WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 28
Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at SmackDown to recap the action, offer analysis and grade the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show. I also provide some predictions on the direction of storylines.
With WrestleMania fast approaching, WWE is making sure to cram as much into its shows as it possibly can.
This week's SmackDown featured nine matches and several segments. You would think that much action on one show would be a good thing, but many of the matches ended up feeling rushed because of it.
This was a decent week of SmackDown in terms of storyline development, but there weren't many matches that stood out.
Let's get right into the show with the opening segment featuring Triple H and Batista.
Bootista and Triple H
This seems like a segment that will split opinions. Some people loved it and some people hated it. Personally, I loved it.
Batista opened the show with a promo that began with a clip of Stephanie knocking his sunglasses off his face on Raw. Triple H came out in a much better mood than you would expect a man to be in after watching his wife be insulted.
Batista and Triple H spoke a lot of truth in this segment. Batista talked about how people wanted him back and then booed him when he returned before Trips came out.
Triple H and Batista talked about Triple H getting where he is because of Stephanie, Trips never being able to defeat Batista in the ring and Batista living off his past glories.
Triple H is calling this the Reality Era. While the name is terrible, it is actually an apt description of what we are seeing these days. The lines between kayfabe and reality are blurred a bit more in today's WWE, and it is a change we have been heading toward ever since the expansion of the Internet.
Batista and Triple H are good on the mic, but some people may have found this segment very boring since nobody threw a punch or raised their voice.
Some notes from the segment:
- Randy Orton's reaction to Stephanie's slap was priceless.
- Batista said Steph hits harder than most of the men he could face at WrestleMania. While that's a stretch, she does seem like she would have a solid right hook.
- If Ed Hardy got together with Affliction and created a line of people, they would dress like Batista.
The Shield vs. 3MB/Shield vs. Rybaxel
The first bout was not a long match, but the pace was kept quick to make it seem like there was more happening.
The biggest surprise here was that this wasn't a six-man tag match. You have two teams of three. Why not have them all face off?
The match was good in terms of the action. Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose were firing on all cylinders against Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre, and they got a decisive win with Ambrose hitting what is now called Dirty Deeds.
Kane and The Outlaws came out after the match and addressed The Shield. Kane ended up putting them in another match right away against Rybaxel.
After the break, we saw Ambrose taking control of the match against Curtis Axel, but it didn't last long. Ambrose took a lot of punishment until making the hot tag to Rollins.
Rollins hit just about every move in his bag of tricks before picking up the win with the Curb Stomp. The Shield sent a message after the match by hitting Ryback with a suicide dive, Superman punch and a Triple Powerbomb while looking at Kane and The Outlaws, who were standing on the ramp.
The crowd was really into The Shield. The trio's match at WrestleMania is going to be awesome.
Some notes from the match:
- I'm not a fan of anyone associated with The Authority automatically having the word "Corporate" put in front of their name. Corporate Kane was funny at first, but The Corporate Outlaws sounds dumb.
- The Curb Stomp is one of the more realistic-looking finishers in WWE.
- Rollins is like a human Swiss Army knife. He can talk, wrestle, fly and work a crowd. It's going to be fun watching him rise to the top of the WWE over the next few years.
Sin Cara vs. Damien Sandow
This was a very short match that saw Sin Cara pick up the win with a roll-up. We have seen this match so many times recently without any real storyline that it seems pointless to even keep writing at this point.
Why WWE killed Damien Sandow's push is mind-boggling. Put a mic in that guy's hand and he creates magic. WWE should be working him into big matches instead of having him lose to Sin Cara.
Fandango vs. Goldust
This was another quick yet decent match, but Summer Rae was the standout. Her cartoonish way of trying to keep Goldust from going back in the ring while Fandango recovered inside the ring was hilarious.
This girl has charisma to spare, and it really does seem like she is hiding a level of intelligence behind her ditzy blonde demeanor that allows her pull your attention right to her.
Of course, her looks and skimpy dance outfits kind of accomplish the same thing.
Fandango picked up the win with a stuff kick to the head. These two have been trading wins recently, which is odd. Goldust and Cody Rhodes were on fire as Tag champs, but now it seems like WWE has forgotten about them.
Some notes from the match:
- I love JBL, but I cannot abide him trashing I Dream of Jeannie. That show was one of my favorite classics that aired on Nick at Nite when I was a kid.
- Speaking of Nick at Nite classics, recasting Dick York with Dick Sargent in Bewitched is kind of like WWE replacing the guy who plays Sin Cara; the company thought we wouldn't notice, but we did.
- I didn't think JBL could make a more dated reference than I Dream of Jeannie, but he pulled out a Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire reference, causing kids around the world to scratch their heads in unison.
- Where was Cody?
Batista vs. Sheamus
This was a match that was on a lot of people's short list of matches they wanted to see Batista have when he returned, but it did not turn out how anyone wanted.
This match should have been longer, at a PPV and not ended in a disqualification. The action leading up to the chair shot from Batista was what you would expect from these two powerhouses— decent but nothing special.
Batista played with Sheamus a bit at the start, but the Irishman came back and nearly won the match when he went for the Brogue Kick.
Sheamus being sacrificed to Batista doesn't do much to make Batista look any better, and it certainly doesn't help Sheamus at all.
The post-match attack was quick, but Batista proved he still had a lot of power when he got Sheamus up for the Batistabomb with ease. Hopefully this match happens again in the near future with a much different outcome.
