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Smackdown – March 5, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
March 5, 2015
Location:
Verizon Center, Washington DC
Commentators:
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
With
just a few weeks to go before Wrestlemania, one of the main stories
has been the Intercontinental Title scene. We’re definitely getting
the big ladder match, but it’s not entirely clear who is going to be
in it. It’s also not clear who is going to hand over the title belt
to have it hung above the ring as everyone keeps stealing the thing.
Let’s get to it.

Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Dolph Ziggler with the Intercontinental Title. He says he never got
a rematch for the title against Bad News Barrett because he got fired
by the Authority. This is the fifth month that storyline has now
been mentioned in. Even Vince Russo didn’t let stories go that long.
Dolph officially enters the ladder match, but thinks there’s still
something missing. Last year, someone did everything he could and
never stopped fighting to become champion. The fans chant YES and
Dolph agrees, but he gets Bad News Barrett instead.
Barrett
says Ziggler has something he wants. Dolph: “Looks? Charisma? A
great Twitter account?” Bad News gets in the ring but Luke Harper
sneaks in and decks Ziggler. The champ goes for his belt but Luke
steps on it. Ziggler gets back up and everyone brawls so here’s Dean
Ambrose to get in on the fighting. The champ is knocked to the floor
because he’s just another guy in this story. Everyone brawls on the
floor again so R-Truth sneaks down in spy mode, crawling on the mat
and getting the belt before hiding under the ring.
Truth
is in the back (VERY quickly too) and says he got the title in
advance. “It’s like when I eat when I’m not hungry, so when I get
hungry I don’t have to eat.” He tries to give the belt to Renee
Young but she politely declines. “Where’s Gene Ambrose?” As
usual, Renee Young is incredibly cute. I’m convinced she could be
bald and still be adorable.
Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd vs. Los Matadores
Non-title.
Diego and Kidd start things off but both guys tag out less than
thirty seconds in. Fernando hurricanranas Cesaro down and Diego does
the same with a headscissors, only to get caught in a tilt-a-whirl
backbreaker. A double stomp gets two for Cesaro and we hit the
chinlock. Everything breaks down and Cesar goes after Torito, who
kicks him in the leg. That’s not a DQ for some reason but Natalya
trips him up, allowing the Cesaro Swing into a dropkick from Kidd to
get the pin on Fernando at 2:25. This was a good squash for the
champs that we haven’t seen before.
Kane
and Big Show both say they’ll win the battle royal.
We
recap the main event from Monday with Reigns getting pinned by
Rollins but cleaning house to end the show. Yeah, the dive over the
top and big spear were cool, but it’s like a cool fireworks display
after your home team loses a ball game. It’s a fun visual, but your
heart isn’t in it.
Ryback
vs. Kane
Big
Show stares at the Andre trophy at ringside. Kane stomps him down in
the corner but runs into some spinebusters. Big Show offers a
distraction to no avail as the Meat Hook ends Kane at 2:07. Now why
did it take us this many months to get here?
Kane
makes Big Show vs. Ryback for right now.
Big
Show vs. Ryback
This
is joined in progress after a break with Big Show getting in the ring
and pounding Ryback into the corner. A clothesline puts the smaller
bald power monster down and Show follows it with a slam. Ryback
fires some shoulders in the corner but dives into a chokeslam
attempt. The KO Punch misses and Ryback hits an awkward looking
spinebuster. Kane gets dragged in for offering a distraction and
takes a second Meat Hook, allowing Big Show to KO Ryback at 2:58.
Dang that was close. We almost saw someone get one over on the Big
Balds and I just wouldn’t want to live in that world. What was this
supposed to prove anyway?
We
look at Bray Wyatt lighting the casket on fire on Raw.
Bray
Wyatt wants an answer from Undertaker. He has something Undertaker
can relate to, and he’ll unleash its spirit this Monday. Not even
Undertaker can outrun his own fate. The camera pans down and shows
the urn.
Sheamus
return video.
Video
on the Daily Show segment with Jon Stewart from Raw. That might be
the best celebrity appearance ever. If not then it’s WAY up there.
Brie
Bella vs. AJ Lee
I’m
not a fan of how Eden says “this is a Deeeeevas match”. This is
fallout from AJ returning to help Paige on Monday. Nikki brings up
the “Give Divas A Chance” line but says that doesn’t apply to AJ.
The Bellas have been giving the Divas a chance since AJ has been
gone and no one has lived up to their standard. It’s why they’re the
stars of Total Divas and they don’t care who comes at them.
The
match starts after a break with Paige now at ringside to balance
things out. AJ cranks on an armbar and elbows Brie in the face. A
high cross body gets two on Brie but she comes back with a nice
middle rope dropkick for two of her own. Back up and AJ has to stop
so Brie can clothesline her before we hit a chinlock.
That
goes nowhere so Brie dropkicks her down again, followed by a
clothesline for some two counts. A Hennig necksnap gets an even
closer two as the fans don’t seem all that interested. We hit
another chinlock before the running knee to the chest staggers AJ
again. Brie immediately goes to the corner but misses another middle
rope dropkick. Back up and AJ hammers away with kicks to the ribs to
send Brie out to the floor. We get a big staredown outside before
the Black Widow makes Brie tap at 7:42.
Rating:
C. This was better than your
usual Divas matches but a lot of that is due to it actually getting
some time. Brie seemed to almost run out of offense about halfway
through though. The Bellas are decent enough as the better than you
heels and I can live with them far more when they’re not being
treated like all time greats who just happen to be heels now. And
when they’re not dominating the show. That really drove me insane.
Daniel
Bryan thinks the Intercontinental Title picture is very interesting
right now and can’t wait to see who comes out with the belt.
