WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 3

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMarch 4, 2016

WWE SmackDown Results: Winners, Grades, Reaction and Highlights from March 3

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    Owens and Ambrose reignite their feud.
    Owens and Ambrose reignite their feud.Credit: WWE.com

    Every week on Bleacher Report, I take an in-depth look at WWE SmackDown to recap the results, offer analysis and grade the matches, segments and anything else that takes place on the show, as well as make a few predictions for future events.

    The previous episode was a bit of a letdown, but things picked back up on Thursday with a series of solid matches and actual forward momentum in a few key storylines.

    Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch had the best match of the night, but Kevin Owens and Dean Ambrose gave them a run for their money in the main event.

    We also got to see Kofi Kingston and AJ Styles have a fun singles bout, Dolph Ziggler and The Miz try to outdo each other and The Usos mix it up with The League of Nations.

    Let's take a look at everything that happened on this week's episode of SmackDown.

Opening Segment

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    Dean Ambrose kicked off the show limping to the ring for a promo about what happened to him Monday night at the hands of Triple H.

    The booking of Ambrose as someone who will always rebound regardless of the amount of punishment he receives fits him well. He has been a little crazy for a while, but this is allowing him to create his own persona instead of just being Brian Pillman 2.0.

    He discussed how winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Triple H at Roadblock would put him in a weird position since he is already set to face Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32.

    One of the possible outcomes he mentioned was a Fatal 4-Way match between himself, Triple H, Lesnar and Roman Reigns, which would actually be a great idea.

    Kevin Owens came out to taunt his old rival. He tried to bully Ambrose, but The Lunatic Fringe sent him packing with a chair shot to the back. It was a simple but effective segment. Ambrose is always solid on the mic, and this was no exception.

    Grade: B

    Notes and Highlights

    • Naming the next WWE Network special Roadblock makes it feel more like a regular pay-per-view. I'm not sure if that is a good or bad thing.
    • Also, Roadblock is a terrible name for an event.
    • I never realized how much lighter Ambrose's hair was when it's dry.
    • Kudos to Ambrose for pointing out how he could see the sneak attack coming on the Titantron. Nobody ever talks about that.

The Usos vs. League of Nations

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    The first match of the night saw The Usos take on Sheamus and Rusev in tag team action. As expected, the powerhouse heels took control immediately.

    Rusev and Sheamus have developed decent chemistry in recent weeks, but nothing compares to the bond The Usos have as twin brothers.

    Everything about this match was textbook, but that didn't stop it from being fun to watch. All four men involved are talented, and they worked well together.

    The Usos rallied in the second half, but the numbers game proved to be too much for them and The League of Nations picked up the win.

    The Dudley Boyz came out and attacked Jimmy and Jey. This indicates they will either have a showdown at Roadblock or WrestleMania 32.

    Grade: B-

    Notes and Highlights

    • No wonder King Barrett wants to leave, according to Pro Wrestling Sheet (h/t Wrestling Inc). He is cleared to compete, but he rarely ever wrestles.
    • Why doesn't Lana ever accompany Rusev anymore? She could be a great manager for his group.
    • This would have been a throwaway match on Raw, but Mauro Ranallo's energetic commentary makes everything seem more important. That guy rules.
    • Rusev sold a float-over DDT like a champ.

The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler

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    Following The Miz's surprise win over Dolph Ziggler on Raw, the two met for a rematch. The Miz was aggressive from the opening bell, which is a bit of a change from how he has been portrayed for the past few years.

    He tried desperately to break the record he set on Monday with a 1:05 victory, but Ziggler was able to beat him to the punch and pinned him with a backslide.

    It's hard to say what this is all building to. Obviously they will end up with a match at an upcoming PPV, but it feels like there will be some kind of stipulation that has yet to be determined.

    Grade: C

    Notes and Highlights

    • No matter how many times he loses, the crowd still loves Ziggler. WWE is stupid for not capitalizing more on his popularity.
    • R-Truth was shown trying to mend fences with Goldust after the match, but it didn't go so well.

Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks

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    Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks met for another No. 1 Contender's match following the double-pin ending to their previous bout on Raw.

    It says a lot about the skill of these two women when every bout they have feels completely different. They took a slower approach during the first half of this showdown, but the pace picked up as time went on.

    They did a great job making it look like they were on equal ground by using a lot of the same moves on each other. It gave the contest a feeling of unpredictability.

    Banks and Lynch are on another level from most of the Divas. They are always more physical and use a wider variety of offense. It almost feels like they can't have a bad match.

    Unfortunately for both women, Charlotte ended the bout prematurely by attacking both women, preventing a No. 1 contender from being named.

    Grade: A

    Notes and Highlights

    • I would normally have a problem with this many controversial endings, but this is one case in which it doesn't matter. I could watch Lynch and Banks wrestle each other every week.
    • Ric Flair hasn't spoken a word in weeks. What is he even contributing to Charlotte at this point?
    • Renee Young revealed to Charlotte during a backstage interview that she would be facing both Lynch and Banks at WrestleMania.

Kofi Kingston vs. AJ Styles

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    This is a match a lot of people have been looking forward to since AJ Styles signed with WWE in January. Kofi Kingston is the kind of opponent who can work well with just about anybody.

    It was a little surprising to see them take a more grounded approach to the first half of the match given both men are known for aerial offense.

    The pace picked up after the break, with both men using just about every move in their respective arsenals. Xavier Woods and Big E did their best to interfere, but the ref caught them before they could do anything and ejected them from ringside.

    Styles used the distraction to hit a springboard elbow to the face and pick up the win.

    Grade: B+

    Notes and Highlights

    • Chris Jericho should have accompanied Styles to the ring to make their partnership feel more legitimate.
    • Styles escaped a post-match attack from The New Day by outmaneuvering Woods and Big E.

Dean Ambrose vs. Kevin Owens

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    Despite being in bad shape from the attack by Triple H, Ambrose took on Owens in the main event of the evening.

    These two always work well together, so it came as no surprise when this ended up being a good match. Owens was the aggressor throughout most of the bout, but Ambrose got in some good shots too.

    The intensity picked up in the second half, with Owens taking the announce table apart in hopes of putting Ambrose through it.

    After a series of counters, Ambrose was able to pick up a non-title victory with Dirty Deeds.

    Grade: B+

    Notes and Highlights

    • Ambrose wore bandages in a few different places to sell how beat up he was. It's nice to see someone paying attention to detail.
    • Owens forgot to make fun of Byron Saxton during the match. However, he did give Ranallo a hard time.
    • Give it a year and both of these men will be in the main event scene on a regular basis. They're too good to keep down.

Final Thoughts and Predictions

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    After the disappointment of the previous week's SmackDown, the blue brand came back strong on Thursday with a great episode filled with fun matches and real storyline development.

    It's a rare thing to say there wasn't a single bad contest on the entire card, but that was the case this week. Even the short bout between The Miz and Ziggler was enjoyable on some level.

    While WWE Roadblock is considered a WWE Network special instead of a pay-per-view, it feels like officials are actually putting in some effort to make the show feel important.

    Roadblock is set to take place on March 12, so it will be interesting to see what else ends up being added to the card.


    • Triple H will defeat Ambrose to retain the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
    • Y2AJ will defeat The New Day for the Tag Team Championships on Raw, only to lose them back at WrestleMania.
    • The Undertaker will not give us a real reason as to why he is willing to face Shane McMahon.
    • Owens will be forced to defend the Intercontinental Championship against Big Show at Roadblock or WrestleMania.

    What did you think of this week's SmackDown?

    Thanks for reading, and follow me on Twitter: @BR_Doctor.