The Best And Worst Of SmackDown 3/12/15: One Out Of Three Ain’t Bad

Somebody’s gonna get a lecture!

Pre-show Notes:

Hey, I’d love if one out of three folks who read this report shared it! It’ll never happen, but let’s at least try to get a little closer to that goal. Here’s the buttons.

– Join the cool kids’ wrestling club by following With Spandex on Twitter and Facebook. Follow yours truly on Twitter too!

Hit the next page to continue smacking down…

Worst: Closing The Door

Man, this was the saddest “guy comes out to announce his future plans” segment possible. Bryan looked mopey as f*ck and was literally sighing between every line. He says the door has closed on his WrestleMania dreams, and then just sort of shrugs and we all have to accept it. Yeesh.

But wait! He’s going to be in the Intercontinental Championship match! Um, yay? Bryan drags out the same lame logic every guy who gets shunted down to IC division employs. Randy Savage, Stone Cold and Ricky Steamboat all held the title and often their matches outshone what was going on with the wold title! That’s true! Except most of the guys Bryan cited went on to become main-eventers and never went back. Those classic IC title matches were what earned them their spot in the main-event. If Randy Savage or Bret Hart had gone back to competing for the IC title after their high-profile world title runs, nobody would have been excited. It would have been depressing.

Bryan also trotted out the old “Title X is the only title I haven’t won, so I need to get it!” argument. No you don’t. Titles aren’t friggin’ Pokemon. You’ve already leveled up beyond the Intercontinental title, Bryan. Wearing it can only hurt your stats.

Best: The Big Boss Man

So, then everybody else in the IC ladder match filed out looking kind of dejected and took turns spitting out a few words. Ziggler says Barrett is desperate to be relevant, which begs the question, why do you want the IC Title if it does nothing to make its holder relevant? Harper pointed at the WrestleMania sign, which is not a thing Harper should ever do. Stardust went on a semi-amusing rant, calling the title his white stallion of the milky way and his ivory enterprise, but still, the overall energy levels were pretty low.

Surprisingly, it was R-Truth who saved the segment. Say what you will about Truth, but he’s the one guy who seems to be excited to be in this match. Wrestling for the IC title and having a spot on WrestleMania is a major step up for Truth, and the title-nabbing goofiness plays to his strengths. Truth calling the title a beaut a dozen times, and dubbing himself the Big Boss Man put a smile on my face, I’ll admit. Whatever spark this shmozz of a storyline has is coming from Truth, and honestly, I’m kind of hoping the dude wins the IC title at WrestleMania. Give it to somebody who will appreciate it, y’know?

Best: The Most I’ve Enjoyed Los Matadores, Like, Ever

First off, I’d like to say I appreciate the fact that Natalya’s heel turn has caused her to throw out any article of clothing not made of leather. It’s a nice balance to Seth Rollins’ evil rubber pants.

Anywho, this Usos/New Day vs. Swinging Cats/Matadores match was pretty solid stuff. Hell, I even enjoyed Los Matadores in this match, which may be the first time that’s happened in, well, ever. The Matadors seem to have taken a subtle heel turn, which is a vast improvement for them. Now they can actually put their freaky little bull man and their twin magic powers to good use.

The match was good and fast-paced throughout, with some nice spots by the usual standouts. Cesaro’s outta nowhere uppercut through the ropes on Kofi was particularly choice. The New Day looked surprisingly good as well, and Los Matadores actually outsmarted somebody to win the match! It’s almost like they’re real wrestlers who are actually trying to win.

Best: Pipe Down, Sandow

Please don’t fumble this Miz/Mizdow thing right at the goal line. Please?

For the past couple weeks, Sandow has been piping up to interrupt Miz with sassy comments, which is the last thing he should be doing. Sandow should be the abused lackey trapped under Miz thumb right up until he finally explodes and extracts his righteous revenge. Sandow making Miz look like a goof every week has already robbed him of most of his authority. Sandow definitively turning on Miz isn’t going to be a big deal if Miz has already been thoroughly outed as a dweeb.

That said, Miz still managed to save the segment. I’m not going to Worst any segment that features The Miz angrily ordering coffee (or as much Renee Young midriff as this one did).

Worst: Miz vs. Ryback

The Miz has actually had good luck carrying big lugs to good matches lately (some of Roman Reigns’ best recent bouts were with Miz), but that luck ran out tonight. This match was not great. I’m not even sure what was going on with Ryback. At one point, he picked up Miz, sat him on the top rope and just left him there. Later, Miz gives Ryback a few basic boots to the stomach, and Ryback does this weird, cartoonish weak-in-the-knees sell. I dunno. Can somebody write Ryback some wrestling notes in the back pages of The Secret? Because this guy needs some help.

