Date: March 26, 2015
Location: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Commentators: Jerry Lawler, Michael Cole
Reviewed by Tommy Hall
It's the final show before the big one and that means we're in for a very different kind of Smackdown. This is likely to be a studio heavy show with a lot of video packages, but it's not like Smackdown means much in the first place. The main event is a big eight man tag with most of the people in some of the bigger matches. Let's get to it.
Jimmy Uso vs. Cesaro vs. Fernando vs. Big E.
One fall to a finish and no tags. It's a big brawl to start with Jimmy hitting the running Umaga attack on Cesaro but Big E. suplexes Jimmy and Fernando down. Big E. keeps going by throwing them all into the same corner and driving in shoulders. Fernando is left alone with Big El and the Warrior Splash gets two. Jimmy comes back in to kick Big E. in the head and Fernando hits a big dive to take out E. and Cesaro. That's not enough for Jimmy as he dives on all three for a huge crash.
Back in and Cesaro loads up the apron superplex on Fernando but Jimmy gets in to help him, only to have Big E. German suplex both guys to put all four down in something like a Tower of Doom. Cool stuff indeed. Cesaro and Fernando gets back up with the masked man diving into the Swing. A Backstabber breaks up the Neutralizer but Jimmy kicks Big E. down, allowing E. to hit the Big Ending on Cesaro. Jimmy nails the Superfly Splash on Cesaro for the pin at 4:53. Well that was....short.
Rating: C. Total insanity here with nothing resembling structure. That being said, what else can you ask for in a match like this? The fourway match on Sunday is going to be nothing but a big spotfest so why not just have the half sized version here? That Tower of Doom was cool stuff though and one big spot is more than enough in a five minute match.
We go live to Axxess with Byron Saxton and Renee Young. After talking about all the autographs that will be signed there, we go to a clip from ESPN on Monday where Brock Lesnar officially announced that he re-signed with WWE.
Long video on Reigns vs. Lesnar with Reigns saying he has to rise to the occasion and beat his biggest test.
Another video on the Intercontinental Title ladder match but with a different focus, as it looks back at some classics for the title at Wrestlemania. Some of the other ladder matches get a focus as well.
We look back at AJ and Paige brawling on Monday after the Bellas got under their skin.
We get a cool video of Rusev talking about how he's broken Cena and how it means he's broken America. By contrast, Cena promises to fight back for America and we see him getting a lot more intense to get the rematch at Wrestlemania, only to get laid out again on Raw.
Video on Rollins vs. Orton which focuses on Orton being the future ten years ago and Rollins being today's future. Unfortunately it also talks about Orton infiltrating the Authority and beating Rollins down. It didn't make sense then, it didn't make sense when he explained it, and it doesn't make sense now.
Here's AJ for the big showdown with Paige. She says we've seen her as everything from the GM to everyone's girlfriend to the longest reigning Divas Champion of all time. Paige and AJ both love being Divas Champion but at Wrestlemania, AJ is going to stand up to the Bellas and give them what they deserve. The question is whether AJ will be doing it alone.
Cue Paige who says AJ can't just skip past what happened on Raw. It's been almost a year since Paige debuted and took the Divas Title from AJ, which is why AJ doesn't want her to have it back. AJ says she gets what she wants and she knows Paige is out of her mind too. At Wrestlemania, they can't let the Kardashians win. They shake hands but here are the Bellas with a rebuttal.
Nikki calls them the compulsive liar and the backstabber but AJ's ability to make everyone believe her doesn't work on the Bellas. AJ doesn't seem to care but Nikki says Brock Lesnar has worked more days in the last year than AJ has. Nikki has been running the division for a year and the two girls in the ring are just like every other girl in the back. “Who doesn't want to be a Bella?” Paige: “Who wants to be a D-list celebrity and a failed actress?” Paige says they like being the freaks and geeks and the girls that beat the Bellas at Wrestlemania. The Bellas are ready for Sunday. Good promo, but why isn't the title on the line?
