Hey, it’s WWE Smackdown! It’s the most random show ever! It could be good, it could be bad… who knows?!?
The show started with Daniel Bryan coming down to the ring for a talky. The fans chanted, “Yes! Yes!” but Bryan cut them off and chanted his own, “No! No!”.
He said that a couple of years ago that was what he was saying instead of “Yes!” because he was frustrated at his lack of opportunities. He said that the fans never deserted him, and thanks to them he won the WWE Heavyweight title at Wrestlemania last year.
He said some backstage have asked him if the Yes! Movement is dead, and he said it wasn’t. He was about to reveal his plans for Wrestlemania when Bad News Barrett’s music interrupted him.
Barrett came down to the ring and asked Bryan how much longer he was going to carry on with this nonsense. He said no-one cared about Bryan, and that losers like Bryan didn’t deserve the Wrestlemania spotlight.
Barrett said that Ambrose didn’t either, and that Barrett was still the Intercontinental champion, despite Ambrose having his belt.
This brought Ambrose out, who began to brawl with Barrett, in and out of the ring. The belt, dropped by Ambrose when he attacked Barrett, lay in the ring. Bryan looked at it thoughtfully, then picked it up.
Barrett came back in the ring and demanded his belt, and Bryan gave it to him. Barrett then turned round into Ambrose, who beat him down and Bryan joined in. Barrett was left lying at ringside, as we went to a break.
After the break, it was clear Ambrose was actually there for a match. Bryan was gone. Barrett still lay at ringside.
The Miz came down to fight Ambrose, with no Mizdow because – as Michael Cole told us – he was filming his commercial.
Ambrose controlled this early on, and Barrett grabbed his belt back. Ambrose left the ring to take out Barrett, and retake the belt. When he came back in, Miz almost had him with the Skull Crushing Finale, which allowed Barrett to take the belt again, and run away with it.
Ambrose, although distracted, still hit the Dirty Deeds for the win.
This opening segment was GREAT. All four men were GREAT. Smackdown can be so good when it doesn’t have to deal with the bullshit storylines that clog up Raw.
They showed footage of Randy Orton’s return at Fast Lane, and then from Monday night at Raw. This is the kind of bullshit I’m talking about. They said that we’d get a re-match from Fast Lane tonight – that six-man tag that no-one ever wanted to see again.
Backstage Renee talked with Barrett backstage. He called her “Blondie” and bragged about reclaiming his title. He said he’d never let it out of sight again.
Hey, it’s Naomi and the Usos! And here comes Natalya and Tyson Kidd & Cesaro! It’s a match between the two women but, you know, men.
This was not good. Natalya was clearly still injured from the fall she took at Raw, and he poor rope-running was even worse. Natalya got the win as the men brawled on the outside.
Rusev and Lana came down to the ring to talk about John Cena and the United States title. Lana showed still photos of Rusev versus Cena at Fast Lane, and narrated the action, wonderfully.
Lana said she had been surprised by Cena’s request for a re-match, because – like all Americans – he was falling asleep on the job at Fast Lane.
She then showed a letter, congratulating Rusev, from Vladimir Putin, and read it for those stupid Americans who can’t read Russian.
Rusev said he will have an opponent at Wrestlemania, but that it will never be Cena. This brought out Jack Swagger. Obviously.
Swagger said Rusev picked the wrong place to make his stand, as the “ATL” was full of real Americans. He attacked Rusev and bullied him out of the ring.
He tried to attack him some more, but Rusev came back, and took Swagger down and then locked on the Accolade. Swagger was frantically tapping, despite it not being a match. The Russian flag dropped, and some referees came out, and Rusev finally let Swagger go.
This was good. I still don’t understand why Swagger isn’t main eventing. I saw his rookie stuff in Florida, and he impressed the hell out of me. I like him now, despite the booking. What went wrong in between?
Hey, it’s Daniel Bryan! Again! He’s fighting Bad News Barrett, in a – yes – non-title match. R-Truth was on commentary, and kept referring to Byron Saxton as “Coach”, which was funny. He was also mumbling random stuff, which was also funny because black men.
