Whenever there is an episode of WWE television featuring a gauntlet match, we all know it’s going to lack in depth, but usually not in terms of match quality.
That’s a perfect way to describe the go-home episode of Smackdown this week, as we saw an incredible gauntlet match, and a sprinkle of other storylines as well.
We found out who will be the second team in the women’s Elimination Chamber, who will replace Mustafa Ali in the men’s Elimination Chamber, and the man will claim the sixth and final spot in the aforementioned WWE title match.
Let’s take a look at my takeaways from a seemingly short, yet very good episode of Smackdown.
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5. Shane McMahon and The Miz Are Very Easy to Get Behind
The current Smackdown tag team champions are a very charismatic duo. Shane McMahon and The Miz are a great pairing, who play off of one another quite well. The backstory for both men and why they wanted to become a tag team champion is quite believable.
This week, they had their upcoming opponents in The Uso’s as guests on McMiz TV. What followed was some very entertaining back and forth on the mic, before both men were dropped by Superkicks.
Their upcoming bout at Elimination Chamber should be very good from an entertainment standpoint (and quite possibly between the ropes as well). A huge part of this is the depth and relatability of the characters competing in the feud.
4. Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose Enter the Chamber At #2
In a carbon copy situation of what we saw on Raw, Fabulous Glow, Fire & Desire, and The Iiconics competed in a triple threat match, with the losing team entering the Chamber first on Sunday (technically second, but they’ll be in the exact same position).
It ended up being a standard tag match, as Peyton Royce and Billie Kay (very wisely) never tagged in. Naomi got the pin on Mandy Rose, thus officially making the Boss n’ Hug Connection vs Fire & Desire the first matchup we will see on Sunday. Afterwards, The Iiconics took out both teams, and stood tall to end the segment.
3. Charlotte is An Incredible Heel… But We Already Knew That
Fresh off of the incredible heel heat received on Raw, Charlotte Flair opened the show by gloating about replacing Becky Lynch at Wrestlemania. She said Vince McMahon wanted somebody who could get the job done, and he made the right choice.
She then proceeded to bash Lynch by calling her a flash in the pan, and said she’ll be at Elimination Chamber to watch Ronda Rousey defend against Ruby Riott.
Charlotte Flair is a fantastic heel when she is like this. This may actually be the best heel work we’ve seen from The Queen yet. Her constant feud with Becky Lynch could ultimately be remembered in a similar vein to that of Triple H vs Shawn Michaels.
2. Kofi Kingston is An EXCELLENT Choice to Replace Mustafa Ali
We received the unfortunate news that Mustafa Ali will not be competing Sunday at Elimination Chamber. This is quite a bummer, since he’d likely have taken many memorable bumps and be booked to look like the underdog who keeps on fighting.
The silver lining to the situation is that he will be replaced by Kofi Kingston. The long time veteran will finally get a marquee match where he can prove himself as a main event-worthy talent.
Of course we never want to look at an injury as a good thing, but in this case it helped out a longtime WWE superstar who rarely has a chance to be featured, and I believe he will absolutely take advantage of this chance.
1. Randy Orton Secures Spot #6 For Sunday
The main event of the night was a six man gauntlet match, which would see the winner take the coveted sixth and final spot in the Elimination Chamber on Sunday.
Kofi started off against WWE champion, Daniel Bryan. The two went incredibly hard, before Kingston eventually got the pin. Jeff Hardy was next, as the replacement used his momentum to get the win on him as well.
Samoa Joe entered, and was able to nearly choke out Kofi, before he managed to get a roll up on the big man for another shocking victory. Joe beat down on him after the pin, before AJ Styles made the save. The former WWE champion asked Kofi if he wanted to continue, before Kingston responded with an emphatic “fight me!”. Styles eventually got the submission win with the Calf Crusher.
As the New Day came to the aid of their partner, Randy Orton hit AJ with an RKO out of nowhere for the quick pin, to grab that #6 spot for Sunday.
This was a fantastic match, and which showcased everyone’s talent, and gave Kofi Kingston the chance he deserves to show everyone how good he is. I don’t have an issue with Orton winning either, as it shows just how dangerous and sudden he can be.
Those were my takeaways from this week’s Smackdown. What did you think of the show? Do you think Kofi Kingston deserves to be on the main event level? Let me know in the comment section, and thank you for reading!