Intercontinental Champion Braun Strowman and The nWo Put Sami Zayn, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro in Their Place on Moment of Bliss
Between The Bella Twins and now The nWo, it looks like Moment of Bliss has become the home for soon-to-be inducted WWE Hall of Famers. I love The nWo as much as the next guy, but this segment didn't serve a purpose aside from attempting to further the feud between Strowman and the trio of Nakamura, Cesaro and Zayn ahead of the 3-on-1 Handicap match for the Intercontinental Championship at Elimination Chamber. Ultimately, I don't care about that matchup any more than I did before. I appreciate the effort, but this segment did nothing for me. I'm still struggling to figure out what Nakamura and his cronies did to earn a shot at the title despite losing so frequently over the last three months.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley and Sasha Banks def. Naomi and Lacey Evans
I have no idea why WWE felt it was necessary to book a rematch with this women from last week., especially the commercial break ate up a majority of the match's television time. What we got from them was fine but nothing you'll remember a few days from now. Naomi pinned Bayley last week yet was beaten by Banks here. That tells me Banks, not Naomi, is getting the SmackDown Women's Championship shot at WrestleMania 36 with the story being that she can beat Naomi and Bayley can't.
Sheamus def. Apollo Crews
Yes, Sheamus has beaten Crews before, and yes, this was equally pointless. Seriously, these wins aren't doing Sheamus (or anyone for that matter) any favors. I'm glad he's being booked to look dominant again, but I'm ready for the next stage of his push. As I've said before, however, I assume WWE is biding time with him until after Elimination Chamber so he can challenge Strowman for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania. Meanwhile, I couldn't have cared less about the tension teased between Crews and Shorty G beforehand.
Fire and Desire def. Dana Brooke and Carmella
Is it just me or are the women's matches on SmackDown getting shorter and shorter? The tag team match earlier in the evening didn't get a ton of time and then this didn't exceed three minutes. It's not like I was begging for this to be a 30-minute mat classic, but it was clearly more about establishing Dolph Ziggler as Mandy Rose's new love interest than it was anything that happened in the ring. At this point, it couldn't be more obvious that it was Sonya Deville who sent the text to Otis before his Valentine's Day date with Mandy and that Ziggler took advantage of that.
Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode def. Heavy Machinery, SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Miz & John Morrison, The Usos, The Lucha House Party, and The New Day in a Gauntlet Match to Enter Last in Sunday's Elimination Chamber (Non-Title)
If I never saw another Gauntlet match in WWE for the rest of my life, I'd be content, I absolutely loved the strong run Heavy Machinery were given here and it made total sense with how frustrated Otis was after his interaction with Mandy backstage didn't go his way. Their mini match with New Day was fun and gave them a big win over a top tag team, they beat Lucha House Party quickly and decisively, and they were barely able to get past The Usos. I wasn't a fan of how Miz and Morrison were made to look weak, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised seeing as how they haven't won on SmackDown in nearly a month. It feels like any interest in them reuniting is gone. At any rate, this Gauntlet worked out perfectly with Ziggler pinning Otis in the end. It'll be a big moment when Otis eventually gives Ziggler his comeuppance and (hopefully) gets the girl.
The latest edition of Firefly Fun House with Bray Wyatt acknowledging his loss to John Cena six years ago at WrestleMania 30 and citing that as where it all went downhill for him was terrific. That was the only way their feud was going to work, so I'm glad they're headed in that direction with the story and hopefully Wyatt will be able to avenge that defeat this time around. As for the rest of SmackDown, it was a serviceable show designed to hype Elimination Chamber on Sunday. In my opinion, it failed to generate any excitement for the pay-per-view. The main event was decent, but other than that, you're better off not wasting your time on these two hours.