WWE SMACKDOWN LIVE! (3/28/17)
-Becky Lynch VS Carmella w/ James Ellsworth; no contest.
-Mickie James & Becky Lynch VS Alexa Bliss & Carmella w/ James Ellsworth; Alexa & Carmella win.
-10 Man Tag: The Usos, Breezango & Dolph Ziggler VS American Alpha, Mojo Rawley, Slater & Rhyno; Rawley & team win.
-Bray Wyatt VS Luke Harper; Wyatt wins.
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General Manager, Daniel Bryan, comes out to the ring! “Are you ready, for Wrestlemania?!” Richmond, Virginia says “YES!” Bryan then introduces Commissioner Shane McMahon and AJ Styles, as Bryan is going to preside over a contract signing for the SmackDown grudge match of Shane O’Mac and The Phenomenal One.
Shane recalls how eight months ago when SmackDown went live and became its own brand, Shane promised for SmackDown to be about opportunity, about the superstars and not the management, and Shane felt Styles was always going to be a big part of that. Styles is one of the greatest talents to be in the WWE, and therefore is truly Phenomenal. Wow, they actually agree on that! Styles has been all around the world, and “blew the doors off of this place” when he debuted over a year ago. Styles “catapulted” off that to become a WWE World Champion, but then he became arrogant, arrogant enough to lose the title to Cena, to Wyatt, to Orton. His ego is why Styles couldn’t stand being excluded from Wrestlemania, and that’s why he attacked Shane. But Shane assures that Styles that no matter who Shane has faced, Shane has made them dig deep like never before to give their best. So if AJ Styles don’t give it his best, he won’t feel so Phenomenal when it’s Shane’s hand being raised as the winner. Shane signs the contract and passes it to Styles. Styles asks if Shane knows what kind of match they’re in for. Not a Hell in a Cell, a Falls Count Anywhere, Tables-Ladders-Chairs, none of that. This is a traditional match, Shane’s not used to those. Entering the ring is entering the “World of AJ Styles”. Styles is “untouchable” inside this ring. If Shane wants to wrestle, to throw hands, to fly through the air, go ahead, Styles can embarrass you on every level. Shane has faced the “who’s who” of WWE, from Kurt Angle to Shawn Michaels to Stone Cold to THE UNDERTAKER. But Shane’s never been in the ring with AJ Styles, the greatest talent to be in the WWE, and Shane will learn first hand how Phenomenal AJ is. Contract signed, table out of the way, but Bryan keeps the peace. They should instead “seal the deal” with a handshake. Shane offers, Styles declines. No love lost already between these two, how much damage with these two deal each other at Wrestlemania to settle their score?
Becky Lynch VS Carmella w/ James Ellsworth!
This match was interrupted last week by “all available women on the SmackDown roster”, as that is how it’ll be at Wrestlemania, but now the Lass Kicker and Princess of Staten Island get another chance to get a leg up on the other. The only thing is, Richmond’s own Mickie James and the SmackDown Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss are ringside to join commentary. Alexa is confident that she’ll retain, no matter the stipulation. Meanwhile, the “handsome male specimen” that is Pretty Jimmy Dream once again introduces the F A B U L O U S Carmella, and is her coach and… gum valet… Becky grabs Carmella’s arm and pulls her in for a European Uppercut. Carmella reverses the whip and kicks Becky out of her counter before lounging on top of Becky to choke her with the ropes. Carmella then throws Becky down by her hair, Becky kicks out and fires back. Enziguri knocks Carmella down while Mickie and Alexa argue over how and why Mickie is back in the WWE. The two turn from arguing to shoving! Alexa throws a right forearm, Mickie flapjacks Alexa on the apron! Once again, this match gets interrupted, Mickie hits Carmella, the match is thrown out before Carmella takes a Becksploder and Alexa takes a Mick Kick! Mickie and Becky then stare down as we go to break.
Mickie James & Becky Lynch VS Alexa Bliss & Carmella w/ James Ellsworth!
