2/18 WWE Smackdown on USA Live Review: Brock Lesnar appears, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose vs. The Dudleys, Chris Jericho vs. The Miz, Charlotte vs. Natalya, and more…

WWE Smackdwown on USA Live Review
Taped on Tuesday in Ontario, CA

[Q1] A video began that showed Dean Ambrose being placed in a fatal five way match for his Intercontinental Championship on Raw and subsequently losing. The Smackdown introduction aired. Kevin Owens made his entrance and talked trash to Michael Cole as he joined on commentary. Dolph Ziggler made his ring entrance, followed by the Lucha Dragons. The League of Nations followed.

My Take: Six Man Tag already? They usually don’t pull the emergency six man lever backstage until later in the show when they need to kill time.

1. Dolph Ziggler and The Lucha Dragons vs. The League of Nations: Kalisto started out the match with Rusev. They mostly danced around each other and then tagged out to Del RIo and Sin Cara. Del Rio got dumped out to the floor, as did Rusev. Sheamus came over to check on them and all of them got splashed by the Lucha Dragons. Ziggler came off the top rope to hit them again when they got up…[c]

Rusev had Sin Cara under control and hit a bodyslam. Sheamus tagged in and hit an irish curse backbreaker and further wore on Sin Cara with holds. Del Rio tagged in and attempted a springboard, but ate a dropkick. This allowed Dolph Ziggler to make a hot tag. Del Rio tagged in Sheamus, who got hit with a DDT. Ziggler covered, but Del Rio broke up the pin. Del Rio then hit a side kick to Sin Cara on the outside and tossed Kalisto into the barricade.

[Q2] In the ring Ziggler hit a fameasser for a near fall. Kevin Owens jumped on the apron to cause a distraction, which caused Ziggler to walk into the brogue kick. Sheamus covered for the win.

The League of Nation was victorious at 15:32.

Kevin Owens taunted Ziggler while he walked up from the ramp as the League of Nations celebrated. A Brock Lesnar hype video then aired…[c]

My Take: A solid opener that killed a good bunch of time. Nothing to get terribly excited about, but the action was brisk and there was enough variety to keep things interesting.

Tamina made her entrance with Naomi. Video was shown of Becky Lynch talking to Naomi and Tamina backstage on Monday. They assaulted her after telling them she’d prefer to keep it in the ring. Sasha Banks made her ring entrance while the fast lane Divas Tag Match was talked about.

2. Sasha Banks vs. Tamina: Naomi tried to jump in the ring straight away, but the ref stopped her. Tamina tossed Sasha around by her hair and taunted the crowd. She then covered and Sasha kicked out at two. Tamina went for a back suplex, but Sasha was able to roll out of it. Sasha then hit running double knees in the corner and covered, but Naomi prevented a pin. Sasha reversed another suplex attempt into a bulldog, and then applied the Banks Statement for the tap out victory.

Sasha Banks defeated Tamina at 3:32.

[Q3] After the bell, Tamina and Naomi assaulted Sasha. Becky Lynch made the save and helped Sasha to her feet, but got shoved by Sasha for her trouble. Chris Jericho’s answer to AJ Style’s challenge was hyped for next…[c]

My Take: This wasn’t a great match. There were quite few klugey spots and Tamina’s offense just wasn’t convincing. I like the possibilities for everyone involved here aside from Tamina. Her current role seems like it’s the ceiling for her talent level.

Backstage, Becky and Sasha argued. Becky argued that if they go into Sunday at each other’s throats then they lose. Becky said she doesn’t want to lose momentum heading into WrestleMania, because she’s dreamed of a WrestleMania moment her whole life. Sasha said she won’t let anyone take her moment, either. Becky asked her not to let her ego prevent their chances, and they shook hands in an uneasy truce.

