Back once more, let’s hope we have a better show this week. Three matches last week..seriously.
AJ Styles confronts Daniel Bryan to start the show, looking for Shane McMahon to address how he was screwed out of the title shot last week, after not finding him backstage, he says he’s going to the ring to air his grievances with the WWE Universe.
He says he never got his real rematch after losing the title. Just an Elimination Chamber match, and got screwed over further still, over and over by Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan. And yet despite this, he’s the one who put this show back on the map.
At first I admit I thought the Shane vs AJ Styles match for Wrestlemania was a dumb idea, but in this execution of story, it feels natural.
Wow, only a two man commentary team tonight, JBL and Todd Phillips. This is this kid’s chance to shine Solo tonight, let’s see if he can be the next Michael Cole in time maybe.
Match 1-Becky Lynch vs Natalya
After Natalya turned on Becky Lynch last week, which of course, she’s a heel, so it should have been expected, we have this match here tonight.
Becky taking charge early on, but Natalya calls for a time out, then offers a handshake, but Becky isn’t falling for it and attacks.
I really have to say, both the women’s and tag team divisions on this show feel weak, and spread thin, as this match for Wrestlemania coming up with Alexa Bliss defending her women’s title against “all available members” of the brands women’s roster is essentially a fatal four way. Naomi is injured and Nikki is in the match with Cena, that’s all they have going for them. That’s not enough to carry a show.
Back to the match though, Natalya takes control over Becky for a bit, but you can’t keep the lass kicker down, and she gets some offense in, before hitting Natalya with the Disarmer for the win. And then Carmella enters the ring, kicks both of them, and walks out, reminding us that she’s also in this match at Mania too. Forgot about her somehow.
Match Winner-Becky Lynch
Up next it’s Miz TV, the most must see talk show in WWE history. With his special guests ..The Miz and Maryse. And he’s here to expose John Cena and Nikki Bella for the frauds that they are.
They cut a great promo last week on Cena and Nikki on Talking Smack on the WWE Network. If you’re not watching it, you should. It expands on the stuff you don’t get to cover during the regular show.
Maryse is doing some great work here on the mic, not sure how much of this stuff is real and how much is scripted, but this is when wrestling is good, when you don’t know what’s a shoot and what isn’t. This might even be the best work of her career. Like I’m actually excited for this mixed tag match now. What the hell..
Cena and Nikki are out to defend themselves now, and Miz and Maryse hightail it out of the ring. Nikki says she’s going to talk, and the crowd is booing her. I love it. Her promo skills are still so weak. Her in-ring skills have gotten better, but I’m still not buying her on the mic. She’s like a chihuahua, all yip but no bite.
Daniel Bryan is out next to make this match official for Wrestlemania, another match on paper that sounded horrible, but in the storyline building, this is some great stuff.
And once again, Nikki Bella ruins it by hugging John Cena all excited like, like this was completely unexpected. I’m totally rooting for The Miz and Maryse here.
Match 2-Mickie James vs Alexa Bliss
I loved Mickie’s turn on Alexa last week, that was one of the highlights of the show for me last week, and now we get to see these two in action against each other.
Mickie, with her veterans instincts takes control in the early goings here. Alexa isn’t a wallflower by any means though, and unleashes her own offense.
These two women are really evenly matched here, a lot of back and forth action here. Alexa coming back on top, screaming at her, “you’re nothing without me” which is so not true, if anything I’d say the opposite.
Mickie taking this back with a series of kicks,Bliss with the rollup , but this isn’t done yet, as we get some near falls, until Alexa hits her finisher, then Mickie hits her with hers, the Mick Kick, and she pins the women’s champion for the win, 1-2-3.
Match Winner-Mickie James
AJ Styles pacing backstage, waiting for Shane’s arrival. Shane drives up, and AJ attacks the Smackdown commissioner relentlessly, saying he wants his Wrestlemania moment. He tosses Shane head first into a car window, Attitude Era style. Fit Finley comes to Shane’s aid, and he’s bleeding from the head.
Now this is how you build a Wrestlemania match. I’m sold on this match now.
Back from commercial the paramedics are checking out Shane, and they walk him out.
Backstage, even The Usos are upset with AJ for his actions. Daniel Bryan confronts AJ along with some security guards, who say that he’s fired, and they escort him out of the arena. Wow, even though I know that this is all build up, it’s great build up to this match. Can’t wait to see what happens next. I’m guessing the match will be AJ Styles vs Shane, for his career.
Match 3-Mojo Rawley vs Dolph Ziggler
We get a recap from last week, setting up this match from the backstage confrontation after Mojo announced his entry into the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal match at Wrestlemania.
Mojo starts off in control, tossing Ziggler out of the ring twice, which, were this the Battle Royal, he’d be eliminated. Ziggler slaps him around a bit, and gets tosses out a third time for his trouble.
Ziggler walks off, giving Mojo the win by count out. Well that was the definition of a filler match.
Match Winner-Mojo Rawley
Randy Orton is up next, to address what he did to Bray Wyatt’s cabin the other week. I felt like he’s supposed to be the heel here with Bray getting a sympathy face turn now, but people still cheer for him as he makes his way to the ring, and he’s getting the crowd to get louder, so he’s still face here.
He explains everything that has happened in the past few months, how and why he joined the Wyatt Family. He put himself into a whole new level by destroying the Wyatt compound. This whole story has been just perfection since the start. With the exception of whatever they’re doing or not doing with Luke Harper. He got screwed here.
Bray appears on the monitor, in the shadows, like Col. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now. He says that Sister Abigail was not destroyed, she can not be destroyed, says he has all her power now. He says he is baptizing himself in her ashes, and proceeds to put the dirt below him all over, and screams.
This is one creepy, awesome story they’re telling here.
Match 4 – American Alpha vs The Usos
Wow, we get a tag match tonight, where were these guys last week? I must say here, like I’ve told my friends before, that I’m a fan of this heel turn for The Usos, this attitude has helped them out a lot, but they still haven’t really been used on tv much for some reason.
While this match goes on in the top of the screen, we cut to Shane McMahon walking backstage, being accompanied by Fit Finley and Jamie Noble. Seems this too, is a filler match. They don’t really have anything for the tag team division it seems.
Back in the match, Usos are in control here. They’re making American Alpha look like amateurs here. Gable and Jordan can’t get any offense in against these two.
Back to Shane, he’s leaving, but turns back around, he’s not ready to go yet, he’s heading out to the arena floor right now.
Meanwhile, in our main event, Gable gets some control hits Jay with a couple suplexes, and has him in total control. Jordan tags in, but the Usos hit a superkick, and a rollup for the win.
Match Winner-The Usos
Shane grabs a mic, comes out to the entrance ramp, and calls out AJ Styles, saying that he doesn’t have an opponent, well he has one..
And with that, Smackdown goes off the air rather abruptly. God forbid that Chrisley Knows Best doesn’t start promptly at 10. I guess we’ll get some sort of closure on Talking Smack tonight. Still, a very odd way to end the show tonight. Once again it seems that the matches didn’t really mean anything tonight, though there were some decent matches for the most part, and it was all story building. Some great stuff there tonight, so I’ll give this show a grade of a C tonight. Definitely better than last week.