KELLER & MARTIN FLAGSHIP (11/28)
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Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens confront each other on Miz TV on tonight’s episode of WWE Smackdown. Also: A big eight-man tag match heading into Saturday night’s WWE Network special, Roadblock.
WWE Smackdown review
March 10, 2016
Taped 3/8/16 in Milwaukee, Wis.
Aired on USA Network
By Greg Parks, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @gregmparks)
– WWE Open.
– Smackdown Open.
– After the requisite fireworks, the eight-man tag-team main event was plugged: The Usos and Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose take on The Wyatt Family.
– The Miz was in the ring to start out the show with Miz TV. Miz talked about his guests being former best friends. He tossed it to a video package of Sami Zayn rescuing Neville from the attack of Kevin Owens on Monday night. Miz first introduced Zayn. Before interviewing Zayn, Miz paused for light “Ole” chants. Miz did a great job trying to get them going, and they picked up a little steam, but it wasn’t strong. Miz interrupted Zayn talking about his wrestling career and kept trying to “direct” the interview. Zayn said he and Owens started out together in Montreal and ended up going all over the world. He said their names had been linked together since day one. They were more like brothers and Zayn said he was best man at Kevin’s wedding. Zayn said he doesn’t know why the breakup came about. He discussed the attack by Owens on the night he won the NXT title, tying it in to his recent shoulder surgery. Miz, as if he were Jerry Springer, then introduced Owens. After a pause, Owens did come out, but he had a mic of his own.
Owens said he had explained time and time again why he did what he did to Zayn: Because it was best for his business, his family. It was nothing personal. Owens reminded Zayn that even though Zayn was signed first, Owens debuted on the main roster first. He said what Zayn did to him at the Royal Rumble was persona, as was what he did on Monday night. He claimed to be the true victim. Zayn said the first thing he’s going to do, now that he’s here to stay, is beat Owens for the Intercontinental Championship – and he’ll do it at Wrestlemania. Owens said this is not NXT, and on this show, Zayn is nothing. Zayn challenged Owens to a fight right there. Owens called Zayn “delusional” for thinking he belongs in the same ring as Owens. He took a walk, but Neville came out before he could get far. Neville told Owens that the two of them have unfinished business. He said Owens’ I.C. Title would look good around his waist.
Miz said Neville was not an approved guest on this show. He said you can’t just walk into WWE and earn an I.C. Title shot. If there’s anyone who deserves a shot, he said, it was him. Miz said he main evented Wrestlemania when the others were main eventing bingo halls. Zayn told Miz to butt out and that his time main eventing Mania is far behind him. Zayn turned his attention back to Owens, allowing MIz to attack from behind. Miz escaped when Zayn turned the tide. Mauro Ranallo called it an “incendiary situation” to kick off Smackdown. I think we all know where this is headed. Zayn and Owens both brought it on promos there, which is no surprise given the history they’re able to draw from.
1 – THE MIZ & KEVIN OWENS vs. SAMI ZAYN & NEVILLE
The heels took the lead early after some good teamwork shown by the babyfaces. Neville showed off his athleticism and took Owens down with a hurricanrana. Owens tagged out as soon as Zayn tagged in. Zayn got down on all fours and Neville stood on his back to deliver a corkscrew splash on Miz. That was certainly unique. As Neville was getting the better of Owens, Miz low-bridged him out of the ring. They cut to break at that point, 3:21 into the match.
Back at 7:12 with Owens and Miz working over Neville. Neville made a comeback with rights, but Miz put him down with a hair pull. Miz missed with a running boot, and Neville rolled him up for two. Neville ended up tossing Miz out of the ring through the ropes. Tag was finally made to Zayn at 10:10 of the match. The fresh Zayn ran wild on Miz. Step-up Tornado DDT from Zayn. Miz found himself in the heel corner and Zayn welcomed a tag to Owens. But instead of face Zayn, Owens dropped down off the apron, took his title, and walked away. Miz rolled up the distracted Zayn for two, Miz was none too happy when he realized what was going on. Suplex into the corner by Zayn, followed by the Helluva kick for the pinfall.
WINNERS: Neville and Zayn, at 12:13. This is more than likely a preview of the I.C. Title match at Wrestlemania, at least as far as the competitors involved. The match will probably be good, but Zayn and Owens have a story that deserves a one-on-one-match.