Yes, GM Daniel Bryan again honors former GM Teddy Long by making four competitors compete in an impromptu tag match! Alexa and Mickie start, Mickie giving Alexa a low dropkick but Alexa kicks out. Mickie kicks Alexa down before tagging Becky, Becky hits a leg drop then elbow drop then another leg drop, TWO. Tag back to Mickie, Alexa gets away to tag Carmella. Alexa even shoves Carmella in, things are tense between those two. Carmella trash talks Mickie only to take kicks from the iconic former champion, Mickie kicks Carmella away then has to fight Alexa off, Carmella pounces in the distraction. She rains forearms, Mickie kicks out, so Carmella again sits and chokes. Carmella is backed down by the ref, so Alexa gives a cheap shot kick right to Mickie’s face! TWO! Tag to Alexa, Alexa wrenches Mickie’s neck as the fans rally for the veteran. Mickie fights and armdrags out, school girl, TWO. Alexa pulls Mickie down by her hair, TWO. Alexa drags Mickie over by her hair, and stands on the hair while she pulls at the arms. Alexa puts on a chinlock to squeeze Mickie, Mickie gets up and fights back again. Another school girl pin, Alexa kicks out and stuns Mickie with another forearm. That’s when Natalya, the only woman not in this match, comes out! We go to break as the Queen of Harts heads down the ramp.
Natalya joins commentary as Alexa keeps on Mickie. Mickie gives a Mick-canrana to escape and then a neckbreaker to take Alexa down. The two women crawl, Becky and Carmella tag in, Becky rallies and gives Carmella a Becksploder to the corner before a Straight FireArm! Jump kick, too, Natty gets up and distracts the Lass Kicker to give Carmella an opening for Ellsworth to trip Becky! Carmella gets the pin and the win, Natty goes after Becky just cuz! It’s another chaotic brawl! But wait, NAOMI is back! She’s back ahead of schedule, giving Natty a huricanrana on the ramp! She then solos Alexa and Carmella, giving kicks and a Rear View! The former champion is back because she WILL be part of that SmackDown Women’s Championship match! Will Naomi and her hometown of Orlando #FeelTheGlow?!
Daniel Bryan is confronted by “Breezy Bella” in his office. You see, Breezy wants in on that very same “All Available Women” title match at Wrestlemania. Um… No. He takes off the wig. Omg wait Tyler Breeze? Fandango KNEW he should’ve had the wristbands! The Fashion Police just want to be in Wrestlemania. Daniel Bryan has an idea: they can join a 10 Man Tag match, all participants are going to be in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, aka they will be in the battle royal. Nice! The Fashion Police then head out to “freshen up”.
It’s Miz TV! The Hollywood A-Lister and his wife promised the “finale” episode of “Total Bellas Bull****”, and without further ado… Strict Robo-Cena insists the house guests be right on time for dinner, while needing cue cards to help him say emotional things. Superficial Nikki keeps hinting at things, then in comes teeny tiny yet real and genuine Daniel Bryan (still the Miz) and confused Brie (still Maryse), who make Nikki feel awkward. When Bryan refuses the steaks, Brie gives him his juice box. Cena then instructs on the exactness of eating, or else they shall be banished! “But Joooohn~! Don’t you want to ask me something?” Another tease from Cena, Nikki is the one to ask “Will you marry me?” TO BE CONTINUED! After this commercial break.
