Smackdown – March 19, 2015

Smackdown
Date:
March 19, 2015
Location:
Sprint Center, Kansas City, Missouri
Commentators:
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler, Byron Saxton
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
With
ten days to go before Wrestlemania, it’s time for the hard sell to
the biggest show of the year. Given the recent trends on Smackdown,
this show is going to be built around the Intercontinental Title
match, which has gone from a huge match to everyone trying to one up
each other. Let’s get to it.

We
open with clips from Brock’s sitdown interview on Raw, talking about
how he likes to hurt people and saying he’ll be WWE Champion if he
stays or not. They better have a plan if they keep the belt on him.
Opening
sequence.
Here’s
Roman Reigns to get things going. Before he can get past “Heyman
and Lesnar think they can intimidate me”, Mark Henry comes out to
interrupt. Henry came out here last week to see what Reigns had, and
that’s what Reigns did. Naturally we have a clip of what happened
because just telling us what happened would be too simple. Instead,
let’s show a minute long video of a beating. Based on that, Henry is
putting all his money on Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania, because Reigns
can and will beat him.
Cue
the Authority with Kane asking when Mark Henry became the World’s
Biggest Self Help Guru. Rollins holds up the briefcase and ominously
says that anything can happen at Wrestlemania. There won’t be any
Randy Orton tonight because the best security team has locked every
door and blocked every entrance. Of course that’s just for Orton’s
protection, because why would Rollins be scared of him? As for
tonight though, Rollins thinks he needs a Wrestlemania tuneup.
Therefore, tonight it’s Reigns/Henry vs. Kane/Rollins. Kane:
“Believe in the Authority.”
Tatsumi
Fujinami is going into the Hall of Fame. I know he’s a legend, but
they’re not exactly knocking this class out of the park outside of
Savage.
Brie
Bella vs. Paige
AJ
and Nikki are on commentary because we need a five man booth. Paige
spears Brie through the ropes to start and pounds her on the
announcers’ table. AJ: “I taught her how to slap.” Back in and
Brie gets two off a middle rope missile dropkick before we hit the
chinlock forty seconds into the match.
A
clothesline gets two and we’re on the second chinlock less than
ninety seconds in. Back up and a double clothesline puts both girls
down before Brie hits the running knee against the ropes. She lays
back on Paige for the cover and gets rolled up for a pin at 2:28.
The match wasn’t two and a half minutes long and it had two
chinlocks. How can this woman be married to Daniel Bryan and not be
better than that by osmosis?
Recap
of Seth vs. Orton on Monday with Sting making the big save. That
really was an awesome moment and the best thing Sting has done since
debuting.
Noble
and Mercury tell security to keep an entrance open. They aren’t
pleased when they’re not called sir.
Gauntlet
Match
The
participants are all of Barrett’s challengers and we start with
Ambrose vs. Stardust. Dean slugs away to start and Stardust bails
out to the floor. The rebound clothesline connects but Stardust gets
two off a Disaster Kick. A release front suplex drops Dean again and
Barrett is watching from the back. Stardust tries a sunset flip but
Dean drops down on him ala British Bulldog vs. Bret for the pin at
2:18.
Stardust,
ever the nice guy, jumps Dean after the match and sends him shoulder
first into the post twice in a row. R-Truth is in third and beats up
Stardust, only to walk into Dirty Deeds for the pin at 3:02 total.
Harper is in fourth with an inset interview talking about how they
took his freedom away. Now he’s using you to set them all free.
He’s been talking to Bray again hasn’t he?
Back
from a break with Dean hammering away in the battle of undershirts
and jeans. Harper goes after the bad arm to take over and we hit the
chinlock. Notice that it’s one instead of two and we’re over five
minutes in. Dean is sent face first into the buckle and gets locked
in a crossface. Back up and Dean sends him to the floor, setting up
the running standing elbow drop.
The
discus lariat is countered into a rollup for two and it’s back to the
crossface. When all else fails, Dean bites the hand to escape and
slugs away. The running dropkick against the ropes and la majistral
get two for Dean but he eats a superkick, only to knock him into the
ropes for the rebound clothesline to drop both guys. Back up and
Dirty Deeds is countered into the discus lariat and the sitout
powerbomb is enough for the pin at 12:50 total.
Daniel
Bryan is in fifth and starts with Harper after a break. During said
break, Mercury and Noble yelling at security guards. They check
someone’s credentials and let him in for a scene that doesn’t seem to
mean anything. Back in the arena with Bryan wrapping Harper’s knee
around the post a few times before firing off the kicks. He even
gets Harper up for the full surfboard and lifts him up for a YES
chant.
More
YES Kicks have Harper in trouble so he picks Bryan up and throws him
out to the floor. Luke slows things down with a headlock but Bryan
knee crushes his way to freedom. That’s fine with Harper as he just
punches Bryan in the face to put him down. We hit the chinlock for a
bit before Bryan goes right back to the knee. A headscissors takes
Harper to the floor and there’s the Flying Goat for good measure.
Back
in again and we get more YES Kicks but the big one is countered into
the half nelson suplex for two. The discus lariat is kicked away but
the left arm version blasts Bryan for another near fall. Luke is
getting frustrated but Bryan helps him out by tripping the leg and
putting on something like a heel hook for the submission at 25:33
total.
