WWE SMACKDOWN RESULTS (2/16): McDonald’s “alt perspective” report on The Rock and Reigns return, Elimination Chamber Qualifying Matches

By Alex McDonald, PWTorch Contributor


FEBRUARY 16, 2024

Announcers: Corey Graves, Wade Barrett



-The show started with a shot of downtown Salt Lake City as Corey Graves introduced the show.

-A car arrived in the parking lot and out stepped The Rock. Graves hyped his appearance for later in the show.

-The camera panned the crowd and Graves touted the attendance and mentioned that we are a week away from Elimination Chamber.

-Kevin Owens made his entrance. Wade Barrett said we are starting the show with an Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match. Graves mentioned that Owens main evented Wrestlemania last year, but as of now, doesn’t have a path to Wrestlemania.

-Dominik Mysterio made his entrance. He had a mic. Dominik started to speak and the crowd drowned him out with boo’s. Dominik tried to speak a few more times and the crowd continued to boo. Dominik choked out that Judgment Day would retain all their titles and he would win the Elimination Chamber.

(1) KEVIN OWENS vs. DOMINIK MYSTERIO – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

The bell rang four minutes into the hour. They locked up and Owens grabbed a headlock. Dominik got free and transitioned into a headlock of his own. Owens shot Dominik off the ropes and went for a shoulder block but Dominik bounced off. Dominik came off the ropes and Owens took him down with a clothesline. Dominik rolled to the outside and tried to regroup. Dominik got back in the ring and went for a kick. Owens blocked the kick and landed one of his own before he took down Dominik with a shoulder tackle. Owens delivered an arm drag and Dominik begged off to the apron. Dominik dropped to the outside again and the crowd booed. Dominik got back in the ring and grabbed a headlock on Owens. Owens shot Dominik off the ropes and Dominik delivered a hurricanrana followed by a pair of arm drags. Owens recovered and took Dominik down. Owens clotheslined Dominik over the top rope and to the floor. Owens set up for a dive but Dominik moved and Owens put on the brakes. Dominik pulled Owens to the outside. Owens tried to whip Dominik into the steps but Dominik stopped. Owens took him down with a big right hand. Owens tossed Dominik into the ring. R-Truth appeared and distracted Owens. Dominik hit a baseball slide and then tossed Owens back into the ring. Dominik landed a slingshot senton and made the cover for a two count. Truth cheered on Dominik from ringside as the show cut to break. [c]

Back from break, Dominik had Owens on the mat in a headlock. Truth cheered Owens on. Owens got to his feet and fought Dominik off. Owens went for a back suplex and Dominik landed on his feet. Dominik pulled Owens back and into a cover for a two count. Dominik landed a series of punches but Owens landed a kick. Owens fought back with forearms that rocked Dominik. Owens came off the ropes with a kick and followed up with a clothesline. Owens landed punches and a headbutt before he stomped Dominik down to the mat. Dominik rolled to the outside again. Owens dropped out and came around the ring before he hit Dominik with a clothesline. Owens followed up with a senton then tossed Dominik back into the ring. Dominik went to the corner and Owens charged and hit the cannonball. Owens climbed to the top rope and came off with a frog splash. Owens made the cover but Dominik kicked out at a count of two. Dominik blocked a powerbomb and countered with a facebuster. Dominik made the cover for a two count. Dominik went for the Three Amigos and hit the first two. Owens blocked the third and countered into a suplex of his own. Owens held on and got a second suplex but Dominik countered the third with a DDT. Dominik made the cover for a two count. Dominik climbed to the top rope and came off but Owens moved out of the way and Dominik crashed to the mat. Owens went to the top rope himself and came off with a Swanton Bomb. Owens made the cover and Dominik kicked out at two again. Barrett put over Dominik’s will to win. Dominik landed a kick and knocked Owens into position for a 619. Dominik hit the 619 and covered Owens for a two count. Dominik asked Truth to get him a chair if he wants to be in Judgment Day. Truth argued, but eventually obliged. Truth hesitated with the chair and then set it up and sat in it. Dominik ran into a superkick from Owens. Owens hit the Pop-Up Powerbomb and covered Dominik for the win.

WINNER: Kevin Owens in 15:00 to advance to the Elimination Chamber

-They showed a replay of the finish as Graves narrated. Afterwards, they showed an updated graphic for the Elimination Chamber.

-Truth and Owens celebrated in the ring.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Really good match. Dominik looked good and was able to get in some offense. I actually thought he was going to win after he escaped so many of Owens’ big moves. Instead, they used the match to further the confusion with Truth and Owens ended up getting the win. I assume this means that Logan Paul will also win so that he and Owens can face off in the Chamber. Dominik would have been a good foil for the Chamber match, but it looks like they’re going with the star-studded field instead. These guys had good chemistry and I wouldn’t mind seeing them against each other a little more.)

