Smackdown – March 6, 2018

Smackdown
Date: March 6, 2018
Location: Resch Center, Green Bay, Wisconsin
Commentators: Corey Graves, Byron Saxton, Tom Phillips

It’s the go home show for Fastlane and that means we can finally move towards Wrestlemania. However, we still have quite a big of stuff to get through first and that means a lot of work tonight. There’s a good chance John Cena will be in town but the rest of the matches need some attention too. Let’s get to it.

Charlotte and Ruby Riott are brought out for an opening chat. Ruby cuts Dasha Fuentes off and says this started on November 14, 2017 when Charlotte won the Smackdown Women’s Title. Charlotte is the perfect person to be the top star of the women’s division but then Ruby saw the myth fall apart. It was a week later that Ruby started the Riott Squad with the sole purpose of destroying Charlotte’s myth.

Charlotte talks about how just being good isn’t enough because she has to transcend everything. That’s what she’s done and now she’s become the best ever. Ruby says that’s all on the line Sunday and when Charlotte loses, she’ll be just another bleach blonde with a famous last name. The Squad gets in the ring but here’s Bobby Roode to scare them off and to do commentary on the next match. Good promo here, but it should have been for a Wrestlemania match instead of a Fastlane match.

Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal

Roode is on commentary. Mahal’s bio talks about his hometown and the languages he speaks. Even WWE wants you to forget he was World Champion. Orton elbows him in the face to start but it’s too early for the RKO. Instead Mahal bails to the floor as we take a break. Back with Mahal hitting a jumping knee to the face and grabbing a chinlock.

Orton fights up and hits the powerslam but Mahal bails to the floor to avoid the hanging DDT. Randy drops the remaining Singh Brother onto the announcers’ table for old times’ sake before throwing Mahal into Roode. Back in and Orton loads up the RKO, only to have Roode get on the apron. Another knee sends Orton into Roode and the Khallas gives Jinder the pin at 10:02.

Rating: D+. Egads I’m having flashbacks to last year. I’m sure this is going to set up a US Title shot for Mahal either on Sunday or down the line and it’s really not much better than the World Title push. Mahal continues to be the least interesting in-ring performer with a push that I’ve seen in a very long time. There’s just nothing there and it’s not getting any better.

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are in the back with Kevin mentioning Sami offering to lay down for him. Sami sticks with what he said and says Owens is just a single win away from going to Wrestlemania. Owens hugs him and smiles.

Baron Corbin is ready to make John Cena’s Wrestlemania (and yes the sign pops up on the screen when he says it) dream a nightmare.

Video on the Usos vs. New Day feud.

Shinsuke Nakamura is ready to go to Wrestlemania when Rusev Day comes in. Rusev is upset that Nakamura has damaged Aiden English and challenges him to a match at Fastlane to make up for it. Nakamura accepts and promises that Sunday will be Nakamura Day. Rusev: “You can’t just make up your own holiday.” I’ll take what I can get.

Last week, Becky Lynch said she could make Carmella tap out.

Becky Lynch vs. Carmella

Carmella sends her into the corner to start and rubs Becky’s face into the mat. An upside down triangle choke keeps Becky in trouble and Carmella shouts about being Ms. Money in the Bank. Becky is sent into the barricade and a knee to the face gets two. A chinlock doesn’t last very long as Becky fights up and grabs the Bexploder. The Disarm-Her makes Carmella tap at 5:17.

Rating: C-. Your likely future Women’s Champion ladies and gentlemen. That’s how Money in the Bank works: lose all the time (or at least when you get on TV) and then win the title because HAHA CONTRACTS AND SUCH! Carmella is getting better but I’d really rather have her lose the cash-in. It’s just not there yet, especially when the big names are around on Smackdown.

Naomi is glad for Becky to win when Natalya comes in for one of those completely unnatural exchanges where no one talks like this. Another match is set for Sunday with Natalya/Carmella vs. Naomi/Becky.

Saudi Arabia Rumble announcement.

Fastlane rundown.

Here’s AJ Styles for a chat before his match. He’s the WWE Champion but on Sunday he doesn’t have to get pinned to lose his title. It’s no surprise that the odds are stacked against him again but he’s not going to say it’s not fair. Styles lost to John Cena last week so here’s a clip from last night with Cena saying the seventeenth title is coming on Sunday. Back in the arena, AJ says he doesn’t want a rematch at Wrestlemania and that’s not what the fans want either. AJ wants to face the best at Wrestlemania and that means Shinsuke Nakamura.

