The opening package of Smackdown this week featured a match hype-up between Randy Orton and John Cena. They promoted that these two will face each other for the first time ever on Smackdown Live. That is a pretty sneaky statement to make, seeing that Smackdown Live has only technically been a thing since summer of last year. But at least they’ve been able to keep these two apart for seven months.

That being said, it’s the go-home show for the 2017 Elimination Chamber, let’s get right into it and have some fun, shall we?

Opening Segment With The Elimination Chamber Guys: Daniel Bryan took to the ring and received a fantastic ovation in his home state. He brought up the sad fact that the last time he was in Seattle he had to retire, then he said that he was grateful to be the GM of Smackdown Live, quite a consolation prize.

As soon as D-Bry mentioned the fact that he was about to be a daddy, Miz’s music broke. This writer is very confused as to what they plan on doing with this match. Miz’s dance card is reportedly full for WrestleMania already, so Bryan can’t fight the Miz. Instead Miz is going to be in a mixed-tag match against Danielson’s siblings-in-law.

Miz talked some real smack to Daniel saying that he couldn’t wrestle anymore, and the Bearded one comes back by saying, “to be fair, not being able to wrestle never stopped you from getting in the ring.” That was neat.

As things started to heat up between Miz and Daniel, Baron Corbin’s music hit and The Lone Wolf graced the stage with his lonely presence. He told Miz that he should learn when to shut up. Corbin was really getting some pops out of this crowd. Miz said they should work together at the Elimination Chamber, and Baron decides to do his own thing instead.

Daniel Bryan suggested that Baron punch The Miz in the face without really telling him to, then Dean Ambrose’s music hit. Dean told Miz that he looks like a shoe when he wears that jacket, and claims Baron Corbin stole the motorcycle noise from his entrance music. This crowd was highly behind Dean, or so it seemed until AJ Style’s music hit.

The four men bantered back and forth until Daniel Bryan set up a fatal four-way between Corbin, Ambrose, Styles, and Miz.

Fatal 4-Way: David Otunga stated that this match would give the winner a huge confidence boost going into Elimination Chamber, and that’s about it. All four guys got some pretty good spots in, and it didn’t necessarily lag. But, it wasn’t anything all that special.

Seeing that this is the go-home show for EC, it’s highly likely that this was set up as more of a showcase match for who will be in the chamber.

One highlight did include Miz doing Daniel Bryan’s kicks and knees, they really are putting a lot into this rivalry if they’re not going to have it result in a blow-off match. Maybe these two will face each other someday in New Japan if they both ever get out of their contracts.

Also, Miz and Styles were going for a superplex on Dean at one point, and Baron Corbin got underneath them and powerbombed them all in a “tower of doom.” You gotta love it when they pull that one out.

The match ended after AJ Styles hit Miz with the “Phenomenal Forearm.” but Maryse pulled her hubby outside the ring before Styles could make a pin. As soon as AJ turned around, Baron Corbin was there to hit him with the End of Days for the win.

This is a big win for Baron Corbin here because AJ Styles was just in a 4 3/4 star match at the Royal Rumble.

Luke Harper Promo: Luke Harper cut a promo about not having anything left to lose and how Randy Orton stole his family. He said that at Elimination Chamber, Randy will be eliminated. So, that match is happening.

Nikki Bell Interview: Nikki and Nattie gave an interview with Tom Phillips over the big screen. The audience was totally clueless as to what was really going on because they couldn’t hear Tom’s questions. They talked hype on their match at Elimination Chamber and Nattie started throwing jelly jabs at Nikki. Nikki calls them lies, and Natayla says that “you can’t handle the truth.” Jack Nicholson delivered the line much better.

Tom didn’t ask any more questions and just let these two go at each other on the split screen.

Nikki called Natayla a crazy cat lady, that was very funny and true. Also, Nattie said that Nikki will be on the shelf taking care of her sister’s babies because she will never have babies of her own, pretty low blow.

Nattie also remarked that if she wasn’t married then John Cena would probably wind up with her next after he dumps Nikki, by far the best segment of the night.

Dolph Ziggler vs Apollo Crews: Ziggler and Crews are great workers, but this seems like the feud of misfit wrestlers at this point. Apollo won this match with a roll up pin out of nowhere. Ziggler didn’t let the fact that he lost the match stop him, though. He retrieved a chair from ringside and hit Crews in the back a couple of times to get some heat until Kalisto ran in for the save.