-Drew McIntyre was in the back with Kayla Braxton. McIntyre said everyone in the Chamber wants to win, but he’s the only one that needs to win. He said his moment was stolen from him four years ago. L.A. Knight appeared. He said McIntyre’s moment can get stolen again, by him. McIntyre said his personality comes from insecurity and the crowd will turn on him when he keeps losing. Knight said all McIntyre has done in two years is lose. Knight mentioned McIntyre’s shirt and said his name should be added to the tombstone. They bickered back and forth before officials arrived to break them up.

-Roman Reigns was shown arriving to the building earlier today. Reigns exited an SUV with Paul Heyman. He hugged Jimmy Uso as Solo Sikoa looked on. Reigns said they need to go fix everything that Jey messed up.

-Zelina Vega made her entrance with the L.W.O. They wished her well and Vega made her way to the ring. Barrett hyped her match with Tiffany Stratton for after the break. [c]

-They showed another view of Salt Lake City before they transitioned to Logan Paul’s entrance into the arena earlier today.

-Kayla Braxton was with Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate. She asked how they would continue their success. Dunne said things are going great and all they have to do now is win the Tag Team titles. Bate said they’ve been doing so well they should have a new team name. Bate suggested a name and said he knew Dunne loved it. Dominik appeared and said they couldn’t beat any two members of the Judgment Day. Bate suggested they wrestle Dominik and Truth. Dominik said they should know that Truth isn’t in Judgment Day. Dominik walked off as Bate said that Dominik and J.D. McDonaugh would have to do.

-Tiffany Stratton made her entrance. Barrett said that it only took Stratton six months to dominate the Women’s Division in NXT. Barrett called Stratton possibly the best athlete on Smackdown.

(2) ZELINA VEGA vs. TIFFANY STRATTON – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

They locked up and broke it off. They locked up again and Vega grabbed a waistlock. Stratton backed Vega into the corner. Vega came off the second rope and took Stratton down but Stratton recovered quickly and slammed Vega. Vega avoided a charge from Stratton and Stratton landed on the apron. Vega kicked her to the floor. Vega followed Stratton out and took her down. Vega climbed to the second rope and came off with a dive. Legado Del Fantasma was shown sitting ringside. Vega stared them down as the show cut to break. [c]

Stratton had Vega in a headlock but Vega fought out. The L.W.O. appeared at ringside. Vega came off the ropes and took Stratton down with a clothesline. Vega stayed on the attack and spun into a DDT. Vega made the cover for a two count. Vega climbed to the second rope and came off but Stratton moved. Stratton landed a kick and then hit an Alabama Slam. Stratton made the cover for a two count. Stratton positioned Vega then climbed to the top rope. Vega cut Stratton off and hit a modified 619. Vega followed up with a Meteora and made the cover for a two count. Stratton rolled to the outside and Vega followed. Stratton whipped Vega into the barricade in front of Legado. Vega pulled Elektra Lopez over the barricade and then threw her back. Vega got back in the ring and Stratton caught her with a spinebuster. Stratton followed up with the Prettiest Moonsault Ever for the win.

WINNER: Tiffany Stratton in 9:00 to advance to the Elimination Chamber

-They showed a replay of the finish before showing an updated Elimination Chamber graphic. Graves hyped the match for a week from tomorrow.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Stratton’s presentation in the ring doesn’t match the way the announcers talk about her. Stratton should dominate someone like Vega and win pretty handily. It made some sense with Michin but not with Vega. They should be working to get Stratton over as a force before she’s put up against a bigger threat in the division like Bianca Belair. It doesn’t make sense to have Barrett hype Stratton as the greatest thing ever when she can barely beat Vega and Michin who aren’t booked as top level contenders. If WWE wants to make new stars, they need to go all in, especially with their homegrown talent like Stratton.)

-A.J. Styles was in the back. The O.C. showed up. They said he hasn’t texted or called. Karl Anderson said that Styles forgot where he came from. Styles got offended and went after Anderson but Luke Gallows broke it up. Styles walked off and Gallows tried to calm Anderson down.

-Karrion Kross, Scarlett, Authors of Pain, and Paul Ellering were in the back talking. Graves said that A.O.P. will make their Smackdown debut after the break. [c]

-Damage Ctrl was in a pre-taped package. They spoke Japanese with subtitles at the bottom of the screen. Iyo Sky said it was her era and she will embarrass Bayley when she wins at Wrestlemania. Kairi Sane and Asuka said Bayley should sleep with one eye open because they are coming for her and no one is ready for Damage Ctrl.

