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By Mike Johnson on 2017-02-12 21:04:00

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WWE Tag Team Turmoil

The first teams out are Heath Slater and Rhyno and Breezango.  Slater and Fandango had some nice back and forth action.  Breeze was tagged in but was hit with an atomic drop.  Rhyno tagged in and the crowd chanted for ECW.  What makes that funny is ECW never ran Phoenix once.  Rhyno controlled Breeze and tagged back out to Slater.  Fandango tripped him on a rebound off the ropes and that set up Breezango working over Slater and getting several two counts.  Slater came back with a sunset flip but Breeze broke it up.  Rhyno drilled Slater.  Rhyno was tagged in and gored Fandango, who didn't realize it.  Breezango eliminated.

Next out were The Vaudevillains.  They attacked Rhyno on the floor and sent him into the barricade.  Slater came off the top with a dive onto them.  The fans chanted, "He's got kids."   Aiden English cut off Slater and worked him over in the ring.  Rhyno gored Gotch.  English missed a swanton bomb and Slater nailed an elevated DDT for the pin.

The Usos were the next out.   Jimmy Uso and Slater exchanged shots before Uso nailed a side kick.  Slater fought back and tagged Rhyno back in.  The Usos caught Rhyno in their corner and tagged in and out, working him over.  Slater finally tagged back in but was caught by a Jey Uso Samoan Drop for a two count.  Jimmy caught him with a side kick, scoring the pin Slater.

Next out were the current and defending WWE Smackdown Tag Team champions American Alpha.  The Usos met them in the aisle and they brawled.   In the ring, the Usos cheated to take control of Dan Gable.  They picked up Gable and nailed a splash on him for a two count.    Gable was trapped in the Usos' corner as they tagged in and out.  Gable finally broke free but was caught and tossed away.  He came back and nailed a double clothesline with Usos.  Gable finally made the hot tag to Jason Jordan, who unloaded with dropkicks.  They went for their finish but Jey used a forward roll on Jason Jordan.  Gable ran up and used a pinfall combination to eliminated Jey Uso.

The Usos attacked Alpha after and left them laying after throwing them into the ring steps and barricade.  They tossed Jordan back into the ring and hit a top rope splash.

The final team out was The Ascension, who bumped The Usos as they passed them in the aisle.  They entered the ring, hit the Fall of Man on Jordan but Chad Gable dove into the ring and saved the day at the last second.  Konor snatched Gable and snapped him into the ropes.  Gable crashed to the floor.    The Ascension stomped the hell out of Jordan.  They continued to beat down Jordan, who got his shoulder off the mat at the last second.   Alpha was able to make a comeback and score the miracle win.

Your winners and still Smackdown Tag Team champions, American Alpha!

 A step up from the Gauntlets we've seen of late on live events.  They did a nice job spotlighting different teams and especially Alpha by putting them in a position of having to fight against the odds to retain.  This was the best The Ascension has looked in forever.  Slater and Rhyno's arc early on was well done early.  Usos came off strong as well.

Nikki Bella vs. Natalya

Natalya mocked Nikki, slapped her and took her over with a headlock, then controlled her arm.  She controlled Bella, slapping her and taking her to the mat over and over.  Natalya mocked her by saying she was the wrestler, so Nikki took her down in a kneebar attempt.   Natalya went to the floor.  Bella came off the apron with a big clothesline to the floor.   Natalya began scrambling to get away and backed off.  She asked Nikki for a time out but them shoved her backwards into the ringpost.

Natalya tossed her back in the ring and nailed a snap suplex.   JBL noted Natalya was happily married to Tyson Kidd.  Natalya nailed a basement dropkick and locked in a sleeper.  Natalya continued to work her over and even said hello to Nikki's mother, who was sitting at ringside with Bella's brother.   She snapped Bella's knee down to the mat and tried to force a submission.  She called Bella a "b****", which woke Nikki up and she went for an STF.  Bella rallied with a shoulderblock and a forearm for a two count.

Natalya kicked her to cut off Bella and nailed a Michinoku Driver for a two count.  Nikki nailed a big right forearm for a close two count.   Bella continued to work over Natalya, who kicked out.  Natalya came back to nail a big superplex.  Natalya was caught in the STF.  Natalya fought for the ropes and finally made it.  They grabbed at each other and tumbled off the apron to the floor.  Natalya and Bella tossed each other into the barricade as the referee counted them both out.

Double countout.  The crowd hated that.

