WWE SmackDown results from March 19 as the show aired from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, IN.
The Miz makes his statement
The Miz came out and gave a passionate speech about how he was always undermined but still kept trying for 13 long years. He admitted that despite it being cheesy, wrestling in front of his dad was the proudest moment of his life.
He then got on to the issue of Shane turning on him. He called him as the worst in the world just like every other McMahon. He ended his tirade by saying that he is going to give the ass-whooping of a lifetime at WrestleMania.
Our take from it: One of the biggest flaws in almost all the storylines airing right now is the lack of organic build. Instead of a storyline progressing on its own, when angles are pushed down the fans’ throats, it does not feel real at all and that is exactly how this storyline feels.
It was quite apparent that this was the direction this feud was going to end up ever since Shane won the best in the world tournament. On the flip side, this does give the Miz something a lot more meaningful to do than in previous years. His promo work here was brilliant.
The Boss ‘n’ Hug connection suffer defeat
Bayley began with a clothesline on Kay. Lacey Evans did her weird walk out and wave thing. The IIconics managed to attack Bayley during this distraction. Bayley managed to tag in Banks. Banks landed a few knee strikes. Bayley ran into a boot by Kay. Royce rolled up Banks with assistance from Kay for the win.
Winners: The IIconics
Our take from it: This was clearly a way to add IIconics to the women’s tag championship match at WrestleMania. The IIconics have nothing else as a character trait apart from being incredibly annoying and that has never resulted in a successful tag team.
However, the lack of good tag teams means that WWE will have to go with what they have got and the IIconics just happened to be at the right place at the right time. That is never a great way to get fans excited about a feud and more was certainly expected from the women’s tag team championship match build up to WrestleMania.
Kevin Owens hosts Charlotte and Becky
Owens welcomed Charlotte and Lynch to the new and improved Kevin Owens Show. Owens did a small recap of everything Rousey said on RAW. Owens also reminded Lynch of all the insults Charlotte had thrown her way. Then he said how no one there wanted to hear them talk and that everyone wants to see them fight.
Charlotte trash talked Lynch and a fight broke out between the two women that spilled all out over the arena.
Our take from it: This here showed why WWE should not meddle too much in anything and once a storyline is started, allow it to develop in an organic manner.
Lynch is slowly but surely starting to lose her momentum and without Lynch this feud will be dead in a heartbeat. Kevin Owens did a nice job as the host. The fighting everywhere sequence was fun to watch but it was silly to have two women fighting on SmackDown over the RAW title.
Kofi overcomes the ultimate of odds
Daniel Bryan trash talked Kofi Kingston and called him a B+ player before the gauntlet match started. The New Day was barred from ringside and Sheamus was Kofi’s first opponent.
(Kofi Kingston vs. Sheamus)
Sheamus began with multiple attempts to take Kofi down but Kofi managed to stay on his feet. Kofi was ultimately taken down but got back up immediately. The two traded suspension attempts.
Sheamus was sent out of the ring but he got back and managed to hit his 10 beats of the Bodhran. Kingston rallied back with some kicks. It was all about finishers and reversals after that. Ultimately Sheamus missed a Brogue Kick and Kingston managed to hit the Trouble in Paradise to eliminate Sheamus.
(Kofi vs. Cesaro)
Cesaro started with a European uppercut followed by a backbreaker. He did his swing and then put him in a Cloverleaf and deadlift Suplexes Kofi. Kofi rallied and hit the SOS for the pin.
(Kofi vs. Eric Rowan)
Eric Rowan began with a big boot to Kofi’s face. Kofi fell to the outside. A few clotheslines and nasty blows followed. Rowan then resorted to using a steel chair that got him disqualified. He continued beating up Kofi and Iron Clawed him through the announcers table before leaving.
(Kofi vs. Samoa Joe)
It was all elbows from Samoa Joe from different angles and Kofi got flattened with one. Joe got a near fall. Kingston tried to get back at Joe but Joe thwarted his attempts with a Lariat. Kingston kicked out again. Joe then applied the Coquina Clutch and Kingston countered with a Jawbreaker.
Kingston tried to rally but Joe stopped him in his tracks with an Uranage. Kingston kicked out again. After a few misses, Kingston countered a muscle buster into a roll up for the pin. Samoa Joe put him in the Coquina Clutch till Kofi passed out.
Samoa Joe Eliminated
(Kofi vs. Randy Orton)
Randy Orton began by trash talking to the crowd after having slammed Kofi into the barricades. Kofi managed to send Orton into the ring steps. Orton got back with a clothesline. From there on it was typical Orton fare with stomps and methodically attacking Kofi’s arms and legs.
Orton tried the DDT but Kofi avoided it and hit the trouble in paradise. Orton rolled out of the ring before he could be pinned. Orton connected with a Hangman DDT. He went for the RKO again but Kofi sidestepped him and rolled him for the win.
Winner: Kofi Kingston
Our take from it: This was one of those matches that you really wanted to be happy but couldn’t. WWE has always been guilty of taking something that worked well once and doing it to death. Gauntlet matches have their place in a feud but doing it twice in the space of two weeks was an utter waste.
Somehow, this gauntlet match didn’t see Kofi at the same level of vulnerability the underdog usually finds himself in such matches. It was a given that he would win and somehow that spoiled the fun too. However, the fact that Kofi won means a lot and this is something no one can take away from him. Hope he achieves more than just this gauntlet win.
Vince screws Kofi
The New Day were celebrating when Vince McMahon came out and congratulated a worn out Kofi but told him that he had one more match before getting that WrestleMania spot and it was going to be against Daniel Bryan. He also barred the New Day from ringside.
Kingston was visibly tired and worn out. Bryan began with a flurry of attacks. Kingston rallied back. Bryan clotheslined Kingston followed by a tree of woes. Bryan then did his kicks to the chest. Kofi hit a belly to belly Suplex.
Bryan managed to lock in the Labell lock but Kofi got to the ropes. Kofi managed to hit an SOS but Bryan kicked out. Kofi missed a springboard and Bryan locked Kofi’s limbs and stamped him on his face. He finished Kofi off with a Running Knee.
Winner: Daniel Bryan
Our take from it: Organic storytelling is pretty much dead. WWE is backing themselves into a corner by doing this. Kofi pretty much beat the entire SmackDown roster to get here and then he got screwed.
This confirms a few things. Kofi will DEFINITELY be in the title match at WrestleMania and WWE has to let him win or else they will risk making the WWE title seem without any value.
With just three weeks left, all the screwing should have been halted. On paper it might appear that all of this will paint Kofi in a much more empathetic light but WWE will have to come up with another crazy angle to get him into the match at WrestleMania and therein lies the problem.
Just like the Becky Lynch angle, that will destroy the intrigue of the feud and even if Kofi ends up as the champion at the end of it all, the thought will always be there that it could have been so much better.
Overall SmackDown Review: This was a weird show that had all the right ingredients but somehow ended up leaving a bad aftertaste. Somewhere the feeling of inadequacy and too much meddling with storylines left things a bit unsatisfactory.
The show should have ended with Kofi winning the gauntlet match. The screw up at the end was unnecessary especially since Bryan won the match cleanly. And with that, WWE has destroyed the second of the two most potentially exciting storylines of the modern generation.
Moment of the night: Rey Mysterio’s son saying that his father takes care of bullies