-Javier Bernal and Beau Morris were in the ring.

-A.O.P. made their entrance with Kross, Scarlett, and Paul Ellering.

(3) AUTHORS OF PAIN (Akam & Rezar) (w/Karrion Kross, Scarlett, & Paul Ellering) vs. JAVIER BERNAL & BEAU MORRIS

Akam took Bernal down right away. Akam followed up with a slam. Rezar tagged in and they went after Morris on the apron. They pulled him into the ring. Rezar beat on Morris. Akam tagged back in. They hit the Super Collider on both guys. A.O.P. followed up with a combination powerbomb and neckbreaker and made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Authors of Pain in 2:00

(McDonald’s Analysis: They really should do squash matches more often. This is what I was talking about with Stratton. Have the newcomers come in, do their moves, look dominant, get the win, and move on. It worked for decades and they choose to never do it now unless the person or people, in this case, are monsters. It’s silly. Otherwise, this was fine and they accomplished what they wanted to.)

-Logan Paul was in the back with Byron Saxton. Saxton said it was Paul’s first match on Smackdown. Paul said everyone is welcome and everyone should thank him because he’s going to knock out the Miz. Paul said he’s going to win tonight and then win the Elimination Chamber to rematch with Seth Rollins and become a double champion. Paul said he likes the sound of that. Saxton hyped his match against Miz for after the break. [c]

-Graves threw to a video package on Monday Night Raw from this past Monday.

-The Miz made his entrance.

-Logan Paul made his entrance.


(4) THE MIZ vs. LOGAN PAUL – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

Paul backed Miz into the corner and poked at him. Miz fought back and took Paul down. Miz came off the ropes and Paul leapt over him. Paul attempted a second leap but Miz caught him with a knee. Miz sent Paul to the apron but Paul landed an elbow and Paul came off the top rope with a moonsault. Paul hit a standing moonsault but didn’t get all of it. Paul made the cover for a two count. Miz fought back and kicked the leg of Paul. Miz took Paul down and made the cover for a two count. They showed Nick Aldis watching with some Superstars in a skybox. Paul took Miz down and sold his leg. Paul stalked Miz and pulled him to his feet. Paul landed strikes and then knocked Miz down. Paul come off the ropes with a split leg drop. Paul made the cover for a two count. Paul chopped Miz in the corner. Miz turned the tables and delivered chops of his own. Miz landed a kick and kicked Paul into the corner. Miz continued his kicks and the celebrated as the crowd cheered him on. Miz charged and hit a clothesline in the corner. Miz went to the apron and tried to slam Paul into the turnbuckle. Paul blocked and whipped Miz into the ring post. Paul clotheslined Miz and Miz landed hard on the apron. Paul went to the top rope and came off with a frog splash onto Miz on the apron. Paul dropped to the floor and celebrated as the show cut to break. [c]

Miz landed a neckbreaker and both men were down in the ring. They got to their feet and Miz landed punches. Paul cut him off with a right of his own but Miz took him down with a clothesline. Miz stayed on the attack and hit another clothesline. The crowd cheered Miz on. Miz hit a modified facebuster and covered Paul for a two count. Miz went for the Skull Crushing Finale but Paul backed him into the corner. Miz recovered and delivered double knees to Paul. Miz made the cover for a two count. Paul was on his knees and Miz delivered his patented kicks. Miz went for the big kick but Paul rolled him up for a quick one count. Miz recovered and went after the knee of Paul. Miz kicked at Paul’s knee and Paul sold it. Miz pulled Paul but Paul grabbed the ring apron. The ref tried to fix the apron and Paul poked Miz in the eye. Paul hit the Skull Crushing Finale and covered Miz for a two count. Paul sold disbelief and measured Miz. Paul took Miz down and then rolled Miz up, Miz rolled through and locked in the Figure Four. Paul moved toward the ropes and grabbed it for the break. Paul rolled to the outside. Miz followed him out but Paul shoulderblocked Miz into the ring apron. Paul got brass knuckles from his friend at ringside. Miz came around the corner and took Miz down. Miz got the brass knuckles but the ref warned Miz. Miz dropped them. Paul went into the ring and kicked the middle rope as Miz entered. Paul landed a big right hand and slammed Miz down. Paul made the cover for the win.

WINNER: Logan Paul in 13:00 to advance to the Elimination Chamber

-They showed the finalized Elimination Chamber graphic.

