WWE SmackDown results from February 19 as the show aired from Smoothie King Center, New Orleans, LA, USA
The Miz and Shane McMahon Get Another Shot
This was a generic start to the show where Shane McMahon first announced that the NXT talent would be on the show. The Miz interrupted and tried to seek forgiveness for losing the tag titles. The Usos then came out and tried to sow seeds of separation but The Miz was able to get Shane to book a rematch at Fastlane.
Our take on it: There couldn’t have been a flimsier way to get the rematch. The biggest error was having Shane and Miz drop the titles but it was probably to do something huge for Fastlane which is going to take place in the Miz’s hometown of Cleveland. Overall, a pretty uncharacteristically mundane way to start SmackDown. This could be a perfect spot for Shane to turn heel on The Miz.
Aleister Black and Andrade Put On A Great Show
As a continuation from RAW, NXT talent were on SmackDown and Aleister Black gave a pretty good account here. This match was quick paced and there is something captivating about the way in which Aleister Black operates. The match ended with Black hitting a Black Mass after reversing a Hammerlock DDT.
Winner: Aleister Black
Our take on it: The crowd was a bit more enthusiastic than it had been on RAW but the reactions weren’t as great as they could have been. This boils down to the fundamental issue of NXT talent not being properly introduced to the mainstream audience. Apart from that, this was a nice part of the show.
Ciampa and Gargano Make Mockery Of Another Tag Team
The Bar is getting old and that somewhat showed here. The Bar however did give a better account of the tag division on the main shows than the Revival were able to on RAW.
The match did start a bit slow but it picked up pace and the Bar were able to get in quite a bit of offense before the camaraderie of Gargano and Ciampa proved too good.
Winners: Tomasso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano
Our take on it: This was another wonderful showing for NXT but it committed the cardinal sin of undermining the tag division. At least it wasn’t the current champs who got humiliated. From a more neutral standpoint, this was actually a great match with plenty of back and forth action and great physical storytelling.
Asuka Suffers An Upset
Asuka came to the ring and issued a challenge after uncharacteristically goading over the fact that she was able to beat Lynch and Charlotte on the same night.
Mandy Rose of all people answered the challenge and the match went on like any regular wrestling match until Mandy surprised the heck out of everyone by rolling up Asuka for the win.
Winner: Mandy Rose
Our take on it: The SmackDown women’s title was the hottest title in WWE just a few weeks back and now it has been reduced to a joke. Having Mandy Rose win was a surprise but an unnecessary one.
This tarnishes the title’s image to a point where it might never recover while also starting the gong of the death bells on Asuka’s main eventing career through no fault of her own. WWE could have gone a million different ways with this one and as usual they chose the lamest.
Ricochet Crushes Eric Young
This was another fine match that had plenty of back and forth and a great exhibition of Ricochet’s unique wrestling style. Eric Young’s brutish style was a nice counterfoil to Ricochet’s more athletic approach. Ricochet was able to pick up the win by hitting yet another picture perfect 630 Splash.
Our take on it: Something more should have been done to improve the awareness the WWE universe had of the NXT roster. The crowd clearly did not know what to expect and that showed in their reactions. Hopefully, that will change with time and the NXT talents can take the main shows away from the boring loop they are currently caught in.
Kofi Kingston Continues His Meteoric Rise
Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles & Jeff Hardy vs Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe & Randy Orton: This was a typical tag match with the heels gaining early control and the faces desperately trying to wrestle back some momentum.
Daniel Bryan took on the role of the impromptu leader and directed traffic. Nothing out of the ordinary happened except for the end where Kofi Kingston managed to hit a Trouble in Paradise for the win.
As an added bonus for his heroics, Kofi Kingston was awarded a title opportunity against Bryan at Fastlane by Shane McMahon post match.
Winners: Kofi Kingston, AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy
Our take on it: Kofi Kingston’s initial push seemed like a cheap attempt to to honor Black History but it seems like WWE is going full steam behind this one.
There is very little chance that Kofi might win the world title at Fastlane but this is way more exciting than having Bryan face off against anyone else as it has all been said and done in every iteration possible. A worthy end to an otherwise lackluster show.
Overall Review: This was one of the worst shows of SmackDown on record. It had nothing to do with the NXT talents who all gave a great account for themselves and proved to be the reason behind the little entertainment that was actually on display.
Most of the writing seemed lethargic and without any logic. The tag match and Asuka losing were stupid and pointless. The main-event was great but the show had gone past the point of no return by then.
Moment of the Night: Kofi Kingston being provided with a title shot
Overall Rating: 3.3/5