Image Credit: provided via wwe.com

Hello again dear readers! It’s time for another SmackDown Live, and that means, of course, another SmackDown Live Nutshell. The great thing about this show? It’s the last one before the go-home show as we head toward Elimination Chamber. That’s right boys and girls, there’s an actual PPV before WrestleMania. Tonight’s show has the blue brand fully preparing for Elimination Chamber. The women’s tag titles are a huge attraction at the event, as is the WWE Championship match. Both matches figure to feature prominently on the card tonight as well. Without any further delay, it’s time to crack open this Nutshell!

Best Match of the night:

More from Wrestle Newz

The main event was satisfying on several levels. Fine, it ended in a DQ, which I am never fond of…but it really sold the Elimination Chamber, and that was obviously the main point. It was actually a theme all night for the men’s Elimination Chamber bout to be sold, where we had Randy Orton go one on one with Mustafa Ali-which had Samoa Joe get involved after the finish. Continuing the overall tension through the main event with Daniel Bryan and and Jeff Hardy, which saw all the Chamber participants get involved? It made sense. Perhaps a touch paint by number, but it worked. Bryan with the very heel backstage interview post-match was just icing on the cake.

Worst match of the night:

As much as I am into the idea of the women’s tag team titles, tonight’s women’s tag team match just was not my cup of tea. It just did not work, and honestly I do think this is not limited to just this match. One issue that plagues the women’s tag team scene is, well, it’s so new. There are some teams-Bayley and Sasha, Mandy and Sonya, the Iiconics, but there are a lot of pairings that are , for lack of a better word, forced. Now, I get why, of course…but sometimes the chemistry just isn’t quite there yet. Some nights it works…tonight, it wasn’t.

Crowd Chants of the Night:

Becky! Becky!

What?

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Star of the Night

Now this one is a hard choice to make. On one hand, I surely felt like Samoa Joe was head and shoulders above all others this evening. He was a force to be reckoned with. However, the show really closed with AJ Styles standing tall in the ring. It also is worth pointing out Daniel Bryan stepped up his heel game too.

I left tonight imagining that Bryan loses the title in the Chamber, to one of Samoa Joe or AJ Styles, and that we get Bryan/Styles again, or a triple threat match. But that’s just me.

Spot of the Night:

Best one of the night, in this man’s humble opinion? Orton dropping Mustafa Ali with the RKO, out of what seemed to be Ali prepping for an 054.

Becky’s slap was good too…

Jobber of the Night:

I really don’t know here. I feel like Hunter deserves some love, doing the job to further the Becky Lynch versus authority narrative. Beyond that, I have nothing.

Upset of the Night:

Nothing of note here

Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:

A night after she beat up Stephanie McMahon, Becky Lynch was back on the blue brand. This time, she was giving lip to Hunter. Now, while she didn’t assault the boss, she did smack him (OK, fine, technically that IS assault, but I meant more like, she didn’t pummel him like she did his wife).

I don’t like that they are surely pushing the angle toward a triple threat…but that sure looks like it.

Botch of the night:

I swear Graves said that Daniel Bryan tossed Rowan into the ring post…when it was Joe. I could have been hearing things though.

Noteworthy Moment:

Honestly, I think the big one was the Lynch/Hunter/Charlotte open. That’s a major angle for WWE over the next couple months, so it makes sense to further it. To me, it does feel like they are driving us to see Lynch as we saw Austin during the Attitude Era. It could actually work out…I just wish they didn’t feel the need to insert Charlotte. Not that it wouldn’t be a good triple threat…just that for the main event at WrestleMania, it doesn’t need a third.

Overall lowlights:

As down as I was about the women’s tag action, it’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme.

Only other complaint is…I hate seeing the eco-belt. But, that’s part of the heel deal, so it is what it is.

Overall highlights:

I love that this show has really put Elimination Chamber front and center. If you ignore the opening segment (just for a moment), the show was heavily focused on the two huge matches from the SmackDown side for Elimination Chamber. Plenty has been done for WrestleMania, which is fine and good. But with EC just under two weeks away, it’s nice to see that the next PPV got the focus, and the main event was very good for that.

After the final bell:

In case you missed it, the show was a strong one, in my opinion. Bryan came off as a really antagonizing heel (which is good). Samoa Joe looked like a bad man. All the Elimination Chamber participants got in what they needed to. It made for a satisfying show.

   

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