Good morning dear readers! While I am writing this on a chilly Tuesday as SmackDown unfolds, I hope this is something you read while waking up on Wednesday morning. It’s a big show for the blue brand this week too-the go-home show, as SmackDown looks ahead to Sunday’s Elimination Chamber. The big question of the evening: who will enter the Chamber last? That’s right folks, we have a gauntlet match slated for SmackDown Live this evening, with every participant in the men’s Chamber match involved. The winner of the gauntlet match gets his pod opened last on Sunday, a distinct advantage for that Superstar. Let’s crack open this Nutshell and figure it all out!
Best Match of the night:
On a night with limited matches, the main event was the easy choice. Actually, on a night with a lot of matches, this main event would have been a no brainer too. The gauntlet match was so good, and on so many levels.
For one thing, it had to make fans believe that Kofi Kingston, a late edition to the Chamber match, could be a threat. Mission accomplished, as Kingston was the next to last man eliminated. In doing so, he lasted over forty minutes and personally dispatched Daniel Bryan, Jeff Hardy and Samoa Joe.
It had to make us believe that any one wrestler isn’t invincible (like, Samoa Joe). It sold us on the long-running theme that it only takes one RKO outta nowhere, too…as Orton worked mere seconds and secured the great privilege of being the last man out of his Lexan pod.
Worst match of the night:
On a night with hardly any matches, thanks to the hour long main event, this segment gets a pass.
Crowd Chants of the Night:
Star of the Night
Forget Charlotte’s compelling and heelish promo-it was good.
Forget Orton securing final entry.
The night belonged to Kofi Kingston. Presumably someone in Creative wants us to believe he can actually win the WWE Championship on Sunday, or to have us think that he should. Mission accomplished.
Spot of the Night:
Nothing special, but the dual super kicks on Shane and The Miz by Jimmy and Jey worked.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Kofi being the replacement for Mustafa Ali. Kofi lasting the majority of the main event. Orton needing all of 10 seconds to work on SmackDown and win the hour long gauntlet match.
Botch of the night:
Wrestling-wise, not much. Nothing, really.
On the commentary side, there were some flubbed lines. Happens.
LOL Moment of the night:
If you missed it, it’s worth watching New Day come down for the Gauntlet Match. Big E came down holding a large sausage-Graves called it a “meat tube”. It was a funny moment, so it lands here.
Mustafa Ali is out of the Elimination Chamber due to an eye injury. On one hand, it gives WWE a chance to put someone else, someone more likely, in that spot. On the other hand, Ali has been a breath of fresh air since becoming a main roster feature. Seeing him work in some high spots during the Chamber match was something I was looking forward to.
Daniel Bryan was one of the first two men into the gauntlet match…and he was the first out. Part of me expected him to win the chance to go in last, as I figured with his prior health issues would make WWE want to protect him in the Chamber.
I am not sure which I dislike more at this point: Daniel Bryan and his faux championship belt, or seeing tag team gold around Shane McMahon’s waist.
I really didn’t overly love the McMiz TV segment, cheap pops be damned.
Charlotte’s promo was a good start. Look, I have gone on record before in saying that I despise making Becky and Ronda a triple threat match. That said, Charlotte is doing what she needs to do to become THE heel in that match, assuming WWE (Vince) sticks with the desire for all three women to main event WrestleMania.
The gauntlet match was great. Kofi Kingston delivered again, another great match in an often-overlooked career (overlooked in the sense he’s never won a world championship). Lots of stories told tonight, but plenty left to tell for Sunday too.
After the final bell:
It was an interesting show. We opened pushing the WrestleMania agenda. We closed pushing Elimination Chamber. It all worked out well enough for what it was. Ready or not, Elimination Chamber should be a pretty solid show.