Kalisto got Ziggler down and went for Salida Del Sol, but Ziggler reversed it by placing Kalisto over the top rope and hit him with a chair before turning his attention back to Apollo Crews. As much as Dolph is trying, he isn’t getting the heat he really deserves for such dastardly actions. This writer theorizes that Dolph needs to pick bigger targets.

When we got back from the break, Dolph tells Daniel Bryan that he could beat both Crews and Kalisto at the same time, it’s just that beating them with a chair is more fun. Then Daniel Bryan books Ziggler against Crews and Kalisto in a 2 on 1 handicapped match at Elimination Chamber. Hmm…

Dual Contract Signing: Alexa Bliss looks great with that title, and Becky Lynch is so much more over than Naomi in spite of her awesome entrance. Mickie James was there too, and time has been very good to her.

James said that she is a 6-time Women’s Champion, even though she’s actually a 5-time women’s champion and a 1-time Divas Champion. But semantics aside, Mickie James is still the most decorated woman on Smackdown Live right now by a long-shot.

Becky Lynch said that when things got too bad for Mickie James so many years ago before her first exit from WWE, that she walked away. But rumor and innuendo actually state that it had something more to do with the fact that John Cena dumped her and she was pushed out (allegedly).

This segment ended with everyone fighting because that’s how contract signings work in the real world. This writer will never forget the day I took a job writing for Still Real To Us; as soon as I signed the contract, I looked the boss right in the eyes, told him he was about to feel the glow and I kicked him in the head.

12-Man Tag Team Match: Everyone in the tag team turmoil match was working this one. The crowd chanted “We want Rhyno” very loudly. It was great to hear how over the Man Beast still is, the ECWoOriginal hasn’t lost a step throughout the years (although he did recently lose an election).

The Usos really aren’t working well as a heel team. When they first turned, they had the promise to be as big as they were as faces. But, it turned out that creative didn’t have the stories in place for them to take on as bad guys that they might have imagined.

The heel team fought amongst themselves during this match, and Rhyno got the hot tag. He immediately started cleaning house, hit a spinebuster for a two-count, then a melee broke out. Superkicks were thrown by the Usos and American Alpha performed stereo “Alphaplexes” on the Vaudevillians.

Rhyno was left in the ring alone with one of the Ascension, and he gored him to next week. Somehow Victor hit Rhyno with a finisher and got the win for the bad guy team.

Randy Orton vs John Cena (Because WWE Reads Fan Letters): They really hyped this match like it was never going to happen again, however, WWE fans realize that even “once in a lifetime” happens at least twice. Cena was introduced first because he’s the champion, and that’s how that works, right? Bray Wyatt made his first appearance of the night as he led Orton to the ring during their awesome combo entrance.

As fun as it might be to rip on Cena vs. Orton, these two are great together. They came out of the same OVW class and know each other very well. They sell each other’s moves and have both evolved into great sports entertainers that can really go the distance.

Cena went for a 5-knuckle shuffle, but Orton kicked him in the head. Don’t you just hate it when someone interrupts you when you’re trying to do a 5-knuckle shuffle? Orton ended up getting dumped over the top rope and Cena hit Orton’s head off the steel steps, then he got him up in a fireman’s carry and walked over to the announce table. Orton got down before an AA could be performed and he slammed John into the announce table, that didn’t break. They never seem to break anymore like they did in the “good ole days.”

Orton kicked out at two after an Attitude Adjustment and Cena scaled the top turnbuckle when he was stopped by Randy. The Viper hit Cena with a DDT off the top rope but didn’t go for the pin. He instead slunked around the ring and psyched himself up for the RKO.

Orton hit the RKO, but John kicked out at two. Bray Wyatt was livid at ringside. Cena went for another AA, but he ended up taking out the ref with Orton’s legs, he got Randy in the STF and Orton tapped– but there was no referee. Bray then got in the ring and the two gave Cena a Wyatt Family beat-down until John clotheslined Orto but Bray got a Sister Abigail off on Johnny Boy.

Luke Harper ran down to the ring to face off against Wyatt. Harper hit Bray with the discus clothesline, Randy tried to hit Harper with an RKO, but Cena turned him around and popped off an AA for the win.

In the end, Cena must pose.