Thursday Night Smackdown! TV Report for March 17th, 2016 – “Travelling Along”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
Recap of Raw’s issues between WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and Roman Reigns is shown, then we go to the arena in Cincinnati, Ohio, as Mauro Ranallo and Jerry “The King” Lawler greet us.
Segment #2: Arena Promo
Roman Reigns is out and declares that he will be the one standing tall with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at the end of WrestleMania! (This time I’m not being chancy; that was the sum of his less than 3-minute promo!)
Segment #3: Video Promo
Chris Jericho and A.J. Styles’ rivalry is recalled with footage fro last week’s Raw and Smackdown, and this week’s Raw.
Segment #4: Backstage Promo
Rene Young is with A.J. Styles, who puts over the fans for calling on him. He tells Rene that “Chris made this personal.” Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens interjects and mocks Styles for sounding like his rival, Sami Zayn. Owens tells Styles that the only important thing is the I.C. Title, but A.J. reminds him about their upcoming match.
Dolph Ziggler makes his entrance and will be wrestling next.
Match #1: Single – Dolph Ziggler VS. The Miz
Dolph ducks and takes Miz down by one leg, then rolls him into a couple combos for twos! They trade more combos for quick-counts as well as side-headlock takedowns! Miz slingshots Dolph over the ropes, but Ziggler “skins the cat” back over and goes for the superkick, but Miz ducks. Dolph hits some elbow drops but Miz runs Ziggler into the turnbuckle chest-first.
Miz has taken over for a bit, then Dolph makes a comeback until Miz kicks him hard in the face. Miz gears up for the Skull Krushing Finale, but Dolph gets out of it. Miz locks on the Figure-4 Leglock, but Ziggler struggles to the bottom rope for a break. Miz tries again but eats the Superkick this time, and Dolph covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Dolph Ziggler
Later tonight, Tag-Team Champion/New Day member will face League of Nations member Wade Barrett; and Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Divas Champion Charlotte will meet in the ring for a conversation!
It is announced that Ryback will challenge Kalisto for the United States Championship at Wrestlemania, then recap of Ambrose and Lesnar’s confrontation, and Mick Foley’s present to Dean is shown.
Segment #5: Video Promo
Dean Ambrose looks over his hometown of Cincinnati and recalls how he had to “fight” growing up. He warns his WrestleMania opponent, Brock Lesnar, that he will “get an education.”
The Dudley Boyz make their entrance for Bubba to wrestle Goldust, next!
Match #2: Single – Bubba Ray Dudley (with Dudley Boyz partner D-Von) VS. Goldust
Bubba controls most of this bout, and as Goldust makes a comeback, D-Von distracts him, allowing Bubba to boot “The Bizarre One” and get the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: Bubba Ray Dudley
Post-match, The Dudleyz attack Goldust until R-Truth tries to make the save; Bubba and D-Von take him down too, then their opponents for WrestleMania, The Usos, chase them off!
Up next, Divas Champion Charlotte, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks will talk
Segment #6: Arena Promo
Divas Champion Charlotte, and her father Ric Flair, walk out. Charlotte goes over her relationships with Sasha and Becky, then asks them to join. Becky is first, and makes quick notice that she will capture the Divas Championship at WrestleMania. Sasha comes out now, and Charlotte puts them over as “most talented, amazing women.” She talks about how Ric gave her permission to use the term “Horsewomen” for them, but takes it back now, after recent actions. She is sorry for ever giving them the moniker that is more suitable for her Dad.
Becky declares that she will be known as “plain old Becky Lynch, the woman that’s ripping off your arm and taking the title” at WrestleMania; Banks says more or less the same, citing her perfect record since debuting last summer.
Lynch and Sasha face off, and Charlotte tries to get involved, but they both attack her first, then yell at the Divas Champion and her father.
Match #3: Single – Tag-Team Champion/New Day Member Kofi Kingston (with Tag-Team Champions/New Day members Big E. and Xavier Woods) VS. Wade Barrett (with League of Nations members Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, and Rusev)
Kofi capitalizes first with mudhole stomps, but Barrett pulls himself out of the ring before getting a front-dropkick.
Barrett is now in control until Kingston flips out of a slam and into a DDT! Both sides distract each other, and Kofi catches Wade with a roll-up to finish!
