Tonight we are in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for another episode of the sometimes useful but often pointless WWE SmackDown! Every week I just hope for a the very least a few good matches and some storyline progression. I know I would just be up for disappointment if I asked for more out of it. Previewed for the show is an 8-man tag match featuring The Usos, Dolph Ziggler & Dean Ambrose vs. The Wyatt Family. WWE’s very best commentator Mauro Ranallo has the call tonight with the always amazingly awful Byron Saxton. Let us get to the action.
Promo Time: Miz TV
We open up this week’s SmackDown with Sami Zayn on Miz TV. This reminds me of a rehash of the Miz TV when AJ Styles first came on the scene. After the back and forth banter, Miz brings out Kevin Owens. Zayn tells Owens he is going to win his Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania with Owens replying that he doesn’t deserve it. As Owens it leaving, he is cut off by Neville who says he want and Intercontinental Championship shot. The Miz also makes it known that he wants a title shot too. Zayn tells Miz his main event days are over provoking Miz to attack him. Not an awful segment giving some build to the Intercontinental title picture at WrestleMania and a setup for our first match tonight.
Sami Zayn & Neville vs. The Miz & Kevin Owens
We get a fairly standard tag match here out of the gates with Zayn getting the upper hand of Miz and then Neville on Owens. Owens makes sure to tag in Miz whenever Zayn hits the ring to keep as much distance from his rival as possible. Miz and Owens get the upper hand and work over Neville for a while. Neville eventually gets the hot tag to Zayn, who runs wild with clotheslines. Owens again avoids Zayn and then ultimately leaves The Miz on his own. Zayn beats down Miz and hits the Helluva Kick for the win. Decent tag match that did its purpose of setting up some sort of drama for the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania and increasing the dynamic for the Owens and Zayn feud.
Final Rating: **3/4
Here we have another R-Truth and Goldust segment proving this storyline is lasting way too long and going absolutely nowhere. Once again, they are in a bathroom, which seems perfect for where all of this is headed. Move along people, nothing to see here.
Brie Bella vs. Summer Rae
Lana is out on commentary for this match. We have exactly what you would expect from a Brie Bella and Summer Rae match. Summer gets the early offense getting a couple of decent looking moves in. Brie comes back quickly with a top rope dropkick and Yes kicks. Brie misses the Brie Mode knee giving Summer a moment to capitalize with a DDT. Summer’s comeback is short lived, and Brie applies with Yes Lock for the win. After some verbal back and forth with Lana and an attack on Summer, Lana attacks Brie and hits her with the Bella Buster. I’m a little confused to where with Lana/Brie Bella feud is going. Lana participating in a match is not something I look forward to seeing.
Final Rating: *1/4
Promo Time: Chris Jericho
Chris Jericho heads to the ring to give his thoughts on his problems with AJ Styles. He has one of the “new” Y2AJ t-shirts. There is a small part of me who feels bad for the fan who bought one of these t-shirts, and the team was over before it could even be shipped to their house. I guess that is what they get for thinking a team of Jericho and Styles was a good idea. Jericho rants about the fans chanting Styles's name and then burns the shirt in a trash can. AJ and Jericho have had some good match, but I am done with this feud.
Lucha Dragons vs. League of Nations (Sheamus & King Barrett)
Sheamus and Barrett representing the League of Nations in the ring tonight with Rusev at ringside. No Del Rio out with boys tonight. On a good note, it is a positive to see Barrett getting some in-ring action. I know it is few and far between these days, but I’m still a fan of this guy’s work. Kalisto gets worked over early by the League. Kalisto gets the hot tag to Sin Cara after a missed attack by Sheamus. Sin Cara immediately goes into high flyer mode with springboards and dives. After hitting a moon sault, Sin Cara gets a near fall on Barrett, but it is broken up by Sheamus. The Lucha Dragons get in some more high flying offense, but Rusev makes high ringside presence known shoving Sin Cara off the top who is then hit by a Bull Hammer by Barrett for the win. Yes, you heard that right, King Barrett got a pinfall. I can’t remember the last time this happened.
Final Rating: **1/4
Backstage we get a quick promo with The Usos, Dolph Ziggler, and Dean Ambrose. The Uso talk about growing up watching the Dudley Boyz but not respecting them now. Ziggler says something of no real value and Dean Ambrose says they are going Wyatt hunting and that he will win the WWE Championship Saturday night at Roadblock.
Dolph Ziggler & The Usos vs. The Wyatt Family (Luke Harper, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman)
A SmackDown main event of epic proportions! Okay, not really. I feel like I have seen this same match hundreds of times now. The early part of the match is Ziggler, The Usos & Ambrose taking it to Luke Harper. Harper was able to regain the upper hand before the break, and when we get back, the Wyatts are taking it to Ziggler. This is what Ziggler does best. He has some decent offensive skills, but he takes a beating better than most. Ziggler finally gets a hot tag to Jey Uso and both Usos proceeded to go wild on Harper and Rowan. After Harper gets his knees up on a splash from Jey, Ambrose and Rowan tag in. Ambrose went on a quick run of offense before the match broke down. The Uso and Ziggler take the brawl to the outside with the Wyatts leaving Dean inside to get the Dirty Deeds on Erick Rowan for the win. An average main event, but it had a few good points. Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it, it was just there.
Final Rating: **1/2
THE SMACKDOWN! RECAP:
Most Entertaining: Sami Zayn
Least Entertaining: Byron Saxton - I know it gets repetitive, but he makes me want to scream at the TV.
Match of the Night: Sami Zayn & Neville vs. The Miz & Kevin Owens
Summary: Things are beginning to take shape for our WrestleMania card, and SmackDown! is acting as the show to add a little bit of hype to as many storylines as possible. This show is not something I would call good by any means, but it did the job it needed to do. My faith in ever getting an entertaining Thursday night from WWE is out the window, but if they continue to keep using this show like they did tonight, at least it has a little purpose.