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WWE Smackdown results: Feb. 2, 2016

Results and analysis from the show set to air on the USA Network on Feb. 4.

Reigns and Ambrose were in action in the main event

Tonight’s show is live from Memphis, Tennessee, and the first match kicks off right out of the gate.

Roman Reigns def. Rusev w/ Lana (Disqualification)

The DQ comes when Alberto Del Rio interferes with the match. Dean Ambrose makes the save, but the League of Nations gets the advantage until Reigns brings in a steel chair.

This is one of those truly Smackdown-esque moments where the match doesn’t make sense as a show-opener until it’s obvious that it was just to set up a bigger main event.

Kalisto def. Kevin Owens (non-title match)

Dolph Ziggler is out on commentary for a matchup we haven’t seen much before, and he ends up assisting the United States champion to the victory. Owens beats down the faces after the match.

It’s interesting that Owens has taken losses in back-to-back shows. Along with Reigns, he’s been one of the few superstars to have been booked well above the .500 mark in terms of win-loss record, so it’s hard to say what direction the WWE is taking him for the future.

Next up, The Miz cuts a promo on AJ Styles as the two will face off later. 

Ryback def. Erick Rowan

Few performers take the pin more regularly than Rowan, which is somewhat odd considering how strongly the Wyatt Family has been booked as a unit. As for Ryback, he’s shown some new offense in house shows lately, which is refreshing.

Renee Young has the next segment – an interview with Becky Lynch backstage. Sasha Banks breaks in on the segment after the two stood tall together against Banks’ former Team BAD mates.

This change in the Divas’ booking is definitely a positive, as the varying levels of heel and face characters will allow for more interesting interactions and more match options. Honestly, the men’s division could benefit from a similar philosophy.

AJ Styles def. The Miz

This was a solid match, with Styles taking down The Miz with a Calf Killer submission hold. This is the second week in a row that Styles has debuted a well-known finishing maneuver on Smackdown, which is an interesting choice but could pay dividends if done consistently enough to draw in viewers.

Chris Jericho is at ringside for this match and cuts a promo afterward, requesting a rematch from Styles’ debut victory on the Raw after the Royal Rumble. Styles agrees, and the match is set for next week.

There was a time about a decade ago when pairing with Jericho would have been a real honor for an incoming star like AJ Styles, but that time has passed. Quite simply put, victories over Jericho won’t mean as much in the eyes of a lot of WWE fans.

Styles’ work in other promotions may be recognized by a chunk of the fanbase, but many may need to see him go to work against the top stars of today’s WWE roster. 

Brock Lesnar will also be making an appearance next week on Smackdown.

JoJo gives us a backstage promo with Roman Reigns, who is preparing for a main-event match alongside Dean Ambrose against the League of Nations. The roster may be thin, but this feud between the former Shield members and the League is getting drawn way out by the decision to put the world title on Triple H.

These guys really have nothing else to do for now.

New Day comes out to cut a promo, and they’re interrupted by the Social Outcasts in a segment that could be worth watching Smackdown for. These two groups have chemistry and are entertaining on their own, so to bring them together is a nice touch.

New Day def. Social Outcasts

Interestingly enough, New Day gets the victory with feet on the ropes during the pin.

While we didn’t need that maneuver to establish New Day as heels – they were already clearly on that side of things – this would seemingly plant the Social Outcasts on the face side. That works against some of their mic work recently, but it could just be a temporary shift.

Either way, it’s good to have more talent in the tag division, and the Social Outcasts have made the most of a possibly poor gimmick.

Charlotte def. Alicia Fox w/ Brie Bella (non-title match)

The Divas Champion makes the third wheel of Team Bella tap using her Figure Eight finisher. After the WWE clearly teased a Sasha Banks-Charlotte feud a week ago, the writing seems to be pointing towards a Brie-Charlotte match.

Perhaps that’s just for Fastlane, and Banks vs. Charlotte will get its rightful place at Wrestlemania, maybe with Becky included.

Dean Ambrose/Roman Reigns def. Alberto Del Rio/Rusev

Really, would you expect this to go any other way? Reigns hit the spear for the win for a team that just flat never seems to lose anymore unless extreme circumstances or Braun Strowman are involved.

Hopefully, we’re not going to get more of this, “Can they work together?” angle unless an actual turn is coming at Fastlane. Reigns and Ambrose have fought before, twice in 2015 with the World Heavyweight Championship on the line, and they’ve remained friends in the storyline. 

Unless something different is coming, there’s no reason to pretend it could be.

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