WKPWP - Mailbag - Keller & Fann talk WrestleMania line-up
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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
FEBRUARY 14, 2017
ANAHEIM, CALIF. AT THE POND
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Mauro Ranallo, David Otunga, JBL, Tom Phillips
-A long recap aired of top events at Elimination Chamber including Bray Wyatt’s WWE Title victory.
-The announcers told viewers that John Cena had invoked his rematch clause and would face Wyatt in the main event.
-Bray Wyatt came out and said he now has “the Whole World in his Hands.” He said “she” said it wouldn’t be easy and people would denounce him, but it could be done. Some fans chanted “You deserve it!” Bray Wyatt said, “Walk by my side and I will lead you to paradise. Stand in my way, and you will burn in the fire.” John Cena interrupted. Cena got the usual mixed reaction and the crowd sang “John Cena sucks!” Cena said it’s an energetic crowd. He said some of them are on Bray’s side, chanting “You deserve it.” The chant started again. Cena said everyone is now aiming for Bray. He said he gets his title rematch tonight, so he suggested stopping the chit-chat and getting to it “right now!” At that moment, A.J. Styles interrupted.
Styles said, “If you think you’re getting your rematch before me, you’re wrong.” He said just because he’s John Cena, he can’t get anything he wants. He said he can line-jump at the grocery store and the airport. He said, “Who am I kidding? You get a private plane. You’re not a normal person like us.” He said this isn’t about Cena, it’s about him. He said he’s already defeated Cena several times, and he said he knows he can beat Bray. Bray chuckled. He said he wants his rematch “right here, right now.” Smackdown G.M. Daniel Bryan’s music interrupted.
Bryan walked out to “Yes!” chants. He said they seem to have a conundrum on their hands. He said they have promised Anaheim a WWE Championship match. He said the solution is to have Cena vs. Styles vs. Wyatt in a Triple Threat match. Cena jumped up and down excitedly like a toddler. The crowd seemed pleased that (a heel) Styles was added to the Wyatt-Cena one-on-one match.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was fine. It was just more of what you get with Bray – platitudes. But given the scope of his character, this is what you’d expect here. I was hoping for something more. Cena being excited about losing his one-on-one match and it becoming a Triple Threat was odd. There are other solutions to Cena and Styles both being owed title matches, such as Cena vs. Bray this week and the winner facing Styles one-on-one next week, but it seemed that thought didn’t cross Bryan’s mind. So mixed bag. Styles was the best part of the segment, actually.)
-They went to the announcers. Phillips said both wrestlers have rematch rights. JBL thought it was a great decision. They announced a rematch between Mickie James and Becky Lynch would take place later.
-They showed American Alpha heading toward the entrance stage. [c]
-Dean Ambrose was looking for Baron Corbin backstage. He yelled for him and threw doors open and intimidated everyone he crossed paths with. He said he knows he’s in the building somewhere.
(1) AMERICAN ALPHA (Chad Gable & Jason Jordan) vs. THE ASCENSION (Konnor & Viktor)
Otunga complimented Alpha for prevailing against a parade of contenders at Elimination Chamber. Otunga gave JBL a hard time about stumbling on his way to the ring during the PPV Kickoff Show on Sunday. The graphic noted the Ascension held the NXT Tag Team Titles a record 344 days. Mauro touted that Gable was a 2012 U.S. Olympian. JBL compared Alpha to the Steiner’s and Briscoes. Alpha cleared the ring of the Ascension at 2:00 and they cut to a break. [c]
They showed a clip of the Ascension taking over after snapping Gable’s neck over the top rope. Jordan eventually hot-tagged in and rallied with suplexes against both Konnor and Viktor and then played to the crowd. A minute later Gable tagged back in and finished Konnor with Grand Amplitude. JBL called them “special” and “a once in a generation tag team.”
WINNERS: American Alpha in 9:00.
-Suddenly the Usos appeared on the big screen and they issued some threats against Alpha. They said if they feel something threatening creeping up behind them, it’s not paranoia, it’s the Usos.
-Backstage James Ellsworth offered to take Carmella out to dinner since it’s Valentine’s Day. She said she thinks he’s really cute, but she wanted to keep things professional. Ellsworth seemed thrilled she said he was cute. Ambrose walked up to them still yelling for Corbin. Ambrose gave Ellsworth “a nickel’s worth of advice.” He said Carmella is using him and she’s no good, so try online dating instead. Carmella called Ambrose a “gas station attendant” and asked Ellsworth if he was going to let him talk to her like that. Bryan walked up and asked if there was an issue. Ambrose said he has a big problem – Corbin. He then asked Bryan for permission to beat up Ellsworth. Bryan said after what happened Sunday, he has real aggression to work out, and since he can’t find Corbin, and there’s a history between Ellsworth and Ambrose, they would wrestle later. Ambrose was happy and left. Ellsworth asked what just happened and let out a big sigh.
