WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 7

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2014

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from February 7

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    Every week here on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at SmackDown, recapping all of the action, offering analysis and grading the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.

    SmackDown did not feature any major storylines developments, but there were a few matches that made this a standout show.

    Randy Orton faced another one of his Elimination Chamber opponents in Christian this week, Daniel Bryan and Kane discussed their current feud and former friendship, and The Shield and The Wyatt Family continued to taunt each other.

    Alexander Rusev continues to pop up in promo videos, and it is just a matter of time until we see him finally make his main-roster debut and show us what he's got.

    Let's get right into the show with the opening segment featuring the former Team Hell No teammates and a back-and-forth promo about their feud.

Daniel Bryan and Kane

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    This segment was awesome for several reasons, but the main reason it was great was because it finally set in motion a real resolution to the breakup of Team Hell No. It might be about a year late, but we are still getting it.

    When they first parted ways it happened very quietly and without much attention paid to the fact that they started wrestling as singles stars.

    This great tag team deserved a real end to the partnership, but it was ignored, and now we finally have the two men going back and forth talking about it.

    Bryan wanted to know what happened to the Kane who he used to team with, and Kane did a great job playing the smug corporate goon.

    Kane is a lot more intelligent and well-spoken than people give him credit for, and this segment is one of the first times since he became Corporate Kane that we have really seen him have extended mic time.

    The back-and-forth promo kept the crowd invested the whole time, and both men were convincing in the opinions they expressed.

    And to top it all off, we got a match made between Bryan and Antonio Cesaro for later in the evening. How could you not love that?

    Grade: A

    Some notes from the segment:

    • I want a real feud between Kane and Bryan to finish off their relationship, but I do not want it to happen at WrestleMania, and since Bryan is already in the Chamber match, it limits the options WWE has to make it work in any reasonable amount of time.
    • I'm a little surprised nobody brought up Dr. Shelby. I bet the crowd would have given the reference a little pop.
    • I would love to see The Undertaker return so we could see his reaction to Corporate Kane.

The Shield vs. Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler (Seth Rollins on Commentary)

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    This was a pretty good match, but the way it ended and the promo from Bray Wyatt afterward really brought everything together.

    We saw more tension between Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns, and we got to see four of WWE's most talented performers have a match with good length and excitement.

    Ambrose tried to steal a tag again, but Reigns caught him. After Reigns speared Dolph Ziggler into next week he tagged in Ambrose and told him to take his easy win, which he gladly did.

    The match did not reach the level of insanity I expected it to at the end, but it was a solid outing.

    Grade: B+

    Some notes from the match:

    • I love the move Reigns does where he jumps from the floor to the apron and dropkicks someone who is draped across the bottom rope. It always looks so brutal.
    • Reigns is always adding new moves to his arsenal. He is becoming one of the more entertaining wrestlers to watch in the ring.
    • Seth Rollins was good on commentary. He seemed comfortable, and he played his part well.

Sheamus vs. Ryback

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    This match was better than expected. It wasn't amazing, but it was as good as you could hope for.

    Ryback and Sheamus both used a variety of offense to keep the match fresh throughout, and Ryback even went to the top rope. He missed the splash, but at least he tried.

    Ryback's counter of the Brogue Kick into a powerbomb was pretty cool, but Sheamus hit it on the second try to get the pin and the win.

    Sheamus deserves credit for selling a lot of Ryback's offense really well, but Ryback showed some variety and everything looked pretty clean.

    Grade: B-

    Some notes from the match:

    • I want Ryback to improve, and sometimes I think he is. I am not a fan at the moment, but I do think there is potential in himhe just got pushed way too fast.
    • WWE was really playing with the audio in this match. Not one Goldberg chant could be heard, and you just know the crowd chanted it at one point. It always does.

Daniel Bryan vs. Antonio Cesaro

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    This had everything you could want in a wrestling match. Bryan and Cesaro are two of the most gifted pure wrestlers in WWE, and they showcased what makes them special in this match.

    Bryan was hitting big spots left and right, and Cesaro looked like a much more versatile wrestler against a guy like Bryan.