Natalya tossed Bella back into the ring.  She cheapshotted Bella as Bella complained to the referee about the match being stopped and beat her down.  Natalya walked out but Bella caught up to her and speared her on the entrance ramp.  Natalya was run off.

Good match.

Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper

Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt appeared.  Bray said tonight they have to go their separate ways but in the end, it will be the Era of Wyatt.  Randy told everyone to run.

Harper and Orton went right after each other with Orton having control early.  They spilled outside the ring, where Orton picked up Harper and dumped him atop one of the announcing tables with Harper taking bump backwards off it to the floor.  Orton rolled him back in the ring for a two count.   Orton cinched in a rear chinlock.    He stomped Harper in the corner and continued beating him on the mat before cinching in yet another rear chinlock while driving his knee into Harper's back as well,

Harper makes a comeback with several rights and whipped Orton towards the corner.  Orton reversed and Harper leapt over the top, drilled Randy with a big forearm and hit a senton atomico followed by a big boot for a two count.  Harper snapped Orton across the top and set up for a catapult, drilling Orton's throat across the middle rope.  Orton went to the floor.  Harper nailed a tope suicida that sent Randy crashing over the announcers' table.  Harper followed up by slamming him onto another table.

Harper charged Orton but was caught with a scoop powerslam on the floor.  Orton and Harper battled in the corner with Luke on the apron outside.  Harper went to the top but was crotched by Randy.  Orton grabbed him and nailed a superplex for a two count.  The crowd chanted, "This is awesome."  Orton covers Harper but only gets a two count.

The battle continued as Orton nailed his hanging DDT off the ropes.  Randy teased a RKO but was nailed with a pair of superkicks for a two count that was THISCLOSE.  Harper and Orton continued to battle back and forth.   They exchanged brawls on their knees.   Harper nailed a series of palm strikes and went for the discus clothesline but Orton blasted him and nailed the RKO for the pin.

Your winner, Randy Orton!

This was easily the best Harper has ever looked in his WWE career and its about time as he's great.  This was a textbook case of someone fighting a bigger, well known star and even in losing, making themselves a bigger name in the eyes of the fans by virtue of their hard work.  Really enjoyable and if they capitalize on Harper's work, this will be the night we all talk about him turning the corner (or the company finally utilizing him).

Nikki Bella was being interviewed when Natalya attacked her. During their brawl, Bella was knocked into Maryse and spilled white powder all over her, which is probably the spark of Bella's next storyline.  They continued to brawl until officials held them apart.

WWE Smackdown Women's champion Alexa Bliss vs. Naomi

Bliss put her back to Naomi, who rolled her up for a two count.  Bliss got pissed and tossed gum in Naomi's face.  That's some angry disrespectful stuff.  Naomi went off but Bliss cut her off and drilled her with shots across the back.   Bliss drover her into the corner and pulled Naomi's hair.  They went into some nice back and forth pinfall attempts before Naomi drilled the champ with a big kick.

Naomi nailed a big leaping clothesline followed by a back elbow.  Naomi nailed several big knees.  She ducked a shot from Bliss and nailed a shoulderblock, then came off the top with a Buff Blockbuster for a two count.   Bliss charged her but was caught with The Rear View for a close two count.

Bliss tried to beg off and run away from Naomi, only to drill her as the referee got in between them.    Bliss drilled her with a double knee drop for a two count.  Bliss went to the top but was caught with a leaping kick by Naomi.  Naomi charged for a move but drilled with a forearm and nailed with a DDT for a two count.  Bliss threw a tantrum that she didn't get the pinfall.

Naomi caught her with the Eat Defeat and a springboard moonsault but Bliss moved out of the way.  Bliss used an Oklahoma Roll but the referee caught her with her feet on the ropes and stopped the count.  Bliss went for the Sparkle Splash but Naomi pulled up her knees and hit the Hollywood Star Press for the pin.

Your winner and new WWE Smackdown Women's champion, Naomi!

Renee Young interviewed Naomi after the match.  She said she felt amazing.  The crowd chanted, "You deserve it."  That obviously caught Naomi by surprise as she started to cry.  She said she envisioned this moment for many years.  She said Bliss was a hell of a champion.  She said Bliss nearly snatched her bald but she snatched the title and was taking it home to Orlando for Wrestlemania.

Well, I don't think anyone called that one happening!

Back at the skybox, Carmella said she was tired of being asked questions.  They asked her about the new champion, but Ellsworth said that Carmella was tired of being asked questions and told Dasha Fuentes to scram.

Coverage concludes on Page 3!

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