and Asuka entered the equation. Bayley asked Kai why she didn’t say anything. Kai said she didn’t know how. The crowd booed Kai. Kai said she missed the original three of Damage Ctrl. Kai said Bayley has always been a mentor to her. Kai said it seemed like Bayley’s plan was working. Kai commended Bayley for winning the Rumble. Kai said she thought the situation would blow over, but it didn’t. Bayley asked Kai where she stood. Kai hesitated.
-Iyo Sky made her entrance with Asuka and Kairi Sane. They made their way to the ring and entered. Kai exited the ring and Bayley was all alone as Sky, Sane, and Asuka surrounded her. Kai swung a chair at Bayley and Bayley moved. Kai swung the chair at Asuka, Sane, and Sky. Kai dropped the chair and stood with Bayley in the ring. Bayley and Kai shared a confused look as Asuka, Sane, and Sky looked on from the ramp.
-Kayla was in the back with Randy Orton. Orton said it isn’t a given that anyone makes it to Mania and he knows that better than anyone. Orton said he was watching from home last year and it was awful. He said he’s always known when to strike, but now he knows when to wait. Orton said he needs to wait for Reigns, but his path has taken a different turn. Orton said his new path is Zayn tonight and a spot in the Elimination Chamber. Orton said there’s one constant and it’s RKO.
-Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne made their entrance. They showed a graphic for Bate and Dunne against DIY. Graves and Barrett promoted the match for after the break. [c]
-Bobby Lashley, the Street Profits and B-Fabb were in the back. B-Fabb said they have business and it starts when Lashley takes on Bronson Reed to qualify for the Elimination Chamber on Monday. Lashley said he was going to win the Elimination Chamber and Wrestlemania will be Almighty.
-Tommasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano made their entrance.
(3) TYLER BATE & PETE DUNNE vs. DIY (Tommasso Ciampa & Johnny Gargano) – Winner Faces Judgment Day for Tag Team Titles at Elimination Chamber
Bate started with Gargano. They traded holds and roll ups before a stand off. They locked up and Gargano grabbed a headlock. Dunne made a blind tag and took down Gargano with a clothesline. Dunne went to the arm but Ciampa tagged in and took down Dunne with a clothesline. Ciampa knocked Dunne to the outside and knocked him onto the announce table. Bate tried to save Dunne but Gargano took out Bate with a dive. Ciampa hit Dunne with a knee on the announce table. Gargano and Ciampa posed against the barricade as the show cut to a break. [c]
Ciampa clotheslined Dunne in the corner. Bate entered the ring and Ciampa took them both down. Bate went for a kick but Ciampa took him down. Dunne hit the ring and Ciampa landed a right. Bate went for a kick but Gargano moved. DIY hit a double team on Dunne that sent him to the outside. Gargano took Bate down with a discus clothesline. Bate did a combination swing and airplane spin to DIY. Bate slammed Gargano onto Ciampa. Dunne and Bate landed a double kick to Gargano. They went for a double slam but Gargano countered. Dunne stomped on Gargano’s fingers. Bate went for a kick but Ciampa caught him with a kick. Gargano took out Dunne on the outside with a tornado DDT. Ciampa hit Project Ciampa on Bate and made the cover for a two count. Bate got the upper hand on Ciampa but Ciampa recovered and took him down with a knee. Gargano tagged in. They measured Bate but Dunne snapped Ciampa’s fingers. Gargano landed a superkick to Dunne then Ciampa knocked him off the apron. Bate knocked Ciampa to the outside. Gargano landed a superkick to Bate. Bate took out Ciampa with a suicide dive. Dunne hit the Bitter End on Gargano and made the cover for the win.
WINNER: Tyler Bate & Pete Dunne in 9:00 to earn a Tag Team Title match at Elimination Chamber
-The two teams shared fist bumps in the middle of the ring.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Really fun, fast paced, back and forth match. Good stuff and they had a decent amount of time to show off what they could do. This was hard to cover. I know how the AEW guys feel now. Anyway, I found myself rooting for DIY during the match, so I’m a little disappointed they went with Dunne and Bate. It makes sense with their renewed push, but I feel like it makes the outcome at Elimination Chamber even more predictable. Again, really good match. I want to see more of the Tag Team Division featured and working on both shows.)
