Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 2/25/16: Sympathy For The Devil
By Nicholas Jason Lopez
“Notes In Observance” features random thoughts and analysis on recent television shows. Quick results can be found at the bottom of the post.
Sympathy For The Devil
– The opening video reminded us all of that time Roman Reigns outlasted both the “Ambrose Asylum” and “Suplex City” in one night, defeating Dean Ambrose and Brock Lesnar to earn the main event spot at WrestleMania, fighting WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H.
– A big critique for the Trips-Reigns feud has been “shades of grey” ideology for both men, though we can now tell that Trips was being pushed as the heel and Reigns the face, a stubborn creative outlook that won’t get the desired result in the end, but let’s see how Creative pushes things as the eleventh hour to Mania rears its gruesome face. To his credit, Triple H’s in-ring promo was strongly delivered, referencing The Rolling Stones’ “Sympathy For The Devil” to explain his recent actions, getting retribution for what Reigns did to him at TLC. He put himself over as superior because he was the law and authority around the place, something that people dreamed of being, but couldn’t because they all worked for the system and dared not disrupt it. Basically, him in heel mode hoping to humiliate Reigns at Mania. Throw in some pretty “blood, sweat and tears” metaphors and you got something good.
– Gosh darn it, how many times will they pair up Neville and The Lucha Dragons? That aside, the eight-man tag we got between the League Of Nations (the Homer, Lenny, Carl and Barney of WWE) and Neville/Lucha Dragons/Dolph Ziggler was average filler that picked up immensely by the finish. Nice, chaotic pace there with unique spots (Neville’s 450 Splash over Sheamus, numerous superkicks) and culminating in the Brogue Kick to finish Neville off. Most LON-related matches seem to end with the Brogue, so at least they’re consistent here. It seems the idea is to build LON as a potent threat, but to whom exactly by Mania?
– It fit WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens’ character to “award” Ambrose a Title shot with full knowledge of him not being at the arena due to Lesnar’s attacks and excuse himself for the night for decent heel heat, as we saw in the pre-taped backstage promo. In walked The Big Show, which at least gave us something new. Their interaction was decent, as Owens poked fun at Show’s age and Show dropped the bomb that he was Owens’ opponent for later.
– The Usos-Dudley Boyz feud saw some progression, with The Dudley Boyz sticking to the mic and hypocritical actions to get one over. D-Von Dudley went over Jimmy Uso, as the Dudleyz reminded us that they were no circus act and the people wouldn’t get the tables they want, even though D-Von got the win because Bubba Ray pulled a table out at ringside, which distracted the Referee. With the heel turn so fresh, is it the best time to make the Dudleyz look like this? They should stick to their “no tables” policy if they want the new heat to stay around.
– The backstage segment with Chris Jericho, AJ Styles and Mark Henry revolved around main event hype, by having Y2AJ on the same page, Jericho leading the philosophy that they could be in the running for the Tag Titles by Mania time if they snuck a win out and Henry establishing himself as their needed partner for six-man action, tying back to what the WWE World Tag Team Champions, The New Day did to him a while back, comparing them to clowns.
– Contrary to the backstage segment, the Owens-Show match wasn’t much to talk about, as it was over quickly and ineffectively. Show threw Owens around and went to the top rope, but Owens pulled his leg and Show took a split that tumble him to the floor and kept him down for 10. A cheap victory that we guess keeps Owens in the win column, but do they have the Ambrose rematch sometime before Mania?
– The Becky Lynch-Natalya match had potential on paper, but that was squandered by poor booking, reliant upon outside interference by Naomi/Tamina, which gave Natalya a DQ win. The bigger picture was Sasha Banks coming to save Lynch from the heels before WWE Divas Champion Charlotte and Ric Flair came out to announce that the #1 Contender’s match between Banks and Lynch would happen at Raw and the Champ herself would have a front row seat. We hope this somehow ends with a three-way. It’d help all three ladies get over.
– The “Golden Truth” chant from the crowd was probably the most memorable part of the Heath Slater-R-Truth match, as they continue to push for a Truth/Goldust team, this time with Goldust helping Truth win to make up for Fastlane, much to his dismay. Why are they dedicating so much time to this lousy angle? It’s 2016. Truth/Goldust won’t have the edginess that Booker/Truth did back in 2003. The edginess was what worked.
– The main event six-man tag between New Day and Styles/Jericho/Henry was good for what it was, but with everyone getting complete entrances, it was obvious the goal here was to fill time. Stellar commentary can only cover so much ground. New Day’s pre-match promo followed their usual list of shenanigans, running everyone down from LON to their opponents. If you’ve seen one Booty-O’s plug, you’ve seen ’em all. This bout had some good back-and-forth action, ending with Styles making Xavier Woods tap out to the Calf Crusher. There was a lot of emphasis placed on Jericho “taking the bullet” for Styles by pushing him out of the way of Trouble In Paradise and getting hit with it himself, which makes us think either they do New day-Y2AJ at Mania for the Tag Titles, or Jericho turns heel and we get some sort of stipulation match with Styles-Jericho at Mania too. Let’s see how it goes.
- Eight-Man Tag – The League Of Nations def. The Lucha Dragons/Neville/Dolph Ziggler via pinfall
- D-Von Dudley (w/Bubba Ray Dudley) def. Jimmy Uso (w/Jey Uso) via pinfall
- Kevin Owens def. The Big Show via countout
- Natalya def. Becky Lynch via DQ
- R-Truth def. Heath Slater (w/Adam Rose, Curtis Axel, Bo Dallas) via pinfall
- Six-Man Tag – AJ Styles/Chris Jericho/Mark Henry def. The New Day via pinfall
Posted on March 2, 2016, in WWE and tagged Adam Rose, AJ Styles, Becky Lynch, Bo Dallas, Bubba Ray Dudley, Byron Saxton, Charlotte, Chris Jericho, Curtis Axel, D-Von Dudley, Dolph Ziggler, Goldust, Heath Slater, Jerry Lawler, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso, Kevin Owens, Mark Henry, Mauro Ranallo, Naomi, Natalya, Neville, R-Truth, Renee Young, Ric Flair, Sasha Banks, Tamina, The Big Show, The League Of Nations, The Lucha Dragons, The New Day, Triple H, WrestleMania. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.