-Nick Aldis was with Bron Breakker and Jade Cargill. Tiffany Stratton entered and asked Liv Morgan and Bianca Belair how the Chamber match works and who she should pin first. Belair reminded her that she has won a Chamber match before. Cargill interrupted and said no one is going to ruin her moment. Morgan said she would see them at the Chamber, “toodles”. Aldis broke up the altercation.

(McDonald’s Analysis: That was an interesting group of stars. Stratton being on screen with Cargill and Belair did more for her than both of her matches on Smackdown so far. That’s how she should be positioned. Beyond that, I like the Aldis character and his tireless attempts to sign talent and add to his roster. I really like that aspect and hopefully it will make Adam Pearce less passive in response. Liv Morgan was there. Her “toodles” added a ton to this segment and was totally necessary.)

-Naomi made her entrance. Graves said “here we glow” and put over this as being Naomi’s first match on Smackdown in two years. They showed a graphic for Naomi against Alba Fyre. Graves promoted the match and said it would be after the break. [c]

-They showed a graphic for the Grayson Waller Effect with Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes at Elimination Chamber.

-Paul Heyman was in the back talking to Grayson Waller. The dialogue was inaudible. Graves said this could be good or really bad.

-Alba Fyre made her entrance with Isla Dawn. Barrett mentioned that Fyre is a replacement for Shotzi who can’t compete due to injury.

(5) NAOMI vs. ALBA FYRE (w/ Isla Dawn) – Elimination Chamber Qualifying Match

They locked up and Fyre took Naomi down by the hair. Fyre landed a kick and then slammed Naomi’s head into the middle turnbuckle. Fyre choked Naomi with her foot and then choked her with the bottom rope. Fyre distracted the ref and Dawn choked Naomi with the middle rope. Naomi recovered and landed a kick. Naomi slid to her knees and smacked Fyre. Naomi ran and hit a split leg drop. Fyre dropped to the outside and pulled Naomi out. Naomi kicked Fyre into the barricade. Dawn distracted Naomi and Fyre took the advantage. Naomi recovered quickly and took Fyre down using the steps. Naomi celebrated as the show cut to break. [c]

Fyre had Naomi in a headlock but Naomi whipped Fyre off. Naomi took Fyre down with a clothesline and followed up with a hurricanrana and a dropkick. Naomi hit a bulldog and covered Fyre for a two count. Naomi landed a forearm and hit another bulldog into the corner. Naomi came off the top rope with a crossbody and made the cover for a two count. Naomi lifted Fyre to her feet and Fyre backed Naomi into the corner. Naomi was caught by Fyre and Fyre slammed her face first. Fyre lifted Naomi to her shoulders but Naomi got free and rolled Fyre up for a two count. Fyre kicked Naomi off and Dawn landed a big punch that sent her into a roll up from Fyre. Naomi kicked out at two. Naomi escaped a slam from Fyre then kicked Dawn off the apron. Naomi slammed Fyre’s head into the mat with a headscissors and transitioned into a submission for the win.

WINNER: Naomi in 10:00 to advance to the Elimination Chamber

-They showed the updated Elimination Chamber graphic with one spot left to fill.

(McDonald’s Analysis: That was there. Nothing special. Naomi ended up in the same spot she was in when she left, if not a little further down the card. It is what it is, but I can’t help but feel like Jordynn Grace would have been a better signing.)

-Bayley was in the back. Dakota Kai approached and said she needed help. She said Damage Ctrl was going to come after her and Bayley is the only one who can help. Bayley said she appreciated what kai did last week but this has been going on for months and Bayley doesn’t know who she can trust. Kai pleaded with Bayley but Bayley said Kai needs to understand where she’s coming from. Bayley said she can’t do this right now and walked off.

-Nick Aldis was in the ring. He said he’s been negotiating with free agents for the Smackdown audience. Aldis said one of those free agents is no longer a free agent. Aldis introduced Bron Breakker as the newest member of the Smackdown roster. Breakker made his entrance and signed the contract. The crowd cheered. Aldis held up Breakker’s hand.

-Roman Reigns made his way toward the arena with Paul Heyman, Jimmy Uso, and Solo Sikoa in tow. Graves hyped the segment with Reigns for after the break. [c]

-They showed graphics for next week’s Smackdown as Graves and Barrett hyped the show. They announced Bate and Dunne against the Judgment Day, Bron Breakker’s debut, Street Profits against Authors of Pain, and L.A. Knight against Drew McIntyre.

-Roman Reigns made his entrance with Heyman, Jimmy, and Sikoa. Reigns paused at the middle portion of the ramp and posed as pyro exploded behind him. Reigns smirked into the camera and handed the title back to Heyman. A graphic appeared and said that Reigns has been champion for 1,265 days. Graves touted the number and said everything could go up in smoke at Wrestlemania.