-Byron Saxton was in the back. He was joined by Dominik Mysterio. Dominik said that Bate and Dunne would lose to Judgment Day and then Rhea Ripley would beat Nia Jax. Dominik then said he would win the Elimination Chamber and he and Ripley would have matching titles. Kevin Owens appeared and said he was Dominik’s opponent. Owens said he was going to give Dominik the beating of a lifetime and dedicate it to Rey Mysterio. R-Truth appeared and thought Owens was Miz. He said he was supposed to be on Raw. Truth told Owens not to let Nick catch him. Owens asked if he meant Nick Mysterio. Truth said he meant Nick Aldis. Owens agreed.
-They showed Orton and Zayn warming up in the back. Graves promoted their match as the main event and said it would be after the break. [c]
(4) SAMI ZAYN vs. RANDY ORTON – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match
They locked up. Zayn sent Orton off the ropes and Orton took Zayn down with a clothesline. Barrett said that Zayn drew the short straw because he made have ended up against the best Superstar in the field. Zayn sent Orton to the outside. Zayn set up for a dive but faked and landed on his feet in the ring. Orton paced around the ring before he got back in. They locked up again and Zayn backed Orton into the corner. Orton reversed and landed punches. He mounted Zayn and rained down punches in the corner. Zayn recovered and turned it around to hit punches of his own. Orton turned it around and took control again with another set of mounted punches. He dropped down and sent Zayn to the outside with a final punch. Zayn fought back and came off the barricade with a moonsault. He hit Orton with a glancing blow. Zayn went for a dive through the ropes but Orton caught him with a punch. Orton pulled Zayn to the outside. Orton went for a back suplex onto the announce table but Zayn blocked and hit Orton with a back suplex of his own onto the announce table. Zayn celebrated on the steps as the show cut to break. [c]
Zayn was on the top rope and punched at Orton. Zayn came off with a tornado DDT and covered Orton for a two count. Zayn climbed to the top rope but Orton cut him off. Orton landed a punch and followed Zayn up. Zayn tried to fight back but Orton got the better of the situation. Orton hit a big superplex and both men were down in the ring. Orton took Zayn down then hit him with the snap powerslam. Zayn rolled to the apron. Orton set up for the Stalling DDT but Zayn countered and back dropped Orton to the outside of the ring. Zayn came through the ropes with a suicide dive that sent Orton into the barricade. Orton fought back and hit a back suplex onto Zayn onto the announce table. Orton climbed back into the ring. Orton pulled Zayn to the apron and set up for the Stalling DDT. Orton hit it this time but sold his back. Orton posed and then measured Zayn. Zayn got to his feet and Orton went for an RKO but Zayn rolled him up for a two count. Zayn hit a Blue Thunder Bomb and made the cover for another two count. Zayn sold disbelief but stayed on the attack. Orton sent Zayn off the ropes. Zayn went for a back elbow but Orton moved and hit the RKO for the win.
WINNER: Randy Orton in 11:00 to advance to the Elimination Chamber
-Orton celebrated in the ring before they showed a replay of the closing moments of the match. Afterwards, they showed an updated graphic for the Elimination Chamber with Orton and McIntyre in the match.
-Orton continued to celebrate as Zayn walked to the back. McIntyre appeared behind Orton. Orton and McIntyre stared each other down as the show went off the air.
(McDonald’s Analysis: Another really good match on a show that delivered a bunch of solid wrestling tonight. It definitely wasn’t as newsworthy as last week’s episode and ending, but it set up a bunch of stuff for the next PLE and we need shows like that. Other than Triple H’s quips toward The Rock and the seemingly official announcement of the match between Reigns and Rhodes, we didn’t get anything overly newsworthy on the Wrestlemania front. The promise of Rock and Reigns with Heyman next week is a great hook though. The Chamber is shaping up nicely, but unfortunately, I feel like the two favorites have already qualified for both matches so the rest of the qualifiers feel like filler. I wish they had thought that out a little better and spaced the matches out a bit more. Overall, a good show.)