Smackdown Live Recap – March 28, 2017

The Good

Cena and Miz build: The Miz and Maryse come to the ring to introduce another episode of Total Bellas Bullshit, this one focusing on a dinner party with Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella eating dinner with Cena and Nikki. At the end of the video, Miz and Maryse strip off their costumes and get serious, telling Cena and Nikki what they’ve said the past month: their lives are fake, utter bullshit and always will be and they will beat them at Wrestlemania.  Cena and Nikki come out.  Cena says that he laughed at the spoof especially the rules and the ditziness of the Bella sisters, but The Miz is still wrong about a lot of his implications in the video.  He lists some before he starts dishing out personal attacks. Among them were questioning why Miz and Maryse don’t have kids by asking, “Are you shooting blanks,” calling Miz “a pussy,” and calling them not “the it couple, but the shhhh…it couple.”  He then dares Miz and Maryse to attack them, but the couple backs out of the ring.  Miz starts to go back, but Maryse forces him away.  The second week of the spoof was not as good as the first, but the Cena promo was vicious and worth watching although it’s questionable whether it’s a little too heelish.  This was the best final segment before ‘Mania of the night.

The Insipid

McMahon/AJ Styles build: This is a contract signing segment.  Shane tells AJ that he was always part of his vision.  “I think you are without a question one of the greatest talents to ever step foot through these ropes, to be in this ring, and in that respect, AJ, you truly are phenomenal.”  AJ grins, “I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but we agree on something.  I’m pretty phenomenal.”  But he says AJ became arrogant, and his ego got in the way of all his problems – losing the title, losing his rematch, etc.  Shane says everyone he’s been in the ring with, “he’s made them reach down deep.”  AJ asks him, “You do know what kind of match you’re in for, right?”   There aren’t any cells, tables, or stipulations to fall back on.  “You’ve now entered the world of AJ Styles…in this ring, between these ropes, I am untouchable.”  The men have a stare down at the end of the signing, but Daniel Bryan breaks them up.  He wants the men to shake hands, but AJ walks away.  Having Shane try to sell the idea that he can compete with AJ is laughable, but at this point, the program is what it is.  This segment was dull for the go home show, but Shane already performed his top rope elbow through the table last week, so there’s not many other places to go with him I suppose.

Women’s build: This started out as a match between Becky Lynch and Carmella with Alexa Bliss and Mickie James on commentary.  Mickie James and Alexa argue throughout with Mickie taking shots at Alexa being a dumb blonde and Alexa saying Mickie is old and irrelevant.  They start to fight and it spills…into the ring.  The two competitors end up fighting with them, and there’s a disqualification.  Once back from the commercial break, it’s announced that Daniel Bryan made this a tag match of Mickie and Becky versus Alexa and Carmella.  Natalya comes down to interfere, which is semi-successful.  However, James Ellsworth trips Becky at one point which allows Carmella to get the pin on her.  Afterwards, Naomi’s music hits and she flies down to the ring, taking out a couple of the other women.  She gets on the mic and announces she is back from injury and will participate in the women’s championship match at Wrestlemania.

This segment is more of the same that has been going on for the better part of four weeks.  There’s no personal stakes between any of these women besides possibly Naomi and Alexa and even then, everything was so rushed due to Naomi’s injury, it doesn’t even seem relevant at this point.  Having Naomi return five days before ‘Mania doesn’t seem to make sense either.  Bryan announced weeks ago that it would be “every available women on the Smackdown roster,” which led many to think Asuka would be up for Wrestlemania.  With Dave Meltzer reporting that is likely not the case, then Naomi seems like the surprise.  If so, why not wait until Wrestlemania to reveal it, especially given it’s announced as a preshow match?

The Bad

Ten-Man Tag Match: This tag match is a…preview of the Andre the Giant Battle Royal?  Much like the Over-the-top rope challenge last night, the rationale behind this isn’t clear.  The participants are The Usos, American Alpha, Breezango, Heath Slater and Rhyno, Mojo Rawley, and Dolph Ziggler.  So, basically, the entire tag division on Smackdown, including the champions.  Mojo got the pin on Tyler Breeze (after he was earlier forced to be dressed up as Nikki Bella again) to show…he’s the one to watch in the battle royal? Again, the motive is not quite clear.  This is another awful decision for a time filler.  It exposes that the show doesn’t care about their tag team division at all when three of their former championship teams are in this battle royal.  It feels even more worthless when none of these competitors are going to win this battle royal on Sunday.

Wyatt/Orton build:  Bray Wyatt wrestles Luke Harper, sporting a new trim figure and all black outfit, as the main event.  Harper dominates most of the match before Bray hits him with the Sister Abigail for the victory.  He poses mid-ring on his knees holding the belt at the end.  Randy Orton’s music hits and a short video package is played that shows Orton reminiscing about what he’s done to Bray, which brings an end to the show.  The match served more as a showcase of Harper than it did of Wyatt, which is questionable booking.  One might think Harper is going to defend against Orton.  Bray’s offense or character didn’t seem radically different than it did before Orton burned Abigail’s body.  The only difference is that he had more of an intense stare at times; otherwise, nothing.  The video package did nothing to help the excitement level at all.  JBL tried to sell that Bray Wyatt covets the WWE Championship, but it was too little, too late.  Plus, the champion should be making that clear, not commentary.

The Final Analysis: This was a downright bad go-home show.  Even RAW had more entertaining segments than this.  The Cena verbal destruction of Miz was harsh, but entertaining even if it’s in service to a wedding proposal to help a Total Bellas story line, but everything else did nothing but expose the problems about the builds to the very few matches that Smackdown has on this card.  Some trades need to take place or fresh faces called up after Wrestlemania to help this roster.

 

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