Date: February 11, 2022
Location: Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, Louisiana
Commentators: Corey Graves, Michael Cole
We have less than ten days before Elimination Chamber and the only big thing on the Smackdown side is Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns. That might not sound too appealing, but that’s what the people paying for Elimination Chamber want to see. Other than that, we have the fallout from Ronda Rousey destroying Sonya Deville and choosing to face Charlotte at Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.
We open with a recap of Ronda Rousey picking Charlotte for Wrestlemania and also taking out Sonya Deville for a bonus.
Here is Sonya Deville, with her arm in a sling, to say she is tired of people disrespecting her. There will be consequences for the actions of people like Ronda Rousey and Naomi. Therefore, she has requested that Rousey be fined $100,000 and suspended indefinitely. Cue Adam Pearce to say Vince McMahon has responded to her request via email.
Said email says that Vince doesn’t like someone abusing their authority, so not only is the request denied, but if Sonya gets involved in Naomi vs. Charlotte, her job will be….IN SERIOUS JEOPARDY. Cue Naomi to say that Sonya can’t touch her, but Naomi can do this. A loud slap drops Sonya, who is not happy.
Here’s what’s coming tonight.
We look back at Kofi Kingston/Big E. taking out Los Lotharios in a pretty good match last week.
Big E./Kofi Kingston vs. Los Lotharios
After a quick chat in the back about how great Los Lotharios are and the Los Lotharios Kiss Cam, we’re ready to go. Big E. cranks on a headlock to Angel before Kofi comes in with a splash for two. It’s off to Angel, who takes Kofi into the corner for some crossface shots to the jaw. Humberto adds some forearms to the back but Kingston sweeps his leg out. That’s enough to set up Big E.’s apron splash and there’s the big dive to take Los Lotharios out at the same time.
We come back from a break with Angel pounding on Big E. and TAKING OFF HIS (own) PANTS. Big E. gets up and brings in Kofi as everything breaks down. A top rope double stomp/powerbomb combination gets two on Humberto with Angel making the save. Angel hits a Backstabber and sends Big E. outside for a moonsault (with his leg smacking Big E. in the head). Another moonsault press gives Humberto two on Kofi but he’s back up with Trouble in Paradise. Kofi tries a tornado DDT out of the corner but Garza slips off and stacks Kofi up for the clean pin at 10:24.
Rating: B-. Remember last week when New Day beat Los Lotharios? Well this is the same thing but the opposite, because WWE loves doing this kind of thing. The good thing is that the match worked a little better than their usual efforts, as WWE has a bad tendency to run nothing matches back in a trilogy for some weird reason. Odds are this gets a third try, as the tag division continues to spin its wheels.
The Usos jump the Viking Raiders and leave them laying.
We look back at Goldberg returning and challenging Roman Reigns for Elimination Chamber.
We get a sitdown interview with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman. Neither of them seem overly worried about Goldberg, with Reigns saying that if he was in WCW when Goldberg had his winning streak, WCW would still be in business. After a clip of Goldberg squashing Brock Lesnar at Survivor Series 2016, Reigns laughs them off as old news. Reigns doesn’t think much of the idea that he and Goldberg were supposed to fight two years ago at Wrestlemania. He wants to slap Goldberg in the face and get him out of here again. Preach it brother.
Recap of Aliyah vs. Natalya, with Aliyah beating her three times in a row.
Aliyah vs. Natalya
Pinfall or submission only. Natalya shoulders her down to start and they dive over each other a few times. A Michinoku Driver gives Natalya two but Aliyah is back with a Thesz press. Natalya shrugs that off and puts on the Sharpshooter, sending Aliyah to the ropes. That has no impact though as there are no disqualifications, meaning Aliyah has to tap at 2:40. So Aliyah beat her and beat her and beat her and then lost. Got it.
Post match Natalya stays on her but Xia Li runs in for the save.
We get a Rock narrated video on Rocky Johnson for Black History Month.
It’s time for InZayn, but first we see Johnny Knoxville wrecking a bunch of Sami Zayn merchandise earlier today. Sami says he’s on to bigger things like getting his Intercontinental Title back, which doesn’t go over so well with the crowd. The booing doesn’t work on a podcast so Zayn promises then vegan creole recipes for later. That brings out his guests, Rick Boogs and Shinsuke Nakamura, with Sami promising to take the title last week.
