I haven’t been to a WWE house show in quite some time, but as Smackdown has been pretty good lately I decided to check out the show on February 20th in San Diego. Since this was on a Monday night, it was going up against the Monday Night Raw broadcast, but still managed to draw a pretty decent crowd. The fact that it was a Monday night confused some people sitting near me, who thought they were at a Raw taping. I guess they’ll need to save the Kevin Owens signs for another day.
Most of the upper section of the Valley View Center was closed off. The one section that was open was about 50% full. The rest of the seating looked to be around 80% capacity. I’d estimate the attendance around 5,000, give or take.
The merchandise seemed disappointing. Even though it was a Smackdown brand show, there was lots of merchandise for Raw brand wrestlers like Roman Reigns and Enzo, but nothing for wrestlers such as Alexa Bliss. Of course there was a ton of John Cena merchandise.
Heath Slater, Rhyno, and Mojo Rawley defeated The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) and Aiden English in 9:24
This was a pretty fun opener. There was a lot of comedy stuff in this. Heath Slater was getting beaten down and the crowd was chanting for Rhyno so there was a pretty big pop when Rhyno got tagged in and cleared the ring. Everyone took turns hitting their finishers, with Rhyno hitting a spear on one of the Ascension to get the pin.
Kalisto defeated Curt Hawkins in 6:57
This was pretty uneventful and really short. There was lots of early stalling too. Kalisto hit the Salida del Sol to get the pin.
American Alpha (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) defeated BreeZango (Tyler Breeze & Fandango) and The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) in a Triple Threat match to retain the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship in 10:31
The Usos got a huge pop when they were announced. At one point the while Chad Gable was being beaten down in the corner, the Usos and BreeZango fought over who was going to keep beating on him, allowing him to get away. This was a pretty good match. American Alpha hit the Grand Amplitude on one of the Usos to get the win.
Nikki Bella defeated Carmella (w/ James Ellsworth) via Disqualification in 1:40 after she was attacked by Natalya, leading to the next match.
Nikki Bella got a huge ovation when she came out. Ellsworth distracted the ref, Natalya ran down and attacked Nikki, the ref turned around and saw it, and the match was a DQ. Tamina Snuka came out for the save. Nikki got on the mic and this became a tag match.
Nikki Bella & Tamina defeated Carmella & Natalya in 5:09
This was all right. Ellsworth distracted the ref when Nikki went for a pin on Carmella and Nikki got up and took Ellsworth out. Eventually Nikki hit a TKO on Carmella to get the win.
Dean Ambrose defeated. A.J. Styles, The Miz, and Baron Corbin in a Fatal 4 Way Match to retain the WWE Intercontinental Championship in 15:39
AJ Styles got a huge pop, but then it was announced how much he hates San Diego and the crowd turned on him. Lots of the Miz doing Daniel Bryan spots and gets lots of “Yes” chants from the crowd. This was a really good match. Deam Ambrose hit the Dirty Deeds on the Miz for the pin.
Becky Lynch defeated Alexa Bliss in 8:20 via submission (Disarmer)
This was a pretty good match. Both wrestlers have been really fun to watch and this has been an entertaining feud between them. Bliss tapped out to the disarmer.
Apollo Crews defeated Dolph Ziggler in 13:09
This ended up being a lot better than I expected. Crews was selling his leg throughout the match. Crews hit a powerbomb for the win. After the match a little girl tried to get Ziggler to sign an autograph and he took the pin and acted like he was going to toss it in the crowd, but in the end he didn’t have the heart and gave it back.
John Cena and Luke Harper defeated The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt & Randy Orton) in 10:07
After everyone but Cena came out there was a pause before Cena was announced. Loud “Cena, Cena, Cena” chants. When his music hit the place erupted. By far the biggest pop of the night. Most of the match was Orton and Wyatt beating down Harper. Harper was finally able to tag in Cena, and Cena went through his standard move set and hit an Attitude Adjustment on Orton for the win.
Overall it was a pretty good show. All the matches were kept fairly basic but everything was entertaining. No return date was announced.