(Keller’s Analysis: As usual, Ellsworth’s acting is right out of some Disney Channel show aimed at adolescent kids, and I don’t think that’s his intent. [c]
-A video announcement aired that Teddy Long would be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame this year. They showed the breaking news on FoxSports.com.
-They went to the announcers reacting. JBL did the “Holla! Holla!” bit.
-Carmella and James Ellsworth stood in the ring. Ellsworth told the fans to simmer down and don’t be rude as he introduced his lady friend. When Ambrose’s music played, he didn’t come out. Instead, after about 20 seconds, Corbin dragged Ambrose onto the stage. He beat him up some more on the stage, but Ambrose made a comeback. He leaped off some crates and hit Corbin with a flying forearm. Otunga said this is what Ambrose wanted all along. Corbin turned Ambrose mid-air and dropped him over some storage crates and sparks flew as Ambrose landed. They cut to a break. JBL called for some help for Ambrose. Three referees showed up to order Corbin to get out of there. A ref checked on Dean.
-Phillips said they hope to have an update on Ambrose’s condition, but first they were going to go to some footage of what happened backstage after their Elimination Chamber match. They showed the Nikki-Natalya brawl which included Maryse getting knocked down and covered in make-up powder.
-Backstage, Bryan told Nikki that this type of thing has to stop. Nikki said she has to defend herself, though. Bryan said he has an idea that he thinks they’ll like. Natalya walked up and said Nikki gets whatever she wants because she’s Cena’s girlfriend. Nikki said Natalya is the reason Team Smackdown lost at Survivor Series. They continued to argue and then brawled. Bryan called for security and yelled for them to stop. He said it was too much. He said next week they are going to fight in a Falls Count Anywhere match. He yelled, “Jesus!” and stormed off.
-JBL said he loves seeing Bryan on fire tonight. Phillips plugged Wyatt vs. Cena vs. Styles. [c]
-They replayed the Corbin-Ambrose angle.
-A woman without a name backstage asked Corbin for an explanation. Corbin said nobody should need an explanation. He said it’s obvious what happened. He said he is not WWE Champion because of Ambrose, so because of him, Ambrose is on his way to the hospital. “Enough said,” he concluded.
-Back to the announcers, they reacted to Corbin and again said they’d hopefully have an update on Ambrose later on “Talking Smack.”
-Phillips threw to Rene Young by name (see how easy that is!). She interviewed Dolph Ziggler backstage. She said people are accusing him of being a sore loser. He said after Sunday night the only sore losers are Kalisto and Apollo Crews. He said he delivered a wake-up call for them and all the Superstars of the new generation. He said they all came from the same sad place and think they’re there to replace him. He said he’s just getting started and he’s a long ways from done. He said if he has to wipe out an entire generation, he will. “Nobody steals my place,” he said. “But some people are about to be put in theirs.” The camera hovered as Renee pondered what he said. It’d be so much better if she instead verbally threw it back to the team at ringside.
-Becky Lynch made her ring entrance. [c]
-A graphic touted that last week Smackdown Live was the no. 1 show on all of cable TV for the fifth Tuesday in a row, beating every show on HBO, TNT, MTV, History, and ESPN.
(Keller’s Analysis: If it beat every show on ALL of cable, why do they have to specific five networks? It’s just strange when they do that because it’s redundant, but there’s a reason behind including each of them based on messages they want to send.)
-They aired a clip from Talking Smack last week of Mickie James explaining her motivations. She said it doesn’t seem fair that she gets a slap in the face every time she goes to the ring and not be remembered for all she contributed. She said the revolution of women’s wrestling was going on long before Becky Lynch arrived.
(3) BECKY LYNCH vs. MICKIE JAMES
JBL said Mickie is right because the current generation of women don’t pay tribute to those who came before them. Otunga defended Becky saying she knows about the women who came before her. “You know you’ve made it when your idols become your rivals,” Otunga added. Mickie took a break at ringside after a surge by Becky a minute into the match. Becky knocked Mickie back down after a springboard sidekick. Becky charged at her but they collided with a dual clothesline. With both down and slow to get up, they cut to a break. [c]
A couple minutes after coming back from the break, Becky knocked Mickie off the ring apron. Mickie grabbed her right shoulder in pain. The ref checked on her after Becky threw her back into the ring. The ref backed Becky off and checked on Mickie. Mickie then surprised an unsuspecting Becky with a spin side kick, laughed, and scored the pin. She flaunted that her shoulder was just fine afterward. Mauro said she outsmarted Becky tonight.
WINNER: Mickie James in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good follow-up to their PPV match, and Mickie established her heel character being willing to be deceptive to gain an advantage. She is very good playing that role, and Becky’s reaction was good, too.)