– Tonight, we’ll hear from Chris Jericho about the breakup of Y2AJ.
– We’ll see what happened as it pertains to Dean Ambrose on Raw, next.
– The Rock’s Twitter video was shown, just to remind fans he’ll be at Wrestlemania.
– Ranallo, Jerry “The King” Lawler, and Byron Saxton, plugged this month’s offerings on the WWE Network.
– In the men’s room, Goldust popped his head out above the stall looking for toilet paper. He found R-Truth outside the stall offering a helping hand. Goldust said he doesn’t need a hand, just toilet paper. Truth said he sensed that Goldust would have a need. Goldust chided Truth for his disgustingness. Truth held out the roll of toilet paper, which Goldust took and backed into the stall. He said the answer was still no.
– The Raw Rebound aired.
– A graphic was shown for Triple H vs. Dean Ambrose at Roadblock on Saturday night.
– The eight-man tag main event was plugged.
– Brie Bella came to the ring. She faces Summer Rae in a rematch from Raw. It’s next.
2 – BRIE BELLA vs. SUMMER RAE
Summer was just finishing up her entrance out of break while Lana was sitting on the announce table (not a typo), wearing a headset. They showed Lana’s distraction that led to Summer beating Brie on Raw. As the match began, Summer immediately threw Brie to ringside. Summer then tossed her into the barricade. Lana said Brie doesn’t know how to be a true woman. Back in the ring, modified cobra clutch was applied by Summer. Summer kicked at Brie in the corner. Brie got her feet up on a corner charge and dropkicked Summer from the second rope. Yes kicks followed, then a dropkick. Running knee but no one was home. Summer floated over into a cover for two. Yes Lock by Brie for the submission win.
WINNER: Brie, at 2:11. About what you’d expect from these two. I’m not sure what they’re doing with Lana and Brie, but it’s eventually going to lead to a match, which is a bit of a frightening thought.
Lana mocked the Yes chants after the match. Summer tried to attack from behind but Brie fought her off, then hit a running knee to Summer. Lana entered the ring and hit Brie with the Bella Buster.
– The announcers sent it to a video package on Shane McMahon, showing some of his greatest hits.
– Tonight, we’ll see the latest developments in the McMahon family drama from Monday night.
– Next, Chris Jericho explains his turn on A.J. Styles.
– Chris Jericho came out, two minutes shy of the top of the hour. He had a Y2AJ shirt over his shoulder. A video showed the end of the tag title match from Raw, followed by the post-match turn. Jericho was unimpressed by the reaction he received from the Milwaukee faithful. There was a garbage can in the ring. Jericho said when the fans cheered Styles and not him, they made him feel like a piece of trash in that very can. When he was listing his accomplishments, he strangely sounded a little like Donald Trump in both bluster and cadence. He told the people chanting for Styles to go to hell. He was clearly offended that his history in WWE meant nothing to the fans in their picking Styles over him. Jericho said he’s seen flavor-of-the-months come and go in WWE, but they fail to excel like he does.
Jericho said the steam was still emanating off of the cup of coffee A.J.’s run has been thus far in WWE. Nice imagery with that one. Jericho said he’ll watch A.J.’s career burn out and fade away just like the others. “A.J. Styles is a bum,” he said. Jericho said Y2AJ was something special, but A.J. and the fans both ruined it. Jericho said he never should’ve let Styles become his partner. “You burned me, A.J. Styles and now I’m going to burn you…in effigy.” He lit the Y2AJ shirt on fire as the lights in the arena dimmed. He then tossed it, still in flames, still smoking, into the trash can. Jericho stood behind the flaming garbage can as he finished off his promo. That was a cool look. Entertaining promo from Jericho and you know very clearly why he turned and where he stands. Really put some juice behind Jericho vs. Styles, even though we’ve seen it three times before.
– Still to come, Vince McMahon ruining a photo of him and Shane! From Raw!
– Plus, the main event eight-man tag.
– Ranallo thanked Flo Rida featuring Jason Derulo for “Hello Friday,” one of the official Wrestlemania themes.
– A few Milwaukee Bucks were shown at ringside.
– The announcers discussed the latest inductee into the WWE Hall-of-Fame: The Big Boss Man. A brief video on him was shown.
