WWE SmackDown results from March 5 as the go-home episode before Fastlane aired from Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Daniel Bryan has everything to lose
The show started with Daniel Bryan asking everyone to stop gushing over Kofi Kingston who is at best a supporting act. He trash talked the crowd a bit and then fat-shamed Kevin Owens.
He accepted that Kevin Owens is dangerous as he has nothing to lose and Bryan has everything to lose at Fastlane. Owens came out and got into an argument and ended up eating an Iron Claw Bomb from Eric Rowan for his troubles.
Our take from it: It still stings to think that Kofi Kingston’s opportunity was plucked from his fingertips for the most absurd of reasons. Having said that, Kevin Owens is really sinking his teeth into the role of a face. The issue still remains though that he has had only a couple of weeks to build himself up as the challenger for the world title and frankly that is not enough.
This feud still feels undercooked and isn’t as exciting as a Owens and Bryan feud should be like. That aside, the wrestlers involved have injected as much drama as they could and had it been someone else than these two, they would have probably failed.
The mistreatment of Kofi will always hang over this feud as a dark shadow though and hopefully there is a long term angle for Kofi here.
The Miz wins with Shane’s help
(The Miz vs. Jey Uso)
The Miz and Shane McMahon showed off some camaraderie before the match started. The match was pretty short with Jey Uso avoiding a Skull Crushing Finale but ended up being hit by one anyway after a helping hand from Miz’s “best friend” to pick up the win.
Winner: The Miz
Our take from it: This match was too short to have any substance and was there only to perhaps show that these teams are still there. The tag champions losing is not a great sign but what is worse is the treatment they are getting right now.
This is perhaps the worst build up to a tag feud yet. At no point did it feel like these two teams were going to face each other for the belt in less than a week.
We have a new United States Champion
(US Open challenge: R-Truth vs. Andrade Almas vs. Rey Mysterio vs. Samoa Joe)
R-Truth embodied his “childhood hero” John Cena for a second week and issued yet another open challenge that was answered by Andrade, Rey Mysterio and Samoa Joe. It was a pretty decent match with the wrestlers pairing off and showing their skills.
Joe was the early aggressor and kept tossing everyone out of the ring. Mysterio and Andrade put on a Lucha show while R-Truth kept things rather simple. There was even a small moment between Zelina Vega and Carmella.
In the end R-Truth was not even involved in the decision as Joe finished off Andrade with an Uranage Suplex for the win and the title.
Winner and new United States Champion: Samoa Joe
Our take from it: It is sad that the fun and crazy ride with R-Truth as the champion has come to an end. It had to at some point and for once WWE got the timing just right before it got too silly.
Samoa Joe was badly in need of a championship and the United States Championship needed a bit of serious momentum as well. Many have claimed that Samoa Joe has been restricted so far due to the lack of a championship and this reign will decide if he will do any better in WWE or not.
It was heart-breaking to see R-Truth lose but he at least got a fun run when no one expected him to and a teaming up with John Cena would have a lot of laughs as well. Overall, a great segment with a lot of future potential and the match itself was pretty good.
There is finally some fire in the tag division
(Aleister Black and Ricochet vs. The Bar)
Ricochet started things off with a dropkick and shooting star on Sheamus. Sheamus rallied back followed by the Bar tagging in and out and beating up Ricochet. Ricochet eventually managed to tag Aleister Black in and he cleared the ring.
It went back and forth and the duo from NXT picked up another win when Black took Sheamus out of the ring allowing Ricochet to hit another picture perfect 630 for the win.
Rusev and Nakamura ambushed the winners post-match but was saved by the Hardy Boyz.
Winners: Aleister Black and Ricochet
Our take from it: The incessant whining has somehow worked as the tag division finally seems like a big deal and that excitement of something big brewing is back.
Black and Ricochet have really started to gel together and the crowd seems to be getting behind them as well. The current plan for them and the rest of the tag division is unclear but whatever it maybe, for now things are really starting to look good for the tag division.
Mandy Rose vs Naomi
This was a quick match. Naomi managed to start strong but got distracted very easily by Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose capitalized by hitting a Kiss the Rose for the win. Asuka ambushed the heels post-match.
Winner: Mandy Rose
Our take from it: This seems to be what is going to happen with the SmackDown women’s title. A possible three way or four way involving Naomi and Mandy Rose. It is good from the perspective that it would be something new and fresh but it has to be built up properly.
Asuka didn’t even have her belt on her and it is like suddenly the women’s title on SmackDown has become worthless. WWE has buried titles in the past and if this continues for long then the women’s title might face a similar fate.
A surprise ally for Kevin Owens
(Kevin Owens vs. Eric Rowan)
Eric Rowan hit a few power moves on Kevin Owens including an ugly looking corner splash followed by a Dropkick. Owens ended up rolling out of the ring and got into a verbal altercation with Bryan. This distraction allowed Rowan to shove Owens into the ring steps.
Bryan attacked Owens causing the DQ. The two heels attacked Owens and Mustafa Ali made the save. Owens got the upper hand and hit the Stunner on Bryan.
Winner by DQ: Kevin Owens
Our take from it: The way this match ended probably means that Bryan will still walk out of Fastlane as the champion. Mustafa Ali is being inserted into this possibly as a way to include him in some multi-man match that would also include others like Randy Orton and AJ Styles who all have little going on for them at the moment.
This match was fine but the feud still feels a bit undercooked. This is the first time a heel Bryan is facing off a face Owens in WWE and it definitely needed a lot more than two weeks to be built up properly.
Becky Lynch is good enough even on one leg
Becky Lynch tried to play mind games and got attacked by Charlotte Flair. Becky responded by using her crutch as a weapon and put Flair in a nasty looking DisArmHer. Referees separated the two women leaving a smiling and badass looking Becky Lynch in the ring.
Our take from it: Charlotte Flair had two weeks to prove that she really deserved to be in the match that was originally supposed to be between Rousey and Lynch and she has failed. Somehow her mike skills have become worse to the point where she is so irritating that people would feel like watching something else.
She is a heel presumably but irritating the audience to the point of making them switch over to something else can never be good. The only bright spot here is Lynch who is still a total badass and hopefully when all is said and done, she walks out of WrestleMania as the champ.
Overall SmackDown Review: It was a strange show to say the least. There were too many short matches that hardly lasted over a couple of minutes.
The promos seemed terrible and none of the matches or feuds seem to be getting the attention they deserve or need.
The US title changing hands while sad was necessary and the tag match involving Black and Ricochet was one of the highlights.
Becky proved yet again why she is the biggest star in WWE right now by standing tall even when Charlotte spewed garbage. WWE needs to wake up and give the Irish Lass kicker the push she deserves.
Moment of the Night: Becky Lynch smiling like a badass to close the show
Overall Rating: 3.3/5