Cue Dolph Ziggler, who faces AJ tonight, to say AJ used to be cool. It took AJ ten years to get to the house that Ziggler built. Ziggler says AJ is losing on Sunday because he doesn’t have his head on straight. AJ is doing this for the people and they’ll stab him in the back. Over the years, Ziggler has faced one road block after another but he’s overcome all of them (oh come on) and eventually because World Heavyweight Champion. Somehow he’s never had a singles match at Wrestlemania so AJ can shove his Wrestlemania dream match. Ziggler is already a heel again. That’s some Big Show turning speed.

AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler

Non-title. Ziggler bails from a Clash attempt in the first five seconds and they start all over again. AJ actually wins an amateur exchange but gets caught with a dropkick to the face. The chinlock slows AJ down for a bit, only to have him come right back up with a dropkick of his own. A slingshot forearm to the floor drops Ziggler again and we take a break. Back with Ziggler in control and backdropping AJ for two.

AJ’s basement forearm gets two but Ziggler is right back with a Fameasser for the same. They head to the apron with AJ being sent hard into the post as we take another break. Back again with Ziggler pulling AJ off the top but not being able to hit his own Styles Clash. Instead AJ tries a superkick but gets countered into a not great Zig Zag for another near fall. Cue Sami and Kevin for the no contest at 16:38.

Rating: B-. Ziggler’s promo issues aside, this wasn’t too bad, especially with the right ending. They need to keep Ziggler strong and having AJ lose twice in a row was unacceptable. If nothing else though, I’m not sure why Sami and Kevin wouldn’t want these two to beat each other up even more. Good match with time at least though and that helps.

Post match here’s Shane McMahon to make a match, but since it wouldn’t be fair to have a regular match, let’s make it a five way with everyone in the ring plus this man.

AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler vs. Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn vs. Baron Corbin

Non-title again. So it’s the pay per view match we were set to have until a week ago. Joined in progress with Sami sending AJ into the barricade until Baron starts beating everyone up. Corbin gets sent outside and Owens backsplashes Ziggler for two while Sami stands by and watches.

Owens and Sami clear the ring and hug until Owens has to go kick Corbin in the face. AJ comes back in and drops Owens before enziguring Sami down to take us to a break. Back with Sami getting the worst of a Tower of Doom until Corbin gets up for the running clotheslines. Sami gives Ziggler the Blue Thunder Bomb for two with AJ making the save.

Kevin’s Cannonball crushes Ziggler and the Vader Bomb elbow gets two more on Dolph. A superkick drops Sami for two with AJ making the save, only to get punched out of the air by Corbin. Ziggler takes a chokebreaker and Owens charges into Deep Six for two with AJ making another save. The moonsault into the reverse DDT drops Zayn but AJ and Ziggler are sent outside. Sami hits a quick Helluva Kick to put Owens away at 15:03.

Rating: C+. There’s an episode of the Flintstones where Barney and Fred stumble onto a TV set. The director doesn’t have enough good guys to fight the bad guys. He says what difference does the story make as long as there’s a fight. That’s what this kind of match makes me think of: completely random action with maybe a tiny bit of storytelling thrown in. This might benefit Sami a bit but having a five way match to set up a six way seems rather questionable.

Post match Sami is asked why and says that’s a vague question. Sami says he’s the best WWE has to offer and is the most underlooked (Is that a word?) performer on the roster. Tonight was about proving that he’s the best and….we’re cut off in what seemed like mid-promo to end the show. I guess they underlooked the rest of it.

Overall Rating: C. The last half hour gave the show a push in the direction they wanted to go but that’s not exactly interesting stuff. All I want to do right now is get Fastlane out of the way so we can move on to Wrestlemania. This show worked as a go home show for Fastlane but Fastlane is much more of a nuisance than something I want to see. Get us on to Wrestlemania already as we’re going to have four weeks to set up the biggest show of the year. But at least get the March pay per view out of the way.

Results

Jinder Mahal b. Randy Orton – Khallas

Becky Lynch b. Carmella – Disarm-Her

AJ Styles vs. Dolph Ziggler went to a no contest when Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn interfered

Sami Zayn b. AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler – Helluva Kick to Owens

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