3/10 Barnett’s WWE Smackdown Live Review: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens on Miz TV, final push for WWE Roadblock

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WWE Smackdown on the USA Network
Taped on Tuesday in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

[Q1] Mauro Ranallo opened the show and welcomed everyone to Milwaukee. He and Byron Saxton hyped up the 8-man Main Event with The Usos, Dolph Ziggler, and Dean Ambrose vs. The Wyatt Family. The Miz was in the ring for MizTV. Miz mentioned the storied history of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, and then threw to a video of their encounter on Monday. After the video, Miz introduced Sami Zayn, who got a nice reaction of the live crowd. Miz handed him a microphone, and sat him down.

Ole chants started but were nearly inaudible. Miz asked him to do introduce himself briefly, and he started in on his story, but Miz cut him off immediately. He asked him to detail his conflict with Kevin Owens. Sami went over his friendship and rivalry with Kevin Owens, and said it goes back 13 years. He talked about his relationship with KO being more than a friendship, it was a brotherhood, and that he was the best man at his wedding. Miz asked why it all went bad, and Sami said he honestly didn’t know. He got to WWE a few years before Kevin did, and then praised him for being talented, but didn’t know why Owens had turned on him immediately after reaching WWE.

Miz said there are two sides to every story, and brought out Kevin Owens. Owens said he was the victim in all of this. He told Sami what he did was just business, it wasn’t personal, and that he had said that multiple times. He said Sami got signed to the WWE two years before him, but he got to the main roster a year before he did, so who made the right call? He claimed to be the victim, as what Sami had done to him at the Royal Rumble was personal, and what he had done on Monday.

Sami said he was betrayed, and he wanted his revenge, and he would get it by taking the Intercontinental Champion at WrestleMania. Owens called him delusional and said he didn’t belong in the same ring with him. Neville interrupted Owens as he took his leave, and said the Intercontinental Championship look mighty fine around his waist. Miz demanded everyone pay attention to him on his show, and said that if anyone deserved a shot at Intercontinental Championship it was him. He was a 5 time champion and had main evented WrestleMania while these guys were wrestling in Bingo Halls. Sami told him off and said his best days are far behind him, and when Sami turned around to address Owens, The Miz attacked him. Zayn recovered and sent Miz to ringside…[c]

My Take: A decent opener, but a lot of the story elements felt really rushed. This is what I was afraid of with 3 weeks remaining until WrestleMania, and it looks like I was right to be concerned.

[Q2] 1. Sami Zayn and Neville vs. The Miz and Kevin Owens: The match was joined in progress with Sami Zayn working on The Miz. He and Neville made some quick tags and hit some double team offense. Sami held an arm twister while Neville came off the top with a stomp. Miz backed Neville into the heel corner and tagged in Owens. Neville got the better of him for a moment, and tagged in Zayn. Owens panicked and quickly ran to tag in Miz. Miz ate a corkscrew moonsault from Neville off of Sami Zayn’s back. Owens tagged in and sent Neville into the ropes, and Miz pulled the rope to send him barreling out to the floor…[c]

Owens his Neville with a running Senton and tagged in Miz. Neville made some attempts to tag, but Miz continued to keep him isolated. He hit a neckbreaker and covered for a two count. The tables turned when Neville was able to hit a kick that sent Miz out to the floor. Miz attempted to scramble back in and grab Neville’s leg, but he made a hot tag to Zayn. Owens wanted nothing to do with Zayn and dropped off the apron, leaving Miz to take a beating. Zayn hit a pretty cross body and a tornado DDT before taunting Owens to get into the match. Owens decided against it and just left up the ramp.

Miz tried to roll up Sami, but only got a two count. Zayn fired back with a suplex followed by a Helluva Kick for the win.

Sami Zayn and Neville defeated The Miz and Kevin Owens.

The announce crew hyped up Chris Jericho explaining his actions from Monday later in the show, and a Dean Ambrose/Triple H video package for next.

My Take: A solid match that added some intrigue with Owens continually ducking Neville. I like the idea of keeping them apart until WrestleMania to build suspense, but I’m not sure WWE will be that disciplined in the mid card.

[Q3] Backstage, Goldust was in the bathroom and asking the adjacent stalls for toilet paper. R-Truth walked up and said that he was there to be the lifeguard when he dropped his kids off at the pool. Goldust told him he was disgusting and took the toilet paper. He said his answer was still no. The show then went to a video package that hyped up Dean Ambrose vs. Triple H at Roadblock. The announce team plugged Roadblock afterwards, and then the Smackdown Main Event. Brie Bella then made her entrance in the arena…[c]

[Q4] Summer Rae made her entrance. Lana joined on commentary.

2. Summer Rae vs. Lana: Summer controlled the early going with strikes and holds. Brie fired back with a missile dropkick from the top, followed by some Yes kicks. She fired up for Brie mode, but Summer moved out of the way of he running knee. Summer hit a DDT, but only got a two count. Brie eventually applied a Yes Lock and got the tapout victory.

Brie defeated Summer Rae.

After the match, Summer attempted to attack Brie while she was jawing with Lana, but Brie saw it coming and turned around to hit her with an elbow to the jaw. She then hit a charging knee as Summer was draped over the ropes. Lana was able to sneak in behind her and hit another Bella Buster. Lana mocked Brie to end the segment. The announce team then threw to a video package that detailed Shane McMahon’s crazy dangerous career in the ring. After that video package, another Vince and Shane video package was hyped for later. Chris Jericho’s explanation is next…[c]

My Take: Byron Saxton pointing out that Lana hasn’t explained her beef with Brie, and then resolving it by the end of the segment felt a bit weird. Do they even know why yet? Or is that something they are booking on the fly? The whole thing feels disconnected a bit. The Shane video package did a nice job of reminding you that Shane is willing to kill himself for our entertainment.

