Cleat Geeks

Smack Talk review of Smack Down March 31, 2016

I really enjoy the opportunity to cover Smack Down here every week for Cleat Geeks.  Usually, it’s difficult to decide which topics to cover weekly.  This was not the case on last Thursday’s episode.  There were only 3 matches shown (4 if you include Alberto Del Rio vs Kofi from Raw.)  Most of the episode featured Renee Young & Byron Saxton recapping the storylines heading into WrestleMania.  It honestly felt like an episode of Superstars instead of Smack Down.

 

AJ Styles v Heath Slater

StylesSlaterYes, this happened. AJ Styles has wrestled all around the world & held the top championships in other organizations. The prevailing thought was that he would enter WWE & make an immediate impact. Why else would you pay top dollar to him, fast track him by skipping NXT, & debut him at Royal Rumble? AJ now finds himself in a match against Heath Slater, days before he wrestles Chris Jericho at WrestleMania.  Bravo WWE.  Styles was good in the match, but the announce team really helped keep this match entertaining.  Mauro Ranallo & Jerry Lawler really deserve a pay raise for the work that they do. Ranallo used his extensive & knowledgeable vocabulary to maintain viewer interest, while Lawler played off that commentary to provide comedic relief.  Lawler loves to take Ranallo’s move calls & twist them into new words like “Anoki Magasushi.”  Ranallo also referred to individual members of the Social Outcasts as “Crimson Werewolf” & “Radical Mongoose.”  The two really have a Gorilla Monsoon/Bobby Heenan dynamic, except for Mauro has yet to tell Jerry “Would you stop?!”  AJ won the match with the Phenomenal Forearm.

 

Devon Dudley v Jey Uso

UsovsDudleyFor the 2nd week, we saw a Dudley in singles action.  This time it was Devon.  Not sure if there’s anything to take away from that….or this match for that matter.  Devon won with a spine buster to Jey Uso, a move that Devon is calling the R.D.S. (which stands for Ron “DAMN” Simmons).  I fondly remember Ron Simmons as Farooq, member of the A.P.A. & founding leader of the Nation of Domination. With the Godfather’s Hall of Fame induction coming, I believe D-Lo Brown will be the only member of either coalition that will not be in WWE’s Hall of Fame. That says a lot about Ron Simmons & the company he kept.  So it was a fitting tribute that Devon used to pay Simmons’ homage. A man that had the most devastating spine buster of all time.

 

Everything else

ambrosevsRowanDean Ambrose faced Erick Rowan at the end of this episode.  While Ambrose has clearly shown that he can stand alone on his own without the Shield, Rowan depends on the Wyatts.  Interesting parallel considering both wrestlers time on the main roster from NXT.  Dean carried Erick through the majority of the match & won with Dirty Deeds.

The rest of the show recapped :

Shane’s return & his sudden feud with the Undertaker

Reigns v HHH promos & highlights

Snoop Dogg’s Hall of Fame induction & the 2016 inductee class recap

Seems like WWE was satisfied with where everything was at, heading towards Sunday.  Much like when an NFL team is up by 7 in the 4th quarter.  They play it safe on offense & play prevent defense, trying to limit any potential major risks.  Great strategy for those involved, but the viewers are reduced to just watching the clock tick away.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

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