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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 2.05.21

February 5, 2021 | Posted by Robert Winfree
Christopher Plummer
6.8
The 411 Rating
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Winfree’s WWE Smackdown Review 2.05.21  

Hey there everyone, Winfree welcoming you once again to WWE’s Smackdown. I’m going to apologize in advance for the quality of this one, my root canal wound up being postponed until the 10th of this month so I’ve been in a fair bit of pain over the last 20 days and for purely personal reasons this has been a rough week in particular. Just a heads up there. Anyway tonight we’ll have another match between King Corbin and Dominick Mysterio, because we just need that. There will be a triple threat match for the IC title between champion Big E, Apollo Crews, and Sami “Where’s the curve?” Zayn. Roman Reigns defeated Kevin Owens in their Last Man Standing match at the Rumble so we’ll see what’s up next for the champion. Also I imagine Edge might show up since they’re doing the usual rounds with the Rumble winner to try and tease the different matches possible for WrestleMania. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair might have some kind of interaction seeing as Belair won the women’s Rumble, the only question here is if Banks goes heel before Mania or if they put the belt back on Bayley between now and then.

We get a quick memorial card for Butch Reed, who’s passing was reported today.

A video package reminds us of the winners of the Royal Rumble.

Commentary informs us both Edge and Belair are in the building tonight, and tease that they’ll make their picks for Mania tonight. Sure they will.

Roman Reigns is here with Paul Heyman and hey, it’s Jey Uso. Jey missed the Rumble, I think there were medical reasons, but he’s back now. Heyman hands a mic to Roman. Roman waits for yousuck . exe to finish. He’s not a fan of recapping, he’s with the wrong company then, but he did beat Kevin Owens at the Rumble just like he said he would. So enough about the past, onto the future. Apparently Edge is the future because he won the Rumble. And last time he checked Roman is the main event for this entire company. A few catchphrases about how great he is, then asks why Edge is wasting time on RAW and NXT. Edge should be here groveling to be allowed on the Island of Relevancy. Roman asks Heyman why he’s out here first and where Edge is. Roman has now been disrespected all week, but as a gentleman he’ll let that slide but making him wait. . . he tells Paul to get Edge out here. Heyman speaks to production, who tells him Edge hasn’t yet arrived. He relays that to Roman, who looks quite annoyed now. So Edge must think Roman is a fool. Roman is not a man who waits, or plays games. He actually shouts “Why would you play games with me!” He says Owens was the last man who played games with him, and Owens isn’t here anymore because of that. Roman says Edge needs to understand, this is his only chance. Edge will give Roman a decision by the end of the night, he then repeats that. A little too long of a promo, cut that about in half and it would have been a tighter more impactful segment, but Roman’s character work remains quite possibly the best in the business.

Commentary runs down the card, apparently Hulk Hogan will be here as this is an anniversary of one of his matches with Andre the Giant.

Dominick Mysterio’s music hits, but Corbin ambushes Dominick and Rey as they’re making their way out. He tosses Rey off the entrance ramp, that match will be next after this break.

Match #1: Dominick Mysterio w/ Rey Mysterio vs. King Corbin

We come back as the match starts. Dominick avoids some rushes from Corbin, then hits a drop kick. Corbin tosses Dominick to the apron, Dominick hits another drop kick into a cover for a near fall. Corbin grounds Dominick and lands punches, thankfully we were looking at a recap so were spared the seizure inducing camera cuts. Rey is being attended to by trainers up on the stage. Corbin with an avalanche in the corner. The standard Corbin offense continues until Dominick runs into a back elbow. Corbin with some trash talk, and an extended key lock to slow things down. Dominick with a kick then low bridges a charging Corbin then dives onto Corbin on the outside. Rey hobbles down towards the ring as we get a commercial break.

Back and Corbin catches a diving Dominick in the ring, hoists him up for a suplex but Dominick knees him in the head and hits a neckbreaker then a standing moonsault for a near fall. Corbin tries a chokeslam, Dominick slips through and rolls him up for 2. Corbin gets tied up in the ropes, but counters a 619 attempt with a deep six for another near fall. Dominick avoids a corner rush, and is able to toss Corbin over the top rope. Dominick dives onto Corbin, Rey is under the ring and grabs the leg of Corbin to set him up for a 619 trying to get into the ring. Up top for Dominick and a frog splash to pick up the win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Dominick Mysterio defeated King Corbin

Rating: 1.5 stars

Corbin is bland, but he works alright with Dominick in the bully role. The Mysterio’s cheat their way to victory again, and Corbin looks like an even bigger dummy for not having his body guards that they made a big deal about for a few weeks.

