March 5, 2015
Dolph Ziggler kicks off the show: Ziggler comes out wearing the Intercontinental Championship with Michael Cole immediately informing the at home audience that Ziggler is not the IC champion. Saxton questions why no one has sympathy for Bad News Barrett when everyone is stealing his championship while Cole narrates a highlight reel of everyone stealing this title.
Dolph Ziggler fun fact: Ziggler has never competed in a 1 on 1 singles match at WrestleMania.
This is an interesting storyline that everyone is gunning to steal a championship that is really an albatross to anyone who holds it. It’s like these guys are competing for the right to lose on a weekly basis.
Ziggler cuts a sarcastic promo about how he won at Survivor Series to get rid of The Authority he, himself, still got fired. Then Ziggler goes on to cut a strange promo as if he just won the IC title talking about how the IC changed his life. Ziggler then officially declares his entrance into the Ladder match at WrestleMania. Ziggler then wants to invite someone to enter the match with him. Ziggler alludes to Daniel Bryan. Again, strange. Why does Ziggler want to add to the match? Doesn’t Daniel Bryan being in this match hurt his chances of winning?
Bad News Barrett interrupts. Barrett and Ziggler trade lame jokes back and forth. Ziggler lays the IC title in the ring and challenges Barrett to come into the ring. Harper attacks Ziggler from behind. Harper and Barrett play tug of war with the IC title. Ambrose runs into the ring. Barrett and Harper retreat. Ziggler and Ambrose stare each other down as Barrett and Harper jump on the apron. The four men begin to brawl outside the ring. R-Truth then does his best Repo-Man impression and steals the IC title while the other four are brawling. Ziggler and Ambrose re-enter the ring and can’t figure out what happened to the title. R-Truth is seen hiding underneath the ring and walks up the ramp as the IC champion.
This is a joke. R-Truth is very funny in these segments, especially with how he acts as if this is the 24/7 Hardcore title referring to each theft of the title as a title change. However, it does nothing to add to the “prestige” of the IC title.
R-Truth learns how a Ladder Match works: Renee Young catches up with R-Truth in the back and Truth explains that he stole the title so he won’t have to climb any ladders to win it. Renee explains to Truth that at WrestleMania they are still going to hang the title in the air. R-Truth then tries to get rid of the title. Truth tries giving it to Renee, then asks where “Gene” Ambrose is and goes to look for him.
Tyson Kidd & Cesaro w/ Natalya vs. Los Matadores (Diego and Fernando): This match starts with a classic Jerry Lawler joke:
Jerry Lawler: Hey Michael, what do the Matadores use to cut their pizza?
Michael Cole: I don’t know what?
JL: Little Scissors (said in a Mexican accent said like “Little Caesar’s”)
Michael Cole howled at this racist and lame joke.
The Brass Ring Club makes quick work of Los Matadores because we needed time for:
The Big Show and Corporate Kane argue: These two bicker about the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Big Show claims he is going to win, remove that “ugly giant” off the top of the trophy, and replace it with him. Kane then declares that he is entering in the Battle Royal as well. Kane then tells Big Show to grab a ringside seat to watch his match against Ryback. This is followed with lame jokes about Men’s Wearhouse.
Ryback vs. Corporate Kane: This is your typical WWE TV match complete with Big Show distracting Kane causing Ryback to finish him. Kane gets on the mic after the match as Show is laughing at him to set up a match immediately between Big Show and Ryback.
Ryback vs. The Big Show: This is your typical WWE TV match complete with Kane distracting Big Show……. I feel like I’m repeating myself. Oh wait, I am. Big Show; however happens to win this match with the K.O. Punch. Kane and Big Show were on TV more than The Brass Ring Club tonight. This company….
Bray Wyatt burns a casket: We get a recap of Wyatt burning the casket he made for Undertaker from this past Raw. It was kind of rude for him to make Undertaker a present only to burn it before giving it to him, right? Anyways, Bray cuts a promo after this with the Urn that Paul Bearer used to carry. Bray asks Undertaker to “rise”. The atmosphere and entrances of the Wyatt/Taker match at WrestleMania will be really good, but if this ends up being a Casket Match then count me out.
