WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 4

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 5, 2022

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 4

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    Credit: WWE.com

    WWE is officially on the Road to WrestleMania and Friday's SmackDown reflected as much, with a jam-packed show devoted to the top stars and stories that will define the Showcase of the Immortals this April.

    Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman addressed the questions of the WWE Universe following the shocking actions of the advocate Sunday night at the Royal Rumble while Ronda Rousey made her return to the blue brand to announce her choice of opponents for wrestling's most prestigious night.

    What went down on the most significant episode of SmackDown in nearly a year?

    Find out with this recap of the Feb. 4 broadcast. 

Lineup

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    • Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman reunite
    • Drew McIntyre's SmackDown return
    • Ronda Rousey's WrestleMania choice

Goldberg Interrupts The Bloodline

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    Credit: WWE

    Universal Champion Roman Reigns, SmackDown tag team champions The Usos and Paul Heyman kicked off the evening’s show with questions about Heyman's actions at Royal Rumble abound.

    The special counsel to The Head of the Table told the story of his relationship with Brock Lesnar and the events that led to the Royal Rumble, admitting The Beast looks like a fool. It was during the WWE Championship Match Sunday night that he realized that Reigns does not need protection from Lesnar, but vice versa.

    He officially acknowledged Reigns and demanded Oklahoma City do the same. Instead, Goldberg's music played and the WWE Hall of Famer entered the arena to a thunderous ovation.

    The legendary WCW competitor came face-to-face with The Tribal Chief and threw down the gauntlet for a match at Elimination Chamber, the Universal title at stake. "You're next!" he exclaimed to end the segment.

          

    Grade

    C

         

    Analysis

    Heyman is great, a generational talker, but there wasn't much to this one. All that matters is that Heyman is back by his Tribal Chief's side and reunited with The Bloodline, a role that he excelled in. Speaking with conviction, he got over so-so creative and at least explained away his actions in a way that sorta, kinda makes sense.

    The arrival of Goldberg was something no one really asked for and the idea of a match with Reigns is not all that appealing, especially since fans were not overly excited for the contest when it was originally announced for WrestleMania back in 2020.

    Hopefully, Reigns runs through Goldberg on his way to the biggest show of the year because no one needs the 25-year veteran winning another title and throwing the WrestleMania title picture into further disarray.

Ricochet vs. Ridge Holland Turns Into a Tag Team Match

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    Credit: WWE

    In the latest chapter of a feud that simply will not end, Ricochet defeated Ridge Holland in a lightning-quick singles match, avenging several recent losses to the former rugby player and his associate, Sheamus.

    Following a commercial break, it was revealed that Sheamus demanded a tag team match with Holland against Ricochet and his partner, Cesaro.

    The spirited back and forth tag team match saw Holland wipe The One and Only out at ringside, leaving Cesaro to fend for himself. 

    It did not go well.

    Holland put The Swiss Superman away with Northern Grit, then celebrated the hard-fought victory with The Celtic Warrior.

          

    Result

    Ricochet defeated Holland; Holland and Sheamus defeated Ricochet and Cesaro

         

    Grade

    C+

         

    Analysis

    Has a lengthy rivalry between two teams ever felt more nondescript than this one?

    Ricochet, Cesaro, Sheamus and Holland have worked together a bunch and had some really strong matches but what is the endgame at this point? It feels a bit too much like we are watching the same match every week specifically to give them something to do rather than advancing a feud or elevating anyone.

    Until that changes, the matches will be fine enough to earn that plus-sign behind the "C," but nothing higher. 

Erik vs. Jimmy Uso

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    Credit: WWE

    The Viking Raiders best hope they find greater success in tag team action come Elimination Chamber than Erik found in singles Friday night on Fox.

    The bruiser battled SmackDown tag team champion Jimmy Uso, accompanied by brother Jey, one-on-one.

    It did not go well.

    Uso scored the decisive win in short order with the top-rope splash.

         

    Result

    Uso defeated Erik

         

    Grade

    D

        

    Analysis

    What the hell was the point of that? 

    The match was not long enough to matter and worse, it diminished the credibility The Viking Raiders built as top contenders to the SmackDown tag team titles.

    Not that anyone believed they had a chance of dethroning Jimmy and Jey in Saudi Arabia, but it is even more apparent that they are but a filler team on the Road to WrestleMania.

    It is disappointing because Erik and Ivar are a great, big, physical tag team that probably deserves more than they have been presented thus far in their WWE run.

Aliyah vs. Natalya

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Aliyah sought to embarrass Natalya one more time Friday night as they met in a rematch of a rematch.

    The NXT export found herself on the receiving end of a beatdown at the hands of The Queen of Harts. Absorbing everything thrown at her, she hung around just long enough for Natalya to lose track of the referee’s count, send her opponent crashing into the guardrail and return to the ring to score yet another upset victory.

         

    Result

    Aliya defeated Natalya via countout

         

    Grade

    C-

         

    Analysis

    We get it: Aliyah can only beat Natalya via fluky means.

    Can we either move on from this feud or give Aliyah an actual win? Or let Nattie get her wins back? Either way, let's advance the storyline because as of now, it feels like a lot of rinse, lather and repeat.

    Natalya can do wonders to help bring Aliyah along but this isn’t the way to do it and it surely isn't doing either woman any favors at this point.