Next a recap, much to the chagrin of Roman Reigns, of Sami Zani messing up the match between Big E and Crews. In the back Big E is with Kayla for an interview. She asks about the nature of a triple threat match, he says all his life he’s been fighting and that’s what he signed up for when he won the belt. He wants your hungry, tired, bearded, and bald. Tonight they’re gonna fight, and they’re not ready for it.

Daniel Bryan heads down to the ring, he’ll have a match with Cesaro after the break.

Match #2: Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro

Aggressive tie up early, Bryan gets Cesaro into the corner and lands kicks. They start trading uppercuts, then Bryan with a drop toe hold and a punt to the arm. Bryan working the arm now, he sends Cesaro over the ropes then climbs up top and dives onto him. Back into the ring, Bryan up top and hits a drop kick. Bryan has been shot of a cannon for this match. More kicks from Bryan, then back to the arm. Cesaro tries a back suplex, Bryan lands on his feet then counters a Swiss death attempt into a backslide but Cesaro kicks out and levels Bryan with an uppercut. In the back Nakamura is watching the match. Cesaro with a series of uppercuts but Bryan counters one into the Yes lock, Cesaro is bleeding from the head not sure what caused that. Cesaro slips free and lands a knee, tries a springboard move but gets kicked by Bryan. Buzzsaw kick from Bryan but that only gets 2. Bryan with some stomps to the head, he sets for the knee plus, but Cesaro catches him into a massive toss back breaker. Cesaro gets the swing next, a bunch of rotations then Cesaro into the sharpshooter. Cesaro drags them both into the center of the ring, switches his grip to deal with his left arm being hurt and forces Bryan to tap.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Cesaro defeated Daniel Bryan

Rating: 2.5 stars

A little abbreviated, but these two can basically do no wrong in the ring.

Post match Bryan is disappointed in the corner. Cesaro comes up and offers a fist bump, Bryan accepts.

They recap the women’s Rumble next, then send us back to Kayla who’s got Bianca Belair for an interview. She shows Bianca the Instagram video of Belair’s parents reaction to her victory at the Rumble. Bianca puts over her family and wants to make them proud. Kayla asks who she’s challenging at Mania, RAW or Smackdown. Bianca says it’s the biggest decision of her career and plans to do it her way, which means she’ll have a decision at some point.

Bayley heads to the ring next, she’ll have some kind of segment or match after the break.

We get a Seth Rollins video package, he’ll return to TV next week.

Match #3: Bayley vs. Ruby Riott w/ Liv Morgan

Billie Kay has joined commentary, downplaying rumors of being kicked out of the Riott Squad. Bayley throws Riott around, then Riott lands a right and an enziguri. Bayley tosses Riott into the corner, Riott tries to fight out but Bayley just lawn darts her into the top buckle. Cover from Bayley only gets 2, but that looked ugly. Bayley after the arm, she gets an extended keylock. Riott fights out with headbutts, then plants Bayley into the corner with a knee move. Riott puts Bayley on the top rope and hits a top rope armdrag. Bayley tries a belly to belly but Riott rolls through and rolls her up for 2. Bayley tosses Riott into the bottom rope, then tries a sunset powerbomb to the floor but Riott kicks her away. Bayley with a modified London Dungeon, Billie gets up to try and help, winds up arguing with Liv Morgan and Bayley hits the Rose Plant to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Bayley defeated Ruby Riott

Rating: 1.5 stars

More angle than match. Post match Billie Kay offers her resume/headshot to Bayley. In the back Bianca Belair walks, she’ll be doing something after the break.