Some notes from the match:
- Despite Batista having nine years on Sheamus, he has only been wrestling two years longer than Sheamus. And with Batista's four-year hiatus, Sheamus technically has two more active years under his belt than Batista.
- Batista's mind games in the beginning of the match really helped make him look like a veteran heel.
- Batista hit a knee to the face of Sheamus that looked really stiff, but Sheamus just shook it off like he always does.
Bray Wyatt Promo
It should come as no surprise to anyone that Bray Wyatt delivered another awesome promo directed at John Cena. It has become a weekly occurrence.
If the people running WWE don't see dollar signs when they watch Bray Wyatt, then they need to get their eyes checked, because this guy can make anything interesting.
He could be feuding with Yoshi Tatsu and it would probably still be the most entertaining angle in the company.
The creepiness of Bray Wyatt singing "He's got the whole world in his hands" was off the charts, and it brought back images of Steve Buscemi's serial killer character singing the song to a little girl in Con Air. (I never did understand why that girl was all alone near an airfield in an empty pool.)
Bray Wyatt is the perfect foil for John Cena. He is the General Zod to Cena's Superman, and this storyline will elevate both men in the end.
AJ and Tamina vs. Brie and Nikki Bella
This was a standard Divas match. By that, I mean it was short and unexciting. The only notable thing that happened was Tamina finally turning on AJ.
AJ freaked out when Brie managed to get in a cheap shot while AJ was on the apron, so Tamina responded...by shoving her, tagging her and pushing her in the ring right into a facebuster.
The Bellas picked up the win, but that doesn't necessarily mean either one of them is walking out of WrestleMania with the Divas title.
If AJ doesn't retain, then it will likely be Naomi who comes away with the win.
A note from the match:
- The only reason this got the grade it did was because of the turn and Brie's nice little flurry of offense toward the end.
Emma and Santino
Emma and Santino were shown having dinner at a restaurant. Santino tried to profess his love for her, but it ended as badly as you would expect.
Did anyone else feel like they were watching an episode of Friends during this segment. Emma is basically Phoebe and Santino is stuck in the friend zone.
This segment could have been a total disaster, but it actually turned out to be kind of funny in the end. The nuances in Santino's performance will probably go unnoticed by many due to the fact that Emma is so watchable.
Still not sure why it ended with Santino puking. Do people really puke when they get that nervous?
Some notes from the segment:
- I didn't say Emma couldn't be annoying, I said she was very watchable. It's like Phoebe in Friends. Nobody actually thought Smelly Cat was funny, but it worked for the character.
- Why was it funny that they ordered the same thing? Did they somehow order without either one of them seeing the other?
- Santino looked so crushed after he found out Emma's definition of "Friends with benefits." I genuinely felt sorry for the guy.
- This video wasn't available on WWE's YouTube channel—so instead, you get Summer Rae vs. Emma.
Jimmy Uso vs. Jack Swagger
This one may have been short, but it wasn't half bad. Jimmy Uso made sure he got in a few of his more exciting moves in the few minutes they had, but he couldn't overcome Swagger's Patriot Lock.
Some notes from the match:
- It's great to see The Usos stick with the face paint gimmick. It's a lost art in wrestling.
- Seeing Swagger win clean with his finisher was kind of a nice change of pace.
Miz vs. Mark Henry
It's kind of sad that a match between two former world champions feels like it meant absolutely nothing, but that is exactly what happened here.
With only one top title, WWE now has a huge pool of former world champions with only one belt to chase. That could end up making a lot of former champions seem really irrelevant.
This was yet another short, boring match. Henry dominated nearly the entire bout and won with the World's Strongest Slam.
The Andre Memorial Battle Royal should be fun to watch at WrestleMania, but this match did nothing to hype it.
Big Show vs. Bray Wyatt
Bray Wyatt picked up a big win over Big Show, but he had a little help from Luke Harper's giant boot.
This match was much better than expected, and a lot of the credit goes to Bray Wyatt. Everything he does in the ring is because of who he is as a character.
The little looks and comments he makes during the match all make his character more believable, and nobody else can creep out an entire arena with a crab walk like Wyatt can.
The match was pretty even from start to finish. Both men got in some offense, but Show couldn't avoid the outside interference from the other members of The Wyatt Family.
This was a good way to end the show, but it wasn't a memorable match by any means. Wyatt's win was impressive, but it will be dwarfed in comparison to any win he may get over John Cena in the near future.
Final Thoughts and Predictions
This was a jam-packed episode of SmackDown with nine matches and several non-wrestling segments. Unfortunately, the more matches WWE crams into a two-hour show the less time each match gets.
While the episode of SmackDown was good on the whole, there was only really one standout set of matches featuring The Shield taking on 3MB and then Rybaxel in back-to-back tag team matches.
Bray Wyatt got a big win over Big Show in the main event, but it was his promo earlier in the evening that really made his feud with John Cena seem important.
WrestleMania is just over a week away, and WWE is pushing all of its major programs very hard to ensure that the first PPV to stream on the WWE Network is a memorable one.
- Brock Lesnar will win the exchange with The Undertaker on Monday to make it look like he has a chance to break The Streak.
- He will not break The Streak.
- AJ and Tamina will have some kind of fight on Raw or SmackDown next week.
- Whoever comes out on top of whatever happens with John Cena and Bray Wyatt on Raw will lose at WrestleMania.
- Sheamus will attempt to get revenge on Batista on Raw, but he will come up short.
What did you think of this week's show?
Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.