Thursday, February 11, 2016

WWE Smackdown Review - February 11th, 2016

The show kicks off with Chris Jericho and apparently his highly anticipated rematch with AJ Styles is starting the night off. Before they can even lock up, though, the Social Outcasts come out and spew a bunch of stuff. Jericho hits Slater with the mic and says that he & AJ will fight later, but right now they're teaming up.

1) Chris Jericho & AJ Styles vs. The Social Outcasts (Heath Slater, Curtis Axel, & Adam Rose)
What a world we live in. Y2J & AJ Styles teaming up to face what is basically the 3 Man Band 2.0 on Smackdown. This was essentially just to further the tension between Jericho & Styles with both men making blind tags on another and playing the game of oneupsmanship with dropkicks & such. In the end, AJ steals the victory from Jericho by tagging in and jumping over him to deliver the springboard superman punch to Adam Rose.

Match rating - **1/4

The Raw replays begin at this point. The entire Lesnar/Ambrose thing from Raw is recapped along with the Dudleys/Uso thing that I totally forgot about. This leads to the next segment of the night in which Bubba Ray & Devon explained their actions. I love Bubba as a heel on the mic so I enjoyed this a lot. They basically say that everyone forgot who they are and ever since they returned, they've been looked upon as a nostalgia act. Bubba says they didn't return to be that, they returned to build their legacy. They make the ringside crew remove all the tables from ringside because the fans always chant for the tables instead of them. Good stuff.

2) Sasha Banks vs. Naomi (w/ Tamina)
Becky Lynch is on commentary. She & Sasha face Naomi & Tamina on the Fast Lane pre-show in a few weeks. Being a fan of both of these women, I dug this a lot. It was easily the best women's match on WWE in 2016 so far. Then again, that isn't really saying much, but it does show who the standout competitors are in the women's division. The crowd actually really got into the false finishes and things they did near the end. Tamina creates a distraction and it allows Naomi to hit a head scissor driver as Mauro called it which Sasha kicked out of despite it feeling like the finish of the match. Tamina throws Becky out of her chair, Sasha makes the save and kicks Tamina out of the chair and onto her head. Sasha gets back in the ring and gets rolled up by Naomi only to counter it into the bank statement which forces Naomi to tap.

Match rating - **3/4

The Wyatt Family cut a promo at this point in the program. Although, I'd be lying if I said I paid attention to it. So, yeah. Next!

3) Neville & Lucha Dragons vs. Stardust & The Ascension
The "comic book character" rivalry has randomly been reignited. Stardust & The Ascension jump the babyfaces before the bell. It isn't long before Neville & The Dragons mount their comeback, however, and this match got really fun. Just a minute or two long stretch of signature, exciting offense from Neville, the US Champ, and the returning Sin Cara before they finally earn the victory.

Match rating - **

A Daniel Bryan video package is aired including moments from his farewell :-(

4) Chris Jericho vs. AJ Styles
It's that time! They've built this up to be a big rematch so I'm even more excited than I'd normally be. Typically this makes it hard for me to get heavily into match because of the expectations which surround it, but I can firmly say I really enjoyed this. Jericho plays the aggressor right off the bat and continues that role throughout the match by targeting the mid section & back of Styles in a variety of ways. This is all to set up for the Walls of Jericho. He finishes off this by hitting a sick tiger driver style backbreaker. When the hold finally got locked in, it made for a great false finish as Y2J wrenched back on it only for Styles to resort to a counter when he couldn't reach the ropes. The calf killer is applied and Jericho damn near taps before finally getting a rope break. The heat got turned up in the final few minutes, as you can probably tell, thanks to moments like this and the crowd got pretty into it. Mauro Ranallo's calling of the action was the icing on the cake and definitely added to things. AJ hits a dive to the floor and dueling chants begin. The springboard punch is attempted, Jericho knocks Styles' legs out from under him which allows Y2J to hit the codebreaker out of nowhere for the three count. Good match here that definitely topped their initial meeting. I'm looking forward to round three which will be the tiebreaker since these guys are now tied at one win a piece.

Match rating - ***3/4

NEXT WEEK: Brock Lesnar appears on Smackdown for the first time in over a decade!

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