I
really can’t stand the theme song for this year’s Wrestlemania and I
keep forgetting that’s what the song is for when it starts up.
New
Day vs. Miz/Damien Mizdow
Woods
is the odd man out this week. Before
the match we get a look at the commercial from Monday with Miz being
embarrassed. Miz slapped
Mizdow as a result but we still didn’t get the big face turn. Kofi
and Miz get things going by trading armdrags until Miz runs him over
for two. Some kicks give
Kofi a breather and Mizdow tags himself in and cleans house.
Cesaro/Kidd/Natalya are watching in the back as Mizdow’s figure four
attempt is broken up. Miz tags himself in and orders Mizdow to the
floor but Mizdow gets in his face. During
the argument, Big E. gets the tag and it’s the Midnight Hour for the
pin at 3:15.
Rating:
D. This was the same thing
they’ve done multiple times now but at least it was Miz taking the
pin instead of Mizdow. I really wouldn’t mind if Woods was left
outside as a permanent manager as he doesn’t add much to the team.
The match wasn’t very good though and it just reenforced the same
things we’ve established for weeks now. In other words, it’s a
Smackdown match.
We
look back at Heyman’s speech from Raw.
Brock
Lesnar video.
Reigns
says Heyman is known for running his mouth, but it’s true that Lesnar
is going to hurt him at Wrestlemania. Everyone that gets in the ring
with Lesnar gets hurt and he’ll be no different. The difference is
Reigns will get up, lock his fist and hit a Superman Punch. Then
he’ll spear Lesnar in half to win the WWE World Championship, and
then Heyman and Lesnar will believe that. As usual, this was far
better because they kept it short and simple.
Jack
Swagger vs. Rusev
Non-title
and Swagger is thrown to the floor a second after the bell. Back in
and Swagger throws Rusev to the floor as we take a break. Back with
Rusev getting two off a dropkick and we hit the chinlock. Swagger
fights up and tries the Vader Bob but has to settle for the Patriot
Lock, sending Rusev to the ropes. Back up and Rusev kicks him in the
face and Accolades him for the submission at 7:50.
Rating:
D. Egads find someone new for
Rusev to beat up. This didn’t prove anything and was the exact same
match these two have had roughly 19 times. Yeah we get it: Rusev is
big and strong and can beat up Jack Swagger. We’ve known that for
almost eight months now. FIND SOMEONE NEW.
Rusev
poses but Curtis Axel pops up on screen and says don’t change the
channel BROTHER. He’s often imitated but never duplicated DUDE.
This Monday he’s going to put Rusev down 1-2-3 and then coming for
the US Title at Wrestlemania. Whatcha gonna do when Axelmania runs
wild on YOU??? If Buddy Landel can get over by being Ric Flair,
Curtis Axel can get over by being Hulk Hogan.
Cameron
thinks it’s time someone gives her a chance. Summer Rae comes up and
says she should be getting the chance. Eva Marie thinks the two of
them have no chance. This is what I was worried about when this
thing started up. There are far more talented girls to give this
spot to, but instead it’s going to the girls on the reality show.
Bad
News Barrett/Luke Harper vs. Dolph Ziggler/Dean Ambrose
Truth
is on commentary and doesn’t quite get the rules of the ladder match.
He also doesn’t like how heights look when you look down at them.
Harper Gator Rolls Ziggler to start but has to break up a sunset flip
attempt. The running DDT is easily countered and R-Truth thinks he’s
talking to Byron Jackson. A double tag brings in Ambrose to stomp on
Barrett in the corner before the standing top rope elbow drop gets
two. Ziggler and Ambrose clear the ring but nearly come to blows as
we take a break.
Back
with Barrett elbowing Dean in the face and handing it off to Harper
for an elbow of his own. We hit the chinlock from Harper, who Truth
accuses of not buying his shirt. Barrett comes back in and gets
caught in a tornado DDT. Truth wants the match turned into a
stepladder match and claims ladder discrimination.
The
hot tag brings in Ziggler to speed things up but the big elbow drop
gets two on Harper. Now the running DDT connects but still only gets
two. A big side slam gets the same for Harper but Barrett and
Ambrose come in to fight right next to them. Those two head back to
the floor and Ziggler superkicks Harper, setting up the Zig Zag for
the pin at 10:03.
Rating:
C-. Totally standard midcard
tag match here but it’s very nice to see that headlining the show
instead of more dull stuff. It also helps that this is a logical
part of the storyline and fits what they’ve been doing so far. Truth
continues to be funny on commentary with a bunch of “what did he
just say” lines. Oh and Barrett didn’t get pinned! Life is good.
Post
match Barrett goes for the belt but Ambrose dives on him. Truth
kicks Harper low but Daniel Bryan shows up to look at Truth holding
the title. Truth hands him the belt and starts a YES chant. Bryan
poses with the title but Stardust jumps Bryan and grabs the belt to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C. The show went by
fast enough and it’s really nice to have stuff away from the main
event feud for a bit. It’s also nice to not have the Authority
making my blood pressure go through the roof but that’s a different
story. This still doesn’t feel like a major show but I like the
Intercontinental Title picture when it’s not as all over the place
and the battle royal is starting to look a lot better. This was a
nice way to cool things down and bring them back to normal after a
bad Raw, but it’s still not a great show.
Results
Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd b. Los Matadores – Cesaro Swing into a dropkick from Kidd
Ryback
b. Kane – Meat Hook
Big
Show b. Ryback – KO Punch
AJ
Lee b. Brie Bella – Black Widow
New
Day b. Miz/Damien Mizdow – Midnight Hour to Miz
Rusev
b. Jack Swagger – Accolade
Dolph
Ziggler/Dean Ambrose b. Bad News Barrett/Luke Harper – Zig Zag to
Harper
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