Smackdown – March 12, 2019

Smackdown
Date: March 12, 2019
Location: Nutter Center, Dayton, Ohio
Commentators: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

Now believe it or not, this show is going to mainly be about the McMahons. It’s a Vince and Shane night in this case, with the former being here to address Kofi Kingston and the latter to explain why he attacked the Miz. Maybe that’s why this year’s Wrestlemania build isn’t exactly setting the world on fire. Let’s get to it.

Here’s Shane to open things up and the heel turn seems to have worked. With the Best in the World trophy in the ring, Shane orders the ring announcer to refer to him as the Best in the World, getting angry when it’s not up to his standards. Shane gets right to the point by saying he’s tired of Miz needing him all the time, just like everyone else around here. After pausing for a WE WANT KOFI chant, Shane rants about having to do something for everyone behind the scenes.

That stopped on Sunday when he got to beat Miz up in Miz’s hometown. The reality is that he’s the best in the world because he was born that way, and now he’ll be doing things for himself. Attacking Miz on Sunday so that the last thing he saw was his father’s baked potato face was incredible and that spark isn’t going away. He’s even going to do it again at Wrestlemania, and it’s going to be awesome. This was better than anything Shane has done in a long time and changed absolutely nothing about the fact that probably a dozen people could be better served in this spot.

Aleister Black/Ricochet/Hardys vs. The Bar/Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev

The seeds of the multi team match begin. Black and Nakamura start with a strike off (I was expecting a spirited debate) before it’s off to Matt in the very old school shirt. That means some shouting without much offense so he hands it off to Jeff to get beaten down by Cesaro. Rusev adds the shoulders in the corner and the chinlock goes on until Jeff jawbreaks his way to freedom.

It’s off to Ricochet to speed things up but Rusev knocks him to the floor and we take a break. Back with Ricochet tagging in Matt to clean house. The yelling clothesline in the corner allows another tag to Jeff for the Twisting Stunner. The Swanton hits Cesaro but everyone makes the save as everything breaks down. Cue the New Day to join the fight as the match is thrown out at 9:52.

Rating: C+. I can go for multi team matches like this and the ending sets up whatever big match they have for Wrestlemania (please not another ladder match). Throw in the Usos and you have a six team match already set, though I’m not sure where that leaves the Revival. Anyway, good while it lasted but the ending was what mattered.

Post match New Day beats up all four teams with Kofi hitting Trouble in Paradise on Nakamura.

We cut to the back where the Usos like what they saw. They warn all the teams about what’s coming and welcome them to the Uso Penitentiary. I’d be fine with just them vs. the Hardys, but why have two teams when you can have far too many?

Here’s Randy Orton for a chat. In 2002, AJ Styles was wrestling for $10 in front of 12 people. In 2004, AJ was in a Bingo hall while Orton was winning the World Title. Orton has been a champion every year while AJ doing nothing. This brings out AJ, who says Orton certainly followed AJ pretty closely over the year despite him not mattering that much.

Orton wouldn’t have made it in his world with a lame pose and a knockoff Diamond Cutter. Randy laughs at the idea of an indy guy talking about someone ripping things off and holds up the Too Sweet sign. AJ says look around, because indy guys like that have taken over. Orton lists off his accomplishments but AJ talks about all the groups that Orton has been part of over the years because Orton has needed a lot of babysitters.

Orton has jumped a lot of people over the years and AJ isn’t going to be the next victim. That’s not cool with Orton, because it may be AJ’s house but Orton is the landlord and rent is due. AJ can make the check out to RKO. AJ points at the sign and says come take the rent. The challenge isn’t accepted….but come on now.

Asuka vs. Sonya Deville

Non-title. They go to the mat to start with Sonya not exactly being able to hang with the champ. Back up and Sonya spears the heck out of her but gets a knee to the face. The sliding knee to the face sends Sonya outside and Asuka baseball slides Mandy by mistake. Mandy pulls the ring skirt down and Sonya slips, allowing Asuka to kick her into the Asuka Lock for the tap at 2:39.

Post match Sonya is mad and won’t leave with Mandy.

The Iiconics declare that un-Iconic and want to know where Sasha Banks and Bayley are. They want the next title shot.

Here’s Becky Lynch for a chat, though first she has to throw away the crutch. She limps to the ring and recaps the entire story, which doesn’t make sense when she sums it up. Becky is glad to be here and happy to be in Wrestlemania after Fastlane, even though it took quite a feat. Do you know how hard it is to play mind games on someone with no brain? She got exactly what she wanted from Ronda Rousey though and will pay it back at Wrestlemania when she breaks the arm and takes the title.

This brings out Charlotte to say Becky is now in Charlotte’s main event. It’s one thing to be hot for six months but Charlotte has been hot for six years. That’s why she was chosen and she’ll get the job done. Becky was chosen because people felt sorry for her, including Rousey. Becky doesn’t buy it and says she’ll see Charlotte at Wrestlemania.