Chris Jericho made his entrance while footage aired of Styles vs. Miz from Raw, and Style’s challenge to Jericho for a rubber match at Fastlane. Jericho said he wanted to give an answer to AJ Styles, but wanted to do it to his face, so he invited him out to the ring. The Miz came out instead, and said everyone was tired of watching Jericho and Styles play footsie. Miz said he had an announcement to make, and Jericho asked if he was going to take two weeks off and quit the business. Jericho begged him, but he said no. He said if he was going to quit, he wouldn’t do it at the inland empire. Miz told Jericho that he doesn’t need to worry about AJ Styles, because he has a scheduled match with him right now. Miz and Jericho brawled and Miz got tossed to ringside…[c]

My Take: Miz couldn’t help but troll Ontario, and Jericho nearly busted out laughing. I don’t think there’s a ton of suspense about Jericho’s answer, given how little the crowd cared about it.

[Q4] 3. The Miz vs. Chris Jericho: The Miz dominated the early part of the match with punches and kicks, and the occasional chin lock. Jericho turned the tide with a drop kick. He climbed to the top rope and got intercepted by Miz. Jericho shoved hm down and hit a cross body for a two count. Jericho tossed Miz outside and then into the barricade. He sent Miz back into the ring, but Miz caught Jericho with some kicks as he climbed back through the ropes…[c]

Miz covered for a two count as the show returned. He then applied a chinlock, which Jericho fought out of. Miz attempted to toss Jericho to the outside, but he caught himself and planted on the apron. Jericho hit a top rope double axehandle and tried for the Walls of Jericho, but Miz reversed out of it. Jericho then went for a Lionsault, but Miz moved out of the way and hit a DDT for a near fall. Miz went for a Skull Crushing Finale, but Jericho escaped and hit a butterfly suplex into a backbreaker. Miz went for his signature corner clothesline, but Jericho popped out of the corner and applied the Walls of Jericho for the win.

Chris Jericho defeated The Miz at 13:41.

[Q5] After the bell, Jericho called out AJ Styles to come to the ring. He obliged. The crowd chanted for Jericho. Jericho finally got down to business, and said that he respects Styles as one of best performers in the world today, but he doesn’t like him. He talked about there being a saying in WWE that you’re only as as your last match, and Styles lost their last match together. As far as he’s concerned, he’s not interested in doing Styles any favors, so the answer is no. Styles sucker punched Jericho and clotheslined him to the floor. Jericho popped back up on the apron and Styles tossed him the microphone. Jericho said yes to the match and promised to make Styles regret asking for hit.

The announce crew hyped up Fastlane and said that cable subscribers are idiots for paying full price for the PPV. Footage was then shown of the promo from Heyman and Roman Reigns from Monday. Backstage, Roman Reigns asked Dean Ambrose if he was good after his loss on Monday. Ambrose said he was tired of getting jerked around. Reigns asked Ambrose not to pull that dirty deeds stuff from Monday. Ambrose asked if he can take a joke, and Reigns said he can, but that wasn’t funny.

Ambrose then ran into Paul Heyman, who told him that Lesnar was there in a bad mood and was looking for him. Ambrose pretended to panic and asked Paul for advice. Heyman looked flustered and Ambrose seemed to blow him off and told him to tell Brock not to keep him waiting, and that he would have to figure this all out on his own…[c]

My Take: A good match from Jericho and Miz. I guess the people upset that Styles didn’t put Miz away in 9 seconds or less can stop hyperventilating now. The crowd was behind Jericho initially when he answered Styles, but turned on him when he initially refused the match. We’ll see how these two do on Sunday, as it’s been an entertaining feud thus far.

Jojo interviewed New Day backstage, and asked them about how their preparing for their interview on the Cutting Edge Peep Show at Fastlane. They acted indignant about being asked about practice (shout out Allen Iverson) and said that Edge and Christian have gone out of style. They said it’s 2016 and it’s all about the GIF. They then shooed away Jojo and showed off their victory dance for Sunday…[c]

[Q6] Charlotte made her ring entrance along with Ric Flair. Natalya was already in the ring.

