Smackdown – March 10, 2016

Date: March 10, 2016
Location: Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Mauro Ranallo, Byron Saxton

It’s the go home show for Roadblock and the big story for this week seems to be the main roster debut (well full time debut at least) of Sami Zayn. Tonight we’ll get to see Zayn and his longtime rival Kevin Owens together on MizTV, possibly to set up something between the two (or three) of them at Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.

Opening sequence.

Tonight it’s Dean Ambrose/Dolph Ziggler/Usos vs. the Wyatt Family.

MizTV gets things going this week with Miz showing us a clip of Zayn running out to save Neville from an Owens apron bomb. Sami comes out first and thankfully it’s still to that rocking Worlds Apart theme. There’s just something about that Sami Zayn entrance that makes me smile and you know it’s going to be something fun. The OLE chants cut Miz off to start but he eventually asks who Sami Zayn is.

Sami talks about doing this for fourteen years and being in NXT for the last few years but Miz cuts him off by actually yelling CUT. Miz wants to hear about Sami’s relationship with Kevin Owens. The story goes back thirteen years with both of them starting in Montreal. They’ve been linked together as friends, tag partners, opponents and enemies over the years and now they’re here as pure enemies. Sami isn’t sure how we got here but Owens delayed his main roster arrival with that shoulder injury.

That means it’s time for Owens to come out and Sami looks sad. Kevin says what he did to Sami back in NXT was what was best for his career. Sami was signed two years before Owens but Owens was on Raw a year before Sami, so who was wrong? What happened at the Royal Rumble was personal though because Owens was the victim there. Zayn gets right to the point: he’s here to stay and wants that Intercontinental Title at Wrestlemania.

The fans want to see them fight right now but Owens isn’t so keen on the idea. Kevin doesn’t think Sami belongs in the same ring and goes to walk, only to run right into Neville. Owens has someone else to worry about because Neville thinks that Intercontinental Title would look fine around his waist. That means it’s time for Miz to say it’s his show and that he deserves a title shot of his own. Sami and Miz start going at it and we’re ready for a tag match after the break.

Sami Zayn/Neville vs. Kevin Owens/The Miz

Miz takes Sami down by the arm to start but Zayn spins up and grabs the arm to take over. It’s off to Neville for an arm wringer of his own until Miz drives him into the corner for the tag to Owens. The champ gets hurricanranaed down and we get Sami Zayn vs. Kevin Owens for the first time in WWE. That lasts all of three seconds though as Owens bails to the corner and it’s back to Miz for another armbar. That fits Owens as a coward very well so all is right so far.

Neville splashes Miz but gets low bridged to the floor as we take a break. Back with Owens taking Neville back into the corner for the tag off to Miz and some stomping. We hit the chinlock for a good while before the Reality Check gets a near fall. Owens demands a tag but has to settle for watching Neville send Miz out to the floor. The hot tag brings in Zayn for the running clotheslines and a tornado DDT for Miz. Now we get the tag to Owens….or at least we would if he didn’t walk out on the match. Miz takes the exploder suplex into the corner and the Helluva Kick gives Sami the pin at 11:44.

Rating: C+. That was fine and it’s cool to see Owens and Zayn go from the indies and make it all the way here, likely followed by a title match at Wrestlemania. Unfortunately it seems like we’re going to see them fighting with a bunch of other people because the idea of a singles match for the title has been long forgotten for whatever reason. These four would be fine but you can almost guarantee Ziggler and a few others being added. Hopefully there aren’t any ladders involved but that seems to be a Wrestlemania tradition these days.

Rock Wrestlemania video.

R-Truth goes to see Goldust in the bathroom but Goldust doesn’t need a helping hand. Goldust isn’t interested so Truth hands him toilet paper. It’s still no though.

Long recap of HHH and Dean from Monday.

Brie Bella vs. Summer Rae

Rematch from Raw with Lana sitting on the announcers’ table for commentary. Lana tells Saxton to shut up because she’s watching the match as Brie is taken to the floor and sent into the barricade. Back in and we hit the cobra clutch while Lana is asked for her definition of a true woman. Lana: “Look at me.” Brie comes back with a middle rope dropkick and the YES Kicks, followed by the YES Lock for the submission at 2:14.

Post match Brie shouts at Lana but goes to knee Summer instead, allowing Lana to give her a second Bella Buster.

Video on Shane McMahon’s in ring career. It’s the same one from Raw.

Here’s Chris Jericho, carrying a Y2AJ shirt over his shoulder, to explain his actions on Monday. The shirt is sat in front of a trashcan as Jericho asks if this is what he gets. The fans are booing him and choosing to cheer AJ Styles. Jericho did what he did on Monday because of those chants. They made him feel like a piece of trash that belongs in this can because he’s still the best in the world at what he does. Jericho lists off his accomplishments, including perhaps the most impressive: he hasn’t been hurt in seventeen years.

After all that though, the fans still chant for AJ Styles. Even after last Monday’s classic, the fans were still chanting for AJ. Jericho has delivered classic after classic in seventeen years and he can’t get a cheer. He’s seen it time after time: someone comes in and could be the best in the world but then they leave after three months because they’re not the real thing. AJ has been here for six weeks (that doesn’t seem possible) and the steam is still coming off his WWE coffee.

