Smackdown – March 14, 2017

Date: March 14, 2017
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Commentators: John Bradshaw Layfield, Tom Phillips

We’ve got three Smackdowns left before Wrestlemania and now we have a #1 contender to Bray Wyatt’s Smackdown World Title. However, that means we have issues between Commissioner Shane McMahon and AJ Styles and there’s an official confrontation scheduled for tonight. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of last week’s Talking Smack with AJ Styles confronting Shane McMahon after last week’s Smackdown ended.

Daniel Bryan is on the phone with someone and runs down the show when AJ comes in. He wants Shane and threatens to slap Daniel if he says anything. Daniel suggests being calm because AJ needs to worry about his career.

Here’s AJ in the ring to complain about what happened last week. Yeah he has to jump through a bunch of hoops and he knows someone like John Cena would never have to do that. His rematch came in a triple threat match and then against five opponents in the Elimination Chamber.

After that, Styles won a battle royal (not really) and beat the other guy they said won clean in the middle of the ring to become the #1 contender. Oh wait because Randy Orton burned Bray Wyatt’s house down (Styles: “AND DIDN’T GET ARRESTED OR GO TO JAIL!”) and now he’s in the main event of Wrestlemania XXXIII. On the other hand, AJ doesn’t even have a match and he’s going to do something about it.

David Otunga is filming a movie and Mauro Ranallo is snowed in due to the blizzard in the northeast so we have a two man commentary booth tonight.

Becky Lynch vs. Natalya

Becky sends her into the corner to start and offers a handshake, earning one heck of a slap to the face. The threat of a choke sends Natalya to the floor and we take a break. Back with Natalya slamming Becky on the floor and grabbing a chinlock. Naturally that means the comeback is on with the Bexploder into the Disarm-Her for the tap out at 8:50.

Rating: C-. A good chunk of this was in the commercial so you can only get so much out of it. This is all about setting things up for the Wrestlemania match, whatever that’s going to be. I’m hoping it’s not a battle royal but a gauntlet match sounds like it’s going to eat up a lot of time. That being said, a gauntlet could be a great way to introduce someone new. Say, the Empress of Tomorrow?

Post match Carmella comes in and superkicks both of them down.

Video on John Cena hosting the Kids Choice Awards. It helps that Cena can come off like a big kid with ease so he’s kind of perfect for the role.

Post break Carmella says she’s the next champion.

It’s time for MizTV with Miz introducing himself and Maryse as the special guests. First up we see a clip of last week’s mixed tag with Cena and Nikki being taken down after their win. We also see Miz ripping into Cena on Talking Smack in another of those awesome promos that are going to be cast aside so Nikki Bella can get her marriage proposal.

Maryse tells a story about Nikki stabbing her in the back when she was going to come back to WWE and be on the first season of Total Divas. Then Nikki told her not to sign the contract because they could get a better one for more money. See, Nikki knew she could get what she wanted because she was dating Cena, meaning she was “untouchable”. The contract fell through though and only the Bellas got the big deal.

Cue Nikki and Cena to chase them off with Nikki saying Maryse wouldn’t be here if she had anything to say about it. Maryse is the one who steals money every night because she’s some brainless blowup doll. Nikki invites her into the ring for a fight but here’s Bryan to say Miz running away makes Bryan want to punch him in the face.

That makes him think of all the times Miz makes fun of him for not being able to wrestle and all the times that he (poorly) imitates Bryan’s moves and the fact that Miz knows Bryan can’t punch him in the face makes Bryan want to punch him in the face even more. However, Cena and Nikki can so the mixed tag is on at Wrestlemania.

Alexa Bliss vs. Mickie James

Non-title. They lock up hard to start before Mickie takes her into the corner for some hard stomping. Bliss sends her outside off a hard whip and we take a break. Back with Bliss holding a cravate before being sent into the corner. Alexa fights up and grabs her by the throat with some crazy looking eyes. A sunset flip gets two on Mickie but the MickDT is countered into a pinfall reversal sequence. One heck of a right hand looks to set up Insult to Injury but Mickie kicks her in the head for the pin at 8:38.