4. Natalya vs. Ric Flair: Natalya hit an atomic drop and followed up with a seated dropkick. She then posed for the crowd…[c]

Charlotte caught Natalya’s leg as she attempted to kick, and pulled her down into a chin lock. Natalya fought out and hit a butterfly suplex. Charlotte rolled out of the ring to recover and hit Natalya with a big boot as she gave chase. Charlotte then applied a body scissors back in the ring. Nattie fought out again and hit a discus clothesline, but Charlotte rolled outside to recover. Nattie gave chase, but Charlotte pulled the apron out from under her and she landed awkwardly on her knee. Charlotte quickly applied the Figure Eight for the win.

Charlotte defeated Natalya at 8:32.

After the match, Charlotte did some mocking yes chants that prompted a Brie Bella run in. She brawled with Charlotte, hit some Daniel Bryan Yes Kicks, and Charlotte bailed with Ric. Backstage, Goldust and R-Truth rapped. Goldust called himself Dusta Rhymes. Truth acted entertained, but ultimately told Goldust they wouldn’t be partners in the ring or in life.

My Take: They are trying very hard to make Brie Bella’s final run an extension of her beloved husband, but the connection just isn’t there. Brie is a lovely woman but she just doesn’t have the personality to pull it off.

[Q7] The Fastlane match between Big Show, Kane and Ryback vs. The Wyatt Family was plugged. A Wyatt Family video package was shown. The Main Event was plugged for next…[c]

The Dudley Boyz made their entrance and the crowd still mostly cheered. They were followed by Ambrose and then Reigns. Footage was shown of Reigns giving Lesnar a low blow two weeks ago.

[Q8] 5. The Dudley Boyz vs. Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns: Ambrose and Devon started the match. Ambrose got the advantage in the early punch and kick contest, and Devon tagged Bubba in. Bubba walked over and paint brushed Reigns and demanded he get into the match. Ambrose tagged him, and then he and Bubba traded fists. Reigns clotheslined Bubba out of the ring pretty quickly and Ambrose did the same to Devon…[c]

Devon assaulted Ambrose with strikes and tossed him to the floor. Devon was held back by the ref from following him to the floor, so Bubba jumped off the apron and tossed Ambrose into the announce table. Bubba tagged in and set Ambrose on the top rope and hit a neckbreaker. He then hit another neckbreaker from a standing position, and dragged Ambrose over to his corner to tag in Devon.

Devon tagged in and continued the assault with some strikes and a chin lock, and tagged in Bubba. He threw Ambrose into the corner and then climbed to the top rope. He trash talked Reigns, which allowed Ambrose to meet him at the top. Bubba pushed him off, but missed a Senton attempt. Reigns then tagged in along with Devon. Reigns sent Bubba packing from the apron and the set up for a Superman Punch on Devon. At this point, Brock Lesnar made his entrance and both Reigns and Ambrose froze.

The Dudleys took advantage briefly, but it didn’t last. Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Devon and Ambrose hit a top rope elbow on Bubba. Lesnar attacked Ambrose on the outside after he hit Devon with a suicide dive.

Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose defeated The Dudley Boyz by DQ at 13:39.

After the DQ was called, Lesnar hit Germans on both Ambrose and Reigns. He went for an F5 on Ambrose, but Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch. Reigns went for a spear, but Lesnar avoided it and he ran into Ambrose. That didn’t sit well with Ambrose, who tried for Dirty Deeds, but Reigns reversed into a Samoan Drop. Lesnar then hit Reigns with an F5. Triple H walked out to survey the damage as the show closed.

My Take: A fairly predictable close to the show. Lesnar was heavily advertised for this, yet his only appearance was to interfere in the Main Event, which was bizarre. I didn’t dislike the main event match, but we’ve seen so many of these tag matches and multi-man matches follow this formula that it’s hard to get excited about one absent some extraordinary levels of effort. Overall, there was quite a bit of quality wrestling on this show, so I can recommend it on that front. Otherwise, there wasn’t anything earth shattering on this show unless a pact between Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks makes you tremble with excitement.


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