WWE SmackDown Grades & Reactions for February 9, 2024

The roster for the 2024 Elimination Chamber continues to shake itself out with more qualifying matches going down on the February 9 episode of WWE SmackDown.
Randy Orton Dec 2.jpg
Randy Orton Dec 2.jpg /

Triple H clarifies the main event of WrestleMania 40

To kick off the show, Triple H, Nick Aldis, and Adam Pierce stood in the ring to address the fanbase after a shocking and rather confusing 24 hours. Triple H says that he is the only one with the answer to the question surrounding the Wrestlemania main event. He then announces that as implied yesterday, Roman Reigns will defend at Wrestlemania against Cody Rhodes, adding that “It doesn’t matter” if anybody has a problem with it, regardless of where they sit.

The on-screen beef between The Rock and Triple H is quite shocking. I never thought I would hear Triple H cut a promo(ish) ever again and I’m even more surprised that it was regarding The Rock. If Triple H didn’t have a defibrillator in his chest, I would already be scratching my head over Triple H Vs. The Rock at Wrestlemania, especially since it’s because both men have wanted to do that match at Wrestlemania for so many years. 

However, that is next to impossible after Triple H’s cardiac episode a few years ago. Following was Adam Pierce announcing that The Elimination Chamber in Perth Australia will decide who will face Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania. The qualifying matches will consist of Randy Orton, Bronson Reed, Kevin Owens, Logan Paul, AJ Styles, The Miz, Bobby Lashley, LA Knight, Ivor, Drew McIntyre, Sami Zayn and Dominik Mysterio. 

Drew McIntyre Vs. AJ Styles (Elimination Chamber qualifying match)

This Physical Battle had everyone in the arena on the edge of their seats. McIntyre has made becoming a world champion his top priority. He has had two matches against Seth Rollins, losing both after coming so close to victory. Drew’s character has gone through a lot of development over the last two months. At this point, McIntyre is completely heel and could make a proper opponent for Rollins at Wrestlemania. Both men deserve that match, especially if the match main events night one. 

Additionally, LA Knight joined the commentary table during this match. Knight has had beef with Styles on Smackdown since Styles returned in December. Knight ultimately jumped up on the ring apron, distracting Styles and taking his eyes off of a wounded Drew McIntyre. Mclntyre waits for Styles to turn around and then hits him with a thunderous Claymore Kick. The Scottish Warrior’s finisher put away Styles for the three-count. Mclyntyre qualifies for the Elimination Chamber in Perth.

Grade: B

Bianca Belair Vs. Michin  (Elimination Chamber qualifying match)

Next to represent the OC tonight after AJ Styles was Michin. Michin has been in consistent action throughout the past few weeks and has been having good-quality matches for the time that she is allotted. However, Bianca Belair is one of the biggest names on the blue brand right now. Michin put in the work during the match but didn’t fool anyone into thinking she was gonna lose. Belair ended the match by hitting the KOD on Michin and covering her for the win. Belair qualifies for the Elimination Chamber and would work a great match with Rhea Ripley at Wrestlemania. However, Most people believe Becky to win the Chamber, especially given that the hypothetical match has already begun to be set up.

Grade: C+

Bayley and Dakota Kai talk it out

Bayley came out to the ring and showed her appreciation for the fan base that is ecstatic to have her as the 2024 Women’s Royal Rumble winner. Suddenly, Dakota Kai came out of the ring, confused as to why Bayley had been ignoring her messages. Bayley looked highly skeptical of Dakota after being stabbed in the back. Kai pleads with Bayley, telling her she had no idea what Iyo, Sane, and Asuka were gonna do last week. Bayley finds it hard to believe and the two continue to go back and forth.

Just as Dakota was gonna give Bayley an answer of where she stood, Iyo Sky’s music hit and the three came out with bad intentions for Bayley. Dakota Kai escaped under the ropes, grabbed a steel chair, and then slid back into the ring. Her grin seemingly told the whole story, when really, Dakota ultimately chose to stand with Bayley, swinging the chair at Sane, Sky, and Asuka. The two stood united against Sky and her two lackeys. This story keeps building up each week and only seems to get better. While none of them competed tonight, it was a solid and intriguing continuation of the story leading up to Wrestlemania. 

Grade: B+

Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne Vs. DIY (tag team championship qualifying match)

After earning the right to compete, one of these teams will be taking on Judgment Day in Perth. DIY looked fresh in their match tonight. Many viewers of NXT from years past could only dream of DIY winning the tag titles on the main roster. Those days, DIY was one of the hottest tag teams in all of WWE. After reuniting, Johnny Gargano and Tomaso Ciampa hope to do what many hoped they would have done years ago. However, Bate and Dunne aren’t anything to laugh at either.

Dunne and Bate have been solid as a team these past few weeks. After the brawling brutes didn’t work out, Dunne looked to his old friend to help him find his true Identity again. Since then, the tag team has been given this potentially enormous opportunity in Perth Australia. Dunne shocked the world after pinning Gargano clean, earning a championship match at Elimination Chamber against Finn Balor and Damian Priest.

Grade: C+

Randy Orton Vs. Sami Zayn (Elimination Chamber qualifying match)

Sami Zayn has been in a haze for the past several months. His character has been struggling for purpose since his feud with The Bloodline ended at Night of Champions last May. While qualifying for the Elimination Chamber would be a great way to correct that course, Randy Orton certainly deserves a spot in the Chamber as well. Orton is still scarred from missing last year’s Wrestlemania due to injury. This year, Randy hopes to redeem himself. Additionally, Randy Vs. Rollins at Wrestlemania Part II could be another classic matchup. 

The match was extremely entertaining and very suspenseful. Sami Zayn proved what he said about fighting as hard as he could as long as there was breath in his body. Orton showed strength in this match as well. Since his return, the Viper looks better than he ever has in his career. While he may be older than he was 10 years ago, there’s no reason that Orton shouldn’t be at least discussed in the world title picture. With the help of an RKO, Randy wins the match and qualifies for the Chamber match. Suddenly, Mclntyre appears behind him after winning his qualifying match to kick off the night. The two face off as the show goes off air. 

Grade: B