Meh Tuesday Before Good Friday – Smackdown Live/MMC/205 Live – March 27, 2018

Let’s Start with the Good – 205 Live

205 Live has gone from the best hour WWE produced each week, to just another middling hour where you got a twenty minute Enzo promo, back to being absolutely kick ass on a weekly basis, and it is not necessarily that anything is all that much different, but without a marquee guy on the program it opens the door for a lot more creative options, and Drake Maverick is doing a fantastic job of selling it as such.  The Cruiserweight Tag Championship that’s coming post Mania (per rumors) is only going to make it that much better.

Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali get the night off, thank God.  They get a few minutes on camera in a table side chat with the GM to hype their match, but not any in ring action.  Let’s rest some of the people on the Wrestlemania card.  So what do we have this week:

  • Fatal Four Way to determine the Number One Contender for the new Cruiserweight Champion:  This match did everything right.  It furthered the storylines for Akira Tozawa and Kalisto in the ongoing feud between the Tozawa-Itami tandem and Lucha House Party, showcased just how good TJP can be in the ring but continued the trend of him not being able to get it done when it matters most, and gave Buddy Murphy, one of the oft forgotten gems from the NXT roster, a chance to shine, as he defeated his three competitors by landing Murphy’s Law on TJP for the pinfall.  Let’s be real though, if a dude is going to completely change his workout and diet routine to drop 25-ish pounds to make weight for the division, reward him.  Don’t send him to Wrestlemania for it, but he can surely challenge for the belt (probably in the kickoff of whatever the next PPV is).
  • Mark Andrews def. Tony Nese:  Poor Tony Nese, they were legitimately trying to get him a storyline when Enzo was around, and now they’ve given up again.  He showed off the power, and the abs, early, but Mark Andrews hit the fantastic Shooting Star Press to get the win here.  Post match, Drew Gulak reminded everyone that he’s beaten them both, so who cares which one of them won that match.

Sort of Treading Water – Smackdown Live

  • Shinsuke Nakamura def. Shelton Benjamin via pinfall.  Gable and AJ were at ringside, AJ there because he assured Nakamura he’d have his back if Gable and Benjamin tried anything.  Post match, Nakamura and AJ had some promo time, and as Nakamura was leaving, AJ got jumped by American Alpha 2.0.  Nakamura came to the rescue, landing a release exploder on Gable and taking out Benjamin with a kick.  As AJ was getting back to his feet, Nakamura teased a Kinshasa was coming.  He pulled up short and AJ looked terrified.  This was the highlight of Smackdown.
  • Rusev and Jinder Mahal def. Randy Orton and Bobby Roode: Mahal and Rusev functioned like a well oiled machine, and Orton-Roode couldn’t stay on the same page, costing them in the end.  It was later reported that because of the win Rusev has been added to the United States Championship Match at Wrestlemania, or should I now call it RusevMania!
  • Daniel Bryan added himself to the Wrestlemania card, as he is now officially teaming with Shane to take on Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.  This was not shocking, and I don’t know if I can ride the lengthy “fight for your dreams” promos for any length of time.  I’m already burnt out on it like the Seth Rollins “win back the title I never lost” shtick.  Daniel Bryan did get more offense in against his cardigan this week than he got in on Sami and Kevin last week, so he’s getting his rhythm back, I suppose.
  • The New Day vs Bludgeon Brothers ended in a no contest: The match was fine, as expected The Usos joined the fray and the match ended abruptly.  The Bludgeon Brothers were still standing tall when it was all said and done.  I don’t see any way to not put the belts on them at Mania given this build.  Good for Harper and Rowan, it’ll be nice for them to get Wrestlemania moments that don’t include being absolutely squashed by The Rock.  The match is now officially on the Wrestlemania card, in case you hadn’t heard.
  • Dolph Ziggler squashed Tyler Breeze:  I don’t really want to talk about this one.  I just don’t understand what purpose this serves?
  • Becky Lynch def. Ruby Riott with a roll-up.  As the expected beat down began, Becky fought back valiantly, tossing both Morgan and Logan over the top rope as Ruby took leave of her own will.  This was a solid move to build Becky as, hopefully, the winner come the first ever Uterus Battle Royal match.  And yes, if you haven’t seen the trophy, it now looks like a golden uterus since they had to take the Moolah likeness off the top.  Please just put Chyna on there and be done with this nonsense.

  • Charlotte didn’t wrestle, and was mysteriously forced to vacate her spot in the Mixed Match Challenge alongside Bobby Roode for “oral surgery”.  They still plugged the match so I’ll assume it isn’t anything serious, maybe just the flu or something.

Huh? – Mixed Match Challenge

So, with no Charlotte, deciding on a new partner for Bobby was up to the WWE Universe.  I would have taken the opportunity to further the Bayley-Sasha storyline by plugging her in here, but that’s just me.  Instead, Roode teams with Charlotte’s bestie Becky Lynch who’s already been on fire this evening to defeat the 2nd Chance Balor-Banks.  Guess you’re not that over after all.  Kurt Angle came out after the match, for whatever reason, I guess to clarify that it was a temporary substitution and that next week Asuka-Miz will take on The Robe Warriors in a match that will further the Asuka-Charlotte build and hopefully work us into some kind of Miz-Roode battle, though one of them will have to change brands.  It was a fine match, just weird that in the other tournament currently going on, The Dusty Rhodes Classic, Mustache Mountain was replaced completely when Bate was injured because he’d miss one week of the tournament.  This isn’t how tournaments work.  North Dakota State can’t just send Kentucky to the Sweet Sixteen for them until they make the finals then tag back in.