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WWE Smackdown TV Report: Daniel Bryan & Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose vs. Stardust & Luke Harper & Wade Barrett

By Steve Khan, WrestlingObserver.com

Air Date: Mar 12, 2015

From Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI


Daniel Bryan is officially in the IC title ladder match at WrestleMania and Roman Reigns beat up a returning Mark Henry.

Show Details:

Daniel Bryan came out to a big reaction. Bryan said he’s been trying to ignore the WrestleMania sign whenever he comes out, but he finally has to concede that he can’t repeat his Mania moment from last year. But when one door closes, another opens. He started thinking of his heroes growing up, like Mr. Perfect, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Randy Savage. They all battled for the IC title at Mania and were always more exciting than the Heavyweight title division. Bryan has never been IC champion so he made the request and now he’s officially in the ladder match. Crowd chanted Yes.

Wade Barrett came out with bad news. Barrett said he would retain the title and that would make him Bryan’s new hero. Ziggler came out to ask Barrett how he plans on beating six other guys when he can’t even hold on to the belt. What an odd thing to say. Harper came out to say he wants his WrestleMania moment and he stared down Bryan. It seemed like they were about fight so Dean Ambrose ran out and said they’re fighting without him. Stardust was out next to ask where the title was (in wacky Stardust speak). Truth was out last, staying on the stage, to tell Barrett he’s holding on to the title until Mania (in wacky Truth speak).

Barrett, the heel, was about to go after Truth but the faces cut him off and everybody brawled. Ambrose, Ziggler and Bryan were left standing in the ring with the heels looking on. Teddy Long is no longer around, so the segment just ended with the Smackdown music playing. Bryan did what he could to make the title seem important, but every geek that came out after made the match seem less and less relevant.

Los Matadores, Cesaro & Kidd vs. The Usos, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods

Los Matadores dominated Jimmy Uso through a commercial. Jey made a hot tag and ran wild on Kidd. Kofi tagged himself in and hit a flying crossbody. Woods wanted to hit a dive to the outside but Jey hit one instead. Woods decided to take out Jey, his partner, with a dive of his own. After a bunch of stuff happened, Kofi hit his kick on a Matador, but the other one pulled a switch-a-roo and hit a back cracker for the win. This was fun, but also a mess. I would rather they push two strong teams (Kidd/Cesaro and The Usos) for a match at Mania instead of just throwing everyone together like they are with the IC title.  

They aired the weird Sting video from Raw, announced a 6-man tag match for tonight’s main event and aired a Cena-Rusev video package. They also announced Connor Michalek going into the Hall of Fame. Jerry Lawler said there wasn’t a dry eye in his house when that video aired on Raw.

Ryback vs. The Miz

After Ryback made his entrance, Renee Young interviewed The Miz backstage. Why would they do the interview in between entrances? Miz said he, not Ryback, is the favourite to win the Andre the Giant Battle Royal. Damien told him not to underestimate Ryback. Miz told Damien to go press his pants and get him some sort of coffee drink. When the match started, Cole mentioned that these two were on Tough Enough together and that Ryback hates Miz. Ryback won with a meat-hook clothesline and Shell Shocked. Basic match.

Roman Reigns came out to the ring for a promo. He said Paul Heyman disrespected his family saying they were three generations removed from cannibalism. He hates the word “can’t” and won’t accept people disrespecting his family. Reigns said he will win at WrestleMania representing his Samoan blood.

Mark Henry returned to interrupt. Henry thinks Reigns is either a comedian or been hit in the head with one too many coconuts. Henry said he knows who he is, he’s the strongest man in the world. Reigns has no identity and Heyman was getting under his skin. Henry admitted even he couldn’t take on Brock Lesnar. Lesnar broke his arm and almost killed him with an F5.

