WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 14
The Valentine's Day edition of WWE SmackDown brought with it Otis' long-awaited date with Mandy Rose, Carmella's opportunity to dethrone women's champion Bayley and a massive tag team bout pitting The Miz and John Morrison against Roman Reigns and mystery partner.
What went down on the most unorthodox date in blue brand history? Was The Princess of Staten Island able to win her first women's title in two years? Who stepped up to team with The Big Dog against The Hollywood A-Lister and the Shaman of Sexy?
Find out the answers to those questions and more with this recap of the February 14 broadcast.
A Moment of Bliss with Carmella Gives Way to a Women's Championship Showdown
Former women’s tag team champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross kicked off this week’s show and after some awkward discussion on celebrity crushes, introduced new No. 1 contender to the women’s title, Carmella.
Carmella said last week’s win was a surprise and she’s going to surprise Bayley later tonight by defeating her for the gold. This brought about the topic of Carmella’s former friendship with the champion, as well as photos of the two of them.
Bayley interrupted the proceedings, denied Sasha Banks had anything to do with their split and denounced the idea that they were best friends. Instead, she felt bad for Carmella and took her under wing. The segment intensified and concluded with Carmella challenging Bayley to their title match right now, instead of later in the evening.
Back from the break, Bayley utilized the ring ropes to turn the tide of the championship encounter in her favor. “You better step up!” the heel demanded of her former friend.
A crossbody from the top rope missed and Carmella answered with a superkick for two. A hurricanrana and tope suicida to the floor continued the champion’s sudden burst of momentum. Bayley dropped her heading into the break, though, and maintained control of the bout throughout. Another spark by the babyface left the titleholder reeling. Bayley cut her off with the Bayley-to-Belly, but could only keep Carmella down for two.
The challenger recovered a delivered a huge hurricanrana from the top rope but, again, only scored a near-fall. Moments later, she applied the Code of Silence, but Bayley escaped. From there, the champion stacked her opponent up, propped her feet on the ropes and successfully retained her title.
After the match, Naomi hit the ring and joined Carmella in clearing the champion out of the ring.
Bayley defeated Carmella
This dragged on for 30 minutes.
From the start of the show through the promo and into the first match of the night, the women’s division dominated a quarter of the show. Any other time, that would be an awesome bit of dedication from the creative team to women’s wrestling. As it is, though, this was 30 minutes dedicated to a challenger in Carmella that never really felt like she had a chance to actually dethrone Bayley and who, by match’s end, was an afterthought as real top contender Naomi made her presence felt.
Why devote so much time to that particular Superstar, and her rivalry/former friendship with Bayley, if the goal was to reintroduce Naomi and set her up to be Bayley’s next challenger? It felt like a lot of time needlessly spent on a particular program for what the segment ultimately turned out to be.
That the match was average, at best, did nothing to help matters.
Sheamus vs. Shorty G and Apollo Crews
A week ago, Sheamus left Shorty G and Apollo Crews lying. This week, The Celtic Warrior would look to make it consecutive weeks as he battled them in a 2-on-1 Handicap match.
The babyfaces took the fight to Sheamus from the opening bell, catching the former WWE and world heavyweight champion off-guard. They benefited from the early onslaught but Sheamus turned the tide and pummeled away at G.
Quick tags by the underdogs confused Sheamus while the quick-strike offense of the opposition rocked The Celtic Warrior. Crews ducked a Brogue Kick, which struck Shorty G. From there, Sheamus obliterated Crews with one of his own and scored the victory.
Sheamus defeated Crews and Shorty G
Did Shorty G and Crews have to have the remainder of their credibility erased in order to remind the WWE Universe that yes, Virginia, Sheamus really is superior to them? Especially after we have watched the Irishman dominate and defeat those Superstars in singles contests over the last month?
Sure, beating two guys made Sheamus look like an unstoppable force but it did nothing to help his opponent. Nothing of note was accomplished that had not already been in the weeks preceding the bout.
That makes it a waste of time and hardly what SmackDown can afford at a time when it is gearing up for the ever-important march to WrestleMania 36.
Hulk Hogan Has a Warning for The Fiend
“The Immortal” Hulk Hogan joined Michael Cole, live from his home, to discuss his Hall of Fame induction with the New World Order.
From there, the topic switched to Goldberg’s upcoming shot at the Universal Championship against The Fiend. Hogan reminded fans that he had encountered Goldberg at his peak and still lost and if Bray Wyatt isn’t careful, he will experience the same.
Wyatt interrupted and said he didn’t need luck against Goldberg because he’s got a Fiend.
