Top Stories
  1. How Oscar nominee Brad Pitt won the public war waged by Angelina Jolie - Page Six
  2. Charlotte officials monitoring 4 people for coronavirus symptoms - WXII12 Winston-Salem
  3. Ron Rivera will wait before naming Redskins' quarterback - ESPN
  4. Keanu Reeves has dated Alexandra Grant for 'several years,' her friend Jennifer Tilly says - Yahoo Movies
  5. Fire Destroys Home, Damages 4, in Toms River - wobm.com
  6. NHL Highlights | Red Wings vs. Blue Jackets – Feb. 7, 2020 - SPORTSNET
  7. Record-Setting Space Station Crew Member Returns to Houston - NASA Video
  8. Second GP surgery branch shut down in Brighton amid coronavirus spread - Evening Standard
  9. An Instagram personality suggested he had coronavirus on a plane. The viral stunt got him arrested. - msnNOW
  10. Local health officials, community leaders denounce stigma surrounding coronavirus - KOMO News
  11. New Crash Bandicoot game keeps runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin', and runnin' runnin' - Destructoid
  12. Ill-fated looter-shooter Anthem will receive a complete gameplay overhaul soon - TechSpot
  13. Jessica Mendoza loses Mets job, ESPN role - New York Post
  14. NBA trade deadline 2020: Danny Ainge explains why the Celtics stood pat - CBS Sports
  15. Sexual assault charges against reality TV doctor and his girlfriend are not dropped - ABC News
  16. Nintendo will host Switch pop-up lounges in four US airports - Engadget
  17. How to Use Google's 2020 Oscar-Specific Search Features - Lifehacker
  18. Misinformation about coronavirus abounds. Correcting it can backfire - Los Angeles Times
  19. 'Molten anger' in Number 10 as Court of Appeal halts deportations - Evening Standard
  20. Jessica Simpson May Have Told a Big Lie About Justin Timberlake - Showbiz Cheat Sheet
  21. Powerful Radio Signal From Distant Galaxy Seems to Have a Pattern - Futurism
  22. MLB Rumors: John Gibbons Interviewed For Red Sox Managerial Job - NESN
  23. 'Flammable ice' discovery offers up clue to life on other planets - Phys.org
  24. Disney's Bob Iger apologizes to a school that was fined for "illegally" showing The Lion King - The A.V. Club
  25. Here's What Ubisoft's 5 Promised AAA Games in 2020-2021 Could Be - IGN
  26. Best Of Team Giannis | 2020 NBA All-Star Game - NBA
news-details
Entertainment

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Highlights and Analysis from February 7 - Bleacher Report

0 of 8

    Credit: WWE.com

    Who's next?!

    Goldberg answered the question Friday night on Fox as the 2018 WWE Hall of Famer returned on this week's SmackDown.

    The legendary WCW star may have revealed the next Superstar on his checklist, but he was not the only performer making his return to the blue brand this week as universal champion Bray Wyatt made his first appearance since his vicious strap match against Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble.

    What did the host of the Firefly Funhouse have to say to the WWE Universe?

    Find out the answer to that question and more with this recap of the February 7 episode.

1 of 8

    Credit: WWE

    The Miz and John Morrison reintroduced The Dirt Sheet to the WWE Universe, kicking off this week’s show with the world premiere of Once Upon A Time...On The Dirt Sheet movie trailer, which included a cameo from the great George Mizanin.

    The New Day interrupted the proceedings and ragged on their rivals before The Usos did the same, taking exception to Miz and Morrison calling themselves the top contenders to the SmackDown Tag Team Championships.

    Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode’s music played, providing a distraction that allowed their fellow heels to jump Kofi Kingston and Big E. The segment gave way to a commercial break, with the promise of Ziggler and Roode vs. The Usos up next.

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    The movie trailer was the typically funny stuff from Miz and Morrison, who rose to prominence over a decade ago with that type of humorous vignette. Other than that, the opening segment of Friday’s show was more the same from the blue brand: a promo designed to set up a match.

    It is a tired, stale formula that the show really needs to exorcise from its lineup for a while or risk losing more viewers due to the repetitiveness of it all.

2 of 8

    Credit: WWE

    The Usos continued their weeks-long rivalry with Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode in the night’s first match. Jimmy and Jey took the fight to the opposition early and despite some sustained offense from the heels, appeared to be rolling until Jey found himself shoved off the top rope and to the arena floor.

    Through the break, Ziggler and Roode isolated and pummeled Jey, targeting his left knee. They systematically picked him apart, looking to score the win without Jimmy ever re-entering the match.

    It did not work.

    Jey made the hot tag and his brother exploded into the match, unloading on the opposition. Roode, though, cut off Jimmy’s momentum with a powerslam and teased the Glorious DDT. Jimmy back dropped Roode, who tagged Ziggler in. The former world champion delivered the Zig-Zag but Jimmy kicked out at two.

    The Usos mounted another comeback, dropped Roode and the top-rope splash earned the twins the hard-fought victory.