We see Edge arrive, he fist bumps with Sonya Deville then we cut to the ring for Bianca Belair showing up. Belair has the mic, her overwhelmed act is funny when you remember there’s no crowd noise in the building. She says winning the Rumble changed her life over night. But choosing her opponent for WrestleMania is the biggest decision of her career. She puts over Asuka, the only person in this company to do so in months, then puts over Sasha Banks. She’s interrupted by Reginald. He wants to offer advice, if she chooses Asuka that’s a wise decision. But if she chooses Sasha Banks, well she can’t beat Sasha. He thinks she can’t even beat Carmella. Oh, here comes Carmella. Carmella says Reginald is a wise man, even when he’s over excited. Carmella doesn’t want us to forget that she beat Sasha in her first match against her. And despite all the Belair hype she’s certain she can do the same to her. That all brings out Sasha Banks. Sasha says with respect to Carmella she’s done looking in the rear view and is focusing on the future. She moves on to Belair, and puts over both of Belair’s Rumble appearances. She talks up more of Belair’s accomplishments as fastest and strongest, but the best? Not so much. Sasha invites Belair to choose her, because Belair might have it all, but she doesn’t have the belt. Bianca tries to talk, but Reginald interrupts again. He says Bianca got lucky in the Rumble, but would lose to Sasha. Bianca proceeds to whip Reginald with her braid and drive him off. Again overlong and I really don’t enjoy the parade of interrupting promos trope, especially since all this seemed to accomplish was making Reginald more of a joke. Maybe trying to sell some dissention between him and Carmella? A bunch of odd decisions made there.

In the back Roman gets confirmation that Edge has finally arrived. That sends us to break.

We come back to Kayla with Sami Zayn, who objects to the narrative and says his documentary is documenting all of the injustices he’s been on the wrong end of. But tonight he’ll reclaim his title as champion of the people.

Back to the ring where Otis and Chad Gable are making their way out.

Match #4 – Tag Team Match: Otis and Chad Gable vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode

Roode and Ziggler have a remixed theme. This will be non-title. We get picture in picture for the Street Profits to do commentary. Gable and Ziggler start us off, Gable out wrestles Ziggler and Ziggler gets to the ropes to force a break. Gable tries to fight out of the heel corner but Ziggler cuts him off with a drop kick. The Greek Chorus wonders about their lack of rematch. Roode tags in, hits a suplex. We legitimately take the match off of the screen for a bit to look at the Profits. Who thought this was a good idea? Gable tries an ankle lock on Roode, Roode kicks free but we get double tags. Otis runs wild on Roode and Ziggler. Running discus clothesline to Ziggler then an avalanche to Roode. Caterpillar to Roode, Otis tags out and Ziggler ambushes Otis on the outside. Gable hits Ziggler with the Chaos Theory but that lets Roode hit the Glorious DDT to win.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Ziggler and Roode won when Roode pinned Gable

Rating: 1.5 stars

The use of the Street Profits made this nearly unwatchable.

Hulk Hogan will be on the broadcast in some capacity after the break.

We come back to commentary hyping up that 33 years ago tonight the most watched wrestling match in history took place. 33 million people watched Hogan vs. Andre on Main Event. We get a video recap of that match, boy nobody caught Bryan Hebner when Hogan tossed him at the heels. Hogan is here, cuts a promo about Edges choice and says he tag teamed with Edge and Edge has the love and loyalty of millions of fans, it doesn’t matter who Edge picks because Hulkamania will run wild on them. Typical Hogan promo.

The IC title match is next.

Back from break, and in the back Edge talks with Shinsuke Nakamura. Back to the ring for the match.

Match #5 – Intercontinental Championship Triple Threat Match: (c) Big E vs. Apollo Crews vs. Sami “It was the one armed man” Zayn

Sami powders immediately. Crews and Big E run the ropes a bit and Big E lands a back elbow. Sami back in and starts with strikes onto Big E. Big E with a back body drop to Sami. Crews with a headbutt then he goes for the triple German suplex spot, he gets all three and a near fall. Sami after Crews now, but Crews cuts him off with a clothesline. Crews with some running splashes in the corner, Big E avoids one and splashes both men before running into a super kick. Sami catches the legs of Big E on the outside, they brawl a bit with Big E getting the better of it before Crews comes flying over the top rope and landing onto Big E. Crews onto the apron, hits a moonsault onto the prone Big E on the floor. Sami with an elbow to Crews and we head to break again.

