WWE SmackDown – March 19th 2015.
Sprint Centre: Kansas City, MO.
Colour me flabbergasted; SmackDown was a good television show! Now, there’s no need to get crazy and start praising WWE for turning around their terrible WrestleMania season, but at least they managed to put on a show that made two of the top babyfaces look strong, as well as doing a better job in one night of making you want to see the IC title ladder match than ever before. If you are sick of poorly scripted Raws and meaningless SmackDowns then give this show a chance, because it is probably the best all-round show they have put together in months.
The story of the show was Seth Rollins and J&J Security banning Randy Orton from the building. Roman Reigns opened the show but was immediately interrupted by Mark Henry, who put him over for kicking his ass last week. Reigns got a good reaction, however it was Kansas City so take that for what its worth, (not very much). Rollins showed up with Kane and J&J Security and Kane booked himself and Rollins against Henry & Reigns in the main event. Throughout the show we got skits of Noble & Mercury telling a bunch of security geeks to make sure Orton doesn’t entre the building. Before the main event, Mark Henry was found unconscious in the back and was unable to compete, so Reigns fought Kane & Rollins in a handicap match. Reigns got the win with a spear to Kane at 5:06 and got the John Cena treatment of beating two heels in a handicap match. There was a line of security at the bottom of the ramp, so Randy Orton came through the crowd and beat up Rollins. Orton RKO’d and took out the security geeks then gave Noble and Mercury RKO’s as well; Rollins managed to escape taking an RKO, which would have been great if he already hadn’t taken one through a table. The fans loved it and Orton looked great with the Steve Austin booking. I was begging them to do this kind of angle with Daniel Bryan during the fall/winter period of 2013, however I guess they only save the good angles that make guys look strong for the “real” main eventers.
There was only one match, or a series of matches depending on how you look at it, worth talking about and it was a six-man gauntlet with all the guys challenging Bad News Barrett in the ladder match. Dean Ambrose beat Stardust in 2:29. Not much to it; they did the Bret Hart/Davey Boy finish. Stardust attacked Ambrose afterwards and R-Truth made the save, however Ambrose rolled him up like a complete clown and eliminated him in 0:13. Luke Harper was next and he and Ambrose had a decent 5 minute match. Harper used the Gargano Escape a couple of times and won with a sit-out powerbomb. Daniel Bryan beat Harper in 7:38 (TV Time) of a good little match. Bryan worked on the legs; he used the Romero Special and lifted Harper up and down while the crowd chanted, “Yes”. It was a very impressive spot. Bryan won with an ankle-lock then it was time for Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler. I don’t want to shock you, but they had a very good match. It only went 8:15 (TV Time), but had they got a Mania singles match with each other, given where it would have been positioned on the card, they would have probably been given a similar amount of time; maybe a couple of minutes more, but not much. Ziggler pinned Bryan with the Zig-Zag and the two shook hands afterwards then Bad News Barrett hit the ring and laid out both guys with bullhammers. The IC title and Barrett have been damage far beyond repair, but at least we got some good wrestling.
Other Stuff: Show opened with the awesome Brock Lesnar package. Paige beat Brie Bella in 3:08 of a nothing match. Nikki & AJ were on commentary and AJ tried her best to make people care about the women’s tag match at WrestleMania. Later, they showed a hype package for the tag match, with various Divas talking, horrendously poorly I might add, about who they think will win. They went all Lucha with a man, woman, mini match. Tyson Kidd, Cesaro & Natalya beat Los Matadores & El Torito when Nattie pinned Torito with a Ligerbomb at 3:29. It was kind of dumb and nobody cared at all, but I did pop inside for Nattie killing Torito.