Smackdown – March 6, 2020

Smackdown
Date: March 6, 2020
Location: Keybank Center, Buffalo, New York
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

It’s the go home show for the Elimination Chamber and we have the two Chamber matches set up. One of them will be a tag team edition, so this week we get to see the six teams fight in another form of an elimination match. This time it’s a gauntlet match with the winners getting to enter the Chamber last. Let’s get to it.

We open with a recap of John Cena’s return last week, with the Fiend appearing to set up their Wrestlemania match.

Opening sequence.

Here are Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross in the ring to talk about the Hall of Fame. We hear about this year’s class and, after calling out the Kabuki Warriors for a Women’s Tag Team Title match, bring out the NWO (Sean Waltman, Kevin Nash and Scott Hall this time) for a chat. Nikki says that she’s been a big NWO fan for life and takes a picture with the three of them. Bliss what they should call Waltman, who says “Hall of Famer”.

We get around to Nash ending Goldberg’s winning streak and Nash talks about talking to Roman Reigns. Nash told Roman that he needs Scott Hall and a cattle prod to defeat Goldberg. Hall: “That was a shocking finish.” Cue Sami Zayn, Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura in an interruption I didn’t expect. Sami says 1997 was a great time but it’s time for the future. We get some praise for Hall and Nash as former Intercontinental Champions. Sami: “And Sean Waltman….you know exactly how much the Intercontinental Title weighs because you carried their bags for years.”

Waltman is ready to fight but Nash says Sami looks like Seth Rogen after two weeks of stomach flu. The fight is teased and the fans are WAY into this. Sami backs off though, saying their objective is to destroy Braun Strowman at Elimination Chamber. Cue Strowman so Cesaro goes after him, only to be thrown into the set. Nakamura gets dropped as well and it’s Sami being caught between Strowman and the NWO. Sami hides behind Alexa (oh yeah the women are here) and bails so Strowman throws a chair and promises violence on Sunday. It’ll even be too sweet.

The NWO looked like stars, the women were there because someone had to set this up and the modern guys looked like they were trying to be on the legends’ level. They were trying, but it wasn’t clicking in the way they were shooting for. Usually I don’t find that to be the case but it certainly felt like it here.

Sasha Banks/Bayley vs. Naomi/Lacey Evans

Rematch from last week. Bayley and Sasha take Lacey into the corner to start and the stomping is on in a hurry. Naomi gets pulled off the apron and send into the barricade as we take a break just over a minute in. Back with Bayley working on Evans’ leg and the feed being interrupted for the circle of lights that has been popping up in recent weeks.

Evans gets over for the tag to Naomi as house is cleaned in a hurry. Back in and Naomi kicks Banks in the head, followed by a bulldog into the middle buckle. Bayley has to break up a sunset flip at two but the split legged moonsault is broken up. Banks gives Naomi two knees in the corner for the pin at 7:07.

Rating: D+. They almost have to be setting up Banks vs. Bayley for the title at Wrestlemania, as it’s not like there’s anything else going on. Either that or some big multi-woman match that they certainly seem to love doing. The match wasn’t anything to see, but maybe that’s because they did it last week.

New Day talks about trying to recreate Kofimania, but this isn’t Polk High and Kofi isn’t Al Bundy. They can go all night long like a moose in mating season, with Big E. hitting on Kayla Braxton before breaking into New Day Rocks.

Bayley and Banks are so awesome and can’t believe the Bellas are getting into the Hall of Fame before them. No one can touch them from the past, present and future and Bayley might even skip Wrestlemania and go straight to the Hall of Fame.

In one of those perfectly natural segments that you see on WWE TV, Shorty G. tells Apollo Crews that he has his back. Crews isn’t interested.

Sheamus vs. Apollo Crews

Crews gets sent to the apron to start but manages to snap Sheamus’ throat across the top. A high crossbody into the standing moonsault gives Crews two but Sheamus drives him into the corner. The Brogue Kick gives Sheamus the pin at 1:07.

Drake Maverick returns from whatever hole he fell into to ask Drew Gulak for a match against Daniel Bryan. Gulak says he knows all 163 of Bryan’s weaknesses but here’s Bryan to interrupt. If Gulak is so confident, how about he come fight Bryan on Sunday?

Carmella/Dana Brooke vs. Fire & Desire

Dolph Ziggler is here with Mandy and Sonya. Mandy drives Carmella into the corner to start but Carmella reverses and shuffles away. Sonya comes in and runs Carmella over but Dana comes in to dropkick Sonya in the hand. A blind tag brings Mandy in though and a running knee finishes Dana at 2:55. Just a way to get Mandy, Sonya and Ziggler on TV.

We look at Cena vs. Fiend being set up again.

It’s time for the Firefly Fun House with a wall full of John Cena pictures. Bray Wyatt calls it magnifico and thinks the fans must be asking why Cena. Ramblin Rabbit pops in to say it’s because Cena beat him six years ago at Wrestlemania, sending Bray into a depression and starting his downward spiral of negativity. Bray, sounding a bit nervous: “Yeah Yowie Wowie.” Bray says there would be no Firefly Fun House without Cena. He forgives Cena, but a being built on pain and fueled by vengeance is waiting at Wrestlemania. That being is not so forgiving and around and around we go. Let him in.