-The announcers hyped that Naomi would be out next to celebrate her title win. [c]
-The announcers talked about the HBO movie being made on Andre the Giant’s life being produced by Bill Simmons.
-Naomi was standing in the ring with Renee Young. Naomi was wearing a knee brace. Young wore higher heels than Naomi, giving her an inch on her in her light-up flat soled sneakers. Renee asked Naomi to discuss the injury she suffered on Sunday. Naomi said she didn’t realize she was injured during the match until after the adrenaline wore off. She said she has worked through injuries before and what doesn’t kill her will make her stronger. She said it took her eight years to get to this point and nothing is taking this moment away from her.
Alexa Bliss walked out and said everybody knows she just got lucky on Sunday, and the next morning she couldn’t handle the pressure of being champion and everyone gunning for her. She said she dreamed up this injury because she knows what will happen when they face each other. She told the heckling fans to shut up. She said Naomi won’t feel the glow, but will feel what it’s like to be a flop. Bliss said she’s turning a negative into a positive. She said she can even have her own ESPN documentary on the story of Naomi. “It’s a bit of drama, or a tragedy,” she said. Bliss told her to bring her entire family to WrestleMania so they can see the real champion, Bliss.
Naomi called her a little flea and said she can still snatch her “so don’t play with me.” Bliss told her to calm down. She said she’s in a good mood, so she can have one week. She said if she doesn’t get her rematch then, Naomi can give her the title or she can snatch her dignity by beating her up and down the ring and taking her title. “Yeah, Naomi, feel that glow,” she said. JBL wondered what Naomi would do, as if an ex-champion suddenly gets to dictate when she gets a rematch, when it was established with A.J. Styles that it’s not up to the ex-champ to decide when they get the rematch.
(Keller’s Analysis: Bliss was tremendous once again. WWE was ambiguous regarding how serious Naomi’s injury is, which took away from the segment as I kept waiting for her to say whether she had to relinquish the title or would need surgery.)
-A video aired on Nelson Mandela with a famous quote. Then back at ringside, Otunga talked about WWE celebrating Black History Month.
-A soundbite aired with T.J. Perkins hyping his match on “205 Live” against Neville. The crowd booed.
-Phillips plugged tickets going on sale for Money in the Bank which takes place June 18 in St. Louis, Mo.
-Cena came out first. JBL talked about him breaking a title reign record. Then Styles came out. Finally Bray. When he arrived at ringside, Luke Harper showed up and attacked him. Mauro said Luke is no longer under the spell of Bray. They cut to a break. [c]
(4) BRAY WYATT vs. JOHN CENA vs. A.J. STYLES – WWE World Heavyweight Title match
Mauro said Bray’s reign may be over before it started thanks to Harper. JBL said he could lose the title without being part of the finish. Well, isn’t this farcical times two. You have the stupid triple threat rules combined with a match going on as scheduled despite the champion getting beat up by an outsider right before hand. It didn’t matter as Bray recovered enough to yank Cena out of the ring a minute in and attacking him. Styles did a slingshot elbow over the top rope onto Bray at ringside. The crowd chanted “This is awesome!” Styles went after Bray with more offense right afterward and yelled to the fans, “I know what I’m doing.” A couple minutes later Cena gave Bray the Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Bray escaped the AA and then set up Sister Abigail. Cena escaped. Styles landed a Phenomenal Forearm on Cena. Cena then gave Styles an AA for a believable near fall. They cut to a crowd reaction shot. [c]
Back from the break, Styles splashed Bray on an announce table at ringside. The table didn’t collapse. The crowd chanted “One more time!” Styles did a legdrop on Bray off the ringside barrier and this time the table collapsed. Back in the ring Styles went after Cena with a Phenomenal Forearm, which Cena turned into an AA. JBL said Cena is going to break the record, “Get ready, history!” Instead, Styles rolled through on a second AA attempt into a Calf Crusher. Cena countered into an STF. Bray broke that up. Eventually all three were down after a flurry of moves and counters. Styles went for another Phenomenal Forearm. Cena knocked him off balance. Bray came up behind Cena and finished him with a Sister Abigail.
WINNER: Bray Wyatt to retain the WWE Title.
-Randy Orton walked out as Bray was celebrating. JBL said, “You are looking at the WrestleMania main event. Get ready for hell to break loose. How awesome is this?” Orton entered the ring and stared at Bray. He said he won the Royal Rumble and all the privileges that come with it, but now Bray is the WWE Champion. He said as long as he is the master and he is the servant, he refuses to wrestle him at WrestleMania. He pledged his undying allegiance to him. He handed Bray the mic, the kneeled. Bray told Randy he now has the keys to the kingdom.