Best: The Lil Ol’ Reigns That Could

Roman Reigns came out to respond to Paul Heyman’s bulge-eyed ravings from Raw, and it was your typical Reigns promo. He has a CAN DO attitude, loves his family (who definitely, probably aren’t cannibals) and is overly concerned that everyone believe him at all times. I was afraid he might panic and slip into his beanstalk material, but the clouds of mediocrity suddenly parted…


Yesssss. Mark Henry is back, and he’s got angry words to say. Can we take a second to reflect on the fact that in 2015 Mark Henry is being brought out to save a talking segment being butchered by one of The Rock’s cousins? When did the wrestling world completely fall off its axis?

Mark took Roman to school verbally, tearing into him for having no identity, and just generally being a disrespectful young buck (wink wink). Speaking of respect, Henry doesn’t respect Reigns, the audience doesn’t respect Reigns and the boys in the back don’t respect Reigns. Well, okay, the crowd seemed to like him, but Mark had the perfect comeback for that. Henry was hot as shit tonight, so of course, Roman responded by punching him in the face and flexing his muscles like he made a point. Thanks for trying, Mark.

Worst: Back To Square One

I’m begging you, please stop giving Cameron a chance.

Whatever minor improvements we’ve seen in the Divas division over the past couple weeks were pretty much obliterated by this segment. The Bellas doing robot commentary, constant talk of frenemies, Jerry Lawler making pervy “sit on my lap” jokes. Ugh. Oh, and the match was garbage too. It goes without saying Cameron had no idea what she was doing, but Summer Rae was the pits too. She kept doing these terrible back bumps where she’d awkwardly throw her legs up in the air. Let’s move on.

Best: D’awwwws Outta Nowhere!

So, WWE snuck an extra ad for Cricket Wireless into the show, but just as I’m ready to hit fast forward, Dolph Ziggler gives three young ladies some front row seats…

… and BAWWW, I suddenly have a new favorite thing on the show. This should be Dolph’s new gimmick: Living Tiger Beat cover. Just go from town to town making pre-teen girls swoon in a wholesome, non-aggressive sort of way. It’s your calling dude.

Worst: Randy Orton Weaves A Tale

The returns are diminishing rapidly on these sit-down interview segments. Back when they mostly all featured Brock Lesnar, you knew a sit-down interview was probably going to deliver some quotable awesomeness, but here’s Randy Orton to sitting down with Micheal Cole to endlessly dissect his revenge plot for idiots.

In true Randy Orton fashion; he managed to spent a solid five droning minutes describing his “I waited until nobody else was around then beat up Seth Rollins” master plan. Oh, and that thing from Raw where he totally gave away his plan by insulting everyone in the Authority? Reverse psychology! Just putting out feelers! Testing to see how dumb Seth Rollins really was (turns out, pretty dumb). No more sit-down interviews with Randy, thanks. He has nothing to say, and nobody wants his pantsless ass all over the chairs.

Best: 6-Man Purgatory Tag

Much like the opening talky segment, the match lacked a certain energy. There was no real structure to it; rather than building to a Bryan hot tag, they just had him in there early selling. Most of the way through, this match was just sort of a bunch of stuff.

Thankfully, everybody shook off their sadness in the final minutes, and the match finished strong. Bryan may not have got the hot tag, but Ziggler filled in for him nicely. There was also a nice spot where all the faces went for a triple dive, but Harper ran in and picked off Ziggler with a big boot. Bryan then pinned Harper, and people said YES! So, not a six-man for the ages or anything, but fun enough.

Worst: Turds, Bro

Weirdly, instead of the show ending with the good guys triumphing, Michael Cole suddenly materializes in the ring. He doesn’t even ask a question, he’s just there to congratulate Bryan, which is totally a normal thing to happen at the end of a show, right? Sure.

Anyways, Ziggler and Ambrose get in Bryan’s face, then out of nowhere Ambrose says everybody in the back thinks Bryan is a turd and struts off like he just dropped the ultimate pipebomb. What the hell? Then Ziggler also calls Bryan a turd. Bryan’s face here pretty much sums up my reaction…

Is this a new thing? That Bryan is secretly an asshole backstage? Because I don’t think that’s true. Or did Ambrose and Ziggler just turn heel? My brain hurts. The Intercontinental title scene, everybody!