    The way Bryan took Cesaro down from a spinning headscissors into the Yes Lock to get the win was a very cool way to cap off a pay-per-view-quality match.

    Grade: A+

    Some notes from the match:

    • It's nice to see two guys who have a lot of history from before WWE have a match like this.
    • Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter did not have a lot of impact on the match from ringside, which was a bit surprising given their devious methods.
    • Kane provided a distraction after the match so Cesaro could hit The Neutralizer on Bryan. Kane then chokeslammed him and hit his pyro. It looks like we are in for more Kane vs. Bryan, and I for one am happy to see it.

Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee

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    I don't expect a lot from Divas matches, but this was just boring. AJ Lee is better than what we saw in this match, and Nikki Bella did not seem to show any of the improvements she has made in recent months during this match.

    This was a quick win for AJ by submission. Taking anymore time talking about this match would be a waste of everyone's time.

    Grade: D-

Alexander Rusev

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    Alberto Del Rio gave an interview about Batista, and Orton gave a interview where he complained some more, but the segment I really want to discuss is the promo for Rusev.

    The way they are playing into the stereotypical foreign heel is fine and dandy, but his Brigitte Nielsen-like manager brings the whole image together.

    Rusev has a look to him that reminds me more of wrestlers from the '60s and '70s, and the throwback style and field-tested foreign heel gimmick should help him succeed.

    Grade: B

Bray Wyatt vs. Goldust

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    Wyatt picked up the win in a good match against the veteran Goldust. These are two of the creepier characters in WWE history, and seeing them interact the way they do is fun.

    The match wasn't too long, but it allowed them to tell a decent story. The real point of all this was to get The Wyatt Family in the ring so The Shield could deliver their own message on the big screen.

    Ambrose, Rollins and Reigns all did good work here, but Ambrose stood out like he always does in these kinds of promos.

    Grade: B-

    Some notes from the match:

    • It's good to see Cody wasn't too hurt from the moonsault he did off the cage on Monday.
    • I am a little surprised WWE would throw Goldust to Wyatt for an easy win. WWE has a lot of people Wyatt could have squashed, and this wasn't part of a feud, so nobody really gains much from a win.

Randy Orton vs. Christian

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    Had Bryan and Cesaro not killed it in their match, this would have been the match of the night. Christian and Orton have faced each other many times, so they know each other well enough to put on a good show.

    All the usual moves were hit by both men, and it seemed evenly matched until the very end. Christian looks like he hasn't missed a day. No ring rust at all.

    The way Orton caught Christian in midair with an RKO was a cool spot to cap things off, and Orton is now at one win and one loss in his five matches against the five people he will face at the Chamber.

    Grade: A-

    Some notes from the match:

    • Christian isn't being taken seriously as a contender for the title. I wouldn't be surprised if he was the first man out in the Chamber match.
    • I am holding out hope that if WWE decides to make one belt that it changes the design again. I am not a fan of the current belt and would like a more traditional plate design again.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    This was an entertaining episode of SmackDown to say the least. There were good matches and non-wrestling segments that did not waste any time.

    Bryan and Cesaro stole the show with the clinic they put on, but matches involving The Shield, Orton and Christian also performed very well.

    Kane and Bryan's continuing feud might be long term, which hopefully means Bryan gets a bigger match at WrestleMania than against Kane. Nothing against Kane, but Bryan needs to be in a major program at this point.

    Titus O'Neil had a funny interview with Renee Young, but Darren Young came in and attacked Titus to get revenge for how Titus treated him last week.

    Like any PPV, The Elimination Chamber could be a huge hit of a giant flop, but the way things are developing gives hope for a good show.


    • Bryan will get the better of Kane on Raw.
    • Batista will defeat Alberto Del Rio at the Chamber PPV.
    • Emma will have her first main-roster match some time in the next few weeks.
    • The Undertaker will return soon, but who he will feud with will not be decided until after The Chamber.
    • Titus will win the overall feud with Young.
    • Brodus Clay and Tensai will continue to be irrelevant following their split.

    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter @BR_Doctor.