March 12, 2015
SmackDown aired from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan on Thursday night, and we saw a familiar face return to WWE television with a message for Roman Reigns. With just two weeks left until WrestleMania, the card is taking shape. We had some more answers regarding the WrestleMania lineup emerging from SmackDown.
Here are some of the main stories coming out of Thursday night:
We finally have an answer as to what Daniel Bryan will be doing at WrestleMania! Bryan announced his entry into the Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match at WrestleMania to open SmackDown this week. The Intercontinental title was the centerpiece of Thursday night’s show once again, which led to a brawl erupting in the ring after R-Truth revealed he still has Bad News Barrett’s stolen championship belt. This set up the main event for the night, as a six-man tag featuring Dean Ambrose, Bryan and Dolph Ziggler defeated the champion, Bad News Barrett, Stardust and Luke Harper. The ladder match at WrestleMania just might be the match of the night. I’ll be watching closely.
Reigns responded to Paul Heyman’s promo from Monday night, despite having the chance to do so on Raw since he was in the same building as the champion. I don’t like having Reigns respond to the promo, especially considering Heyman and Lesnar were featured on Raw during the 9:00 hour Monday night. It wasn’t like it was the last segment of the show. In Reigns’ promo, he even admitted Heyman disrespected him, and then proceeded to do nothing about it. There’s nothing about this build that makes any sense whatsoever. But alas, Mark Henry saved the promo, injecting some energy and well-needed antagonism that Reigns needed from somebody. Having him sit back while Heyman and Lesnar had the ring to themselves Monday night was a huge mistake. Leave it to Henry to get this feud back on track and do as good a job as Heyman to build toward the WrestleMania main event. Later on in the program, Henry admitted he was testing Reigns, and Reigns made him a believer and passed his test. That test? Does Reigns have the guts to defeat Brock Lesnar? We’ll find out March 29th.
An interview with Randy Orton was also aired Thursday night, as he explained why he turned on Seth Rollins on Monday Night Raw. As we all thought, Orton’s plan to return and align himself with The Authority again was described as mind games from Orton; gaining The Authority’s trust and more importantly, Rollins. Reigns? Just a pawn in Orton’s game. I said it before – this storyline in this specific feud was not needed at all. While Orton playing mind games does fit his character in the sense, “What the hell is Orton thinking?” the real story should have been Orton gunning for revenge and trying to get his hands on Rollins and being unable to do so until WrestleMania. Now that he decimated Rollins on Monday Night Raw, what incentive do we have to want to see that match at WrestleMania?
Seeing Damien Mizdow with that smile on his face after Miz failed to defeat Ryback was priceless. This is a storyline that’s saying a lot without saying much. It’s clear they’re building up to the point where Mizdow turns on Miz, and it’s looking more and more like that’ll happen at WrestleMania. It’ll be a huge moment, for sure, but I’m a bit worried to what they’ll do with Mizdow afterwards. He has charisma, is good in the ring, and is fantastic on the mic. He should be repackaged after this angle and become a serious threat on the WWE roster.
8-Man Tag Match: WWE Tag Team Champions Cesaro & Tyson Kidd & Los Matadores def. The Usos & The New Day [Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston] by pinfall via the Backstabber after Los Matadores switched places.
Ryback def. The Miz by pinfall via Shell Shocked.
A.J. Lee & Paige def. Summer Rae & Cameron by submission via the Paige Tap Out.
6-Man Tag Match: Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler and Dean Ambrose def. Bad News Barrett, Stardust and Luke Harper by pinfall after Daniel Bryan pinned Luke Harper with a running knee to the face.