WWE SmackDown results, recap, grades: Goldberg spears The Fiend, Bella Twins announced for Hall of Fame class
The legend put a crack in the near-invincible aura of the WWE universal champion
With less than a week until the WWE Super ShowDown pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia, this week's edition of SmackDown served as a "go home show" where final touches could be added to storylines before the pay-per-view event. Instead, the focus at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona, was equally placed on building to March's Elimination Chamber event.
The night did end with a pair of meaningful moments for Super ShowDown, however, with Bill Goldberg delivering a forceful message to "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt and Naomi punching her ticket to the first women's title match ever to be held in Saudi Arabia. Let's take a look at what went down in the ring, and outside of it, this week on SmackDown.
Goldberg spears The Fiend
Bill Goldberg came to the ring with just moments left in the show and said he wanted The Fiend, "whoever and whatever" he is, to know he is ready for their universal championship match at Super ShowDown. The Firefly Fun House theme song immediately cut in with Wyatt dusting the photos of his past victims. Wyatt said Goldberg wouldn't take the universal championship or anything else from anyone, before saying the two men needed to get to know each other. Wyatt then introduced the Fun House puppets before saying there was someone else who was dying to meet Goldberg as the arena lights began to shut off.
Goldberg smiled before the arena went dark. When the lights came back, he turned and delivered a spear to The Fiend after a brief staredown. Goldberg lined up to deliver a second to a clearly hurt Wyatt before the lights went out to allow for the champion's escape. Goldberg posed in the corner to chants of his name as the show went off the air.
The Fiend and Goldberg are two personas which are best delivered in small doses. As such, it makes plenty of sense for their two pre-Super ShowDown interactions to have been brief and directly to the point. Goldberg being so unafraid and able to inflict pain on the near-invincible Wyatt alter-ego is going to rub plenty of people the wrong way, but trying to make big points for a championship match in a matter of minutes is a difficult ask. Grade: C
What else happened on WWE SmackDown?
- The Usos & The New Day def. John Morrison, The Miz, Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler via pinfall after Jey Uso hit Roode with a superkick. The Usos opened the show with an in-ring promo about Miz and John Morrison before introducing their tag partners for the night's opening eight-man tag match and Miz and Morrison's opponents at Super ShowDown, The New Day. After trading compliments -- some backhanded -- and bringing up the possibility of renewing their classic rivalry in the near future, Miz and Morrison interrupted and interrupted their own partners, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode leading to the start of the match, which eventually came to a close at the foot of Jey Uso.
- Daniel Bryan def. Heath Slater via pinfall after a running knee. Drew Gulak told Daniel Bryan he had created a PowerPoint presentation to show Bryan all the things he's done wrong lately. Heath Slater then confronted Bryan, demanding a rematch after Bryan "stomped his brains in" two weeks ago. Bryan accepted and suggested Gulak help Slater instead. A motivated Slater got in some offense but Bryan scored the fairly quick win for the second time in three weeks.
- Tucker confronted Mandy Rose backstage after Rose "stood up" Otis on Valentine's Day in favor of a date with Ziggler. Rose said she didn't invite Ziggler to the date until she ran into him after Otis was late. Tucker left after saying he was a fool for believing she had good intentions. Later in the night, Otis arrived at the arena only to see Rose accept a ride home from Ziggler.
- Lacey Evans was interviewed by Renee Young. She discussed "bullies" Sasha Banks and Bayley before saying she knows she's now at the back of the line after losing her shot at the SmackDown women's title before saying she now has to outlast five other women at Elimination Chamber, effectively confirming a second women's Chamber match along with the already announced bout featuring the women of Raw.
- Braun Strowman & Elias def. Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura via pinfall in a Symphony of Destruction match after Strowman hit Nakamura with a powerslam off the announce table onto a piano. There was a lot of instrument-based offense in this match with kick drums, ukuleles, guitars and the aforementioned piano all coming into play. As Strowman put away Nakamura, Elias drove Cesaro through a table at ringside with an elbow drop off the top rope.
- Alexa Bliss hosted a special Moment of Bliss segment with guests The Bella Twins. Before introducing Nikki and Brie Bella to the set, Bliss made the announcement that the twins would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame with this year's class.
- A pre-taped Sheamus promo aired where he ran down Shorty G and Apollo Crews before confirming that he will be one of the entrants to the Elimination Chamber match. Shorty G and Apollo were watching backstage before Apollo blew off Shorty G's attempt to unite to take down Sheamus.
- Naomi def. Carmella via pinfall with a split-legged moonsault to earn a shot at Bayley and the SmackDown women's championship at Super ShowDown. Bayley was initially out to watch the match but began interfering seemingly to give Carmella an edge, a sign she thought she had a better chance against the woman she recently defeated. After the referee ejected Bayley from ringside, Naomi won a good back-and-forth contest to earn a shot at the title.
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