[Q5] Jericho walked to the ring in a suit jacket and no undershirt. He had his Y2AJ shirt hanging over his shoulder. We got video of Jericho’s turn on Styles during the entrance. He opened his promo by criticizing the crowd for booing. He complained about the crowd choosing AJ Styles over him. Jericho reminded the crowd that he’s the best in the world at what he does. He talked about his durability, and how he can be counted on to excel in the opening match, the main event, or coming up with fresh ideas. He took credit for Money in the Bank one more time.

He kept up a tautology about the crowd choosing AJ over him, repeating himself multiple times using slightly different words. He shamed the crowd for choosing a guy whose steam is still rising on his WWE cup of coffee over a legend who has been in the WWE for 17 years. Jericho said he was going to stand by laughing as AJ Styles career fizzles out. He called him nothing and a bum. He had a trashcan in the ring and sprayed a bunch of lighter fluid in it.

He claimed Y2AJ was something special, but the crowd and Styles ruined it. He called Styles a rookie, and said he screwed him over. He set the shirt on fire and threw it into the trash can, and said he would burn Styles in effigy. As the flames rose, he told Styles his career would go up in flames, and that he would be the one to light the fire.

The announce team hyped more video packages and the main event for later…[c]

My Take: A good, but not great promo from Jericho. I think he was trying to invoke the same type of attitude and presentation as his very memorable heel run from 2008, but it just didn’t click on the same level because it doesn’t feel as novel or clever as it did back then. The imagery of the flame rising from the trash can was a nice tough and a cool visual for his final rant.

Big Boss Man’s HOF video was shown. The Lucha Dragons made their entrance for a tag match. The League of Nations followed.

[Q6] 3. The Lucha Dragons vs. King Barrett and Sheamus: Kalisto and Sheamus started the match, and Kalisto hit flying head scissors straight away. Sin Cara tagged in and hit a seated dropkick, and made a quick tag back to Kalisto. They hit a double team monkey flip into a splash, and got a two count on Sheamus. After a distraction from King Barrett, Sheamus sent Kalisto crashing out to the floor as The League of Nations taunted the crowd…[c]

King Barrett controlled Kalisto and draped him over the top turnbuckle in a corner. He then hit a kick to the ribs, and applied a headlock. Kalisto fought to his feet and went for a head scissors, but Barrett avoided it and hit another kick to the ribs. Sheamus tagged in and sent Kalisto into the corner ring post. Sheamus picked up Kalisto and screamed “THIS IS SPARTAAAA!” before delivering a body slam. I hope that was a joke otherwise it was super lame.

Barrett and Sheamus made some quick tags. Kalisto turned things around when he avoided a charging Sheamus and sent him flying through the ropes and out to the floor. Sin Cara entered the match and hit a pretty springboard cross body, followed by a back elbow. Rusev attempted to enter the ring, but was quickly dumped back out to the floor. Barrett was then sent to the outside, and Sin Cara followed him with a suicide dive.

Kalisto entered and hit a somersault plancha on Sheamus on the outside with an assist from Sin Cara. Rusev shoved Sin Cara off the top rope, and Barrett hit a Bull Hammer for the victory.

The League of Nations defeated The Lucha Dragons.

Ryback was shown watching the match backstage. Jojo walked up and asked him what he thought about the match. He claimed big men are genetically superior to little ones, and that he felt bad for all the men who were not created equal. The Vince and Shane video package was next…[c]

My Take: I enjoyed this tag match. It wasn’t near as hot as the New Day and Y2AJ match from Monday, but everybody worked hard and executed well. The over reliance on the fast paced breakdown type finishes continue to be a repetitive fixture of the division, but it felt like it made sense here in the context of the numbers advantage.

Dolph Ziggler made his entrance, followed by The Usos and then Dean Ambrose.

4. Dean Ambrose, The Usos and Dolph Ziggler vs. The Wyatt Family: Quick tags to begin the match from the babyfaces, who took turns hitting some offense on Luke Harper. He escaped Jey Uso and rolled out to the floor, where the Wyatt family regrouped…[c]

Harper hit a european uppercut in Jey Uso and taunted the babyface team. Ziggler got a tag after Jey Uso ducked a clothesline, and was quickly controlled by some quick interference by Bray Wyatt. Strowman tagged in and sent Dolph hard into the corner. Harper tagged in a caught Dolph in mid air going for a drop kick. He then used a catapult to send Ziggler’s throat into the bottom rope. Dolph rolled outside and just beat the 10 count getting back in the ring. Ziggler was able to get back into things by hitting a big dropkick and tagged out to Jey Uso. The Usos hit Harper and Rowan with Umaga splashes, and then splashed them on the outside. Jey went for a Samoan Splash in the ring on Harper, but he got the knees up.

Rowan and Ambrose tagged into the match, and Ambrose was on fire. He hit a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. He then went up top and hit a diving elbow, but Harper broke up the pin. Things broke down as Bray Wyatt hit a Uranage on Jimmy Uso and Braun Strowman got sent into the ring post. The Usos and Ziggler took out most of the Wyatt Family members on the outside of the ring, which allowed Ambrose to put away Erick Rowan with Dirty Deeds and get the pin.

Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, and The Usos defeated The Wyatt Family.

My Take: An average main event on an average show. Nothing terribly exciting about the show or the hype for Roadblock. WWE seems like they have attached a lot of eggs to the Shane McMahon vs. Undertaker basket being able to sell WrestleMania, because the rest of the card seems to be gelling rather slowly. I keep waiting for things to feel like they are taking off, but another week has gone by and the realization that it may never happen is setting in.


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