WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 28
Every week here on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at SmackDown, recapping all of the action, offering analysis and grading the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.
This week featured the first pre- and post-shows for SmackDown, but other than that it was largely the same old SmackDown.
Plenty of storyline development occurred, but none of the matches stood out among the rest. If you missed this week's show, you didn't miss much.
Let's get right into the show with Batista and Dolph Ziggler's confrontation.
Batista and Dolph Ziggler
The show opened with Batista giving a half-heel/half-babyface promo about how he loves this company and this business, and if fans don't like him, they can shove it.
Basically he is saying that he is a heel, but he doesn't plan on lying about it like most heels. Ziggler came out and told Batista that you can't tell the fans who to cheer, and he challenged him to a match.
Ziggler hit a dropkick and then rolled out of the ring. This set up a match for later in the evening.
It's too bad Ziggler is just being used to put Batista over here, but seeing Ziggler get the better of Batista in this segment was nice.
This was a pretty average promo and exchange. Nothing special but nothing to complain about.
The Real Americans vs. World's Strongest Tag Team
Big E and Mark Henry took on Jack Swagger and Cesaro in a tag team match that ended up being pretty decent.
More tension was shown between Swagger and Cesaro as they stole tags from each other to try and be the one who picked up the win.
Cesaro really impressed everyone when he hit the Neutralizer on the massive Henry to pick up the win. His superplex to Big E from the apron to the ring was also very cool.
Some notes from the match:
- I like Henry and Big E as a team. They have good chemistry, and their power makes them one of the more formidable teams around.
- Having them as tag team champions while Big E was also IC champion would really make him look good, but it seems doubtful that this is a permanent team in any way.
- Swagger and Cesaro shouldn't have to break up for one of them to get a singles push.
- Henry sure is putting a lot of people over since his return.
Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio
Alberto Del Rio and Vickie were backstage talking when Del Rio told her he was taking the night off. Sheamus walked in and said he likes to fight. Naturally, a match was made.
We have seen this pairing a million times, and the only thing that made this one different was Christian being on commentary.
Sheamus and Del Rio can put on a good show, but they have fought each other so many times that there is almost nothing they can do to make me care. They're both very proficient in the ring, but they are starting to suffer from the same thing that plagued John Cena and Randy Orton during their first big feud.
Their stiff styles often create a very physical encounter, but this one did not feel like they were really putting their all into it.
Christian being there was clearly meant to further the feud between him and Sheamus, which was also evidenced by Christian coming in and attacking Sheamus during the match.
Some notes from the match:
- DQ finishes are way too common in WWE these days. Unless someone is really costing somebody else something important, they just feel lazy.
- It's hard to take Christian seriously as a heel for some reason.
- I feel like a storyline where Del Rio lost all his money would help him get over. Making him a man of the people might be key to making him work as a babyface.
- Sheamus should use the Razor's Edge as his finisher again; I am tired of the Brogue Kick. It would be a cool way to pay respect to Scott Hall if he is indeed going into the Hall of Fame.
Alexander Rusev, Shield and Wyatt Family
Instead of a video with a black backdrop, we actually get Alexander Rusev on SmackDown, but it was still just a promo.
His handler came out and did her thing, and then Rusev, while standing on a platform, did his usual thing. It was all pretty boring, but I can't help but be excited about this guy.
He is going to bring a very physical style to the WWE roster that nobody else has at the moment; it will make for some good, original feuds.
The grade for this won't be high because it was a boring segment, but I am really looking forward to his main-roster debut.
The Shield had a segment backstage where Seth Rollins had to break up another argument between Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.
Reigns was upset about Ambrose costing him the match against Bray Wyatt on Raw, but Rollins managed to rally them together and turn their focus back on their enemies—The Wyatt family.
This was a good segment because everyone was believable in their roles. Ambrose is always so convincing, but Reigns and Rollins were equally entertaining.
I only hope that the eventual breakup doesn't center solely around Reigns and Ambrose, leaving Seth Rollins with nothing to do.
The Wyatt Family came out, and Bray gave another one of his creepy, but entertaining, promos. Just as he was wrapping things up, The Shield came out through the crowd.
They stood on the apron and had a staring contest with The Wyatts before Triple H came out and told them to stand down until their rematch on Raw.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan left the ring, but Wyatt stayed on the apron and mocked The Shield. The Shield came in the ring, and Wyatt returned to have a standoff. Rollins and Ambrose dove through the ropes and took out Harper and Rowan and then immediately got back in the ring and stood by Reigns.
The Wyatts backed off, and the segment was over. This was very effective in hyping their rematch. They stole the show at Elimination Chamber, and they can do it again on Raw.
Batista vs. Dolph ZIggler
I remember when Ziggler was first making his debut in WWE, and he faced Batista on Raw. Even back then you could tell that this kid had talent that couldn't be measured.
Fast forward to now, and it's clear that WWE still has no idea how to properly use him. While he is certainly believable as a formidable opponent for anyone, having him lose to Batista in a throwaway match is a waste of his skills.
However, the match was pretty enjoyable. Batista kept the pace slow while he was in control, which made Ziggler's flurries of offense that much more exciting.
Batista's win was very decisive. He hit three spinebusters before finally finishing Ziggler with a Batistabomb. It could have been a much better match with more time, but they did a good job with what they had to work with.
Some notes from the match:
- I give Batista a lot of credit for not trying to use a bunch of new MMA moves. He is currently wrestling the exact same way he did before he left in a lot of ways.
- Ziggler was awesome in this match. The way he screamed at Batista to get up right before he hit him with a Fameasser for a near-fall was hilarious for some reason.
AJ vs. Cameron (Divas Title Match)
This was a quick match with a couple of decent spots, but it really didn't make anybody look any better than they had looked already.
AJ won with the Black Widow after Tamina was booted from ringside by the ref for pushing AJ out of the way of a charging Cameron.
I can't wait for Naomi to return.
The Usos and Daniel Bryan vs. New Age Outlaws and Kane
This match followed a pretty standard pattern. The pace was slow while the heels had control in the first half, and then the pace picked up when the babyfaces made their comeback.
The crowd has always exploded for Daniel Bryan because he has always been exciting, even if he is hitting his usual signature moves during the last minute of the match.
I would like to say this match stole the show, but it was very predictable and not very noteworthy. Everyone performed well enough; it just didn't pop.
Bryan picked up the win with a running knee to Billy Gunn.
Some notes from the match:
- I just don't get why Kane can't wrestle in his old gear without the mask.
- I really liked the "Kane Fan Since 1997" sign in the front row.
Final Thoughts and Predictions
This was a fairly average episode of SmackDown. Some of the current feuds were addressed, but nothing really major happened.
It was nice to see Dolph Ziggler, even if it was in a losing effort, with most of the matches very passable. This was one of those shows that was alright to watch but not the end of the world to miss.
I've included the video of Ziggler and Batista's first match. Compare it to their match Saturday night and judge which one is better.
- The Usos will win the tag titles before or at WrestleMania.
- Brock Lesnar will give Undertaker an F-5 on Raw.
- The Wyatt Family and The Shield will steal the show again on Monday night.
- WWE will try to combat the CM Punk chants in Chicago by featuring a lot of Daniel Bryan, hoping the "yes" chants overtake the "punk" chants.
- The next time Hulk Hogan is in the ring, someone will come out to challenge him, with John Cena making the save.
What did you think of this week's show?
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