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WWE Smackdown!- March 12, 2015

by Scrooge McSuck

- Taped on March 10th, 2015, from Detroit, MI with Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Byron Saxton calling the action, unless otherwise noted.

- Daniel Bryan comes out to address the crowd… and that damn WrestleMania sign. He won’t be able to repeat his WrestleMania Moment from last year, but when one door closes, another opens… and so he has to force-feed us about how important the Intercontinental Championship is, and how it can be more exciting than the World Heavyweight Championship Match. It’s also the “only” Championship he’s never won (I’ll take him for his word on this). Bad News Barrett, the winless Champion, interrupts and promises to leave WrestleMania as the Champion. This continues, with Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Dean Ambrose, Stardust and R-Truth (in possession of the belt) all declaring their intentions. Stardust is about as over as the New Day. What the heck happened to Goldust? I guess that angle is a dead issues. The end result: A 6-Man Tag Team Main Event, with everyone but R-Truth involved.

The Uso’s (w/ Naomi) and the New Day (w/ Big E.) vs. Cesaro, Tyson Kidd (w/ Natalya), and Los Matadores (w/ El Torito):

WWE appears to be going with the idea of (once again) cramming as many people as possible into a Championship Match, and the heel side is really weak on tag teams. So weak THE MATADORES are dusted off and given a half-hearted heel push. Raw featured a bunch of matches with questionable results, so let us ignore all of them and focus on the here and now. Kofi and Diego start. Woods comes off the second rope with a forearm. Whip to the ropes and Woods with a discuss elbow for two. Fernando in with a dropkick. Jimmy Uso tags himself in and unloads with chops. Diego with a distraction, allowing Fernando to crotch Jimmy across the top turnbuckle. We return from commercial, with the Matadores working over Jimmy. Jimmy fights out of a chinlock and connects with a roundhouse kick. Hot tag to Jey, and he goes to work on Tyson Kidd. Samoan drop connects, followed by the butt run to the face. Kofi tags himself in and comes off the top with a body press for two. Uso Crazy on Cesaro and Diego. Woods with a somersault plancha on top of Uso! Kofi cradles Kidd for two. Cesaro with an uppercut from the floor. Fernando tags himself in and gets nailed with Trouble in Paradise. Diego plays switch-a-roo, hits Kofi with the Back Stabber, and pulls the tights just in case for three at 9:03. ** Hot sequence to save an otherwise pedestrian match. I guess pulling the tights was their way of telling the fans “we ARE heels, so yes, BOO us.

- We get an AWFUL promo from “Sting.” I say “Sting” because we are supposed to believe it’s really Sting talking, but it’s done with a voice distortion, and when the distortion breaks, the “normal” voice still doesn’t sound like Sting. They really have so little confidence in him that they can’t get him to record one promo? The scripted promo isn’t awful in what is spoken, but who it’s coming from, and the parlor tricks senselessly used.

- This last Monday Night on Raw, John Cena found a way to get his match with Rusev at WrestleMania. He beat the crap out of him, locked him in the STF until he passed out, woke him up, and reapplied the hold until Lana gave in to his demands. This just made Rusev even more mad. On a similar topic, way to go WWE in destroying AxelMania, which was gaining traction with live crowds, believe it or not.

Ryback vs. The Miz:

Oh, thank goodness… No Big Show. I half-expected to see Kane and Rowan, too. The Miz with a pre-match interview, with Mizdow mocking him behind his back. Miz tells Mizdow to hang in the back, because he doesn’t need him. Lockup, and Ryback puts Miz on the top turnbuckle, just because, then takes Miz down with the Davey Boy Suplex. Miz recovers, hanging Ryback across the top rope. Ryback meets post on a charge attempt. Miz puts the boots to Ryback and splashes down across the back for two. Ryback blocks another boot and connects with a spinebuster. Meat-Hook Clothesline and Shell-Shock finishes at 3:00. ¾* Just a quickie to remind us that Ryback, Miz, and Mizdow are in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal.

- Roman Reigns comes out to try and push his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31. If Paul Heyman can’t do it, and damn it he’s trying his best, then nobody can do it. I don’t know what the hell Reigns’ motivation is supposed to be. Suddenly, the World’s Strongest Caveman, Marble Henry, shows up from out of nowhere, having been on TV since Survivor Series. Henry pushes his buttons, and eats a Superman Punch for his troubles. Then a spear through the security barrier, a spot which has grown more and more over-done every week it’s done.

