– Air Date: March 24, 2016 (Mar 23 in Canada)
– Location: TD Garden in Boston, MA
– The Big News:
Brock Lesnar laid out Dean Ambrose again.
– Show Recap:
Smackdown started with Charlotte and Ric Flair. Charlotte said she was close to putting an end to the “Diva’s revolution” and starting the “woo revolution.” She would also put an end to Becky Lynch and Boston’s own Sasha Banks in front of a record crowd at WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks beat Divas Champion Charlotte via pinfall in a non-title match
Becky Lynch was on commentary. Referring to her title match, Lynch said she either beats the best or is beaten by the best, but either way gets to compete at WrestleMania, which makes it a win-win. What an odd thing to say. The match was short. Charlotte pushed Banks into Lynch, and the two of them argued. When Banks got back in the ring, Charlotte hit a spinebuster and went for the Figure Eight, but Banks rolled her up for the win.
The crowd popped big since they were in Sasha’s hometown, but Lynch immediately hit the ring and gave Exploder suplexes to both Banks and Charlotte. Crowd booed. Lynch pointed at The Sign and left. Charlotte basically no-sold the suplex, and Banks caught her from behind with the backcracker. This was alright, I guess. The crowd was into it.
New Day dunked on a guy backstage. They came out to the ring and said Booty O’s was the official cereal of WrestleMania. Big E said if League of Nations were a Star Wars character, they would be Jar Jar Binks. Kingston said the League were the Michael Jordan of baseball of wrestling, “because he sucked at baseball.” Big E said when New Day win at Mania, they’ll do the biggest hip swivel in history.
Sheamus (w/King Barrett & Rusev) beat Kofi Kingston (w/Big E & Xavier Woods) via pinfall
The good guy got some offense early but was cut off by the bad guy and they went to commercial a minute into the match. After the break, the bad guy had the heat. Kingston–also from Boston–made a comeback which included a double knee drop, similar to the move Sasha Banks does (and did in the previous match). Kingston hit a crazy somersault plancha on the outside, and a crossbody in the ring for two.
Kingston seemed to have the match won after a spinning back kick, but Rusev put Sheamus’ leg on the bottom rope to break the count. New Day ran after Rusev, so Barrett distracted Kingston, which led to Sheamus killing him with a Brogue kick for the win. Afterwards, the lads chanted “New Day sucks” on the stage.
The Usos beat The Ascension via pinfall
Usos won after hitting double superkicks to both Konnor and Viktor. Viktor took the fall. Afterwards, they put Konnor and Viktor on tables and put them through with Uso Splashes.
The Dudley Boyz were watching the match backstage and Renee Young joined them. D-Von told her they would be defined by their accomplishments, not by tables. Bubba said the Usos were a good team, but they were going to beat them at Mania. He said they beat up their dad Rikishi years ago, and they would beat up Afa and Sika if they were still around.
A downtrodden Roman Reigns happened to be around when Bubba said this, and confronted him. Reigns was booed. Reigns said he would shut Triple H’s mouth at Mania, and he would shut Bubba’s mouth tonight. Bubba and D-Von laughed in his face and Bubba asked if he wanted a match, to which Reigns responded, “Naw, this is Boston, dog. I want a fight.” Then why didn’t he just attack him?
After a break, they announced Reigns vs. Bubba in a wrestling match. They also showed the Shane McMahon-Undertaker video package from Raw.
Dolph Ziggler & Sami Zayn beat Kevin Owens & The Miz via pinfall
The announcers said it’s been 15 years since the Intercontinental Title was successfully defended at WrestleMania. When I heard that I assumed it was some old guy, but it was Chris Jericho at WrestleMania 17. Zayn and Ziggler took turns out-wrestling Miz, and Owens mockingly congratulated them from the apron for being good wrestlers.
With Owens in the ring, Zayn tagged in, so Owens tagged out. Miz tagged Owens back in, but Owens grabbed his title and tried to leave. Miz stopped him and they argued, so Zayn hit them both from behind with a crossbody. Zayn tossed Owens back in the ring and hit him with elbows, but Owens cut him off and Zayn eventually tagged out. The crowd liked Zayn but they didn’t really react when he got his hands on Owens.
There was some back and forth action leading to Zayn and Miz colliding hard with double crossbodies. Owens had a chance to tag in and take advantage, but he grabbed his title and left. As he walked up the ramp, he was stopped by Sin Cara, Stardust and Zack Ryder. Miz went after him and tossed him back in the ring. Ziggler gave Owens a superkick and Miz gave Owens a skull crushing finale. Ziggler superkicked Miz and Zayn hit the Helluva kick for the win.