We come back to Sami with some crossfaces to Big E. Crews is knocked off the apron, then Sami drop toe holds Big E into the corner. Big E stalls out a blue thunder bomb attempt, and Crews comes off the top rope with a drop kick to Sami. Big E with belly to belly suplexes to Crews as Sami is out of the ring. Sami back in and jumps for a sleeper on Big E but Big E slams him off. Big E with a big splash to both men. Sami back out of the ring, Crews with an enziguri to Big E. Big E throws Crews out of the ring, then hits a charging Sami with an ST-Joe for a near fall. Sami crawls to the apron, Big E follows him and stomps him then sets for the big splash on the apron and gets it. Crews comes flying in for a drop kick to Big E. Crews up top, frog splash to Sami for a near fall. Sami with an elbow to the charging Crews. Crews with an exploder set, but Big E with a German to Crews who throws Sami and everyone’s down. Crews out of the ring, Sami to the apron but lands a knee when Big E goes for the spear through the ropes. Sami for the helluva kick, gets it but Crews pulls Sami out of the ring to break up the pin attempt. Sami complains to the ref, then starts attacking Crews. Crews fights back and lays in rights. Crews with a press slam to Sami into the time keeper’s area. Back into the ring, Crews runs into a Big Ending and Big E retains.

OFFICIAL RESULT: Big E retained the title by pinning Apollo Crews

Rating: 3 stars

Slightly generous rating, but all three played their parts well. I’d rather Sami have eaten the pin to let Crews and Big E continue feuding instead of the other way around, but that’s a somewhat minor gripe.

Crews is pissed while Big E celebrates on the ropes.

In the back Edge is still walking, he’ll finally get to the ring after the break.

Back from break and we get another look at that video package for Seth Rollins coming back next week. Can’t wait for him to feud with Daniel Bryan and Bryan puts him over, because Rollins needs it or something.

Edge is here and heads to the ring. He’s got a mic, and says you can accomplish something you’ve never dreamed of. During seven months of rehab he was dreaming, dreaming of coming back here, dreaming of winning the Rumble and main eventing WrestleMania. He’s kind enough to look at the big sign. He dreamed of taking back something he never actually lost, the World title. At the Rumble he came in at number 1 and out lasted everyone else to win. Now he’s on the verge of WrestleMania’s main event, and has to choose which champion he wants. He calls that an embarrassment of riches between Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, or Roman Reigns. His family and gets one answer, his friends give him another, even random people on the street are giving him different answers. Roman’s music comes on to cut him off. Roman and entourage are here.

Jey doing the hype man bit is funny as they walk to the ring. It takes awhile but they eventually get into the ring. Heyman gets a mic to hand to Roman, but Edge talks first. He asks why Roman had to bring backup, seeing as Edge is here alone. Roman says man to man he gives Edge his word, without his blessing Paul Heyman wont make a move at Edge so he’s safe. Edge thinks he’s got space in Roman’s head already, that’s why Jey is here. Roman tells Jey to leave, Jey briefly asks to get Edge but does leave. He tells Edge that’s his one pass, he’s disrespected him and his family so he’ll only once say “Acknowledge him” as the main event of WrestleMania and the champion of choice. Roman getting angry is always great. Kevin Owens from behind hits a Stunner on Roman and leaves. Edge looks bemused, drops his mic and heads out as the show ends. I appreciate that they have to keep the mystery going about Edge’s choice, but I wish they’d had a better cut off than Owens as I think that feud has run its course and should just be done.

6.8
The final score: review Average
The 411
I mean it as a compliment when I say this show did a lot of nothing but made it at least moderately engaging. Edge showed up and couldn't actually say anything of relevance, ditto for Bianca Belair because they want to retain some element of intrigue about who they'll face at Mania. It leads to a bunch of pure time filler, but Roman's acting is still genuinely great and the current wrinkle that he now requires someone else to validate him in a real way is a nice twist. Carmella and Sasha were just there to make noise. Dominick Mysterio and King Corbin continues, for reasons I can only assume include providing "enhance interrogation material" to some nefarious third party for money. Cesaro and Daniel Bryan had a good, if too short match, and the triple threat over performed for me. The Street Profits run on commentary rendered the tag team match almost unwatchable though. All in all a show that could have been a solid Good with a few tweaks winds up just above average.
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WWE Smackdown, Robert Winfree