Smackdown Live Recap – February 14, 2017
Coming off a fairly successful Eliminator Chamber event that saw Bray Wyatt win his first World Championship, the show starts with the new champion making his way to the ring with his “fireflies” around the arena. He noticeably is wearing the title around his waist, something that is rare to see anymore with others like Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens always carrying it over their shoulder. The crowd reaction is strong, particularly when he steps into the ring, and what felt like the whole arena was chanting “you deserve it.” This chant is overused anymore certainly; anybody who wins a title gets it anymore apparently. I love that Bray laughs as they chant though – the cult leader personality loves it. He cuts a decent promo, in typical Wyatt fashion, with the best line and best reaction coming when he raises the title above his head, proclaiming “he’s [now] got the whole world in his hands.” He welcomes everyone to the “Era of Wyatt.”
Cue John Cena’s trumpets. The crowd is hyped for sure; it’s a 40/60 split cheers and boos. It had already been revealed yesterday on Twitter that Cena was invoking his rematch clause, but he comes down to be good guy John and congratulate the champion and acknowledge Bray’s fans even though all that means is that they been successfully “brainwashed.” Cena wants to go right now and start the match, but AJ Styles’s music hits next. AJ is upset because he never got his one-on-one title shot rematch from losing to Cena at the Rumble. He says Cena needs to wait in line. Now, Daniel Bryan’s music hits. The GM comes out and makes a decision, popular with the crowd, to have Bray defend against Cena and Styles in a triple threat match as the main event. This was a good opening all the way around. It established Bray as the man to beat, the history of Cena “burying” Wyatt – at least in the minds of many savvy fans – years ago was palpable in the segment. The addition of anything AJ is can’t miss at the moment. This should be a good main event.
Outcome: Main event booked for later in the show: Bray Wyatt (c) vs. John Cena vs. AJ Styles
Coming back from commercial, Dean Ambrose is backstage looking for Baron Corbin for payback from his beatdown at Elimination Chamber.
Back in the ring, American Alpha come out and are taking on the Ascension in a rematch of the finals of the gauntlet match from Elimination Chamber. The teams put on a decent match, and commentary tries to put over the Ascension has a legitimate threat, which hopefully will be short-lived. The idea of a team like the Ascension is better than the actuality. After Alpha scores the win, the Usos appear on the Titantron and taunt them. Presumably, this will be the Smackdown tag team division’s Wrestlemania match for no other reason than they are the only two strong teams. And that’s fine. The Usos makeover has been effective, and they could regain some heat with more screen time.
Outcome: Alphas retain the titles and probably ending into a match with the Usos in the future
Backstage, James Ellsworth is trying to take Carmella on a date (although she wants to “keep things professional”) when Dean Ambrose interrupts looking for Baron Corbin again. Ambrose gives Ellsworth some advice that Carmella is using him and he should try “online dating.” Daniel Bryan appears wanting to know what’s going on. Instead of Corbin, Bryan gives Ambrose Ellsworth instead due to their history, leaving Ellsworth terrified.
Outcome: Ambrose vs. Ellsworth later in the show
After the commercial, Ellsworth comes to the ring to face Dean Ambrose. His music hits, but out comes Baron Corbin dragging a beaten Ambrose from the back. I guess Ambrose found him. He proceeds to beat on Ambrose some more before leaving.
Outcome: Ambrose is going to the hospital apparently after the attack, and this feud is furthered, probably ending with a match at Wrestlemania.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan says he has good news for Nikki Bella. Natalya interrupts, and it’s not long before the two women start fiercely tearing into each other. As they are pulled away from each other and separated, Bryan announces they will have a match next week.
Outcome: Nikki Bella vs. Natalya next week in a falls count anywhere match, probably to burn off the feud
Becky Lynch comes out to a good reaction; she’ll be taking on Mickie James in a rematch from Elimination Chamber. Wild guess: this will end in James victory to continue WWE’s love of 50/50 booking. It is nice to have someone who can work in the ring to wrestle Becky finally. These women put on well-executed, psychologically sound matches. Mickie uses shenanigans in the end, faking a sprained shoulder, to trick Becky and hit her with a spinning superkick, or “the Mick Kick.”
Outcome: Mickie gets her win back over Becky
Naomi is interviewed by Renee Young in the ring. It’s revealed that she suffered an injury during her championship win over Alexa Bliss at Elimination Chamber that she didn’t realize until the high of the win was over. Alexa Bliss comes out, wanting her rematch. She says that Naomi has one week to prepare and then she can give her the title or Alexa will “snatch [her] dignity and beat her up and down the ring” to take her title back.
Outcome: A possible title match next week featuring Naomi (c) versus Alexa Bliss.
The main event begins. Cena comes out first, then Bray comes out. When Bray nears the ring and the lights come back on, Luke Harper is standing at ringside and attacks Bray, leaving him in danger as the match begins. The match is steadily-paced and action packed. Everyone delivers well only two nights after the Elimination Chamber match. Despite being wounded early, Bray capitalizes on Cena’s focus on Styles and picks up the victory with the Sister Abigail. That’s twice now Cena has put over Bray in a week.
As Bray celebrates, Randy Orton’s music hits and he approaches the ring. Commentary hypes that this is the possible Wrestlemania main event. Orton takes the mic and proclaims that he is the Royal Rumble winner and has “all the privileges that come” with that. BUT, because he is the servant and Bray is the master he is forfeiting his right to the championship match. Bray laughs and tells him that he now “has the keys to the kingdom.” They pose together to finish the show. This isn’t entirely unexpected. If the theory that Orton is luring Bray into a false sense of security is correct, this furthers that cause. Still, the unpredictability of this storyline and how it will play out in the next six weeks makes this one of the more interesting storylines in WWE right now.
Outcome: The era of Wyatt continues, and Randy Orton seemingly is giving up his title opportunity against Bray.