    Result

    The Usos defeated Roode and Ziggler

    Grade

    B-

    Analysis

    Hopefully, this wrapped up the rivalry.

    As outliers of the Roman Reigns-King Corbin program, it feels like the Usos, Roode and Ziggler have worked each other numerous times over the last month, even if it was actually far less than that. They have, though, been involved in numerous segments, brawls, vignettes and even fought each other during Reigns and Corbin’s bout at Royal Rumble.

    Theirs is a story that has run its course, with nothing more to be said after Jimmy and Jey picked up the clean win here. Let’s move on and resist the urge to overexpose this match while people still care enough.

3 of 8

    Credit: WWE

    Moments after reliving his humiliation from last week’s show, King Corbin invaded the production truck, grabbed the tech responsible for airing the video of his dog food diet and tossed him down a flight of stairs. Officials pulled him away before any more damage could be done.

    In the ring, Elias strummed his guitar and played a new song entitled, “Third Time’s The Charm,” which was cut off by his opponent for the night, Cesaro.

    After the break, Cesaro worked Elias over in the corner and sent him flying off the ring apron, to the arena floor, with a big boot to the face. The always-loud Sami Zayn taunted Elias before Cesaro added injury to insult, dropping his opponent on the guardrail. The Swiss Cyborg rolled Elias back into the ring, where he grounded him and worked him over with an old-fashioned headlock.

    The sarcastic songster delivered a big jumping knee to create some separation, then fended off his opponent’s attempt at a superplex, only to eat a big uppercut. Cesaro finally executed his superplex, but could only keep his opponent down for a count of two. The tenacious, ferocious heel continued to throw vicious strikes but the resilient Elias refused to quit, shooting his shoulder off the mat before the count of three.

    He recovered, downed Cesaro and pinned him for the victory following a Randy Savage-esque elbow drop.

    Result

    Elias defeated Cesaro

    Grade

    B

    Analysis

    This was a logical followup to Elias’ ongoing issues with Sami Zayn and Co. and it was a solid if unspectacular, match. The troubadour demonstrated his ability to take a hell of a beating and fight back, while Cesaro continued to remind the audience why he is (arguably) the best wrestler in the world.

    Unfortunately, having all of the in-ring skill in the world matters little in the rings of WWE as Cesaro lost, yet again, and the commentary team put over the plethora of disappointments experienced by Zayn and his charges in recent weeks.

    Whether that storyline goes anywhere, with the heels striking back and regaining momentum, remains to be seen. With Michael Cole putting Elias over as a future champion, though, this sure felt like another opportunity to spotlight him rather than building heels to work opposite the brand’s top babyfaces. 

    As for the Corbin stuff that preceded the match, it actually made sense that the egotistical villain would want to hold those accountable for reminding the world of his disgrace. Bullying a defenseless production team member is in-character for him.

4 of 8

    Credit: WWE

    Before Goldberg could announce the Superstar against who he would compete at Super Showdown, King Corbin made his way to the ring and demanded respect from the WWE. He earned some cheap heat by reminding the crowd that his Kansas City Chiefs beat their San Francisco 49ers.

    He demanded one more match with Roman Reigns and went as far as to pour a drink over the head of a fan. Reigns appeared, rocked him with a Superman Punch and laid down the challenge for one last match...inside a steel cage.

    From there, the commentary team threw to Goldberg, live from his home in Texas. The Hall of Famer wasted no time, letting it be known that he desired another run with the Universal Championship. Before he could go on, Bray Wyatt appeared on-screen with his “Firefly Funhouse Breaking News.”

    Wyatt tried to play his typical mind games but Goldberg interrupted exclaimed, “The Fiend...Bray Wyatt...you’re next!”

    Wyatt demanded, “let me in” before The Fiend appeared on-screen to end the segment.

    Grade

    A

    Analysis

    A short, simple segment of television resulted in two high-profile matches featuring the top stars on the brand and a genuine icon of the industry.

    It was not a segment that was overthought or overproduced. It knew what it needed to accomplish and did it, without too many bells or whistles.

    If WWE realized how often those segments hit rather than putting so much time, effort and so many resources into producing a spectacle, it would probably be able to put on a more consistently great show.

    Don’t try to reinvent the wheel and, typically, the result is a more sound segment/match/vignette.

5 of 8

    Credit: WWE

    Born of a backstage interaction in which Heath Slater said everything wrong he possibly could, The One Man Rock Band battled Daniel Bryan in singles competition.

    Competition is a word used loosely as Bryan steamrolled his opponent, beating the everloving hell out of him. He obliterated him with a running knee, then proceeded to stomp Slater into unconsciousness before winning via submission with the LeBell Lock as the commentary team questioned just how much The Fiend changed the leader of the Yes Movement in their strap match at Royal Rumble.

    Result

    Bryan defeated Slater

    Grade

    A+

    Analysis

    After a savage battle like we witnessed between Bryan and The Fiend at Royal Rumble, you would hope the former would demonstrate some sort of personality change. That match saw him beaten down, brutalized and lashed beyond recognition by the unstoppable force that is your current universal champion.