They had a decent match, and Barrett kept checking on the whereabouts of his belt. At one point it got knocked to the floor, and Barrett leaned out to check on it, and got dropkicked out of the ring. Bryan then hit a tope suicida on him.
Back in the ropes, Bryan applied the Yes! Lock and Truth, despite earlier denying he was a thief, stole Barrett’s title, comedy-hushing the crowd as he did.
Barrett threw Bryan into the corner and then readied the Bullhammer, but Bryan exploded into a Running Knee for the win.
After the match, Barrett searched for his belt. He asked the crowd at ringside if they’d seen it and they all denied they had. Good lads. Barrett then sat on the edge of the announcers’ desk and looked like the saddest man ever. Poor Wade Barrett.
They showed a pre-taped interview with Roman Reigns, sitting down with Byron Saxton. This was not good. Reigns did the family thing, because he’s not getting over on his own. I don’t understand why they keep making him do stuff he’s not good at instead of having him do stuff that he is good at…
Hey, it’s Fandango! He got to do his full entrance and then we went to a commercial break.
Backstage, R-Truth was walking proudly with the Intercontinental title. He bumped into Ambrose who asked him if he was the new champion. Truth told him he’d beaten Barrett in an epic battle. Ambrose said that he was still coming after the belt, and Truth gave it to him, saying, “Two title changes in one night! Smackdown is on fire!” Funny.
Curtis Axel came to the ring to fight Fandango. He did his “I’m still in the Rumble” thing but somehow got mixed up between days and hours, even though it was on the big screen in front of him. And on a taped show they left it in. Poor bastard.
Axel put the boots to Fandango early on and then threw him out of the ring, Rumble-style. He pointed at the Wrestlemania sign and Fandango attacked him from behind, and got the pin with his top-rope legdrop. Axel can’t buy a win but at least this is giving him something to hook onto.
Backstage, Mizdow was filming his commercial in front of a green screen, and with two pretty girls. Miz interrupted, telling him he was doing a terrible job, and then offered to do it for him. The director accepted and Mizdow looked sad. But Miz did not seem to know exactly what he was $hilling…
They announced that Bad News Barrett would defend his Intercontinental title against multiple opponents at Wrestlemania.
Hey, it’s Adam Rose! As he and the Rosebuds came down to the ring, he cut an inset promo saying he’d be gatecrashing the Wrestlemania party and would win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. I hope he wins!
Rose was fighting Goldust, and started off aggressively. Goldust came back, though, and won with the Final Cut in just one minute.
After the match, one of the Rosebuds attacked Goldust, and then stripped off to reveal Stardust. He continued his attack and left his brother lying in the ring. THIS FEUD MUST CONTINUE!
Bray Wyatt cut a talky about the Undertaker, wondering if he can even hear him. He said he’d go to the deepest, darkest depths of hell to see his face. Build build build.
Hey, it’s our main event! It’s Dolph Ziggler, The Ryback, and Erick Rowan versus Seth Rollins, Kane, and The Big Show!
Kane took the heat early on, until Big Show tagged in and started throwing Ziggler around. They went to a commercial, and Kane was in control of Ziggler when they came back.
At one point, the Big Show said, “I’m going to hit my move,” and did a middle rope splash, and then said, “I hit my move!” He really gives zero shits.
Ziggler finally tagged out to The Ryback, who ran wild. He took Rollins down, and then J&J Security. He tried to get Rollins and Joey Mercury up for the Shell Shock but the Big Show stopped it. Boooooooo!
It broke down into a brawl, with all eight men involved, and Rollins superkicked The Ryback, setting him up for the kerb stomp. The Ryback avoided it, and Ziggler superkicked Rollins into a Shell Shock, with The Ryback pinning Seth Rollins for the win.
This was better than their Fast Lane match, but got really stodgy in the middle. The ending was good, though. Quite why Rollins, probably the top heel in the company right now, had to eat the pin when Kane & The Big Show were standing there is beyond me.
This was a Fun Show. It skipped along, and was genuinely entertaining. Is that because of who wasn’t there or because of who was? A bit of both, probably, but if they can get the guys who booked this – and the one where Everybody Was In Abu Dhabi the other week – to book all Smackdowns, I’d be a happy man.