We return for the answer to the cliffhanger! What will John Cena say to Nikki’s proposal? “I do… not ever want to marry you!” It’ll hurt the Cena brand! Hustle: a scam; Loyal: to those loyal to him; Respect: only himself and his money. If Nikki doesn’t follow that, then she will be swept aside for someone else. Wrestlemania is coming, and they’re going to be humiliated by The Miz and Maryse. Do you think Cena wants Nikki around to remind him of his failures? “You can’t see me” because there’s nothing worth seeing. Act dropped as Miz and Maryse directly speak to the real Cena and Nikki. They are going to make this Wrestlemania the last one for Cena and Nikki. Your “circus act” will be over, so enjoy those red carpets and award shows, because “the whole world is gonna know, that your entire life, is bull****.” The Miz and Maryse then take a bow for their marvelous performance before the real John Cena and Nikki Bella appear in the arena! The two hit the ring, but not to fight just yet. Cena takes a mic and admits he laughed at most of that. House rules, Bella twin airheads, not married, yeah… It’s actually one of the few good things Miz has done in the WWE. But then when you returned to being The Miz, that’s where it went wrong. You actually believe what you’re saying? Maryse wasn’t asked back into the WWE because when she was in the WWE, she wasn’t any good! And Cena springboarding from WWE to Hollywood? Fool, half the reason haters hate him is because he won’t leave! Many big names have made movies while in the WWE, including The Miz. Except, Miz is just in “crappy bootlegs” of something Cena’s already done. At least Miz is doing something, what even is Maryse doing? The WWE is going through a Women’s Revolution, but Maryse is only back because the Miz begged WWE to get her back, so they both could be on Total Divas. And you wanna talk no kids? What’s wrong with you two? Miz firing blanks? Miz and Maryse just talk and talk without listening, then blame someone else when they fail. You have this “untouchable” ego, but that’s all fake, and the real Cena is gonna knock him out. For that matter, Cena is going to crush Miz at ‘Mania. Fight of our lives? No, it’ll be a one-sided destruction. You wanna talk tough, then BE tough, else you just a pussy. The It Couple? More like SHHH, It Couple. But take your best shot now, Miz, just know that Cena will swing back. Meanwhile, Maryse is frozen cuz she knows Nikki will “knock the botox out your cheeks.” Richmond wants it, Cena and Nikki want it, but The Miz & Maryse… are going to wait. Well, Miz almost gives Cena a fight, but Maryse “wisely” pulls him away. This all comes to a head at Wrestlemania, which super couple will win?
10 Man Tag Match
The Usos, Breezango & Dolph Ziggler VS American Alpha, Mojo Rawley, Slater & Rhyno!
Ten men go 5v5 before they all go every-man-for-himself in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Ziggler starts with Jason Jordan, but JJ wants one of the Usos after they took those SmackDown tag team championships from them. The Usos decline, so Ziggler and Jordan go toe to toe in technical skill. JJ gets Ziggler down with a mat slam, standing switch from Ziggler is answered, JJ slams Ziggler again. Ziggler elbows out and gives a dropkick, saying “That’s how it’s done!” before JJ responds with his own dropkick. JJ brings Ziggler over, tag to Gable for a slam and arm snap, TWO. Ziggler kicks and punches Gable back, but Gable is quick and arm wrenches Ziggler down. Ziggler reaches for a tag but can’t get it. Gable brings Ziggler over, Slater tags in, ax handle to Ziggler’s arm before tagging in Rhyno. Rhyno gives Ziggler a lariat and a back elbow before a belly2belly toss. Rhyno lines up a shot, Ziggler is saved by the Fashion Police before we go to break.
We return as Gable puts an Uso in a hanging armbar, only for The Fashion Police to get in cheap shots. Tag of Uso to Uso, running headbutt drop, TWO. Tag to Fandango to isolate Gable, Fandango takes Gable corner to corner to bounce off the buckles hard. Tag back to Jimmy Uso, he chokes Gable on the ropes. Cheap shot from Breeze before Gable is whipped corner to corner, Gable gets out of the way to let Jimmy collide with the corner post! Tag to Jey, he blows up the other corner to deny a tag. Only Mojo is left, Gable back suplexes Jey down and crawls his way to tag Mojo! Mojo gets hype as he rallies on Breeze, then Fandango and then Ziggler! Hype Splash in the corner, fireman’s carry before the Hype Drop! TWO thanks to an Uso! JJ gets thrown out, Gable takes the Uso with him only to get SUPERKICK’d by the other Uso, Slater throws that Uso out only to get SUPERKICK’d by Ziggler! GORE GORE GORE for Ziggler from Rhyno! Fandango gets sent flying onto everyone else, Breeze kicks Rhyno down, Mojo with the Hype Arm! Mojo wins it for the team, can he win it all in the battle royal?
