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WWE Smackdown!- March 5, 2015

by Scrooge McSuck

- We’re 24 days away from WrestleMania 31. Taped from Washington D.C. on March 3rd, 2015. Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Byron “Not The Coach” Saxton are calling all the action, unless otherwise noted.

- Dolph Ziggler comes out to open the show, in possession of the Intercontinental Championship, property of Bad News Barrett. I guess you could call him “Sad News Barrett”, am I right? High Five? Anyone? Eh… Judging by my tally, right now it seems like the Intercontinental Ladder Match at WrestleMania will feature Bad News Barrett (obviously), Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, R-Truth, Daniel Bryan, and Luke Harper. Bad News Barrett interrupts Ziggler, reminding everyone he’s the Champion, even if a bunch of juveniles keep playing games stealing his Title. Luke Harper attacks Ziggler from behind and has a tug of war with Barrett until Ziggler recovers. Dean Ambrose joins the party to even things out. Once again, R-Truth comically arrives to steal the Championship while everyone else brawls at ringside. He gets busted AND his music cues, so he scampers off with the belt in full view of Ambrose and Ziggler.

- Renee Young catches up with R-Truth backstage. He cuts a whacky promo about eating when he’s not hungry so when he’s hungry he doesn’t have to eat. He offers the belt to her, but she refuses. “Where’s Gene Ambrose?” and off he goes, again.

Los Matadores (w/ El Torito) vs. Tyson Kidd & Cesaro (Tag Champions; w/ Natalya):

Non-Title Match, but Cesaro and Kidd are on a roll, and the Matadores are bottom feeders. Natalya is sporting her super-sexy Catwoman outfit from Fastlane, so there’s one good thing about this match already. No entrance for the Matadores. Kidd and Diego start. Criss-cross, Fernando joins the fun, and takes Kidd down with a swinging neck breaker. Cesaro pounds away in the corner, but gets taken over with a flying head scissors. Diego with a head scissors of his own. He hits the ropes and gets caught with a tilt-o-whirl back breaker. Kidd prevents a tag, and Cesaro rolls up Diego for two. Cesaro withan uppercut, then sets his site on Torito. Natalya trips up Torito, Cesaro with the Giant Swing into a Kidd dropkick, and it’s good for three at 2:24. ¾* Too short, but we all know these two teams with 10-minutes could be a pretty good match.

- Big Show and Corporate Kane are entering the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Another chance for the crowd to not care. These two have become insufferable.

Ryback vs. Corporate Kane:

I feel like we’ve seen this match a few weeks in a row lately. I guess it’s because of the Six-Man Tags. After a LONG break, Ryback is still in the ring waiting for his match. Speaking of Ryback, he will also be in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Kane quickly takes control, putting the boots to the Big Guy. Whip to the corner and Kane follows in with a clothesline. Whip to the ropes, Ryback surprises Kane with a neck breaker. Ryback with a belly-to-belly suplex and a splash from the second rope. Big Show hops on the apron for a distraction, but it doesn’t work. Ryback with the Meat Hook for three at 2:05. Wow, talk about doing a quick job. I’m just not going to give ratings for matches too short to mean anything.

- Post-match, Corporate Kane orders Ryback into another match… this time with the Big Show. Crowd boos for reasons that are more like “Seriously? Big Show? No thanks.”

Ryback vs. Big Show:

Ugh. #GoAwayBigShow needs to trend 24/7 until he finally retires. Show argues with the referee calling for the bell before he entered the ring. Slugfest, won by Big Show. Whip to the corner and Show connects with a clothesline. Show with a slam, and the audio sweetening is off the charts. Ryback avoids a charge and drives a series of shoulders into the midsection. I’m surprised he wasn’t DQ’ed for doing it too much. He fights out of a goozle and plants Show with a spinebuster. Kane with a distraction from the apron, and he eats another Meat Hook. Show tenderly hits the KO Punch for three at 2:52. -* I vow not to give Show anything but negative star matches until he stops boring the crap out of me. #GoAwayBigShow… yes, I’m aware hash-tags don’t work in situations like this.