Afterwards, Stardust knocked down Ziggler and gave Zayn the Cross Rhodes. Sin Cara gave Stardust a springboard moonsault, which he messed up. Yes, Sin Cara had one move to do and screwed it up. Anyway, everyone took turn hittings moves, ending with Ryder giving Owens the Rough Ryder. As Owens slunk away, Ryder yelled “I’ve waited long enough!” The match was good but the post-match was overkill.
They aired a video package for Reigns-Triple H. They also announced that Fifth Harmony would perform America the Beautiful at WrestleMania. According to Wikipedia, Fifth Harmony is a music act.
Bubba Ray Dudley DCO Roman Reigns
Reigns came out through the stage. Bubba started the match by leaving the ring and yelling at a teenage girl at ringside. She yelled back. Reigns went after him and quickly hit a superman punch. Reigns tossed Bubba around ringside, but Bubba fought back and tried slamming Reigns’ face against the announce table. Reigns blocked it and smashed Bubba’s face instead. The referee called for the bell. I guess it was a double count out, but the timing made it seem like Reigns’ was disqualified.
Reigns tossed Bubba into the steel steps. D-Von ran down to save his friend from this unprovoked beating, but Reigns gave him a superman punch and hit him with the steel steps. He finished off Bubba with a spear as people booed. Aside from entrances, this was all over after about 4 minutes. I’m fine with Reigns eviscerating the Dudleys less than two weeks before Mania.
Backstage, Goldust applied his face paint with 30 minutes left on a show where he never appeared again. He was interrupted by R-Truth, who asked why Goldust tried to save him on Raw if they’re not a team. After some “comedy,” Goldust explained that he just felt bad for Truth, but still doesn’t want to be partners. He painted “NO” on Truth’s forehead and left. Truth saw it as “ON” in the mirror. He took this to mean “it’s on,” because he’s an idiot.
Backstage, Kalisto was excited that he and Sin Cara both have matches at WrestleMania and said they would both walk out as champions. Sin Cara called Ryback the biggest challenge of Kalisto’s life. Sin Cara left, and Ryback showed up just in time. Ryback said he could bench press Kalisto with one arm. He said some dumb things about size and that the U.S. Title was his. Kalisto said this little guy would beat the big guy.
AJ Styles beat Tyler Breeze via pinfall
Styles won in about 3 minutes with a springboard forearm. That’s a weird finisher considering he also does a slingshot forearm to the outside as just another move. The crowd chanted for Styles but it wasn’t that loud.
Brock Lesnar & Paul Heyman segment
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman came out for the main event segment. Heyman said Lesnar could guarantee you a WrestleMania moment every year, like when he ended the Undertaker’s streak, and would give us another when he’s through with Dean Ambrose. (He didn’t mention losing to Triple H at WrestleMania 29.)
Heyman explained the rules of the match, and said if Ambrose gets a hand on a weapon, he can use it on Lesnar and it’s all legal. No holds barred legends like Terry Funk and Mick Foley gave Ambrose items to use, including a chainsaw. Heyman said Foley and Funk are only alive today because God refuses to answer Heyman’s prayers. Amazing.
Heyman reminded us that Lesnar can get his hand on any weapon that Ambrose can, and more importantly, Lesnar can get his hands on Dean Ambrose. Heyman said the most dangerous weapon implemented in a WWE ring is Brock Lesnar himself. Heyman called out Ambrose because Lesnar wants a fight right now.
The Wyatt Family (minus Luke Harper) came out instead. They surrounded the ring when Dean Ambrose’s music hit. Lesnar didn’t wait, and gave Erick Rowan a German suplex. As Ambrose attacked Bray with a Kendo stick outside the ring, Strowman knocked down Lesnar, but Lesnar came back and hit him with a suplex.
Ambrose jumped in the ring and attacked Lesnar with the stick. However, Lesnar killed him with a clothesline and hit an F5. As Lawler pointed out, Ambrose might as well have been hitting Lesnar with a toothpick. The show ended with Lesnar standing tall on the stage and Ambrose looking on. This segment was fun.
– Final Thoughts:
If you like Smackdown most weeks, you’ll like this show. Brock Lesnar (and Paul Heyman) being on it adds a lot.