3/12/15 Smackdown Review – Reigns Cures Insomnia as IC Title Maintains Focus

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Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose def. Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper and Stardust by pinfall

Bryan cut an in-ring promo, saying that every week he tries to ignore the WrestleMania sign hanging over the ring. He said that he has come to accept that he can’t recreate his WrestleMania moment from last year, but that he could be a more exciting Intercontinental Champion than Reigns or Lesnar could be compelling as a World Heavyweight Champion.

Bryan pointed out that the only belt he hasn’t won in WWE is the IC Title, before officially announcing his involvement in the IC Title ladder match at WrestleMania. Barrett, Ziggler, Harper, Ambrose and Stardust each took his turn to enter and interrupt, before R-Truth finally walked out with the title.

Truth said that since Barrett keeps losing the title belt, he’ll hold onto it until WrestleMania. Barrett tried to argue, but Truth said that possession is 9/10 of the law. Barrett attempted to head after Truth, but was held back by Bryan and Ziggler. Chaos broke out in the ring, with Bryan, Ziggler and Ambrose left standing in a tenuous ‘we’re all babyfaces’ alliance.

The opening portion of the match was mostly based around quick tags. Bryan put Stardust in a surfboard, following up with uppercuts on Barrett. Bryan hit a top-rope hurricanrana on Stardust, followed by an enziguiri on Harper, making the hot tag to Ambrose.

Ambrose hit a bulldog and a sit-out split-legged facebuster forcing Harper to make the save. Ambrose hit a top-rope elbow drop to both Harper and Stardust on the floor, then tossed Stardust back inside. Ambrose hit a rebound clothesline, but allowed Barrett to distract him for long enough for Harper to hit a big boot.

Stardust tried for a superplex on Ambrose, who fought him off with a facebuster and a missile dropkick. Ziggler and Harper tagged in, with Ziggler unloading. Ziggler hit a neckbreaker and an elbow drop to earn a two-count, following up with a dropkick and a Famouser for a near-fall.

Harper earned two with a schoolboy, but Ziggler hit a superkick, forcing Stardust to make the save. Everyone brawled around a bit, and Ambrose/Bryan hit tandem dives between the ropes. Ziggler tried to join them, but ran into a big boot from Harper, who hit a sitout powerbomb for a very close near-fall.

Ziggler responded and hit a Zig-Zag, as Bryan tagged himself in for a running knee to polish off Harper. After the match, Michael Cole congratulated Bryan on his win, but Ziggler interrupted, saying that Bryan had stolen his win, but that he understood seeing as it’s WrestleMania season.

Ambrose said that he and everyone else in the locker room knows the truth about Bryan, which is “you’re a turd.” Ziggler said that he doesn’t agree with Ambrose on much, but that he sure agrees with him on this one. Ziggler dropped the microphone and left Bryan alone in the ring.

Scott’s Thoughts: Ambrose showed some nice variety in his moveset tonight, which was a welcome sight. The focus on the Intercontinental Championship has been excellent, and it helps that some of the company’s best wrestlers are in the program together.

 

Mark Henry becomes the next in line to try to make people care about Roman Reigns. He fails.

Reigns cut yet another promo putting over his own family, because “family man Roman Reigns” is the last scrap of personality this guy has anymore. Thankfully, Henry showed up to mercifully stop Reigns from continuing to say words, which he should just not ever do.

Henry told Reigns that Heyman is under his skin, and pointed out that all Reigns talks about anymore is his heritage, and how Heyman says Reigns can’t beat Lesnar. I don’t think this was supposed to break the fourth wall as much as it did, because Henry literally explained Reigns’ entire character at present in about three seconds flat.

Henry reminded Reigns that Lesnar had F5’d him onto the floor not long ago, and that Reigns wasn’t ready for that. Henry said that neither Lesnar nor the fans respect Reigns, and that the boys in the locker room don’t either. “Sad puppy Reigns” tried to leave the ring, but Henry pushed him. Reigns hit a Superman punch, thoroughly exciting several preteens in attendance. He then pumped his arms with the sort of enthusiasm shown by a sorority girl who had just taken her first Jello shot.

Reigns speared Henry through the barricade, which is at least always a cool spot. Reigns was given a mic AGAIN (somebody stop this man), and said “You can’t” eight times in a row, before saying that he indeed can, and will. Good for you, Roman. He then urged us to believe that, as he so often does. There was some grunting and scowling as well.