Nakamura asks if Sami saw the movie, meaning Jackass Defeated, which comes out next week. Sami doesn’t think much of Boogs, who can lift all the weights he wants. Boogs reaches for the microphone….and gets electrocuted, sending him down into the corner. Nakamura goes to check on him and gets jumped by Sami, who leaves them both laying. After that live electrocution, we’re ready to move on.
We look back at Drew McIntyre taking out Madcap Moss last week.
Madcap Moss, with a black eye, says he can’t be in Happy Corbin’s corner this week.
Happy Corbin vs. Cesaro
Corbin takes him into the corner to start and starts the pounding. Deep Six cuts off the Cesaro comeback but he sends Corbin into the corner as well. That means the slide under the ropes but they fight to the floor, with Cesaro hitting a running uppercut. Back in and Cesaro hits the springboard corkscrew uppercut for two but Corbin grabs the End of Days at 3:58.
Rating: C. This was a match where they didn’t have a chance to do much and Cesaro was there to make Corbin look good. You need to keep Corbin strong for the Wrestlemania match with Drew McIntyre, because that’s what we’ll be seeing for some reason. Corbin is better without Madcap Moss, but egads I could go for something other than Corbin for McIntyre.
We go to Madcap Moss getting his eye looked at when Drew McIntyre comes in. He knows Moss’ eye is ok, which is why their match at Elimination Chamber is now Falls Count Anywhere.
Charlotte is ready to retain the Women’s Title.
We get a sitdown interview with Goldberg and Michael Cole, who Goldberg says he loves like a brother. Goldberg promises that this is a comeback that will bring back the old him. It’s two years in the making, ten years in the making or fifteen years in the making. Reigns has promised to “Goldberg Goldberg”, but Goldberg promises to make Reigns acknowledge him.
Here’s the opening segment again.
Sheamus was the honorary starter at a NASCAR race.
Smackdown Women’s Title: Charlotte vs. Naomi
Naomi is challenging and Sonya Deville can’t get involved. Charlotte runs her over to start but Naomi is back up with a whip into the corner. An enziguri sends Charlotte outside and there’s a slingshot corkscrew dive to send us to a break. Back with Naomi in trouble but managing to catch her with a high crossbody for two. The Figure Four necklock is broken up so Charlotte chops away instead. A tilt-a-whirl backbreaker gives Charlotte two more and she bends Naomi’s back around the post.
Back in and Naomi manages some kicks to the head, setting up a Blockbuster for two more. They head outside with Charlotte sending her into the steps for a crash as we take another break. Back again with Naomi fighting out of a chinlock and hitting another springboard spinning kick to the face. A bulldog drives Charlotte face first into the middle turnbuckle but Charlotte plants her with a powerbomb for two of her own.
The double moonsault hits raised knees though and Naomi hits the Rear View for a very close two. Naomi loads up the split legged moonsault but hits raised knees as well to give Charlotte two more. A (not great) rollup gives Naomi another near fall and she plants Charlotte with a headscissors driver. Now the split legged moonsault connects for two, as the fans are WAY into these near falls. Some forearms have Charlotte in trouble and a kick to the head staggers her again. Another Rear View misses though and the Natural Selection retains the title at 19:50.
Rating: B. This took some time to get going but they were rolling by the end, especially after the second break. They had some great near falls with Naomi getting so close to the title before falling short. One of the good things about Charlotte losing her title over and over is that there is a chance she could lose the title here and then get it back to set up the Wrestlemania title match all over again. Heck of a match here and worth a look.
Post match Sonya Deville is here to go after Naomi, with Charlotte coming back in to kick Naomi in the face. The beatdown is on until Ronda Rousey runs in for the save.
Overall Rating: B. They had some good stuff here, with the wrestling being solid for the most part, including a pretty awesome main event. The setback here was the focus on Goldberg vs. Roman Reigns, which isn’t exactly enthralling. At least they kept the Goldberg segment short, because talking really isn’t his thing. The main event really pulled this up, though the bad things kept the show from hitting that much higher level.
Los Lotharios b. Kofi Kingston/Big E. – Rollup to Kingston
Natalya b. Aliyah – Sharpshooter
Happy Corbin b. Cesaro – End of Days
Charlotte b. Naomi – Natural Selection
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