Welcome back to Sports Obsessive for your WWE SmackDown review. This week’s show started off with the WWE Universal Champion, Roman Reigns, making his way down to the ring alongside his usual crowd, Jey Uso and Paul Heyman. Reigns met up with WWE Official Adam Pearce in the middle of the ring to address his plans for the upcoming pay per view, Elimination Chamber.
Roman Reigns Will Defend At The Elimination Chamber
After flexing his muscles and talking utter crap to Pearce, Reigns handed the mic over to Heyman. Paul E then went on to specify that Reigns’ contract does state that he is contractually obligated to participate at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view but not in the Elimination Chamber match itself. Heyman continued to protect Reigns by then stating that the Champion will go on to defend the gold at the event, directly after the Men’s Elimination Chamber Match, knowing that whoever wins the Elimination Chamber match will not stand a chance against The Tribal Chief.
Pearce’s facial expressions said it all, as he seemed to see that coming. Pearce began to physically retreat as he announced that he already had two participants for the Elimination Chamber match in mind and that they would not even have to qualify. The first was Jey Uso and the second was Kevin Owens. Clearly, Reigns was irate and followed Pearce out of the ring to get up close and personal with the WWE Official. Reigns was seconds away from physically harming the former ‘’Scrap Daddy’’, only to have Paul Heyman throw out a few words to calm down the fiery Champion and avoid a hefty fine and/or suspension in the process.
Dominic and Rey Mysterio vs Sami Zayn and King Corbin
I’ll never get sick of seeing the father/son pairing of Dom and Rey Mysterio. However, I may get sick of seeing the Mysterios and King Corbin in the same ring at the same time. This match was an exception. This was a very exciting, fast paced match with the Mysterios looking very hopeful from the offset. This SmackDown match had everything that you could ask for; the underdog team looking for a victory over the dastardly union of a conspiracy theorist and a man who won a string of matches a long time ago and continued to call himself a king.
Unfortunately for me, this one ended with Sami Zayn picking up the victory (a clean victory, for once). Perhaps Zayn will stop thinking that everybody is working against him. Still, this was a short yet entertaining match and I hope that this is the beginning of the SmackDown Tag Team Championship hunt for Dom and Rey Mysterio.
Winners: Sami Zayn and King Corbin
Big E vs Shinksuke Nakamura
This match came about after a very tense scene between the current WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E and a man who has recently failed to defeat the Champ, Apollo Crews. E and Crews were face to face in the ring and things became very heated very quickly. E straight up told Crews to get to the back of the line. It makes sense; Crews had his shot, he did not capitalize on it, he only has himself to blame. The thing is though, that Crews is not willing to accept that. Crews feels entitled. E managed to get Crews out of his face without laying a finger on him. E called out for his next challenger, Shinsuke Nakamura.
The match between E and Nakamura began and the former IC Champ, Nakamura, brought the fight to Big E as Apollo Crews remained at ringside. ”The King of String Style” looked incredible in this match and delivered a performance full of grace and confidence. Nakamura seemed to be closing in for a victory but Big E measured Nakamura in preparation for his signature move, ”The Big Ending”. At this point, Apollo Crews interfered and hit the Champ with a dropkick, bringing this match to an immediate end. Crews seems to be obsessed right now and you’ve got to hope that this is leading to a blow out match at the upcoming Elimination Chamber pay per view.
Winner: Shinsuke (Via DQ)
Seth Rollins Returns To SmackDown
Seth Rollins made a surprise return at the 2021 Royal Rumble, and now, for the first time since before Survivor Series 2020, Rollins was set to appear on SmackDown. Before Rollins made his way down the ramp, many of the roster surrounded the ring in support of The Architect. In storyline terms, this was a tad strange as Rollins has recently been living up to The Messiah gimmick. All of this was explained as Rollins walked through the curtain met by his old ‘Burn It Down’ entrance music. Have we seen the last of The Messiah? As many of you may know, Rollins was written off TV for a small stint due to his fiancé, Becky Lynch, giving birth to their first child. Rollins addressed this on screen as he said that since becoming a father to his beautiful daughter, his perspective has changed. Rollins continued by saying that since he sacrificed himself at Survivor Series 2020, a lot has changed on SmackDown. Rollins then elaborated by revealing that what he changed the most during his time away from the ring is Seth Rollins himself.
This change has given Rollins a ”new vision”. Rollins looked around at the SmackDown superstars that surrounded the ring and he began to question whether he fits in with the SmackDown roster anymore. Luckily, Rollins then had a moment of self-discovery and that was that he is ”the great leader that SmackDown needs to push it into the future and make it better than what it already is”. Ah, just when I thought that we were going to get a babyface Seth Rollins back on our screens every Friday night, he had to go and inflate his own ego.
At this point, the vast majority of the SmackDown roster turned their backs on their ”leader” and headed backstage. Somehow, Rollins didn’t notice that all of his peers had abandoned him. All except for, Cesaro. Rollins eye lit up when he saw Cesaro was still standing there but all was not what it seemed and Cesaro decided to leave. Rollins became irate at Cesaro for not ”embracing the vision” and he kicked seven days of sins out of Cesaro.
Seth Rollins has not changed. The Messiah lives on.
Bayley vs Liv Morgan
The former two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley was in action next against one-third (I’m never going to exclude Sarah Logan) of The Riott Squad, Liv Morgan, who was accompanied by a fellow Riott Squad member Ruby Riott.