The brief promo finished with Hogan vowing to see Wyatt in Tampa.
In consecutive weeks, Wyatt has shared the television screen with Goldberg and Hulk Hogan. Regardless of your opinion on part-time workers getting television time at this point, there is no denying that to a casual audience, Wyatt appearing alongside Monday Night Wars stars Hogan and Goldberg instantly elevates his stock.
That both interview segments were relatively short and did not overstay their welcomes only helped lead to their success.
More about adding heat to Wyatt vs. Goldberg and less about the actual Hall of Fame Hogan will enter during WrestleMania weekend, this was a hit.
Braun Strowman Saves Elias from Sami Zayn and Cesaro's Protest Concert
Sami Zayn and Cesaro staged a protest concert but had their efforts interrupted by Elias, who staged his own counter-protest. The sarcastic songster joined the heels in the ring but soon found himself on the receiving end of a beatdown at their hand. This brought intercontinental champion Braun Strowman to the rescue and after sending a security guard soaring through the air and onto the heels, Strowman stood tall alongside Elias to close out the segment.
Zayn evoking the name of the great Woody Guthrie earned this one the ‘+’ alone.
With that said, this felt like the same segment we have witnessed weekly for the last month. Elias finds himself at the mercy of the heels, Strowman makes the save and we are right back where we began.
This accomplished nothing, other than spotlighting the great Zayn and criminally mismanaged Cesaro, and reminded fans that in the world of WWE, the babyfaces will always be more valuable than their counterparts.
Dolph Ziggler Spoils Otis' Big Night
A video package recapped the months-long storyline that brought Otis and Mandy Rose together for a very special Valentine’s Day date this week on Fox. From there, cameras caught up with the Heavy Machinery star as he arrived at the restaurant for his big night.
Dolph Ziggler, though, joined Rose at her table, just in time for Otis to catch them. He dumped his roses on the floor and left dejectedly, heartbroken.
This is an interesting angle in that it feels like WWE baited and switched us, promising a date that never happened. At the same time, it made sense within the context of the ongoing storyline given how many times Ziggler has attempted to swoop in and steal the affections of Rose. This was just another opportunity for him to be the slimy heel while simultaneously building sympathy for Otis.
Given the reaction of the live audience as they watched Otis leave, his head hung and his heart broken, it worked.
The more WWE Creative keeps Otis and Rose apart, the louder the reaction when they finally overcome the obstacles preventing them from being together.
Fans felt bad for Otis, hated Ziggler and wanted to see the babyface get the girl. That's a testament to the storytelling to this point.
Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan vs. John Morrison and The Miz
Daniel Bryan emerged from the locker room, Roman Reigns’ mystery tag team partner, for a huge tag team main event with John Morrison and The Miz while King Corbin made his way through the crowd to partake in the festivities from the stands.
The babyfaces dominated the action early but Miz and Morrison seized control on a jaw-dropping dive over the post and onto Reigns and Bryan as the show headed to commercial break.
The heels continued to control the pace of the match, grounding Bryan and isolating him from his partner. Morrison and Miz cut off an attempt at a comeback, bringing him back to the mat. A missed 450 splash by The Shaman of Sexy allowed Bryan to capitalize on an opening and tag The Big Dog into the match.
Reigns exploded into the match, blasted Morrison and pummeled Miz with a barrage of corner clotheslines. A springboard kick to the face by Morrison put Reigns down for a strong near-fall. The Skull-Crushing Finale from Miz interrupted an attempted spear but Bryan prevented the pinfall. With Bryan and Morrison at ringside, Miz mocked the former, only to run right into a Superman Punch. Reigns followed with the spear for the win.
After the match, King Corbin emerged from the stands and blasted Reigns with a scepter, despite being suspended and supposedly unallowed to be part of the show as a result. To really hammer home how ineffective the ban was, Corbin sat on his throne to close out the show.
Reigns and Bryan defeated Morrison and Miz
The main event match itself was solid enough for what it was but the issues with its go way beyond the in-ring quality and into the senselessness of it all.
Why sacrifice Miz and Morrison in this spot when they are just two weeks away from challenging The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships? Did they really need to lose here to remind us that Bryan and Reigns are the top two babyfaces on SmackDown and few have any chance in hell of beating them in a high-profile match?
The answer? A resounding “no.”
Throw is the ridiculously convoluted suspension storyline for Corbin, and the total lack of adherement to it (and consequences for not), and you have a segment that failed to hit, despite for of the most talented individuals on the entire roster being spotlighted.