Luke Harper has a message for Bray Wyatt. Wyatt was blinded by power and greed, throwing out the wrong brother from the family. Harper sees the truth now, and the truth has set him FREE from the Eater of World’s grasp! If Bray was smart, he would run.
Bray Wyatt VS Luke Harper!
Just as he said before this, the one brother who was the most loyal to Bray was thrown aside when the Face of Fear couldn’t see through The Viper’s deception, and now Harper vows to make Bray pay for it! Bray takes the fight to Harper with strikes, Harper strikes back with uppercuts and a mule kick. Harper speeds up, Bray runs Harper over with that flying body check. Bray keeps on Harper with a headbutt, but Harper dropkicks Bray out of the ring. Harper puts Bray up against a barrier, then runs in at full speed to squash the champion! Harper puts Bray into the time keeper’s area and stands on the announce table before we go to commercials.
After the commercials, Bray is in control after hitting a superplex over the break. Bray stomps and punches Harper, Harper denies the yurinagi slam to give Bray a scrapbuster side slam, TWO! But this time Bray gets the yurinagi, and then the back senton, TWO. So Bray gives a second back senton! Bray leans backwards as he does, but Harper wants the Sister Abigail! Bray denies him to get out of the ring, Harper goes FLYING, TWICE, to send Bray over the announce table! Harper gets Bray into the ring, slingshot senton and a boot connect, TWO! Bray makes it to a corner, Harper gives him a back elbow, Bray wants Sister Abigail! Harper denies it with a roll up, TWO, SUPERKICK to DISCUS! Ropebreak saves Bray from the pin! Harper is beside himself, but he grabs Bray and sits him up. Bray stares into Harper’s eyes, backing him down. SISTER ABIGAIL! Bray wins suddenly, is this a display of his new powers under THE Sister Abigail? But then Randy Orton communicates, having returned to the “hallowed ground” that he set aflame and Wyatt took the power of Abigail for his own. All seeing, all knowing, and all powerful? Randy has that special scepter Wyatt used on him, and plunges it into the ground! Randy continues to exorcise Abigail, will The Viper take that title for his own!?
Raw raised their go-home game last night, but SmackDown saw that and raised it just a little bit more by opening with a contract signing and having Shane and Styles give one more promo, and I really appreciate how Styles pointed out this is a normal match. No special stipulations, no special requirements or exemptions, just a simple 1v1 singles match, and Styles is pointing out just how “phenomenal” he has been at those compared to Shane O’Mac. Even so, I’m hoping to see just one more Coast2Coast so that Shane can be satisfied and finally stop getting involved in the ring.
For sounding like a disappointing match idea when first reported in the rumor mill, leave it to John Cena, Nikki Bella, The Miz and Maryse to build the hell out of it with entertaining skits like the “Total Bella Bull****” and intense promos like the one John Cena gave tonight. If the match is even half as ferocious as these worked-shoot segments feel, it’ll make for the greatest mixed tag match WWE has ever had.
As for disappointing, I’m disappointed that WWE decided to move the WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship “all available women” match to the kickoff show when we don’t even know what kind of match it’ll be! Putting it on the kickoff show means it won’t be elimination, as the Raw Women’s Championship took that stipulation, and we can also cross of a gauntlet style as that would likely take longer. A one-fall-to-a-finish type is alright, given the number of competitors, but it just isn’t as “Ultimate Thrill Ride” as the other possibilities would’ve been. Plus, there won’t be a surprise return now that they’ve shown Naomi is ready to compete tonight as opposed to during the match. I don’t want to make this the one glaring flaw for SmackDown’s handling of the Road to Wrestlemania, but I feel they could’ve handled it better.
Lastly, I really like how Orton is being the antithesis of Roman on Raw, in that instead of not playing into the mind games, not believing in the supernatural legacy of The Deadman, Orton is plunging himself into the dark world Bray Wyatt comes from and using it against him. Things could still go Bray’s way at ‘Mania, but I’m hoping for some supernatural shenanigans happen either way.
My Score: 8/10