Winner via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champion/New Day member Kofi Kingston
Segment #7: Video Promo
Dean Ambrose is drinking at bar, talking about how “fame and fortune” isn’t what WrestleMania is about; it is about “pride,” and that he will bring “the whole city of Cincinnati” with him.
Segment #8: Video Promo
The ending to Raw, featuring Mr. McMahon, The Undertaker, and Shane McMahon, is shown.
Segment #9: Arena Promo
The Social Outcasts are sitting on the apron, arguing about who will win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania. Dean Ambrose suddenly appears and lays a beating on Heath, Adam, Curtis, and Bo. He then says that Lesnar will be on Smackdown! next week, so he challenges “The Beast” to face off then!
Match #4: Single – Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens VS. A.J. Styles (Non-Title)
They lockup and Owens grabs A.J. in a standing side headlock. Styles leapfrogs Kevin then hits him with a dropkick and hammers in the corner. In springboards, but Kevin catches him and plants him on the mat. He follows with a senton-splash, then taunts.
Owens is still dominating until Styles puts his knees up to counter another senton-try. A.J. hits a flurry of fists, but is backdropped as he went for a Styles Clash. He manages a springboard-forearm to the outside, then gives Owens a fireman’s carry-knee hit in the ring. styles misses a springboard-moonsault and is slammed with the Blue Thunder Bomb. 1 – 2 – Styles kicks out! Kevin goes for the Pop-Up Powerbomb, but A.J. holds onto the ropes to stop.
Styles is hit hard, then both punch back-and-forth. The I.C. Champ goes for another Pop-Up, but “The Phenomenal One” counters with a Pele Kick! A.J. follows with an Argentine Tornado-Powerbomb for a very near-fall! A bit later, he goes for a top-turnbuckle manoeuvre, but Owens cuts him down. Styles punches him, then goes for the Springboard-Forearm Smash, but Chris Jericho’s music and pyro blows, distracting A.J; Owens takes advantage with a hard-kick and the Pop-Up Powerbomb, covering for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens
Post-match, Jericho enters the ring and gives A.J. a Codebreaker, then slowly chants “A.J. Styles” over a prone “Phenomenal One,” and the chant speeds up as Chris is almost yelling it to close the show.
End of Smackdown!
Raw was much better than Smackdown! this week. There were better matches and promos on Raw; Smackdown was again filled with too much tape, and the promos/matches were too short. Onto the particulars:
Excellence: Dean Ambrose’s promos – liked both Raw’s on his own, with Mick Foley on Raw, and Smackdown’s touring of his hometown; gave some great back story and added to why he wants to beat Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.
Promos by The New Day (Raw and Smackdown!), Charlotte (Raw and Smackdown!), Sasha and Becky (Smackdown!), The Social Outcasts (Raw and Smackdown!), Jericho (Raw and Smackdown; especially on Raw for turning a legit-bad situation into a decent talk to keep his storyline and heel persona going), and Shane McMahon.
Matches from New Day/League (both Raw and Smackdown!), Sami/Miz (Raw), Ziggler/Triple H (Raw), Bubba/Goldust (Smackdown!), and Owens/Styles (Smackdown!)
Liking Ryback’s and Kalisto’s feud; glad they’re going with WrestleMania and hopefully they’ll be on the show/given a good amount (at least 10 minutes of wrestling)
Enjoying A.J./Jericho’s rivalry, and hoping there is a gimmick match, like Submission or “I Quit.”
Bogus: I think Roman’s promo should’ve been longer; should’ve explained why he came back on Raw and beat the heck out of “The Game.” However, I also don’t think he should’ve returned on Raw; unfortunately Pennsylvania has a love-hate relationship with him, and he did get booed again, which is not the goal for his challenge at WrestleMania, so I think they should’ve had him comeback on the March 28 edition of Raw, six nights before WrestleMania as that may have had a bigger pop and interest to the story; then I also would’ve been fine if all he did was the same beat-down and quick promo.
Ziggler should’ve been kept off Smackdown! He didn’t win his match on Raw that would’ve given him a WrestleMania match, so for him to wrestle again right off the bat on the next show makes no sense, especially how jovial he was in his entrance.
Still wondering why The Undertaker is siding with Vince; his lack of reason is the one thing missing from storyline.
Until next week’s Raw, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Fans!