Henry said nobody respected Reigns, but the crowd cheered to show their support. Reigns said “whatever” and was about to walk away but Henry got in his face and shoved him, so Reigns knocked Henry out of the ring with a superman punch. Reigns then speared Henry through the barricade. Reigns was fired up and announced again that he will win at Mania. This was a good segment and good use of Mark Henry, although it would’ve been better for Reigns if Henry was more of a full-fledged heel instead of a returning guy people generally like. Still, the crowd was mostly behind Reigns here.

Cameron & Summer Rae w/Eva Marie vs. AJ Lee & Paige

The Bellas were on commentary. Cole wanted to know why they always sit next to Saxton. Nikki said she could sit on Cole’s lap and Cole said that would be better. That’s not what they mean by give Divas a chance, Michael Cole. Brie and Nikki tried to get back on track, saying they’ve been working for eight years to get this moment at Mania and they want to impress everyone. In the ring, Paige and AJ got along just fine and Paige won quickly with the PTO. Afterwards, Nikki tossed her hat at Paige, so Paige went after her, but AJ held her back. The crowd “Fight!” but they didn’t fight.

Backstage, Mark Henry admitted he was trying to see what Reigns was made of. Reigns made him a believer. He doesn’t know that Reigns will beat Lesnar, but believes that he can. This was also good.

They aired a segment showing Dolph Ziggler and a corporate sponsor giving three girls ringside tickets to Smackdown earlier today.

Randy Orton’s “return” to Smackdown was a pre-taped sitdown interview with Michael Cole. Well, that’s false advertising. Orton said that for four months all he could think about was getting vengeance on Seth Rollins on The Authority. Orton tried to get his hands on Rollins at Fastlane but weaved his way back into the Authority to gain their trust. He used Roman Reigns because he would use his own grandmother if it meant getting his hands on Rollins. Orton recapped what happened on Raw and enjoyed every second of destroying Rollins. Orton knows there will be hell to pay, but it was worth it. On Raw, he plans on spitting on Rollins’ face and challenging him to a match at WrestleMania for some reason. This segment was designed to explain a storyline that doesn’t make sense, so this didn’t work.

Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose vs. Bad News Barrett, Luke Harper & Stardust

Bryan worked over Stardust and used a top rope hurricanrana. He went for the running knee but Stardust escaped the ring. The heels worked over Bryan after a break but he kicked Harper in the head and tagged in Ambrose. Ambrose took out Stardust and Harper with a dive from the top to the outside. He hit Stardust with the rebound clothesline but Harper took him out with a big boot.

After another break, Ambrose countered a superplex and hit a missile dropkick on Stardust. Each guy tagged out and Ziggler ran wild on Harper, hitting a dropkick and fameasser for two. He hit a superkick but Stardust broke up the pin. Bryan knocked him out of the ring. Bryan and Ambrose hit suicide dives while Harper hit a big boot to Ziggler. Harper followed with a sit-down powerbomb for a near fall and Ziggler came back with a Zig Zag. Bryan tagged himself in and hit the running knee for the win. Good match.

After the match, Cole congratulated Bryan on the win. Ziggler interrupted saying Bryan stole the win, but he understands because it’s WrestleMania season and it’ll be every man for himself. Ambrose sarcastically thanked Bryan for his help. He said Ziggler has an inferiority complex because he doesn’t think he’s as good as Bryan. Ambrose added that everyone thinks Bryan is a nice guy, but the truth is Bryan is a turd. Ambrose left, and Ziggler agreed that Bryan was a turd. This felt more like they were messing with Bryan than turning on him, so Bryan laughed at them. This was a silly but hopefully it leads to some kind of tension building between these three instead of more jokes.

Final Thoughts:

This was a better than usual Smackdown show thanks to the Reigns/Henry segment and a good main event. Lots of filler otherwise.

Match Results:

Los Matadores, Kidd & Cesaro beat Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & The Usos via pinfall

Ryback beat The Miz via pinfall

Paige & AJ Lee beat Summer Rae & Cameron via submission

Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose beat Luke Harper, Stardust & Wade Barrett via pinfall