I have been watching Liv Morgan wrestle for quite some time now and it’s great to see that she’s finally getting the credit and recognition that she deserves. I can genuinely see Morgan capturing the SmackDown Women’s Championship one day. Name a better way to get on that track than by defeating a former two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion in Bayley.
As the match went on, the more impressive Morgan became. Morgan must have dove from the top rope at least four times in the early moments of this match and after an aerial attack on the outside, it seemed that the Riott Squad member had injured her shoulder.
Bayley was ready to take full advantage of the opening but Morgan still showed signs on life. It was at this point that former IIconic member Billie Kay, who has been trying her best to be accepted into the Riott Squad, came running down to ringside. All Kay wanted was to have Ruby accept her apology after the falling out that they had last week. Ruby was having none of it and knocked all of Kay’s resumes out of her hand. In case you haven’t noticed or are not aware, Billie Kay brings her resumes everywhere. The referee was distracted and Bayley stole the victory.
Once again, poor Billie Kay gets the blame. I’m sure things will work out eventually.
The Street Profits vs Otis and Chad Gable for the #1 Contendership of The SmackDown Tag Team Championships
Ford and Dawkins were out to earn a rematch for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships but had to go through the team of Otis and Chad Gable first. This match was incredible entertaining and consisted of a lot of displays of athleticism, especially from Montez Ford who was on fire! The Profits started off the match with a lot a quick tags but Chad Gable was on to The Profits and nipped that in the bud straight away. Gable and Dawkins then went at at for a while, with Gable working on Dawkins’ shoulder. ”The Working Man” Otis then joined the match and delivered ”The Caterpillar”.
I’ve realised that I will pop with the same amount of enthusiasm every time I see Otis performing that move! Naturally, Gable wanted to capitalize on this momentum and called for a double-team move with Otis. Otis was then knocked over the ropes to the outside, courtesy of Montez Ford. Dawkins finally managed to tag Ford back into the match and Ford hit his picture-perfect frog splash from the top rope to secure a SmackDown Tag Team Championship match for The Profits.
This goes to show that Ford and Dawkins can be serious and get down to business when they want to. The current SmackDown Tag Team Champions, Ziggler and Roode, better keep their eyes open because The Street Profits are up and they want the smoke.
Winners: The Street Profits
The WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Invade SmackDown
”The Legit Boss” and current SmackDown Women’s Champion Sasha Banks made her way down to the ring to see if she could get a decision from the 2021 Royal Rumble Winner, Bianca Belair. As we know, Belair has earned the right to challenge any Women’s Champion at WrestleMania. Will Belair choose NXT’s Io Shirai, Raw’s Asuka or SmackDown’s very own Sasha Banks? That is what we were hoping to find out. We may have been about to find out but the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler, interrupted the promo that we had all been waiting for.
Sasha Banks revealed that she was ready for their appearance and rolled the footage of last week’s Raw in which Nia Jax injured her ”hole”—I’m not too sure how else to say it! Clearly that was embarrassing for Jax and this all led to a brief fight and I mean brief. I started off hopeful for this segment but in the end, we didn’t find out anything about Bianca Belair’s decision and WWE decided to re-enacted Nia Jax’s embarrassing injury. This wasn’t funny or entertaining to me. I would have much preferred a seven-minute segment between Banks and Belair. I feel there was no need for Jax and Baszler to be on SmackDown this week.
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs Cesaro and Daniel Bryan
Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode may be the SmackDown Tag Team Champions but this main event was not a Championship match. The winners of this match would go on to complete the line-up at the Men’s Elimination Chamber match. This was the first time that Cesaro and Bryan had tagged up as partners on WWE TV and were facing the company’s most successful duo. This match started off in Cesaro and Bryan’s favour as Bryan managed to ground Roode for the majority. I may have spoke too soon however, as ”The Dirty Dawgs” Ziggler and Roode gained control of the match just before Sami Zayn and King Corbin strolled down the ramp to get a closer look at the action.
I will never understand why Dolph Ziggler gets so much hate. He is clearly an incredible wrestler and he is so entertaining. Ziggler was the star of this match in my opinion, and despite nearly being decapitated by ”The Swiss Superman” Cesaro, Ziggler looked great! My kind words towards Ziggler didn’t help him at all unfortunately as Cesaro continued by swinging Ziggler around the ring and followed up with the Sharpshooter submission to definitively secure the victory.
The fun came to end as Jey Uso ambushed Cesaro with a steel chair and then, before we knew it, we had every member of the upcoming Elimination Chamber match brawling in the middle of the ring, including KO, who ran to the ring and stunned everybody before sending a message to the Universal Champion, Roman Reigns: Kevin Owens is not going away.
Well there you have it. How should a show gear up and get the viewers hyped for the next pay per view event? Do everything that SmackDown just did. I’m a massive fan of what Roman Reigns is doing right now and who he has become. While I don’t see Reigns dropping the Championship any time soon, I’m certainly looking forward to a Reigns KO battle at Elimination Chamber—that’s got to be where we’re headed.
I see big things on the horizon for Liv Morgan—watch this space. Bianca Belair is yet to announce who she will be challenging at WrestleMania but I’m pretty sure we can all expect that it will be Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. Lastly, all hell broke loose in the main event with KO stunning everybody in sight. The Texas Rattlesnake should be very proud indeed.
From start to finish, this was a great edition of SmackDown and it has me already excited to watch Elimination Chamber. What did you think of the show? Be sure to let on know in the comments section and on social media. Thank you for joining us!