- Bray Wyatt continues his crusade to call out The Undertaker for a match at WrestleMania 31. He will be the “2” in 21-2. OK, he didn’t really say that, but now I bet WWE wishes they gave Wyatt the win over Cena. Imagine if he started his “WrestleMania” streak by pinning Cena and then ending the Undertaker’s, instead of this meaningless match. Meaningless as in “there’s no streak on the line, so Undertaker has nothing of worth to put up.”

- Recap of the Jon Stewart/Seth Rollins saga from Monday Night Raw.

A.J. Lee (w/ Paige) vs. Brie Bella (w/ Nikki Bella):

At least on Smackdown, WWE can edit out the obnoxious chants for CM Punk. Seriously fans, stop it. He’s happy being gone from WWE and is signed to another company where he is happy. Leave the chants in the dump pile in the corner and enjoy the show. I’m sure A.J. would appreciate the chants going away, too. Thank you, and now, to the match. Will WWE #GiveDivasAChance? I hope so, only if they can work a decent match. Lockup and Brie with a takedown. AJ gets knees up on a charge, takes Brie over with an arm drag, and hooks an armbar. Brie escapes, but runs right into an elbow. AJ baseball slides out of the ring, tripping Brie up in the process. She comes off the top with a body press for two. Brie comes back with a missile dropkick for two. She pounds A.J.’s head into the canvas for another near fall. A.J. fights out of Brie’s goofy abdominal resthold, but gets elbowed down and Brie comes off the ropes with a basement dropkick for two. Brie takes the time to talk trash to Paige, allowing A.J. to roll her up for a two count. Brie recovers quickly, connecting with a clothesline for two. Brie with a DDT for two. Brie remains in control, hooking a chinlock. Brie with a running knee to the face, but another missile dropkick misses. So Brie Mode IS missing moves. OK. AJ. with a Thesz Press, followed by a neck breaker. Spinning kick to the midsection and a dropkick sends Brie to the floor. Back inside, A.J. hooks the Black Widow, and Brie taps at 7:43. **1/4 Solid work. Brie’s clearly not up to the level of Paige or to a lesser extent, A.J., but she did a decent job working heel style in a longer than usual match.

- Renee Young is backstage with Daniel Bryan. They continue to push the Intercontinental Championship. Bryan still isn’t “official” for the match, but the idea of everyone gunning for a Championship, and now drawing Bryan into the mix, almost immediately elevates the Championship by association. Maybe WWE does know what they’re doing… sometimes.

- Alundra Blayze is YOUR Newest Inductee for the Hall of Fame Class of 2015. Yes, they acknowledged her history as Madusa, unlike the Bushwhackers who had a two decade long career before becoming unwatchable comedy losers.

The New Day (w/ Xavier Woods) vs. The Miz & Damien Mizdow:

The best thing I’ve got to say for this is that Woods recently had a tattoo done of the Hylian Crest from the Legend of Zelda, so mad props to a fellow Zelda inker. This past Monday Night, the commercial Miz stole from Mizdow turned out to be a “erectile dysfunction” pill called “Niagra”. The Miz tweeted out he has no trouble in the bedroom to kill any of the rumors, but his wife (former WWE Diva Maryse) suggested it has happened before. Miz and Kofi start. Miz with a headlock and shoulder tackle. Criss-cross ends with Kofi connecting with an elbow and taking Miz over with an arm drag. Miz plants Kofi with a DDT, complete with excellent sell job. Mizdow tags himself in and runs through Kofi with clotheslines. He hits the back breaker and neck breaker, all while still wearing his glasses. Miz tags himself back in and calls Mizdow a “stupid idiot” leading to Mizdow turning his back on Miz. Big E in, and the Big Ending finishes at 3:15. ½* They really need to pull the plug soon on this Miz/Mizdow angle. As for the New Day, they are so un-over they’re under.