3 – THE LUCHA DRAGONS vs. SHEAMUS & KING BARRETT
Rusev accompanied the other League of Nations members to the ring. At Roadblock, Sheamus and Barrett face New Day for the tag titles. Kalisto tried kicks on Sheamus, without much success. Springboard hurricanrana by Kalisto, who then tagged Sin Cara. Cara, looking amazingly tan, monkey flipped Kalisto into a splash on Sheamus. Sheamus took a break with the Dragons in control. Ryback was shown watching the monitor intently backstage. A distraction by Barrett allowed Sheamus to send Kalisto crashing to the outside. The League of Nations celebrated as they went to break at 2:04.
Back at 4:48 with Barrett hammering away on Kalisto. Big kick to the mid-section by Barrett for a near-fall. Powerslam by Sheamus on Kalisto for two. Again Kalisto came back, this time dodging a Sheamus shoulder charge in the corner. Sheamus and Kalisto were both able to make tags, with Sin Cara getting the better of Barrett, which included a suicide dive out of the ring. Sheamus broke up a pin but was pushed out of the ring. Cara back-dropped Kalisto onto Sheamus. Rusev, behind the ref’s back, shoved Cara off the top rope. Bull Hammer to Cara for the win.
WINNERS: Barrett and Sheamus, at 9:55. The finish was expected when New Day vs. The League was pushed for Roadblock before the match. I don’t like them jobbing out Kalisto, even in a tag match, when he’s the U.S. Champion, but there are a dearth of babyface tag teams that could be used in this spot.
Replays of the match were shown. Ryback was again shown staring at the monitor backstage. JoJo walked up and asked him his reaction after watching the match. Ryback said the little guys put up a good point so they should be proud of themselves. But from a genetic standpoint, not all men are created equal.
– The unraveling of the relationship between Vince and Shane will be shown next.
– The exterior of the arena in Milwaukee was shown.
– A video package of Shane and Vince’s interaction from Raw was shown.
– A graphic for Shane vs. Undertaker at Wrestlemania was shown.
– Renee Young was backstage with The Usos. She asked them about the Dudley Boyz’ aggression toward them. The Usos talked about watching the Dudleys when they were kids. They said they had no respect for the Dudley Boyz. Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose walked in. Ziggler, responding to a question about Stephanie McMahon, said there will always be repercussions, and he’s ready for them. Ambrose said Wyatts first, Roadblock second. They got amped up like they were an old-school Survivor Series team cutting a promo before their match, then walked out of the interview area.
– The Wyatt Family made their entrance. Brock Lesnar takes on Bray Wyatt at Roadblock Saturday night. They cut to break before the match.
4 – THE WYATT FAMILY vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER & THE USOS & DEAN AMBROSE
Luke Harper began the match with Ambrose. Deep arm-drag by Ambrose put Harper on the mat. Ziggler tagged in with a standing dropkick. Harper was getting smoked by everyone, so he went to ringside to consult with his family as the show cut to break at 2:07 of the match.
Back at 6:17 of the match, and this time, Harper was on offense against Jey Uso. Before Ziggler could really get fired up, Erick Rowan clotheslined him from the apron, allowing Braun Strowman to do some of the dirty work as the legal man. Harper caught a dropkick attempt from Ziggler, and catapulted Ziggler throat-first into the rope. After a minute or two, Ziggler had Harper figuratively on the ropes, and was finally able to make the tag at 10:47 of the match. Jey Uso came in and worked over Harper. The Usos dove onto Wyatt Family members Harper and Rowan on opposite sides of the ring. Harper got his knees up on a Jey Uso splash attempt. Ambrose made the tag 12:15 into the match. Harper broke up a pin on Rowan after an Ambrose elbowdrop from the top. The match broke down from there with Ziggler hosting his own superkick party. Ambrose fought out of a Rowan high-impact move and connected on Dirty Deeds.
Winners: The Usos, Ziggler, and Ambrose, at 13:56.
A replay of the finish was shown. The spotlight was on Ambrose post-match, leading into his WWE World Title Match against Triple H at Roadblock.
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Greg Parks has been covering WWE Smackdown for PWTorch.com since January of 2007. He is the host of “Moonlighting with Greg Parks,” a PWTorch VIP-exclusive audio show posted each weekend. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to email@example.com.