Afterwards, Renee Young interviewed Henry in the locker room. Henry awkwardly put Reigns over, saying that he had won his respect.

Scott’s Thoughts: This is the man who is headlining Wrestlemania. He’s not even over enough to carry *one single segment* on an episode of Smackdown. He was starting to win me over around FastLane, but I probably dislike him more right now than I ever have. His booking has been absolutely horrendous, and he’s not talented enough to rise above his awful material.

You don’t have to be particularly intelligent to feel WWE pandering in this angle, and it’s borderline offensive that they think we’ll accept Reigns as the top guy just because everyone on the roster is continually forced to say how great he is.

He just doesn’t have ‘it’. He can only sort of wrestle, and on the mic, he’s more wooden than mahogany. And mahogany is literally a type of wood. For example, later in the show, WWE showed a segment of Dolph Ziggler signing autographs at a cell phone store that was more captivating than anything Reigns did tonight.

 

Los Matadores, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro (w/El Torito and Natalya) def. The Usos, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods (w/Naomi and Big E) by pinfall

Kofi hit a springboard dropkick on Los Matadores to open up the offense, but Los Matadores recovered with a dropkick of his own on Woods. Los Matadores controlled the match for a while, but Jimmy finally hit an enziguiri to turn the momentum.

Jey hit a Samoan drop on Kidd, following up with a stinkface. Kofi tagged himself in blindly and hit a springboard crossbody, forcing Cesaro to make the save. Each team took turns taking out their own partners, whether accidental or not. The highlight was when Jey dove to the outside, and Woods followed it up with a somersault plancha to Jey.

Back in the ring, Kidd used a sunset flip to earn a near-fall on Kofi. Both men exchanged pinning maneuvers, and Kidd set up for his spinning neckbreaker finisher, but one of Los Matadores tagged in like a real idiot, eating Trouble in Paradise from Kofi for making such a dumb tag.

Los Matadores pulled a switcharoo when the ref wasn’t looking, and the other one hit a backstabber on Kofi, grabbing the tights for the pinfall win.

Scott’s Thoughts: So, I guess Los Matadores are turning at least semi-heel? Still don’t care about them. Also, now that they’re *both* wearing arm sleeves on their left arm, I can’t tell them apart, which drives me nuts. Furthermore, if one of these low-card teams is going to turn, why Los Matadores instead of New Day?

I just didn’t feel any investment into this match, partially because — like most other fans — I couldn’t care less about New Day or Los Matadores. I also feel like Los Matadores’ “heel turn” won’t be a turn at all; it’ll just be some sort of tweenery stuff to try to make their inclusion in the title picture less obnoxious.

After all, you can’t turn a tag team with a midget bull mascot heel.

 

Randy Orton explains himself to Michael Cole

Orton said that he had thoroughly enjoyed his mind games with Seth Rollins, admitting that he had been playing him the entire time. Orton gloated over Rollins’ misguided trust, saying that he had waited for the perfect moment to turn on him — a moment when Kane, Big Show, Jamie Noble and Joey Mercury were all unable to come to Rollins’ aid. Orton said that when he shows up to Raw on Monday, he’ll spit in Rollins’ face and challenge him to a WrestleMania match.

Scott’s Thoughts: This was so much better than Reigns’ segment, it’s not even comparable…and this was just good, not even particularly great. Vengeful Orton is the best Orton, and he was on point here for sure.

 

Ryback def. The Miz by pinfall

Ryback hit a facebuster, followed by a delayed vertical suplex. Miz fought back with a jawbreaker, and sent Ryback into the ring post. Ryback responded with a spinebuster and a Meathook Clothesline, finishing Miz off with Shell Shocked.

Scott’s Thoughts: There was a little bit of Miz/Mizdow development here, with Miz telling Mizdow to stay backstage, and Mizdow chuckling at Miz’s loss. Still, this just felt like a filler match.

 

Paige and AJ Lee def. Cameron and Summer Rae (w/Eva Marie)

The heels worked over AJ, exchanging quick tags. AJ made the hot tag to Paige, who used several short-arm clotheslines to knock down Summer. Paige hit a superkick and locked in the PTO for the submission. After the match, the Bellas (on commentary) almost got in a fight with Paige/AJ.

Scott’s Thoughts: So nice to see that #GiveDivasAChance actually worked…never mind.