- Another taped interview with Roman Reigns conducted by Byron Saxton. He’s going to have a war with Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 and will walk away the WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

Jack Swagger vs. Rusev (US Champion; w/ Lana):

Non-Title Match, and job #503 for Swagger against Rusev. I give this an under/over of 2-minutes, with my pick being under. Rusev quickly sends Swagger to the floor. Swagger with rights and a clothesline, then tosses Rusev out of the opposite side of the ring as we take a break (I’m excluding the commercial time in the overall time). We come back with Rusev putting the feet to Swagger. Rusev grabs a chinlock, and I just lost my own over/under. I need to start rigging that. Swagger mounts a comeback, sending Rusev to the corner and connecting with a clothesline. Swagger Bomb meets feet, but he grabs the ankle and slaps on the Patriot Lock. Rusev easily makes it to the ropes, forcing a break. Swagger shoves Rusev off the apron and rams him into the security wall. Back inside, Rusev comes back with the jumping super-kick, and the Accolade finishes at 4:00. * Same match they’ve been doing on-and-off for the last few months. Post-match, Curtis Axel cuts a promo on behalf of AxelMania, challenging Rusev for a match on Monday Night Raw.

- Lame backstage segment with Cameron, Summer Rae, and Eva Marie obnoxiously milking the #GiveDivasAChance slogan. I forgot Eva Marie was allowed near a WWE arena.

Dean Ambrose & Dolph Ziggler vs. Bad Bews Barrett & Luke Harper:

This is YOUR TV Main Event. R-Truth has joined the commentary team. Ziggler and Harper start. Lockup, Ziggler takes him off his feet and goes for a chinlock. Harper easily counters with his own. Ziggler with a dropkick, but his snap DDT is countered with a throw. Barrett tags himself in, because that’s the in-thing for booking matches. Ambrose tags in too, and stomps away in the corner. Whip across the ring and Ambrose will a bulldog. He comes off the top with his signature elbow drop for a two count. Ambrose and Ziggler clear the ring as we take our last commercial break.

We return, with Barrett in control of a chinlock on Ambrose. Ambrose fights free but is quickly knocked back down. Harper works in his Gator-Roll and settles in with his own chinlock. Ambrose escapes with a jaw buster. He unloads with rights and chops, but gets his leg thrown out from under him. Barrett puts the boots to Ambrose, but meets an elbow on a charge. Ambrose with a tornado DDT, and its hot tag time to Ziggler. He splashes Harper in the corner, takes him down with a neck breaker, and connects with the jumping elbow drop for two. Snap DDT gets two. Harper catches Ziggler off the ropes with a Boss Man Slam for two. Ambrose with his rope-bounce clothesline on Barrett. Harper signals for the end, but Ziggler interrupts with a Super-Kick, and the Zig Zag finishes at 10:03. ** Standard formula match until the hot ending.

Post-match, the Bull Hammer KO’s Ziggler, and he nails Ambrose with a boot. He fingers Truth, who teases handing over the belt until Ambrose nails Barrett with a suicide dive. Some of the crowd is chanting “Run!” at Truth, but now Luke Harper is blocking his path. Truth lays the belt down, suckering Harper into a kick. His THIRD attempt at escaping is cut off by Daniel Bryan. Truth gives him the Championship and dances off comically, starting a Yes chant. From out of nowhere, STARDUST of all people attacks Bryan from behind and claims the Intercontinental Title as his own. Is that the Cosmic Cookie Kevin Sullivan was talking about all these years?!

Final Thoughts: Fun finish to what was a bit of a chore to sit through. I applaud the effort in giving AJ. and Brie some time to work, but the Main Event was very disappointing. The rest was the usual filler, but the pacing of the show was completely off with poorly timed commercial breaks. That whole sequence between Ryback and Kane/Big Show lasted nearly 20-minutes thanks to three commercial breaks and other nonsense tossed in as bumpers. Not an awful show, but not as fun as it has been in recent weeks.

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