Becky Lynch Slapped Triple H During a Volatile Confrontation
This thought didn't dawn on me until I saw this segment, but Charlotte Flair being added to the Raw Women's Championship match at WrestleMania 35 because Lynch isn't technically cleared as of now is definitely a possibility. She is always at her best whenever she's in heel mode, so she came across great here. Lynch also played her part well, but Triple H actually cut the stronger promo and provided a lot of logic as to why Lynch doesn't want to see a doctor. Lynch not having anything to say in response was strange, but at least her slap to Triple H led to a big pop from the crowd.
Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura def. Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson
Despite being recent rivals, Rusev and Nakamura agreed last week to team up this one time. I assume that based off their victory here they will be a permanent pairing going forward. They surprisingly had chemistry as partners and produced a good match with Anderson and Gallows. It's been a great while since Gallows and Anderson were last relevant, but at least they're on TV unlike SAnitY. I can only imagine how they feel about losing to a makeshift tandem.
Randy Orton def. Mustafa Ali
Ali has had quite the run so far on SmackDown Live, and although he hasn't won a ton of matches, he's been made to look credible in defeat against everyone he's faced, including Orton. This wasn't the barn-burner of a bout I'm sure it could have been, but it was very well-wrestled and had a good pace. Ali going for his finisher only for Orton to counter would have been amazing (albeit impossible), but what we got instead for the finish worked just as well.
WWE Champion Daniel Bryan Addressed His Elimination Chamber Opponents
Bryan received a warm welcome from the fans in his home state of Washington, and interestingly enough, he didn't do anything to turn them against him. Rather, he embraced the cheers and was received like a hero throughout. It was a solid promo on the whole, and it was weird hearing from Erick Rowan for a change. I don't know why they didn't just save this for right before the main event, though.
Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville def. Naomi & Carmella and The IIConics in a Triple Threat Match
Before the show, Naomi and Carmella were announced as the final team in the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber because, why not? They have no history as allies, but if nothing else, Naomi and Rose have been feuding for over a month and this ensures that their storyline will progress inside the Chamber. In fact, Rose pinned Naomi for the win here, which I thought was a nice touch. The match itself was fine and served as decent hype for the upcoming women's Chamber, even though I doubt any of them are going to win.
Jeff Hardy def. WWE Champion Daniel Bryan by Disqualification (Non-title)
I was hoping for a long match between these two considering it started with approximately 20 minutes left in the show, but it ran fairly short. Still, what we got from them was entertaining. I never expected Hardy to win by pinfall, but the disqualification finish (while predictable) did protect both him and Bryan. The focus was mostly on what happened afterward with all six Chamber combatants brawling and AJ Styles standing tall. It was no different than what we see every year, but it was effective, nonetheless.
Less than two weeks remain until Elimination Chamber, and although I appreciate WWE putting together a compelling card in such a short span of time, it feels fairly rushed and none of the feuds are being given much time to breathe. The two Chamber matches look promising on paper, but the build so far has left a bit to be desired. As for this edition of SmackDown, it was enjoyable overall with Bryan vs. Hardy, Orton vs. Ali and Lynch's promo delivering and everything serving a purpose, but it didn't have that "must-see" vibe to it whatsoever.
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