WWE SmackDown Live for February 21, 2017
Watch: USA Network, Hulu, WWE Network on an one-month delay
Citizens Bank Arena – Ontario, Canada
Our GM, Daniel Bryan, is out to the ring and reminds the audience that WrestleMania is getting closer and brings out the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Naomi. There’s an uneasy feeling that both are out to have Naomi relinquish the title and those feelings are found to be true. Daniel and Shane have gone over Naomi’s medical records and her knee won’t be healed within the thirty day required rematch period. Unfortunately Naomi has to relinquish the title and she promises to get it back once she’s healthy. While Naomi walks to the back with tears in her eyes, Alexa Bliss walks out to pour salt in the wound of all the fans. She asks Daniel to give her the title since she was the last champion before Naomi’s reign. Daniel says it pains him to have to take the title from Naomi but he’s not about to hand out the title, he let’s Alexa wrestle for the title right now and her opponent is Becky Lynch.
Alexa Bliss def. Becky Lynch
Match starts off with some quick pin attempts by both women and a lot of kicking out at 1. The match isn’t bad so far, it’s actually a good match, but we’re not far removed from the previous Becky/Alexa title program that it feels like we’re back to life before La Luchadora and Mickie James return. Alexa Bliss is now a two-time SmackDown Women’s Champion and it all feels too soon, seeing Becky lose again and Alexa wearing the strap. Mickie tries to run in and blind side Becky but that fails and Becky stands tall in a weak attack from her enemy. Injuries suck and now we’ll have to see if the SmackDown women’s roster can handle having two members out of action.
Different participants of the 10-Man Battle Royal for #1 contendership for the WWE Championship give their reasons as to why they’ll win and go on to main event WrestleMania.
Renee Young asks Natalya about her reaction to the WWE Universe’s overwhelming support for Nikki Bella before their match tonight. Natalya repeats what she has been saying throughout this feud and says she’ll “expose” Nikki for the lousy wrestler that she is.
American Alpha def. Breezango
Before the official bell Breezango attack American Alpha and are able to keep the upper hand after the match begins. It doesn’t take long for American Alpha to get into their groove and win the match quickly. After the bell The Usos are on mics in the crowd to interrupt AA’s celebration, but they’re not here to fight, they’re here to intimidate American Alpha and put out a warning that they won’t be able to beat The Usos.
More video short promos from participants of the 10-Man battle royal are played. Next Nikki is interviewed by Renee and says that she’s ready to beat Natalya and when she’s done with her she’ll be the Broken Hart.
Falls Count Anywhere: Natalya def. Nikki Bella
Bell rings and Nikki hits a spears and rains fist down on Natalya. Weapons are introduced to the match pretty quickly with a table tease and body shots to Natalya with a kendo stick. The action spills into the crowd and both women get thrown into walls, Natalya throws Nikki into the arena’s penalty box and tries to suplex her onto the floor but Nikki throws her off and hits an enziguri from above. Back inside the barrier Natalya tries to increase damage down to her opponent by tossing Nikki into the steel steps and clears the announce table in preparation of powerbombing Nikki onto it. Nikki is able to beat Natalya’s head and is able to powerbomb her onto the announce desk but Natalya kicks out at two. After returning from commercial Natalya snap suplexes Nikki on the ramp and soon takes her to the side of the entrance stage, throwing her onto equipment boxes and pins Nikki for a two count. Next the two go backstage and get thrown into more boxes, Maryse, and a mirror before walking back to the entrance ramp. Natalya tries to apply a Sharpshooter but Nikki grabs the leg and locks on a STS, but Maryse runs out and attacks Nikki with a lead pipe! The Miz has to run out and pull his wife away from the carnage to the back but the damage has been done, Natalya pins Nikki and gets the win. Both women worked hard in this match and it didn’t overstay its welcome, the crowd sounded invested in the action and we see more advancement towards the Miz/Maryse vs Cena/Nikki feud that’s on deck for WrestleMania.
10-Man Battle Royal to determine #1 Contender for the WWE World Championship
Bell rings and anyone that has a grievance with another wrestler goes after him first then things go into a usual battle royal hodge-podge. Cena and Dolph are the first two the are almost eliminated from the match, then AJ Styles and Corbin. Returning from commercial Baron Corbin is standing tall amongst all the wrestlers, Mojo Rawley challenges him and is the first elimination of the match followed by Kalisto getting kicked out by Ziggler, he too is soon eliminated by Crews. Corbin throws out his second man and Crews and Ziggler get into fighting outside of the ring. A flurry of finishers are hit by almost all the men leaving Miz as the freshest guy in the ring, he does his Daniel Bryan impersonation and hits dropkicks on all four corners before Yes Kicking John Cena. Cena gets the upper hand and eliminates Miz, more build for their intergender tag match at WrestleMania. Cena is looking strong in the match and is about to hit AJ Styles with the Five Knuckle Shuffle but Corbin grabs him into the Deep Six, Corbin’s joy ends soon when Ambrose eliminates him. Corbin is a sore loser and drags Ambrose out and hits him with a Deep Six before walking away. The Miz runs back into the ring and eliminates Cena despite not being a legal competitor in the royal and leaves Cena in a state of disbelief. Luke Harper and AJ Styles start fighting each other like they’re the only ones left but Ambrose runs up from behind and almost throws both men over the top. Ambrose is quickly disposed of and the final two men are Luke Harper and AJ Styles, they struggle to get the other to hit the mat and have a botched double elimination finish and confusion is felt throughout the arena. Confusion from the refs trying to decide who the winner is and confusion from the live and at-home audience who clearly saw that AJ hit the floor first. Due to the flub they don’t show any replay of the finish and Daniel Bryan says that the contest will be deemed a draw and the two men will have a singles match next week to determine who will headline WrestleMania with Bray Wyatt. Frustration leads Harper to hit AJ with a discus lariat and he climbs the ropes to point at the WrestleMania before Bray gets on the titantron and laughs, the last image of SmackDown Live.
WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE - FEBRUARY 21, 2017
Good - 7.5/10
The botched finished to the main event and Naomi's injury leading to new title plans were a bit of a wet blanket to an otherwise good episode of SmackDown Live. A better royal finish would've made everything better but because of the tie we get Luke Harper vs. AJ Styles on next week's episode and that should be a barn burner.