Notes In Observance – WWE SmackDown 3/3/16: Straight Outta The Asylum
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.
Straight Outta The Asylum
– In a world where WWE presents the “Road To WrestleMania” and mixes it with a “Roadblock” after the “Fastlane,” it’s easy to get swept up in driving metaphors rather than pay attention to WWE’s semi-fledgling storyline direction. There are some glimmers of hope, but those are wiped out by the bigger picture and that’s too predictable to invest into. Anyways, with the sudden build to Roadblock, there was time to make the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H-Dean Ambrose feud sound enticing and that’s what the opening video mostly did.
– The opening in-ring segment with Ambrose and WWE Intercontinental Champion Kevin Owens was par for the course, but at least we had a SmackDown episode not culminate in a tag match main event from the opening segment’s consequences. Rejoice, rejoice. Liked the part of Ambrose’s promo that questioned the possibilities for the WrestleMania card if he were to become new Champion, since Roman Reigns was already granted a Title shot at Mania and he himself was slated to fight Brock Lesnar in a street fight he asked for. This was needed to “shake the notion” that Mania will go as planned. For that matter, Owens having a mic is always good and it’s not like he didn’t have history with Ambrose, so we were all for it. Ambrose’s selling was also a positive of this interaction and the physical part of it where Ambrose thwarted off Owens for trying to sucker in a cheap shot was well-handled.
– Anytime we see The Usos or The League Of Nations on a SmackDown, we’re almost accustomed to thinking, “Filler.” It’s how it comes off. Anyways, the Usos-Sheamus/Rusev match gave us some entertainment, but like most LON bouts, it ended with a Brogue Kick to squander a late Usos rally and it was time for Homer, Lenny, Carl and Barney to go to Moe’s. The post-match angle involving The Dudley Boyz attacking The Usos by teasing table use fit their recent storyline, but we wish we could see The Usos get one over on them already.
– The Dolph Ziggler-Miz feud has so far been both guys defeating each other quickly. Miz pinned Ziggler in upsetting fashion on the previous Raw, so in a “SmackDown classic,” Ziggler got his win back, faster than Miz pinned him. We’re not sure how this helps both guys, but maybe there’s more to the story. Or probably not.
– In this week’s episode of “Golden Truth,” Truth apologized to an upset Goldust at the catering table and Goldust poured a plate of food on his head. If only The Usos could get this kind of mic time. Eh, wishful thinking.
– One could question the way they’ve been pushing the Divas as of late, but for the bigger purpose of setting up a triple-threat at Mania between Champion Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch, we’re not going to even dispute it. We like the idea that Banks and Lynch went to an all-out draw on Raw to make a SmackDown “rematch” and it fit the heel Champion to come down to ringside to stick her nose into the bout, thinking that ruining an evenly-matched affair by physically attacking both Lynch and Banks would get her out of facing both ladies. The manner in which they went about the result was strange (Ric Flair getting up dancing around woo-ing at both ladies on the floor?) but alas, the result is what counts. Banks and Lynch’s ring work was well-covered, coming close to their NXT battles and it’s nice to now see them get a decent amount of ring time. Charlotte’s heel work has been superb, so this only made the backstage segment where Renee Young “dropped the bomb” even better for her facial expression.
– This episode couldn’t be without its New Day antics, as the WWE World Tag Team Champions referred to Y2AJ’s Tag Title shot a “miracle,” and even resorted to some good ‘ol hometown heat for Xavier Woods. This was basically hyping the big Y2AJ-New Day Raw match and this did a decent job of that, as we saw AJ Styles have one of his best singles efforts to date against Kofi Kingston. It wasn’t without its New Day shenanigans, but that should’ve been expected and actually helped to make it feel even bigger when Styles got the victory by the flying forearm strike once Woods/Big E were formally ejected by the Referee.
– The latest Wyatt Family fog promo hyped the Bray Wyatt-Brock Lesnar match announced for Roadblock, coming off quite random considering it was at one point a sure lock-in for Mania. Wyatt said Lesnar conquered every man except for him, because he was more than just man. No mention of the Royal Rumble happenings? It’s so easy to make this feud feel more personal, but they stuck to simplicity and that didn’t make this match feel any more worthwhile.
– The Ambrose-Owens main event was good while it lasted. Though it didn’t reach the level of their epic Rumble encounter, this was as good as you’ll get for free on TV. Ambrose kept up his great selling, relying on many suicide dives, while Owens went to his high-impact maneuvers and the ringside area to inflict his damage. It was even right to the finish, where Dirty Deeds ended it for Owens. Given that Ambrose was challenging for the World Title in a mere week and a half, we don’t mind them sacrificing the IC Champion for the greater good.
- Sheamus/Rusev (w/Alberto Del Rio, King Barrett) def. The Usos via pinfall
- Dolph Ziggler def. The Miz via pinfall
- WWE Divas Championship #1 Contender’s Match – Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch to a no-contest via outside interference
- AJ Styles def. Kofi Kingston (w/Big E, Xavier Woods) via pinfall
- Dean Ambrose def. Kevin Owens via pinfall
Posted on March 11, 2016, in WWE and tagged AJ Styles, Alberto Del Rio, Becky Lynch, Big E, Byron Saxton, Charlotte, Dean Ambrose, Dolph Ziggler, Goldust, Jerry Lawler, Kevin Owens, King Barrett, Kofi Kingston, Mauro Ranallo, R-Truth, Ric Flair, Roadblock, Rusev, Sasha Banks, Sheamus, The Dudley Boyz, The Miz, The New Day, The Usos, The Wyatt Family, Xavier Woods. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.