Rating: C. This was a bit better than I was expecting though as usual I can’t stand the idea of a champion getting pinned clean in non-title matches. I’m still curious to see what the gimmick is going to be because they’ve been teasing the idea that it could be something more interesting than expected. Hopefully it’s not just one big mess of a match but WWE has done worse things.

AJ is waiting in the parking lot when Shane arrives. The beating is on with Shane being beaten up against an ice machine and then going through the window of a car. Fit Finlay makes a cameo to get rid of AJ as Shane is bleeding from the top of the head.

Back from a break with a doctor checking on Shane and blood coming down his head. Shane doesn’t want to leave and has to be helped into another room.

The Usos don’t like what AJ did but AJ takes his bag to leave. Daniel stops AJ and fires him.

Mojo Rawley vs. Dolph Ziggler

They take turns throwing sweat at each other, which JBL calls one of the strangest things he’s ever seen. Ziggler is thrown over the top and out to the floor twice in a row so he tosses JBL’s hat. Back in and a dropkick gets one on Rawley but he throws Ziggler over the top for a third time. That’s enough for Ziggler and he takes the countout at 2:29.

We look at the attack on Shane again. For some reason there was a camera inside the car.

Here’s Randy Orton to discuss what happened a few weeks ago. Orton joined the Wyatt Family because he knew it was the only way to take them down. It could have been a single RKO but he wanted more. Now there’s one more step to climb though and that’s why at Wrestlemania, he’s taking everything from Wyatt.

Cue Wyatt on screen to say Orton has stripped him down to nothing. Sister Abigail still beats in his heart though and now he has no boundaries, making him all powerful. Bray reaches down and digs through the dirt, which he then rubs all over himself. He says follow the buzzards and screams before the camera cuts. So Orton threatened Wyatt and then Bray soiled himself?

We look back at Baron Corbin lowering the forklift on Dean Ambrose last week. I still love the referees trying to lift the several thousand pound fork before realizing THEY CAN JUST PUSH THE UP BUTTON.

Corbin challenges Ambrose for Wrestlemania.

American Alpha vs. Usos

Non-title. Jordan starts fast with a dropkick and grabs a front facelock on Jimmy. We cut to a split screen with Jamie Noble and Finlay helping Shane through the back and come back with the Usos going up top at the same time but the champs stare them into a standoff. Back from a break with Jordan getting kicked out to the floor so the Usos can take over.

Jimmy grabs a chinlock and it’s back to the split screen as Shane goes through the exit but turns around, seeming heading back to the ring. Jordan sends Jimmy into the corner and makes the hot tag to Gable for some house cleaning. The Steiner Bulldog is loaded up but Gable gets caught in the ropes, allowing Jey to superkick Jordan for the pin at 10:39.

Rating: C+. This was just filler until we get to the Shane stuff, which I’m sure is going to come up right after the match. I wasn’t wild on the idea of a champ losing and I’m much less into the idea of two champions losing in a single night. I really hope this isn’t added to Wrestlemania either as the card is already bloated and this really doesn’t need to be on there.

Shane stumbles out says AJ has an opponent for Wrestlemania. The show goes off the air less than five seconds later.

Overall Rating: B-. This was similar to last night’s show as they were setting up angles and pushing ones they had already established instead of focusing on wrestling. Really, with so little time left before Wrestlemania, there’s no real need to have a lot of in-ring action. One major difference here from Raw though: they did the stuff with Shane without cutting off the wrestling they had going, meaning no time is lost. Either go split screen like this or cut out some of the segments. It’s not that hard. Anyway, good show here as they’re making me want to see what they’ve got at Wrestlemania.


Becky Lynch b. Natalya – Disarm-Her

Mickie James b. Alexa Bliss – Spinning kick to the head

Mojo Rawley b. Dolph Ziggler via countout

Usos b. American Alpha – Superkick to Jordan

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