WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 12
Typically, SmackDown Live is a show built on various stars with a diverse roster of talent, but the February 12 edition of the blue brand was all about one huge showdown, as a gauntlet match was set to decide who would enter Sunday’s Elimination Chamber last.
Daniel Bryan would step into the ring with many men looking to take his WWE Championship: Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and AJ Styles. With this lineup of great talent all fighting for one precious spot, this was a match that dominated time on SmackDown.
It was also not clear going in who would replace Mustafa Ali in the Chamber, with The Heart of 205 Live being removed from the match because of a concussion, setting up a huge announcement for the show.
The Miz also promised a special edition of “McMiz TV” with Shane McMahon hosting The Usos. With their match just days away, this was the one real opportunity to sell this SmackDown Tag Team Championships clash.
After the shocking end to Monday Night Raw, the blue brand was also picking up the pieces from Vince McMahon suspending Becky Lynch for 60 days and replacing her in the title match against Ronda Rousey with Charlotte Flair. This was The Queen’s first opportunity to speak on the situation.
This show was focused but vital as the final WWE event before WWE Elimination Chamber 2019, with major stakes hanging in the balance for WrestleMania.
Charlotte Flair Gloats over Replacing Becky Lynch
Charlotte opened the show to taunt the crowd and promise to steal the show at WrestleMania. As the crowd booed her, The Queen declared that she would also be ringside for Ronda Rousey’s Elimination Chamber title match to scout her future opponent.
Charlotte can often be hit-and-miss on the mic, but here she rode the wave of heat from the crowd to a strong follow-up to Raw’s ending. Charlotte has found her ideal role right now, and it is hard to say if this is the right move.
It will take the next month to truly decide if WWE has this story under its control or has just unnecessarily complicated an easy-money match.
The IIconics vs. Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Naomi and Carmella
In this supposed Triple Threat tag team match, The IIconics tagged out immediately and refused to get back into the contest. This led to a clash between Naomi and Carmella and Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
Making up for last week’s loss, Fabulous Glow ran down its opponents, with Naomi getting a measure of revenge against her longstanding rival, hitting a split-legged moonsault for the win.
Afterward, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay got some spotlight back by taking out the winners and standing tall.
Naomi and Carmella def. Rose and Deville and The IIconics by pinfall; Fire and Desire will open the Elimination Chamber
It was weird to repeat this match for the second week in a row, but The IIconics choosing not to compete changed up the dynamic and allowed Fabulous Glow to stand out. The new babyface team looked good together in a way it did not last week.
It is interesting that the most likely winner in the Elimination Chamber will now be opening, setting up all the other teams as potential spoilers.
The Usos Give The Best Tag Team in the World a Reality Check on McMiz TV
Still riding high from their tag team title win at Royal Rumble, The A-Lister and Boy Wonder played it cool and confident on their new talk show, “McMiz TV,” before introducing The Usos. The twin brothers quickly soured the mood.
They called out Miz and Shane for calling themselves The Best Tag Team in the World, with the teams trading barbs that grew more personal by the second. They came to blows, with Jimmy and Jey Uso laying out the champions.
These teams deserved more time to sell this match because they are great together. Their charisma was off the charts in this encounter, but there was no story to tell. They just got angry with each other until The Usos laid out the champs.
This should be a great match to come, with The Miz and Shane having to keep up with the brothers. Unfortunately, the result is hardly in question.
Bryan vs. Kingston vs. Hardy vs. Joe vs. Styles vs. Orton (Gauntlet)
Bryan cut another inspiring promo about how much he needs to win for the sake of the planet before The New Day arrived and announced Kofi Kingston would represent the group in the Elimination Chamber. New Day’s veteran pushed the champion to his limit and pinned him after Trouble in Paradise.
His incredible run continued as he caught Hardy with the SOS to take a second pinfall. The Samoan Submission Specialist toyed with Kofi but was not able to stop his momentum, with the New Day member rolling up Joe out of the Coquina Clutch for another pinfall.
Styles ran to the ring to save Kofi from a post-elimination attack by Joe, and he tried to convince him to step down. However, the veteran refused to give up, forcing The Phenomenal One to make him tap out to the Calf Crusher.
As Styles gave Kofi credit for his effort, he turned around into an RKO to give Orton the victory.
Orton def. Styles, Kofi, Joe, Hardy and Bryan to earn the opportunity to enter the Elimination Chamber last
Just one day removed from reminding everyone that Seth Rollins’ run to the top started with his incredible gauntlet performance, Kofi had a showing rivaling, if not exceeding, that night, surviving 50 minutes and pinning the WWE champion, The Charismatic Enigma and The Samoan Submission Machine.
This was all about establishing The New Day ace as a threat, and it may have done more than that. Suddenly, he doesn’t just look like a viable contender but a viable champion, hopefully setting him up for a fascinating Road to WrestleMania.
Orton’s win also made perfect sense. He has always been an opportunist, and the RKO is a finisher built to defeat anyone. Styles vs. Orton was also protected by the finish, not showing anything for now of what they can