It’s Friday, which means it is another SmackDown In A Nutshell. This week, the blue brand is heading home to Elimination Chamber.
Now, to be fair, this is a rare taped go-home show.
Taped, meaning this one got recorded right after last week’s live SmackDown. And, perhaps some segments are going to be edited down, due to botches.
After all, heading from the states to Saudi Arabia is a long haul, and Superstars have been in country for a bit already.
Elimination Chamber is actually looking like the best card WWE has delivered to the Middle East. We’ve got the final hype for it via tonight’s SmackDown, and our Nutshell.
It may not be live like last week, but I bet we might see a title change if we behave…
So, without any further pause…
SmackDown In A Nutshell: Heading Home To Elimination Chamber
Let’s crack open this Nutshell and see what happens!
Best Match of the night:
When you have a significant title change, it makes this call easier.
Worst match of the night:
Probably Jey versus Ivar.
Maybe only because it wasn’t a good ending….but it was not the best match, even if it did land my spot of the night.
Star of the Night
On a night where he claimed a championship, this one easily goes to Sami Zayn.
Spot of the Night:
Maybe not all that spectacular…but it also never gets old…
Upset of the Night:
You just don’t expect Ricochet to defeat Sheamus…and yet here we are.
Holy Sh** Moment of the Night:
Nothing to do with the wrestling.
Imagine if, say…3 months ago…you were the WWE Champion.
And, knowing the company was going back to Saudi Arabia, you thought…maybe I will be in a big match there.
But…then you drop the title…and don’t even make the trip…and THIS is your consolation prize?
Then again…maybe Big E is grateful for not going on that long trip?
Botch of the night:
I alluded to it in the open, and I said it when news of this emerged.
This might be edited out, but the exchange between Charlotte and Ronda Rousey wins.
I mean, sure it’s a taped show, but if WWE had to edit it out…and it was a spot between two of their top stars?
Hands down, botch of the night.
Kind of a big deal, seeing Shinsuke Nakamura drop the Intercontinental Championship.
Especially on a taped show (though the crowd was obviously live).
And, right before a PPV, when you’d almost think WWE would rather save it for the big premium live event.
Except, well, I don’t think Sami Zayn changed his stance on traveling to the Middle East…so there’s that.
Also, given how he sold it at the end, you do wonder if Nakamura isn’t dealing with a legit knee injury, which possibly led to the decision to make the change?
This one is the better of the two tho…
— WWE (@WWE) February 18, 2022
I wonder or worry if a Zayn title win, and his feud with Johnny Knoxville, means we will see a possible Knoxville title reign.
Love it or hate it (and I clearly hate it), I bet Vince is salivating over the news a Knoxville win at WrestleMania would generate.
While it technically was announced earlier, having The Undertaker officially be confirmed as the headliner for this year’s WWE Hall of Fame was good.
I mean, it was kind of obvious once he retired and with ‘Mania in Dallas. Still, WWE did take their sweet time in announcing it, and I feel like a mixed SmackDown/Hall ceremony might be…weird.
But we shall see.
And Zayn has been a super annoying heel…and now he gets another run with the Intercontinental Championship.
Would love if between him and Knoxville, someone nuked that ugly belt though. Maybe if Cody does come back…he brings back the classic strap?
And you have to love the New Orleans fans, giving it to Heyman about their Saints.
After the final bell:
I appreciate WWE trying to make people think that the show was live, but when you hear Heyman say that “14 hours from now…”, let’s be realistic.
Anyone can look online and see a flight from New Orleans to Jeddah is going to be longer than that. Even a private plane…
So while I appreciate it, I think in 2022 it’s a fool’s errand.
Otherwise, outside of me hating a taped go-home show, the blue brand did good as they were heading home to Jeddah and the Elimination Chamber.