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WWE Smackdown results: 18 Feb, 2016

Results and analysis for the WWE Smackdown show set to air Thursday on the USA Network.

WWE Smackdown results
The Beast and the Game had a confrontation to end the show

This week’s show is being called by Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton and Michael Cole with no Mauro Ranallo. The popular WWE newcomer has been a hit, and he had indicated via Twitter that he planned to be a part of the show, even noting he was excited to work the planned main event of Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. the Dudley Boyz.

Perhaps WWE or Ranallo will give some indication soon as to why he was absent from the event.

Here are the WWE Smackdown results for this week:

Sheamus/Rusev/Alberto Del Rio def. Lucha Dragons/Dolph Ziggler

New Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens was on commentary ahead of his matchup with Ziggler on Sunday at Fastlane. KO distracts Ziggler to lead to the pin here.

The WWE has done a good job, obviously, of keeping Kalisto relevant in Sin Cara’s absence, but it’s possible that the United States Champion will drop his belt Sunday against Del Rio so the high-flying duo can resume its tag-team pursuits. He’s really grabbed the proverbial brass ring as a singles competitor, so his future should be bright regardless.

The matchup between KO and Ziggler for Sunday should be a technically impressive one, but the result seems to be telegraphed as Owens seems more likely to carry the belt into Wrestlemania at this point.

Sasha Banks def. Tamina Snuka

Banks picks up the submission victory with her signature Banks Statement. Afterward, Tamina and Naomi beat down Banks, but Becky Lynch runs in for the save.

The Divas division has needed to get to a point where it has more than one feud going, and this has fit the bill. It’s clearly a one-month feud with little lasting ramifications beyond setting up bigger stakes between Banks and Lynch, but all four women have carried the load to make it compelling.

Really, it’s a shame Naomi and Tamina will likely take a back seat until after Wrestlemania unless the creative team has a trick up its sleeve.

Chris Jericho def. The Miz

Jericho gets The Miz to tap out to the Walls of Jericho in a battle of decorated former champions. AJ Styles comes out after the finish, and Jericho accepts his challenge for Fastlane.

The reason for Miz to have a role in this feud has been interesting. He’s clearly only there to allow the other two men to pick up wins while developing their own story, but he’s done so in a high-quality way. Meanwhile, Styles and Jericho have done a good job of making their storyline matter, but Styles needs to be moved to younger, more relevant talent in the near future.

Charlotte def. Natalya (non-title match)

For a third straight submission finish on this show, the Divas champion locks in the Figure Eight for the victory. That brings out Brie Bella for a quick brawl after the match.

Brie getting a title shot at Fastlane makes very little sense. She has been mostly a jobber, both in singles and tag competition alongside Alicia Fox, while several other Divas have been booked much more strongly and would seem like more obvious candidates for the match.

Perhaps this is a final big match before a pending retirement, but that doesn’t even explain it unless the plan is for Brie to win Sunday, which is an unlikely outcome. Charlotte has continued her solid heel work, and hopefully, her Wrestlemania feud is a better one.

Roman Reigns/Dean Ambrose def. Dudley Boyz (Disqualification)

Brock Lesnar, accompanied by Paul Heyman, attacked Ambrose to lead to the DQ. Lesnar goes on to German Suplex both Ambrose and Reigns, who attempts to fire back with a spear that hits Ambrose instead.

The Lunatic Fringe responds with an attempted Dirty Deeds on Reigns, who counters to a Samoan Drop. Lesnar closes out the melee with an F5 to Reigns. Then Triple H comes out for a staredown with Lesnar to finish the show.

It’s hard to get a bead on exactly what to expect in Sunday’s Triple Threat between Lesnar, Reigns, and Ambrose with a Wrestlemania match for Triple H’s World Heavyweight Championship on the line. Obviously, the WWE isn’t shy about putting Brock Lesnar in the main event matches, but he doesn’t seem like the logical choice since he wouldn’t be expected to re-appear much until just before Summerslam.

When this match was originally set, Reigns seemed like the clear choice, but as Triple H has faded from televised programming, Reigns’ role in the match has been downplayed.  Ambrose, meanwhile, is becoming a far better option. He’s obviously the fan favorite, and he’d be the biggest guaranteed pop as a winner at Fastlane.

Until Monday’s Fatal Five-way, Ambrose’s Intercontinental Title made his winning seem less likely, but now that won’t be a concern. Plus, Ambrose’s interactions with Lesnar and Heyman have been the feature of this feud for the last couple weeks, so the booking seemingly points to Ambrose.

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