Video on HHH's rise to the top of WWE and how he's come to dominate the company. Sting on the other hand is the face of WCW and the one guy that has never been in WWE, making it a huge dream match. I really wish they had decided on the story. It seemed like a rehash of WCW vs. WWE but the interesting story is that HHH and the Authority can't use their bullying tactics on Sting because he's the one guy pure enough and a big enough legend for it to have no effect. Sting tried to get away from the WCW thing and even called it ridiculous, but Stephanie decided that's what it should be about and she runs this place right?
The next recap is on Undertaker vs. Bray Wyatt, with Undertaker finally coming off a loss at Wrestlemania and Bray wanting to replace him as the new face of fear. This is a really easy story but Bryan can only say the same thing so many times without Undertaker showing up. That same problem has plagued this show in multiple matches.
John Cena/Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns/Mark Henry vs. Seth Rollins/Bray Wyatt/Big Show/Kane
Time for the token main event to make it clear that we're watching a wrestling show. Isn't Wyatt as part of the Authority kind of against what his character stands for? Reigns shoves Rollins around to start and explodes out of the corner with a clothesline. He adds eight more clotheslines in the corner and a nice tilt-a-whirl slam for no cover as Rollins is in early trouble.
Wyatt comes in but eats a right hand as well and gets Stunned over the top rope. Reigns brings back the Apron Kick and it's all good guys so far. Off to Kane, who I guess is supposed to be more intimidating. He charges into Reigns' boot in the corner and a middle rope clothesline gets two so it's off to Big Show.
Henry wants in and gets the tag, giving us the battle of the giants. As expected, this goes badly for Henry and the heels stomp away on the fallen strongman. He looks like a fat turtle on the mat. Back to Kane for more stomping and the tall men take turns chopping Henry down. A superkick stops Mark's comeback and we take a break.
Back with Cena coming in to clean house but Bray does his flying body block to put him down. The giants take turns on Cena this time as the dueling chants start up. Wyatt gets in a cheap shot as Rollins comes in to keep the bad guys in control. John wins a slugout with Rollins but Seth flips out of the AA and kicks Cena down again. The backsplash hits but a second attempt misses for Bray.
Rollins breaks up another tag attempt with a sleeper and jumps on Cena's back for good measure. That's fine with Cena as he drives Rollins into the corner, only to get caught with a Blockbuster for two. Big Show comes in (Big Show vs. Cena!) but misses the Vader Bomb, meaning it's already back to Rollins. He doesn't have the same luck this time as Cena backdrops him to the floor and it's hot tag to Bryan.
Things speed way up and Bryan hits the top rope hurricanrana, followed by the YES Kick. He has to go after the Stooges though and Rollins gets in a kick of his own. Time for more Big Show but Reigns comes in with the Superman Punch. Sister Abigail is countered with a spear and Kane gets one as well. Henry and Reigns splash Show in the corner and the AA sets up the running knee to pin Big Show at 19:31.
Rating: D+. This was long, dull and completely unimportant as the only people in the same Wrestlemania match were Kane, Big Show and Henry who aren't even on the main show anymore. Like I said, this was total filler and I'm really not a fan of having a match just to waste time. They did a decent job of making Reigns look good, but does beating up Kane and Big Show really mean much at this point?
Overall Rating: C. Yeah whatever. This is one of the shows I dread every year because it's just a big commercial for Sunday and much more for people who aren't watching the last few weeks. The wrestling here was just to remind us that it was a wrestling show and somehow I wound up liking the Divas stuff more than anything else, despite the match at Sunday not even being for the title. Dull show but that's a tradition for this episode.
Jimmy Uso b. Cesaro, Big E. and Fernando – Superfly Splash to Cesaro
John Cena/Daniel Bryan/Mark Henry/Roman Reigns b. Kane/Big Show/Seth Rollins/Bray Wyatt – Running knee to Big Show
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