- The Undertaker has accepted Wyatt’s challenge. Fantasy booking idea: Wyatt goes over, making Undertaker winless at two WrestleManias. He comes back for one final time, WrestleMania 32, with his career on the line… against John Cena. That’s all I’ve got.

A.J. Lee & Paige vs. Cameron & Summer Rae (w/ Eva Marie):

Give Diva’s a Chance! Give WWE another excuse to put Eva Marie on TV! Paige and Cameron start. Even with sweetened audio, the crowd is dead. A.J. with an avalanche and neck breaker. Summer Rae with a distraction, allowing Cameron to attack from behind. Summer Rae with a chinlock. She can’t possibly do worse work than on Raw earlier in the week. Michael Cole dares say the Bella’s have been the face of the division for “8 years”… can we just ignore that instead of doing on a 5-paragraph rant. Paige with the hot tag, and the PTO forces her to tap out for the 93rd time in the last year at 2:25. Nothing match.

- Mark Henry is recovering backstage and thinks Roman Reigns might be able to beat Brock Lesnar.

- Randy Orton, who returned triumphantly as a face at Fast Lane, finally turned face this week on Monday Night Raw, completely destroying Seth Rollins.

Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper, Stardust:

This is YOUR TV Main Event… should be decent. As mentioned in the opening segment, all these men, as well as R-Truth, will be in the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at WrestleMania 31. Ambrose with a headlock on Barrett, followed by shoulder tackles and a twisting elbow. Bryan with a double axehandle to the arm of Stardust, then applies a modified surfboard. Ambrose, in the meantime, is taunting him with a “Cody” catcall. Bryan takes Barrett down with a drop toe hold and unloads with uppercuts. Bryan sends Stardust to the corner and follows in with a running dropkick. He sets him up across the top turnbuckle and takes him down with a hurricanrana. Bryan sets up for the running Knee, but Stardust bails as we take a commercial break.

We return, with Harper trapping Bryan in a Gator-Roll. During the commercial break, something happened to turn the tide. Barrett tags in and pounds away across the back, then lands a punt to the midsection. Bryan with a roll up from out of nowhere on Harper, followed by a roundhouse kick. Hot tag to Ambrose, who runs through Stardust. Running bulldog from out of the corner, followed by an atomic face-buster for two. Harper pulls Ambrose to the floor, only to be met with a clothesline. Stardust misses a charge, and Ambrose comes off the top with his signature elbow drop dive onto both of them. Back in the ring, the springboard clothesline connects. Barrett prevents Dirty Deeds, opening the door for Harper to nail him with a running boot.

We return from our final break, with Barrett putting the boots to Ambrose. Ambrose fights out of a chinlock, but runs into another big boot. Stardust picks up where Barrett left off while the crowd chants for Ziggler. Stardust sets up for a super-plex, but Ambrose counters and comes off the top with a missile dropkick. Ziggler with the hot tag, hitting Harper with a diving clothesline and neck breaker. Jumping elbow drop gets two. Fame-Asser misses, but he bounces back off the ropes with a dropkick. Fame-Asser connects on attempt #2, but only gets two. Harper with a roll up for two. Ziggler with a super-kick for two! Bryan with a roundhouse kick to Stardust, then back drops Barrett to the floor. Ambrose rejoins the fun, and it’s a three-man suicide dive! Harper interrupts Ziggler’s part and hits him with a Ligerbomb for two! Harper with the Torture Rack, but Ziggler escapes and hits the Zig Zag. Bryan tags in, and the Knee finishes at 17:23. ***1/4 Perfectly acceptable 6-Man Tag that turned into a super-hot final sequence. Post-match, Ambrose, Ziggler, and Bryan seem to have a bit of a problem with each other. Ambrose actually calls Bryan a “turd.” Har-har…

Final Thoughts: Less is more definitely meant something tonight. In recent weeks, Smackdown has been bloated with lots of short matches. Tonight, only four matches featured, with two of them getting significant time. The rest of the card was filled with WrestleMania hype. I wasn’t too into the Reigns/Henry segment, but it was OK for the purpose it served, and the Intercontinental Title situation continues to heat up. We’re still two and a half weeks away from WrestleMania… where will the final roads take us?

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