WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE 3/14/17
Smackdown didn’t fair much better than Raw this week as it continued it’s leisurely, meandering, and (at times) nonsensical stroll down the road to Wrestlemania. Smackdown offered nothing new to help dissuade this overwhelming feeling of mediocrity heading into “The Grandest Stage of Them All” which is starting to feel more and more like a bad high school production of “Grease”.
Smackdown starts off with a brief recap of AJ Styles angrily confronting Shane McMahon last week on “Talking Smack” before we cut to Daniel Bryan backstage on his phone. He’s discussing some of the events of the night when he’s confronted by AJ Styles. Styles is looking for Shane McMahon but Bryan informs him that Shane won’t be arriving until later. AJ says he’s going to go talk to the WWE Universe about it right now.
AJ comes out to the ring. He is livid. Styles brings up some very good and understandable points about how he had been screwed over constantly at the hands of Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon. How he has jumped through hoops over and over and it still wasn’t enough. He asks how the biggest star with the best 2016 could be left off the Wrestlemania card. He says he needs to have a discussion with Shane McMahon about his career in WWE if he even has one.
SIDE NOTE: Everything AJ said was true and accurate. He has been consistently screwed over for months. Are we sure he’s supposed to be the heel in this situation?
Becky Lynch faced Natalya one on one after their tag match last week ended with Natalya betraying Becky. The match was pretty good but on the shorter side. At one point the action spilled to the outside and Natalya hit an impressive “Michinoku Driver” on the ringside floor.
Becky looked aggressive throughout which I appreciated. She fired up and was able to hit a series of suplexes. Becky locked Natalya in the “Dis-Arm-Her” and forced her to tap out for the win. After the match, Carmella came out of nowhere and attacked Becky from behind, she then super kicked Natalya for good measure apparently declaring her eligibility for the multi-woman title match at Wrestlemania. This got absolutely ZERO crowd reaction.
SIDE NOTE: The commentators spent most of the match saying that they still have no idea what type of multi-woman match we’re going to have at ‘Mania. Most likely because WWE (read: Vince) doesn’t know either. The only thing I could possibly hope for is a ladder match which is something we haven’t seen before.
The cameras show AJ Styles pacing around the parking lot area waiting for Shane McMahon to arrive.
We have a “Special Edition” of MizTV. I’m not sure what makes it “Special Edition” (evidently, neither did Daniel Bryan) but it was some of Miz’s usual stuff. He called himself and Maryse the “it couple” of WWE and recapped his encounters with John Cena over the last couple of weeks. They keep bringing up the fact that Cena and Nikki aren’t married as if that’s some kind of interesting plot point to anyone over the age of 12.
SIDE NOTE: They keep saying Nikki and Cena’s love isn’t real. They’re not married. Blah, blah, blah. It’s starting to become clear that this is leading to a Wrestlemania proposal…
Anyway, Maryse says Nikki screwed her out of a contract for the original “Total Divas” show and she’s a backstabbing “b*tch”. This brings out Cena and Nikki who storm the ring and chase Miz and Maryse out. Nikki says if she had the power to block Maryse’s job, she wouldn’t be here right now. (Cena said something similar to Miz a few weeks ago). Nikki says Maryse is nothing but a blow up doll on the arm of the Miz and she should step in the ring with her right now like a real woman.
Miz says the time for MizTV is up, but Daniel Bryan comes out. He says all Miz did was come out and run his mouth. It reminds him of every time Miz has insulted Bryan and reminds him that every match Miz steals his moves. It makes Bryan want to punch Miz in the face. Unfortunately, he can’t because he’s GM. But, he does know two people that can punch him in the face. So at Wrestlemania (make sure to point at the stupid sign, folks), Miz and Maryse will take on Nikki Bella and John Cena… Why???…
AJ is still backstage waiting for Shane to arrive at the arena.
Mickie James faced Alexa Bliss in a non-title match. This was pretty competitive and I enjoyed it for what it was. Simple for the most part with some good sequences. Mickie hit a great looking fisherman’s suplex and Bliss pulled of a decent standing moonsault that unfortunately missed the mark.
Mickie was able capitalize on Bliss’ missed moonsault and hit a spinning heel kick to the head for the victory.