That
only leaves Dolph Ziggler in sixth and we take another break before
the bell. They lock up to start until Bryan takes him into the
corner for more kicks. Ziggler goes a bit more conventional with
right hands to the head but misses a Stinger splash. Bryan busts out
a top rope hurricanrana but Dolph rolls through into a sunset flip
for two. Both try cross bodies and both get knocked to the mat as we
take another break.
Back
again with Bryan working on the shoulder after sending him into the
post while we were away. Daniel gets crotched on top but he counters
a superplex attempt by crotching Ziggler right back. Dolph keeps up
the countering by reversing the belly to back superplex into a cross
body for two more. Bryan responds by kicking him in the face for the
same as the fans (or at least the canned noise) are way into this.
The running knee is blocked by a superkick but he can’t follow up.
The YES Lock goes on in the middle of the ring but Ziggler rolls out,
ducks a big kick and grabs the Zig Zag for the pin at 27:36.
Rating:
B+.
It took some time to get going but the Bryan vs. Ziggler stuff was
awesome. I can see those two building a roof on Levi’s Stadium just
so they could blow it off at Wrestlemania, but instead
they’re just throwing everyone into a ladder match. Really
good and long match here, especially once they stopped with the quick
eliminations.
Post
match Barrett comes in and talks about a code, only to nail Dolph in
the face. Bryan gets up and takes the microphone to the face. Both
guys get Bull Hammers as well.
We
look at Bray’s promo from Monday.
LL
Cool J video. People still care about him right?
The
Divas give their predictions on AJ/Paige vs. the Bellas. As
expected, the decision is split. This is giving them a chance I
suppose?
Recap
of the Cena/Rusev contract signing from Monday.
Another
bit with the security.
Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd/Natalya vs. El Torito/Los Matadores
Interspecies
match. Well of course it is. Cesaro runs Diego over for two to
start but a dropkick sends him into the corner. Off to Natalya vs.
Torito for some pelvic thrusting, meaning Kidd tags himself in to
face Fernando. Kidd takes it outside and trips Fernando up to send
him face first into the apron. Back in and the hot tag brings in
Diego with a springboard shot to the head as everything breaks down.
Los Matadores dive onto the champs, leaving us with Natalya vs.
Torito for the featured part of the match. Torito armdrags her down
but gets caught in a sitout powerbomb for the pin at 3:49.
Rating:
D. We’re ten days from
Wrestlemania and this is what we’re seeing from the Tag Team
Champions. I mean……dang man. The best we can get is an unfunny
idea of woman vs. bull, because there are still people out there that
think it’s really a bull? Who could speak English? This
kind of stuff is absurd and makes me hate this show more and more
every time.
Seth
Rollins/Kane vs. Roman Reigns/Mark Henry
And
there’s no Henry as we cut
to the back and see him out cold. Rollins
brings out a bunch of security to have his back. Maybe they’re Noble
and Mercury’s students. Kane
starts for his team and Mercury offers a trip, allowing the Big Bald
to score with a boot to the face. Off
to Rollins as the fans chant for Randy. Not the #1 contender and
future main eventer mind you, but a guy not here.
Seth
whips Reigns into a side slam for two and the bad looking running DDT
gets the same. Rollins
comes back in for some slow shots to the back and something like a
downward spiral into the middle buckle. We’re just waiting for Orton
at this point and it’s showing badly. Roman
fights back with a forearm to Kane, followed by the tilt-a-whirl slam
to Rollins. The Authority regroups but Rollins dives into a Superman
Punch and the spear ends Kane at 5:07.
Rating:
D. This match summed up the
major problem with Roman Reigns: he could have been any given upper
level guy and the match would have been the exact same thing. This
was five minutes of waiting around for Orton to come out because
that’s the story we’re seeing. Can you imagine that happening to
Steve Austin or Daniel Bryan? No, because those guys commanded the
audience’s attention whenever they were on screen. Reigns is just
another guy here and it’s very clear that he isn’t someone the fans
are ready to cheer as the new top
man.
Rollins
throws a fit and here’s Orton (in wrestling gear for no logical
reason) to beat up the security.
Noble and Mercury take RKOs, allowing Rollins to escape to
end the show.
Overall
Rating:
C+. That
Reigns match really told you everything you needed to know about this
Wrestlemania season. The
main feuds have little heat and the whole show is built around
Undertaker, Sting and Lesnar barely appearing or not saying anything.
Combine that with the fans just not being interested in Reigns at
the moment (and again, a lot of that isn’t on him) and this is coming
off as a pretty weak year.
As
for the show, the Intercontinental Title match made for a good
performance but that’s not what we’re getting at Wrestlemania. The
Divas did their usual stuff, the comedy wasn’t funny, and the main
event was your standard scene with someone AMAZINGLY making it past
security to get into the building. This felt like any given Thursday
in June, not the next to last Smackdown before Wrestlemania.
Results
Paige
b. Brie Bella – Rollup
Dolph
Ziggler won a gauntlet match last eliminating Daniel Bryan
Natalya/Cesaro/Tyson
Kidd b. El Torito/Los Matadores – Powerbomb to Torito
Roman
Reigns/Mark Henry b. Kane/Seth Rollins – Spear to Kane
Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and head over to my Amazon author page with wrestling books for under $4 at:
http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6