WWE SmackDown Live for February 28, 2017
Watch: USA Network, Hulu, WWE Network on an one-month delay
Xcel Energy Center – St. Paul, Minnesota
Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan are in the back reviewing the tape from last week’s battle royal trying and AJ walks in saying that if they haven’t found a conclusive answer he’ll happily go ahead to WrestleMania for the title. While he bad mouths Wyatt and Harper, Harper shows up behind him and AJ scurries off, Harper stares at both men and simply says, “thank you.”
An episode of Miz TV is going to kick off SmackDown Live and the announce desk talks about both men eliminating each other in the battle royale last week before John Cena makes his way to the ring. Before Cena can utter a word The Miz calls for the tech men to cut his mic, Cena will talk when he says he can talk. Miz goes straight to the point and starts attacking Cena’s character, saying he manipulates people with his smile and actions, he isn’t ‘the other guy’ but Cena keeps making Miz just ‘the other guy.’ Cena is called a hypocrite for being critical of the Rock after his feud with The Miz only to become that same part-time wrestler who answered to Hollywood’s calls, the crowd starts “you sold out” chants. He finally cuts to the chase that Cena has stolen millions of moments from The Miz for ten years and the reason he threw him out of the battle royale last week so he could finally know how it feels.
Now that Cena has permission to talk, he shuts down the hypocrisy talk by brushing it off as just talk that every guy that faces him says that same thing. Cena isn’t some master manipulator pulling strings at the top because if he was he wouldn’t be toe-to-toe with Miz, he’d be ready to face Undertaker at WrestleMania. He says the only reason guys like the Miz say that Cena is a manipulator is because it’s easy to blame him and his supposed backstage power. Then he cuts into Miz’s character by saying that he has no personality, he’s stolen bits of his shtick from various other WWE superstars ever since he was on The Real World, The Miz is just a guy dressed like a guy pretending to be a wrestler. He likes to blame others for his failings while Cena stands up and keeps fighting, next time they talk Miz better not bring a knife to a gunfight.
Just when things look to be over Maryse stops Cena from leaving saying he can’t leave until they say he can leave. She accuses Cena of being a controlling egomaniac freak and slaps Cena on the face before Nikki comes running to the ring. Nikki is going to break a bitch and drops the mic, time to get on the hype train before we go off on the high speed rails to WrestleMania.
2/3 Falls: Becky Lynch def. Mickie James
This is the first match of SmackDown Live in an unusual for WWE TV 2 out of 3 falls match, my hopes going into this match is Mickie and Becky have a good maestro style match. After some even back-and-forth action from both women in the opening minutes Mickie hits a nasty DDT and wins the first fall. Becky is able to bounce back from the first fall but Mickie isn’t far behind after doing a kip up after being flapjacked, but a mistake costs her the second fall. Alexa Bliss shows her face at the beginning of the final fall and distracts the ref from counting the pin that would’ve won Becky the match. Becky walks up to yell at Alexa and the ref, Mickie runs up to attack Becky but accidentally hits Alexa, both women roll backwards landing Becky in the better position and she wins the third fall with the DisARMher.
Luke Harper has a promo backstage declaring that he has made peace with his inner demons and he can see true evil with his new eyes, he is no longer afraid of Bray Wyatt and he should be the one that’s feared. Bray appears on screen acknowledging that everyone wants to know what he has to say about Harper, he says that his brother, his blood, Randy Orton will be at his side.
Dasha Fuentes tries to interview Alexa Bliss backstage but is corrected on what questions she’s asking, Alexa tells her she should ask her about being the first two-time SmackDown women’s champion instead of asking her about Mickie James. Alexa gets choked up with emotions talking about representing SmackDown Live as women’s champ but Nattie interrupts her and suggests that she can beat her in a match and take her championship away.
Winner Faces Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania: AJ Styles def. Luke Harper
This a was great match with another befuddling finish, Shane McMahon coming out to restart the match makes sense since it’s on the table that he and Styles are going to wrestle at WrestleMania. The confusion rests in why was the match restarted just for AJ to win again, why did Shane need to eat a superkick from Harper, why did AJ win? Why didn’t Harper win and gain the opportunity to get revenge on his former master at the biggest stage of them all? I’m an upset Luke Harper mark, maybe this gets settled in the following weeks building up to WrestleMania, if not than building Harper up just to have him be cut short doesn’t do it for me.
Renee Young is backstage with Nikki and John Cena to discuss what happened on Miz TV when they get interrupted by Carmella and James Ellsworth laughing away and taunting Nikki about her fake breasts and Total Bellas. The short exchange ends in Cena/Nikki vs Ellsworth/Carmella being set for next week.
AJ Styles is walking backstage and is congratulated by Daniel Bryan but he doesn’t accept his gesture, saying he needs to attend to Bray Wyatt’s invocation personally.
Dean Ambrose vs Curt Hawkins
Dean wants to fight and Corbin wants to see if Ambrose is willing to cross any line to beat him, but Corbin tells him that he doesn’t fight when his name is called. Ambrose gives Corbin some life advice that he shouldn’t start things that he promises that this is far from finished.
Chairs Match: Dolph Ziggler def. Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews gets the match started when he attacks Dolph before his entrance is over. This hasn’t been a feud that people have cared about and it’s very obvious with the lack of crowd reaction, or at times undesired crowd reaction, throughout the story of Apollo and Kalisto vs Dolph Ziggler. Match highlights were Crews landing on a chair with his throat and again landing on his family jewels, in fact the chair spots were the only time the crowd made some real noise.
Bray Wyatt is in the ring to for his invocation and is speaking in his usual vague words when Randy appears on the screen and Bray is delighted to see him. The joyous feelings are cut short when it becomes clear that Orton is in this video to tell Bray that he is no longer a part of Wyatt’s family and he’s coming for the title at WrestleMania. The camera zooms out and shows that Randy is at the Wyatt compound and appears ready to cause harm to the rocking chair and the burial spot of Sister Abigail. Sure enough Randy Orton pours gasoline all over the room and sets fire to the compound to the heartbreak of Wyatt.
WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE - FEBRUARY 28, 2017
Decent - 6/10
This was a disappointing episode of SmackDown Live. Every match sans Mickie James vs Becky Lynch had disappointing finishes. The backstage segments and Miz TV saved this show from being outright bad television. The Tuesday night crew don't have much time left to figure out how to get SmackDown Live back on track before WrestleMania.