Ah Hell, I missed the Turnpike… -Smackdown Live recap (3/21/17)


Smackdown Live is coasting down 75 and it’s time to merge onto the turnpike.  Only two episodes left before next weekend’s Wrestlemania, so let’s get into this one.

Opening the Show:

AJ Styles approaches Daniel Bryan in the back, clad in Wrestlemania merch.  Daniel Bryan essentially tries to build Shane as a threat to Styles, Styles is only concerned with the fact that Shane isn’t there yet.

So AJ goes to the ring.  He’s not sorry for anything he did last week.  Are you surprised?  He accepts Shane’s match challenge, then heads to the parking lot to wait for Shane again.  Daniel Bryan is still standing in front of the monitor in the back, calling to warn Shane.

The Stuff in the Middle:

  • Baron Corbin joins Daniel Bryan in the back, saying he hasn’t had any confirmation on his IC match at Wrestlemania, then says he has the night off so he’s going gambling.  Bryan stops him, letting him know he’s going to be in action tonight against Randy Orton.
  • The Usos def. American Alpha for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship.  I know, I’m not pleased either.  It was a decent match, and honestly I think I’m more upset about it that the only people they ever seem to push in this flush division is The Usos.  So many good teams.  Still waiting for new No. 1 contenders – Surf Dudes with Attitudes
  • Luke Harper in his new, slim fitting black tanktop and man bun, cuts a promo from that weird boiler room with those two light bulbs hanging from the ceiling that Bray is normally in.  He’s apparently going to attack Bray Wyatt in some capacity next week.
  • Total Bellas Bull**** – Miz and Maryse filmed some scenes making fun of Total Bellas.  It wasn’t as funny as WWE seemed to think it was.  They dedicated a lot of time to this throughout the evening.  They’re awfully focused on John Cena never proposing, so there’s probably some foreshadowing to it.
  • Randy Orton def. Baron Corbin via RKO – The loss comes, surprise surprise, on a distraction from Dean Ambrose on a forklift.  I almost wish this match could have just gone clean, because it was a hell of a good showing.  They’ve got a star in Baron Corbin, even if he looks like Eddie Munster played college football and developed a drinking problem.  He needs a haircut, but that’s just because this soaked, stringy stuff is gross looking.  Ambrose accepted Corbin’s challenge for Wrestlemania, as if you didn’t expect it.
  • Bray Wyatt’s disciples capture Randy Orton in the back, probably the same room where Luke Harper just cut his promo.  Why would Orton go near that room?
  • Breezy Bella is the greatest thing ever!!!!!!

  • John Cena def. Fandango.  I don’t know who in the back came up with this, although given Breeze and Fandango being such a big part of Southpaw with Cena, they may just be good friends.  But whoever decided to go forward with Breezy Bella deserves a Slammy.  Cena and Nikki Bella hit tandem AAs/STFs on the Fashion Police as Cena picked up the win by submission.  Nikki Bella speared Tyler Breeze and knocked his fake breasts out of his shirt.
  • Carmella vs Becky Lynch.  As expected, no real finish here, as Mickie James, Natalya and Alexa got involved.  Much like Wrestlemania, they just threw all the women in the ring at once and gave them 3 minutes of screen time.  Have you noticed that all the women at Wrestlemania are crammed into the two Women’s championship matches?  It tops last year’s 5-on-5 tag in the preshow, but still.  What happened to the revolution?
  • Seriously, who thought these Miz-Maryse Total Bellas videos were a good idea?  I guarantee it wasn’t the person that made the call to do Breezy Bella.

Let’s Main Event this thing with some Money, Money, Money…

AJ is still waiting in the parking lot with Shane in the ring, cutting a promo of his own.  AJ took his sweet time making the walk from the parking lot through to the entry way.  He paused before coming out.  I don’t know if they were trying to make him look scared or what.  AJ says he’s going to get in the ring and apologize, but when he comes through the ropes, queue up the T-Rex Punches.  For a guy that does Muay Thai or whatever it is that he does, you think he’d have learned how to throw better looking punches.

But we did end the show with one of the other Shane McMahon staples, the elbow drop through the announcers table.

This match won’t be bad.  AJ Styles is a God in the ring and he makes every opponent look good.  Shane will hit a big spot.  AJ will take care of the rest.


  • No Mauro again this week.  If he’s legitimately feuding with JBL, they need to move one of the two men to Raw.  If Corey Graves needs to be there on Tuesdays to cover 205 Live, just swap Graves and JBL, they’re not necessarily interchangeable, but Graves could bring something great to Smackdown, and he has a great rapport with both Ranallo and Tom Phillips, I’m sure he could work well with Otunga.
  • Smackdown Live’s creative department seems to remember they’re on the Road to Wrestlemania.  We got another match confirmation with Ambrose-Corbin for the Intercontinental Title.  I wish they’d explain what kind of match the SDL Women’s match is going to be, as JBL seems confused because it isn’t already stated.
  • Cena had some trademark fire when he appeared with Bella on Talking Smack.  Talking Smack is a damn good show.  They tried to capture that fire with Raw Talk, but that just didn’t have the same appeal.

Well, at least if I’m going to be a bit behind in getting this thing posted, I’ll cover all of Tuesday night’s wrestling action.

  • Tony Nese vs TJ Perkins – Nese is a marvel.  I’m glad that injury only put him out a few weeks and not for an extended period.  I think they’re going to push him more and more, with him likely getting a title opportunity soon.  I think the WWE Universe has grown tired of TJP and all his dabbing and other various ridiculousness.  Perkins did some flippy stuff in this one, but for the most part Nese just beat the hell out of him for the majority of this match.  Tony Nese wins via a suplex into the corner followed by a full speed running Nese.  
  • Akira Tozawa slaughtered some jobber with the Snap German Suplex.  Match lasted like 15 seconds.  He then called out Kendrick, but when Kendrick didn’t respond he went toward the back looking for him.  He gets jumped by Security, which turns out to be Kendrick, for Sliced Bread and Lesson #8: Looks can be deceiving.
  • Austin Aries is Amazing:  Aries interviews himself.  If it weren’t for Breezy Bella, this would likely have been the best part of this 3 hours of wrestling.
  • Neville def. Mustafa Ali via Submission.  This match was fantastic.  Ali did some amazing things here.  Neville taunted Aries on commentary at every turn.  Watch this match, if you watch nothing else from this show.