Daniel Bryan and Rowan leave Vince’s office but say it was a private discussion. They’re in a tag match later.

Rey Mysterio/R-Truth vs. Samoa Joe/Andrade

Rey goes after Andrade to start but a blind tag brings in Joe for a hard faceplant as we take an early break. Back with Rey hitting the Code Red on Andrade and making the tag to Truth for the John Cena offense. Everything breaks down and Rey hits a double 619 followed by a frog splash to Andrade. The backsplash breaks it up but Rey victory rolls Joe for the pin at 6:13. Not enough shown to rate, but at least they waited one whole title defense to pin Joe.

Post match Joe snaps and beats up Truth and Andrade.

We look at Alexa Bliss being announced as Wrestlemania host.

Kevin Owens/Mustafa Ali vs. Daniel Bryan/Rowan

Bryan and Owens start fast with an elbow taking Daniel down. Owens says it’s his show and it’s off to Rowan for a slightly slower pace. The slugout goes to Owens so he can bring in Ali to face Bryan. A snap DDT plants Ali and we take a break. Back with Rowan driving Ali ribs first into the turnbuckle, setting up Bryan’s butterfly superplex.

The LeBell Lock sends Ali to the ropes, but Bryan has until five. Ali hits a dropkick for a breather and a Backstabber gets two, despite Owens telling him to come tag. Owens comes in anyway and a double superkick puts Rowan on the floor. Rowan sends Owens into the barricade and comes in off a blind tag, allowing him to claw slam Ali for the pin at 9:20.

Rating: C+. There’s a good chance that Ali not tagging could lead somewhere between himself and Owens, which isn’t the worst idea in the world. Ali sticking around the higher parts of the card is interesting though at some point he needs to win something else to validate being this high up.

Here’s Vince McMahon to talk about offering Kofi Kingston a title shot at Wrestlemania. First though, we look at Kofi’s handicap match at Fastlane in a ruse. Back in the arena, Vince talks about how the fans heard what they wanted to hear because he never said Kofi was getting the shot. Vince says everything is a teachable moment but here’s New Day to interrupt. Big E. isn’t going to learn anything right now because they do everything he tells them to.

They flew halfway around the world to India on Vince’s orders and haven’t ever threatened to leave if they don’t get what they want. Kofi has been here for eleven years and deserves a chance. Vince goes into a rant about how no one deserves anything, including him. Big E. says this is bigger than anything, including Vince’s ego. Vince: “Now there is nothing bigger justifiably than my ego.” Xavier talks about Kofi pinning the WWE Champion multiple times but he’s never gotten a one on one shot.

The WWE Universe demands that Kofi get s chance to compete but Vince isn’t buying it. He wishes Kofi deserved this and while he’s done all kinds of great things in the Royal Rumble and the Elimination Chamber, he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame….as part of New Day instead of on his own merits. Kofi is smart enough to take the glory and have these two younger guys do all the work. Vince wishes Kofi was championship material and earlier today, Daniel Bryan called him a good B+ player.

Kofi finally speaks, saying he doesn’t want a handout. He goes around the world doing what he loves but it’s cost him a lot. Kofi has missed birthdays, weddings and has never even gotten to take his kids trick or treating. He wasn’t there earlier this week when his son lost his first tooth. Through all that, Kofi has never complained, even though Vince has never let someone like him compete for the WWE Title.

What Kofi needs right now is to be told what he needs to do so he can do it. This brings out Orton….and Joe….and the Bar….and Rowan in a gauntlet match next week to get his title match. Everyone comes to the ring and the fight is on with New Day fighting off the villains to end the show. Awesome promos from New Day, who have earned this status over the years but never really used it.

Overall Rating: B. The promo at the end helps carry this but the best thing about the show, as always, is how it feels focused. There’s nothing on here where I wonder why they’re doing this or where I feel like it’s a waste of time. You can see a lot of the matches being built for Wrestlemania, though I’m not wild on some of the directions they’re taking. At least the card is taking shape, even if it’s one with a lot of people being packed onto a show when they shouldn’t be. Rather good show tonight, with the stories carrying things.

Results

Aleister Black/Ricochet/Hardys vs. The Bar/Shinsuke Nakamura/Rusev went to a no contest when New Day interfered

Asuka b. Sonya Deville – Asuka Lock

Rey Mysterio/R-Truth b. Samoa Joe/Andrade – Victory roll to Joe

Daniel Bryan/Rowan b. Mustafa Ali/Kevin Owens – Claw slam to Ali

Remember to check out my website at kbwrestlingreviews.com and pick up the paperback edition of KB’s Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1 (also available as an e-book) from Amazon. Check out the information here:

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