-They showed a graphic for Reigns against Rhodes at Wrestlemania as Graves hyped the match.

-Reigns posed on the apron of the ring as fans took pictures. Reigns posed again in the ring as more pyro exploded on the stage. Reigns stood in the middle of the ring flanked by Heyman, Jimmy, and Sikoa. The crowd booed. Reigns looked around and got the mic from Heyman. Reigns asked the crowd to acknowledge him. He was met with a loud mixed reaction. Reigns asked if he could be honest with everyone. Reigns said he wanted to be honest. He said the people of Utah are idiots. The crowd booed. He said he didn’t mean individually, he said when they’re all together, they’re pretty dumb. Reigns said this is a big night and he doesn’t want everyone to ruin this. Reigns said his cousin is going to come out. He said everything they say has purpose and meaning and everyone needs to understand. Reigns said tonight is the most important night ever in WWE. The crowd chanted for Rhodes. Reigns said Rhodes ruined everything. He said tonight, they fix it, and tonight, they make history. Reigns said tonight is the first time they can say that The Rock is a member of the Bloodline.

-The Rock’s music played and the crowd erupted with cheers. Rock finally emerged in a new version of the $5,000 shirt and his gold chain. Rock turned around and showed off the back of the shirt before he made his way to the ring. Rock posed on the ramp as the show cut to break. [c]

(McDonald’s Analysis: Reigns was right, things did get ruined. However, Cody Rhodes isn’t the one to blame. Anyway, I love the call-backs by Rock here. The new-look $5,000 shirt, the gold chain, the old heel Rock, and the sunglasses. This is like 1999 Rock in a 2024 world and for those of us that were there the first time, that’s a great thing.)

-Rock was in the ring as Reigns, Heyman, Jimmy, and Sikoa were shifted off to one side. Rock had a mic and said before he drops some gospel, he has some good news to share. He said it will make everyone happy and they can own it. Rock said they’ve broken an all-time indoor attendance record for the state of Utah. Rock congratulated the crowd. Rock said they broke the record for the largest gathering of trailer park trash he has ever seen. Rock said if they didn’t like that, they would love this. Rock said “finally” and the crowd booed. Rock asked if they were sure they wanted to boo Rock. Rock said they will finally have a story to tell. Rock mentioned their fifty wives and six inbred children and said they would have a story to tell because he has come back to Salt Lake City. A “Rocky” chant broke out. Rock said they’ve brought out a side of him they haven’t seen in years, but it’s always been there. Rock yelled at a fan in the crowd. Rock said tonight, it’s Rock and Reigns and they had the biggest main event in the history of Wrestlemania and let it go. Rock said they flushed it down the toilet. He said it’s the same toilet they sat on when they tweeted and cried about Rhodes. Rock asked the crowd what Rhodes’ story was. Rock said that Reigns beat Rhodes at Mania last year and now, Rhodes wants a rematch. Rock asked if that was Rhodes story. Rock said think about how stupid that logic is. Rock said you should apply that stupid logic to sports. Rock said the 49ers just lost to the Chiefs and didn’t try to “finish their story” they moved on, like men. Rock said Michael Jordan came into Utah and crushed the dreams of the Utah Jazz. Rock said the Jazz took their beating and moved on. Rock said you don’t get a shot at another story, just because you want it. Rock said no one understands that because the fans are spoiled, entitled, crybabies. Rock said Rhodes’ story is ending and the Bloodline story is just beginning. Rock called himself and Reigns the most dominant duo in sports and entertainment. Rock said “if you smell what the Bloodline is cooking”.

-Rock, Reigns, Jimmy, Sikoa, and Heyman held their fingers to the sky and posed as the show went off the air.

(McDonald’s Analysis: Excellent segment. I don’t know where this is ultimately going to end up. The irony of the whole thing is that Rhodes may end up winning the title and then play second fiddle to Rock and Reigns at Summerslam anyway. I guess we’ll just get “we want Cody” 2.0 at that point. From my perspective, it’s hard to argue with anything Rock said. He’s being an ass about it, but quite frankly, it’s exactly how I feel. I don’t want a repeat. I want the biggest match they can give us and now, we’ll never know what that story was going to look like. With that said, this pivot is good. Really good. Rock is playing the hits of the character that got him over in the first place and he’s doing it very well. This segment was a highlight of the year so far. Reigns set it up well and threw a fastball down the middle so Rock could come out and knock it out of the park. They have a lot of explaining to do on the Rhodes side of things, but as far as Rock and Reigns go, they’re doing their part and killing their roles. I’m looking forward to how the rest of this plays out over the next several weeks.)


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