    Like it did to Seth Rollins and Finn Balor, The Fiend clearly changed Bryan. Just how far to the dark side Bryan has turned remains to be seen but given how he just recently turned babyface, it would seem unlikely he makes a full heel turn.

6 of 8

    Credit: WWE

    New intercontinental champion Braun Strowman joined Renee Young in the ring for an interview, still reveling in his first singles title win in WWE.

    The Monster Among Men admitted the win was the greatest achievement of his career. He said for all he had done, he had not held a singles title over his head...until now.

    Sami Zayn reappeared, with Shinsuke Nakamura, and claimed Strowman’s win was fraudulent. He demanded a proper rematch for The Artist, to which Strowman accepted. He would even defend right here tonight in San Jose!

    Instead, Zayn said they would be tactical and smart about the rematch. They would use their resources. With that, The Revival hit the ring, attacking Strowman from behind. A four-on-one beatdown ensued as the crowd rained down on the heels with a chorus of boos.

    Strowman fought back, chased Zayn around the ring and ran right into the Kinshasa from Nakamura. The heels stood tall to close out the segment.

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    The inclusion of The Revival into Sami Zayn’s growing faction is hardly a bad move for the team but it would have meant more if Strowman did not immediately toss them around like tackling dummies.

    With that said, it was nice to see Nakamura get over on Strowman because he needs to rebuild some credibility and momentum ahead of whatever rematch they may have.

    Especially with any number of multi-man tag matches guaranteed to precede it, in which Strowman is likely to go over to strengthen his reign as champion.

7 of 8

    Credit: WWE.com

    While Tucker and Otis prepared for the latter’s date with Mandy Rose in a fun, pre-taped vignette, there was no laughter to be had as Sheamus squared off with Apollo Crews.

    The Celtic Warrior proved he does not get paid by the hour, withstanding an early onslaught and putting the NXT export away with the Brogue Kick.

    After the match, he teased another devastating finisher until Shorty G made the save. Sheamus fended him off, too, and delivered another Brogue Kick before standing tall to close things out.

    Result

    Sheamus defeated Crews

    Grade

    F

    Analysis

    Why did this exist?

    At what point, in an already jam-packed show, did the creative team think there needed to be another match wedged into the two-hour broadcast? Especially a match that accomplished nothing other than reminding us that Sheamus is a badass and vastly superior to the midcard talent he is inexplicably being programmed against in what should be an epic return story.

    Not only was the match completely unnecessary, it ruined whatever credibility Crews had left and further diminished the momentum Shorty G built for himself last fall, when he had the WWE Universe against King Corbin.

    And the company wonders why it cannot build stars...

8 of 8

    Credit: WWE

    SmackDown women’s champion, and San Jose’s own, Bayley watched from ringside as Alexa Bliss, Dana Brooke, Carmella and Naomi battled in a Fatal 4-Way match to determine her No. 1 contender.

    Prior to the commercial break, Bayley inserted herself into the match, brawling with Naomi and sending her into the steel steps. The attack proved to be a momentary setback as Naomi re-entered the match as the champion implored the other three competitors to stop her.

    With Naomi deposited back on the arena floor, Brooke nearly scored the win on Bliss with a powerbomb had Carmella not broken up the count.

    Again back in the match, Naomi delivered a split-legged moonsault for a two-count that Brooke broke up just in the nick of time. Brooke tried for the TKO but Naomi escaped and delivered a wheelbarrow stunner. Bliss broke up any attempt at a pinfall and stomped away at longtime rival Naomi in the corner.

    The near-falls continued, each of the four competitors looking to steal a win and earn their title opportunity. Bliss and Naomi paired off again, the former sending her opponent into the turnbuckles. She tried for Twisted Bliss but Naomi got her knees up and delivered the Rear View. Before she could secure the win, Carmella delivered a pair of superkicks to pick up the upset win.

    After the match, Bayley laid Carmella out and stood tall to close out the show.

    Result

    Carmella defeated Naomi, Bliss and Brooke

    Grade

    C

    Analysis

    There was a lot of action, and some quality near-falls, but what the main event of this week’s show lacked was any coherent story throughout. It was, ultimately, four women doing moves and breaking up pinfalls en route to the finish, which came out of nowhere and left the audience scratching their heads.

    Yes, Carmella is over with fans, particularly after her run with R-Truth. Yes, she works hard and has the ability to get stories over from a character standpoint, even if her in-ring work is not up to par with that of her peers. The problem is that she has very little credibility on her side at this point.

    After spending a year as comedic relief as one-half of the Truth pairing, it will take a significant amount of work on the creative team’s part to convince fans The Princess of Long Island has a chance in hell of defeating Bayley, who has developed into quite the strong champion.

    And none of that explains why so much effort was put into portraying Naomi as the most logical next contender to Bayley’s title a week ago, only to have her lose clean in the center of the ring here.

    The argument can be made that she had the win within her grasp when Carmella stole it from her, but she was still the competitor pinned in a way that leaves very little doubt that she was beaten. 

    On a night of some questionable booking decisions, this at least stuck to the theme.


Read More