Thursday Night Smackdown! TV Report for March 31st, 2016 – “The ‘Road’ Ends”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
The regular Smackdown! opener starts, the pyro goes off in the arena, and we are welcomed by Mauro Ranallo to
Match #1: Single – A.J. Styles VS. Social Outcast member Heath Slater (with Social Outcast members Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas, and Adam Rose)
A lockup starts and Heath shoves A.J. into the corner. Slater runs, but A.J. hops and leap-frogs over, then gets a close-call. A.J. boots Heath out of the corner but Slater boots back, knocking Styles off the apron. Heath slams A.J.’s head against the steel steps and then rolls him back in the ring and covers for two. He wears A.J. down with a grounding chinlock, then hits a jumping-kick after whipping A.J. into/off the ropes.
Styles moves out of the corner and begins a comeback. After a clothesline in the corner, he drops Heath with a fireman’s carry knee-buster, then Pele Kicks Rose off the apron as he tried to interfere. “The Phenomenal One” hits a couple other moves and the springboard-forearm for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: A.J. Styles
We go live to the stadium of WrestleMania with Rene Young and Byron Saxton; up next they will give a previous of AT & T Stadium.
Segment #2: Video Promo
Rene and Byron talk about Shane McMahon’s return, and show the compilation of his career, including his latest dive onto The Undertaker from this past Raw.
Segment #3: Video Promo
Rene and Byron recap Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose’s feud, complete with video package, and preview the pre-show to WrestleMania, which will feature the Ten Diva Tag-Team match, and The Usos VS. The Dudleyz.
Segment #4: Video Promo
Snoop Dogg, celebrity-rapper, is highlighted for his Hall-of-Fame Induction.
Up next, Jey Uso taking on D-Von Dudley!
Match #2: Single – Jey Uso (with Uso brother Jimmy) VS. D-Von Dudley (with “half-brother”/Dudley Boyz partner Bubba-Ray Dudley)
Jey hits fast at first, but D-Von nails a hard right to take over. D-Von puts the boot to Jey’s chin in the corner and then hits a spinning-elbow as Jey ran off the ropes. He scoop-slams Jey, but misses a diving headbutt.
Jey fires up with a couple of jumping clotheslines, then a mid-superkick and uppercut. He plants a Samoan Drop, then looks at Bubba on the outside. Jey follows with a rear-bump-splash for a near-fall. He props D-Von on the top turnbuckle as Jimmy leaps over the stairs onto Bubba-Ray with a clothesline. D-Von shoves Jey off the top and slams him down with a new finisher, the R.D.S – Ron “Damn” Simmons” – spinebuster to get the 1 – 2 – 3!
Winner via Pinfall: D-Von Dudley (with “half-brother”/Dudley Boyz partner Bubba-Ray Dudley)
Segment #5: Video Promo
A recalling of the Divas Triple-Threat match for the Divas Championship match airs.
Segment #6: Video Promo
Daniel Bryan’s retirement is talked about, then a chunk of the match between Kofi and Del Rio from Raw is shown.
Segment #7: Video Promo
WrestleMania Axxess is shown, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal is discussed, and highlights of Roman Reigns and Triple H for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship plays.
Dean Ambrose and Erick Rowan will go at it after the break!
Match #3: Single – Dean Ambrose VS. Wyatt Family member Erick Rowan (with
Ambrose tries a hammer lock, but Rowan gets out of it and shoulder-blocks him. He kicks Dean in the corner a few times and then headbutts, but Ambrose hits back with multiple forearms. Rowan hits back hard, and rips at Dean’s face. He elbows and punches Ambrose, but is hit with a kick and clothesline to the floor! Dean follows with a running clothesline from the apron to the floor!
We are back with Rowan in control after a spinning-slam! He tears at Dean’s face/nose again, then suplexes him for one! He gives Ambrose a pump-handle-backbreaker, then yanks his nose again. Dean tries to hit back with numerous forearms in the corner but is met with a big-boot running off the ropes. Erick presses his fists against the sides of Dean’s head, but Ambrose headbutts back a few times. Rowan overtakes again with a big slam, then goes to the top, but Ambrose meets him up there and brings him down with a superplex!
Dean gears up with a running front-dropkick and dive-through-the-ropes! He punches Erick furiously, then soars off the top turnbuckle with an elbow to a standing Rowan! He drops out of a pump-handle-slam attempt, but runs into a one-armed one! 1 – 2 – Ambrose raises his shoulder! He does the same after a spin-kick from Rowan, and hits another clothesline soon later. Dean drops him with the Dirty Deeds DDT and covers for the victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Dean Ambrose
Dean celebrates to close the show!
End of Smackdown!
Smackdown! was pretty insignificant this week, so I won’t be commenting on that show, as it was just one big promo for ‘Mania. Raw was decently better, particularly because it was the final before Wrestlemania. With my “Excellent” and “Bogus,” I am going to do it with the card/angles for ‘Mania instead of Raw/Smackdown this week. Following that, I will give my predictions for the “Show of Shows.”
Excellence: Lesnar/Ambrose; loved the entire build-up, right through Monday’s Raw. This should be an awesome “Attitude Era” hard-knocks match and I can easily see “color” in it. Divas Championship – also loving the build and hopefully they are given a proper amount of time on the card, which to me is AT LEAST 20 minutes of IN-RING WRESTLING!
A.J./Jericho will be another (pun-intended) “Phenomenal” match and I’ve also loved the old-school style (no pun intended there!) of who’s better, with no titles or any stipulations on the line. I’ve actually enjoyed New Day/League’s feud, mainly due to New Day’s antics and entertainment.
I’m thinking/hoping Reigns and Triple H will be able to put on a match much like HHH/Bryan from WrestleMania 30 and Reigns/Lesnar from last year; this is the only way to salvage the feud that could’ve been much better if it weren’t for the fans turning on Roman, and having Reigns return two weeks early (should’ve been this Raw to add the intensity.)
Bogus: while ‘Taker and McMahon will at least be a brawl/hard-fought and (hopefully bloodbath), I don’t like the double-stipulation; it really does leave a no-win situation unless ‘Taker just walks out after destroying both Vince and Shane (which is what Jimmy Korderas – former WWE referee – has stated on Sportsnet’s Aftermath program and is the result I like the best too).
Not thrilled by the 10-Diva Tag; glad it’s moved to pre-show. Unfortunately, the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal has been under-built; I don’t see an entirely clear winner or favourite, and am not as interested as the last two. Also sad that Usos/Dudleyz are on the pre-show; this too is another greatly-built rivalry and should be featured on the main show.
On the flip side, the Ladder Match has been built well, but I also think it was kind of a throw-more-on the card; I was looking forward what looked liked a Fatal 4-Way between Dolph, Miz, Sami, and Owens – that would’ve been much better and career-lasting for all involved.
Predictions: Dudleyz over Usos to continue new heel run and face Cassidy/Amore from NXT next night on Raw; Owens escapes with Intercontinental Title; I want Big Show to win Andre The Giant Memorial twice; Dean Ambrose needs to win as he’s full-time and really on the up; Nations to dismantle New Day and continue for the Tag-Titles over the next month; ‘Taker to win, as they would need to build better for a retirement match; Sasha to win to keep fans happy (while I’m also thinking Becky, I believe crowd is going to be fully behind Banks and creative should not want to risk Becky getting unnecessary heat); A.J. Styles to win, Jericho goes on another leave, and Styles continues to move up (but NOT WWE World Heavyweight Championship yet); Roman Reigns to win WWE World Heavyweight Championship
Until the upcoming Raw, enjoy WrestleMania for all who are watching, and Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Fans!