Jericho has seen this before and he’s going to be standing around laughing because AJ is going to be just another bust. The fans chant for AJ so Jericho holds up the shirt. Y2AJ was something special but the fans ruined it by chant for AJ. It’s all their fault so the shirt is set on fire because it’s all over for AJ. Lawler: “See this is symbolism Byron.” Jericho mocks the AJ Styles chants as the flames keep coming up. Really, really good stuff here and I’m wanting to see the match now. Well done.

Of note here, the spoilers said that AJ came out here but Ascension of all people cut him off so Jericho could escape. I was wondering how that would make sense on TV but they didn’t bother showing it.

Big Boss Man Hall of Fame video. Godfather continues to be the most out of place name in a class in years.

Lucha Dragons vs. King Barrett/Sheamus

Sheamus and Kalisto get things going with the big man offering some very rude applause. A hurricanrana puts Sheamus down and it’s off to Cara as the dropkicks get going. Lawler thinks it’s a matter of time because bigger is always better. The monkey flip into the splash sends Sheamus out to the floor and the Lucha Dragons dance gets on Lawler’s nerves. We see Ryback watching from the back as Sheamus punches Kalisto in the ribs to take over. Kalisto gets sent outside and we take a break.

Back with Barrett pounding on Kalisto in the corner before it’s off to a chinlock. Sheamus comes in with a running knee to the ribs and a powerslam. Lawler calls Kalisto a gamer but only means he plays video games like WWE2K16. I figured that’s where he was going but it made me chuckle anyway.

Kalisto avoids a charge in the corner to send Sheamus into the post and it’s hot tag to Cara. Everything speeds up and a springboard back elbow drops Barrett. Cara’s standing Lionsault drops Sheamus and a dive takes him out again. The Swanton is loaded up but Rusev shoves him off the top, setting up the Bull Hammer to give Barrett the pin at 10:43.

Rating: C. Well at least the champion didn’t get pinned. This is such a strange dynamic as you have the Dragons as a worthless team but Kalisto was white hot there for a little bit. However, much like so many other things, Alberto Del Rio has crippled whatever momentum he might have had. The matches were fine but Del Rio is such a heat killer. It also didn’t help that Kalisto got pinned in so many meaningless tag matches while he was champion because that’s how WWE rolls. They wouldn’t want him to get hot or something. I mean, he’s just the US Champion after all.

Ryback still thinks that two little men can’t beat two big men. The Dragons tried but not all men are created equal.

Last year’s main event is a Wrestlemania moment.

Very long recap of Vince and Shane from Raw.

The Usos talk about watching the Dudley Boyz twenty years ago as children but now they’re grown men who don’t respect them. Dolph Ziggler comes in and says he isn’t worried about the repercussions from insulting Stephanie on Monday. Random but ok. Dean joins them to say they’re ready for the Wyatts.

Wyatt Family vs. Dolph Ziggler/Usos/Dean Ambrose

Harper and Ambrose get things going with Luke clotheslining him down and stopping to pose. The good guys take him into the corner but the Usos’ wristlocks don’t quite work on someone as strong as Harper. Back with Harper stomping on Jey in the corner but another wristlock is enough to bring in Ziggler. That’s something WWE really needs to work on: so many people use the same basic moves like that wristlock or a kick to the thigh or a superkick. Mix that stuff up as I’m sure there are enough moves to go around.

Ziggler misses a Stinger Splash in the corner and it’s off to Bray for the real beating. Strowman comes in for a big forearm to the chest, setting up a chinlock from Harper. The Fameasser is countered into a powerbomb but Dolph rolls through into a sunset flip for two. The hot tag brings in Jey as things speed up, which unfortunately isn’t getting the crowd into the match.

A good looking superkick puts Rowan in the corner and we get stereo Umaga attacks followed by the double dives over the top. Jey’s Superfly Splash hits knees though and it’s off to Ambrose for the real hot tag. The standing elbow drop gets two on Erick and we hit the parade of secondary finishers. Ziggler can’t superkick Strowman down but Dean sidesteps a charge and gives Rowan Dirty Deeds for the pin at 13:14.

Rating: C+. This started slowly but picked up a lot near the end to help things out a lot. I don’t often notice this but the crowd really didn’t care here. Can you blame them though, as apparently they had four matches on the entire show? I’m a sucker for parades of finishers though and Dean getting the pin over someone not named Bray was the right finish.

Overall Rating: B. Four good to watchable (with the Divas) matches and some storyline advancement with Sami vs. Owens gives me all I need to see on a Thursday night. The best thing Smackdown can do is give a focus to the midcard acts instead of the World Title and McMahon stories and that’s what we got here. I liked the show a lot more than Raw, though I wonder how much of that is due to being able to fast forward through the recaps. There really shouldn’t be that many on a given Smackdown but the McMahons drive business around here, no matter how absurd the story is.


Sami Zayn/Neville b. Kevin Owens/The Miz – Helluva Kick to Miz

Brie Bella b. Summer Rae – YES Lock

King Barrett/Sheamus b. Lucha Dragons – Bull Hammer to Cara

Dean Ambrose/Usos/Dolph Ziggler b. Wyatt Family – Dirty Deeds to Rowan

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