Drew McIntyre's Warpath

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Former WWE champion Drew McIntyre made his return at the Royal Rumble and Friday night, addressed the fans.

    In the middle of his promo, in which he revealed he told doctors that doubted his ability to compete at Royal Rumble and WrestleMania to kiss his ass, Happy Corbin and Madcap Moss attempted a sneak attack.

    After holding Moss off with his sword, McIntyre forced him to tell a joke. From there, he dropped Moss with the Claymore and threatened to make Corbin's life a living hell before standing tall to close out the segment.

         

    Grade

    B

         

    Analysis

    McIntyre is a performer at a whole other level. His intensity is on point, his ability to cut a promo, work a match and connect with audiences is undeniable. He is a main event star stuck in the undercard at the most important time of the year and it is disappointing.

    With that said, he has made the absolute most of this feud with Corbin and Moss. In Madcap's defense, he has proven to be a wrestler whose skills do not reflect the character he portrays.

    A blowoff match between The Scottish Warrior and Corbin (or Moss) as soon as Elimination Chamber should be better than expected and, hopefully, frees up McIntyre to do something a little more in-line with his skills.

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Jinder Mahal

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    Credit: WWE

    With top contender Sami Zayn joining the commentary table, Intercontinental champion Shinsuke Nakamura battled Jinder Mahal in singles competition.

    Despite the potential for distractions with Rick Boogs and the massive Shanky at ringside, The Artist overcame The Modern Day Maharaja and delivered the Kinshasa for the pinfall victory.

    After the match, Nakamura and Zayn engaged in a staredown to close out the segment.

         

    Result

    Nakamura defeated Mahal

         

    Grade

    C

         

    Analysis

    It was like 2017 all over again as Nakamura and Mahal rekindled a rivalry that was once competed over the WWE Championship. Unlike those matches, which were won by Mahal, Nakamura won a spirited affair that set him up for his match with Zayn.

    Sure, Nakamura has not been presented as a strong champion. Most weeks, it's easy to forget that he actually holds the title given the fact that he has not defended the title on television since the September 24 episode of Smackdown.

    At least there is finally some emphasis on the once-prestigious title and given the rich history between them, including an NXT TakeOver classic, fans should be excited about the prospects of a match between The Artist and the conspiracy theorist.

New Day vs. Los Lotharios

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Kofi Kingston and Big E battled Los Lotharios' Angel and Humberto in tag team action this week and wasted little time taking the fight to their opponents.

    The heels weathered the early storm and wrestled control from their opponents entering the commercial break. 

    The heels isolated Kingston, cutting him off from his tag team partner. He eventually created separation and made the tag to Big E. The former WWE champion exploded into the ring, wiping the competition out. He joined Kingston for a wheelbarrow bulldog combination, but Humberto broke the pin up.

    The heels nearly scored the win off an electric chair dropkick combo of their own, but New Day fought back, delivered Midnight Hour and scored the win.

         

    Result

    New Day defeated Los Lotharios

        

    Grade

    B+

         

    Analysis

    On a show that is oftentimes full with rematches we have seen more than enough times, booking another battle between these two teams would be welcome, especially if they can replicate the quality of this one.

    The chemistry between these two, and the drama they produced late, were simply fantastic. The crowd in OKC was on fire, biting on every near-fall. That is a testament not only to the action itself but the work put in by Big E and Kingston to make the fans believe the otherwise overmatched Angela and Humberto could actually defeat them.

    With no clear cut direction for either team before Elimination Chamber, bringing the teams together in singles and tag matches in the next couple weeks is a strong option.

Ronda Rousey Selects Her WrestleMania Opponent

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    Credit: WWE.com

    Sonya Deville joined SmackDown women's champion Charlotte Flair in the squared circle for the night's main event promo segment and revealed to The Queen that Royal Rumble winner Ronda Rousey has chosen Raw champion, Becky Lynch, as her WrestleMania opponent.

    Flair said she made the right choice, saying she would be worried about Rousey if she chose to face her because a match-up of moms at WrestleMania is damn easier than fighting The Queen. 

    After Flair offered up a match against Sasha Banks, Rousey made her way to the ring.

    The 2022 Rumble winner said there's a lot of she-said, she-said going on, but since she won Sunday, she will make the decision as to who her WrestleMania opponent is. 

    "I didn't fly halfway across the country in an ice storm to have a chat," Rousey warned. "You're not special. You were just first. I will see you at WrestleMania, bitch!" Rousey exclaimed.

    Deville attempted to cheapshot a defiant Rousey, only to find herself in the grasp of The Baddest Woman on the Planet, who tapped her out with an arm bar before staring Flair down to end the show.

         

    Grade

    A

         

    Analysis

    When Rousey is on-screen, you want to see her kick ass. If you cannot, you want to see her threaten to kick ass. We got a little bit of both tonight, with a short, sweet promo that set up one of the marquee matches of WrestleMania without giving too much away in the form of a physical confrontation between her and Flair.

    The intensity in Rousey's eyes as she stared Flair down to end the show is an image that sells the match. There is no messing around with Rowdy. She is a straight-ahead, focused badass who will tear anyone apart who stands between her and her goal. 

    One facial expression tells you everything you need to know about her and sells the rage she feels for Flair.

    That is what sets her apart from so many and helped her succeed early on in her WWE run back in 2018. Hopefully, she can replicate the success of that run when the bell rings on April 3 or 4 in Dallas.

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