Backstage Renee Young approaches AJ Styles who is still pacing the parking lot. She asks what his intentions are. AJ says that since he isn’t invited to “The Ultimate Thrill Ride” Wrestlemania, he’ll have to get his thrills where he can. At this point, Shane McMahon arrives at the arena and he is immediately attacked by AJ Styles. He beats up on Shane pretty brutally and then sends his head through a car window.
Fit Finley (!) appears and yells at AJ to back off and checks on Shane. Shane is bleeding from his head lying on the ground. AJ slowly backs away seemingly proud of himself, but comes back for one more kick to the head before leaving.
SIDE NOTE: If Vince McMahon had done the same things to Stone Cold Steve Austin that Shane did to AJ and Austin retaliated this way, it’d be a babyface move. I still don’t understand how AJ is the heel in this situation.
When we come back from commercial, medics are looking Shane over and say they want to take him to the ER. Shane refuses and Finley suggest they take him to the trainer’s room instead. They slowly walk him that way as the medics try to control the bleeding from Shane’s head.
We cut to the locker room where AJ is gathering his things. The Usos are nearby and tell AJ he’s crazy and probably going to get fired. Daniel Bryan stops AJ in the hallway. He calls AJ a coward and now he’s lost all respect for him. AJ asks if he’s fired and Daniel Bryan says “Damn right, you are” and security escorts AJ out of the building. (The crowd boos this decision, proving once again that AJ is the face here).
Mojo Rawley faced Dolph Ziggler in a “Crowd Struggles to Care” match. And I use the word “match” lightly. The match begins and Mojo throws Dolph out of the ring over the top rope. He then does it again. And then one more time. JBL points out that if this were the “Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal”, Ziggler would have been eliminated 3 times already. Ziggler gets fed up and leaves, allowing Mojo to win by countout.
Randy Orton comes down to the ring to explain his “master plan” of joining the Wyatt Family to destroy it. He wanted hit Bray where it hurts the most and blah blah blah. He said he destroyed Bray’s power and now he’s alone. Honestly, it wasn’t very interesting (downright boring) and his explanation was filled with holes, inconsistencies, and stupid decisions. Much like the lead up to this match, so I guess his explanation was, at least, accurate.
And the segment only got worse when Bray Wyatt appeared on the Titan Tron. Bray says that Orton wasn’t able to burn the soul of Sister Abigail because she’s the spawn of Satan and was forged in hell. No, really. That’s what he friggin’ said. He rubs ashes on his face and says Sister Abigail has now bestowed her powers onto Wyatt and he will “purge the infidels”.
So Bray Wyatt is now infused with the powers of Satan because… reasons. Great. Mind-bending storytelling right there, guys.
We have a quick interview with Baron Corbin who says even though he crushed Dean Ambrose with a forklift last week, he’s not done with him yet. He put him in the hospital and if Dean wants to come back from that, he’s going to take his Intercontinental Championship.
The Usos faced American Alpha in a pretty great tag match. Competitive throughout with some great spots and double team moves. We saw some top rope dives from the Usos and of courses Jordan and Gable were suplex machines.
The Usos were able to get the win after Gable got tied up in the ropes. They super kicked Jordan and got the quick pin victory in an entertaining but quick match.
SIDE NOTE: WWE is running out of time to book and properly promote a semi-interesting Smackdown Tag Title match at Wrestlemania. Seems like it might be a pre-show afterthought at this point.
Shane McMahon is still backstage. He begins to make his way through the production area. On the way he grabs a microphone off a nearby table and heads out through gorilla position. Shane slowly walks on stage, still looking a bit disoriented from the attack. He says if AJ Styles is looking for a Wrestlemania opponent, he’s got one, with Shane.
SIDE NOTE: I guess this just proves that if you’re a WWE Superstar and you commit a felony (assault/attempted murder here, arson in Orton’s case) then you get to go on to Wrestlemania…
And so all the mediocre pieces continue to fall into their mediocre places for a mediocre Wrestlemania. I’m not going to sit here a profess to be a better businessman than Vince McMahon, but I could have booked a better Wrestlemania from my toilet than he has in a board room filled with “creative” writers.