Video on Roman Reigns vs. Goldberg.

King Corbin interrupts a question because he doesn’t want to hear about Roman Reigns. Elias interrupts with some guitar, much to Corbin’s annoyance. Corbin calls Elias a gimmick and says shut up or answer to the king.

Heavy Machinery is getting ready for the gauntlet match but Otis walks over to Mandy, who was all of three feet away. Otis talks about getting a text from her on Valentine’s Day but Mandy says it’s too late because a woman doesn’t like being stood up.

This week in WWE History: Occupy Raw in 2014.

Tag Team Gauntlet Match

Non-title with six teams and the winners enter the Elimination Chamber last. New Day is in at #1 and Heavy Machinery is in at #2 with Tucker shouldering the rather popular Kofi down to start. They both try dropkicks but it’s a standoff, meaning Big E. and Otis come in. A battle of the shoulders goes to Otis and stereo delayed vertical suplexes put New Day on the floor. Otis clotheslines them both and we take a break. Back with Big E. getting over for a tag to Kofi so the pace can pick up. Kofi gets launched over the top onto Tucker, who suplexes him down HARD. A dropkick cuts off a charging Big E. and it’s the Compactor for the clean pin at 8:20.

The Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado/Gran Metalik) is in at #3 and start the high flying, including a springboard crossbody to Tucker. That doesn’t seem to matter though as he takes Dorado down in an armbar. Dorado gets Tucker into the corner but the hot tag brings Otis in a few seconds later. Otis starts shrugging off the chops and strikes with the power of jiggling. Everything breaks down and the House Party hits stereo springboard dives as we take a break.

Back with Tucker putting Dorado in a quickly escaped half crab. Otis bearhugs him instead but the Golden Rewind puts Otis down to one knee. Tucker and Metalik come back in with Metalik hitting a reverse Sling Blade. The rope walk dropkick puts Tucker down and the chinlock goes on. An enziguri into a good looking top rope splash gets two on Tucker, who is right back up with his own splash for two more. Otis splashes Dorado in the corner and hits the Caterpillar for the pin at 20:33.

The Usos are in at #4 and we’re joined in progress after another break with Jey armbarring Tucker. Jimmy kicks Otis off the apron but Tucker kicks Jimmy down as well. Jey superkicks Tucker for two….and gets rolled up to get rid of the Usos at 25:08. Miz and John Morrison are in at #5 and it’s a quick spinebuster/Flying Chuck combination for two on Tucker.

Morrison’s slingshot elbow gets two and he hammers away with rights and lefts. A hard clothesline gets Tucker out of trouble and a dropkick to Miz…doesn’t set up the hot tag as Miz pulls Otis off the apron. Some running shots in the corner put Tucker down and Morrison’s 450 elbow gets two as Otis makes the save. Tucker small packages Morrison for the pin at 30:45, because THE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS NEED TO LOSE THEIR FIRST TWO MATCHES SINCE WINNING THE TITLES!

Post fall, Miz and Morrison destroy Otis and Tucker. We cut to Mandy watching Otis get beaten up when Dolph Ziggler comes up and says watch this. Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler are in at #6 as we take another break. Back with Roode chinlocking Tucker as Otis is still down on the floor. Tucker suplexes his way out of trouble but has to trade some kicks to the ribs with Ziggler. A dropkick puts Tucker down for two and a Stinger Splash into the neckbreaker is good for the same.

Otis is back up and sends Roode face first into the announcers’ table. Ziggler neckbreakers Tucker for two but the Stinger Splash misses, allowing the hot tag to Otis. Everything breaks down and the right hands make Otis dance….and do jumping jacks. Roode dropkicks him into the corner and misses a charge, allowing Otis to hit a running splash. The impact knocks Ziggler to the floor and it’s the Caterpillar…but Ziggler comes in with the superkick for the pin at 42:28.

Rating: C-. Let me make sure I’ve got this straight: we just spent 40+ minutes completely recreating the Kofi Kingston gauntlet match from last year but with Heavy Machinery pinning the already weak Tag Team Champions and then losing to Dolph Ziggler in the end? The Kofi story worked because A, it was Kofi Kingston and B, it felt different. This was almost a copy of the same story and while the fans were getting into Otis, it was hard to believe that he would win in the end. Why? Dolph Ziggler was in the match, and Dolph Ziggler must squash any fun that can be had.

Overall Rating: D. I keep thinking that they couldn’t take my interest away from Elimination Chamber even more but then they do something like this and we’re at a new low. What headlines that show? The #1 contenders match as we count down to Shayna vs. Becky? The match we’ve known was coming for about a month now? It feels like they’re not trying and that is as frustrating as you can get with WWE. Just get the show out of the way as soon as possible so they can actually make an effort on the way to Wrestlemania. Please. They need it.

Results

Bayley/Sasha Banks b. Naomi/Lacey Evans – Double knees to Naomi

Sheamus b. Apollo Crews – Brogue Kick

Fire & Desire b. Carmella/Dana Brooke – Running knee to Brooke

Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler won a gauntlet match last eliminating Heavy Machinery

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