February 21, 2107
City: Ontario, CA
Venue: Citizens Business Bank Arena
Commentary: Mauro Ranallo, JBL, David Otunga, Tom Phillips
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton
Last week, Bray Wyatt retained his title in a triple threat match with AJ Styles and John Cena. Also, Randy Orton vowed that he wouldn’t challenge Bray at Wrestlemania. So tonight, there will be a battle royal to determine the number one contender for the World Title.
Daniel Bryan heads to the ring. He says there are lots of unexpected twists and turns on the road to Wrestlemania. He then introduces Naomi. Bryan commends Naomi on her climb to the top and her win. Unfortunately, her injury will prevent Naomi from defending her title. Therefor, Bryan asks Naomi to relinquish the SD Wonen’s Title. Naomi says it’s crazy how quickly life can change. In tears, she hands over the belt.
As Naomi heads to the back, Alexa Bliss heads to the ring. She thinks watching Naomi give up the title was amazing. She then helps Bryan come up with a solution for their problem: hand the title over to Alexa. Bryan supposes that it makes sense to give her title since she was the previous champ, but he doesn’t do it. Instead, he decides to make a title match between Alexa and Becky Lynch.
** It would have made more sense to determine a contender with some multi-person match, then have the winner of that face Alexa for the title. They could have done it all tonight as well. Picking a random person to compete for the title doesn’t make a lot of sense. **
SmackDown Women’s Title Match
Alexa Bliss vs Becky Lynch
(referee: Ryan Tran)
Result: Alexa Bliss wins via pinfall after a chop to the throat and a schoolboy (with a handful of tights)
Pretty good match, but I wouldn’t necessarily call it championship quality. It all happened too fast. This should have been drawn out more. It could have been the main story of the show, but instead it feels like an afterthought. I understand that decisions had to be made quickly, but better decisions could have been made. It just didn’t feel important enough.
After the match, Mickie James congratulates Alexa and tries to attack Becky. Becky easily fights her off.
Dean Ambrose is trying to focus on his opportunity tonight, but his issues with Baron Corbin are weighing on him.
Kalisto has fought all his life to make it to the WWE. Tonight, he has the chance to main event Wrestlemania.
Maryse watches as The Miz lists his accomplishments, including being champion at Wrestlemania 33.
Renee Young asks Natalya about the support that Nikki Bella has been receiving. Natalya says that she’s only getting support because she’s a manufactured fraud. Tonight, Natalya will expose her.
Breezango vs American Alpha (SD Tag Champs)
(referee: Jason Ayers)
Result: Chad Gable pins Fandango after an electric chair bulldog
Pretty good match. If it had been a little longer it could have been very good. Breezango deserve a lot more than what they get in the WWE. This wasn’t a typical American Alpha match, and that was because of Breezango. They attacked American Alpha before the match started and forced Jason Jordan to be the one that gets beat up. Even the ending was different than usual, though the winners were easy to predict.
After the match, The Usos address American Alpha from the crowd. They tell American Alpha that they can’t get ready for The Usos.
Honoring Jackie Robinson for Black History Month.
AJ Styles stops a random guy backstage and tells him that he’s going to Wrestlemania. And he’s very happy about it.
Dolph Ziggler says the “New Era” is a cancer. No one can replace Ziggler.
Mojo Rawley has won battle royals in the past, but this one is for Wrestlemania.
Luke Harper obeyed Bray Wyatt for years, but now he’s free.
Renee Young asks Nikki Bella if she has any last minute thoughts before her match with Natalya. She’s going to prove to Natalya why she’s not just a pretty face.
Falls Count Anywhere Match
Nikki Bella vs Natalya
(referee: Dan Engler)
Result: Natalya wins via pinfall after Maryse attacks Nikki with a pipe
Time: 10:41 (1 break)
This was okay. There was a lot of roaming around the arena. They went to ringside, then to the crowd, back to ringside, up to the stage, briefly to the backstage area so they could run into Maryse, then back out to ringside. The movements didn’t feel natural. The action was okay. It was a lot of brawling with some bigger outside spots. Nikki hit a jumping kick from a barricade, Natalya broke a mirror with her face, and there was some stuff on the ramp. I didn’t dislike the match, but it wasn’t terribly compelling either.
Baron Corbin likes destruction, inflicting pain, and the spotlight. When he wins tonight, the main event spotlight will be on him.
Apollo Crews’ smile is not a weakness. Anyone who steps in his way, especially Dolph Ziggler, will get tossed over the top rope tonight.
Bray Wyatt offers Randy Orton the keys to the kingdom for his sacrifice.
Jack Gallagher will face Tony Nese on 205 Live tonight.
10 Man Battle Royal World Title Number One Contender Match
John Cena vs Kalisto vs Apollo Crews vs Mojo Rawley vs Dolph Ziggler vs Baron Corbin vs Luke Harper vs The Miz vs AJ Styles vs Dean Ambrose (IC Champ)
(referees: Danilo Anfibio, Jason Ayers, Ryan Tran, Dan Engler)
Result: the match ends in a draw when AJ Styles and Luke Harper eliminate each other at the same time
1. Mojo Rawley is eliminated by Baron Corbin
2. Kalisto is eliminated by Dolph Ziggler
3. Dolph Ziggler is eliminated by Apollo Crews
4. Apollo Crews is eliminated by Baron Corbin
5. The Miz is eliminated by John Cena
6. Baron Corbin is eliminated by Dean Ambrose
7. John Cena is eliminated by The Miz (who is already out of the match)
8. Dean Ambrose is eliminated by Luke Harper
9. AJ Styles and Luke Harper both touch the floor at the same time
Time: 15:41 (2 breaks)
This was a fine battle royal. Nothing too special. The ending didn’t really help much, though I don’t dislike the final two people in the match.
With confusion about the winner of the battle royal, Daniel Bryan heads to the ring. He announces that the match is a draw. A number one contender will be determined next week. Luke Harper is not happy about the decision, so he clotheslines AJ Styles.
I wasn’t impressed by this show. I think the Women’s title situation was mishandled, and the matches weren’t all that great. They all had potential, but I think they all fell short of what they could have been.
Match of the Night
This was a tough call, but for all the wrong reasons. I didn’t pick the Women’s Title match because it should have been a lot better given the situation. I didn’t pick the tag match because even though I enjoyed it, it was way too short. I didn’t pick the falls count anywhere match because there was a lot of roaming and wandering. That just leaves the battle royal, which was fine.