This Exit to Cafe Risque – Smackdown Live Recap (3/14/2017)

We are 19 days from Wrestlemania, so there’s never a better opportunity to poke some fun at America’s butthole, the state of Florida.  If you’ve ever made the long haul down I-75, as I will do in 17 days on my own road to Wrestlemania, you’ve undoubtedly seen the 50 signs for what appears to be one of the greatest interstate side trucker attractions in the citrus state, Cafe Risque.

Oh, the poor bastards that are riding with my down that long stretch of highway the Friday before Mania don’t stand a chance.  Clearly we’re not going to make the Hall of Fame ceremony.  While we’re on the subject, what couple stops in?  And is it really World Famous because a trucker from Boise stopped in that one time?

That’s right, I’m doing a Smackdown Recap.  So let’s get to it.

They Don’t Want None

“AJ Styles is the greatest performer of this generation.” – JBL

More of the same.  John Cena cashed in favors from DB.  I didn’t get a rematch for my title like I should have.  I get screwed left and right.  He’s got a point though.  Post brand split when Jeremy and I swapped programs to do the recaps for, I was more than ok with getting Smackdown.  Aside from my ongoing man love for John Cena, AJ Styles is absolutely amazing and a treasure to watch every time he is in the ring.  I really wished they would have found a way to get to an AJ vs Undertaker match at Mania.  Could you imagine if they let AJ wrestle to the strengths of Taker and elevate an Undertaker match to a level it hasn’t really been since he faced Shawn Michaels in the HBK retirement match?  That’s the sort of road to retirement that The Undertaker not only deserves, but he has damn earned.  Instead we’re going to get the confirmation that Shane McMahon and his T-Rex punches is going to get to wrestle the single greatest performer in WWE at Wrestlemania.  Yes, Shane will jump off something and it will be exciting, but that match will only be of the quality it ends up being because of the absolutely amazing talent in the other corner.

Yeah.  Remember how good he made Roman look last year?

The Stuff in the Middle

  • Becky Lynch vs Natalya – In a rare moment for Smackdown Women’s booking, Natalya did not attack Becky Lynch from behind on her way down the ramp.  I know, I was shocked.  We’ll see these random women’s matches for the next three weeks, as we don’t necessarily need legit story going into what could be assumed as either a gauntlet match or an elimination match of some sort for Alexa’s belt that Asuka will leave Orlando with.  Becky Lynch gets the win with a Disarmher, then Carmella hit both competitors with a Superkick following the victory.
  • Miz TV – This special edition of Miz TV features his special guest, Maryse, as if she’s not out there for every other episode.  In case you’re not familiar with my opinion of Maryse, I hate listening to her speak.  She’s got terrible microphone work, and it isn’t even about the accent.  Miz is masterful with a microphone in his hand, Maryse is garbage.  I also can’t stand her silver hair.  It’s awful.  She talked shit forever about Bella, finally drawing Cena-Bella from the back.  Miz and Maryse attempted to retreat, so here comes “that flannel clad goat boy” (more JBL).  Daniel Bryan really wants to punch Miz in the face, but he can’t, so he is going to let Cena punch him by proxy.  I really expected a singles match of some kind, but instead he just officially announced the mixed tag Wrestlemania match.

  • Alexa Bliss vs Mickie James – Remember what I said about the random array of Women’s matches earlier?  Here’s another.  I really don’t mind it, as it will give them plenty of segments throughout the next few weeks leading to what will inevitably be a short match.  I don’t mind Mickie James at all, but I absolutely hate her weird bellbottoms.  This match was fine.  Something seemed kind of off about their timing.  Mickie James wins with the Mick Kick.
  • AJ Styles attacked Shane McMahon in the talent parking area.  Finlay came to Shane’s aid, so for two weeks in a row we’ve got nostalgia acts serving as Shane’s defense.  “You’re taking opportunities, I’m gonna take an opportunity to kick your ass” – AJ Styles.  Been a while since we got a solid backstage ass kicking.  Post commercial, Daniel Bryan confronted AJ in the locker room and “fired” him.
  • Something Noteworthy – JBL and Phillips were the only two on commentary tonight.  It actually seemed weird to not have Mauro there, and significantly less weird to not have to hear Otunga struggle to chime in and get shot down only for JBL to mention how much more famous his wife is.

  • MOJOOOOOOOOOOOO! vs Dolph Ziggler – So basically Mojo is about to get beaten to death with a chair…..I can’t look.  Actually, Mojo just kept tossing him over the top rope, but Dolph got frustrated and just took the count out and walked away.  What in the hell is their direction for the Show-Off right now?
  • Randy Orton addresses Bray Wyatt – Randy promises to take the title at Mania, as he’s already taken everything else.  Bray Wyatt is lurking in the ashes of the Wyatt compound, talking about Sister Abigail still being with him because she is the spawn of hell itself, and then he coats himself with “her ashes” (dirt).  Are they ignoring that super cryptic Erick Rowan video where he was clearly carrying a body through those woods?
  • Oh look, they didn’t forget they had a tag team division, American Alpha vs The Usos – So it turns out this is your main event this evening.  It didn’t even get much build or anything, just one of those pre-commercial break “up next” stills, and even during the match they just kept cutting away for Shane being walked to a car for what we are told is to be taken to the hospital.  Instead he turns around and heads towards the ring area.  There’s a match going on and its 9:57 so this is going to be weird.  Usos win on a superkick when one pushed Chad Gable off the top rope when he was going for that LoD Electric Chair move.
  • Shane came out, no music or anything, and challenged AJ Styles at Wrestlemania.

I mean seriously, that looks like a non-discriminatory Cajun restaurant to me.  I’d expect to get a plastic bib with some sort of crustacean on it.  There’s a distinct possibility that the bib is still in play.  I will report on it in a few weeks.

I spent a lot of time looking at this on Google during Smackdown.  It wasn’t a bad Smackdown, I am just easily distracted.

See you next week.  Same Smackdown Time, Same Smackdown Channel.