Smackdown

Black and Blue – Hardcore (Intercontinental) Title Edition (Mar. 6)

To be honest, the bar wasn’t set very high for this week’s edition of Smackdown. I went in with low expectations, but I was somewhat impressed with their execution. This show was a great use for the Intercontinental title program, and they’ve capitalized on the humor while making it serious.

Opening Promo

I think it’s clear that Smackdown is being used to promote this Intercontinental program. Dolph started off passionate, and I love to hear him talk when he gets a chance. It’s not normal that Ziggler gets to cut promos, but when he does, he pulls them off. Once Barrett came out, he easily out worked Dolph on the mic. As much as I’ve hated this program, I absolutely enjoyed this segment. This is the first time they’ve made it funny, but serious at the same time. R-Truth’s subtly was humorous, and he continues to show us why he belongs in a top feud.

Tyson Kidd & Cesaro vs Los Matadores

Both of these teams are very talented in the ring, so I felt like we were in for a treat. Unfortunately the match didn’t last long, and it was disappointing. I know we’re supposed to understand that the champs stand supreme to the rest of the tag division, but we should know they have proper competition.

Ryback vs Kane/Big Show

I’m happy they’ve brought back the tale of the tape, it really makes the match feel serious. The big guy looked very agile in this match, and I think it reflects on his improvements in the ring. I applaud how easily Kane jobbed in this match. He went out very fast, and I didn’t expect that. Kane should have at least lost by a shellshock;

I had a feeling this wasn’t going to be any better. The only thing I could notice during this match was the fact that they wouldn’t use those turnbuckle cameras, which I felt was a waste. Ryback’s loss to Big Show was terrible booking. I feel as if they’re trying to protect Big Show, because I haven’t seen him pinned clean in a while. I was happy to see the big guy beat Kane, but a loss to Big Show just soured me. They really ruined this match.

Brie Bella vs AJ Lee

Surprisingly both of the twins cut a decent promo. Say what you want, but the Bellas as heels make great characters. It was great to see AJ back in action, because the divas division has gotten stale without her. AJ’s style was very much missed, because no other diva can pull off her moves. I was surprised this match lasted longer than 3 minutes, but it was a pleasant surprise. It really feels like they’re running with “#givedivasachance” because they let the divas in this match work. Brie’s in ring psychology was much better than normal, and she had some great interaction with her opponent and Paige. The competitors kept the pace of this match exciting, and they gave it the feel of a main event. Personally, I thought this match was good enough to close out the show.

New Day vs Miz & Mizdow

The Miz started this match with a lot of intensity, which is something we haven’t seen in quite some time. Mizdow was easily the most over person in this match, if not the show. As much as we enjoy Mizdow, I think the Miz does a much better job at playing his role, and that’s probably why Mizdow is over. There wasn’t much to notice in this bout, but I didn’t agree with the finish. I think a great way to extend this angle would be to have Mizdow pick up the win.

Jack Swagger vs Rusev

A few months ago, this would have been a fresh and fair match, but now I just felt bad for Swagger. It shocked me that Swagger had the best of Rusev early in the match. I found it insulting that Rusev just found momentum out of nowhere, especially after Swagger carried the entire match. The best part of this match was probably the comic relief that was Curtis Axel.

Dolph Ziggler & Dean Amborse vs Bad News Barrett & Luke Harper

R-Truth’s addition to commentary had me thinking this could be the best booking he’s ever had. I forgot how great the chemistry was between Harper and Ziggler, and it made me feel as if they should have the Intercontinental match at Mania. Everything that R-Truth said on commentary was pure gold. His comment about Harper’s top was hilarious. Ambrose’s tornado DDT was easily the spot of the match. I once again expected Barrett to get his hardcore title back, but I figured they would continue this for a little longer. I found it humorous how Bryan ended up with the title, because his interaction with Truth was very funny. Stardust surprised me, and probably most people watching the show. This means we won’t see him face his brother at Mania.

Conclusion

The highlights of this show were definitely the Divas and the Intercontinental title program. I haven’t been to high on the Intercontinental title as of late, but I think this show drastically improved the angle and made it enjoyable. It would be smart for WWE to make this the show to build that particular feud, because it gives the ones involved much more screen time. Overall I give this show a slid 7.2/10 or a B-.

 

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