The Shows Without Strowman – Smackdown Live, 205 Live, NXT Recap and Reaction – 2/13-20/2017

Greetings Dark Match faithful.  First, allow me to sincerely apologize for my failure to provide you with recaps last week.  Don’t really have any excuses, but let’s quickly rectify what’s gone down.

Smackdown Live – 2/13/2017

  • Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn jumped both Dolph Ziggler and Baron Corbin to prevent them from being able to have their match to decide who would be the fourth man in the Fatal Four Way match at Fastlane.
  • Shane wasn’t having it, he booked them both in singles matches, and as they both picked up victories, both Ziggler and Corbin will be in what is now a Fatal Five Way Match at Fastlane.
  • Charlotte defeated the other non-Ruby member of the Riott Squad, Sarah Logan, so now she’s down to just Ruby.  Sarah Logan actually put on a pretty good show in this one.
  • New Day defeated Benjamin and Gable after the latter team destroyed their pancakes.  Benjamin and Gable are dumb.  I have a tendency to fast forward when they are on screen, which is disappointing because I am a pretty huge fan of Chad Gable.  He’s a phenomenal talent.
  • Bobby Roode’s United States Open Challenge goes nowhere.  He calls out Randy Orton, but Jinder Mahal still exists so he comes out and talks for what seems like forever, then everyone on Earth gets an RKO Outta Nowhere.  This episode of Smackdown was honestly like getting an RKO Outta Nowhere.  This recap is about the best it deserves.

Mixed-Match Challenge – 2/13/2017

  • Ravishing Rusev Day defeated Elias and Bayley as Lana scored her first career pinfall, pinning Bayley after she pulled her off the ropes in the corner?  I don’t know, the ending felt rushed.

205 Live – 2/13/2017 – This show was great!

  • Mark Andrews defeated Akira Tozawa to advance in the Title Tournament.  This match was fantastic.  I wasn’t all that high on Andrews previously, but I was proven to be entirely wrong with this one.
  • Drew Gulak defeated Tony Nese to advance in the Title Tournament.  This was another good one, even if I was horribly conflicted the whole time and wanted some sort of double pinning finish where they both moved on to the next round.  It’s ok, Tony.  I can still think of at least 8 reasons you’ll get a title shot before long.
  • Buddy Murphy will debut on 205 Live next week as he’s slimmed down to 204 pounds to be a part of the title tournament.  They’ve soured on Lio Rush so much that Buddy Murphy had to drop like 25 pounds to make weight to fill this spot.
  • Drake Maverick is absolutely f***ing awesome and he’s got 205 Live back to the glory I was saying it was for the longest time.

NXT – 2/14/2017

  • Pete Dunne successfully defended his United Kingdom Championship in a damn fine match against Roderick Strong.  It’s ok, Roddy is probably going to be the next Cruiserweight Champion anyway.
  • TM-61 squashed some jobber team.
  • Killian Dane interrupted an Aleister Black promo about wanting a championship opportunity.  That’ll be a hell of a great match when it goes down.
  • Shayna Baszler defeated Ember Moon via DQ when she was attacked by Kairi Sane coming to the rescue as Shayna attempted to injure Moon.  So at least the rightful number one contender is somewhere in the ballpark of an opportunity.  Also, Baszler is shit.  Sorry, she just is.

While all of this occurred, it’s still all four shows that did not feature Braun Strowman, the single most entertaining person in the WWE right now.  He’s unstoppable.  If they don’t give him a damn belt soon, I say we riot regardless of what Roman does.  #StrowmanBySummerslam.

Smackdown Live from Bella Land

The Blue Brand is in Phoenix in an effort to rectify the train wreck that was last week’s show.  If that image feels familiar but different, it could be because we’ve essentially got the same main event tonight they had on Raw last night, only with significantly better wrestlers.  Let’s see what they’ve…… oh, no, it’s already shot right out of the gate.

The show starts with the champion in ring with Renee Young doing a softball interview.  He’s interrupted by Baron Corbin, who’s interrupted by Kevin Owens, who’s interrupted by Shane McMahon and thrown into a random ass match with Dolph Ziggler, and that match starts right now…….

  • Kevin Owens defeated Dolph Ziggler on a random ass distraction from Sami Zayn that lead to a Superkick.
  • There’s a guy in the second row with a sign that says “I’m just here for the Cruiserweights.”  I love you, AJ Styles, but damn if I don’t agree with that guy.
  • Jinder Mahal attempts to expose Bobby Roode as an egomaniac……1) The man refers to himself as The Glorious One, 2) Is this developing feud really the point for the Top 10 List?  I don’t know.  Orton made a standard entrance, the two took Jinder out, then Roode took down Orton, then Jinder landed his finisher on Roode.
  • Shane and DB argued in the back because they have varying ideas on who should be in what title matches.
  • Riott Squad defeated Charlotte, Becky and Naomi as Ruby Riott hit the Riott Kick on Becky who ate the pinfall.  Boo.
  • Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn discuss the Fatal Five Way match, where Sami promises that they should team up to eliminate the other three competitors, then he will gladly lay down and let Kevin win the title to go on to main event Wrestlemania.
  • The New Day defeated Benjamin and Gable as Kofi Kingston distracted the referee and allowed Xavier Woods time to kick out of a pinning opportunity.  The New Day are now the number one contenders for the tag team championship at Fastlane.
  • The Bludgeon Brothers interrupted their celebration, en route to their scheduled squash match of some random ass team.  Are they ever going to have a real match?
  • AJ Styles defeated Baron Corbin with the Phenomenal Forearm in the ongoing saga of confusing booking for Corbin.  Following the match, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn stormed the ring, aiming to destroy AJ Styles, but Baron Corbin destroyed Sami Zayn with an End of Days to stifle their attack.  Another odd choice.

On the whole the show was fine, I guess.  They just seem to be on auto pilot headed toward Wrestlemania, but they haven’t necessarily set enough up to do that.  Watch it on Hulu.


Mixed Match Challenge – Bobby Roode & Charlotte vs Nia Jax & Apollo (no Crews, not anymore)

The Robe Warriors (clever), have been working on Bobby Roode’s Woooooooooo, but Charlotte had a rough night against the Riott Squad which could come into play here.  Nia Jax does not like Titus Worldwide at all, and now I like Nia Jax that much more.

I didn’t necessarily need to write a recap of this one, as you couldn’t possible have expected Glorious Nature would have taken a loss in round one, right?  Bobby Roode hits the Glorious DDT and gets the pin on Apollo, so at least Nia didn’t have to take the L here.