- Taped on March 10th, 2015, from Detroit, MI with Michael Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Byron Saxton calling the action, unless otherwise noted.
- Daniel Bryan comes out to address the crowd… and that damn WrestleMania sign. He won’t be able to repeat his WrestleMania Moment from last year, but when one door closes, another opens… and so he has to force-feed us about how important the Intercontinental Championship is, and how it can be more exciting than the World Heavyweight Championship Match. It’s also the “only” Championship he’s never won (I’ll take him for his word on this). Bad News Barrett, the winless Champion, interrupts and promises to leave WrestleMania as the Champion. This continues, with Dolph Ziggler, Luke Harper, Dean Ambrose, Stardust and R-Truth (in possession of the belt) all declaring their intentions. Stardust is about as over as the New Day. What the heck happened to Goldust? I guess that angle is a dead issues. The end result: A 6-Man Tag Team Main Event, with everyone but R-Truth involved.
- We get an AWFUL promo from “Sting.” I say “Sting” because we are supposed to believe it’s really Sting talking, but it’s done with a voice distortion, and when the distortion breaks, the “normal” voice still doesn’t sound like Sting. They really have so little confidence in him that they can’t get him to record one promo? The scripted promo isn’t awful in what is spoken, but who it’s coming from, and the parlor tricks senselessly used.
- This last Monday Night on Raw, John Cena found a way to get his match with Rusev at WrestleMania. He beat the crap out of him, locked him in the STF until he passed out, woke him up, and reapplied the hold until Lana gave in to his demands. This just made Rusev even more mad. On a similar topic, way to go WWE in destroying AxelMania, which was gaining traction with live crowds, believe it or not.
- Roman Reigns comes out to try and push his match against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31. If Paul Heyman can’t do it, and damn it he’s trying his best, then nobody can do it. I don’t know what the hell Reigns’ motivation is supposed to be. Suddenly, the World’s Strongest Caveman, Marble Henry, shows up from out of nowhere, having been on TV since Survivor Series. Henry pushes his buttons, and eats a Superman Punch for his troubles. Then a spear through the security barrier, a spot which has grown more and more over-done every week it’s done.
- The Undertaker has accepted Wyatt’s challenge. Fantasy booking idea: Wyatt goes over, making Undertaker winless at two WrestleManias. He comes back for one final time, WrestleMania 32, with his career on the line… against John Cena. That’s all I’ve got.
- Mark Henry is recovering backstage and thinks Roman Reigns might be able to beat Brock Lesnar.
- Randy Orton, who returned triumphantly as a face at Fast Lane, finally turned face this week on Monday Night Raw, completely destroying Seth Rollins.
We return, with Harper trapping Bryan in a Gator-Roll. During the commercial break, something happened to turn the tide. Barrett tags in and pounds away across the back, then lands a punt to the midsection. Bryan with a roll up from out of nowhere on Harper, followed by a roundhouse kick. Hot tag to Ambrose, who runs through Stardust. Running bulldog from out of the corner, followed by an atomic face-buster for two. Harper pulls Ambrose to the floor, only to be met with a clothesline. Stardust misses a charge, and Ambrose comes off the top with his signature elbow drop dive onto both of them. Back in the ring, the springboard clothesline connects. Barrett prevents Dirty Deeds, opening the door for Harper to nail him with a running boot.
We return from our final break, with Barrett putting the boots to Ambrose. Ambrose fights out of a chinlock, but runs into another big boot. Stardust picks up where Barrett left off while the crowd chants for Ziggler. Stardust sets up for a super-plex, but Ambrose counters and comes off the top with a missile dropkick. Ziggler with the hot tag, hitting Harper with a diving clothesline and neck breaker. Jumping elbow drop gets two. Fame-Asser misses, but he bounces back off the ropes with a dropkick. Fame-Asser connects on attempt #2, but only gets two. Harper with a roll up for two. Ziggler with a super-kick for two! Bryan with a roundhouse kick to Stardust, then back drops Barrett to the floor. Ambrose rejoins the fun, and it’s a three-man suicide dive! Harper interrupts Ziggler’s part and hits him with a Ligerbomb for two! Harper with the Torture Rack, but Ziggler escapes and hits the Zig Zag. Bryan tags in, and the Knee finishes at 17:23. ***1/4 Perfectly acceptable 6-Man Tag that turned into a super-hot final sequence. Post-match, Ambrose, Ziggler, and Bryan seem to have a bit of a problem with each other. Ambrose actually calls Bryan a “turd.” Har-har…
Final Thoughts: Less is more definitely meant something tonight. In recent weeks, Smackdown has been bloated with lots of short matches. Tonight, only four matches featured, with two of them getting significant time. The rest of the card was filled with WrestleMania hype. I wasn’t too into the Reigns/Henry segment, but it was OK for the purpose it served, and the Intercontinental Title situation continues to heat up. We’re still two and a half weeks away from WrestleMania… where will the final roads take us?