Daily Show recap: We get a recap of Jon Stewart’s appearance on Raw. Jon managed to cut a better promo than over half the WWE roster. Or maybe write a better promo than over half the WWE writers. Stewart was great in this promo and even called back to previous WWE history. HEY! VINCE McMAHON! If Jon Stewart can remember something that happened more than two weeks ago then it should prove that so do the fans!
Brie Bella w/ Nikki Bella vs. AJ Lee w/ Paige: The Bella Twins cut a promo before the match about #GiveDivasAChance and how it’s not #GiveAJAChance. The Bellas say they have given every Diva a chance; they just can’t hang with the Bella Twins. Brie then calls out AJ to bring out her frenemy because they want to give her precious little chance. This was actually a very good promo from the Bellas. They came off as believable and not scripted.
It should be noted that Paige came out separately from AJ to continue their frenemy storyline.
After putting over the Bella’s promo, it must be said that there is nothing more disingenuous in the WWE than Brie Bella screaming “Brie Mode”. It comes off as so fake and like she doesn’t even believe in it herself.
This match gets more time than any other during the night. #GiveDivasAChance is in full effect. The result? A “meh.” match that is slow and plodding. #GiveDivasAChance is still a good cause, however. These Divas won’t become better wrestlers until they get practice.
Daniel Bryan backstage: Renee Young asks DBryan about Ziggler alluding to Bryan being in the Ladder Match for the IC title at WrestleMania. Bryan is vague, but gets the fans riled up in “Yes! Chants” at the idea of him being in the match.
The Miz and Damien Mizdow vs. Kofi Kingston and Big E w/ Xavier Woods: This was a match to continue the Mizzes storyline. Miz reluctantly tagged in Mizdow who got a huge reaction and made a big impact. Miz got jealous and kicked Mizdow out. The Miz loses as Mizdow looks on with an “I told you so” smirk on his face.
It’s nice to see a storyline in WWE get a slow burn, but if I were to pick 25 storylines over the last 10 years that I wanted to see get a slow burn I don’t think the Mizzes would make the list. Mark my words, Mizdow will result to nothing after this feud.
Heyman and Lesnar: We get a clipped version of Heyman’s promo from Monday. Then they show a great video package of Brock Lesnar destroying the WWE roster over the last couple of years.
Roman Reigns responds: Byron Saxton is in the back with Reigns asking him to respond to Heyman’s promo. Reigns cuts a very nice, quiet, and somewhat boring promo. This was boring in a good way. I reiterate its okay for Reigns to be a little bland. Let him do his talking in the ring. Some MMA fighters are just bland interviews, but you see them in the octagon and they destroy people.
Jack Swagger vs. Rusev w/ Lana: Jack Swagger is the Tomiaki Honma of Rusev’s world. This was another good match between these two. The story was Swagger finally got a leg up on Rusev only to gloat a little too much (Started a “We the People!” chant) and Rusev got the advantage only to force Swagger to tap out to the Accolade.
#AxelMania: Curtis Axel appears on the Titan Tron with an “AxelMania” logo behind him. Axel cuts a Hulk Hogan promo challenging Rusev to a match for the United States Championship on Monday Night Raw next week.
Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose vs. Luke Harper and Bad News Barrett: R-Truth is on commentary for this match and he is hilarious. Truth asks the commentary team if they think he can talk to someone able hanging the IC title a little bit lower in the match.
This match was slow and plodding. WWE must have been working with a slo-mo mentality tonight. This match didn’t even get the typical high spot, fast paced finish to a typical WWE tag team match.
During the post-match the four men fight over the IC title. R-Truth eventually skips up the ramp with the IC title. Daniel Bryan’s music hits and he walks out onto the stage to meet up with Truth. Truth hands the title over to Bryan. Stardust then comes out and attacks Daniel Bryan. Stardust grabs the IC title and climbs up the ladder as the show closes.
This was a throwaway episode of Smackdown in a lackluster WrestleMania season. I fully expect WWE to step up their game with three more episodes of Raw left. It is disheartening that Cody Rhodes vs. Goldust is apparently being wiped from the WrestleMania card again. It would have been cool to see Dustin Rhodes take on his brother in a Street Fight to ultimately convince his brother to shed the Stardust gimmick.